The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox

News and views from the staff of FamilyEducation.

recent posts

Erin D's picture
March 31, 2014
If you have taken every Buzzfeed quiz and are still hungry for more, check out our fun personality tests geared toward parents! For example, try our latest one: "Which Modern Family Parent Are You?" -- and share in the comments area who you got! (I'm a total Claire/Gloria hybrid!) Here are some of our other favorite personality quizzes for parents: What's Your Baby Naming Style? (you don't have to be expecting to explore your naming style!) Which TV Mom Are You? Which TV Dad Are You? What's Your Travel Personality? What Is Your Ideal Family Vacation? Color...
Lindsay's picture
March 13, 2014
The teen years can be one of the biggest challenges of parenting. Angsty, sullen, moody kids all yearning for more independence, and show it by acting out, behaving irresponsibly, and being just plain...difficult. However, although these are all things we come to expect once our kids hit the tween and teen years, sometimes your teen could be stuggling with more than just the typical teen moodiness. How do you know if it's evolved into something more, like depression or suicidal tendencies? Read these 11 signs your teen might be depressed, and find the tips and resources your need to help...
Erin D's picture
March 6, 2014
My grandfather (still jigging at age 92!) is 100% Irish-American, and I have many fond memories of fun St. Patrick's Days past with my crazy relatives. (One of my uncles used to hand out potatoes to trick-or-treaters on Halloween... to give you a sense of the kind of relatives I'm talking about!)  While the adults in my family have always enjoyed the occasional beer or pub visit, St. Patrick's Day was always a mellow and meaningful holiday spent at home, with a delicious spread of meat 'n' potatoes, Celtic music in the background, and even an Irish sing-along some...
Cara's picture
March 3, 2014
Fellow parents of soon–to-be-kindergartners, can we all just say it together now:  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? As I stare at the kindergarten registration packet in front of me, it hardly seems real. How can it be that the little itsy bitsy thing that we carried and coddled and snuggled, for whom we’ve struggled with sleepless nights, picky eating, scary first sicknesses, unbelievably maddening potty training trials… who we’ve watched go from a little squirming bundle, to a running, dancing, sassy little comedienne with her brave vocabulary and compassionate gentleness...
Erin D's picture
February 26, 2014
With the 86th Academy Awards airing this Sunday -- and some more winter weather in the works (two thumbs down!) -- this seems like the perfect weekend to have an Oscar-themed movie night! I've handpicked some classic Oscar-winning movies to watch with your kids. There are some obvious family favorites -- The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, E.T. -- but also some oldies but goodies you might have forgotten about, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days. They're worth sharing with your kids, if only to compare how special effects, soundtracks, and more have evolved...
Erin D's picture
February 20, 2014
Parents of gifted children quickly find out that giftedness isn't all straight A's and easy, breezy days. Gifted kids may struggle with a surprising set of social, emotional, and academic issues, such as: Self-esteem issues Bullying Depression Guilt Overcommitment Perfectionism Procrastination Anxiety Control issues Fear of risks Unrealistic expectations Test-taking troubles Impatience Alienation Shyness Oversensitivity Competitiveness Friendship problems Organization issues Attention span problems Sleep issues Burnout Not every gifted child faces ALL of these challenges, but...
Lindsay's picture
February 18, 2014
If your school-aged child is currently learning under the Common Core Standards (and chances are, he is — 45 of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia have all adopted them), then you've probably found yourself scratching your head in frustration over the homework he brings home. New terminology, new math techniques, complicated reading assignments that require extensive use of online resources — it can make the generational gap between parents and kids seem huge, and make even the most tech-savvy adult cry uncle. We've gathered the information you need to understand...
Erin D's picture
February 10, 2014
If cabin fever is at an all-time high in your home, grab a pen or pencil and try this fun story-writing activity with your child! It is geared toward children in grades 5 and up, but could be a good fit for gifted and talented children in grades 3 and 4. By the time children reach middle school, they know how to create narrative, informational, and opinion compositions. They've progressed from learning the alphabet to understanding the importance of format and organization. Now ask your child to take a step back and write a 26-word alphabetical story. This unusual activity is designed to...
Erin D's picture
January 6, 2014
When it comes to baby name trends, every new year promises to be more interesting than the last! I'm sure 2014 will "deliver" some highly original baby name choices. Whether you're expecting a baby, planning for one in the near future, or (like me!) you always love following baby name news, check out these rising baby name trends for 2014: Royal baby-inspired names - Thanks to Prince William and Kate Middleton's little bundle of joy, there will surely be some more little George's running around on both sides of the pond. But I suspect that the related girls'...
Lindsay's picture
December 19, 2013
Marks and Spencer, a toy store based in the UK, is ditching gender-specific toy packaging in favor of packaging that targets both boys and girls. The store had received complaints from customers that their toys were being advertised and marketed according to stereotypes. Gender-specific toy marketing usually occurs in one of two ways — toys are arranged in aisles for "girls" and for "boys," or the packaging they come in is targeted toward a boy or a girl. In the case of Marks and Spencer, it was the packaging that had customers calling to complain. Specifically,...