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Animal Overhead: The Actual Cost of Owning a Pet

Animal Overhead: The Actual Cost of Owning a Pet

If someone said you could improve your health by sitting on the couch, you’d want to know more, right? Well, the answer could be the purring furball or the drooling pooch sitting next to you. Some of the perks of owning a pet are well known; there is, of course, unconditional love and constant companionship, […]

How To Design a Recovery-Friendly Get-Together

Alcohol has become a staple of neighborhood, friend, and family gatherings in our society. Need to relax? It’s time for a drink. Want to celebrate? Must be time for a drink. Want to hang out with friends? Yep, grab another drink. This is all good, until you have a friend who chooses not to drink, […]

Talking To Your Kids About Marijuana

Talking To Your Kids About Marijuana

The worrisome behavior signs were starting to build for Becky. Her daughter was suddenly disrespectful, mouthy, breaking the rules, and definitely displaying more “attitude” at home. This West Fargo parent says her “mom radar” was going off. But Becky had no real proof her teenage daughter was using illicit drugs. It wasn’t until her older […]

When Your Child Hates School

When Your Child Hates School

As a parent of children in high school, middle school, and elementary school, it is not unusual to hear the following comments from my children: “I just don’t want to go to school today.” “I had a bad day at school.” “I hate school!” In response, parents are prone to say things like, “Your day […]

Recognizing Fake News

Recognizing Fake News

Learning to distinguish between reliable and bogus information is a crucial skill in the 21st century. For a brief time, it seemed search engines might help people zero in on accurate, well-researched information. Instead, social media has made it easy to share “news” that has no basis in fact. The proliferation of fake news has […]

The Bad of Being Dad

The Bad of Being Dad

Being a dad is awesome except for the parts that aren’t. What are those parts that stink? Here’s a list: 1. The mountains of plastic crud – After a few Christmases, birthdays, and trips to Chuck E. Cheese’s, you realize that basically your kid is getting the same thing over and over. It’s all just […]

The Eye Roll Gold Medalist

The Eye Roll Gold Medalist

Moms like to brag about their kids. It’s a given. It starts with how long the mother labored and how much her baby weighed. It moves on to the first tooth, earliest walker, and those who potty trained before anyone else. And, while many of those early stories are amazing, those are things we all […]

Strong Values Strengthen a Community

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center In May, a very quiet but remarkable thing happened in Fargo that, once again, sets us apart in a very positive way from a plague of disrespect that seems to be infecting our country. It was a simple basketball game, a pick-up game by a group […]

Loathe It? Leave It! 5 Simple Steps for Switching Banks

Loathe It? Leave It! 5 Simple Steps for Switching Banks

Are rude tellers and outrageous fees among your bank’s claims to fame? Enough already! You shouldn’t have to put up with that. There are plenty of other fish, er, banks, in the sea waiting for your business. Why waste your time and money on an institution you hate? You may think switching banks is a […]

Prenuptial Agreements:  They’re Just for  Rich People, Right?

Prenuptial Agreements: They’re Just for Rich People, Right?

Prenuptial agreements have an image problem. We think they’re unromantic and, on that score, it’s hard to argue. However, other perceptions are not as accurate. Take these, for example: “A prenuptial agreement gets couples off to a rocky, unhealthy start.” “Prenuptial agreements usually involve one party taking advantage of the other. Prenups are almost always […]

Birds and Bees, Pretty Please! An Age-By-Age Guide to “The Talk”

Birds and Bees, Pretty Please! An Age-By-Age Guide to “The Talk”

If the thought of talking about sex with your kids makes you sweat bullets, you’re not alone. More than half of parents haven’t discussed sex with their preteen, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But, experts say, it’s not something you should skip. “If parents begin having age-appropriate, positive conversations with their child […]

The Emotional Side of Infertility

The Emotional Side of Infertility

I buried my face in my hands and wept. Another year had gone by and still no baby. After two rounds of in vitro fertilization, three cycles of Clomid, and five years of trying for a baby, all I had to show for my efforts were an aching heart and a stack of medical bills. […]

Vroom! Vroom! Helping Teens Get Their Own Set of Wheels

Vroom! Vroom! Helping Teens Get Their Own Set of Wheels

Everyone remembers their first car. Whether it was a hand-me-down beater or a shiny, new thing, those first teenage adventures behind the wheel of your very own car were a very big deal. Finally…you were alone, wind in your hair, music pumping, on the road to anywhere. Perhaps you saved your fast-food paychecks and birthday […]

Star Trek, Star Wars, and the Quest of Fatherhood

Star Trek, Star Wars, and the Quest of Fatherhood

An open letter to a friend and soon-to-be father… Dear Jared, We’ve become pretty good friends over the past year and a half working together at The Village. We’re kind of kindred souls in a way—two peas in a pod. We both have creative minds with a bit of a snarl when it comes to […]

Don't Bug Me: A mom who hates bugs learns to live with them ... sorta

Don’t Bug Me: A mom who hates bugs learns to live with them … sorta

I remember the afternoon when one of our girls, a toddler at the time, brought me a treasure from our yard, clutched in her chubby hand. Holding her fist up to my face, she opened it to reveal a balled-up, roly-poly bug. Instinctively I shrieked and knocked it from her hand. She looked up at […]

What's in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center Someone recently asked me where we came up with our name, “The Village Family Service Center.” That question prompted me to write this message to tell you about our name and take a comprehensive look at what The Village does. As you might expect over 124 […]

Creating a Lovely Morning

Creating a Lovely Morning

When I wake in the morning, my mind slowly gathers, and I begin to move, the early morning light just starting to seep in. I have a glass of water, start the coffee, then meditate. Then I enjoy the coffee, a good book, and the quiet, before the dust and din and steam of the […]

The History and Mystery of Popular Wishing Customs

As the Disney song from “Pinocchio” goes, “When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.” While most people recognize wishes are not magically granted, the process is a wonderful way to identify the objects of your hopes and dreams. Here are a few ways, beyond wishing on that first glowing star of the […]

Be a More Playful Parent

Be a More Playful Parent

Parenting is serious business, and it can be overwhelming at times. It can also be a whole lot of fun if you find ways to sneak some play into your day. You don’t have to shirk grown-up responsibilities or make a fool of yourself (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to become a more […]

Growing Up Online: The Pros and Cons of Anonymous Social Media

Growing Up Online: The Pros and Cons of Anonymous Social Media

Keeping secrets is part of growing up. Deciding what you’ll tell people about yourself—and others—is one way children develop an understanding of privacy and trust. With Facebook and other forms of public social media, nothing is secret. Even young children now know that comments or photos become part of a person’s “permanent record.” And that’s […]