Category: Being Your Best Parent

5 ways to prevent summer 'brain drain'

Around this time every year, parents begin worrying about the dreaded “summer slide.” This term defines the learning loss kids experience over the summer due to the fact that they aren’t going to school every day and engaging their minds in reading, thinking and problem solving.

Many parents scoff at the notion that summer brain drain is something to take seriously, but it’s a very real threat to kids’ forward momentum. Research shows that children who don’t take part in some kind of e...

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 10:10 AM by Karen Quinn

Selling your home when you have small kids

Selling your house is stressful. Emotions run high, there are many sleepless nights…and I’m just talking about the adults. When there are kids involved with selling real estate, everything gets amped up even more. How do I know? Because I’m going through the process right now and it has been a roller coaster that I can’t wait to get off of.


So take some of my advice and follow these 6 tips for selling your house while raising small children:


Expect things to take longer than t...

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 1:38 PM by Amanda Simkin

How to make moving easier for your kids

Photo credit: Phil Scoville/Flickr

My husband and I have moved a few times since getting married. Moving is not fun by any means (especially in Chicago where you have to get creative with rental truck parking, lots of stairs, etc.), but we’ve always managed it by renting a truck and coaxing friends to help us with the promise of pizza and beer. Our most recent move was different because now we have twin toddlers who bring more “baggage” (sorry, couldn’t resist) into the equation. After...

Posted on March 29, 2016 at 1:07 PM by Dana Wurzburger

10 things to do when your partner's had an affair

Photo credit: Carlos Felipe Pardo/Flickr


You have discovered or have been told that your partner has been having an affair. You’ve been hit by a ton of bricks engulfed by a tsunami of emotions ranging from anger, resentment, wanting to seek revenge to sadness, despair and helplessness.  


One of the first questions that may arise is “Should I stay or should I go?” While the answer is there and is different for everyone, you may not have an immediate answer or you unequivoca...

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 12:52 PM by Concentric Counseling

7 thoughts a stay at home mom has every day

Photo credit: Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr

Before having my daughter, I never thought about what stay-at-home-mom life would be like because I never thought I'd be a SAHM. Fast forward though the newborn stage, my return to work, and then my decision to quit my job and I'm now living the stay-at-home-mom life. It's certainly been interesting, fun, challenging, wonderful, exhausting and all the usual descriptors. But I thought I'd give you a glimpse into the real thoughts that go through a s...

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 3:55 PM by Lauren Plotkin

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

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

Overheard on the NPN forum: Remember when you had hobbies?

Before you had kids, you probably worked out, read novels, kept up with the latest music acts and went to concerts...maybe even went to non-kids' museums to enrich your mind. And now? Between the demands of your kids and your job, you're lucky if you can get through one article online and see your friends in a non-playdate situation once every few months. 

A mom of a one-year-old posted on the NPN discussion forum: "Is it normal to lose the time for hobbies for a good 5 years (at ...

Posted on January 29, 2016 at 11:18 AM by Laura Baginski

How unplugging made me a happier parent

Photo credit


A few weeks ago while hanging out with my boys in their playroom, my four year old looked at me and said, “Mommy, I’m so glad you’re playing with us and not with your phone.” There it was, the punch in the gut that totally and utterly changed my social media habit.


You see, I’m a blogger, so social media is absolutely VITAL to my business. But here’s the thing. I wasn’t keeping my work life and home life separate—it creeped in every day through me checking my ...

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 9:59 AM by Amanda Simkin

What my kids taught me when my dad died

My dad had spent the last several years very unwell, and my mother spent a lot of her time taking care of him. That is a difficult situation for any family, but it is even more difficult when the person you are caring for continuously makes choices that contribute to his bad health. And so, although he was a man we loved, the result was a team of fairly frustrated family members.

My biggest frustration was trying to understand why he didn’t make choices that would allow him to be invol...

Posted on December 15, 2015 at 1:05 PM by Julie Cole