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.

Tips for Getting Toddlers to Eat Veggies

Toddlers can be very fussy at times, especially when it comes to food. This can pose a problem for parents who want their picky toddlers to eat healthy vegetables. Here are some tips for getting toddlers to eat veggies. An interesting study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that toddlers make decisions on what foods to eat, and what foods to avoid, based on social cues. In other words, if everyone else is avoiding the veggies – your toddler will do the same. On the other hand, if your toddler sees that … Continue reading

How School Dress Codes Can Harm Your Daughter’s Education

Does the school your children attend have a dress code? Many of them do. Some schools opt for a specific, very limited, dress code. Others are a little less stringent. While a dress code might annoy your son, school dress codes can harm your daughter’s education. Here are some things for parents to watch out for. Ideally, a school dress code is designed to equalize students. Everyone has to wear the same type of uniform, with limited variations. (Typical variations include skirts for girls and pants for boys). Schools might choose to only allow clothing of specific colors. The goal … Continue reading

Robot Babies Don’t Prevent Teen Pregnancy

When you were in high school, you might have been assigned to carry around an egg, or a baby doll, as part of your sexual education coursework. It provided just enough awkwardness, and annoyance, to make teens realize that being a parent can be difficult. Today, some teens are assigned to care for a robot baby. Unfortunately, these adorable robot babies don’t prevent teen pregnancy. Robot babies are infant simulators with wireless programing and reporting capabilities. At first glance, you might think it was a real baby. The robot baby will cry when it needs to be fed, burped, rocked, … Continue reading

The “Sugar High” Appears to be a Myth

There is a commonly held belief that children who are given too much sugar will immediately engage in hyperactive behavior. The concept seems to be that kids get a “sugar-high” from sugary treats and that this causes them to have a ton of extra energy. But, is that really what is going on? In the 1990’s Dr. Mark Wolraich, who is currently chief of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, was among the researchers that investigated sugar’s effect on children. They found that sugar does not appear to affect behavior in children. One study on this topic … Continue reading

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints View of Family

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has its own view of what a family is. This is described in a proclamation to the world that was issued by the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles in 1995. Here is what it said: We, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit … Continue reading

Ways to Cope with the “Homework Gap”

The majority of students will end the school day with a batch of homework that they must complete. Today, many schools require students to make use of the internet in order to complete their work. This can be a big problem for students who fall into the “homework gap”. What’s the “homework gap”? It is the space between the students whose families have access to the internet at home – and the students whose families do not have internet access at home. Those who cannot access the internet at home are at a disadvantage. The Council of Economic Advisers released … Continue reading

“Hypo-Parenting” is Not a Parenting Style

Have you ever wished that you could hypnotize your children so they would behave the way you wanted them to? One parent has been doing exactly that, though there is no science to support the idea that hypnosis is an effective parenting tool. Lisa Macheberg is a hypnotherapist who has three children. She says she started hypnotizing her children the help them get through the night without wetting the bed. She didn’t stop there, though. She now uses hypnotizing as a tool to help her kids deal with range of problems from performance anxiety to difficulty focusing. In an ABC … Continue reading

The Kids of Same-Sex Parents are All Right

A study that was published in the Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics found that there was no differences between kids who were raised by same-sex parents and kids who were raised by opposite-sex parents. In short, children who were raised by lesbian or gay parents are just as healthy as kids who were raised by one man and one woman. The study included children who were between the ages of 6 and 17. The researchers compared kids who were raised by same-sex female parents versus kids who were raised by different-sex parents. In both cases, the researchers looked at “continuously … Continue reading

Why Your Pre-Teen Quit Playing Sports

One way to encourage your child to get a healthy amount of exercise is to make it fun. Sports offer kids the ability to exercise while having fun, the chance to learn how to play as a team, and a good way to develop athletic skills. Despite these benefits, 70% of kids quit sports by the age of 13. Here are some reasons why that happens. It stopped being fun. Have you ever watched kindergartners play soccer against another team of kindergarteners? What happens is both adorable and amusing. They sit down when they get tired, and start playing with … Continue reading

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