Blog Posts by Julie Meyers Pron

  • Parenting Guru: Summer is like a River



    It's flown by like a river's water. This summer has been a fantastic one of discovery for both my family and me. We enjoyed daytrips, long trips and (for me) an independent trip across the country.

    What we've learned, most of all, is that when we take the time to see the beauty and the good in our days, we're happier people.

    So, in selecting one photo that summarizes the summer of 2011, I've chosen a picture from my trip to San Diego. It was a time of independence for all of us: I traveled far, alone. My kids spent nearly a week without Mom around. My husband stayed home with the kids, who happened to be sick that week. We all learned our new roles. The beauty in that is that we learned to adapt. We learned to grow. We learned to move on. And the time flowed, like a river.

    Summer is also a time to experience outside, and to appreciate our surroundings. With a two year old in tow, we do that, naturally. She's curious 100% of the day. She's always stopping to smell flowers,

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  • P1030088P1030088Every 9 seconds, a person drops out of high school. Nine seconds, people. That's a lot of former students.
    Procter and Gamble, along with celebrity spokesperson John Legend is joining with Communities in Schools, to raise awareness of the student dropout crisis in the US and raise funds to help keep millions of students in schools, through their GIVE Education program.
    How you can join in the cause:

    • Save and Give. Use today's (July 31, 2011) BrandSaver from your local paper to save over $200 using coupons. For each coupon used, P&G will donate to Communities in Schools, a national organization proven to help keep kids in school;


    • Watch John Legend's exclusive Facebook video. For every view of the video, P&G will grant $.25 to to CIS, up to $10,000. 40,000 views shouldn't be hard at all on a powerful, meaningful video with John Legend. Watch it now.

    Last month, I attended a P&G's press conference announcing the partnership and joined a follow-up round table with Read More »from GIVE Education: Join John Legend, P&G and Communities in Schools to lower the drop-out rate among America's high schools
  • Parenting Guru: Make a bubble blower with your kids

    Here's a simple, inexpensive 5-step process to make a bubble blower. It's a great activity for kids ages 2 and up... my 7-year-old is even hooked on it! You'll need:

    • small plastic cup
    • drinking straw (cut in half to make smaller)
    • hole punch
    • rubber band
    • thin, disposable dish cloth, like Handi-Wipes, cut into 5-inch (or so) squares
    • bubbles: pour thin layer onto a dish or in a wide bowl

    about a quarter inch below the rim, punch a hole

    lay cloth over top and use rubber band to attach

    stick straw through hole, about a half inch in

    turn cup upside down and dip cloth into bubbles

    blow into straw (make sure your child is able to blow first. I recommend practicing blowing first, to insure the child doesn't inhale when she puts her mouth on the straw.)
    The kids will be so excited that they are making bubbles! It's fun to see how high their bubbles can go, and just as fun to blow the bubbles off the top. Enjoy!
    Thanks to Gail at Kesher Israel Read More »from Parenting Guru: Make a bubble blower with your kids
  • Parenting Guru: Father's Day gift ideas

    Father with his childPhoto by By a_whisper_of_unremitting_demand Julian PoveyFather's Day is less than 3 weeks away. You have plenty of time to shop. Make your shopping easier with this guide of favorite gifts.
    For the casual dad:

    Reef Men's Fanning Flip Flop We gift this to my husband every single year. It's like his rite of summer, and it's now an expectation. Before I bought him his first pair, he refused to wear flip flops because they were uncomfortable. Now? He wears them almost every day. Just beware. While most beer drinkers enjoy these shoes, we've come across a few germ-o-phobes who are disgusted by just the idea of opening a beer bottle with the bottom of a shoe. If Dad is one of those, get him a pair of Reefs without the bottle opener, like Reef Men's Phantoms Sandal

    For the reader:

    Kindle My husband and I had a great conversation about wireless-tech products the other day. I am totally fine with having a wifi-only Kindle and iPad. He, on the other hand, sees more value in having 3 or 4G. So, there you go. If your husband is an avid reader, I Read More »from Parenting Guru: Father's Day gift ideas
  • Parenting Guru: Baseball books for your little leaguer

    Years ago, when I was a kid, little league meant township t-ball and softball. I never knew about this huge international Little League association. Or foundation. Or... whatever. But with boys? We have fundraisers and practices and games several times a week. They've been practicing and this week is opening week for games. Yes. This week. So, please. Do a little warm sun in dance for me because both our games this week are at night.

    I love Little League like I never knew I would. Forget soccer mom, I'm a Little League Mom, for sure. From the swings to the catches and the misses, I just thoroughly enjoy cheering on my kids and their friends and teammates.

    To celebrate baseball season, here are a few of our favorite baseball books:

    H is for Home Run: A Baseball Alphabet (Alphabet Books) This is one of Brad Herzog's series of Alphabet sports books, so don't expect just a simple word for each letter here. Expect to find powerful pictures illustrating the pages, putting the readers Read More »from Parenting Guru: Baseball books for your little leaguer
  • Parenting Guru: Break-up the boredom this vacation

    Because we're all expecting to hear the dreadful "Moooooooooom. I'm boooooorrrrreeeeeddd. What are we gonnnnnnaaaa dooooooooo?" over the next several weeks of spring break, Memorial Day weekend and, inevitably, summer vacation, we parents need to be prepared. Whether travelling or staycationing, here are a few spring break boredom busters that will bring some fun and excitement to your break, no matter where you are:

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  • Parenting Guru: To my principal, you made me a better parent

    American flag in elementary school classroomAmerican flag in elementary school classroomDear Karen*,

    It's been a while, hasn't it? 8 years ago this spring I was preparing to leave our elementary school. I think the feeling was mutual. I wouldn't return. Neither of us was unhappy.

    Working for you wasn't easy. Actually, working for you was one of the hardest things I've ever done. You demanded a lot of your teachers. 8 years later, I try to look at it through your eyes... that you were looking to get even more from us, all the time. That not finding perfection (or satisfaction) might have been a good thing for us. You pushed us. Sadly, you pushed some of us over the edge.

    We had our laughs and smiles. But, overall, our relationship wasn't a good one. You brought more tears to my eyes, more nightmares in my sleep than a person should ever experience in her career.

    Eight years later, I'm confident, once again, that I'm a great educator. I know I have qualities that make a fantastic teacher. I know that a lot of my talents are my own, but admit that some are from your

    Read More »from Parenting Guru: To my principal, you made me a better parent
  • Parenting Guru: Tales of Teeth

    The Tooth Fairy has only visited 3 our family three times. Only 2 of those times have been to our home. We're late-bloomers. Big lost his first tooth at age 7, this summer in Maine, on the docks, in the lake.

    We never retrieved that tooth, though we looked and looked and looked and looked. We expect it to sit buried at the bottom of the lake for all time. Big was fine with it. He was biting into a peach when the tooth literally fell out and fell through the opening between the planks of wood. While I was worried about the Tooth Fairy not being able to retrieve the tooth, he commented that he's sure it's happened before and that he'd just leave a note. Heh. He's the mature one.

    While we were prepared for the tooth to fall out, we weren't prepared for what was behind the tooth. A fully-grown-in adult tooth, tipped back a bit. Apparently, Big's adult teeth are passive-aggressive and don't push the baby teeth out, they just squeeze themselves in to join the baby tooth until the baby tooth

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  • Create a cyber-safe environment for your young child

    Kids Using Computers.Kids Using Computers.
    It's the internet. It's user friendly. So friendly, in fact, that I had to explain to my son's teacher the other day how one of his classmates could have possibly ended up on YouTube when she turned her back for 15 seconds. The teacher was horrified. The kids? They'd been there before.

    My kids are hooked up. At ages 4 and 6, they enjoy websites such as Lego, Club Penguin and Starfall. They play games. They interact. They explore. Me? I'm around. I'm aware they're on the computer. But I don't sit next to them. I don't play most of the games with them.

    I try to check the websites they visit before they play. Try, of course, is the operative word because I know there are plenty of times that they find sites when I'm not available. And there are other times that I'm available, but glance up to see another animated game and say "oh. Okay. Enjoy."

    But as the kids grow, so do their online interests. It won't be forever that they play games on Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. They Read More »from Create a cyber-safe environment for your young child
  • Parenting Guru: On parenting... and love

    Snow6Snow6My three children fill my days with highlights and excitement. We see tempers flare and filter. They wrestle, stomp and scream. They laugh. They cry. They love.

    Children are blessings. They're also unedited emotions, unbiased devotion and unending love.

    To parent, one has no test up front, but is tested every single day.

    To parent is to love. To love is to hold a place of warm understanding, solid footing and hearty temperament. One needs patience, kindness, goals, knowledge, an open mind and a strong sense of self.

    A parent must be a rule creator and enforcer, a solid strength, and a pillowy hug. A parent needs a shoulder to cry on, a shoulder for protection and a shoulder to stand against.

    A parent must be everything to a child. It all starts with love.

    Ten things I love about my kids

    • Their smiles
    • Their cuddles & hugs
    • Their need for magic kisses
    • How they still ask questions when there is somthing they don't know
    • The love they have for each other
    • Their
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