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.

Quick Activities for Self Care

Many parents are looking forward to the start of a new school year. Keep in mind that back-to-school comes with hectic mornings, help with homework, and the enforcement of a bedtime routine (that may have lapsed over the summer). It is important for parents to take a little time for self care while the kids are at school. Here are a few simple ideas to start with. The Living Self-Care website says that moms and dads that take care of themselves first will have more to offer to their children (and to the rest of the world). Self-care doesn’t have … Continue reading

Exercise and Diet Together Help Weight Loss

Thinking about losing some weight? You’ve probably found tons of advice that suggests how to do that. Some of it might contradict the other pieces of advice. Those of you who are confused about what the best plan for weight loss is may want to consider what a recent study found. It turns out you need to focus on both exercise and diet together. A Stanford study about weight gain and obesity was making the rounds on the internet recently. The lead author of the study was Dr. Uri Ladabaum, a Stanford gastroenterologist. In short, he describes the results as … Continue reading

Why Regular Exercise is Important for Kids

Many of us realize that it is a good idea to get some exercise. Adults tend to think of exercise as a way to lose weight or tone up muscle. It turns out that getting regular exercise is more beneficial than randomly exercising done every so often. This is true for both adults and children. Are your kids getting the regular exercise? The Mayo Clinic points out that the health benefits of getting regular exercise and physical activity are “hard to ignore”. Of course, some exercise is better than none at all. However, if you want to get the most … Continue reading

Bravo’s “Extreme Guide to Parenting”

How would you describe your parenting style? Some parents will answer that question by stating that their parenting style is traditional, or conservative, or “old-school”. Others might explain their parenting style as “eclectic”. They take some ideas from how their parents raised them, and add in some new concepts that have become popular in the years since they were children. No matter what your parenting style happens to be, it is unlikely that it matches up with the parents on Bravo’s new TV show “Extreme Guide to Parenting”. Season one featured 10 different families whose parenting styles have been described … Continue reading

Fun Items for Frugal Dress Up Play

There is a quick and easy way to entertain your preschooler for at least half an hour or so. Let him or her play dress up! Preschoolers tend to love this activity because it lets them “become” someone else for a while. Dress up is a great opportunity for using one’s imagination. Here are some frugal ideas for dress up play. Old Costumes Previously worn Halloween costumes are great for playing dress up in. Your child can become a princess, a superhero, or both in the same day. Reuse the Halloween costumes that your older children wore by adding them … Continue reading

Your Child’s Name Could Impact His or Her Future

Would a Rose, by any other name, smell just a sweet? Perhaps Rose’s parents would think so. They obviously have very positive associations with the name that brings to mind a beautiful flower. Other people may not look upon her name quite so favorably. Research suggests that a person’s name shapes the course of his or her life. Parents have so many factors to consider when choosing a name for a new baby. Should you name the baby after a relative? Would a name that is currently cool be a good idea? How about a name that reflects your family’s … Continue reading

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