Four Things to Consider When Buying Your Daughter's First Bra

Tips for Parents and Tweens

A girl’s first bra is a rite of passage for both her and her parents – and one that’s occurring at younger and younger ages. For some girls, it’s a turning point fraught with anxiety; for others, it’s a celebration. Either way, parents have a hard time ensuring their daughters to have good memories of shopping for and wearing their first bra.

Trying on your first bra in a big discount retail store can be unnerving for an 8- or 9-year-old who may already feel shy about the experience,” says Kelly O’Brien, a lingerie specialist whose experience with young customers led her to launch LingerTween (Tween.ShopLinger.com, the first ecommerce site dedicated to undergarments for tweens. [... whole story]


Help Your Child Get the Most Out of Homework

By Margaret W. Carruthers

It’s 8 a.m., time to leave for school. But my 9-year-old daughter isn't ready; she's hunched over the  desk in our living room, writing. “I thought you said you finished your homework last night!” I shout.

“I did finish it!” she yells back.

Tell me a good comeback to that one. [... whole story]


B'More Healthy - September 2014

Does My Child Need Ear Tubes?

By Joyce Heid

Vanessa Debolt's youngest daughter, Samantha, had her first ear infection when she was 4 months old. Half a year later, she'd had four or five more. Based on the frequency of her infections and the fluid present in her middle ears, Samantha’s pediatrician referred her to an otolaryngologist (known colloquially as an ENT), who recommended tympanostomy tubes. [... whole story]

Educational Exchange - September 2014

Librarians Helping Teachers? What a Crate Idea!

By Sandy Alexander

For all the teachers in Baltimore County who go to the public library after school hours to help them prepare for future lessons—searching the catalog, tracking down books, requesting materials—the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) is introducing a new system.

“They come in, pick up a crate, and go,” says Melissa Gotsch, manager of the BCPL Catonsville branch.

Gotsch (which rhymes with “coach”) is leading the implementation of a new program this school year that will allow the county's teachers to fill out an online form indicating an educational topic they're planning to teach, a grade and reading level, and the number of items they need. Two weeks later, they can pick up a collection of materials hand-picked by a librarian and ready to go at their local library. [... whole story]

Family Matters - September 2014

A Parent and Teacher Wish List for a Great School Year

By Molly Brown Koch

A number of years ago, the folks at the Fund for Educational Excellence invited me to present a workshop for front office staffs in Baltimore City public schools. The objective of the workshop was to teach them how to create a calm and welcoming atmosphere for parents.

As a communication “expert,” I planned to demonstrate how to deal effectively with angry parents who thundered into their offices all the time. With complete confidence in my widely recognized skill of attentive listening, I role-played a typical encounter with them—me playing the part of a staff member and a staff member playing the part of an irate parent. [... whole story]

Focus on Fathers - September 2014

Dads Behaving 'Dadly'

By Elizabeth Bastos

Move over, “momoirs.” Here come the “dadoirs.”

“Dads Behaving Dadly: 67 Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood,” edited by Hogan Hilling and Al Watts and published by Motivational Press in June, is a collection of short, poignant vignettes from modern fathers across the country. These dads are working manfully at being “dadly”—courageous, honest, and present in the lives of their children.

The book—by turns sweet, sad, and laugh-out-loud funny—is a great, insightful read for dads-to-be, seasoned dads, and moms, too. Among the men who contributed essays to it are a handful of local dads: Jeff Allanch, of Frederick, Ryan E. Hamilton, of Gaithersburg, Oren Miller, of Owings Mills, Matt Peregoy, of Finksburg, and Tray Chaney, of Waldorf. [... whole story]

Last But Not Least - September 2014

Backpacking to School

By Lisa Robinson

I am convinced that our children are shouldering way too much—too much in those backpacks that are weighing them down.

My daughter Grace sometimes asks me to take her backpack downstairs in the morning as she's getting ready for school. Even though I lift weights and consider myself very strong, that bag is too much for me. I swear it weighs 80 pounds. I can barely lift it to put it over my shoulder.

What’s in there? I can only tell you from a cursory look. She takes a laptop everyday. Then there are three or four binders and as many textbooks that seem to weigh five pounds each. Why does she tote those textbooks when she also has them electronically? That’s another story. (Why am I buying textbooks that are also available electronically? That's another other story.) [... whole story]

Your Special Child - September 2014

Appsolutely Apt Apps

By Amy Landsman

During the mobile app boom of recent years, one of the major educational trends has been the development of apps designed to educate, motivate, and manage the behavior of kids with special needs. From simple alphabet tools to sophisticated time management programs, there are literally thousands of apps out there that could be beneficial to your child.

Apps allow you to play games, watch videos, listen to music, or get information, says Christy Wooden, assistive technology learning specialist at V-LINC, a Baltimore nonprofit organization that promotes enhanced independence for people with disabilities through technology. “For instance, we’ve got a lot of games on our iPad here,” she says, “and we also have BrainPOPit’s an app full of educational videos for kids.” [... whole story]

A Woman's Place - September 2014

Why I Lift Weights

By Karla Peddicord

Why do I strength train? The short answer is because it makes me feel good about myself.

I had tried a lot of exercise classes and videos, and they all left me feeling bad about myself. Bad because I couldn't change the basic shape of my body to look like that of an underfed teenager. Bad because I couldn't seem to get back to my pre-pregnancy self. Bad because I couldn't achieve those ridiculous goalsand bad because I even had them in the first place! [... whole story]