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.

Why you Should Read to your Baby

Do you read to your baby? The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines that recommend that parents read to their newborn infants. Some parents may not be doing that because it never occurred to them that babies benefit from being read to. There are some very good reasons for parents to read to their babies and young children! The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that parents who read to their children nurture not only their children’s literary skills, but also much more. They have put together some easy to read information that points out the benefits that come … Continue reading

Unvaccinated Children May be Suspended from School

There is something new that parents may want to consider as they prepare their child for the upcoming school year. Some schools are suspending children who are unvaccinated. The purpose is to stop the spread of preventable childhood diseases. Parents who live in states that allow exemptions for vaccines can still make that choice. However, they should be aware that the exemption will not override the school’s right to protect students from the spread of diseases that can be prevented by vaccinations. Vaccines prevent diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) point out that some diseases, like polio … Continue reading

Vermont has the Healthiest Kids

We all want our kids to be healthy! It appears that the state of Vermont is doing very well towards making that hope a reality. Data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control about the Green Mountain State shows that Vermont has the healthiest kids in America. How does what Vermont is doing compare to your state? The Centers for Disease Control’s Data Resource Center released a survey called The National Survey of Children’s Health. It took the results of the survey and presented them in a way that made it more accessible to parents (as well as other researchers … Continue reading

Giving Birth After Age 33 Relates to Longevity

A new study determined that women who give birth after age 33 had twice the odds of having a longer lifespan than women who did not do so. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should consider having a baby (or another baby) after age 33 in an effort to increase your lifespan. The reality is a bit more complex than that. Researchers at Boston University, Boston Medical Center (and elsewhere) conducted a study about aging. They looked at information that was gathered in a previous study that was called the Long Life Family Study. In other words, this study used previously … Continue reading

Things You Should Do For Yourself Right Now

Are you someone who makes an effort to help, comfort, and pamper your loved ones? It has been said that many people take much better care of their friends and family than they do of themselves. Typically, there are more women than men that have this tendency, but it does include both genders. Now is the time to start taking good care of yourself, too! Here are some things you can start with right this minute. LifeBuzz posted an article that contained 30 things that everyone should start doing for themselves. You can view it as a guide to better … Continue reading

Ways You Can Contribute to Scientific Research

Want to do something with your spare time that can help others? Get involved in a “citizen science project”. You don’t need a degree in science (or anything else) in order to participate. Consider contributing to any of the following projects. It has been said that volunteering is good for you. People who volunteer their time and energy to help others experience some benefits themselves. Volunteering is a great way to boost self confidence, to fight depression, and to stay physically healthy. It is also a great way to make new friends. The following science projects need people to help … Continue reading

Habits of Happy People Could Make You Happier

Have you got a case of the blues? Are you feeling frustrated and upset by stories in the news? Try adopting some of the habits of happy people. Doing so could make you feel more connected to your life, give you a sense of purpose, and make your overall outlook a happier one. An article at MindBodyGreen points out seven of the habits that are practiced by the happiest people. You might not be doing them. That isn’t really your fault, though, because few people talk about how they manage to stay so happy all the time. The main idea … Continue reading

Is it Ever Ok to Bribe your Kids?

How do you get your children to do what you want them to? What do you do to encourage them to do certain things and to refrain from doing other things? Many parents have, at least sometimes, resorted to bribing their children. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Is it ever ok to bribe your kids? New findings reveal some interesting answers to these questions. First, it would be helpful to figure out what a bribe is (and what it isn’t). Author Ellen Perry points out that there is a continuum to be aware of. Motivation is one one end, … Continue reading

Top Ten Baby Names of 2013

Parents who are trying to select a name for their baby might want to visit the Social Security website. Every year, they gather data from Social Security card applications and use it to determine the most popular baby names of that year. This might help you to pick a popular name for your child. Or, it could inspire you to come up with something more unique than the names that are on the list. How does the Social Security Administration go about discovering the most popular names for 2013? They looked at 100% of their records on Social Security card … Continue reading

What’s it Like to Parent Two Mentally Ill Children?

Several years ago, Susan and Michael Schofield learned that their daughter, Jani, had been born with schizophrenia. The couple had a second child, a son named Bodhi. At first, they believed that Bodhi was born without any mental illnesses. As time went on, they learned that Bodhi also has some mental health issues. What’s it like to parent not one, but two, mentally ill children? Michael and Susan Schofield decided to publicly share their story about parenting a child with schizophrenia when their daughter, Jani, was six years old. As an infant, Jani did not sleep for more than half … Continue reading