Category: Being Your Best Parent

I survived the Wisconsin Dells and lived to write about it

Photo: Barely/Flickr

It’s a widely known fact that Chicagoans LIVE for summer. I mean, isn’t that why we stick around during the insanely long and rough winter? And if you are anything like me and counting down to summer vacation, let me remind you to put a trip to the Wisconsin Dells on your summer bucket list.

Why do so many Chicago families flock up north every summer? Because the waterpark capital of the world quite literally has it all. As a born and raised Chicagoan I have not...

Posted on June 12, 2018 at 12:04 PM by Amanda Simkin

Doing the math (yes, even on summer break)

Your preschooler can count to 50, maybe even 100. But does your child know what five means? It turns out that understanding the “fiveness” of five is far more important for a solid foundation in math than the ability to recite a string of numbers in the right order. And you can keep building this foundation all summer long.

Since 2007, the Erikson Institute’s Early Math Collaborative has been helping teachers discover ways to improve math instruction for young children. Substitute “par...

Posted on June 08, 2018 at 8:10 AM by Geoffrey Nagle

Preparing for your child's first overnight summer camp

As a parent and director of an overnight summer camp, I know that at this point in the season, campers and parents begin to experience a wide range of emotions (myself included!). Hopefully, the predominant feelings are those of excitement, but it’s also natural to be apprehensive and nervous. While it may be challenging to deal with these conflicting emotions, there are several things you can do to manage these emotions and set your child up for a successful and fun summer.

Do a dry-r...

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 10:43 AM by Becky Altman

Scheduling summertime fun with kids after divorce

One of the most complicated and nuanced parts of the dissolution of two parents’ relationship, be it through the process of divorce or through a “parentage” action (where parents are not married), is developing a schedule of parenting time where each parent feels like he or she can continue to be a meaningful part of their child’s life notwithstanding the change of circumstances of one household to two. Plenty of my clients are dismayed by the thought of not spending their every waking mo...

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 9:40 AM by Katy Mickelson

3 things working moms shouldn't feel guilty about

Jill* came to see me for therapy at the end of her maternity leave. She had never experienced anxiety before and was suddenly suffering from shortness of breath, racing heart, difficulty breathing and intense feelings of guilt in anticipation of returning to work and leaving her newborn son. 

While the experiences, conditions and circumstances of working vary, many women, like Jill, experience guilt—feeling they are causing harm or doing something wrong.

Mothers often strive to meet...

Posted on May 10, 2018 at 3:52 PM by Jamie Kreiter

4 things parents need to know before getting a will

*SPONSORED POST THE LAW OFFICES OF CINDY K. CAMPBELL*

Do you have a will? 

If your answer to this question is “no” you are definitely in the majority, especially if you are the parent of minor children. According to a recent Caring.com study, only 36 percent of parents with children under 18 have a will. But being in the majority is not a good thing. Failure to draft a will could put your family at risk, financially and possibly emotionally. 

To avoid such a situation, you should...

Posted on May 04, 2018 at 4:05 PM

How STEM camps fill summer learning gaps

*SPONSORED POST BY ID TECH*

You’re familiar with summer brain drain, right? Perhaps your community calls it "the summer slide" or chooses to combat it with programs boasting “summer brain gain,” or other fun plays on words. 

No matter how you refer to the phenomenon, it’s real. And when it comes to STEM, it’s a lot more prevalent than you may have originally thought. With such “summer learning loss,” kids leave school to enjoy their time off, and in doing so, leave their textbooks a...

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 8:35 AM

Why I'm not saving for my son's college education

It was February 2016—less than three months before our son was born—when my wife and I attended NPN’s Preparing for Parenthood: Workshops & Expo at the Erikson Institute. Among the people we spoke with during that event was someone from Bright Start College Savings. As we flipped through the pamphlets on the table separating us from this man in a bright orange shirt, he explained how 529s (“tax-advantaged savings plans that help put money toward your future student’s education” if you...

Posted on March 13, 2018 at 1:03 PM by Matt Beardmore

How to do Disney World and Disneyland right with kids in tow

Planning a Disney vacation can be an overwhelming experience filled with a mixture of excitement and angst. Here are some tips I’ve learned over our many trips to Disneyland (DL) and Walt Disney World (WDW).

Have a loose plan. Choose two to three things you want to accomplish each day, then go from there. I get input from my family then sketch out a general plan. You will definitely see and do more, but this allows you to plan FASTPASSES (line shortcut, free with your ticket). Consider...

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 7:44 AM by Christina Hollister

Setting personal goals is even more important when you're a parent

It was a Sunday afternoon last month and I found myself doing something I rarely get the chance to do: laying on the living room couch in a silent house. With our young son asleep in the other room, I was mindlessly flipping channels looking for something, anything, to keep my mind off the fact I had no workout planned. For the previous six months, I started every day looking at my workout log and preparing myself to meet that day's challenge. I followed that routine as close as the rest ...

Posted on January 03, 2018 at 7:00 AM by Matt Beardmore