From the accordion to the xylophone or, more likely, the drums to the violin, helping a child choose a musical path can be overwhelming. Should a child choose an instrument based on size? Sound? Should band win out over choir or orchestra because that’s where her friends are?

We have all heard that if you want to build your child’s math brain, expose them to music. Some parents start playing classical music during nap and bedtime to calm them, in hopes that their sleeping baby will be the next Einstein. However, did you know the power music has on building the fo…

It’s not always easy to show home economics is a true science. This diverse field includes clothing and textiles, foods and nutrition, consumerism, interiors and design, and more – all areas with a basis in both science and math. One of my favorite things is to show children (and adults) how…

“I’m dropping out of school!” My heart dropped. Can you imagine your first grader yelling this at you? Especially being an elementary educator myself. Seeing the hurt and confusion all over his little face, I took a deep breath and calmed my voice.

As a mother of boys, I am very aware of the parental struggle to find computer or video games that don’t include blood, zombies, guns or federal offenses. So many games these days are filled with killing, stealing and beating the clock that there is actually a Twitter thread (The Safe Room) …

Many families look to the new year as a time to reset their eating habits and focus on making healthier choices. However, adults aren’t the only ones who could use a menu refresh as children may also need to focus on healthier food choices.

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three as she visited with a father at a parent get-together.

As the saying goes, you should avoid talking about politics, religion, or money. But in today’s volatile political climate, our responsibility as informed citizens means having those conversations with our teens.

As we start this New Year (and a new decade), we might be tempted to set a goal for ourselves. Usually this involves life-altering choices that require us to have self-control and good decision-making skills. And about a week later we fall back into our old habits. Why is it so hard? Because…

College is expensive. So what can parents do to prepare to help their children pay for a post-secondary education? The Oregon College Savings Plan is our state’s version of a 529 plan that allows individuals to contribute tax-free to an account intended to support a child’s college education…

Gone are the days when you force your neighbors and friends to sit down for two hours to view a slightly out-of-focus slideshow of your family vacation to the Poconos. Now you post your pics on Instagram or Facebook after carefully choosing the best ones and putting them through a few filter…

When I was pregnant with my first child I was quick to sign up for childbirth classes. I read up on pregnancy and downloaded any and all apps promising to guide me through the process. It was easy to acknowledge that I had no experience growing a human and that research was required.

Did you know? The average household will go through four rolls of wrapping paper and throw away seven batteries over the Christmas season. A roll-and-a-half of sticky tape will be used per household, and three-and-a-half black bags full of packaging will be thrown out. That’s not all. Accord…

When the holidays are mentioned, what is the very first thing that comes to mind? For many it’s time with family, a certain meal, and thoughts on how to make the holidays “especially special” for our children, no matter if they’re young or grown. Yet, we as parents often stress about making …

Holiday traditions are as varied as the families that have them. From creating specific foods to rewarding the person finding the pickle in the Christmas tree, to providing meals to those in need, traditions abound. In some instances, people have a tradition and do not recognize it as one, i…

Perusing the web, there are tons of articles about teaching young boys to respect women. As the only daughter in a family of four children, I never felt “less than” for being a girl. I suppose I should preface that by revealing that my dad was a male nurse In the 1960s and 1970s, and that wa…

Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage for kids all over the world. In my life, it’s the last step before the inevitable braces, but that’s another story. At the crux of it, it’s just another reason for me to have to get out of bed in the middle of the night. For the kids, it’s just awesome.

Learning to control impulses is an important task for our children, and all of us, to learn. Until our children learn to control urges to hit, kick, punch, pinch, bite, spit, name call and more, we’ll see all those behaviors emerge when life becomes overwhelming.

Have you ever walked through the store with your children and intentionally avoided the toy section because you know that all you will hear is “can I get that?” Sometimes it seems like all children know how to do is ask for stuff, especially after you just bought them something else. Wouldn’…

The shortage of child care options – particularly for infants and toddlers – came as a shock to Katy Stinchfield and her husband when they moved to Pendleton last year. They learned quickly that this shortage has been a local issue for years, creating stress for families, and for employers s…

They’re just about the most heart breaking words a parent can hear from their teen … “I’m pregnant.” It’s terrifying for both the parents and the teens themselves. After the crying, shock, grief, and maybe some yelling, what comes next?

As children get older the sheer number of activities seems to grow exponentially and choosing between soccer, ballet or piano lessons can be overwhelming. Sports and fine arts teach valuable skills and career/technical student organizations like FFA and DECA are good prep for the workplace —…

Recently, actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced for her role in a college entrance scandal after pleading guilty. The term “helicopter parent” has been associated with her; however, the term “lawnmower parent” may be a more apt term. This mother did not simply hover above her child, she mow…

In the era of technology – tablets, phones, computers, and video games – children and adults are becoming more and more disconnected. We sit in the same room as others, yet we are miles apart zooming through social media, checking in on our to-do list, or making sure the hottest new celebrit…

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…