Family Life Articles

Playground Pioneers

Kids will destroy your life, reports Jeremy Adam Smith. But don’t worry, parents: You’ll get a new one.In the fall of 2005, I worked part-time and took care of my infant son for most of the day while my wife, Olli Doo, was at her job. We did...

Yoga For Kids

A 10-year-old boy enters the children’s yoga class I’m teaching. He is large for his age, chunky in the middle, tall, clumsy and loud. He makes up stories about his name and the other boys in the class. He interrupts me incessantly. The lead tea...

Feminism and Childcare: Have Women Been Misled?

Childcare seems to be always on the political agenda. But are the real needs of babies, very young children and their mothers being ignored in the short-term interests of the economy and the burgeoning childcare “industry”? An informed look at the...

Vitalism in the Family

At its core, chiropractic—which emphasizes the body’s innate ability to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery—is steeped in vitalism. But although spinal adjustments make up part of the wellness equation, a vitalistic approach to healt...

Teaching Our Children to Write, Read, & Spell

There is a widely held belief that if we just start teaching children to read, write and spell in preschool, they will become better at these skills by the time they reach the first and second grades. This, however, is false. The truth is that...

The Natural Genius of Children

Every child is a genius. That doesn’t mean that every child can paint like Picasso, compose like Mozart or score 150 on an I.Q. test. But every child is a genius according to the original meanings of the word, which are a) “to give birth” (related to...

Through a Child’s Eyes

It’s a very important moment in the life of your family: You’re adding a new member! In growing families, a new son or daughter is often also a new brother or sister. Many families face the question: Should my child be present to greet her new sib...

Doing Dinner: Confessions of a Radical Mother

I love slow living. It’s peaceful, meaningful and even downright radical in a go-go world. According to a recent article in, appropriately enough, Time magazine, groups of harried parents across the United States are joining a wave of...

Children Who Feel Loved Are More Loving

Author Louise Hart wrote, “How many of you think your parents loved you as a child? Now, how many of you felt loved as a child?” When Hart speaks to parent groups she asks those two questions and consistently gets the same response. When she asks the...

Energize Your Communication — Become a Genuine Listener

Since most of us spend more than half of our time in communication as a listener, we should be experts at it by now. If you are, though, you are the rare exception. Most people listen passively, planning what they are going to say next, or...

Doulas: Before, During, and After Birth

A doula is a woman experienced in childbirth who is specially trained to provide various kinds of support for the mother before, during, and/or after the birth. The term comes from ancient Greece, where a female servant called “the doula” attended the...

Playing is More Than Just Fun: Benefits of Proper Motion to Develop Healthy Minds and Bodies

Having fun with your child is important, but good play routines can last a lifetime. It is a parent’s responsibility to stimulate their child’s developing nervous system with every motion and activity. These motions are helpful in dev...

“For the Sake of the Children” Cooperative CO-Parenting During and After Divorce

In 20 years of being a family child care provider and 12 years of conducting parenting workshops I have seen parents struggle with and children suffer from uncooperative CO -parenting. Years ago when couples found themselves in an unhappy,...

How to Tickle with Dignity

My son vividly remembers the day his first son told him to back off. My son wasn’t trying to do anything intrusive; he was tickling his boy like he’s always done. But, on this day, his son asserted himself in a way that gave my son a new per...

Why Recess Is Different from PE

When school began last fall, many parents discovered that recess has disappeared from their children’s day. Of those who asked why, some were probably told that because their children have physical education class they don’t need recess. But PE and...

Gift From the Future

Relationships between parents, children, and society are in the midst of a tectonic shift. Behaviors once thought to be private matters, such as child battery, alcoholism, drug abuse, and spousal abuse, are now considered public matters. Attitudes...

Jumping Jeepers: Why Won’t These Kids Sit Still?

“She’s hyperactive, you know.” Mrs. Bryant said it with deep concern. Then, as if to mitigate the cause of her concern, she added with an embarrassed giggle, “I guess Erica got it from me.” With considerable astonishment I realized that Mrs....

Re-Valuing Free Play

Many parents don’t realize that imaginative free play has been squeezed out of our children’s lives, and what a tremendous loss this is. The majority of preschool programs today emphasize early learning, computer literacy, or using the...

When Consequences Don’t Work

Your son rides his bike without a helmet. Again. You’ve nagged, begged, pleaded, and informed him of the dangers of riding without one. Next, you’ve issued Consequences! You’ve taken the bike away and put it in the garage for a day, then a week, and...

Growing a Bumper Crop of Smart, Healthy Kids

The connection from farm to table has been broken by decades of change in our food system. The social result of this break in understanding where our food comes from is almost incomprehensible. With increased global food production, cities...