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 Cotton Ball Diet is Dangerous

There have been many diets that sound a bit extreme – but that do involve actual food. The cotton ball diet, however, encourages people to eat a non-food item that their bodies cannot break down or gain nutrition from. The purpose of this diet, like all diets, is weight loss. It is important to know that the cotton ball diet is very dangerous! There are certain times of the year in which a lot of people suddenly decide to go on a diet. One is shortly before summer, when people decide they want to lose weight in order to look … Continue reading

Christmas Safety Tips for Parents of Toddlers

Everyone wants to have their holiday vacation be a pleasant one. Ideally, everyone in your family should be warm, safe, and happy. One way to help ensure a merry Christmas is to follow some of these holiday safety tips. These are geared for new parents and for parents who have small children. Toddlers will grab trees. Many parents make use of a playpen from time to time. Some parents use the playpen as an easy place for their toddler to take a nap. Others put their toddler safely into the playpen so they can quickly run to the bathroom or … Continue reading

When Kids Stop Believing in Santa

Does your family celebrate Christmas? If so, then it is likely that the topic of Santa Claus has come up at least once. Many families include visiting Santa at the mall, and writing him a letter, as part of their Christmas traditions. It makes for happy childhood memories for little children. Parents may become a bit perplexed about what to do when their children stop believing in Santa. How can you tell if your child has stopped believing in Santa? Sometimes, it becomes obvious. Your kid suddenly declares that Santa isn’t real (and appears to be comfortable with that knowledge). … Continue reading

Holy Flow Parenting – A New Style

What would you say if someone were to ask you what your parenting style was? There are some who would readily identify as a helicopter parent, or a “Tiger Mother”. Some parents would describe their style as authoritative, and others might say their style is traditional. What if you don’t feel like you fit into any of those boxes? Maybe your style is similar to Holy Flow parenting. Holy Flow parenting is a concept that appears to have been created by Brooke Hampton. You can learn more details about her parenting style, her family, and more on her blog Barefoot … Continue reading

Criticism From Mom “Shuts Down” Teen’s Brains

No one ever said that parenting a teenager would be easy. Have you ever felt like your teen stopped being “present” while you were talking to him or her? There is a reason for that, especially if you were complaining at the time. A study found that teen’s brains actually “shut down” when the teen hears criticism that comes from his or her mother. Many parents have wondered about what goes on in the brains of their teenagers. A group of researchers attempted to find out. The group of researchers were from the Universities of Pittsburgh, California-Berkeley, and Harvard. The … Continue reading

Toddlers and the Flu Vaccine

Every parent, who has children under the age of five, quickly discovers that little kids are “germ spreaders.” One cannot be too surprised by this revelation. Toddlers, for example, tend to put things into their mouths, to pick their noses, and to strongly resists all parental attempts to wash their little faces and hands. As such, it is recommended that toddlers receive the flu vaccine. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the LAIV (live attenuated influenza vaccine) be given to children ages 2 through 8 years old. In addition, they recommend that kids between age 2 … Continue reading

Winter Safety Tips

Winter weather can be very serious. Several parts of the United States regularly experience freezing temperatures and large amounts of snow every winter. This kind of weather may look pretty in photos, but it can be dangerous to have to live in and deal with. Here are some winter safety tips that can help keep you, and your family, safe this winter. Snow Removal Safety The National Safety Council (NSC) has some safety tips regarding snow removal. They advise that people who are over the age of 40, and who are relatively inactive, should be especially careful when shoveling snow. … Continue reading

Siblings Sharing Parents Experience Lifelong Effects

Did you get along with your siblings when you were a child? What’s your relationship with them like now that all of you are adults? Researchers have discovered that brothers and sisters who share parents can have a very different experience from each other. What they found can help parents of today make their kid’s relationship with their siblings into a more positive experience. An article at Medical Daily was written by Chris Weller. In it, he points out that each kid that has to share his or her parents with their siblings has a different experience – even though … Continue reading

Tips for First Time Hosts of Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is celebrated with family. It always includes a big dinner with tons of food. This can be overwhelming for first time hosts of Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t panic! Try these tips to help calm your nerves and make your first hosting a successful one. There are two things that can make a person who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner nervous. One is that the guests are going to expect specific foods that are made exactly the way that mom or grandma used to make. Their big expectations can be hard to live up to. The other difficulty, of course, is that … Continue reading

Things to Consider About Toddlers and Tablets

Do you let your toddler play with your tablet? It is easy to see why toddlers are attracted to them. They make sounds, and have colors, and stuff moves around when you poke at it. Some have started to wonder if the combination of toddlers and tablets is a good idea. How much screen time is too much? There are both positives and negatives to allowing your toddler to play with your iPad (or other tablet). That’s exactly what makes it so difficult for parents. If there were only good results, or only negative results, the choice would be simple! … Continue reading