Articles


Attention to a few details can ease the transition

By Laura Livingston Snyder

When children enter kindergarten, moms and dads must relinquish control to strangers, sometimes for the first time. And the people and atmosphere of school helps create brand-new versions of our children. For at least 13 more years they’ll be called students, and the expectations are different from when we parents were in their shoes. Here are some ideas for helping kids have a good kindergarten experience.

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Make toilet training easier by learning your child’s signals

By Emily Pollokoff

The pee-pee dance. There, I said it.

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A bad kindergarten year shaped my expectations

By Deborah Cavanagh

My first introduction to the teacher dance was when my daughter was about to enter kindergarten. Prior to that Amanda had been in the nurturing environment of a “Mommy and Me” preschool, where the teacher had actually sought us out on the playground and asked if we would be interested in attending.

 

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A SAHM returns to work

By Kelly Taylor

Have you ever experienced a nervous twitch in your eye, usually cropping up at the most inconvenient times? Say, as you are about to teach your first class of 70 students after being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years? That actually happened to me when I returned to work. I was so embarrassed and concerned about the twitch that I went to visit my doctor. He asked me if I was under any unusual stress. I had the urge to laugh hysterically. Stress had become my ever-present shadow for the last several weeks.

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An autistic son finds his own way

By Kelly Taylor

Our son, Holden, just celebrated his 13th birthday. Unlike typical boys his age, sports, girls and the latest music downloads are not on his radar. Holden is autistic. He still loves Disney characters, going camping with Dad, and getting chicken nuggets and french fries at his favorite fast-food restaurant. Our son, Holden, just celebrated his 13th birthday. Unlike typical boys his age, sports, girls and the latest music downloads are not on his radar. Holden is autistic. He still loves Disney characters, going camping with Dad, and getting chicken nuggets and french fries at his favorite fast-food restaurant.

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Volunteering in the schools helps you and your kids

By Kelly Taylor

This is the season when teachers pass around their lists asking for room parents and the parent teacher organization pulls out all the stops to up its enrollment.

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Decide how many activities kids can pursue

By Kelly Taylor

For our family, summer is a much welcome hiatus filled with movie marathons and days spent at the beach. Everything slows down—unlike the hectic pace of the school year, including many of the children’s extracurricular activities.

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Keeping kids occupied can be tricky during summer’s too-short season

By Kelly Taylor

I’m thinking ahead to July and I have to admit I look at the big, red circle on the calendar indicating the last day of school with mixed emotions.

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Telling your kids another’s on the way

By Kelly D. Taylor

I had a funny experience in church a few weeks ago. I was volunteering in the children’s room, and we were teaching the little ones about how important families are to God’s plan. The leader asked who had brothers and sisters. One darling curly-haired girl, about 4 years old, raised her hand and said, “I have a brother that’s 2 and now my mommy is having another baby.” The leaders gave surprised gasps, and one teacher laughed out loud because this was news to everyone in the room. Out of the mouths of babes.

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All children deserve praise for honest effort

By Kelly Taylor

Expectations for our children start early, often while they are still in the womb, and most parents have common goals for their children. We want them to be considerate of others, we hope they will grow to be independent of Mom and Dad, and we dream that they will do well, first in school and then a career.

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Relishing N.C., missing N.Y.

By Kelly Taylor

The other day a neighbor asked me tongue in cheek if I missed the weather in Syracuse. At the time it was a balmy 60 degrees here in North Carolina.

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Get ready to discuss the S-word

By Kelly Taylor

Certain parenting moments are burned into my memory. I recall Dr. Hansen’s wide smile as he delivered my first baby. “You have a little football player here. It’s a boy,” he said. Or the time I got the call from a frantic babysitter telling me that our 5-year-old daughter, Camryn, had launched off the backyard swing, breaking her arm in two places. I remember that phone call like it was yesterday.

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Trim more than the tree this year

By Kelly Taylor

The economy’s downward turn couldn’t have come at a worse time of year. With the holidays approaching, Christmas lists and holiday requests have started to emerge around the dinner table, and Al and I just look at one another across the table and think, “Where are we going to find the money this year?”

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Child’s hospital stay tests a family’s coping skills

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

We were watching our 2-year-old daughter run around the playground the other day when another mom approached: “How do you keep up with her? Wouldn’t you just love to bottle that energy?” Kelly smiled in agreement, but her mind went back to a time last year when we yearned for even one of those little legs to move an inch.



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Relocating makes a family appreciate home comforts

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Do you want to add a little excitement to your life? How about a little more drama? I will never minimize the value of the mundane again. A family move has taught me that.

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Why take a family vacation? Let us count the ways.

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Laundry, packing, planning, more laundry, more packing…preparing for a family vacation can be a taxing business. By the time the suitcases are full and the backpacks bulging, many parents really feel the need for some rest and relaxation. Before we even set off, we often wonder if all the work and preparation is worth the hassle.

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Expectant and new moms, here's the scoop

By Kelly Taylor

I’ve learned over the years that—despite the countless books and articles I read or my advanced degree in family studies—there were certain things that I was wildly unprepared for when I had my first baby.

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What are parents to do when kids plead for a pet?

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Lately, our children have launched a full-scale offensive against us. They have pulled out all the stops, and at times, have aimed some below-the-belt strikes. In a nutshell, they want us to get a family dog. Their determination has been escalating since our good friends had a gorgeous litter of cocker spaniel puppies in the fall.

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Spouses manage children and households alone when military service calls

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Although the news is full of updates on the death and tragedy in Iraq, we sometimes wonder if some of the most heartbreaking casualties of war are often shoved under the rug. The spouses left behind when military personnel are shipped overseas for long periods of time suffer the deprivation of a loved one, at times economic hardship, and the extra workload of caring for family members single-handedly.

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Couples need to confront differences with kindness

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Kelly loves Valentine’s Day: It’s this colorful holiday right smack in the middle of the dreariest part of winter that brings splashes of pink, red and purple to an otherwise white, brown and gray landscape.

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A family struggles with a mighty bug

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

There are so many things we are thankful for: a beautiful family, a means to support ourselves, freedom, and, after one recent week, a house with 2.5 baths, a functional washing machine and Lysol antibacterial wipes. These feel like basic necessities when your family is hit with an intestinal virus, and you have five children who are dropping like flies, one after the other, as the same symptoms rear their ugly heads.

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Foster your children's interest in charity

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

During a recent conversation, a friend asked a question that has stayed with us: How do we teach our children to feel grateful for the things they have and not feel entitled to everything they see on TV and in the media?

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Raising disciplined children demands work

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

When we were young, household chores were an important part of our upbringing. Kelly could make a bathroom sparkle by age 9, and Alan knew his way around a garden hoe even earlier than that.

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Awareness helps prepare parents for cyberbullying

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Kelly remembers the first time she typed on a real computer. She was in college and had been faithful and devoted to her word processor for years. But the first time she tried her friend's desktop, she fell in love at first type; it seemed like magic.

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Parents study up for preteen testing

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Why does respect or the lack thereof seem to be an issue in families with teens and preteens?

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Kids pay a price for excessive TV watching

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

What is it about television that will keep an otherwise active, inquisitive child immobile for hours on end? When the TV clicks on, our children become oblivious to their surroundings, completely focused on whatever they are watching.

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Embrace the adventure of family camping

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

Approaching the end of another Syracuse winter, with snow piled high and freezing temperatures, our minds are drawn to the sunny days and blue skies of summer. As cold and white as winters are in Central New York, the springs, summers and autumns are glorious.

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Parents must be alert to autism’s red flags

By Alan and Kelly Taylor

We have been writing this column for more than three years now. We have felt strongly about many of the subjects we have addressed. However this month’s topic takes the cake in terms of its importance in our lives and the lives of countless others. The topic is the early detection of autism.


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