• Living with Children,  Parenting

    Creating Peace around the Palate: Understanding “Picky” Eaters

    Food is the great connector–the center of gatherings, celebrations, services, and parties. We bake to show our appreciation. We cook to support an ailing family member or neighbor. Entire industries are built around growing, preparing, delivering, packaging, decorating, and gifting foods.  There is such an abundance in our country that billions of dollars worth of food is tossed out or left on the ground to rot each year.  In our heart of hearts, we know this is wrong. We wish it wasn’t this way and we do our part to stock the local pantries or donate to organizations that feed the hungry. With people literally dying to eat, at home and…

  • Babies,  Books,  Learning,  Parenting,  Teens

    Raising Humans? 7 Books Every Child Wants you to Read

      It is extraordinary that the most important job in the world, raising a child, is an untrained position. -Richard Grossman, Ph.D.   When I was around 11 or 12 I found several books my Mom had been reading that caused me feelings of worry, confusion, and possibly even a little panic. The exact titles escape me, but they were on topics about children and drug use. When I realized she was reading books to understand her own child, one of my brothers who had been in a wrestling match with life since he was born, I was struck with this uncomfortable truth that parents quite possibly have no idea what…

  • Learning,  Parenting,  Play

    Gun Play: Shooting down Parental Fears

    In the early days of parenting, when all toys were bright and cheerful, when television shows were filled with funny songs, silly dances, and playfully nice characters, and when advertisers had a limited effect on my son’s wants, I reveled in a blissful state adoring my innocently calm, flourishing child. Little did I know, a few years later, the bliss would be replaced with a quietly intensifying internal panic as my three year old son barreled towards the army men in the aisle of the toy store, pining for the plane with the bombs, picking up action figures with oversized muscles and equally oversized weapons, desperately seeking toys with “shooting…

  • Books,  Parenting,  Social Changes,  Teens

    Teens Need you to Read This

    “It has become a cultural cliché that raising adolescents is the most difficult part of parenting. It’s common to joke that when kids are in their teens they are sullen, uncommunicative, more interested in their phones than in their parents and generally hard to take. But this negative trope about adolescents misses the incredible opportunity to positively shape a kid’s brain and future life course during this period of development.” As a former teenager myself and now a parent of one, I found this article to be a mixture of redemption and hope; a nice wake up call to parents and educators everywhere to change the conversations we are having about…

  • Babies,  Parenting

    Bedtime Battles: A Modern day Creation?

    From co-sleeping to sleep training to bed times and schedules, the topic of where and how our children sleep is a hot button issue in parenting circles I have found. But why?  How did we become so obsessed with where our children sleep and why did it become such a divisive issue? Before I had children, I knew my sleep would be interrupted, segmented, and take on a form I never knew before. I was somewhat prepared for that. What I wasn’t prepared for was how opinionated, loudly opinionated, people would be about where my baby slept.  It didn’t take me long to realize there were two definitive camps:  Baby is…