September is Library Card Sign Up Month, though I am sure I didn’t have to remind you of that. For most American Library Association families, Library Card Sign Up Month is right up there with Christmas. Children and adults alike count down the days until the Jolly Librarian comes shoosting …

Getting everyone out the door in the morning can feel like we’ve put in a full day’s work before 7 a.m. We have to deal with the sleepyhead, the dawdler, the procrastinator, the inappropriate dresser, and the forgetful space cadet. Until we can let these characters have meaningful experience…

This year, I’ve got one child in high school, one in middle school, and two in elementary. Since I started working part time last year and plan to continue, I decided it’s time for a family organizer app. I did a lot of online research, searching for positive and negative reviews, compared p…

I am a home economist with a BA Ed. My degree is a broad area vocational education degree. What does that mean? It means that my degree is focused on home economics as a science and a career field encompassing foods and nutrition, child development, family and community, consumerism, clothin…

Good deals are great, but freebies are even better. There are a lot of free deals out there that can provide hours of fun without emptying your wallet. We’ve compiled a list of freebies for your kids and your whole family — take a peek:

In the summer months, heading off-road is a tradition for many Eastern Oregon families, but if you take your family out on ATVs make sure to do it safely. Local law enforcement and EMTs all report responding to calls involving youth and all-terrain vehicles. The power, speed, and lack of sea…

We’ve all heard the saying that “children don’t come with a manual,” acknowledging that loving and caring for a child is one of life’s most satisfying, and challenging, mysteries of the universe. There is a wonderful group called OPEC (Oregon Parent Education Collaborative), whose focus is t…

I often hear: “My child is my best friend” in reference to underage offspring. As a parent and former teacher, I confess it makes me cringe. Parenting and friendship are different things; parenting requires you to make unpopular decisions, establish and enforce rules. Friendship does not.

Nothing can wear you down as quickly as a whining child. You may think you are patient, kind-hearted, understanding and virtuous beyond vocabulary. Five minutes with a whining child can make all those golden qualities evaporate. And let us not forget whiny adults. Whining isn’t just a youngs…

Do you remember your first job? I don’t mean babysitting or lawn mowing; I mean the first one with a real paycheck and a W-9 form and everything. I remember mine. I was really nervous, but so proud to bring home my first real paycheck. I was in heaven.

I do not spend as much time with my children as I would like. I’m a professional father and my work often keeps me in the office late hours, and I’m away from home about one week a month. The time that I spend with my children is limited, so the quality of that time must be of the highest im…

This month marks 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took a giant leap for mankind after landing on the moon on July 20, 1969. Millions of families huddled around black-and-white TVs, watching the Saturn V rocket launch and staring wide-eyed as Armstrong took his one small step ont…

Providing children with entertaining playthings doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Many hours of fun can come from something as simple as a cardboard box and some water-based markers. The box can become a rocket ship or whatever your child’s imagination creates. When your child loses…

Not all parents in Eastern Oregon speak English. Many may be trying to learn the language; English-learning programs at Blue Mountain Community College and with local organizations often fill quickly. But when parents don’t speak English well, they may turn to their closest interpreters: the…

In 1987, 10 Minnesota regional library systems got together to develop a summer reading program. The intention was to choose a theme, create thematic artwork, and select incentives that libraries all over the region could incorporate. It was a way to help libraries offer a professional, crea…

It’s a fact. Men and women are different. And while many would ascribe to the notion that “anything you can do, I do better,” that’s just not always the case. It’s not supposed to be. Men and women weren’t created to do all the same things in all the same ways … we were created to do everyth…

“Throw rocks into the pool one more time and we’re leaving the party,” Jonathan’s parents told him. It was a surprise party for his grandparents’ anniversary. When Jonathan threw in the next handful of pebbles, nothing happened.

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Winter came late this year and then refused to leave. Spring kicked in with rain that didn’t want to end. What will summer bring?

Spring is coming and that means shopping trips for warm weather clothes. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve outgrown everything and are in desperate need of new apparel. And if you’re anything like me, a little something for mom makes everyone happy.

As young parents there are times when our “littles” do something naughty that make us frustrated and perhaps even angry. But, in retrospect, sometimes those situations can be quite creative and, dare I say, humorous. I recall being a bit perplexed when relating what my children had done to m…

Traditionally within many tribal communities, the responsibility of parenting relied heavily on an extensive kinship network working together to ensure the healthy development of children. Each entity had a role in shaping the child. This kinship network involved not only parents, but grandp…

All around you, women are silently grieving, attending meetings and potlucks — going about business as usual. Their bodies and hormones are freshly postpartum, a time that needs great support, care and emotional nurturance. It is easy to understand a woman with a new baby who stays home to r…

Your local library has a celebrity booster. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) is a book-gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth through four years old. Kids receive their last book when they reach their fifth birthday.

I frequently see postings on social media, mostly by 18- to 30-year-olds, lamenting what they wish their parents had taught them before leaving home. It runs the gamut from how to do laundry to investing for retirement. I taught my children the basics; however, there is always the issue with…

Kindergarten preparedness – what does that mean to you as a parent? What does it mean to your child’s teacher? As children and families prepare to enter the world of education there are many pieces that must fit together to make the school experience positive and purposeful. As a parent of f…

As parents, we’re always looking for ways to connect with our children. Knowing your child’s love language is a great way to build on the relationships that are already there. According to author Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five different love languages:

When trying to schedule a night out, my friends and I often run into a problem: Monday is Cub Scouts or hockey or play practice; Tuesday is Girl Scouts or choir or softball; Wednesday is church youth group or gymnastics; Thursday is ballet or dance or play practice again. By the time we get …