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.

Tips for Keeping Kids Safe on Facebook

Does your child have his or her own Facebook account? Are you letting your child use the account unattended? Facebook requires people to be at least 13 years old before they can create their own Facebook account. That being said, some parents make accounts for their kids who are under age 13 – and some kids make their own Facebook account without their parent’s knowledge. Either way, it is important to keep kids safe while they are on Facebook. Here are some tips for parents that can make their child’s Facebook experience a lot safer. Limit The Child’s Activity Does … Continue reading

Free Range Parents Cleared of Neglect Charge

It can be extremely frustrating to have someone criticize your choice of parenting style. Imagine how scary it would be to have the police tell you that your parenting style is considered to be a form of neglect. This situation happened to parents in Maryland – who have since been cleared of child neglect charges. It all started with a trip to the local park in December of 2014. Parents Alexander and Danielle Meitiv allowed their son and daughter to go to the park, and walk home, by themselves. Their son, Rafi, was 10 years old, and their daughter, Dvora, … Continue reading

Ways to Practice Gender Neutral Parenting

Many of us grew up with the idea that certain toys and activities were only for one gender of child. There were toys for girls, and toys for boys, and our parents may have steered us towards one or the other. Today, things are very different. Now is a good time to practice gender neutral parenting. When I was a little kid, I was taught that girls were supposed to play with dolls and enjoy kitchen sets and playing dress up. The boys in my kindergarten were taught that boys were supposed to play with trucks and blocks. Today, things … Continue reading

Tips for Salvaging a Rough Morning

Not every day starts out bright and filled with sunshine. There are going to be some days when kids wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” and are grumpy. Fortunately, there are some things that parents can do to salvage a rough morning – and prevent it from spoiling the rest of the day. Rachel Macy Stafford wrote a piece for Huffington Post Parents called “10 Ways to Salvage a Bad Morning Before Parting Ways”. In it, she has listed 10 ways that a parent can influence a grumpy child to change his or her mood and have … Continue reading

Ways to Embrace the Ordinary

All of us spend our free time doing little things that we find amusing. We take a break and watch a funny video on YouTube. Or we spend time browsing through Facebook or Twitter and passing along whatever caught our attention. At the end of the day, this often leaves people feeling unfulfilled. One way to bring meaning to your life is to find ways to embrace the ordinary. You’ve got five minutes left on your break. Which would you rather do: watch a funny video, or read about a random conversation you had a month ago? Amie M. Gordon, … Continue reading

Coloring Books Aren’t Just for Kids

Think back to when you were a child. Did you spend time happily coloring the pictures that were in your coloring books? Today, many adults are rediscovering their love for coloring. There are several different types of detailed coloring books out there which are intended for grownups to use. Coloring is fun. It’s something that people first learn how to do when they are in preschool or kindergarten. Little kids can improve their fine motor skills by grasping a crayon and using it to color a picture. They find it rewarding to color a picture all by themselves and are … Continue reading

Ways to Turn Off the “Time Wasters”

Today, there are many people who work from home. There are freelancers whose entire career consists of working from home. The best way to ensure productivity while you are working from home is to turn off the “time wasters”. Before you can do that, you must identify the things that are slowing you down. Social Media Social media can be tricky for freelancers. Writers and bloggers are often working on assignments that require them to write about the “hot topic” of the day. Social media, especially Twitter, has become the go-to for the latest news. The goal is to find … Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Co-Parenting

There are times when the “happily ever after” ends in divorce. When this happens, couples who are parents must sort out custody and visitation rights. Co-parenting is an option that may work out well for couples that can get along with each other post-divorce. There are also situations where co-parenting just isn’t going to work smoothly. Positive Aspects of Co-Parenting There is a celebrity example of what co-parenting looks like when it works well. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony split up in 2011. In 2015, they posted on Instagram a family photo from the birthday party of their 7-year-old twins. … Continue reading

How a Transgender Couple Became Parents

When a couple is ready to become parents, they will do almost anything to make that happen. The desire to produce children who carry the parent’s DNA is strong. The Bowsers are a couple who wanted to have children and were able to produce two healthy sons that are biologically their own. The thing that makes this happy story a little different is that both parents happen to be transgender. Bianca and Nick Bowser were featured on 20/20. Their story is, in many ways, similar to thousands of other couples. They met. They fell in love. They eventually decided that … Continue reading

UK Approves Three-Person IVF Techniques

Couples who are having difficulty conceiving have the option of turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF). The process allows that couple to pass their own genetic material onto an offspring that is biologically theirs. The UK recently approved a new kind of IVF that has been referred to as “three-parent babies”. The two techniques are somewhat different but each can be used to help couples produce a healthy child. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex procedure that combines an egg and sperm outside of the body. The conception happens in a laboratory. Once an embryo (or embryos as is … Continue reading