Research indicates a range of benefits from dining together as a family, including increased consumption of healthy foods, lower rates of obesity and a decreased likelihood of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, depression and eating disorders. In addition, family dining has been shown to increase vocabulary, raise self-esteem, increase grade-point averages and foster family relationships. All this in one hour a day!
At 14 years old, Svetlana Contreras found out her life was about to become more complicated than any homework assignment she could ever receive as a student at A.C. Reynolds high school: She was going to be a mother. But for Contreras, she had help taking on these new responsibilities when she signed up for the Asheville YWCA’s MotherLove program. (Photo of MotherLove director Tangela Bowman, top, and Svetlana Contreras)
I recently read the bestselling book in the world. Afterwards, I felt the need for a shower. My first reaction to Fifty Shades of Grey was, “I can’t believe such poorly-written drivel has garnered an international audience.” My second reaction was, “Oh my God, how do I keep my daughter from reading this kind of pornographic drivel?”
Western North Carolina is rich with water — rivers, lakes and creeks abound. Given the recent heat wave, that’s a lucky thing. While I know of some secret spots that I’m not sharing (sorry), here are some fun places for you and your kids to get wet, cool off, and enjoy the beauty of our region. [Note: The original story misstated some of the entry prices for Lake Powhatan and North Mills River. The correct prices are included in this post.]
In the past decade, the number of working teens has decreased by more than 40 percent. It’s damned difficult to find a job, even a part-time one, if you’re young and inexperienced and a hormonal mess.
Every mom should have one.
Some days I wish I didn’t have kids. Because if that were the case, I wouldn’t spend nearly as much time worrying about the future as I do.
In truth, I’d rather not write about child abuse, even from a prevention point of view, because it’s something I’d rather not think about. But not wanting to think or talk about a thing, unfortunately, doesn’t make it go away.
Dear kids, I know you all wonder what happens after you go to bed at night …
Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned Enviro-spouse in a while. That’s not because he’s no longer part of my life — in fact, he’s still a huge part of my life. Although we now live in separate houses.
Not that we’re competitive or anything, but my husband and I love to play a macabre little game that could be titled: “Whose Backwoods Elementary School Inflicted the Greater Amount of Physical and Emotional Damage?”
Some parents (me) like to joke about using alcohol to get through “hell” hour — that time before dinner when both kids and adults (me) often are hungry and cranky. I also often referred to “mommy’s little equilibrium enhancer — aka beer.”
I’ve heard of lots of ways to get young kids to eat healthier — from pureeing vegetables and adding them to pizza sauce, to using cookie cutters to make food into fun shapes. But the Rainbow in my Tummy program is one of the best models I’ve come into contact with for promoting healthy eating in toddlers.
It’s time again to look back on some of the memorable moms of the past year.
I’m feeling a mite bit grumpy this holiday season. I haven’t had time to shop or bake cookies or plan any holiday events. That’s part of my problem. But there are other holiday irritants (in addition to the Fraser fir next to my desk that I may be allergic to). I’m hoping that if I identify the stuff that’s turning me into a parenting Grinch, we can all commiserate together, purge the poison and find some pleasure in the holidays.
Asheville has been a great place to raise my kids (who are only partially raised at this point). Other folks seem to feel the same — and in fact, one mom decided not just to move here to raise her babes, but to start a kid-centric Asheville business. The Tree House, whose tag line is […]
Every now and again, I ask my kids what they think I should write about. Recently, my 10-year-old replied, “You should write about how parents should spend more time with their kids.” Uh-oh, I thought.
The 7 billionth person on earth was born on Halloween, according to the United Nations. The UN chose a symbolic baby, giving the title to baby Danica of the Philippines, although a little girl named Nargis, born in Utter Pradesh, India, was also chosen. Perhaps she’s 7,000,000,001. In actuality, a number of other babes in other countries also were celebrated as potentially being the 7 billionth.
There seems to be another baby boom happening here in Asheville (cold winters equal fall bundles of joy). I was thinking about all the baby stuff necessary to care for a bambino, and more importantly, all the baby stuff that parents think is necessary that truly is a waste of money.
The modern day take on Samhain has given me an excuse to load up on crappy candy that I’d never buy otherwise. It also gives me the excuse to wear outrageous outfits and decorate my house with bones and dead things. In past years, I’ve written about child obesity and dental decay, costume drama and expense, and the dangers of letting one’s kids take candy from strangers. But this year, I’ve decided to let go and embrace the decadence of Halloween, especially since I live in the Cesspool of Sin.
The bad news is that, despite all our 21st-century technology, humans still get head lice. The good news is that Asheville now has a certified lice removal service that can rid us of the critters using natural products and the old-fashioned but highly effective method of nit combing.