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Archives for April 2012

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What to Do While Lodging: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. April 30th, 2012 | Teen Perspective, Teens, Travel
Last week, my family and I went on a vacation to Maryland.  It was a successful trip; we visited Philadelphia, Baltimore's inner harbor, Loyola (Md), and family during our time there.  The trip was five days long, so we spent four nights together (two nights in a house and two nights in a hotel). Anyone who has traveled with their family knows that this can be harrowing, but there are some ways to make it less painful and even (gasp) fun.

  • Play simple games.  Every time we travel as a family, at least one person brings a pack of cards. 
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Test Stress

by Ronald A. Rowe April 27th, 2012 | Academics, Tweens
There are tests and there are tests. In Florida we have something called the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Basically it is the yardstick by which the state measures academic success. These two weeks of testing are a stressful time for everyone involved - students, parents, teachers, and administrators. The bubbling cauldron of stress is about the worst possible environment for our aspiring scholars to take a test.
The thing that our ever-so-wise legislators fail to recognize is that there is no one size fits all test to measure one school - or one student - against another. They also don't
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Busy? It’s Worth It!

by Lori Sciame April 26th, 2012 | Elementary
When your child enters elementary school, you quickly become adept at managing not only your household chores and your work responsibilities, but you also organize  your child's varied activities.  Although an exciting time, you may wonder if the hectic pace will be worth it in the end.  Will your child's participation in extra-curricular activities such as soccer, dance, Boy/Girl Scouts, karate, swim, hockey, archery, theatre  -- you name it --  really be worth the amount of effort and money invested?  I would like to say -- of course it will!

Think of it this way; the busier your child is, the
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Detecting Learning Disabilities at Preschool

by T Akery April 25th, 2012 | Learning, Preschool
Preschool is a time for fun and games, and is one of the first steps your child takes in the more formal setup of learning at school. At a young age, it isn't always easy to determine if your child has a learning disability. But in a school setting, potential problems can become clearer. Most often these problems manifest themselves as disciplinary problems or acting out. This doesn't mean that your preschooler is a bad kid. At this age, it is very hard for preschoolers to express themselves and the frustration that they feel at not understanding what the
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Teen’s Perspective on Middle School Drama

by Sam P. April 24th, 2012 | Self-esteem, Teen Perspective, Teens
Middle school will probably end up being some of the worst years of your life because everybody is going through puberty, so girls are extra emotional and guys are getting acne.  (Well, actually everyone gets acne.)  Normally when you think about eighth grade, you think of a bunch of perfect teenagers laughing and joking and just having fun on the beach or in a meadow, like in those Sunkist commercials.  But, trust me when I say this, it is never like that.  You can practically guarantee that there is always at least one rumor spreading around the school like
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Predicament: Carnivorous Teen

by Jane Wangersky April 23rd, 2012 | Eating, Parenting Predicament
My teen doesn't like vegetables or carbs but just wants to fill up on meat. I know this is not a balanced diet. It's also expensive. What should I do?

Readers -- give us your ideas in the combox.
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Helpful Tips for the Father-to-Be

by R. Carnavale April 23rd, 2012 | Pregnancy
Congratulations - you're about to become a father!

While there are a lot of resources out there for expectant mothers, dads-to-be may find they're at a loss as to what to expect and do.  While it's easy to adopt a passive stance, you'll help your partner and child more if you actively participate while your partner's pregnant, so here are some suggestions to help you achieve a full partner status during the pregnancy:

  • Develop a game plan with your partner for announcing the pregnancy to relatives, friends, and employers.

  • Read books and watch videos on pregnancy to learn about the physiological changes your partner will
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Solution: Homework Avoidance

by Mrs. C. April 20th, 2012 | Parenting Predicament
This week we provide the solution to the predicament:

My 6-year-old son resists doing homework.  I let him play after school for a while, and then I ask him to sit down to do homework while I make dinner.  The homework is a little challenging for him, but not overwhelmingly so.  It feels more like a power struggle.  I've tried checking in every 2 minutes, setting a timer, all withholding tv after dinner, all to no avail.  What else can I do?

Mrs. C., a veteran elementary teacher of 25 years, has the following advice:
First of all, when you say that
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Having Visitors Around the New Baby

by T Akery April 19th, 2012 | Infants/Toddlers
A new baby is like an invitation for people to visit. After all, everyone wants to see the new baby. But it is just as important to have some alone time with the new baby, so visitors aren't always welcome. It can be hard to say no to them especially if they are family. The best time to start setting boundaries on visitors is before the baby is born. With so many things to think about surrounding the birth, it is probably not on the priority list. However, it can quickly become an issue if there aren't some sort
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Family Sports: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. April 18th, 2012 | Sports, Teen Perspective, Teens
On a nice day, like today, there is nothing like spending your day outside in the sun.  Nobody wants to spend their time inside watching TV.  Many families like to spend their time outside playing games together.  In fact, I just finished playing whiffle ball with my cousin, sister, and dad (I won).  Games like these can be fun, but they aren't always.

Playing games as a family is great for families with young kids, such as grade- and middle school.  Sadly, it works out less and less as kids get older.  Often, kids would rather be with friends as
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Helping Your Preschooler to Battle Germs

by T Akery April 17th, 2012 | Preschool
Preschool introduces your child to a lot of new things. Unfortunately, one of the bad things is exposure to germs that other children bring in. Those germs are easily spread and can make your child sick. While you can't insulate them from this type of exposure, you can give them some tools to help them.

Teaching them to wash their hands is a major step to keeping your preschooler well. While the preschools do encourage this practice, it is important to reinforce it at home. Once they get into the habit, it will become easier to remind them to do
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Thongs Gone Wrong

by Lori Sciame April 16th, 2012 | Tweens
Thong.  I hate that word.  Why? Because when my daughter turned 12 years old, her best  friend gave her Victoria's Secret (VS) thongs for a birthday present.  I will admit, I am old-fashioned, so I became extremely upset that another mother had taken it upon herself to buy my daughter intimate apparel.  The kicker was that she had bought her own daughter the same thongs, just so the girls could match!  It didn't bother me when this woman had given them matching sweat shirts or shoes when they were younger, but matching thongs?

I am sure you can guess what happened...my daughter begged to keep the
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