Hilltown Families

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QUESTION AND ANSWERS As a parent, what are your top websites you wouldn’t want to live without? Harmony Niedzwiecki writes: “AllRecipes.com“ Amanda Kingsley writes: “Am I allowed to say Facebook? It keeps me connected both to friends who can relate to my life with a family, and friends who I would otherwise hardly have time to communicate with. It’ s great way to stay informed and connect with other adults during days… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Love your pediatrician? Share the love and let us know. Recommend a pediatrician to families in Western Massachusetts looking for a doctor for their children. Rakhee Price writes: “Northampton Area Pediatrics are FANTASTIC! We LOVE Dr Steele. He makes every visit fun. All the other doctors and staff are all very welcoming.” Oona Coy writes: “Dr. Feinland and Dr. Perry at Valley Medical in Easthampton — they are family… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Does anyone have any age appropriate recommendations on how to get children to write thank-you notes for gifts received this holiday season? Pauline Delton suggests, “I had my (5yo) son just say something to me about his gifts for his birthday (I gave him ideas of what thank you cards might say), and I wrote his words down in a card without changing them much, and then he signed… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS What can we do as parents (and as a society) to protect and promote creative free play for our kids? Share your suggestions, ideas and questions: Joshua M. Gannon-Salomon shares: “More wild spaces, especially within easy reach of inner cities.” Laura Hoffman shares: “Send them outside!” Andrew DeSiervo shares: “Get out of the way.” Amy Sundari Finlay shares: “Skip the soccer? Not that it’s bad, but, at least in… Read More

Parenting Group and Workshops There are a few of free parenting support opportunities for parents and grandparents of preK kids coming up in the Pioneer Valley this Fall: Important Conversations for Parents of Very Young Children Berkshire Children and Families will be hosting a free 8-week parenting group in Northampton on Monday evenings.  Titled, “Important Conversations for Parents of Very Young Children,” the group will provide a facilitated space for parents to… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Anyone have any tips on how to get kids to practice their musical instruments… with out nagging them? David Walsh writes, “Take them to a show (more than once) of some kind. It worked for me, 50 years old and still playing all three saxophones.” Scott McGinley writes, “I sit next to my daughter and listen. And help when needed. Seems to work.” Mercedes Echevarria writes, “Sometimes to get… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Temper tantrums! Remember them? Experiencing them for the first time? What works/worked for you when your little angel screams like a little banshee, holds her breath until blue, pulls his hair out, falls to the floor wildly kicking little legs into the air … in the middle of the grocery store? Swansea Benham Bleicher writes, “I highly recommend Tears and Tantrums by Aletha Solter.” Julie Gouldman Russell writes, “The… Read More

Why Girls Need to Learn About CyberDRAMA, Not Just CyberBULLYING If it bleeds, it leads: it’s a popular saying in journalism that refers to our attraction to sensational, often violent headlines. As an anti-bullying educator, I have seen something similar: we tend to focus on the most extreme levels of bullying as a way to teach and build awareness. The problem is that most kids are not bullied in such dramatic ways…. Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS What’s the wackiest but most useful advice you’ve ever received as a parent? Gayle White recalls, “Feed her when she’s hungry, she’ll stop when she’s full. (Maybe not so wacky but given all the crazy ideas for feeding our kids, this one worked with no residual food issues.).” Kosse Feral recalls, “Throw out the clock.” Candy Bird Laflam recalls, “Don’t change the diaper in the middle of the night.”… Read More

The World Can Be Tough The world can be tough. If you are soft or Pollyanna-ish, it can really do a number on you. I am beginning to believe that in our current days one of the most important things we can do as parents is to prepare, not shield, our children from the unfair and sometimes downright cruel things that take place whether worldly or locally, whether in families or with… Read More

100 Links (Spring/Summer 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing of online resource that are educational and entertaining! Where are these links? Hilltown Families Del.ici.ous Page!  This icon can be found at the top of our site,… Read More

An Awkward Dance Yesterday I saw my youngest son for the first time in five weeks. He wasn’t away at camp or on vacation, and he still lived just a mere 7 miles away with his dad. But for reasons I won’t go into here, he didn’t want to see me or any of us who lived in the little house in which he used to reside. So it came as a… Read More

What Makes a Good Mom? Do you have a running reel in your mom brain?  You know what I mean.  Words that you say to yourself, questions you are constantly posing, reprimands with which you punish yourself?  Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe I should be called Sybil.  Who knows? My running reel is lengthy and complicated and persistent, and includes a pesky question that really has become my mantra for motherhood.  “What… Read More

100 Links (Winter/Spring 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog… Read More

Q & A with Bestselling Author & Girl Shero Peggy Orenstein Do you have or know a young girl obsessed with princess culture? A girl who, despite your best efforts to raise her to be strong and independent, suddenly insists on growing up to be Snow White? Journalist and bestselling author Peggy Orenstein is back with Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie Girl Culture, a whipsmart,… Read More

A Magical Fairy Princess She walked out of the school’s front door hand in hand with my son. I looked closely as they approached me and interestingly enough, she wasn’t flying, on the contrary, her feet were firmly on the ground. I offered to give her a ride, not only to get to know the girl who had enamored my boy so much that he wasn’t embarrassed to hold her hand in… Read More

Who Am I Punishing? When I was young it was the telephone, time inside, or the dreaded television punishment that had us shaking in our boots. Three measly things our parents had to choose from to use as fear tactics to get us to behave. I can still hear my mom’s voice saying things like “That room is a mess! No telephone for a week!” This punishment never affected me too much…. Read More

When the Truth Hurts: Helping Daughters Be Honest in a Good Girl World I had just started a fifth grade class when a student began waving her hand and doing that “Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!” thing that I used to do when I couldn’t contain myself.* “Okay,” she said, “what if, like, my friend asks me if I like the dress she was buying and I didn’t like it and I wanted to… Read More

100 Links (Fall 2010/Winter 2011) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your… Read More

Having a Baby Changes Everything By Saborna Roychowdhury, Hilltown Families Guest Writer “So you are not coming back next year?” asked the department head at the Winsor School in Boston. “That is indeed a pity. We were hoping you could teach some of our AP chemistry courses next year”. “If it was one baby, I would still try to come back. But with two… things may get complicated. I don’t want the… Read More

100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010) Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below. Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog… Read More

The Cost of Sleep: Is It Really Worth It? This past month I went away for the weekend with out my family. This was the first time I had left my daughter for more than one night.  There have been many bedtime and morning routines which I missed due to meetings, work, or an occasional show. But this time was different; I would be in the woods away from the phone and unable to… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Are parents less happy than non-parents? … New York magazine recently published an article, “All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting.” Western MA parents respond: Sylva Menard wrote: Read the first page or two, really not agreeing with it. Yes, my husband and I both agree that kids add complexity to life, but a completely welcome complexity and happiness. Lisa Roberge wrote: I don’t even have to… Read More

Making the Choice to Love As with many other mothers I discovered a number of my choices as a parent, directly conflicted with my perceived notion of parenting, prior to having child. Not exclusive to this realization is my choice in parenting style. It seems that as a new parent I found my prior views on the parent-child dynamic to be challenged as I felt the need to co-sleep, babywear, and strived… Read More

Putting the Camera Down It’s a beautiful morning as the family rushes to pack the car and get on the road. We attempt to account for the various items we will need for the current family excursion: diapers, wipes, “cow’s milk,” snacks, change of clothes, swim suit, gloves, toys for the ride, music CD’s, and the list goes on. I grab my point and shoot camera, a nice easy to use model… Read More

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