Redefining What it Means to Be a Family

Ross Parke, author of Future Families.
Topic:
Diverse forms, rich possibilities.
Issues: Redefining “family”; changing parental roles; are two mothers (or fathers) good enough?; are multiple caregivers helpful or harmful?; how many “parents” are too many? (insights from the world of assisted reproductive technologies; overcoming the barriers to change.

5 Great (And Nearly Unknown) Places to Raise a Family

Every family has its own personality. Some are sports nuts while others are full on sci-fi geeks. There are those that want to huge yard and others that do not want the hassle. Just like a family, cities have their own unique flair. If you are ready to make a move then matching your family’s needs to a city’s culture is the perfect pairing for a long and happy time in the neighborhood.

Old School With A Hip Vibe

If your kids have Ella Fitzgerald on their iPod then the Ballard district of Seattle, Washington may be your perfect match. This is an old-school, small town area in the biggest city of the Pacific Northwest. It has a working waterfront that contributes to the thriving Pacific fish industry. The boutique shops and fresh seafood restaurants have turned this once blue collar fishing town into a trendy area that is great for a family of free-spirited bohemians.

Photo by manleyaudio via Wikimedia Commons

The Electric Family

The engineering industry is changing locations and Boise, Idaho is one of the hubs. Forbes ranks Boise as the second best places to raise a family for it’s low cost of living and low crime rates. Idaho’s population has more than doubled in the last two decades, much of that because of an influx of technical personnel for the booming Boise scientific industry. With its rapid housing growth, it is also a great place to rehab a fixer-upper with additions to enhance the aesthetic and comfort of your home—add a sunroom or put in a new bathroom to gain equity.

Photo by Bjh21 via Wikimedia Commons

Norman Rockwell’s Family

If you are looking for a picturesque suburban area where kids ride their bikes, seniors stroll in the park, and lovers skate at the ice rink then look no further than West Hartford, Connecticut. With only around 60,000 people, West Hartford boasts six parks, ice skating rink, a dog park coalition, two senior centers and three libraries. West Hartford’s school system is one of the best in the state. All is good in West Hartford.

Photo by Ragesoss via Wikimedia Commons

A Sport For Every Kid

Football, baseball, and soccer are the staples of many American families. If your weekends are full of sporting events then move to Rio Rancho, New Mexico. This Albuquerque suburb has a 78.5 acre sports complex replete with baseball fields, dog parks, skate parks, and tennis courts. This is just one of more than forty parks, paths or outdoor venues that the city offers. Rio Rancho offers the temperate climate that comes with the Western states. Add to that the beautiful views and a top ranking school system, Rio Rancho is the perfect place for a family full of sporting enthusiasts.

More Outdoor But With A College Feel

Another place for the outdoorsy family, Logan, Utah is the home of a flowing river of the same name, big skies, and Utah State University. This is a college town by most descriptions. With more than 2,000 staff and faculty, Utah State University is the largest employer of the city. Having a university means that the city values education, and it is reflected in Logan’s educational system. With a city motto of “City United In Service,” Logan is the true definition of a neighborly community.

Photo by UtahStizzle via Wikimedia Commons

Did You Say Something, Mom?

Dear Mr. Dad: I hate to admit it, but my children won’t listen to me—especially when I ask them to help around the house. As a result I end up doing everything myself. The other day, I asked them to help me wash the car, which was filthy. I waited, asked again, and nothing. So I went outside and did it myself. A few weeks before, I told them to take the dog for a walk, they ignored me and the dog ended up pooping on the carpet (you gave this as an example a few months ago—I can’t believe it actually happened), so I had to clean it up. I’ve tried giving them more warnings and have even threated to take away some of their privileges, but they just say things like, “Why should we wash the car? It’s not ours” or “He’s your dog—you’re the one who adopted him.” I’m getting angrier and angrier at them. Something has to change, but what?

A: You have every right to be angry, but you should direct that anger toward yourself. In a word, what needs to change is you. Or, more accurately, the way you allow your kids to treat you. By giving them endless warnings, making empty threats, and then doing yourself what you asked them to do, you’ve taught them several important lessons: (a) They don’t need to respect you, (b) If they ignore you long enough, you’ll eventually give up, (c) it’s okay to not be a team player.
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Understanding Baby’s Mood + Happy At-Home Moms + Avoiding Judgmental Parents


Megan Faure, author of The Babysense Secret .
Topic: Learning how to understand your baby’s moods.
Issues: Creating a baby-centric routine and struggle less to get your baby to sleep; understanding your baby’s sensory world and signals to avoid overstimulation, which leads to fussiness.


Rachel Compos-Duffy, author of Stay Home, Stay Happy.
Topic: Secrets to loving at-home motherhood.
Issues: Embracing the choice to stay home with confidence; taking care of yourself guilt-free; mentally and physically recharging every day, and more.


Deborah Copaken-Kogan, author of] Hell is Other Parents.
Topic: Tales of maternal combustion.
Issues: A collection of witty, smart, funny, poignant essays on dealing with intrusive and judgmental other parents, modern working parenthood, raising a family on inadequate income.

Protecting Your Most Precious Investment

As a father and husband, you want to protect your family. That’s why you go to work every day, and it’s why you chose an occupation that can adequately provide your family with security and stability. This way, you can purchase a house, buy reliable automobiles, build up some cash reserves, and take your family on vacations.
But while your job and career provide your family with financial support and stability, these aren’t the only ways to protect the ones you love.

Like most husbands and fathers, you’ll do anything for your family, right? And there are no limits to the measures you’ll take to keep them safe and happy. Since your family is your biggest investment, protecting them is a priority. Here are three tips to ensure that your family gets the protection they deserve.
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Commonsense Strategies for Communicating and Connecting


Melinda Blau, co-author of Family Whispering.
Topic:
Communicating and connecting with the people you love and making your whole family stronger.
Issues: Shifting from “parent think” to “family think;” the three factors that make each family unique; qualities that inspire cooperation and commitment; sibling rivalry; giving vs. grandstanding; why some families function better than others.