Jennifer LW Fink public
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“Debt Free Mom” (aka Carly Hill) knows that family finances can be a fraught topic. Yet family finances affect every aspect of family life: A family’s stress level, as well as housing, education, and recreational choices. Family finances play into decisions such as rec sports or travel team? Private school or public school? And, of course, our atti…
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Many Dads want to “step up with their hearts” and “actively parent,” says Maggie Dent, Australian parenting author and host of The Good Enough Dad and Parental As Anything podcasts. “They want to know how to do it well,” she says, noting that most dads have little experience caring for (or interacting with!) children prior to becoming a parent. Mom…
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Jaclyn Greenberg often feels like she’s living a divided life. When her daughter was born, there was music and laughter in the birthing room. When her disabled son was born, there was no music. No laughter. In fact, everyone swept out of the room soon after the baby’s birth, taking him with them. Jacyln hadn’t even had a chance to say hello. Raisin…
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Is middle school misunderstood — or magic? For most of us — and many of our kids — middle school is a pretty miserable time. But that’s largely because most educators and parents misunderstand middle schoolers & these critical years. “This is a very pervasive story, that middle school is terrible. But it doesn’t have to be. We make it terrible by w…
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Most schools today aren’t boy-friendly. That’s one (big!) reason why boys lag behind girls academically. And why so many boys hate going to school. Tyler, a 16-year-old Texas boy, started struggling in middle school. Recess was no more. Classes were 90 minutes long. So, “he found it really hard to sit still in class,” says Julie Jargon, the Wall St…
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Modern male puberty starts earlier than you think. It may start as early as age 9 in boys – which means that the mood swings you’re seeing in your 10-year-old son could well be puberty-related. After all, as Cara Natterson & Vanessa Kroll Bennett write in their book This is So Awkward: Modern Puberty Explained, “The very first sign of puberty in mo…
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There’s a connection between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) & muscle dysmorphia, which is a strong desire to bulk up your body. According to new research by Kyle Ganson, an assistant professor in Canada & a licensed clinical social worker who’s worked with teenagers & young adults, boys who experience abuse, neglect, incarceration or divorce …
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How can boys experience school success? Parents and educators frequently ask, “How do we help boys thrive in school?” A question we rarely ask is, What can boys do to set themselves up for school success? What can we do to help boys successfully navigate school? “It’s really essential that we, as parents & educators of boys, are preparing them to n…
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Color blindness affects a lot of boys. In fact, 1 in 12 males are color blind. They perceive color differently than most humans. Some see shades of tan instead of vivid reds and greens. Some see life in black, white, and grey. Many don’t realize that they see things differently than their peers, teachers, and parents. And many parents and teachers …
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Which ON BOYS episodes were the Best of 2023? Photo by Photo by Engin Akyurt via Pexels Your favorites include: 5. Simplicity Parenting with Kim John Payne Simplicity parenting prioritizes a balanced schedule, predictable rhythm, and decluttered, information-filtered family environment… The antidote to constant overwhelm is simple, Payne says. It’s…
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Our January 5 conversation with Mary Van Geffen, Parenting “Spicy” Boys, is ON BOYS’ Most Popular Episode of 2023. (And Jen’s sons’ least favorite! Gen Z defines “spicy” quite differently than we’re using it here.) Sure, this episode, released early in the year, had the benefit of time. But Mary’s message also resonates with frustrated and overwhel…
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YouTube isn’t all entertainment and education. Misogyny, racism, and porn lurk there too. It can be really difficult to keep up with what our boys are watching online, though. Creators come & go, interests change, one click can lead to, well, anywhere. Boys love YouTube YouTube is ubiquitous these days. Gaming and challenge videos (think Mr. Beast)…
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America’s marriage coach, Dr. Jacquie Del Rosario, says nature and nurture affect our relationships. Moms are concerned with a lot of things at once; Dads tend to focus on one thing at a time. Many moms derive a sense of security from planning ahead for all possible contingencies. Dads tend to react to life as it happens. Females generally process …
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Neurodiverse kids need comprehensive sex education too. “It’s a fundamental human right to have this information – & so important to their health & safety,” says Amy Lang, creator of Birds + Bees + Kids, a fantastic resource for parents, childcare providers and educators. Myths About Neurodiversity & Sexuality Many people (including well-meaning pa…
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Health education varies greatly from place to place. Some boys receive great, age-appropriate, inclusive health education at school. Others do not. “It’s pretty inconsistent,” says Christopher Pepper, a health educator who currently teaches in the San Francisco Unified School District & is working on a book called TALK TO YOUR BOYS: 27 Crucial Conv…
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How do you make space for a teenage boy to make his own mistakes? Photo by olia danilevich via Pexels Especially when said teenager is frustrating, annoying, and contributing to family chaos? Sandra said: Teenager years are frustrating — wanting to tell him what do, yet I know he needs to make his own mistakes. Throw in toddler boy hitting/screamin…
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Have you heard of autonomy-supportive parenting? Essentially, it’s the opposite of helicopter parenting. It’s a parenting style that allows, supports, and encourages kids to make decisions and take action. And unlike helicopter parenting, which demands near-constant parental activity, autonomy-supportive parenting also supports parental rest (and c…
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