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.

Social Media was Not Designed for Tweens

Your tween may be bothering you, night and day, begging to be allowed to have their own social media accounts. Parents need to realize that social media was not designed for tweens. Despite what your tween may tell you, it is unlikely that everyone at their school is on social media. Social Media is for Age 13 and Up Facebook requires everyone to be at least 13 years old before they can create an account. Twitter has advice for parents of teenagers who want to get their own Twitter account. That advice is not directed at tweens. Tumblr requires everyone … Continue reading

Best Places to Raise a Family – 2017

Parents want the very best for their children. They want their family to live in a place that is safe, healthy, and filled with opportunities. WalletHub evaluated each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine what the best (and worst) states to raise a family are. Here is a look at the very best states to raise a family in. WalletHub’s data team compared the 50 states (and District of Columbia) based on 40 key indicators of family-friendliness. Some of those criteria included “median family salary”, “housing affordability”, and “unemployment rate”. From there, they grouped criteria … Continue reading

The Slime Craze is Causing a Glue Shortage

Has your child taken a sudden interest in slime? It seems to be the newest, hottest, trend among children, tweens, and even some teenagers. The slime craze is so popular that it is causing craft stores to run out of glue. Slime is a homemade substance that can be made in any color. It starts out sticky and becomes a gelatinous substance that can be pulled, stretched and squished. There are plenty of recipes and photos of slime on Pinterest. A pastel rainbow colored version is called “unicorn poop.” Some kids are making slime that corresponds to a holiday (such … Continue reading

How the News Affects Kids

Parents who have been paying attention to the news may find themselves experiencing a range of emotional reactions to it. What parents may not realize is that their kids may also have been reading the news. Common Sense Media has a report that gives insight into how the news affects kids. Common Sense Media is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. They help empower parents, teachers, and policymakers by providing unbiased information, and to help them harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ … Continue reading

Some Teens are Having Bariatric Surgery

Teenagers who are obese might have the option of having bariatric surgery. Previously, this type of weight loss surgery was only offered to adults. Although it isn’t the best choice for every teenager, there are some teens who can greatly benefit from it. The New York Times reported in February of 2017 that the number of adolescents who are overweight or obese has leveled off in recent years. But the number who are severely obese – heavy enough to qualify for bariatric surgery – has nearly doubled from 1999 to 2014. Previously, 5.2 percent of adolescents were severely obese. That … Continue reading

The Many Ways that Toddlers Play

Toddlers are very interested in exploring their world. They haven’t yet developed the social skills that preschools use to play with other kids. Parents might wonder what their toddler is thinking when he or she starts playing with “boring” household objects. Here is some insight about what’s going on. Parallel Play One of the earliest ways for toddlers to be social with each other is through parallel play. One toddler sits on the floor next to a huge pile of cars and trucks. She selects one, and starts rolling it back and forth on the floor in front of her. … Continue reading

New Jersey has a Baby Box Initiative

New Jersey has become the first state to adopt what has been called the Baby Box initiative. The idea comes from Finland and is also used in Canada. The main purpose of the program is to reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome. The New Jersey Baby Box Initiative was inspired by the Finnish Baby Box intervention, which has led to Finland having the lowest infant mortality rates in the world. New Jersey’s Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Board (CFNFRB) now offers free Baby Boxes to every new or expecting family in New Jersey. The Baby Box itself … Continue reading

Teach Your Kids How to Spot Fake News

Parents should give their children the tools they need to safely navigate their way through the plethora of information that can be found online. Teach them how to spot fake news. Fake news is an article, website, or social media post that was created with intentionally false information. It is usually designed to evoke a strong emotional response – which urges people to share the fake news on social media. Example: Someone made a Twitter account that used what looked a lot like the icon for the BBC. The fake account used a photo of the Queen of England and … Continue reading

Everything You Need to Know About Norovirus

Flu season typically reaches its peak between late January and March. There is a lot of focus on Influenza which can be prevented by getting vaccinated every year. The “flu” vaccine cannot prevent Norovirus. Here is a quick look at everything a parent needs to know about Norovirus. There is no vaccine for Norovirus. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent Norovirus. Part of the difficulty involved in making a vaccine is that Norovirus can mutate and that it is a virus that lives in the gut. Some companies are working on a Norovirus vaccine, but it isn’t ready yet. … Continue reading

Babee On Board Helps Pregnant Commuters Find a Seat

Many people understand that certain seats on public transportation are set aside for those who would have difficulty standing for the whole trip. Those seats are for people who are disabled, elderly, or pregnant. An app that has been released in the UK is helping pregnant commuters find a seat. Babee On Board is an app created by a company called 10x and they are based on London. They want to make public transport stress-free for everyone. Their app is simple to use and unobtrusive. It is an improvement over their previously released Babee on Board badge, which was hardware … Continue reading