Child Sense: Tips for helping your child walk home from school

Priscilla J. Dunstan Consider the way your child relates to the world when planning his walk to and from school. Pick a route that is easy for your child to remember even if it may take a little longer. Turning one corner is easier for your child to remember than having to turn five. Find […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: My kids don’t know how fierce I am

Marla Jo Fisher There seems to be some sort of fundamental misunderstanding around my house, in which my children perceive me as being hideously old-fashioned and, in fact, just plain old. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a very groovy, hip and with-it chick. I love to sit around and have a […]

Child Sense: Try to give your child some control when their routine is disrupted in the summer

Priscilla J. Dunstan Summer break is upon us, bringing the inevitable mix of travel, visitors and changing sleeping arrangements. Children’s bedrooms turn into guest rooms for friends and relatives, suitcases replace closets as families travel, and children go off to camp. Though exciting, this can also be very stressful to children, who lose not only […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: They’re young girls, not tramps

Marla Jo Fisher It’s nice to know that we can walk into any mall these days and outfit Curly Girl for her future career as a prostitute. Maybe she’ll meet Hugh Grant while she’s trolling the streets. Maybe she’ll be a stripper or a call girl who meets a nice married governor from Back East. […]

Hello, we’re awesome: Kids who feel good about themselves make parents feel the same way

Paula Sirois My 8-year-old daughter and her friends started a band called Hello, We’re Awesome. I helped her design some fliers for their first performance, complete with star borders and stage names: Milk Chocolate, Mandarin Oranges, Laughing Twizzle and Tropical Starburst. Granted, they haven’t decided on the type of music they’ll play or if any […]

Dirty Laundry: When children won’t sleep, parents get desperate

Aisha Sultan Ginger Allington was getting up around the clock to nurse her baby back to sleep. Neither she nor her husband had slept much for months, and Allington says she remembers thinking: “We need to get him to sleep longer or I’m going to die.” Her husband, Adam, described that period of time as […]

Herding Squirrels: Greetings from a super villain

Traci Arbios As a young lass, I never wanted the “typical” dream of growing up and getting married and having 2.5 kids and settling down into the 3-bed, 2-bath home with the picket fence. Partial lie — I wanted the picket fence, but mostly I just wanted my parents to build a picket fence around […]

Building Resilience in Children: The art and importance of listening

McClatchy-Tribune The key to getting a child to open up is to say very little. Simply use short phrases that reassure and prompt more conversation. This is particularly important at the beginning of a conversation because we want children to reach a point where they’re comfortable enough to express whatever is on their minds. To […]

Child Sense: Tips for making a trip to the beach enjoyable for your child

Priscilla J. Dunstan Summer is often associated with going to the beach, and having fun with your children in the sun, surf and sand. Understanding your child’s sensory needs will make the experience even more enjoyable. The tactile child will take great delight in playing in the openness of the beach. As soon as their […]

Dirty Laundry: Taking care of fathers complicates family roles

Aisha Sultan Amy Goyer left her home in Washington two years ago to care for her aging parents in Phoenix. Her mother had suffered a stroke two decades earlier, and her father was beginning to show signs of dementia. Goyer works at AARP as a family expert and has walked hundreds of caregivers through this […]