I killed a thousand butterflies. It's not my proudest moment. It happened right in front of my children, too. Not just my children, but 13 other children as well. Things could have gone better. This past summer in Iowa,dad;s butterflies migrated right through the center of the state. It happened to coincide with my annual "dad's trip." This is the trip my dad's group takes every year so we can build memories with our children. We pick a direction and go. We see the silliest of the silly. Large balls of twine or the world's largest set of overalls. And this time, we killed at least 17% of … [Read more...]
Is your family generally optimistic? In today’s anxiety-inducing culture, optimism can be elusive — especially for kids. Fortunately, a new book titled Making Lemonade: Teaching Young Children to Think Optimistically can help parents nurture their children’s sense of optimism from an early age. Laura Colker and Derry Koralek are early childhood educators who begin their book with a hopeful premise: optimism is primarily a learned way of thinking, not an inborn mindset. Genes account for “about 25 percent of our optimism ... the other 75 percent is determined by environment, social … [Read more...]
One of the many universal struggles we parents go through with our kids is getting them to eat diverse and healthy meals. Life, after all, has more and better things to offer than just chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese.
Help is here for many moms and dads with the arrival of The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime, a new family cookbook by actor Misha Collins of TV's Supernatural and his wife, Vicki.
The book, available starting today, tells the Collins' story of struggling to get their firstborn … [Read more...]
The words of recently deceased, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison had a huge impact on my life —first as a student, then as a parent. In graduate school, much of my research focused on her powerful novels — especially Beloved — that explored slavery and its aftermath. Later, as a stay-at-home dad, I saw her appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and once again her words hit me hard. During that appearance, Morrison captured the nature of a parent's unconditional love: “It’s interesting to see when a kid walks in a room, your child or anybody else’s child, does your face light up? That’s … [Read more...]
Think back to your childhood neighborhood. Beyond the memories of family and friends, what is your warmest recollection about the neighborhood itself? I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood that featured two elderly women called “the Candy Lady” and “the Sucker Lady.” In elementary school, my buddies and I learned that they lived a couple of blocks away, next door to each other. Near their back doors they kept a bowl of wrapped candy and suckers, respectively, for kids to enjoy. Each time we rode our bikes to their houses, we couldn’t believe the treats were there again, like a … [Read more...]