Posts from: December 2012

Curing Winter Blahs in the Kitchen

The winter months in Chicago always guarantee several things: cold, snow and long dark days. As parents we say goodbye to our outdoor hangouts and prepare to stay cozy indoors for what seems like forever. To make those frosty winter afternoons more tolerable and more fun, my two daughters join me for culinary creativity in our kitchen.

I’ve always loved wholesome food and cooking, even before my kids were born. When they were old enough to help in some small way, they assisted me with ...

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Carly Ubersox

What Moms Recommend You Pack for the Hospital

When you are getting your hospital bag ready – the general lesson learned is don’t bring too much.  It gets messy in there and when you are scrambling to get home with your precious little bundle(s) – you don’t want to have to worry about a lot of stuff to pack and bring home:


Paperwork & wallet – driver's license, insurance, ID, birth plan (if you have one), cash/credit card, hospital paperwork, etc.
Car seat properly installed in ...

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Calling Chicago Parents - Help Improve CPS School Lunches

Calling all Chicago parents!  Would you like to help improve the Chicago Public Schools school lunch program? Would you like to help shape what food is available for lunch at your child’s school? Have you wondered who decides what is on the menu and how school lunches are prepared? Are you concerned about the amount of waste generated during the lunch period?

If so, this opportunity is for you. 

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is forming a Parent School Food Advisory Group and is...

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 10:00 PM by Rosa Ramirez

What to tell your children about divorce

You and your spouse are separating and planning to get divorced.  How do you explain it to your children? 

Ideally both parents would talk with the children together.  

Tell your childten you both love them and you will both continue to see them, but that you have decided to live apart. 

If you think they might be worried that it is their fault (especially if you were arguing recently about them), reassure them that this is a decision you and your spouse made, and ...

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM by David Gottlieb

Introducing Poetry to Young Readers and Pre-Readers

Poetry has been a part of my life since I was a kid. Now, as the host of the weekly Poemtime series at the Poetry Foundation, I help bring poetry to life for kids and kick-start an early interest in poems.

Here are some tips I’d like to share for introducing poetry to your kids at home:

Mix it up –It’s no secret that kids get restless quickly, so one thing I like to do is have a variety of poems ready: long, short, classic, new. Rather than read from an anthology, try picture b...

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Dylan Swisher

Limit Excess Giving: Give Kids the Basics & Have Them Earn More

In this age of excess, parents should consider a different approach - give children the basics and have them earn the rest.  

I have noticed a concerning trend in my clinical practice. When I ask parents to develop a list of potential rewards, for their children to earn, for engaging in the hard work of changing their behaviors, I often observe a stumped look.  

They state something along the lines of, "my child has everything he/she needs and wants so I'm not sure what rewards wou...

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Debra Kissen

The School Called Again - Facing Behavioral Exclusion

Another hurdle for parents of children diagnosed or at-risk for a special need in school is that our children miss far more school days than children without a disability.

This quote is from a Chicago Tribune article, A Challenge Unmet, by Jackson and Marx (Nov. 13, 2012). It appeared as part of a Tribune series on truancy in the Chicago Public Schools. The article cites: "informal exclusion from school is a nationwide problem for children with disabilities.” 

I can report that I wa...

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

What to do this week in Chicago-Family & Grown-Up City Fun (Dec 17 - Dec 23)


Wondering what to do this week in Chicago with and w/o your kids? Our NPN Calendar is chock full of FREE and DISCOUNTED events for families, grown-ups, shoppers, business owners, and parents needing a mental break.  See you around the city!!

FREE & Open to the Public:

- Dec. 18, Developmental Differences Parent Support Group @ Bellybum Boutique

FREE & Members Only: (join now and get in on the fun!)


Posted on December 16, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Amy Johnson

Choosing Who Will Take Care of Your Child if You Can't

A lesson in compromise

As an estate planning attorney, I am obsessed with planning for life’s many contingencies. My clients’ files are backed up in so many places I’ve lost track. I have all my electronic passwords written down and sealed in an envelope containing the instruction “OPEN ONLY IN AN EMERGENCY” in a fireproof safe. Not surprisingly, my husband and I had our estate plan in place prior to becoming pregnant with our first child, complete with the designated guardians to take...

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Jennifer Guimond-Quigley

Family Winter Survival Tips & Stroller Giveaway!

Not yet an NPN Facebook fan? Check out our Holiday Fun #Giveaway!! One (1) lucky fan will win a BOB Revolution SE Stroller & Britax Stroller Organizer ($477 value)! Click here to enter. Contest ends December 13th at 11:59 CST. 

Winter. Every year I wonder why we suffer through the bitter cold and endless gray skies and then I remember - we can't live in this great city without it!

For parents, winter presents other challenges, from fighting off cabin fever to dealing with a little o...

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Sarah Cobb