Cook With Your Kids

christopher.jpgOK, I admit it. I like to cook! And so do my kids, especially 6-year-old Christopher. We made scrambled eggs together one day for breakfast this week. But Christopher loves to mix, stir, blend, pour, and … taste as we go! And remember, not all cooking involves the stove. One of our favorites is the Friday morning smoothie! We love to feature cooking info in ParentLife and thought about sharing a few great Web sites for cooking with your kids. So surf and find the perfect recipe you can use to have some fun cooking time with your child!

Disney’s Family Fun — familyfun.go.com/recipes

Parents® — www.parents.com/recipes

“Parent Helpers; Cooking With Kids,” PBS Parents — www.pbs.org/parents/parenthelpers/cooking.html

Cooking With Kids — www.cookingwithkids.com

Tell us some of your favorite things to cook together!

I’m Sick … So Stay Away!

Our household was hit by some kind of virus this weekend. Christy and Jonathan were really sick. Christopher felt really bad and had a fever. And I had my turn at being the primary caregiver!

William_Summey-22.jpgI thought about how everyone seems to respond differently to being sick. I have been told several times how I am not a good patient and tend to want to sleep and just be left alone! Christy is definitely just the opposite, enjoying conversation and companionship even in the midst of being sick. And I think the boys are a mix of us both. They both get grumpy but also need some close attention.

One moment illustrated this well. I stayed up with Jonathan when he was sick but trying to go to sleep. He was uncomfortable with his stomach hurting so he didn’t want anyone too close. I sat at the foot of his bed. Then he asked if I would hold his feet while he went to sleep! A funny request, but it summarized this whole conversation: Sometimes when you are sick you need your space, but need someone close by at the same time taking care!

Obviously sickness is no fun. There is a reason why patients and patience sound so much alike but can be opposites! But in retrospect, it definitely made us slow down and we had some fun time together in the midst of it all.

I hope you are staying well this summer. When your kids are sick, what kind of patients are they?

What’s on Tonight? TV, Movies, & Our Kids

I love to watch TV! In fact, some of my favorite downtime at the end of the day is getting to watch a favorite show we have recorded or to start a movie.

But with kids, there are often so many things to be careful about regarding the TV shows and movies they watch. We definitely draw boundaries as to the type of shows and movies that our boys watch, but sometimes they hear from friends about other shows and movies we would not let our boys see. So how do you decide what to let your kids watch?

CommonSenselogo.gifOne resource that I have used for evaluating movie and TV content is Common Sense Media. They provide a target age range for every movie and TV show and even video games, books, and music. Common Sense Media gives an age that they evaluate media to be appropriate for and then evaluates content based on several subject categories: Violence; Language; Sex; Consumerism; Drinking, drugs, & smoking; and Message & role models. Check out their evaluation on the new video release of Bolt to get an idea of how their system works.

PTC logo.jpgThe Parents Television Council is another good source for information regarding TV shows and what kids are actually watching. Check out their research on the best and worst TV shows for kids.

No matter what tool you use to evaluate shows and movies, sometimes the best option is to sit and watch shows together and talk about what you are watching. So many times even the best shows or sporting events can have commercials that are violent, sexually charged, or promote alcohol, so the best bet is to be involved and communicate about media with your kids.

Are there other tools you use to evaluate movies and TV shows? What are the best shows that your kids watch?

Welcome to the ParentLife Blog!

ParentLife Online is here! We are excited for the opportunity to communicate with you online. ParentLife Online will be updated daily during the week with commentary from the ParentLife staff, content that goes deeper into topics appearing in our print magazine, product reviews, and helpful links to parenting sites and the latest parenting information.

We also want to hear from you! Respond to our posts, send us ideas for articles, and submit your writing and queries to be considered for ParentLife.

Meet the Editor in Chief

william.jpgHi there! I am William Summey, the editor in chief of ParentLife. I have been working on ParentLife for 7 years, initially as editor and now as editor in chief (EIC). As an EIC, I help edit the magazine but function as team leader, helping everyone do their jobs as best they can.

I have been married to my wife, Christy, for 15 years. We have two boys, Jonathan (10) and Christopher (4).

One of my passions is to help encourage parents in their parenting journey. One of the best ways to encourage others is by being open and honest about parenting struggles and challenges. By building community, we are all stronger. I hope that our blog can be a small piece of that community for you!

What are the parenting issues you feel most strongly about? I would love to hear from you!