RSSAuthor Archive for Editor

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 […]

Breakfast In Bed

Breakfast In Bed

One of my fondest mom memories is of my 7-year-old daughter and her still toddling brother standing at the bedroom doorway with a half-spilled bowl of cereal balanced on a cookie sheet covered in dandelions. Their eyes were sparkling with pride as they delivered my surprise breakfast. It was as if they were presenting me […]

Engaged Couples Should Talk Before They Walk

A recent poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed that 68 percent of respondents held negative attitudes toward discussing money with their fiancé, with five percent indicating the discussion would cause them to call off the wedding. “It is telling that two people who intend to spend the rest of their lives […]

Sick Day Challenge

Sick Day Challenge

Whether or not to send a self-reported sick child to school may be the most difficult decision in all of parentdom. We’re not talking about the puking, feverish, or spot-covered child. That’s an easy call. We’re talking about the kid who wakes in the morning without such tell-tale symptoms, but utters those most-loathed words, “I […]

The Preschool Inquisition

The Preschool Inquisition

I remember this phase—the age of endless questioning. Our middle child went through it right before he started kindergarten. Now his 4-year-old sister, Kate, has assumed the role of The Great Inquisitor. All day, every day, I answer questions. When I’m not around, she corners her dad and pummels him with rapid-fire queries that never […]

Some Things Change While Others Stay the Same

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center From time to time, at The Village, we make a conscious effort to look closely at the tens of thousands of interactions we have with clients every year, in an effort to discern the broader trends we are seeing. What is the trajectory related to the […]

Why Am I So Messy?! The Truth Behind Clutter and What You Can Do to Clean Up Your Act

Why Am I So Messy?! The Truth Behind Clutter and What You Can Do to Clean Up Your Act

Twelve years ago, Deb Williams was a completely different person. Living it up in a corporate job in Fargo, she was surrounded by piles of paperwork, mounds of mess, and a desk she could barely see. It made doing her job difficult. “My job required answering the phone and helping people locate information. Time after […]

Birthday Traditions from Around the World

Birthday Traditions from Around the World

Stethoscopes and microphones? Bubble-gum flavored cake? Overseas celebrations? Prayer rituals? These may sound like outrageous birthday ideas to you, but to children around the world, a birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without one of these traditions. The standard American child’s birthday party goes something like this: Host a party at your house/restaurant/events center; guests bring […]

Rethink Receiving a Tax Refund

Rethink Receiving a Tax Refund

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) online poll last February revealed that a strong majority of respondents intentionally plan to receive a federal income tax refund. “The findings suggest that receiving an income tax refund has become standard operating procedure for some people, as 2014 is the second year in a row that the […]

Winter’s Drafts Make Them Daft

Winter’s Drafts Make Them Daft

By J. Shane Mercer The weather in this part of the country is fantastic for the three months of the year when there isn’t snow on the ground. Still, that leaves about eight or nine months when the outdoors is less than inviting and getting kids outside is a challenge. As far as I’ve been […]

Why It’s “In” to Be a Geek

Why It’s “In” to Be a Geek

By Gwen Rockwood I am a geek. Always have been. But now it’s easy—and almost cool—to admit it. Twenty-five years ago? Not so much. Back then, my glasses, braces, and clarinet carrying case were all social life liabilities. In the ‘80s, if you aced a few spelling tests or a teacher praised you for being […]

When Communities Care

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center A while back, there was a story on the evening news about a local cop who came across a young man—a third grader, maybe—who had a passion for playing basketball but couldn’t “make the team.” He actually couldn’t even try out for the team. He couldn’t […]

10 Ways to Do What You Don't Want to Do

10 Ways to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

Life would be grand if we only did what our fleeting hearts wanted to do, each moment of the day. Unfortunately, the laundry, taxes, and difficult conversations would never get done. The best books would never be written. All the achievements of humankind would be imagined, not realized. So what should we do if we’re […]

Squeezed for Time in the Kitchen? Simple Strategies for Stress-Free Dinners

Squeezed for Time in the Kitchen? Simple Strategies for Stress-Free Dinners

With school in full swing after the holidays, my family is busier than ever. Dinner often ends up sandwiched (quite literally) between basketball practice and a PTA meeting. I truly admire the breezy Mom-Chef who whips together a delicious family meal in 30 minutes. But for those of us less adept in the culinary arts, […]

Stop The Fighting: Straightforward Solutions to Sibling Rivalry

Stop The Fighting: Straightforward Solutions to Sibling Rivalry

Many parents wonder why their children fight with each other. All of us can be hurt and stressed by the level of nastiness that sometimes passes between brothers and sisters. The good news is that you can reduce sibling rivalry by understanding its causes and addressing the issues it raises. “Sibling rivalry” is the formal […]

The Wow Factor

The Wow Factor

Human beings have a remarkable capacity to grow unappreciative, to take the incredible and make it mundane. Comedian Louis C.K. was on the late-night TV show, “Conan,” a few years back ranting about the whininess of the current generation, even as we live in an age of remarkable technological advancement. He mimicked people complaining of […]

Letter to My Younger Self

Letter to My Younger Self

A wonderful thing is happening at our house. The kids are becoming…capable. That sounds weird, I know. It’s not like they were helpless blobs all this time, but lately I’ve noticed they can really do things—helpful things, necessary things—things my husband and I have been doing for them for more than a decade now. Today […]

Make an Investment in North Dakota Families

By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center First let me state that I am a longstanding conservative who happens to work in a very liberal profession. I have been criticized loudly from both staff and community members periodically for my views and positions stated in this editorial space. I’m fine with that—after all, […]