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.

Fifteen Minute Breaks Could Help Kids Stay Focused

When adults take a fifteen minute break at work, they tend to come back a bit less stressed and more able to focus on the tasks at hand. It turns out that kids at school can obtain the same benefits from a fifteen minute break. Schools in Finland have already implemented this strategy. They’ve been doing it since the 1960’s. A typical American public school could include one 30 minute recess per school day. The exact amount of time can vary. Some schools might have recess that lasts for 45 minutes, while others might only allow 20 minutes for recess. … Continue reading

Parenting VS the Internet Mob

Parenting isn’t always easy. Sure, there are moments of absolute bliss. There are also days when a parent is exhausted, a child is especially cranky, and the whole thing turns into a big scene. It can be frustrating and embarrassing when this happens. Even worse, there is the potential that a stranger will take a photo or video of the “meltdown”, or write about it on social media. Chances are, you probably had at least one temper-tantrum in public when you were a toddler or young child. It’s part of being a toddler. Your mom was probably embarrassed by your … Continue reading

Inclusion of People with Intellectual Disabilities is Important

Does someone in your family have an intellectual disability (ID)? A survey shows that inclusion helps people who do not have intellectual disabilities to accept people who do have them. Personally knowing someone who has ID helps people to move past old stereotypes. A survey was done by Harris Poll on behalf of The Special Olympic International World Games, and in partnership with Shriver Media. The survey was conducted online between July 13 and July 15 of 2015. A total of 2,021 United States adults (ages 18+) took part in the survey. Out of this group, 1,103 were identified as … Continue reading

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