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6 Uniquely Green Items to Add to Your Back to School List

This special section was created by natural product expert Amy Serotkin of The Mindful Home as part of Mothering's Ultimate Green Guide to Back to School Supplies. Check it out for many more eco-friendly, made in the USA picks for back to school.   Looking for some unique and eco-friendly products to round out your school supplies list? Don't miss these green alternatives to conventional choices.         Pencil Case by American Apparel   Available in... read more

10 Earth Friendly and Made in the USA Backpacks for Back to School

This special section was created by natural product expert Amy Serotkin of The Mindful Home as part of Mothering's Ultimate Green Guide to Back to School Supplies. Check it out for many more eco-friendly, made in the USA picks for back to school.   While the overwhelming favorite among parents seems to be L.L. Bean backpacks, only their totes are made in the USA.  In keeping with the theme of these guides, I decided to seek out some other options that were eco-friendly or made in the USA.  I'm happy to report that I found several that were... read more

Birthday 9: Walking the Labyrinth

  Every year, either the day before or the day of my son's birthday, he walks the labyrinth just west of the library in downtown Boulder. It's a ritual we began several years ago as a way to commemorate his passage from one year to the next. In a culture sadly devoid of rituals, we've attempted to create some of our own so that our sons can anchor themselves in time through the concrete marking of milestones. And as most rituals focus on a death and rebirth process, we intentionally help our kids focus on what they want to let go of and what they're hoping to grow... read more

Cows and Preschool Homeschooling

By Julie Shaffer   My sweet little Lu, at the tender age of 3, went to her first day of preschool last week. It is just a little summer program that is once a week for four weeks, but it still counts as preschool to me. Because of Lucy's special needs she will have a Personal Care Aide with her at all times in school and since A.) they haven't found one for her yet and B.) even if they had found one, I would not have felt I knew that person enough to just leave Lucy with them, I will stay with her at least for the summer, but probably a little in the fall as well. ... read more

The Price We Pay to Stay "Connected"

  As a child born in the mid 70’s, my generation has witnessed a pretty radical lifestyle shift due to technological advances. It is a transformation that will no doubt continue to insert itself further and further into our lives with the development of each new “must have” gadget. It begs the question – are these things really “must have” items?   I grew up with a hand-me-down walkman, and my first one speaker boom box with a shoulder strap (which I thought was the greatest thing ever!) wasn’t bestowed upon me until the 5th grade. My parents didn’t get... read more

Would You Let Your 9-Year-Old Shave Her Legs?

  By Suzanne Leigh     My 9-year-old daughter was examining her legs. “Why do I have this?” she said, pointing to the fine hair that was starting to sprout around her shins.   “Oh, that’s normal. All girls start to get that, especially as they get closer to their teens,” I said.   “Will it go away when I’m a grown up?”   “Actually no, the hair can get thicker as you get older. Adult women have hair on their legs and their underarms,” I explained, wondering whether mentioning the pubic area would be TMI at that particular moment.   Marissa looked... read more

First steps: a stay at home mother faces letting go

  While we were living in England last year, my husband Jake got a black eye playing rugby and I photographed the progression of his bruise during the week that followed. So, when our daughter Maren fell off her scooter and got her first shiner - in the very same spot as her dad's! - we all thought it'd be fitting to take photos of her bruise as it changed. But what began as a silly set of photographs, ended up revealing much more.                                                                                                                         ... read more

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

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

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