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.

Movember Launches Family Man Online Parenting Program for Fathers

Family Man, the world’s first online parenting program specifically for fathers, launched in the United States by leading men’s global health chairty Movember. Family Man is a free, online course designed to equip fathers of children between the ages of 2-8 with the practical skills needed to cope with frustrating situations. Drawing on the research-based principles of positive parenting, Family Man uses the latest parenting strategies that support happier homes and better mental health. “There is a huge amount of research that shows parenting is more effective when it’s done as a team,” said Jane Endacott, Director of Digital Health … Continue reading

Parenting Myths Debunked

Can you spot a parenting myth? Your parents may have handed down parenting advice that seemed appropriate when you were young – but is now out of date. Some parenting myths can be harmful to children. “Boys Will be Boys” According to Dictionary.com, the phrase “boys will be boys” was first recorded in English in 1589. It was originally a Latin proverb that would have roughly translated as “Children (boys) are children (boys) and do childish things.” It is true that children – whatever their gender – do childish things. Parents should expect that type of behavior from their kids. … Continue reading

CDC has a Plan for School Reopenings

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an operational strategy for reopening schools. Their operational strategy presents recommendations based on the best-available evidence at the time of release (which was February 12, 2021). The operational strategy emphasizes mask wearing, social distancing, and other actions. The CDC adds that vaccination of teachers is important, but does not consider it to be a prerequisite for reopening. Parents need to know that the CDC cannot force schools to reopen. They are not calling for a mandate that all U.S. schools to reopen. The CDC’s Essential Elements of safe K-12 school operations … Continue reading

What Parents Should Know About Teen Romance During COVID-19

Did your teen start dating during the COVID-19 pandemic? The Washington Post has information that parents should know about teen romance in the age of COVID-19. Parents might be more aware of signs that their teen has started dating. It is easier to notice when everyone is working from home or virtually learning. This knowledge may make parents uncomfortable, but it also provides opportunity for parents and teens to have important discussions. The Washington Post reported that schools may or may not be providing school-based sexual education during the pandemic. Schools that have on-campus health centers, which may provide birth … Continue reading

Idaho Lawmaker Introduced Free-Range Parenting Bill

Those of us who are part of Generation X remember walking to and from school, and riding a bike around the neighborhood, by ourselves. Today, some parents want to raise their kids the way they were raised – with plenty of freedom to explore and make their own decisions. Unfortunately, this can get parents into legal trouble when other parents report them for neglect. Representative Ron Nate, an Idaho State Republican, has written a bill that would protect parents who want to give their children less supervision. It is called the Reasonable Childhood Independence Act. “The intent of this is … Continue reading

Celebrate Christmas Safely During COVID-19

Christmas celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic will be somewhat different than in previous years. You can still celebrate with your favorite traditions if you take steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. No one wants COVID-19 for Christmas. Tour Outdoor Light Displays It has become tradition for people to decorate the outside of their homes with festive lights and stand-up decorations. There may be a street near you where the entire block created elaborate scenes, complete with lights, music, and large stand-up decorations. The safest way for your family to enjoy these displays is from the warmth and safety … Continue reading

Study: Women Consider Leaving Workplace Due to COVID-19

A study was released by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.Org that showed that in corporate America, 1 in 4 women are now considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers due to COVID-19. The report is based on data and insights from 317 companies employing more than 12 million people, along with survey responses from more than 40,000 individual employees. It urges companies to act immediately to avert this potential crisis and includes recommendations for addressing the feelings of burnout and being “always on” for work that many employees are grappling with right now. According to the study, working mothers … Continue reading

Keep the Kids Entertained on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is family time. In previous years, you may have celebrated this holiday with plenty of family members. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it unsafe for large groups of people to gather together indoors. How will you keep the kids entertained while dinner is being prepared? Here are a few ideas to try. Thanksgiving Coloring Pages Gather up the crayons and print out some Thanksgiving themed coloring pages from the internet. Crayola.com offers some free Thanksgiving coloring pages for parents to download for their kids. Another option is to buy a large sketchbook and give each child a … Continue reading

CDC Recommends Staying Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday where people travel long distances so they can spend time with their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes it clear that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from catching and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC has information about Thanksgiving related activities that are “lower risk”, “moderate risk” and “higher risk”. Understanding the risk of certain activities can help you make safer choices. Lower Risk Activities Having a small dinner with only people who live in your neighborhood Preparing traditional family recipes for family and … Continue reading

Día de los Muertos During COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance that can help keep your family safe and healthy while celebrating Día de los Muertos. Celebrations must be done differently this year in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC points out that if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Día de los Muertos festivities. There are safer ways to celebrate the holiday. The CDC recommends these lower risk activities: Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering … Continue reading