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.

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

Advantages of Extended School Days

Would you like your children to attend school for eight hours straight, five days a week? It may sound a bit excessive to some parents. However, there are some school districts that have implemented an extended school day. It turns out that there are several benefits to doing so. Extended school days, which are also called extended learning time, have gained popularity within charter schools. Some charter schools may have a bit more freedom about how long their school day runs than some public schools do. That doesn’t mean it would be impossible for an extended school day to be … Continue reading

Ways to Help Your Child Understand Business

Do your children understand the value of a dollar? Many kids do not. There are things that parents can do to help their children, and teenagers, to get a basic grasp of money. They can also learn a little bit about business. Forbes has a really interesting article titled “13 Ways to Help Your Children Understand Business”. It was written by Dan Matthews, and posted on May 30, 2014. He gathered tips that will help parents to encourage their kids to become interested in finance and business. Each tip came from someone who is involved in business. One of those … Continue reading

Banning Chocolate Milk Doesn’t Improve Nutrition

Parents who had children in several schools in Oregon noticed what they viewed as a problem. The kids were much more likely to drink chocolate milk than they were to drink white milk. The parents believed that banning the chocolate milk would force the kids to start drinking more white milk. Instead, things did not work out as planned. It is safe to say that the parents in the school district’s PTA meant well. They were hoping to make changes that would provide better nutrition for the students. They believed that removing the chocolate milk, and only offering white milk, … Continue reading

AAP Recommends Some Schools Start Later

Having trouble getting your teenager to get up and prepare for school in the morning? There is a reason why that it happening – and it isn’t entirely your teen’s fault. Some of it has to do with developmental biology. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending that the start time of the school day be later for middle schools and high schools. The purpose is to combat sleep deprivation in teens. The AAP published a new policy statement in August of 2014. They are recommending that schools delay the start time of class until 8:30 in the morning … Continue reading

Parenting Techniques Outside of the United States

The things that you consider to be typical parenting techniques might seem strange to people who live outside of the United States. Likewise, some of what parents in other countries do may seem weird to parents here. It’s all a matter of perspective. What works well for parents in one place might not be acceptable to do in other places. NPR has an article titled Global Parenting Habits that Haven’t Caught On In the U.S.. It was written by Emily Lodish and posted on August 12, 2014. In it, she points out some parenting techniques that are commonly practiced in … Continue reading

The Family Dinner Project Promotes Family Unity

Does your family sit down together every night for dinner? Many families are in the habit of parking themselves in front of the TV as they eat dinner. Those families are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with each other. The Family Dinner Project has some excellent advice about why eating dinner together as a family is so important. The About Page at The Family Dinner Project has an summary of why families really need to have dinner together. It says: Over the past 15 years, research has shown what parents have known for a long time: Sharing … Continue reading

How to Set Up a Homework Space

The new school year is upon us. Your kids are likely to have at least a little bit of homework to do after school. Many parents find it difficult to convince their children to sit down and do their homework. One thing that can make the situation a little less stressful, and more productive, is to set up a homework space. It is easy to see why kids and teens don’t enjoy doing their homework. They just spent their whole day at school trying to learn things that are new to them, working on projects and papers, and practicing the … Continue reading

What to do When Other People’s Kids are Unsafe

Most parents are very careful and cautious with their children. They put in a great deal of effort to keep their children out of dangerous situations. Sometimes though, things happen and a child could wind up in a situation that is not at all good. What can you do when you see that a child, who is not yours, is unsafe? Here are some suggestions about what to do. A Child Has Been Left in a Car There are a lot of parents who will tell you that they would never leave their child in car (especially on a hot … Continue reading