Child Sense: Sun protection

Priscilla J. Dunstan Keeping our children free from sunburn can be a quite a task, but there are ways to make the process a little easier. If swimming or at the beach, use sun-protective t-shirts, shorts and rash guards. During the day, clothing should at least cover the shoulders – an area that can get […]

Herding Squirrels: The long dry season

Traci Arbios For those of us in blended-family land, it’s been a long, long summer. I never exactly know how to feel about this particular season. My husband and I are the primary parents to our massive brood of kids; but come summer, visitation schedules change, culling our herd. How would I describe it? By […]

Dirty Laundry: Off to study raising children in this digital age

Aisha Sultan Recently, my youngest child asked a question about love and God. He quickly realized from my reaction that he must have said something clever. As I reached for my laptop, he said, “Are you going to write what I said on Facebook? Do not write it there!” I was stunned. In fact, I […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: When I am named ruler of the Earth …

Marla Jo Fisher I am planning to run for Supreme Ruler of Earth, as soon as I get a spare minute. In case you don’t know, the Supreme Ruler gets to do whatever she wants and make the rules for everyone else. Everyone kisses your backside and laughs at your jokes. Sort of like running […]

Child Sense: When an older sibling is at camp

Priscilla J. Dunstan Parents often underestimate the anxiety and loneliness a younger sibling has when an older sibling goes off to camp. Young children don’t have a concrete understanding of time, and their immaturity makes it hard for them to believe their sibling’s absence is temporary. Keep them busy, do something special, and use this […]

Up With Kids: Flying with children doesn’t have to make your stress levels soar

Paula Sirois There are far worse things than traveling in a plane with kids — but that can be easy to forget. In-air child chaos has triggered breakdowns in even the most patient of parents. Something about the mix of airplanes, air pressure and claustrophobic seating can cause the sweetest kid to transform into every […]

Building Resilience: Crafting your child’s character

McClatchy-Tribune Don’t spoil your children. How we’d love to give our children everything they want_they’re so darned cute! But adults who expect everything instantly and on their terms, who feel that they’re entitled to anything they desire, are not so cute _ may I say detestable? Here are some thoughts to consider. — Don’t worry […]

Child Sense: Creating a keepsake of your summer memories

Priscilla J. Dunstan Summer holidays can seem like they go on forever, and when they end, it’s very easy for little kids to forget all the exciting things they did. By creating a memory keepsake, you will be able to help your child remember and also produce a keepsake for years to come. Tactile children […]

Walking? Spicy foods? Both among bids to bring on labor

"Stroller babes" walk around Mckinley Park

Liza Lester By nine days past her baby’s due date last October, Sarah Ikemire was anxious – and speed-walking daily around Sacramento, Calif.’s McKinley Park. She wanted baby Mason to emerge on his own, without urging from drugs or, worse, a Caesarean section. She asked her doctor what she could do to encourage her baby […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: Ten things to know before you become Mom

Marla Jo Fisher Life would have been easier if I had known these things before I had children: 1. It’s pointless to buy nice furniture It’s so much easier to just get cheap stuff than to spend your life hollering and frantically running around trying to clean up messes. My children are active _ OK […]

In defense of a crowded closet

Aisha Sultan My ambitious clothing audit began with an impulse to purge. It was getting harder to pull garments in and out of a packed closet, in which tops pressed up against dress shirts, which nudged jackets into a dark corner. I decided to catalogue each item taking up precious space by color, age, style […]

Child Sense: Helping your child learn the basics of organization

Priscilla J. Dunstan Teaching our kids how to be organized starts at an early age. The habits that will aid them as they move through life start when they are young with simple systems learned at home and in their own space. Even when they are young, they can learn how to put away their […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: Lost something? Not my problem

Marla Jo Fisher If my kids were cast into an episode of the TV show “Lost,” they would have to stay that way. Forever. This is because I have a very firm rule in my house: I do not look for kid stuff. Period. Exclamation point. End of paragraph. Some people think this one is […]

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 […]

Savings savvy: Three ways to teach your kids about money

Paula Sirois This morning I implemented a new program with my kids: He or she who yells, pushes or screams has to put $1 into a jar on the shelf. At the end of the week, whoever hasn’t broken the rules gets all the cash. By this afternoon, I had already deposited $5, my son […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]