Tag Archives: Parent & Child magazine

Parent & Child magazine's December 2011-January 2012 issue

7 Holiday Traditions to Get Your Family Talking About What Matters

Parent & Child magazine's December 2011-January 2012 issue

Parent & Child magazine's December 2011-January 2012 issue

Traditions are key to keeping families close, especially during the holidays. Parent & Child magazine is offering up some fantastic ways to get your kids talking about what really matters at this time of year.

As Parent & Child‘s December/January cover girl, Brooke Shields is opening up about her family’s Christmas traditions that keep her family of screenwriter husband Chris Henchy, and their two daughters, Rowan, 8, and Grier, 5, close.

Citing daily family meals sans cell phones as the family’s main face time, Shields says her daughters actually crave discipline and routine–even chores! “We have house rules, like making their own beds every day and putting their dirty clothes in the hamper,” she tells the magazine. “It creates a sense of structure, and they actually really like it.”

Meg Cox, author of “The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays & Everydays,” believes those rituals and traditions are heightened during the holiday season. “If you’re like a lot of people,” she says, “the whole history of your family is hanging on your Christmas tree every year.”

To take advantage of this special time of year and the opportunities for family bonding, here are great holiday traditions to get your own family talking.

1. Read all about it! Give your kids a different book on your family’s holiday tradition–Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa–over the course of a few nights leading up to the big event. Have them open them at the dinner table so you can discuss them together. The themes of the book can help echo and promote your own family’s values.

2. Make your own memory books. Help kids reminisce over holidays past with homemade photo and memory books. With the help of companies like Snapfish, your special books will last for years to come. Maybe this year the kids can help write the new one!

3. Painting ornaments. Shields grew up painting ornaments with her mother each Christmas. Now, she and Henchy get to celebrate that tradition with their own daughters.

4. Tree of stories. Each night before bed, turn off the lights, look at your beautiful, twinkling Christmas tree,  and tell the story of how you came to have one of the ornaments and what each means to you. Snuggling is a must here!

5. A card a day. Wait to open holiday cards until dinner time. Let the kids take turns opening and reading them aloud. You can then talk about how you met the person who sent the card and how much the sender means to you.

6. Let them help. You make the big meal, so why not have the rest of the family set and decorate the table? It will help everyone feel a part of it–until they’re old enough to get in the kitchen and help!

7. Pay it forward.Give your kids a craft kit as an early present. They can use it to make presents and ornaments for friends and family–a tradition that will definitely remind them that this is really a season of giving.

Parent & Child magazine April 2012

How Christina Applegate Conjures Up Comedy

Parent & Child magazine April 2012Nothing’s sweeter than the sound of your baby’s laughter. Actress and comedienne Christina Applegate loves to make people laugh–and none more than her own daughter.

If you’re a parent of young children–or have been at some point–you’re probably enjoying Christina Applegate’s latest successful TV venture “Up All Night.” The ABC sitcom, co-starring Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett, proves that the truth about parenting is stranger, and much funnier, than fiction. All three of the stars are in the midst of raising young children in real life, as are three of the series writers.

In the April issue of Parent & Child magazine, Applegate (who’s also covering the April issue of Health magazine) admits that sometimes moments from her real life with baby daughter Sadie Grace, 1, end up on the small screen. “For instance, the birth episode included a lot of what I actually experienced. I didn’t mention this to anyone else while it was going on, but I turned pushing into a competition. In the back of my head, I needed to be the person who pushed a baby out the fastest in history.”

That sense of competition may have helped the blonde beauty and breast cancer survivor land so many successful comedic roles, but Applegate tells the parenting magazine she didn’t come by her sense of humor naturally. A self-described “tough” kid, Applegate says, “My mom was dealing with being a single parent, and there wasn’t a lot of humor at home. To be honest, I learned humor from Katey [Sagal] and Ed [O’Neill] when I started working on ‘Married with Children.’ They are very funny people. Before that, I was pretty serious. I think that’s why they hired me for that show. They wanted tough.”

Segal and O’Neill must be seriously effective teachers, as Applegate has become a staple in sitcoms and in classic comedy films like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Thankfully for Applegate, that humor has managed to find its way into her personal life with fiance Martyn LeNoble and baby Sadie, who’s “a much harder critic than the public” any day.

Says Applegate, ”I talk to her in silly voices. She loves it when I imitate a monkey—she starts imitating a monkey, too. Every day there’s something different that she thinks is hysterical. And you try to use it again and again, but then by the third time, she doesn’t find it funny anymore. So we’re constantly trying to invent new ways to make her laugh.”

Sound familiar? Do you think your own parenting moments could inspire a great television comedy?

Parent & Child magazine March 2012

J.K. Rowling Dishes on Favorite Childhood Books

Parent & Child magazine March 2012 coverTreasured children’s writer J.K. Rowling covers Parent & Child’s 100 Greatest Books for Kids issue, sharing her own childhood favorites with Editor-in-Chief Nick Friedman.

I am forever looking for lists of the best children’s books, even downloading them onto my iPhone while browsing the public library shelves. So, naturally, I was ecstatic–ecstatic!–to see that the Scholastic publication Parent & Child was publishing its own”100 Greatest Books” list in a special March issue. Who better to publish such a list than the folks who brought all those book fairs to our schools?

Another brilliant move by the magazine was its choice to put Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on the cover. In February, it was announced that Rowling will be publishing her first adult novel with Little Brown. While she’s not currently writing for kids, she is the perfect choice for this cover, as she almost singlehandedly got kids in America reading again.

A 2008 Scholastic survey revealed that three out of four kids said reading the Harry Potter books, or having someone read Harry Potter to them, made them interested in reading other books. As a former middle school English teacher, I can attest to the “magic” of Harry Potter–the kind that converts reluctant readers into the ones who won’t put a book away during the rest of their classes. That’s got to be worth some sort of Nobel Prize in Literature, right?

A working, married mother of three, Rowling fully owns the life of a multitasker. But that doesn’t mean she’s left behind her passion for reading, which blossomed as a child, or has stopped devouring books these days. In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, the bestselling author confesses, “I read when I’m drying my hair. I read in the bath. I read when I’m sitting in the bathroom. Pretty much anywhere I can do the job one-handed, I read.”

As one might expect, what Rowling read as a child greatly influenced her own writing. She speaks of “The Little White Horse” by Elizabeth Goudge and “The Story of the Treasure Seekers” by E. Nesbit as having been especially important to her because both centered around a “plain heroine”–something the author identified with as a child.

So where does Potter rank on Scholastic’s list? Up there in the top 10, to be sure. Don’t miss the rest of the list in the March issue!