Weekend Reading from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend Reading…

Weekend Sunshine and Sand

Sandy feet and summer fun!

We are heading into a scorcher of a weekend here in Chicago. I don’t know about you but I will be indoors when the sun is at high noon probably looking for something to read. If you are like me then here are a few articles to read.

Screen time, for kids how much is too much and what is just the right amount for the age of your child? Do you think that parents’ addiction to screens is the reason why their children may be addicted too? How much time do you spend on a screen on the weekend?

Parents are often at fault, directly or indirectly, when children and teenagers become hooked on electronic media, playing video games or sending texts many hours a day instead of interacting with the real world and the people in it. And as discussed in last week’s column, digital overload can impair a child’s social, emotional and intellectual growth. This sad conclusion of many experts in child development has prompted them to suggest ways parents can prevent or rectify the problem before undue damage occurs.

Are women made to feel that they are not encouraged to have a natural birth with limited use of pain relief be it an epidural or medication because they are afraid of being out of control when it comes to expressing how much labor and delivery hurts? Birthing a baby is a natural phenomenon and for most women it is painful. Different cultures have different ways of expressing pain. Do you feel comfortable screaming when you are in pain? This post is a very interesting view of how women choose to be pain free so they will not have to be afraid to scream or react to pain.


Attention birthing women: This will be the hardest work of your life. It will test you on every level. Childbirth education is very helpful, yet there’s no way to know how you will feel physically and emotionally until you’re in it. There are many schools of thought on how to cope, what to call the forces of labor (contractions or surges?), and how to label the feeling (pain or sensation?). I like to keep it simple: it’s really hard, and yeah, it hurts. And, you are stronger than you know, and you can do it. Whether or not you plan to use pain medication or epidural anesthesia, know that you have what it takes within you to get through however many contractions you choose to feel fully. Do your preparation, trust in the birth process, and believe in yourself.

Today parents are aware that it is not necessarily a good thing to always be praising their kids and telling them they are special. If you would like some suggestions as to what to say to your kids and grandkids in the year 2015 then read this post.

The things we say — not only with our mouths, but with our tone, actions, and mannerisms — affect our kids. They’ll hold our words in that deep-down place where all kids do: Down where we keep our sense of worth, our feeling of being “enough,” our fears and doubts and self-love. There’s a real resistance to the “self-esteem campaigns” I was raised with in the 90s — the “You are a special snowflake” sentiments that, while well-intentioned, are nothing more than a punchline now: “Attention all whiny, entitled, self-centered Millennials — you’re not a special snowflake, yah hear me?”

I sure hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Weekend Reading…My Favorites

Weekend Reading…My Favorites

Weekend Sunshine and Sand

I have a summer reading list but many summers it carries me over into fall. The last time I read all the books on my summer list was on Martha’s Vineyard probably around 15 years ago.

Primates of Park Avenue is a book I will put in my beach bag this summer based on this NY Times review.


If “Primates of Park Avenue” never quite manages to be either the satire or the tell-all I’d hoped for, it did manage to be exactly the kind of book I want in my summer beach bag. I put it down a little unsatisfied, but willing to recommend it in spite of its flaws. “Primates” is, in the end, exactly what it purports to be: a book about the lives of mothers in a small subset of wealthy families that offers a little insight into all of our choices, and a lot of entertaining appreciation for choices most of us don’t have to make. If you think you’d enjoy the spectacle, you’re probably right. I did.

As you know I am a clinical social worker and am all about feelings, so this Pixar movie is definitely on my list to see on an upcoming weekend. Children do experience difficult emotions and parents sometimes try very hard to stem these negative feelings because to them it means their child is not happy all the time and this suggests failure of the parents to create an idyllic childhood.


In Pixar movies, inventive plots, engaging characters and stunning visuals come as no surprise. But the best thing about the studio’s newest production, “Inside Out,” may be its commitment to celebrating the worst.


Life with Dad is one of my new favorite blogs and podcasts. I met Ryan E. Hamilton, a founder of Life with Dad at Mom 2.0 Summit and regret I did not get to talk with him longer. Dad bloggers are some of the best and you are missing something if you don’t know any of these great bloggers. So take a look at Bobblehead Dad Parenting and Life with Dad this weekend.

Bobblehead Dad Parenting
Posted on June 26, 2015
Current research confirms that there are numerous health benefits attributed to laughing including lower blood pressure, increased tolerance to pain and – most importantly – a reduction in stress. As parents, a better understanding of the value of laughing – for ourselves and with our children – can be one more tool to living a happy, healthier life. Children laugh a lot. About 300 to 400 times a day! The average adult laughs about 20 times a day! We’ll talk about the causes and implications of that dramatic reduction over a typical life. We’ll also discuss: How simulated laughter provides the same benefits of spontaneous laughter Why you need to integrate more laughter into your family’s life How to do a DIY Laughter Festival! The results you will enjoy if you lighten up and use some humor in your daily interactions How laughter can be a bonding element between a parent and child What you can do if you don’t think of yourself as a “funny” person So stick around. This promises to be a fun time! References from this Podcast: Dr. DeBenedet’s website



The Weekend is my favorite time…sometimes it is relaxing sometimes not so much.

But take time to breathe and relax and renew!



Virtual Book Club for Kids…

What kind of reading do you do with your toddler/preschooler during the summer months? 

The unstructured time during the “dog days” of summer can leave reading behind the many fun outdoor activities. After surviving winter’s “cabin fever”, it is totally understandable to head outdoors any chance you can get. But it isn’t necessary to leave reading to rainy days…a book, a child and a shade tree make a pretty neat scene…don’t you agree?

The local library is always a resource and can provide a quiet, cool respite…even bookstores like Barnes and Noble have story times…but then you may have a struggle leaving without making a purchase. This can be problematic…and could make the excursion a disaster in the end.

I have come across a virtual summer book club for kids…it sounds like a winner!

The choices of books for this month are among some of my favorites, reason alone for me and my grandchild to participate.

For various reasons, book clubs are not for everyone  but certainly this one offers some ideas to help create your own reading program at home.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need all the helpful creative idea suggestions that I can get. As a grandmother it has been awhile since I have done pre-school summer reading! Admittedly, I welcome the challenge.

See for yourself, visit  “Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids“. Feel free to share some of your summer reading ideas for kids.

I am always anxious for new suggestions.

Toddler Approved!: Summer Virtual Book Club for Kids.