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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Planning a Tween/Teen Sleepover

Planning a Tween/Teen Sleepover

If you’re into coordinating cupcakes and crafts, it’s easy to get swept away by the hundreds of sleepover themes, activities, and treat ideas on Pinterest. But as a parent, you know the really important planning for tween and teen sleepovers has more to do with supervision, rules, and knowing the families involved. After all, you want […]

Tips to Break the Biting Habit

Tips to Break the Biting Habit

Biting is very common among young children for all types of reasons. Most parents find it frustrating, and they want it to stop—quickly! Understanding why young children bite is the first step in preventing biting, as well as teaching children alternatives to biting. This is a list of the most common reasons for biting and solutions […]

I Don’t Want to Grow Up

I Don’t Want to Grow Up

You don’t have to be an adult very long before you realize it stinks. There are mortgage payments and social norms and leaky pipes and dress slacks. The list of constraining, fun-squashing, grown-up things is endless. As a dad, it’s hard not to be a little jealous of my kids. They’re free of all that […]

I Can Explain...

I Can Explain…

Early this morning, I opened my eyes and saw 7-year-old Jack’s eyes looking right at me, just inches from my face. “Mom,” he whispered. “I need to tell you something.” “What is it, Jack?” I groaned sleepily. “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come last night,” he said. “My tooth is still there under the pillow and […]

Making a Family Book

Making a Family Book

Opening a colorful, professionally printed book to read about your own family—your hobbies, relationships, travels, and other things that make you special—is such a rewarding experience. Just like you and your children get to know Curious George, Madeline, and other literary characters through books, reading your own stories and seeing your own pictures and artwork […]

Is Your Child Ready for School? Are You?

Is Your Child Ready for School? Are You?

Anticipation builds as the new school year approaches. Every year my kids become antsy as the stores fill up with new backpacks, fun colorful accessories, and the latest in locker and school supplies. And even though I am not ready to begin the process of letting summer with my kids slip though my fingers, I […]

Where to Find the Best Free Educational Videos Online

Where to Find the Best Free Educational Videos Online

Tweet As every good teacher knows, a well-chosen video can fasten a concept into a child’s head much faster than a lecture or a textbook. Happily, this is the golden age for mini videos. Charismatic educators have condensed their best lessons into short segments that are as entertaining as they are educational. Since kids are already snacking […]

Still Supporting Your Adult Kids? 5 Steps for Cutting Them Off

Still Supporting Your Adult Kids? 5 Steps for Cutting Them Off

If you’re the parent of young adults, you may be wondering if the kids are ever going to make it on their own. It’s small comfort but, if you’re helping support grown kids, you’re in good company. Nearly 60 percent of American parents were financially supporting adult children, the National Foundation for Financial Education and […]

Pint-sized Demolition Crew

Pint-sized Demolition Crew

Tweet Brands like Gerber and Pampers like to show you pictures of sleeping babies taken with soft filters so they look all sweet and cuddly. Have you seen those Carter’s children’s clothing promo photos with all of those happy, contented, clean children? Well, that’s all a whole lot of hooey aimed at selling stuff. The […]

Wish I was Making This Up

Wish I was Making This Up

My favorite humor writer, Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, is famous for the line “I am not making this up.” He uses it when writing about things that are so absurd any sane person would assume he’s taking creative liberties with his description when, in fact, the description happens to be ridiculous AND true. I […]

The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

The Lizard Who Ate Orlando

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your work is get away from it. A week’s vacation did the trick; even though I’m up to my neck in laundry and an overflowing email inbox, I’m refreshed and happy to be back at my computer. I was reminded of a trip we took a few […]

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

A Decade of Fatherly Wisdom

Marriage was a big life change. But I think fatherhood was even bigger. For the first time, I (along with my wife) was totally responsible for every aspect of the well-being of someone who wasn’t me. I’ve been a dad for almost 10 years now. Fatherhood has changed me, and I’ve learned a lot. For […]

Senior Moments: Advice from the Over 90 Crowd

Senior Moments: Advice from the Over 90 Crowd

A video clip of two 100-year-old best friends, Alice Jensen and Irene Cook, recently bombarded the Internet (youtube.com/watch?v=73ZzBcjVcrk). They’ve known each other for 94 years, can finish each other’s sentences like pros, and are pretty savvy for being centenarians (meaning they are over 100 years old). They know what “selfies” are, and one of them […]

Nine Apps That Keep Kids Moving

Sixty minutes a day. That’s the minimum amount of physical activity recommended for children, ages 6 to17, by the Centers for Disease Control. Some kids meet that goal effortlessly. They can’t wait to walk the dog, belong to a team that practices every afternoon, or nag their parents to go on long hikes and bike rides. […]