Family & Parenting

Rejecting the Name My Parents Chose

I was named for the main character in “Little Women.” Changing my name may be the most Jo March-like decision I could have made. Despite the byline you see on this article, the name my parents gave me was Jo. Not Josephine, just Jo. Inspired by the main character in “Little Women,” they dreamed I’d grow to become every bit as norm-bashing as Louisa May Alcott’s fictional character, Jo March….Continue Reading

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Grief – Death of a Child

When it was revealed yesterday that 8-year-old Martin Richard was one of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, Aren Almon Kok felt an immediate, sickening tightness in her gut. She’s never met the Richard family and lives nearly two thousand miles away. But she may understand more than most of us what Martin Richard’s father is likely going through right now while his wife and daughter remain severely injured following the attack….Continue Reading  

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Would You Let Your Kid Try MMA Fighting?

Jeff Pineda’s eight-year-old daughter, Aalijah, spends every day after school in the gym.  Ten hours a week, the pink-loving third grader from Anaheim, California, steps into a cage to perfect her skills in jujitsu, wrestling, and kickboxing. Some parents might wince watching these sessions; after all, Aalijah gets repeatedly pummeled….Continue Reading

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How to Raise a Winning Child

Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The pair made headlines two years ago in “NurtureShock” — their first book together — in which they criticized the way many parents choose to raise their children. Authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman have made a habit of slaying the sacred cows of parenting in their writing on child development. The…

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How to Give Back on Your Next Getaway

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is inspiring people across the country to volunteer this holiday weekend. But if you’re itching to do more — perhaps turning your next family vacation into a series of teachable moments about the importance of giving back — there are plenty of opportunities to make that happen….Continue Reading  

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Alleged Nanny Killing Evokes Mother’s Greatest Fear

Months before my son was born, I began searching for a nanny. The prospect of leaving my first child home with a stranger while my husband and I worked wasn’t ideal, but the only day care center in our neighborhood had a year-long wait list and our families weren’t in a position to help. Entrusting Jake, now 12, to a babysitter seemed like our only option…Continue Reading

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My Preventive Mastectomy – Staying Alive For My Kids

I’m not a helicopter parent and my children would tell you I don’t bake cupcakes for their birthday parties. But I’d readily cut off my breasts for them — and recently, I did. Removing breast tissue uncompromised by cancer is relatively easy. It took the breast surgeon about two hours to slice through my chest and complete the double mastectomy seven weeks ago…Continue Reading

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Is Underage Drinking Ever OK?

Before dropping off his son at Colgate University a few days ago to begin his freshman year, New York advertising photographer Robert Tardio went on one last summer vacation with his family. While his wife and youngest son were out exploring the quaint streets of Montreal, Robert took his eldest, college-bound teen out for a beer…Continue Reading

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The Granny Gap

What happens when Grandma and Grandpa aren’t around by the time you have kids? Here’s how to introduce your children to their memory. My mom and I had a ritual when I was young. After I was packed for school, I’d help her get ready for work. READ MORE

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The Dangers of Having a Baby After 35 – What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

If you are over 35, you’re probably aware of the increased risks of having a baby. Older women are more likely to have miscarriages, c-sections, suffer high blood pressure, and develop gestational diabetes. Your child is more likely to be born too early, not weigh enough, have chromosomal birth defects (most commonly Down syndrome), and other serious, potentially life-threatening conditions. Women are familiar with these hazards because their doctors talk about them routinely….Continue Reading

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Do Schools Share Too Much With Parents?

Are schools creating a new breed of helicopter parent?  Teacher Terri Reh wants parents to monitor their children’s entire educational career online. “I post all my students’ responsibilities, their current and upcoming assignments, and timelines for every project they have,” says the teacher at Flagstaff Academy in Longmont, Colorado…Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – It’s My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday, and here’s what I did: 7:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.: Got birthday cuddles from kids. Opened birthday cards. Received small presents. Got kids off to school. Kissed husband. Felt lucky….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Why Writing About Grief Makes Me Happy

Several weeks ago my new book, “Parentless Parents,” was published. This is the third book I’ve written that deals with mourning and loss. And while you might assume I’d be the last person you’d want to meet at a cocktail party, I’ve been told otherwise. I smile; I laugh. You might even call me “bubbly.” Each book I’ve written is the result of successfully pushing through an unwanted and unanticipated experience, and using that experience…

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Being a Parentless Parent -The Effect on You, Your Children and Your Marriage

Both of my parents have passed away, and little has shaped the way I raise my children or affected the relationship I have with my husband and in-laws more than the fact that my mom and dad aren’t here to be grandparents to my children. I am a parentless parent. Because women are having babies later and later, the number of parentless parents in America is skyrocketing….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents: The ‘I’ Factor

Outside my family and closest circle of friends, I’ve never told anyone that I stuttered when I was little. Stuttering was a deeply upsetting part of my childhood. It caused me to be made fun of, forced me into speech therapy while other kids went to gym, and completely shaped what I permitted myself to say in the class. Day after day I’d weigh the urge to raise my hand against the crush of embarrassment…

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Parentless Parents -Teaching My Daughter About the Grandfather She Never Knew

I took my eight-year-old daughter to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City yesterday, and I’m still in an awesome mood. The art was great, of course. She enjoyed looking at the Pollock’s, Picasso’s and Warhol’s. But the real takeaway was what she learned about my father, her grandfather, the one grandpa she never met. My father went to museums as often as other dads might go to football games….Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents – Being Thankful on Thanksgiving

One of the most gratifying themes I uncovered researching and writing my forthcoming book “Parentless Parents: How the Loss of Our Mothers and Fathers Impacts the Way We Raise Our Children” is just how healing Thanksgiving can be for those of us who have lost our parents. Healing, you say? Aren’t the holidays just a painful reminder that our moms and dads can’t be with us to celebrate with our children? Continue Reading

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What if Your Children Don’t Have Grandparents?

This coming Sunday is Grandparents Day, and while you may be skeptical about the influence grandparents have on grandchildren, let me tell you their impact is enormous and measurable. And it’s because of that that I know my children are missing out on so much. For years, experts have researched the influence of grandparents on the lives of grandchildren…Continue Reading

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Parentless Parents: Why is Mother’s Day so Hard?

Mother’s Day is this weekend and like most of you, I’ve gone shopping. Jewelry has always been my go-to favorite. Necklaces are easy to find, they come in all shapes and colors and, depending on the fluctuations to my bank account, I usually seem to find something to fit my budget. And yet I find the process so hard….Continue Reading

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