Posts from: February 2016

The joys of raising two kids in a small apartment

Photo credit: Flickr/Chris

Are you, like my husband and me, raising two kids in a two-bedroom condo or apartment? Are you wondering how long your family will fit or wishing you had more space? We do, too. But as parents of two boys (seven and nine years old), we have grown to love life in our little place. We’ve enjoyed living here longer than we thought we would, and you might enjoy several more years, if not a lifetime, in your small home. Here’s why.

Small homes are easy to keep ...

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 11:23 AM by Amy Johnson

The 1 essential skill kids should learn in preschool



As the director of a play-based preschool, I often meet prospective parents who support the idea of letting children play in preschool, but are worried that their child won’t be ready to succeed in Kindergarten. I tell them what my experience has taught me and what research shows: that play is actually the best way to build a strong foundation for all of the skills that kids need in elementary school. Still, they ar...

Posted on February 10, 2016 at 9:32 AM by Laura Pinsof

Meet NPN Parents’ Favorite Sitters & Nannies!

Wondering who the go-to babysitters and nannies are in your neighborhood? Find out now with UrbanSitter.

To help you get started, here’s a list of babysitters recommended by NPN parents. Get to know sitters through parent reviews, video profiles and "Repeat Family" badges. Then, book and pay with a click.

Find a sitter for Valentine’s Day, a part-time or full-time nanny, or last minute care with UrbanSitter today!

Your NPN member exclusive discount: one free month of Urban...

Posted on February 09, 2016 at 10:00 AM by Ellie Ander

I keep my child at home all winter, to save her life

Photo credit: Flickr/Pink Sherbet Photography

I recently turned down an invitation for my two-year-old daughter and I to join a fun outing, and the hostess was mad. "Aren't you ever going to let her have any fun?" she said. "How is she supposed to learn social skills?"

Yeah, we miss out on a lot of fun things. Yes, I doubt myself and fear I am overreacting. But before you judge me for keeping my child in a bubble, step into my shoes for a moment.

It's Respiratory Syncytial Virus ...

Posted on February 08, 2016 at 9:15 AM by Julianne Neely

Overheard on the NPN forum: The CPS quagmire deepens

Photo credit: Flickr/Peoplesworld

Even for someone vitally interested in the outcome of the conflict between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union, it can be very difficult to follow the twists and turns of this unfortunate saga. NPN members have been weighing in on this issue every step of the way on the discussion forum, and offering a voice the media infrequently touches on: Chicago parents. Join the discussion, or just follow the thread to get caught up with th...

Posted on February 05, 2016 at 1:05 PM by Laura Baginski

3 ways to cultivate your kid's creativity


Our kids are like little bundles of potential creativity. The innocent atoms of children are the building blocks of creative minds. Without yet the learned hesitations of society, all ideas are new ideas to our little ones. It's quite beautiful, actually.

There is a certain mental disarming we must do to play freely at the level our kids play. We must put away the pain we know, in our hearts and across the globe, the pain that gives our cheeks frow...

Posted on February 04, 2016 at 11:33 AM by Linda Dennison

Warm up your winter with 50% off memberships at Kidville Lincoln Park!

Kidville Lincoln Park is a one-stop family destination offering creative classes and birthday parties for kids, a preschool alternative program, camps and a state-of-the-art indoor playspace. Kidville's developmental classes for children 0-6 years old inspire endless hours of excitement and adventure. Choose from classes in gym, music, art, dance, enrichment and more. Taught by Kidville’s team of play professionals, Kidville’s programs help growing minds and bodies develop physically, cogn...

Posted on February 02, 2016 at 2:00 PM by Ellie Ander

Adopted kids aren't 'lucky'


"They are so lucky to have you."

This is something my family hears regularly from strangers and friends alike. Every time I hear it my heart sinks, because I know the person saying it has the best possible intentions but, really, these babies are far from lucky and it misses the reality of their painful journey. 

Every single child deserves a loving, supportive home. Luck should have nothing to do with it. But if it did, "lucky" would have been being able to stay with their fir...

Posted on February 01, 2016 at 8:02 AM by Julianne Neely