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.

How to Cope with an Empty Nest

Your “baby” has grown up, started college, and moved away to live in a dorm or apartment. This experience can leave parents with a mix of strong emotions. It also requires adjustments in how you and your college student relate to each other, and alters what your day-to-day life is like. Here are some ways to cope with an Empty Nest. Allow Yourself to Feel Whatever Emotions Appear A national survey done in 2013 by Clark University of over 1,000 parents found that 84% missed their kids once they moved out. 60% of parents said they were glad to have … Continue reading

Get Ready for the New School Year

The new school year might begin for your kids in August or early September. You probably are aware of the need for new school supplies, school appropriate clothing, and an established bedtime. Many parents forget about the less obvious things that come with a brand new school year. Here are a few to be aware of so you will be ready when they appear. Strong Emotions In general, children tend to experience a lot of strong emotions at the start of a brand new school year. While some kids will be excited to start school again, many will express frustration … Continue reading

Study: Kids Raised by Single Moms do as Well as Kids Raised by Two Parents

A study that was published by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found that children of single mothers are no more likely to suffer later in life than kids raised by a mother and a father “in terms of parent-child relationship or child development.” Researchers from the University of Amsterdam looked at 69 “single-mothers-by-choice.” By that, they meant women who knowingly chose to raise their child alone. The researchers also looked at 59 mothers from heterosexual two-parent families. All of the parents in the study had children between the ages of 1.5 years of age and 6 years … Continue reading

Strength-Based Parenting

There are a wide variety of parenting styles to choose from. Parents can choose to raise their kids with the parenting style that they were raised with. Or, if they want something different, they can select a parenting style that matches their values and the needs of their kids. One option is called strength-based parenting. Lea Waters is the chair of positive psychology at University of Melbourne. She has written a book called “The Strength Switch”. The full title continues with “How The New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen to Flourish”. The book is … Continue reading

Report: Instagram is the Worst App for Young People’s Mental Health

A report titled #StatusOfMind was done by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). They surveyed 1,500 young people about social media. Of the five social media platforms that were included in the survey, Instagram was found to have the worst effect on young people’s mental health. The #StatusOfMind report examined both the positive, and the negative, effects that social media has on young people’s health. The report included Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat. The report asked 1,500 young people, who were between the ages of 14 and 24 to rank what extent different social media platforms impacted certain … Continue reading

Summer Reading Programs for Kids

It has been said that kids can “lose” some of what they learned during the school year if they don’t practice those skills while on summer vacation. Summer reading programs can inspire kids to read books during the months when school is out. Your child could benefit from participating in a Summer reading program. Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program This Summer reading program began in May and will end on September 5, 2017. Children need to fill out a Summer Reading Journal (which can be printed from the Barnes & Noble website in English or in Spanish). Kids must … Continue reading

Grounding Teens from Social Media May Harm Them

Have you ever grounded your teen from social media as a form of negative consequence for bad behavior? A new study indicates that while there are benefits for teens who voluntarily take a break from social media, those benefits do not extend to teens who have been forced off of it. Teens grounded from social media can experience more anxiety than parents may realize. A study from The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago surveyed 790 American teens age 13 to 17 about their social media, messaging, and video content habits. The goal of the study was … Continue reading

MTA Begins Pilot Program to Help Pregnant Commuters

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has launched a pilot program designed to encourage customers to offer pregnant, disabled, and senior riders a seat. The program is modeled after a program that has been used in London. It will be the first program of its kind in the United States. MTA already provides disabled customers with “priority seating” on busses and trains. While riders are required to relinquish seats in those areas under federal regulations and MTA rules of conduct, new courtesy buttons can help riders better identify which customers need seats. The campaign also encourages customers, as a matter of … Continue reading

The Most Popular Baby Names of 2016

Every year, the Social Security Administration releases a list of the most popular baby names from the previous year. There is a list for names given to baby girls, and another list of names given to baby boys. In general, the lists change – even if only slightly – from one year to the next. The Social Security Administration uses specific qualifications regarding the names that end up on the list. Names are restricted to cases where the year of birth, sex, and State of birth (50 and District of Columbia) are on record, and where the given name is … Continue reading

AAP Recommends No Juice Before Age 1

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a recommendation about the amount of juice children should consume. In general, the recommendations might be less than what you are currently giving your child. An AAP policy statement issued in 2001 (and reaffirmed in 2006) recommended no juice for children younger than 6 months of age. The same statement recommended 4-6 ounces of juice daily for children ages 1-6, and 8-12 ounces for children 7 or older. Those recommendations have now been revised. Part of the reason for the change is due to considerable concern about increasing obesity rates and risks … Continue reading