About Jen Thorpe

I have a B.S. in Education and am a former teacher and day care worker. I started working as a freelance writer in 2010 and have written for many topics here at Families.com.

Both Parents Should Tend to the Baby at Night

Whose job is it to get up in the middle of the night to tend to a crying infant? There was a time when the automatic assumption was that this task was entirely for the mother. Today, there are plenty of parents who realize that there are good reasons to share this responsibility. Babies are incredibly cute. They can also be exhausting. Many babies simply refuse to sleep through the night. They loudly let their parents know that they need a diaper change or want to be fed. At least one parent needs to get up to tend to the … Continue reading

Family Friendly Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

There are many people who choose to celebrate St. Patricks’ Day by enjoying some alcoholic beverages. Families, however, can find plenty of family-friendly ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with their kids. Here’s a list of idea for parents who want to give their kids something fun to do this St. Patrick’s Day. Wear Green It has been said that a person must wear green on St. Patrick’s Day in order to avoid getting pinched. It might not be a great idea to introduce that part of the holiday to your kids. There are also a lot of people who … Continue reading

Picture Books that Adults Will Love, Too!

Reading is an important skill. Parents who want to raise an avid reader need to take the time to read lots of stories to their children. It is also a good idea to let your child see you reading. Children often imitate the behaviors they see their parent’s doing. Check out some of these children’s books that adults will love, too! Reading books with your child can be a rewarding experience. It is a nice way to spend time together and share a hobby that you both enjoy. Things can become a bit maddening, however, when a child insists upon … Continue reading

How to Help Your Kids Fall Asleep

Sleep is important. We all know what it feels like to have to get up and start the day after not having enough sleep. Before parents can turn in for the night they need to make sure their children are asleep. What can you do if your child is resisting bedtime or getting up at night? Here are some ideas that could help your kids to fall asleep. How much sleep do kids really need? The National Sleep Foundation has some recommendations that are based upon the age of the person. Adults need less sleep than children and babies do. … Continue reading

School Suspends Fourth Grader for Using Imagination

It is typical for young children to re-enact the stories that they watch in a movie. One of the reasons they do this is simply because it is fun. In addition, children engage in imaginative play in order to figure out the world around them and where they might fit into it as an adult. Play can be an important component of learning. That being said, a fourth grader who is a student at Kermit Elementary School, in Kermit, Texas, was suspended for using his imagination in a way that is typical of children who have been inspired by a … Continue reading

Ways to Prevent Your Baby Monitor from Being Hacked

We are entering the very beginning of “the internet of things”. The simplest explanation of what that means is that there are now several appliances and electronics that are constantly connected to the internet through Wi-Fi. The purpose is to make life more convenient. Unfortunately, sometimes this interconnectedness can cause security issues. A family discovered this in a very unpleasant way when their nanny noticed that someone had hacked their baby monitor. A stranger was able to talk to, and see, the room the baby was in, the baby, and the nanny who was caring for the infant. How did … Continue reading

Your Tween May be Posting Personal Information on Instagram

Instagram is a popular social media website that is primarily about photos. People post selfies, photos of what they had for dinner, vacation photos, and whatever else they want to share online. What many parents don’t realize is that teens and tweens are sharing a lot more than photos on Instagram! The terms of service at Instagram state: “You must be at least 13 years old to use the Service”. It is possible for a teenager to simply make their own Instagram account without asking their parent for permission to do so first. Some parents will make an Instagram account … Continue reading

Tips to Avoid Raising a 20-Something Couch Potato

One of the goals of parenting is to raise a child who becomes a self-sufficient adult. What that looks like may vary depending on individual parent’s personal views. Nobody dreams of having their teen become a 20-something who lives at home and watches episodes of TV shows all day and into the night. Here is some advice to for parents who want to avoid raising a 20-something couch potato. An article written by Cheryl Stritzel Mccarthy mentions advice from Adam Price. He is a psychologist whose practice is tailored to young adults. The key point seems to be that when … Continue reading

Free Range Parenting – Letting Kids Roam Free

There’s a parenting style in the news that has gotten some attention lately. Its called free range parenting. The basic concept is that children should be allowed to roam free while they are unattended by their parents (or other adults). This parenting style was common in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Today, it appears to be causing some controversy. Parents Alexander and Danielle Meitiv are practicing free range parenting. It is pretty much the opposite of helicopter parenting. A helicopter parent wants to hover over their children and step in at the first signs of a problem. A free range parent, … Continue reading

Reasons Parents Should talk to Their Teens About Pregnancy

It might be uncomfortable, but it is important that parents talk with their teens about pregnancy. Having that discussion, in a non-judgmental way, can inspire a teen to really open up and ask the questions that are on their mind. It can also help build trust between you and your teen. That’s important if you want them to come to you for answers about pregnancy in the future. Make sure you speak with your daughters and your sons. The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is high. The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among countries that … Continue reading