Category: Being Your Best Parent

The social media mom: how social media can influence the way we feel

Photo: BatzKids

Beth is a new mom, and she is exhausted. She hasn’t showered in several days. And even though it's well into the morning, Beth hasn’t brushed her teeth yet. Between breastfeeding on a tight schedule — as prescribed by her pediatrician — and worrying about her daughter gaining weight, Beth has had no time for herself. But today, her daughter is one-month old!

Beth picks out the perfect outfit for her baby. She stages the perfect setting and carefully places her daught...

Posted on July 03, 2018 at 7:00 AM by Jamie Kreiter

The secret to traveling with kids? Planning, planning, planning.

Up to three-quarters of us use the summer season to combine fun and togetherness in a “travel adventure,” as our son describes our family vacations. So start planning your travel adventure now! Planning ahead makes it easier to beat the crowds and reduce trip costs.

Search for savings. We use Groupon and online resources, including those available through professional and museum memberships, to save money. Our annual trip to the Hesston Steam Museum, and visits to some museums, are les...

Posted on June 28, 2018 at 7:00 AM by Ruth Mallery

I survived the Wisconsin Dells and lived to write about it

Photo: Steven R. Shook/Flickr

It’s a widely known fact that Chicagoans LIVE for summer. I mean, isn’t that why we stick around during the insanely long and rough winter? And if you are anything like me and counting down to summer vacation, let me remind you to put a trip to the Wisconsin Dells on your summer bucket list.

Why do so many Chicago families flock up north every summer? Because the waterpark capital of the world quite literally has it all. As a born and raised Chicagoan I...

Posted on June 12, 2018 at 12:04 PM by Amanda Simkin

Doing the math (yes, even on summer break)

Your preschooler can count to 50, maybe even 100. But does your child know what five means? It turns out that understanding the “fiveness” of five is far more important for a solid foundation in math than the ability to recite a string of numbers in the right order. And you can keep building this foundation all summer long.

Since 2007, the Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative has been helping teachers discover ways to improve math instruction for young children. Substitute “par...

Posted on June 08, 2018 at 8:10 AM by Geoffrey Nagle

Preparing for your child's first overnight summer camp

As a parent and director of an overnight summer camp, I know that at this point in the season, campers and parents begin to experience a wide range of emotions (myself included!). Hopefully, the predominant feelings are those of excitement, but it’s also natural to be apprehensive and nervous. While it may be challenging to deal with these conflicting emotions, there are several things you can do to manage these emotions and set your child up for a successful and fun summer.

Do a dry-r...

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 10:43 AM by Becky Altman

Scheduling summertime fun with kids after divorce

One of the most complicated and nuanced parts of the dissolution of two parents’ relationship, be it through the process of divorce or through a “parentage” action (where parents are not married), is developing a schedule of parenting time where each parent feels like he or she can continue to be a meaningful part of their child’s life notwithstanding the change of circumstances of one household to two. Plenty of my clients are dismayed by the thought of not spending their every waking mo...

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 9:40 AM by Katy Mickelson

3 things working moms shouldn't feel guilty about

Jill* came to see me for therapy at the end of her maternity leave. She had never experienced anxiety before and was suddenly suffering from shortness of breath, racing heart, difficulty breathing and intense feelings of guilt in anticipation of returning to work and leaving her newborn son. 

While the experiences, conditions and circumstances of working vary, many women, like Jill, experience guilt—feeling they are causing harm or doing something wrong.

Mothers often strive to meet...

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 3:52 PM by Jamie Kreiter

4 things parents need to know before getting a will

*SPONSORED POST THE LAW OFFICES OF CINDY K. CAMPBELL*

Do you have a will? 

If your answer to this question is “no” you are definitely in the majority, especially if you are the parent of minor children. According to a recent Caring.com study, only 36 percent of parents with children under 18 have a will. But being in the majority is not a good thing. Failure to draft a will could put your family at risk, financially and possibly emotionally. 

To avoid such a situation, you should...

Posted on May 04, 2018 at 4:05 PM

How STEM camps fill summer learning gaps

*SPONSORED POST BY ID TECH*

You’re familiar with summer brain drain, right? Perhaps your community calls it "the summer slide" or chooses to combat it with programs boasting “summer brain gain,” or other fun plays on words. 

No matter how you refer to the phenomenon, it’s real. And when it comes to STEM, it’s a lot more prevalent than you may have originally thought. With such “summer learning loss,” kids leave school to enjoy their time off, and in doing so, leave their textbooks a...

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 8:35 AM

Why I'm not saving for my son's college education

It was February 2016—less than three months before our son was born—when my wife and I attended NPN’s Preparing for Parenthood: Workshops & Expo at the Erikson Institute. Among the people we spoke with during that event was someone from Bright Start College Savings. As we flipped through the pamphlets on the table separating us from this man in a bright orange shirt, he explained how 529s (“tax-advantaged savings plans that help put money toward your future student’s education” if you...

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 1:03 PM by Matt Beardmore