Articles filed under Suburban Parent

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  •  Guests look out over a wildlife-filled savanna on Wild Africa Trek at Disney´s Animal Kingdom, which is part of Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

    There’s a wealth of freebies at Disney resortsDec 7, 2013 12:00 AM
    Disney World advertises itself as “The Happiest Place On Earth.” It can also be one of the most expensive places on earth. But wherever you go — even to Disney World — the key to making a family vacation affordable is to do the free stuff.

  •  Claire Haran’s birthday falls near Christmas, so her mom, Cynthia, tries to do something special for the young girl every year. They had a tea-party-themed bash when she turned 4.

    Don’t combine kids’ birthdays and holidays, experts say Dec 5, 2013 12:00 AM
    Combining a birthday celebration with a winter holiday minimizes the specialness a child should celebrate on a birthday, Chicago-area psychologists and social workers say.

  • Dad will miss these small annoyances Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    My four kids have turned out OK. They have their strengths, their weaknesses, their quirks. They are at times hilarious, kindhearted, mean-spirited or just weird. They are always loved, even when they are temporarily hated.

  • Keeping it simple for the holidays a smart thing to do Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    When I told my extroverted 15-year-old daughter that we were going to be having a simple, quiet Christmas at home, she said that sounded terrible. She wants the house full of relatives, kids running all over the place, lots of food, music and noise, late nights of movie watching and late mornings of sleeping in.

  • Kids who want to help their parents get ready for holiday parties can put together these cheesy mini quiches. This is a very easy-to-follow recipe.

    Easy mini quiche recipe lets kids help prepare for your holiday party Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    Quiche is pretty much just eggs and anything else you want to put in it, like cheese or bacon, ham, broccoli, cheese. So when my mom asked for helped getting ready for a holiday party, I said I'd make the mini quiches.

  • When traveling with gifts, think small, convenient Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    If you will be traveling over the holidays and plan to fly somewhere for your gift exchange, these tips can help get your gifts there with the least possible hassle.

  • Talk-it-out works better than timeoutDec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    Many parents use timeouts to deal with undesirable behavior in children younger than 5. Sounds simple, right? Too bad experts say it doesn't really work.

  • Handling the holidays after a loss Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    For families who are facing significant loss, the holidays can feel especially painful and overwhelming. Memories of our loved ones have a way of attaching themselves to music, movies, smells, foods and traditions, and if you have lost a family member, a friend or even a pet, it’s easy to feel bombarded this time of the year with emotions.

  • Social skills practice eases anxiety for children with autism Dec 4, 2013 12:00 AM
    According to the organization Autism Speaks, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States. There is a wide range in how children are affected and the level at which they can function, but one commonality is that they may have difficulty with social interaction.

  • Santa Claus listens to Owen Arnold, 3, of Riverwoods as he tells him what he wants for Christmas at Westfield Hawthorn Shopping Center in Vernon Hills. Avoid shooting the standard picture of everyone smiling at the camera and wait for the better moment when children interact with Santa Claus and capture a memory that will last much longer.

    Learn from the pros: How to take memorable holiday pictures Dec 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    It's fun to take pictures during family gatherings, Christmas pageants and holiday festivals. Parents and friends love to pull out cameras to capture those memorable moments and, with a few tips, the photos can be even better. A big difference between professionals and amateurs is that pros shoot a hundred frames to get one great picture and amateurs shoot one picture and think they have it. Little changes occur with each shot and that can make all the difference.

  • South Elgin resident Bob Mandarino, left, is pictured with his family -- Alyssa, left, Joey, Robyn and Zack. Three years ago, they struggled to celebrate the holidays while Alyssa battled kidney disease. Now, Mandarino leads a team who spreads gifts and cheer to children hospitalized during the holidays.

    Local hospitals help patients, families celebrate holidays during their stays Dec 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Traditions are an important part of any family holiday celebration. But what happens to those plans when a child is hospitalized and a health crisis threatens? “It's a terribly difficult time of the year for hospitalized children and their families,” says Katie Hammerberg, child life services coordinator at Alexian Brothers Women and Children's Hospital in Hoffman Estates. “For children, it's all about keeping traditions and the magic of the holidays alive — especially when they are sick and away from home."

  • Kids can track animals in the McDonald Woods and do art and science projects based on animal adaptations for winter at the Chicago Botanic Garden this winter.

    Winter camps offer lots of fun this season Dec 2, 2013 12:00 AM
    Looking for a way to keep your kids busy during winter break? Local camps can fill their days with activities that teach children about nature, art and science, keep them active and get them to spend a little time outdoors.

  • “The Snatchabook” by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty (Sourcebooks 2013), $16.99, 32 pages.

    Stolen books mystery a bedtime story the whole family will enjoyNov 30, 2013 12:00 AM
    You went to grab your favorite storybook and … it was gone! You looked under the bed. You searched in your toy box. Where could it be? If you read “The Snatchabook” by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty, I think you’ll know.

  •  Ashton Kutcher, left, and Demi Moore at the premiere for “No Strings Attached” in Los Angeles. A Los Angeles judge finalized Moore and Kutcher’s divorce on Tuesday.

    Study quantifies increase in animosity after marriage Nov 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    Psychologist James McNulty, who primarily conducts research on romantic relationships, showed a newlywed the photo of his or her spouse for just a third of a second, followed by a word that was positive or negative: “delightful” or “disgusting,” for instance. The newlywed, as fast as possible, had to push a button indicating the word was good or bad.

  • Encourage kids to indulge in healthy portions of their favorite holiday treats.

    Don’t let the holidays derail healthy habits Nov 28, 2013 12:00 AM
    Despite my shock that we’re in the throes of the holiday season, it’s here and it’s time to celebrate! I love the parties, the extra family time, and the amazing food that this time of year brings. What I don’t like are the crazy weekend schedules and lack of daily structure, especially around meal planning.

  •  Parents concerned about the safety of toys can consult the annual Trouble in Toyland report from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

    Toy recalls down, but hazards remain Nov 27, 2013 12:00 AM
    Toy recalls for excessive lead and other hazards are down this year, but consumer advocates warn that potential dangers to children remain on store shelves.

  •  Certified financial planner Peter Gennuso, left, at Peter’s home in Schaumburg with his son Matthew Gennuso and Peter’s three grandchildren, left to right, Ryan, 18-months, Gianna, two-months and Allison, 7.

    Three steps you should take to ensure your family’s future Nov 3, 2013 12:00 AM
    Many parents of young children are so fixated on coming up with a plan to provide for their children’s college educations that they are ignoring the more immediate concern of making provisions for their offspring if some calamity would befall the parents before the children even get to college age.

  • Andrea Guthmann spends a fun day on the ski slopes with her family during a recent vacation in Colorado.

    Colorado skiing offers mountains of fun for Midwesterners Nov 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Life in the Midwest has a lot to offer, but mountains aren’t one of them. Looking to take your family on a world-class ski trip, but don’t want to break the bank? Flights into Denver are plentiful and affordable. Chicagoans can get a round trip ticket for just $150.

  • For a parent wondering if their child should take the leap from their local park district recreational team to a travel team, the options can be overwhelming.

    Costs vs. gains: Taking youth sports to the next level Nov 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Brian Touro used a line from a baseball movie to let Mike Seberger know what he thought of the idea to start a girls basketball travel program. “If you build it, they will come,” Touro said.

  • When you are signing up your young child for a youth sport, what goal do you have in mind? What is the child's interest level, or athletic ability? These are factors to keep in mind when deciding how much of your budget to devote to youth sports.

    Parent to parent: Where to spend money in youth sports Nov 1, 2013 12:00 AM
    Parents with a son or daughter interested in playing competitive sports will quickly learn there's no shortage of options — from travel teams to personal trainers to showcase events — that will be glad to take your money.

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