Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Learn about the causes and how you can prevent them.
I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I can't even claim to be one like my friend, Mona, because she watches a lot of those shows about crazy-sized tumors and other medical oddities on the Discovery Health Channel. But there are times I wish I was, like this past week when all four of my kids had headaches at different times. My oldest daughter came home from her away volleyball match at 8:30 p.m. sidelined with a headache. My other daughter woke up in the middle of the night with one, while my son came home from school with one. They really don't like taking medicine, so offering them something to help alleviate the pain isn't an option. With all the headaches, they didn't have any other medical symptoms like a sore throat or fever, …
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Tips for keeping the fun in the game for your and your child.
Over the course of the last month my kids have attended softball, volleyball and hockey tryouts for the upcoming sports seasons. While this is a very exciting, yet stressful, time for kids, I did notice some parents actually making the situation worse for their kids: In all these situations, I will never forget that embarrassed, dejected look on the kids' faces. The one person who is always supposed to be there for them with words of encouragement had just cut them down at a time when they needed them to be their biggest cheerleader! As I mentioned in a previous article about team sports, organized sports for children provide an opportunity to learn sports and team skills, as well as stress the importance of working together as a team. And…
Monday, August 29, 2011
How to establish a homework-friendly environment.
The kids are finally back in school, which means homework season is upon us. I know my kids aren't crazy about it, but I make them hit the books as soon as they get home. They come in, get a snack and get started. Our schedules are so crazy that chances are we are running to some practice or event every night, and I do not want to deal with starting homework when we get home after 8 p.m. or so. They will grumble for the first few weeks but then it is second nature. To help make the homework experience easier and more efficient, consider the following suggestions and ideas:
Monday, August 8, 2011
With only mere weeks until the start of school, our mom columnist wonders: When did summer become so scheduled?
The new school year is looming large and again I find myself asking, "Where did the summer go?" It seems like we have been running non-stop, and yet I have nothing to show for it. What happened to the quick trip up to New Buffalo I wanted to plan, the train trip downtown followed by a water taxi to Navy Pier and the other summer plans? Did we lull away the summer doing nothing, sitting on our butts? No. It seems like there wasn't a day that went by when I wasn't driving one of the kids somewhere - practices, camps, playdates. But it seems like we never did anything all together except a handful of days at Cypress Cove that were usually cut short due to other obligations and a couple movies. Every summer we go to Pittsburgh to visit my …
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tips and strategies for helping parents and their new college student survive leaving home.
Soon many young adults will be starting their gradual descent from the nest as they begin their new lives at college. Although this is an exciting time, it's also melancholic, especially for parents of a freshman only or youngest child. The next couple of weeks will fly by as you shop and accumulate mass quantities of supplies that your new college freshman will require. As a parent of a newly graduated college student, I can remember loading him down that first year with a ton of stuff he didn't need, only to discover several things we were lacking once we got to the dormitory. Here's a couple of items that can come in handy for the new freshman: Skype can be a handy way for all of you to communicate without incurring costly phone bills. …
Friday, July 22, 2011
This week's heat wave has taken a toll on our mom columnist.
With this giant blob of heat, humidity and general yuckiness lazily lounging over the Midwest like an unwelcome house guest that's overstayed its welcome, I’ve found that my front lawn isn’t the only thing that’s dried up. My creativity and my mom skills have shriveled up, as well. And seeing how I am a writer who spins yarns about parenting, it’s not a good thing. My new column usually appear every Thursday. Well here it is, now 12:10 a.m. Friday morning and I got nothing. Thank goodness I have totally understanding, super cool editor (who I hope appreciates a little sucking up) who gave me an extension. So, I thought I’d do a little research on summer heat and what it can do to you mentally. I have to admit, I have not been mother of …
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Sage words of advice from seasoned veterans
In a few short months, I will be the parent of a high-schooler. I have to admit, I am a bit intimidated. Growing up in a small community outside of Pittsburgh, I went to a very small Catholic high school. There were only about 100 or so kids in my graduating class. Everybody knew each other and good or bad, we all knew each other's business. In some cases, we had been going to school with each other since first grade. It was very sheltered, run by Franciscan monks and way different from the 2,400 students or so that my daughter will be with at Downers Grove North. To help me get a better grip on what to expect for the next four years, I turned to my friends for advice. "Its all about they need money, Can i borrow your car, I want, I want, …
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Paper plates, the pool and yes, even school supply shopping
This week I was going to write a snarky column about how summer vacation isn't really a vacation for parents. Come on...how is driving kids back and forth to assorted camps and activities and reffing arguments between them a vacation for anyone? But, in an attempt to be more positive, I decided to write about my favorite things about summer.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
With one week left before the kids are home for the summer, it's time to recharge.
This is it, Supermoms (and dads) - the final week of freedom before the kids are home for the summer and our routined, daily schedule as we know it will be altered, at least for a couple months. So, in preparation, I've put together a list of things to do this week to help you clear your mind prepare for the summer:
Monday, September 20, 2010
Is it so wrong to depend on your kids for chores?
Summer vacation is over, the kids are back in school and I have to say there's something I miss. I know the politically correct answer would be to tell you that I miss having them around and spending all that time with them. However, I'm not going to lie. While I do miss them, there's something I miss even more – help with daily chores. With four kids I had a great system in place. I posted a list on the door that included four different jobs for each day of the week. There wasn't anything crazy hard on the list - Swiffer the floors, clean the glass storm door covered with paw prints and finger prints, sweep off the front porch, wipe down their bathroom with bacterial wipes and -- my personal favorite -- clean all the junk out of the …