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.

Dads are Important, Too!

A few months ago, a book was released that emphasized the important role that dads have. It is possible that the book may have influenced some parents to take a moment and think about the importance of dads and whether society might need to update its idea of what dads can do. Let me begin by clearly stating that I think that both dads and moms are very important to their children. Each can have a very strong influence. Whether that influence is positive or negative depends largely on the individual choices each parent makes. A book called Do Fathers … Continue reading

Tiger Mother Parenting Can Lead to Problems

What’s your parenting style? Many parents use the same parenting style that they were raised in. It is comfortable, familiar, and fits their cultural background. Parents also strive to raise their children in a way that will teach them to become successful, self-sufficient, adults. Sometimes, it turns out that a particular parenting style is not as advantageous as people might assume. A study found that the “Tiger Mother” type of parenting is not helpful (and might do more harm than good). What is a “Tiger Mother”? The Macmillian Dictionary defines it as: a very strict mother who makes her children … Continue reading

Kid-Friendly Halloween Movies

October is the month in which many people like to watch a bunch of scary movies. That’s fine for adults and older teens who happen to like horror movies. Unfortunately, those types of movies are not appropriate for little kids. They are just too scary! Are your kids asking to watch Halloween movies that they are way too young for? Here are some alternative, kid-friendly, movies that they can watch instead. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” This one has been around for a very long time. You may have watched it when you were a child. Now, you can … Continue reading

How Old is Too Old for Trick-or-Treating?

Trick-or-treating is a big part of Halloween. It is pretty obvious that this tradition was designed for children to participate in (often accompanied by their parents). Is there an “age limit” for trick-or-treating? At what age does a child become too old to go trick-or-treating? Ultimately, a parent needs to make that decision for themselves. Here are some things to consider when wondering if your child is too old to trick-or-treat this year. Check the local rules. Many cities or towns will issue specific rules regarding trick-or-treating. These rules usually consist of things like the hour that trick-or-treating can begin … Continue reading

Fun Alternatives to Trick-Or-Treating

There are many families who have a tradition of taking the kids trick-or-treating on Halloween. The children wear costumes (and some adults might, too). The whole family goes door to door so the little ones can collect candy. There are also several fun alternatives to trick-or-treating that your family can participate in. Trunk Or Treat This is a relatively new Halloween tradition! Sometimes it is arranged by a local church or school. Adults purchase Halloween candy to give out, as usual. Instead of handing out the candy at your front door, you bring it to a specific location (usually a … Continue reading

Helicopter Parenting is not Helpful

It is natural for parents to want the very best for their children. They make sure their kids have brushed their teeth, feed them healthy foods, and check to make sure that their homework is done. All of this is done because of love. That being said, there is a point where things become too much. It turns out that helicopter parenting can actually harm a child’s future prospects. What is a “helicopter parent”? Parents Magazine says that the term originated in 1969 in a book called Parents & Teenagers written by Dr. Haim Ginott. Some of the teens he … Continue reading

Exercise Can Improve Your Ability to Parent

Everyone knows that getting regular exercise is important. Exercise helps you lose weight, tone muscle, and stay healthy. Did you know that exercise can actually improve your ability to parent your children? This revelation could give parents a whole new reason to start exercising. Stasia Bliss wrote an article at Liberty Voice about the many ways that exercise improves parenting. She notes that when you are exercising you are nourishing yourself. Personally, I see what she is suggesting as “me time”. When you are exercising, your entire focus is on yourself and what your body is doing. It is a … Continue reading

Gen X Parents Raising Connected Children

The world has changed, in so many ways, between when you were a child and today. Parents who are part of Generation X are the first to raise children (and teens) in a world where the internet is so prevalent. Times have changed, in so many ways! The Washington Post has an article titled “Parenting as a Gen Xer: We’re the first generation of parents in the age of iEverything”. It was written by Allison Slater Tate and posted on September 19, 2014. In it, she comments on the difficulties faced by parent who can’t understand why their kids won’t … Continue reading

Synchronous Movement Helps With Bonding

Want to build a stronger bond with your toddler? One way to do that is to incorporate synchronous movement into your lives. Researchers have found that there is something about moving together, the same way, at the same time, that causes the bond between people to strengthen. It is time to play some music and dance with your toddler! Researchers at the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior at McMaster University did a study that involved 68 babies. Their study revealed that synchronous movement caused the babies to form social bonds with the person whom they shared the synchronous movement … Continue reading

Don’t Do Your Child’s Homework for Them

One of the biggest complaints of students of all ages is the amount of homework they are assigned. This is true for kindergarteners, college students, and everyone in between. Teachers expect that the students will do their own homework, perhaps with a little help from their parents. You don’t do your children’s homework for them, though, right? An article in The Telegraph reveals some surprising things about who is really doing the homework that teachers assign. The information comes from a poll of 2,000 parents who had children between the ages of 5 and 15. The research showed that in … Continue reading