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.

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

Things to Know About the Measles Outbreak

If you’ve spent any time at all on Facebook or Twitter lately, you’ve undoubtedly come across a multitude of people talking about measles. Some people are more tactful about sharing their views about vaccinations than others. No matter what your personal viewpoint happens to be, there are some things you should know about the measles outbreak. There is a measles outbreak going on. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there were at least 102 reported cases of measles in 14 states as of February 1, 2015. CDC Director Tom Frieden warns that the United States could see a … Continue reading

DIY Toddler Toys from Everyday Objects

Toddlers have an abundance of curiosity, a short attention span (when compared to adults), and an innate ability to uninhibitedly express themselves whenever the need strikes. One might say that toddlers excel at living in the moment. The good news is that this means you can make some DIY toddler toys out of everyday household objects that will attract and amuse your toddler. Obviously, parents will need to monitor their toddlers as they play with these “DIY” toys (just as they would if the toddler was playing with regular toys). Many parents have noticed this little “quirk” that toddlers have. … Continue reading

Hand Sanitizer Can Be Dangerous for Preschoolers

It has become quite common for hand sanitizers to be used by both adults and children. People carry them in purses and bags. Schools often require a small bottle of hand sanitizer as part of the list of school supplies a child must bring to school. However, there is a potential danger that involves hand sanitizers and young children that parents need to be aware of. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. They only suggest … Continue reading

The Elephant Parent Nurtures Their Child

Add this one to your list of parenting styles. A new one is called “The Elephant Parent”. It is a very compassionate and nurturing parenting style that can be done by a mom, a dad, or both at the same time. In many ways, it is the opposite of the “Tiger Mom” parenting style. The Elephant Parent style was mentioned by Priyanka Sharma-Sindhar in an article she wrote for The Atlantic. She connected the nurturing and protective style she was raised in with the way elephants raise their young, and termed this parenting style “Elephant Parent”. Priyanka Sharma-Sindhar grew up … Continue reading