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.

The Tragedy That Changed Australia’s Gun Laws

The United States has had several tragedies occur in which a person takes a gun into a public place, starts shooting, and murders innocent people. What can be done that will prevent this from happening again? The answer can be found in the results Australia got after changing their gun laws. The Port Arthur Massacre happened in 1996. A 28-year-old man named Martin Bryant entered a cafe that was located at the site of a historic penal colony at Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia. Martin Bryant had lunch in the cafe. After that, he pulled a semi-automatic rifle from his bag … Continue reading

How to Unplug Your Kids And Encourage Communication

Want to have a better relationship with your kids and teens? Do you find it hard to get their attention when they are staring at a screen? Here are some tips for parents who want to unplug their kids and encourage communication. Limit Screen Time The goal is to place limits on when and where your child or teen can use their computer, tablet, or smartphone. The goal is not to remove those devices from your kids forever. A reasonable amount of screen time can be stimulating and sometimes even educational. Parents need to pick their battles with this one. … Continue reading

Things to Know About Attachment Parenting

Do you practice attachment parenting? This type of parenting has become somewhat controversial. Those that practice it seem happy with it. Those that don’t often choose to share their opinion that this parenting style will somehow harm children (years later). Ultimately, it is up to each parent to decide what parenting style works best for them and their kids. Attachment Parenting is a parenting style that has eight principles to it. Each parent has a lot of leeway in how they interpret those principles and how they put them into action. Prepare for pregnancy, birth, and parenting – Parents remove … Continue reading

Disney Playmation Gets Kids Moving

One common complaint that parents have about video games is that requires the player to sit down, indoors, for the entire time they are playing the game. That can be frustrating for parents who wish their kids would get some exercise. Disney Playmation can provide a solution. It is a video game that gets kids moving! Playmation combines the best elements of video games and imaginative play. To use it, a kid must have a special high-tech toy that has motion-sensor technology, Bluetooth, and cloud connectivity. The wearable device is key, and can be enhanced with the use of a … Continue reading

Kids of Same-Sex Parents Benefit From Supreme Court Ruling

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States revealed their decision on the same-sex marriage case that had reached their court. The case was called Obergefell v Hodges. In short, the Justices of the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land. Kids of same-sex parents benefit from this decision in so many important ways. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license marriage between two people of the same sex. They also ruled the the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to recognize a same sex … Continue reading

“Web Junkie” Film Examines Internet Addiction in China

Do you believe that your child has an “internet addiction”? In the United States, it is not considered to be a real condition or disorder. In China, however, it is believed to be both real and dangerous. A film called “Web Junkie” gives people a look into the lives of teens who are sent for treatment for their internet addiction. “Web Junkie” is a documentary that was created by Shosh Shlam and Hilla Medalia. It was released in 2014, and is currently available on Netflix. It focuses on some of the teenage boys who were sent to Daxing Boot Camp … Continue reading

Parents Might Underestimate Their Child’s Obesity

Your child isn’t obese, right? It’s just “baby weight” that will go away on its own. He’s big for his age, just like his dad was. She has inherited the big bones that run in the family. But, your child certainly couldn’t be obese. Are you sure? A study shows that parents can underestimate their child’s obesity. A study was published in the British Journal of General Practice in April of 2015. It was called “Child obesity cut-offs as derived from parental perceptions: cross-sectional questionnaire”. The purpose was to compare parental perception of their child’s weight with objectively derived assessment … Continue reading

Technology is a Poor Substitute for Social Interaction

Are your kids addicted to the internet? How much time do your kids spend looking at a screen instead of interacting with family? Parents might want to consider taking steps to limit the amount of “screen time” that their kids are getting. The New York Times has an article by Jane Brody in which she discusses the negative affects that countless hours of playing video games can have on children. It’s not just teenagers, either. Younger kids can also behave as if they are addicted to “the internet”. How does this happen? There is a Kaiser Family Foundation study that … Continue reading

Tips for Coping After Losing Your Spouse

Losing a loved one can be very traumatic, especially when the person who has passed away was your spouse. Grief is something that you cannot rush or outsource, and it will take as long as it needs to. Here are some tips for coping after losing your spouse. Five Stages of Grief People who have lost a spouse are going to be feeling a flood of emotions. You might find some comfort in knowing that what you are experiencing is something that all humans go through. Let yourself feel whatever emotion it is you are feeling, and realize that this … Continue reading

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