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.

Pre-K Proms are a Thing Now

It is no longer unusual for schools to hold a kindergarten, or pre-kindergarten, graduation. Some feel that this small ceremony encourages children to believe that they can and will graduate from high school. The newest trend is for schools to hold “Pre-K proms”. Understandably, parents have mixed feelings about this. A prom is usually something that is for high school students. Teenagers (or their parents) spend a lot of money on tickets to the prom, the nice clothing the teen will wear to the prom, and perhaps some extras like dinner at a fancy restaurant or a limo to get … Continue reading

Research Confirms the “Parenting Happiness Gap”

There has been debate over which group of people are happier: parents, or people who do not have children. In general, this argument relies on individual people’s perceptions based on their own experiences. Research has confirmed that the “parenting happiness gap” exists. The correlating factors that make parents less happy than non-parents has a lot to do with where the parents live. The “parenting happiness gap” is a phrase that sums up a reality that may surprise some people. No matter what country you live in, or what stage of life you may be at, people who do not have … Continue reading

Where to Find Summer Reading Programs

One of the things that kids like best about summer vacation is that they get a long break from school. It is important to keep your child’s reading skills sharp over the summer. A fun way to do that is to get your child involved in a summer reading program. There are several to choose from. Your local library The first place to seek out a summer reading program is your local library. Ask the librarian in the children’s section if they are doing this type of program. If so, he or she can help you get your child involved. … Continue reading

Study: Intrusive Parenting Can Be Harmful to Children

There is a wide variety of parenting styles to choose from. Ultimately, each parent is going to select one that they feel works best for them. It is worth considering that not every parenting style is a healthy choice for children. A study found that intrusive parenting can be harmful to children. The study was titled “Developmental Trajectories of Maladaptive Perfectionism in Middle School Children”. It was led by Ryan Y. Hong, and was published in the Journal of Personality. The researchers focuses on a sample size of 263 of Singaporean children – and their parents. The study began when … Continue reading

What Parents Can Learn from the Gorilla Incident

It happened at the Cincinnati Zoo. A 3-year-old boy somehow fell into the gorilla exhibit’s enclosure. A 17-year-old male gorilla, named Harambe, encountered the boy. Someone from the Zoo made the decision to shoot and kill the gorilla in order to save the preschooler. What can parents learn from the Gorilla Incident? Parent Shaming Doesn’t Fix Things It didn’t take long for parents around the world to take to social media to comment about the Gorilla Incident. While some expressed sympathy for the Zoo, the majority chose to attack the mother of the 3-year-old boy and question her parenting ability. … Continue reading

More Young Adults are Living With Their Parents

Years ago, when the “Baby Boomer” generation was young, it was expected that they would graduate, get married, and start having children in their early 20’s. Today, for the first time in more than 130 years, Americans who are between the ages of 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than any other living situation. A Pew Research Center analysis gathered data about Americans who are between the ages of 18-34. They found that 32.1% are still living in their parents’ homes. Another 31.6% have moved out of their parents’ homes and are currently living in their own … Continue reading

The “Two Minute Warning” Might Make Tantrums Worse

It has been said that the “two minute warning” is a good way to help a young child transition from playtime to another (less fun) activity. A study found that the “two minute warning” might actually make tantrums worse for some children – especially if the child was engaged in screen time. Researchers at the University of Washington’s Computing for Health Living & Learning Lab interviewed 27 families about how they manage media and screen time experiences for their toddlers and preschoolers. The answers to those questions informed a diary study that included 28 different families. Each family documented screen … Continue reading

5 Tips for Staying Safe this Summer

Summer vacation is in full force. The kids are out of school and many families spend time outdoors enjoying themselves. While you and your family are out and about, make sure you are following these summer safety tips. Summer Safety Tips Prevent Playground Injuries The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that emergency departments in the United States treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related injuries. Check to make sure the surfaces under the playground equipment are safe, soft, and well-maintained. Before letting your child run and play, take a minute to make sure the … Continue reading

Teen Birth Rate Hits All Time Low

A study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the number of babies being born to mothers who are teenagers is at an all time low. It has been consistently dropping for the past two decades. More research is needed to conclusively determine what caused the decrease. According to the CDC study, from 2006 to 2014, the birth rate for teens aged 15-19 years declined 41% overall. The greatest decline was for Hispanic teens (51%), followed by non-Hispanic blacks (44%), and non-Hispanic whites (35%). The birth rate ratio also declined for black teens compared with … Continue reading

Preschoolers Benefit From Process Art

What kind of artwork does your preschooler bring home? The art could be a free-flowing expression of your child’s exploration of art materials. Or, it could be something easily identifiable that your child’s teacher set up and your child happily pieced together. One of these two types of art is much better for preschoolers than the other. Project art could be described as a “craft”. The preschool teacher presents kids with the exact amount of supplies they need (included pieces that have been pre-cut by the teacher). Kids are to use those pieces in a precise way to make an … Continue reading