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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 […]

Holiday Baby Survival Guide: Enjoying the Season With Your Newborn

Holiday Baby Survival Guide: Enjoying the Season With Your Newborn

My most memorable holiday seasons didn’t involve expensive presents, exquisite decorations, or extravagant meals. I didn’t attend swanky cocktail parties or impress my friends with stylish gifts. I survived on reheated lasagna and takeout, accessorized with burp rags, and spent my time gazing at tiny fingers and toes. I was the mom of a newborn. […]

Growing Up Online: Training Wheels for New Cell Phone Users

If your child is one of the lucky kids getting a new cell phone during the holidays, now is the time to think about the rules that should go along with it. Kids need to understand from the get-go that having a phone is a privilege and, like all privileges, comes with responsibilities. Family contracts that […]

My Journey to Stop Yelling at My Kids

My Journey to Stop Yelling at My Kids

Tweet Seven months ago, I overheard my son say something quite profound to my mother, whom he calls Nino. “Nino, I’ve never heard you yell.” I had a sinking feeling upon hearing his simple observation of his grandmother. I was guilty of yelling at my kids. There were times when I felt like my children […]

Connect Through the Magic of Storytelling

Connect Through the Magic of Storytelling

“Why do you have a badger skin?” inquired my 6-year-old nephew. My family, along with a small group of other adults and children, formed a semicircle in the shadowy quiet of a reconstructed Indian encampment earth lodge at a children’s nature center. Christine Freeman, an employee, had been guiding us through the lifestyle of the Kanza Indians, […]