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Sexy Little Girls

The sexualization of young girls seems to be a disturbing trend in this country, and it leaves me deeply concerned about the types of things that will be marketed to my daughter as she gets older. Sadly, I didn't even have to wait that long to discover inappropriate girls clothing, while searching for my daughter's first bathing suit. I was shocked that a leopard print string bikini was being sold for girls ages ONE through five. When I was a kid, my one piece suits had rainbows and hearts on them. Not that those suits don't still exist, but I found my brow... read more

Why This Mom Can't Bear Back-to-School Season

  By Suzanne Leigh   “Back-to-School Specials!!!” scream the store placards. They are a reminder that now might be the time to get a discounted backpack for my younger daughter, but more potently they nudge me back to my default: the bereaved mom aching for the child that will always be dead. My elder daughter had loved school and if we had dodged that brain tumor bullet, she would now be eager for eighth grade. At her school, students aren’t allowed to use the “h” word, but I think I am: I hate school. Not because of the curriculum, the students or the... read more

Transitional Mom: Becoming a Mother of Two

By Sarah Scott   When my son was born five months ago, I expected to be a seasoned, confident mother. I had been mothering his sister for four years, after all, so I thought I had this parenting thing down. And, in some ways, I did feel more sure of myself. I skipped over many of the blunders and anxieties that I experienced as a first time mom. But, in one very important way, I was a new parent. I was learning to be a mother of two.                      In the first weeks, this learning curve was steep and intense. On the good days, I felt like I was clawing my... read more

Teaching Kids to Love and Trust Themselves

By Sheryl Paul   Yesterday I took my sons to observe a Parkour class. I had never heard of Parkour until my husband pointed out that Everest has been doing it naturally around our house. I watched a few videos on it and thought, “Why not? Let’s give it a try.” It’s a street art that combines gymnastics, running, and leaping to create a Ninja-like, monkey-esque crazy amazing physical experience. My boys love watching it, are compelled to do it, and so it seemed like it could be a natural fit.   My current parenting motto is, “Go where the yes is.” I know... read more

Forget the Mommy Wars: Finding and Sharing the Love Online

The online universe can be pretty daunting, particularly when it comes to mom on mom judgment. If you haven’t personally experienced it, then I’m sure you’ve seen it – the snarky, self-righteous comments, usually ending with a winking emoticon to try to offset the irritation level. Moms can be downright brutal to one another, and with the world at your fingertips to judge you, things can often go downhill fast in posts or comments. However, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. I have found there’s a lot of love out there too, and many kind women willing to... read more

Is Farm to School Enough? My 92 Cents

Do we want to simply feed kids better food at school or do we want to empower them to make better choices outside of school?  The best part of farm to school education is that you can start today!   I recently had the privilege of attending the Farm to School Summit in La Crosse, Wisconsin  with a great group of health educators, school food service workers and more from Transform Rock County.  I am really glad to have had the opportunity to see the exciting progress that folks in the La Crosse area have made with bringing fresh, local food into their school... read more

Homeschooling? Relax

        I’d like to tell you about homeschooling. About a unquenchable thirst for learning. About children who clamor to do extra math problems, write novels in their spare time and teach themselves Mandarin, just for the heck of it. I’d like to, but I can’t. Because I have no idea who those people are.    There’s this idea that homeschooled kids are some kind of special quirky weirdo geniuses. And maybe that’s true, sometimes. But for the most part, my kids are just kids. They squabble over toys. They ask me to buy Lucky Charms. They love cartoons. They... read more

Isn't age 11 old enough to be crossing the street alone?

  By Suzanne Leigh   Picking up my younger daughter from a summer camp, we passed a middle school camp where cars were double and triple parked. A familiar sight and one that has always surprised me. Here’s what happens: school or camp gets out at 3:30 p.m. and parents that miss a spot in the parking lot, patrol the area at 10 mph until they catch sight of their child dawdling down the street. Then they punch the hazard lights, exit their vehicle and wave their child into the backseat. These kids are ages 11 to 14.   As one who walked to and from school years... read more

Agreeing to Disagree: Gentle Parenting Despite Criticism from Loved Ones

                  I splashed my face with cold water, hoping to wash away the tears intermingled with anger. As I toweled off my cheeks with the fluffy hotel towel, my father’s words rang through my head, stinging me once more. “You might want to gather up all of your swim stuff before you leave. I'm going to get an earlier flight and leave tomorrow. These kids…my nerves just can’t take it. The screaming and crying morning, noon, and night... I mean…this generation is different. If I’d act that way growing up, my dad would have beat my ass. I can’t handle being... read more

Dance It Free: Using Movement to Connect with Your Kids

By Sheryl Paul The evening began as it usually does. After Asher, my three year old, goes to sleep, Everest and I spend some much needed alone time together. When I was young, my parents instituted a family ritual called “Time Alone” where we would each spend time alone with one of our parents after dinner: playing catch in the street, playing cards on the floor of my bedroom, going for a bike ride, cuddling on the bed talking about our day. They recognized the importance of kids connecting to parents privately and made efforts to ensure that this occurred each... read more

Mothering › Child Articles