Category: Being Your Best Parent

I play opera for my kids (and so should you)

Photo credit: Amie Kuo

I was a theater major (turned banker), so naturally I enjoy music and performance, and my husband is a big opera fan. We're also parents to two toddlers, so music is an essential part of our family life. Before kids, my husband and I used to go to a dozen shows each opera season, and now we still go to half dozen shows as a date night, sans kids. (I know some who have parents tried, but personally I don’t think it is wise to take kids under five to the opera.)


Posted on December 01, 2016 at 1:55 PM by Charlotte Tsou

Don't talk about my body in front of my kids

If there is one thing I would change about my body it would be how people view it. Because they don't just view it, they feel the need to comment about it. In front of my children. 

Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop talking about bodies, about my body. 

"Oh my god, you're so skinny!" isn't praise or a helpful observation. It's annoying, unnecessary and not something I want my children to hear on repeat. 

I actually own a few mirrors. I've seen my reflection and I don't need every other stra...

Posted on September 19, 2016 at 10:14 AM by Julianne Neely

Raise your child to be a global citizen |

Photo credit: DFID/Flickr



As parents, we have high hopes for our children. We want them to be kind, curious, generous and caring. We want them to make contributions to society, however small, that make the world a better place. We want them to show empathy toward those who are less fortunate. In short, we want them to be global citizens. 

Global citizens are aware of the world outside their communities, and understand that we are all interconnec...

Posted on August 05, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Parenting feats that should be Olympic sports

Photo credit: Vincent Angler/Flickr


Olympic fever is alive and well in our house. The excitement of close finishes, the talented and determined athletes, the national pride..what isn’t there to love? And what I find even more inspiring is that many of these athletes are parents, which means that while training for the Olympic Games, they are also participating in the Parenting Games.


Which got me thinking about what types of “sports” there should be in the Parenting Games…...

Posted on August 04, 2016 at 12:35 PM by Amanda Simkin

I met my mommy match on a blind date


Motherhood is a mix of emotions: excitement, exhaustion and, of course, endless amounts of love. But here’s the thing: Motherhood can also bring up another feeling that not a lot of people talk about. Loneliness. I am lucky to have most of my family and friends living in Chicagoland, but many of them weren’t entrenched in the world of diapers and feeding schedules like I was. I needed to build my own mama tribe, and I didn’t know where to start.


Whenever my baby and I would g...

Posted on July 14, 2016 at 3:21 PM by Amanda Simkin

I fear my Black son becoming a man

Photo credit: Julianne Neely

You fear viruses, kidnapping, accidents, and other parenting woes. I fear the day my sweet baby boy becomes a Black man.  

I fear the world that doesn't value his life. The world that lives in denial, claiming all lives matter to them. 


When I think about the day my son will drive a car and be stopped by the police, I shudder in fear. I wonder, How I can protect him, a camera in his car? An alert that will dial me immediately and send me his loca...

Posted on July 11, 2016 at 9:14 AM by Julianne Neely

5 things moms should never say to other moms

Photo credit: defekto/Flickr

Motherhood will make you feel every single emotion possible, including some emotions you didn't even know existed. But there's nothing like the anger/annoyance of an unnecessary comment from another mother. You know, someone who is going or has gone through the very thing you're going through, but somehow feels the need to express disdain or criticize the job you're trying your best at.

So here are 5 things moms should never say to other moms:


Posted on June 23, 2016 at 12:13 PM by Lauren Plotkin

A British expat mom on teaching kids manners

Photo credit: scribbletaylor/Flickr

With my British upbringing, I was surrounded by traditional etiquette. My sister and I were taught to listen without interrupting, learned how to eat with a cake fork, and always wrote formal thank-you notes.

In today’s busy, digital work it’s easy to forgo the handwritten approach and even to forget to show appreciation altogether. Now a mother myself, I want to be sure to teach my daughters, aged 2½ and 1 year, the value of being thankful. Like ...

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 1:05 PM by Fiona Royer

Want a kinder, calmer kid? Try mindfulness. |

Photo credit: Mark Goebel/Flickr


How many times have you said to yourself “just breathe”? Do you encourage your child to do the same? Stress is not reserved solely for adults. Research within schools has shown that teaching children mindfulness leads to greater kindness, improved focus, more self-control, fewer mood difficulties, and higher academic scores and graduation rates. What’s not to love? 

Mindfulness is being aware of o...

Posted on June 15, 2016 at 9:27 AM by Paulette Janus

To the mom missing her dad on Father's Day

Photo: The author, second from left, with her dad, second from right, and family


I don’t mean to brag, but my husband is a really amazing dad. Ever since my boys were born, he was hands on and involved in every aspect of their lives, from changing poopy diapers to waking up with them in the middle of the night…even happily going into super-cold pools with them during swim lessons so I could stay warm and dry on the sidelines.


And when Father’s Day rolls around, I always wa...

Posted on June 10, 2016 at 8:36 AM by Amanda Simkin