Category: Being Your Best Parent

When you're an introverted parent with an extroverted child

There are characteristics I hope I can pass along to my 17-month-old son—my honesty, work ethic and reliability are a few. Preferring to be in the background in social situations is not one of those characteristics. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to be following in daddy’s footsteps in that regard as no matter whether he’s with my wife and me at music or French class, the local playground, or NPN’s Fright-Free Halloween Fest, he always seems to be in the middle of the action, chatting with a...

Posted on November 08, 2017 at 12:57 PM by Matt Beardmore

How was your day? Tips on talking to your kids about school

When you ask your kids the question, “How was school today?”, count yourself lucky if you get an “OK” or “fine.” As parents, we all want to know: Are they having fun? Are they playing nicely with others? Are they nurturing healthy relationships with their friends and peers? And the one that worries us the most, Are they eating lunch? Every day, tons of us suffer from not being able to communicate effectively with our children. As a mother of three and a parent educator, I’ve had to learn ...

Posted on October 30, 2017 at 8:46 AM by Nilmari Donate

When parents fight on the playground

It was Father’s Day morning, so I took our 13-month-old to the park for a little father-son bonding. It was early, so I was surprised to see a few families already camped out near our favorite pieces of equipment. What I wasn’t surprised to see was one mom with a phone pressed against her ear and paying little to no attention to her young son. If you’ve read my blog, you know one of my pet peeves is parents focusing on their phones instead of their children, so the sight of this woman on ...

Posted on August 02, 2017 at 2:18 PM by Matt Beardmore

6 ways to teach your child a foreign language this summer

Worried your child might be losing her immersion language skills over the summer? Are you teaching your family language and eager to find new ways to connect your child to your family language? Parents of children learning other languages, whether through school, nannies or family, will find these ideas helpful to give their kids critical language exposure and support their development this summer.


Get books! You can find bilingual books and books in world languages at your local...

Posted on July 06, 2017 at 10:26 AM

5 tax breaks every parent should know about

While it may feel like children require an outpouring of funds, here are several child-related tax breaks that may allow you to save some on your taxes. 

1. Dependent exemption: You are entitled to a personal exemption for each person claimed on your return. For 2017 this means you reduce your taxable income by $4,050 per exemption on your federal return and $2,175 per exemption on your Illinois return. The savings are these amounts times your tax rates. Note that the exemption phases ...

Posted on June 28, 2017 at 10:01 AM by Lisa Niser

How moms can make it in the new gig economy

Photo: courtesy Colleen Keilers

*SPONSORED POST BY THE MOM PROJECT*

 

“I am so sorry to do this, Colleen,” the text began. “But I am flying to California tonight to move in with my sister. I can no longer be your nanny.”

It was 9pm on a Sunday. My husband and I had been deliberating on the state of our careers. He had recently started a new job that would involve 50–60% travel. I had been working as a manager at a digital marketing agency, but shoehorning a full-time workload ...

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 8:19 AM

Parents can't slow down time, but they can make family time count

My parents live in the suburbs and don't get to see our almost one-year-old son as often as they'd like. So my wife and I do our best to email them photos and updates so they can feel like they’re experiencing our boy’s growth each step of the way. Maybe we need to do a better job updating them because one of the first things my mom said about our son during a recent visit was: “He’s changing so much. You probably don’t even realize it.”

It took me a second to respond.

“Yeah, I gues...

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 12:35 PM by Matt Beardmore

Moms, you're the key to your daughters' positive body image

How do we equip girls with a positive body image? It’s a perennial question that doesn’t seem to fade no matter the advances of women in society. Articles in the press in recent years suggest that girls’ attitudes toward their bodies are most influenced by their mothers. While media messages, stereotypes and peer judgments may contribute to poor body image, mothers are their daughters' primary teacher when it comes to attitudes toward the body and physical appearance.

How do mothers in...

Posted on April 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM by Concentric Counseling

One simple exercise to help your kid with math homework

Your child might know what half a cookie is, but how about 4/8 of a pie, or 2/4 of a pizza? If your child knows that all of these fractions mean the same thing, she's well on her way to understanding equivalent fractions. But if fractions strike fear into your child during homework hour, here’s a hands-on way to help her understand how common fractions can be equivalent.

What you need:

8 ½ x11 plain white paper
Colored pencils
Lined notebook paper

What you do:

Begi...

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Your kid probably won't achieve your unfulfilled sports dreams

“Parents should be supportive. We can’t dictate to him what he can be and what he cannot be. So as a consequence, what we do is we participate with him in golf, and if it was bowling, we would participate with him in bowling. Each and every one of us has our own life to live. And he has a choice to live his life the way he wants to live his life.”

In this “That’s Incredible!” episode from the early ‘80s, the late Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, discussed the role he and his wife, K...

Posted on April 06, 2017 at 8:55 AM by Matt Beardmore