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baystateparent FREE

MARCH 2016

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996





Try some armor on for size!

Interactive arms and armor demonstrations Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30am Free with admission

2 MARCH2016

e c a l p A for ! s e i l i m fa

WORCESTER ART MUSEUM Learn more at worcesterart.org

Fitness & Enrichment for the Whole Family!

Baby-Wearing Fitness Classes For New Moms

IT'S NEVER TOO SOON TO DREAM ABOUT SUMMER! get your 3-month fitness pass today: $90 for 3 months of unlimited group fitness classes!

visit www.f3ma.com & click on "classes" to purchase your pass today.

Group Fitness For Adults (with child watch) Enrichment, Fitness & Dance Classes for Kids Customized Birthday Parties Open Play Special Events Playgroups & Group Rates Special Summer Programs & Sessions Visit www.f3ma.com to explore all of our offerings, classes & services! 227 Turnpike Road • Westborough, MA 01581 (508) 898-3362 • www.F3MA.com


grades 8-12 - including recent high school graduates. This camp will take your teen to a higher level in theatre! They will produce and act in THEIR OWN show - separate from the younger campers! Join in this exciting adventure!

grades 2-7 Learn the importance of teamwork, make friends for life, experience being part of a show from start to finish!

July 11th - July 29th

Grades 2 -12 including recent high school graduates • 5 days! Mon.-Fri. • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Camp show performances on July 30th & 31st


Announcing 2016 camp shows soon!

Check website for updates.

Past shows include: Your child will enjoy a summer of music, art, drama and dance at our 3 week, state certified theatre camp held in Worcester. Campers will also produce a full show for family and friends at the conclusion of camp. Students will learn all the aspects of producing a show from acting, singing & dancing to set building, costumes and more!

For all information, call 978-602-6288 or register online at


4 MARCH2016



BOTH SOCIALLY AND ACADEMICALLY? Learn more by visiting NGCC and seeing our programs in action.

Next Generation Children’s Centers Celebrating Over 22 Years as a Leader in Early Childhood Education

Learn how we help your child succeed

GCC_Jan2016Ad_IsYourPreKReaching_BSP_4C_9x1075.indd 1



1/4/16 4:36 PM

Our Biggest Casting Call Ever

Starts Now!

It’s The #1 Question We Get:

How Do I Get My Child On The Cover Of


We’re looking for 19 children – 19! – between the ages of 1 and 19 to appear on our May cover and represent our diverse readership. Here’s what to do: Send a recent (within 3 months) photo of your child to


Include your contact information, along with your child’s first name, age, city/town, and clothing size. Important: This call is limited to Massachusetts residents only. Deadline is March 23.

6 MARCH2016

Cornerstone Academy Educating all learners in grades K-6

An elementary preparatory school that celebrates the individual.

TOURS: March 8 & 22 • 9 a.m. Sign up on our website

Think Creatively

Act Compassionately We know that children need the right combination of rigor and support to be socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for life beyond elementary school.

Learn Deeply

Live Fully

5 Oak Avenue • Northboro, MA 01532 • 508-351-9976 www.cornerstoneacademy.org BAYSTATEPARENT 7

Helping your child achieve their personal best in life and scholastics What parents are saying... “CDN made it possible for our son to have the extra time needed to compensate for his slow processing. He has excelled in high school earning all A’s except for a B in AP Physics in his senior year. His PSAT scores allowed him to be a National Merit Scholarship Commended student providing him with a good scholarship for college. Thank you CDN!” From, grateful parents “We truly appreciate your support and guidance as we begin the journey of learning how to best support our son and guide him towards more success at school.” Parents of an 11-year old “With the Child Development Network’s recommendations, we were able to develop a comprehensive and manageable Individual Educational Plan for our son. They have continually ensured that his needs are met and that the necessary services are out in place and provided at his school.” Parents of a 6th grader

The CDN network of doctors provides expert clinical care for... Diagnostic Evaluations & Education Consultation/ Advocacy: • Autism Spectrum Disorders • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity • Dyslexia/Learning Disorders • Executive Function Skills 8 MARCH2016

Treatment and Therapy: • Executive Function Skills Training • Coping Skill Development • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Child Development Network, Inc. Lexington, MA • 781-861-6655 www.CDNKids.com

table of contents MARCH 2016 VOLUME 20




things we learned

while making

the march issue


“If you don’t like it, I’ll come get you.” It sounds like a comforting promise to your nervous camper, but experts say that’s the worst thing to tell a child who’s worried about heading to sleep-away camp. Turn to page 62 to learn simple ways to prep your camper for an amazing overnight experience.

Camp It Up! 46 48 50

Pack It Up: Hidden Gems To Send — And What To Leave Home


Keys to a Safe, Fun Camp Experience For Kids With Allergies

54 56 59 62

Backpack Bound: Camp Gear Goodies 5 Ways To Find The Right Camp For A Child With Special Needs


Pay Attention To Two Changes In Pregnancy Nutrition Guidelines


Bites: Choose wisely with these jelly beans; gluten-free snacking; a colorful way to reduce lunchtime waste; a free online guide to restaurants’ allergy-friendliness; and more.

Divorce & Single Parenting: How To Swing Summer Camp How To Prep Your Shy Child For A Great Time At Camp 5 Unexpected Benefits of Summer Camp Sleep-Away Camp: How To Gauge Your Child’s Readiness…And Yours


10 10 13



WOMEN’S HEALTH: Inside the free online fitness movement that started in Massachusetts


OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: March Calendar Of Family Events


ASK THE EXPERT: Do You Know the Difference Between Pneumonia and a Cold?


THE THINKING PARENT: The Vaping Trend: Friend Or Foe?


REEL LIFE WITH JANE: New Movies Coming In March




TAKE 8: Harlem Globetrotter Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu


One in 13 U.S. children are diagnosed with a food allergy, and musician Kyle Dine has a song for them. On page 20, read about how this food allergy performer will be coming to Massachusetts this month to spread music, fun, and information at a free concert.

Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of twin births in the U.S. Head to page 34 to learn about the part birth order plays in the lives of twins, as well as how to establish and grow each twin’s own unique identity.

in every issue

Food Allergy Musician Delivers Fun, Information to Families

MEET OUR CONTRIBUTORS 20 FOR 20: Celebrate our 20th anniversary with a look back at 1996’s top music singles

features 34 36

Birth Order Basics: Twins


How To Step Off The Overscheduling Merry-Go-Round


The Princess in Black Defeats Monsters and Stereotypes


Teaching Children About Transgender Identities

Thermometers: The Next Generation

meet our cover model Alyssa Mae, 8, Andover Photography by Shawna Shenette Hair By Rob Roy Hair Salons BAYSTATEPARENT 9

meet team publisher KIRK DAVIS associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-749-3166 ext. 331 kreal@baystateparent.com

creative editor in chief MELISSA SHAW 508-865-7070 ext. 201 editor@baystateparent.com creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221 pethier@holdenlandmark.com senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070 design@baystateparent.com

multimedia editor MONICA HAMILTON monica@baystateparent.com

advertising director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210 regina@baystateparent.com account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211 kathy@baystateparent.com

presidents KIRK and LAURIE DAVIS photography STEVEN KING

is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street, Millbury, MA 01527 It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.

baystateparent.com Find us on:

10 MARCH2016

And the judges say: Editorial General Excellence:

“A superb job covering a subject that so many can relate to: parenting.” Advertising General Excellence:

“Excellent ad support.” — New England Newspaper & Press Association 2015 awards

Thank you to our staff, writers, photographers, advertisers, and you, our readers, for your continued support! From all of us at


ReelLife with Jane and Reading Roundup

bsp ONLiNE


Starting this month, baystateparent.com will feature reviews of new movie releases by Jane Louise Boursaw, which will include helpful info for parents, such as age-appropriateness. We’ll also let you know what books are hitting the shelves soon so your readers of all ages can find a new author or book series to enjoy.

ith (hopefully) most of the cold and snow behind us, we can start looking forward to spring, a season when it’s time to start thinking about camp. Check out our online Camp Guide (baystateparent.com/Camp-Guide/) in addition to all the info you’ll find in this month’s camp stories. And you can always find the latest parenting news, contests, and giveaways — and me — at baystateparent.com, Facebook (baystateparent), Twitter (@baystateparent), and Instagram (baystateparent).

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming! Help The Harlem Globetrotters celebrate 90 years of family fun! We’re giving away four-packs of tickets to their 90th Anniversary World Tour game on Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at the DCU Center in Worcester. Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, visit us on Facebook, and check in online to enter for your chance to win.

baystateparent’s 2016 Reader Survey

They Got It! Tammy of Boylston was one of our lucky four-pack ticket winners to Monster Jam last month. Mackenzie, 6, enjoyed a February vacation week outing with her family at the DCU Center in Worcester. This month has even more fun and prizes on tap, so make sure you visit baystateparent.com frequently and Like us on Facebook to stay on top of the latest giveaways and contests.

What are your favorite parts of baystateparent? What would you like to see us do differently? We’re looking for your feedback to help us keep up-to-date and keep you coming back for the best in parenting news, family events, and fun happenings! Complete the survey online at baystateparent.com/ReaderSurvey-2016 or mail in the copy on pages 78 & 79. One Grand Prize winner will receive a free massage and facial from Spa Tech Institute in Westborough. Two runners-up will win family 4-packs of tickets to a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance in April at the DCU Center in Worcester.

MARCH CONTRIBUTORS Michele Bennett Decoteau is a writer and mom to a tween and a teen in central New England. In addition to writing on science, nature, and parenting topics, she is a hiker and beekeeper. You can find her at MicheleDecoteau.com or @MBDecoteau.

Michelle Perras-Charron is a freelance writer and mother to four school-aged boys in Western Mass. A Navy brat and also the wife of a retired Air Force Captain, she loves writing about people and all topics related to parenting. She also enjoys running and a strong cup of coffee.

Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of ReelLifeWithJane.com. Her reviews and work have been published in Family Circle, Parade, New York Times, Variety, People, and more.

Michael Peters is a Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC) and a graduate student clinician in the Mental Health Counseling program at Becker College. He provides counseling services to adults, children, couples and families through the Counselor Training Clinic (CTC) at Becker College in Leicester. Visit mhcclinic.becker.edu for more information about available, low-cost, counseling services at the CTC.

Mary E. Brown, MD, MS is a primary care pediatrician at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, and an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. She specializes in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine, and has an expertise in caring for children with special health care needs. Writer Amanda Collins is a Western Mass native, proud aunt of six nieces and nephews, and the editor of baystateparent’s sister publication, The Holden Landmark. Joan Goodchild is a Shrewsbury mother of two and editor of a business publication serving security and risk professionals. Heather Kempskie is a freelance writer and mother of two from Bellingham.

Sara Pokorny is a freelance writer from Amherst and puppy mom to Link and Piper. She loves eating and running (and really can’t do one without the other!). She will tackle any writing topic, but especially loves exploring things that are new to her. You can find her at vomitshermindd.wordpress.com or twitter.com/sara_pkrny. Attorney Irwin M. Pollack is founder and lead attorney of Pollack Law Group, P.C. (PollackLawGroup.com) and a divorced father himself. He shares insights and information about coparenting on his weekly radio talk show, Talking About Divorce, which can be heard weekends on WRKO in Boston (AM 680), WTAG in Worcester (AM 580/94.9 FM), WXTK on the Cape (95.1 FM), and WHYN in Springfield (AM 560).

Massachusetts mom Leslie Reichert is known as the Green Cleaning Coach and is aiming to change the world — “one spray bottle at a time.” A national lecturer and author of The Joy Of Green Cleaning, you can find her at greencleaningcoach.com, on Facebook (GreenCleaningCoach), Twitter (@GreenCleanCoach), and Pinterest (cleaningcoach). On page 18, she shares her Miracle Laundry Whitening recipe. Jennifer Sheehy Everett is a writer, PR consultant, and mother to a busy toddler who’s pretty certain he runs the show at her and husband John’s home in Melrose. She enjoys music and performing, dance, golf, travel, the pursuit of tasty food and wine, and time with cherished family and good friends.   Rutland-based writer and mother of three, Kathy Sloan is a regular contributor to baystateparent. Abbey Tiderman is a writer, editor, and social media strategist who lives in Wilbraham with her husband and two young sons. Alexandra Townsend is a freelance writer based in the Berkshires who covers LGBT-related topics. She’s a proud geek and loves talking about superheroes.

Find our writers online!

Got a story idea? Interested in contributing to baystateparent? Contact editor@baystateparent.com. BAYSTATEPARENT 11

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12 MARCH2016

20 for 20

We’re looking back as we look ahead, one month closer to our 20th birthday in May. This month, we remember the Top 20 best-selling singles of 1996. You’ll find dance hits, power ballads, alt rock, and several singles off a major movie soundtrack. How well do you remember the music of 1996? Take our quiz below.

1 2 4

This Latin-themed hit will still fill the dance floor at weddings and also holds the distinction of being No. 7 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100.

This duet between Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men received a Grammy nomination for Record of The Year, which it lost to song #19.


The video for this Mariah Carey song (her second in the year’s Top 10) was filmed at The Fresh Air Fund’s Camp Mariah, named after the songstress to acknowledge her support of the organization.


Tufts University graduate Tracy Chapman scored her most successful chart single with this hit off her fourth album, New Beginning.

“Tha Crossroads” by this hip hop group was the highest-debuting rap single when it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.



“You’re Makin’ Me High”/”Let It Flow” from this R&B artist was a double A-side single, with both songs charting. “Let It Flow” was recorded for the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack.


Welsh singer-songwriter Donna Lewis hit it big with this infections pop tune, which stalled at No. 2 for nine weeks.


Florida’s Quad City DJ’s created this dance floor and sports arena staple, which is based on a sample of Barry White’s 1974 “Theme from Together Brothers.”

Despite the band name, British music duo Everything but the Girl did, in fact, have a female member: singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn, who with bandmate Ben Watt wrote this huge hit.

13 14

This Alanis Morissette track was the third song released from the blockbuster Jagged Little Pill and the singer’s highest charting single.

“Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” was this legendary singer’s final No. 1 hit and part of the soundtrack of the similarly named 1995 movie in which she co-starred.



“Follow You Down”/”Til I Hear It From You” was another double A-side single to make the overall Top 20 in 1996. This alt rock band from Arizona broke up just one year later.

The third track from the blockbuster Waiting To Exhale soundtrack to hit The Top 20, “Sittin’ Up in My Room” was recorded by this singer, who in 1996 was also starring in her own sitcom.


This single from New Jack Swing singer Keith Sweat was his biggest hit, spending three weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. R&B chart, peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100.


This Celine ballad outperformed the movie in which it was featured, Up Close & Personal, starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Tony Rich, also known as The Tony Rich Project, beat out mega stars like Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, and Alanis Morissette to grab the No. 4 single of the year spot with this tune.

5 7

Top 20 best-selling singles of 1996


This rapper and actor was killed in a drive-by shooting in 1996, the same year he experienced some of his greatest chart success with singles “How Do U Want It” and “California Love.”

Songwriter Jim Steinman had to take Meatloaf to court to keep him from recording this power ballad, which Celine Dion took to No. 2 in the Billboard charts.

19 20

“Change The World” was one of this guitar legend’s best-selling songs of his 40+ year career and was the nineteenth top seller of 1996.

This rapper may be betterknown as a primetime actor these days, but 20 years ago he scored big with the platinum-selling “Hey Lover.”

See page 80 for answers. Join us next month for more blasts from the past. BAYSTATEPARENT 13


Plank. Tweet. Repeat. Inside the free, online fitness movement that started in Massachusetts BY AMANDA COLLINS, STEVEN KING PHOTOGRAPHY No matter what one’s health or fitness goals may be, accountability can be a game changer on the journey to achieving them. After all, it is one thing to say this is the year you’ll stick to that workout routine — and another to actually do it. Sure, a solution could be finding a “fitness buddy” or sticking to a strict workout routine, but what if you like to exercise alone, or your days are too hectic to pick a time slot for exercise? Four years ago, Dr. Sherry Pagoto found a solution that provided both the flexibility and the accountability she needed when it came to the dreaded toning of her tummy. She has literally thousands of fitness buddies to hold her to fitness goals — and she never has to actually work out with them. #PlankADay is a fitness movement that scores of Twitter users have tuned into, in which they hold themselves in a pushup-like position (known as a “plank”) for 1 minute or more each day and then share their ab-toning triumph — in the form of the searchable hashtag — to their social network. For Pagoto, it all started with a loathing for crunches. A licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Pagoto found plank14 MARCH2016

ing to be a better option than more traditional ab-strengthening exercises. It’s accessible for varied fitness levels, can be done anywhere, and targets a number of muscle groups in the abdomen, she explained. “It’s something that’s short and easy to just do it and get it out of the way,” she said. Pagoto just wanted a stronger core — not to start a movement. “It all was sort of accidental,” she said of beginning an online ab craze. “A friend of mine, Mike, and I joined Twitter — we live in different states and talked about exercise online, and we both wanted to do more ab work. At some point we just said, ‘Why don’t we help keep each other accountable? We’ll start really small — just one plank a day — plank, tweet, repeat.’” It started with the hashtag, #PlankADay, between friends, and snowballed from there. Other Twitter users caught on to the challenge, and soon 10, 20, 30, 40 people from all walks of life were tweeting their daily planks. As the craze caught on, Mike took on a new role. “He called himself the ‘Plank Police,’” Pagoto says. “Once someone used the hashtag a couple of times, if they missed a few days, he would check in.” But soon the movement grew too big for a person to police. Within a

couple of months, hundreds were tweeting their #PlankADay. A programmable Plank Police account now keeps plankers on track. To date, the hashtag has been used by at least 10,000 people, creating a virtual community that has not only helped Pagoto keep on track with her health, but has also provided fodder for her professional life. The researcher in her wondered if the success of #PlankADay could mark a new wave in health and fitness. Recently, she wrote a paper on the topic. “There’s a peer-to-peer healthcare, the concept of people going online to find other people who are on the same journey. I noticed that there are so many communities around health and fitness, people who find each other with hashtags,” Pagoto said. “What we found when we surveyed people who tweet about their weight loss is they found that online network to be a greater source of support than friends and family. We can construct a

social support around a health goal or a health condition.” When it comes to #PlankADay, more than 80% of participants Pagoto surveyed said they “felt each aspect of the activity (tweeting their planks, the Plank Police, and having other people respond to their plank tweets) [increased] their motivation.” Joining the movement is free, all you have to do is complete your daily plank, then blast it out with the #PlankADay hashtag. Do it twice and you’re in. “Once you’re on the Plank Police beat, it will tweet you to remind you to do your planks. He’ll say something like, ‘Hey, are you shooting planks or blanks?’ We try to keep it fun,” Pagoto said. Follow Pagoto on Twitter to discover the latest plank challenges she’s issuing: @DrSherryPagoto. Read more about Pagoto, Plank A Day, and her advice on weight loss and healthy living at her Website: fudiet.com.

Because it takes expert care to deliver a miracle

Bringing miracles to life is our passion at the LaChance Maternity Center at Heywood Hospital. Our expert team of physicians, nurses and doulas, provide personalized attention in a state-of-the-art environment that promotes a tranquil and natural birthing experience, resulting in the lowest caesarean birth rate in the state. And our specialty services – from our post-birth celebration dinner to our rejuvenating spa treatments including relaxing whirlpool hydrotherapy, post-partum massage therapy, music therapy and aromatherapy – will leave you feeling just heavenly. To find out more about the services offered at the LaChance Maternity Center visit www.heywood.org. To register for a Childbirth Class or schedule a tour of the LaChance Maternity Center call (978) 630-6216.

242 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 | (978) 632-3420 | heywood.org

HWD021_MatAd_BayParJunior.indd 1

BAYSTATEPARENT 15 7/11/14 10:09 PM

Below are the Institute of Medicine’s current guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy, which are based on body mass index (BMI) — a calculation of a person’s height-to-weight ratio.

Pre-pregnancy weight

Total recommended weight gain

Underweight 28-40 lbs. Normal 25-35 lbs. Overweight 15-25 lbs. Obese 11-20 lbs.

Pay Attention To Two Changes In Pregnancy Nutrition Guidelines BY MICHELLE PERRAS-CHARRON


healthy diet during pregnancy not only ensures that baby gets the vitamins and minerals needed for healthy development, but it also can affect the mother’s health — short- and long-term. While prenatal nutrition may appear to be mostly common sense, there are guidelines expectant mothers should pay attention to — some of which have changed over the years. 16 MARCH2016

Weight gain While many dietary guidelines for pregnant women have remained mostly unchanged over time, there have been two significant changes within the past decade. The first change — a big one — involves weight gain. In 2009, the Institute of Medicine tightened up guidelines for weight gain during pregnancy, allowing for less overall.

“Many women don’t realize they are overweight and fall into these categories,” says Dr. Gina Sullivan, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UMass Medical Center in Worcester. “Fifty-eight percent of women are currently obese or overweight.” Sullivan says excess weight gained during pregnancy not only impacts the mother’s future health, but can also possibly affect the future health of the baby. Fifty percent of women with gestational diabetes will develop diabetes later in life, she adds. And, though research is still ongoing, it is possible gestational diabetes may also put babies at an increased risk for diabetes later in life. Sullivan says studies point to a correlation between increased obesity in children whose mothers were diagnosed with gestational diabetics. “This is just another reason why we love to see women getting their health optimized prior to pregnancy,” says Sullivan, who recommends women begin any needed lifestyle and dietary changes one to two years prior to becoming pregnant. “You really only need an extra 300 calories a day to support your changing body and your growing baby,” notes Dr. Sonali Ruder, physician, chef, and creator of the food blog, The Foodie Physician (thefoodiephysician. com). Ruder combines her medical and culinary knowledge in her new book, Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, to help expectant mothers eat well during pregnancy. Here are a few examples of healthy snacks and meals, taken from Ruder’s cookbook, that represent about 300 calories: • 2 scrambled eggs, a slice of whole wheat toast, and a small glass of orange juice.

• Apple with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 6 whole grain crackers. • Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, a slice of reduced-fat cheese, and mustard. “Eating for two doesn’t mean you should be eating twice as much,” Ruder notes. “It means you should be eating twice as smart.”

Fish Another more recent change in dietary guidelines addresses the consumption of fish, a category many women tend to avoid during pregnancy due to concerns over mercury. However, Ruder explains that in 2014, guidelines regarding seafood changed from stating pregnant women should eat a maximum of 12 ounces of seafood per week, to recommending that pregnant women consume a minimum of 8 to 12 ounces of low-mercury seafood per week. “Pregnant women are definitely not eating anywhere near that amount, yet the health benefits are so great,” says Ruder, adding that an FDA analysis found that 21% of pregnant women in the U.S. had eaten no fish in the previous month, and of the women who ate fish, most consumed less than 4 ounces per week. “Fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acid,” Dr. Sullivan adds. It is widely known that omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain development, however, not all fish are created equal. Sullivan advises that pregnant women steer clear of large fish, such as mackerel and swordfish, which can be high in mercury. Small fish such as tilapia, salmon, cod, and shrimp are generally safer. If buying canned tuna, Sullivan recommends limiting white albacore tuna to less than 6 ounces per week or buying chunk light tuna instead, which has less mercury, allowing for up to 12 ounces per week.

Getting it right When it comes to prenatal diet and nutrition, Ruder says: “In general, pregnant women are doing a good job.” Sullivan notes that patients today are more proactive than in past decades, taking it upon themselves to read food labels more closely and use Internet resources to educate themselves, then follow up with their doctor on any questions. “I always love when people take their health into their own hands,” she adds. Sullivan also highlights the importance of folic acid because it affects a baby’s development very early in pregnancy. She recommends women

begin taking a prenatal vitamin prior to becoming pregnant, as all prenatal vitamins contain folic acid. One question frequently asked by many of her patients — whether it is safe to drink coffee during pregnancy — is somewhat of a gray area. Studies show that fewer than 200 mg of caffeine per day is fine, she notes, the equivalent of one small coffee per day. According to Sullivan, one 8-ounce cup of coffee has 137 mg of caffeine on average.

parents are parents. kids are kids.


covered it all...and still does!

“Eating for two doesn’t mean you should be eating twice as much. It means you should be eating twice as smart.”

20 TH


– Dr. Sonali Ruder physician, chef


Not so right While expectant moms are mostly getting it right when it comes to prenatal nutrition, there are areas in which improvement may be needed. Sullivan says at times women may go a bit overboard when it comes to diet or exercise. She reminds patients to adhere to appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, as well as appropriate levels of exercise, as she has seen both ends of the spectrum. “Some women really cut back because they’re worried, they don’t want to over-do it,” she says. “And some start exercising when they never had before.” Instead, Sullivan recommends expectant mothers exercise moderately in their normal range of what they can tolerate. She has also seen women fall victim to the vegetable and fruit juicing craze. While it seems like a healthy alternative, Sullivan points out that those who juice are not getting the fiber they would get if they had just eaten those foods whole instead. Juiced fruits and vegetables can also have a large amount of added sugar. Ruder adds a reminder that pregnant women need 8 to 10 glasses of water per day as only about 20% of a person’s water intake comes from foods, she says. “There are things everybody can strive for,” Sullivan says about prenatal nutrition. “Pregnancy is a great teaching moment.”

Celebrate Easter at Lanni Orchards h c r a M th 26 m 9-5 p

2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Our Farm Stand • Each child can find 10 eggs • Eggs contain candy or coupons

Visit the Easter Bunny 10-12 pm, 2-4 pm!

• Bring your camera • Decorate cookies • Games

Taste of Local

March 12 & 13 • 10 am - 5 pm

• Chinese auction • Easter crafts • Lots of fun! “YOU WANT FRESH YOU WANT LOCAL”

An event for you to sample all kinds of food from local vendors and farms!

294 Chase Rd Lunenburg • 978-582-6246 • www.lanniorchards.com • Hours: M-F 9-6, Sat-Sun 9-5 BAYSTATEPARENT 17

Feeling brave? Try Jelly Belly BeanBoozled


Spring is prime jellybean season, and if you want to walk on the wild side, check out Jelly Belly’s latest edition of BeanBoozled. Now in its fourth iteration, BeanBoozled features two new pairs of identical jellybeans, one tasty flavor and one gross, in addition to eight other favorite tasty/gross pairs. You never know what you’ll get from the BeanBoozled Mystery Bean Container. Does that pink jellybean taste like peach or barf? Is the white bean spoiled milk or coconut? The brave can play BeanBoozled and get the all-new 4th edition at jellybelly. com. Good luck.

Reduce Lunchtime Waste With Funkins

Snack In A Fun, New Way With Cosmos Creations Looking for a gluten-free snack with a new twist? Cosmos Creations is a light, puffed corn treat that comes in several fun flavors, such as Coconut Crunch, Caramel, Salted Caramel, Cheddar & Cracked Pepper, Sea Salt & Butter, Spicy Sriracha, and Caramel Apple Crisp. All Cosmos Creations flavors are gluten-free, trans-fat free, with zero kernels or hulls. Find them in large or snack-size bags at Costco or online at cosmoscreations.com.

10 Tips To Help You Clean Like A Pro BY LESLIE REICHERT

Ever wonder how a professional can clean a house so quickly? After 25 years as a cleaning expert, I have found that the “tricks” professionals use aren’t really tricks at all, just systems that help them work more efficiently. Here are 10 tips that will help you speed clean like a pro: Gather together all the tools and cleaning products you’ll need for your entire home and place them in a caddy. Think of this as your toolbox. Everything you might need goes in this caddy. This includes items like razor blades, a toothbrush, and a credit card for scraping. Wear a half apron with pockets. Just like a carpenter, you should carry your tools with you. Line the inside of one pocket with a small plastic bag, which will hold your trash. Place paper or garbage in that pocket instead of running back and forth to a trashcan. Work in a circle. Find a starting point in the room and work around the room in a circle, cleaning everything as you go.

18 MARCH2016

American children throw out 4.6 billion pounds of lunch waste each year. Your lunchbox-toter can help reduce that number by packing Funkins with lunch. These 15” x 13” double-sided, 100% cotton napkins are soft, durable, and washable, and are also large enough to double as a placemat. Funkins come in a variety of bright, vibrant patterns and prints for all ages. Check out the variety of fun options at myfunkins.com.

You want to clean each spot and then move to the next area. Try not to retrace any steps.

around. Leave enough space so that you can dust and vacuum between furniture without moving any thing.

Learn the mantra: top to bottom/ back to front. This will help you keep track of your new way of cleaning. For example, if you were cleaning an entertainment center, you would start at the very top and back near the wall and work your way to the front of the piece. Then work your way down on each side, ending up at the bottom front of the unit. Wipe all of the dust onto the floor since you are going to run the vacuum later.

Use a new paintbrush to move dust and debris away from the furniture. Brush dust and dirt away from the legs of your furniture. This will make vacuuming easier since you won’t have to stop to change attachments.

Spraying furniture with a cleaning product actually makes more work and takes longer. Instead, spray cleaner directly on a cloth. And remember, more is not always better. We sometimes think that the more cleaning product we use, the better it should work. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. They have spent a lot of time and money researching the best way to use their product. Don’t fight with your furniture every time you clean. Arrange your furniture so it’s easy to maneuver

Vacuum your way out of the room so you know you are completely done cleaning the room when you get to the doorway. Separate your home into wet work and dry work. The wet work includes the cleaning of bathrooms, kitchens, and hard floors. Dry work is simply dusting and vacuuming. Start with the wet work in the bathrooms, move to the kitchen, and finish with the dry work. This will help keep you “on task.” When cleaning your own home, act like a professional. Don’t spend time sorting and organizing. You want to clean in the time you have set aside. Pick a different time for sorting, organizing, or rearranging.

Free Online Guide To Restaurants’ ‘Allergy-Friendliness’

AllergyEats (allergyeats.com), the Boston-based free guide to allergyfriendly restaurants nationwide, has

Research Finds Link At Birth To Food Allergies A study of 1,000 babies in Australia has found what researchers believe may be an indicator of whether a child will develop food allergies later in life. A new immune signature found in a newborn’s cord blood was linked to an increased risk for developing food allergies, according to researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. “We found a link between children who had hyperactive immune cells at birth and the development of allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and other common foods in their first years of life,” said Len Harrison, professor at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. And food allergies are becoming a growing concern for parents Down Under. “There has been a three-fold increase in hospital presentations due to food allergy over recent decades, and most of this increase has been among children under 5 years of age,” Associate Professor Peter Vuillermin said in an institute press release. “In fact, up to 1 in every 10 babies in Melbourne develops a food allergy during the first year of life. We don’t know why the increase in food allergy has occurred. The important thing about this study is that we’ve shown the immune systems of babies who develop food allergy are in a sense ‘primed’ for allergic disease by the time they are born.” To read more findings, visit wehi.edu.au/news/food-allergylinked-hyperactive-immunesystem-birth.

a new look, offering food-allergic diners and families an improved user experience as they seek information about the “allergy-friendliness” of restaurants around the U.S. Users can search by zip code, city/ state, or restaurant name for dining options within a set distance. They can also search via allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, fish,

shellfish, sesame, and soy. The site, founded by a Massachusetts father of three food-allergic children, also features restaurant reviews submitted by families or diners affected by allergies. The site even offers a free guide to dining with allergies at Walt Disney World parks: allergyeats.com/disney/. The AllergyEats app is free and available for iOS or Android phones.

Five Ways To Lighten Up Winter Meals Dr. Mary Wendt, founder of getwaisted. com and author of Waist Away: How to Joyfully Lose Weight and Supercharge Your Life, offers five easy tips you can use to modify favorite winter dishes without meat or dairy. 1. Savor Seasonal Carbs “The seasons naturally guide us in the foods we should be eating throughout the year,” Wendt says. “In the fall and winter, there’s a bounty of seasonal vegetables that will scratch your itch for carbohydrates.” For example, winter squashes (butternut, acorn, etc.) are delicious, rich, and filling. Whereas you may have once gorged on mac and cheese, enjoy instead a “pasta” made from spaghetti squash topped with a veggie marinara and scrambled tofu. You can even try this with carrot noodles or other root vegetables.

soft spot for Mexican food, burritos and fajitas are delicious when prepared with beans, rice, peppers, and onions. Add in a whole wheat or nonGMO corn tortilla wrapper to add a burst of nutrients. Look to do the same sort of swaps with Indian and Asian dishes as well. Lentils and most veggies go hand in hand with rich Indian curries, while tofu marries perfectly with the umami of an Asian-influenced stir fry. Furthermore, exotic and comforting spices like turmeric, cumin, and chili powder can help warm you up when it’s cold outside. 5. Do Dessert Sans Dairy No one is claiming dessert foods are “healthy,” but with a little effort they

can be made much less “bad” for you. The Internet has countless vegan dessert recipes developed by brilliant dessert chefs and talented home cooks. Look around and find plantbased desserts that resonate with you. “This winter is the perfect time to start swapping out meat and dairy for plant-based options,” Wendt says. “Because we seek out heartier and more filling foods this time of year, you will spare yourself countless calories by choosing vegetables over meat now. By the time it warms up, you will be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle, and will have spared yourself typical seasonal weight gain to boot.”

2. Beckon for Beans Chili and other wintry stews don’t need to contain chicken or beef to be hearty and satisfying. If you are in need of plant-based protein, look no further than the humble bean. Beans are actually very filling and nutritious. Furthermore, they taste great and blend well with other flavors found in soups and stews. Try substituting lentils, kidney beans, or pintos in place of meat the next time you start a nourishing pot of stew. 3. Remake Your Mashed Potatoes Remember that you don’t have to eat your mashed potatoes the way Mom made them. Swap out the butter and cream! There are lots of plant-based substitutes for dairy that can recreate this classic comfort food dish. A few substitutions are coconut milk, almond milk, and extra virgin olive oil. Even garlic, when roasted, becomes velvety and spreadable just like butter, and its savory flavor goes well with this dish. There are some great vegan butters on the market, too. You can even swap out white potatoes for more nutrient-dense veggies such as cauliflower or sweet potato. 4. Go Global for Inspiration “Ethnic” foods are very easy to remake with a plant-based twist. If you have a BAYSTATEPARENT 19

Photo by Vivian Doan




Musician Brings Food Allergy Awareness, Info To Kids Through Song BY SARA POKORNY


hen Kyle Dine found himself teaching guitar at a summer camp, scrawling lyrics to tunes about food allergies with the help of children diagnosed with them, he thought he might be onto something. More than 500 schools, 40 support groups, and 1 million people later, he found he was right. Dine has nailed the niche market of singing about food allergies, and he is using his success to educate parents and children, alleviate fears, and provide a better understanding of conditions that affect 1 in every 13 children under the age of 18 in the United States. That’s roughly two kids with food allergies in every classroom, according to the Food Allergy Research & Education organization (foodallergy.org). The 32-year-old singer/songwriter from Ontario, Canada, does this in part because he has dealt with food allergies since he was a toddler. He is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, and mustard. He’s familiar with the territory that comes with having food allergies, for both children who possess them and their parents or guardians who must help manage them. “When you can’t eat what everyone else can, issues arise with teasing and bullying, isolation and anxiety for children, especially those who are afraid of allergic reactions,” Dine said. “There are a lot of psychosocial things that can go on, but there is a flip side of the coin. That is really what I’ve taken on as my calling, to promote the good side.” Dine tries to keep in perspective and acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of difficult medical conditions people can have, and that having a food allergy is at least manageable. 20 MARCH2016

“You can do anything you want in life,” he said. “You can be a musician, you can be a doctor; the sky’s the limit.” And there are other perks, as well. “You become a really creative cook,” he noted. “Making a cake without eggs that still rises? That’s a challenge. Also, in this day and age, it’s not a bad thing to be aware of what’s in your food. A lot of people with food allergies are healthy eaters who pay attention to what they put in their body.” Dine also seeks to give perspective and information to those who do not have food allergies, as they are important to those who do. His all-encompassing and playful approach to dealing with food sensitivities is the reason The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter, is sponsoring a free concert by Dine at Norwood High School on March 12. “Kyle is an educator who has made it his personal mission to use music to teach kids with food allergies how to stay safe. [His programs] also raise awareness in the general community about life with food allergies. Children learn how to respect individual differences and keep their friends safe,” said Sharon Schumack, director of education for the New England Chapter (asthmaandallergies.org). Dine and Schumack acknowledged how frustrating dealing with newly diagnosed food allergies can be, but also outlined ways to make it easier. “First and foremost, get educated,” Dine advised. “Go to an allergist and talk to them so you can have a better understanding. After you have the right information, you can become empowered over the condition.” While some may view a food aller-

gy as a weakness or disadvantage, it’s important children do not keep food allergies a secret. Dine said parents might also tell their child not to spread the word about their diagnosis. However, telling those around you can help save your life. “When people around you know, they’ll know how to react when you’re having an allergic reaction,” Dine said. “They can also support you socially.” Overall, Dine urged, “Be your own advocate.” “The most important things to remember are to always check all food ingredients carefully and to always have two doses of epinephrine with your child everywhere he or she goes or spends time,” Schumack said. “It’s important to teach your children what they need to do to keep themselves safe.” It’s serious information for a medical condition that should not be taken lightly, but Dine specializes in infusing fun into it, making it all seem a little less scary. He defines his music by one word: engaging. “If it doesn’t get the kids moving, squirming, jumping, singing, clapping, I’m probably not writing it,” he said. “When I’m doing concerts, I want it to be engaging, every single kid from the front row to the back row is into it.” Dine doesn’t confine his allergyfriendly songs, such as “EpiMan,” “Gluten-Free Blues,” and “Stop! Please Don’t Feed Me!” to solely guitar playing. He also has puppets on stage that help get the message across. The kids shout lyrics, bop around, and are raucous when Dine sings his catchy and infectious tunes — all of which hold a level of learning that kids aren’t aware of, at least at the time. “It’s a very entertaining experi-

ence where kids will learn a lot, but they’re kind of tricked into learning it,” he said with a laugh. It works, and Dine has seen it first-hand: “Last year, a nurse got in touch with me about a week after I was at the school and told me about a kid who came to her and said, ‘I’m having an allergic reaction. I need an EpiPen.’ The boy had no known allergies, but something must have triggered them. She looked him over and, sure enough, he was having a pretty severe reaction. She was able to use some of the stock of epinephrine the school had and helped save his life. He told her he knew what was happening because he recognized things he learned at the assembly I was a part of the week before. These kids…once they’re given the right information, they really can act on it.”

Free local concert: Food Allergies Rock!

Family concert with Kyle Dine Saturday, March 12 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Norwood High School 245 Nichols Street, Norwood, Free. No tickets or pre-registration required. In addition to the performance by Kyle Dine (kyledine. com), the event includes a Food Allergy Expo, with exhibits, free samples, and coupons from 24 concert sponsors, including many well-known companies that specialize in allergen-free products or that serve the food allergy community.

Where the Arts and Math Intersect At Applewild, our commitment to the arts is central to our program. Here, the performing and visual arts are a part of each student’s academic day. When students study the physics of sound, they design and play their own musical instruments. When students play Orff instruments, they connect rhythm and notes to math concepts. Our teachers collaborate across the curriculum to inspire students to connect the arts to their academic work. Most importantly, they’re having fun! Take a look at our next Open House.

Join Us April 2nd 10AM

www.applewild.org/open to Register The Fun Lasts All Summer Long Summer Camp at Applewild

To register go to www.applewild.org/summer 120 Prospect Street I Fitchburg, MA I 978.342.6053 Applewild Preschool at Devens I 27 Jackson Road I Devens, MA I 978.796.5183 www.applewild.org I admissions@applewild.org Applewild School is a Preschool - grade 8 independent day school BAYSTATEPARENT 21




Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss

Photo by Paul Specht

GO CHEER Harlem Globetrotters 90th Anniversary Tour. DCU Center, Worcester. March 11-12.

GO PREP School Readiness Friday Night. Boston Children’s Museum. March 4. 22 MARCH2016

GO SING Food Allergies Rock! Family Concert with food allergy musician and performer Kyle Dine. Norwood High School. March 12.

GO WILD Nature Journaling-First Day of Spring. Science Discovery Museum, Acton. March 20.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.

1 Tuesday

Families $25, adults $10, students $5. regenttheatre.com.

Peep Science Adventure: Reusing. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop in and explore the possibilities of reusing what we usually throw away. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.

Teen Night at Drumlin Farm. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Explore Drumlin Farm’s trails by moonlight, stargaze at the top of the farm, and listen for owls and night creatures as you play games, listen to music, and bring a snack to share by the fireside. For ages 13 and up. Register ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $12. massaudubon.org.

ASD Friendly Afternoon. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30 p.m.4:30 p.m. Participate in special sensory-based activities during this day designed for families with children with an ASD, including crowd limitations, and a dedicated quiet room for families. Register ahead. Free. discoverymuseums.org. LEGO Americana Roadshow: Building Across America. Providence Place, 1 Providence Place, Providence. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Through March 6. Check out 10 one-of-a-kind, large-scale models of American landmarks made completely out of LEGO bricks located throughout the mall. Exhibition also features LEGO Brick Play Area, LEGO Building Activity, and LEGO Scavenger Hunt. Free. providenceplace.com.

2 Wednesday Celebrating Read Across America Day. The Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Celebrate Read Across America Day with surprise pop-up story times at both museums throughout the day, as well as an outdoor Story Walk around the museum campus. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Preschool Story-Time: Hats, Hats, Hats. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10 a.m.11 a.m. Wear your favorite hat for stories about all kinds of hats, play a game, and make an awesome paper hat. For ages 3 and 4 with an adult. Member children $5, nonmember children $10. goreplace.org. Free First Wednesday. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Explore the sculptures, grounds, and special exhibitions during this day of free art immersion. Free. decordova.org.

3 Thursday Little SMART Gals: Mary Anning. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Try your hand at observing, creating, and digging for fossils, as we celebrate Women’s History Month and this special female paleontologist. Free with admission. Members

5 Saturday

GO BUILD: LEGO Americana Roadshow: Building Across America. Providence Place Mall. March 1-6.

free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. SMART Gals: Mary Anning. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.4:30 p.m. Drop in to uncover your inner paleontologist and explore how Mary Anning’s childhood passion for collecting fossils resulted in great discoveries in her chosen field of work. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. STEAM Ahead. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy this special story-time exploring math, science, and the arts through books and related activities. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

4 Friday

little ones with the outdoors. Designed for children ages 2 to 5. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Maple Magic. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate trees and the magical sweetness of the maple in spring during this maple sugaring day, where you can check out the taps and taste some sap, listen to stories, and delight your taste buds with a sweet maple treat. Recommended for ages up to 12. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. massaudubon.org. First Friday Nights Free. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 4:30 p.m.8:30 p.m. Enjoy free admission and explore the museums at night during this special monthly event, during which the museums gratefully accept food donations for area food pantries. Free. discoverymuseums.org.

Music and Movement with Miss Bernadette. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m. Explore sound through singing and playing, as you move, make music, listen, learn, and get a multisensory workout with professional musician and educator Miss Bernadette. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.

School Readiness Friday Night. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Experience an evening of school readiness activities, storytelling, science exploration, art and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $1, children 12 months and under free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Backyard and Beyond: Nature Playgroup. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Enjoy songs, games, a special art project, and the exploration of nature during this time dedicated to connecting

2016 ATown Teen Video Contest Screening and Awards Night. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 7 p.m. Celebrate the best of films produced by young Arlington talent, during this third-annual event.

10th Annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival. Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. 8:30 a.m.4 p.m. Celebrate the seasonal return of the bald eagle through all-day family events at Joppa Flats Education Center or the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. Take guided eagle tours starting at the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce or take a photo with a raptor at City Hall. Free. massaudubon.org/eaglefestival. Family Feud at Bird Park. Francis William Bird Park, 41 Rhoades Ave., East Walpole. 10 a.m.1 p.m. Banish that cabin fever and come to the park for a day of fun and games. Member families $10, nonmember families $15. thetrustees.org. Little Groove. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Children will interact with puppets, bubbles, balls, pom poms, and parachutes, all through the lens of a musical experience building important social and motor skills. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $12, children $9. coolidge.org. Margot Fox Family Fun Show. Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. 10:30 a.m. Dance, wiggle, and sing: shake off the cold and look toward spring, as Margot brings audiences of all ages to their feet. Members $7; nonmember adults $10, children under 12 $8. regenttheatre.com. Families @ WAM Tour. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Explore the Worcester Art Museum galleries on a docent-guided discovery tour, filled with fun facts, stories, and observation. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children ages 4 to 17 $6, children under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Beyond the Spectrum. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Children on the autism spectrum are invited to explore the galaxy through works of art about the sun, stars, and sky before creating our own astrological masterpiece. For ages 8 to 12. Register ahead. $9. mfa.org. BAYSTATEPARENT 23

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Families @ WAM Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Drop-in for fun, intergenerational time in the galleries. Get inspired by the art and try making something uniquely yours. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children ages 4 to 17 $6, children under 4 free. worcesterart.org. Backyard and Beyond: Backyard Birding. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn more about birds and see who you can spot at the feeders. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Build a Bluebird House. Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, 414 Massasoit Rd., Worcester. 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Help bluebirds by building nest-boxes from pre-cut kits, suitable for other small cavity-nesting birds such as black-capped chickadees, tree swallows, and white-breasted nuthatches. Register ahead. Member adults $15, nonmember adults $20, children free. massaudubon.org. Across the Americas: A Song & Story Celebration. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the Western Hemisphere in a participatory program of stories and songs with professional storytellers David Bates and Roger Ticknell. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Busy Bees’ Wax. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Meet our beekeeper and learn how he minds his beeswax, find out why bees make wax, and make candles and decorations while having a buzz of a time. Suitable for children ages 3 to 9. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org.

6 Sunday

3D Still Life recreation, and story-time. Free. danforthart.org.

Flight School Exhibition Opening. Danforth Art Museum and School, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Get a glimpse of a series of illustrations from New Hampshire artist Lita Judge depicting the whimsical story of a penguin with the soul of an eagle who dreams of learning to fly. Through the month. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $11, children under 17 free. danforthart.org.

Join the Circus for Purim. Fayerweather Street School, 765 Concord Ave., Cambridge. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Make silly clown hats and enjoy Hamantaschen snacks while learning upside-down tricks and other fun circus antics for this festive holiday. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Register ahead. Preregistered families $20; walk-in families $25. bostonjcc.org.

Artful Animals: Mammal Sketching and Tracking Walk. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Learn how to draw common mammals from Broadmoor, including deer, beavers, and squirrels, before venturing outside to learn about animal tracks and signs. Suitable for ages 7 to 11. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $18. massaudubon.org. The Lightning Thief. Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton St., Newton. 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. The action-packed musical filled with heroic battles and mythological beasts, based on Rick Riordan’s book, comes to Massachusetts on its national tour. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Members $13, nonmembers $15. bostonjcc.org. Harbor Seals and Hot Chocolate. Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Come bundled up with a thermos to Joppa Flats Education Center before we head out and look for harbor seals at Salisbury Beach State Reservation. Suitable for ages 7 to 16. Register ahead. Member adults $11, children $8; nonmember adults $14, children $11. massaudubon.org. Drop Into Art. Danforth Art Museum and School, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 2 p.m.4 p.m. Explore the theme of Still Life, inspired by the portraits on view, through activities including Watercolor Still Life, Cardboard Relief Sculptures,

a new idea, program, or exhibit component, during this drop-in session to help shape future programs and spaces. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Teen Tech Week: Bicycle Repair. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Learn how to prep a bicycle for the spring. For ages 13 and up. Free. worcpublib.org.

7 Monday

9 Wednesday

Bridge of Spies. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 6:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments and watch this historical drama set during the Cold War, as a Brooklyn attorney is tasked with negotiating a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and the USSR. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Edible Art for Kids. KITCHEN at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Bring your family during this special presentation in which we make edible art projects. Recommended for ages 3 to 6. Member families $12, nonmember families $20. Register ahead. thetrustees.org.

8 Tuesday

The 2nd Annual Fifth of March Anniversary Orations. Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Experience excerpts from patriotic speeches spoken at Old South Meeting House from 1772 to 1775, by such luminaries as John Hancock, originally delivered to commemorate the Boston Massacre. Free. osmh.org.

Make a Mess: Noodling Around. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Celebrate National Noodle Month, using colorful pasta to create a beautiful necklace or bracelet. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Toddler Tuesdays. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 598 Assembly Row, Somerville. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Head to the Duplo Farm for special toddler activities, story time, and LEGO fun for little ones. Adults $16, children ages 3 to 5 $14, children 2 and under free. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/boston. Try It Out Tuesday. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Provide your expert opinion and help prototype

10 Thursday Little SMART Gals: Rosalind Franklin. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Play games that help us “see” our DNA and then make a face of your own creation during this celebration of DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin and Women’s History Month. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.

For more events, visit baystateparent.com Our Down Syndrome Program Is Now Open! One visit for comprehensive care. Audiology • Cardiology • Dermatology Development/Behavioral Pediatrics Endocrinology • ENT • Gastroenterology Genetics • Hematology/Oncology • Nutrition Orthopedics • Psychiatry • Pulmonology

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24 MARCH2016

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Sip Some Sap. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Listen to a story of maple sugaring and take a walk out to the sugar bush, before enjoying a tasty maple treat. Suitable for ages 3 to 12. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. massaudubon.org. Spring in My Backyard. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate the spring by planting seedlings, making pinecone bird feeders, learning about earthworm composting, and meeting animal friends. For ages 5 and up. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. SMART Gals: Rosalind Franklin. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Come honor chemist Rosalind Franklin by making strawberry DNA necklaces and other DNA-inspired creations. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. The Wild Child: Exploring the Nature in You. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 p.m.5 p.m. Discover some of the connections that humans have with the natural world. Suitable for ages 6 to 10. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $18.

listen for Barred and Great Horned Owls, and Screech Owls, with hands-on activities, and an owl hooting lesson to round out the night. Suitable for ages 5 and up. Register ahead. Member adults $8, children 7; nonmember adults $10, children $8. massaudubon.org. The Harlem Globetrotters. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. The Globetrotters’ 90th anniversary tour features some of the greatest athletes and entertainers on the planet, as they take on the dreaded World All-Stars. Tickets start at $26.50. Also 1 p.m. March 12. dcucenter.com.

12 Saturday Sap to Syrup Farmer’s Breakfast. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Explore sap with a hardy side of pancakes, real maple syrup, roasted potatoes, and sausages. Through Sunday. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. massaudubon.org. Teen Birders: South Shore Hotspots. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Join Drumlin Farms staff and explore the surrounding area

during this day of canvasing for rough legged hawks, snow bunting, purple sandpipers, and more. Suitable for ages 12 to 16. Register ahead. Members $35, nonmembers $42. massaudubon.org. Decorate a Piggy Bank. Hanscom Federal Credit Union, 47 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Families are invited to enjoy refreshments and paint a piggy bank during this event designed to teach kids how to save. Register ahead. hfcu.org/burlington. Lion Brothers Birthday Celebration. Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd., Boston.

Opening at Cummings Center in Beverly April 2016

Enrolling Now!!

CALL (617) 838-6878 for more information!

Enrolling Now!!

CALL (617) 838-6878 for more information!

Opening at Cummings Center in Beverly April 2016

Puppet Pals. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a puppet-filled story-time, with songs, stories, crafts, and lots of puppet friends. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. The Music of Harry Potter. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Experience the magical symphonic music of Harry Potter performed live by Berklee’s finest musicians. $8 advance, $12 day of. berklee.edu.

11 Friday Take Aparts. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Celebrate your inner inventor as you grab a screwdriver and discover resistors, capacitors, and more. Free with admission. Members free, nonmember $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Chicken Dance Party. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Dance along with the chickens, as we perform the Rooster Rhumba, Barred Rock Ballet, and Chickie-Chickie Cha-Cha when we visit the Poultry House and take care of the chickens. Suitable for ages up to 7. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $15. massaudubon.org. Owl Prowl for Families. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Take a night hike to look and

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AWESOME! Spring Events

Engage in these exciting events at Old Sturbridge Village. The past is always full of surprises at New England’s largest living history museum!

Maple Days

Weekends in March

Historic Craft Classes March 5 & 6

Celtic Celebrations March 12 & 13

Garden Symposium April 2

Family Farm Fest April 16 – 24

Patriots’ Day April 18

Mother’s Day May 8 - Moms FREE!

Garden Weekend May 14 & 15

Wool Days May 28 – 30

Please visit our website for hours and a full schedule of events.

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! 10:15 a.m.-2 p.m. Celebrate lion brothers Dinari and Kamaia’s 7th birthdays, during this day filled with birthday enrichment items for lions, an education station, cake, and a giant birthday card. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $20, children ages 2 to 12 $13, children under 2 free. zoonewengland.org. The Greene-O’Leary School of Irish Dancers. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30 a.m.11:30 a.m. Enjoy a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as these dancers demonstrate their athleticism, skill, and poise while presenting traditional and contemporary Irish dance. Register ahead. Free. jfklibrary.org. Sculpture Park Snowshoe Tour. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 11 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Take a guided tour of the Sculpture Park after a snowshoe lesson by a trained instructor. Register ahead. Member adults $15, children ages 8 and up $12; nonmember adults $25, children ages 8 and up $20. decordova.org. Spring into Nature. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate, 2468 Washington St., Canton. 11 a.m.3 p.m. Scout salamanders, listen for peepers, and pet the animals, as we explore and find natural treasures throughout the estate. Member adults $10, children $5; nonmember adults $15, children $10. thetrustees.org. Signs of Spring with Blue Hills Trailside Museum. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a unique opportunity to see native animals up close with a trained naturalist, handle natural history artifacts, and learn about the emerging animals come spring. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Tracks and Telltales for Kids. Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, 310 Argilla Rd., Ipswich. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Hike from the Barn to the Pine Grove, looking for tracks and telltales signs left behind by creatures, before enjoying hot chocolate to round out our trip. Register ahead. Member adults $10, children $5; nonmember adults $15, children $10. thetrustees.org. Winter Hiking with JUMP. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Hit the trails with educators from Just Understand My Potential and learn critical cold-weather hiking skills while enjoying the Fruitlands wintery woodlands. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $5. fruitlands.org. Shaun the Sheep. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Watch

this delightful family film as a sheep takes the day off to have some fun and gets more than he anticipated through a big-city adventure. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Spring Ahead Fest. Rocky Woods, 64 Rocky Woods Reservation, Medfield. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Join us for a festival set to induce the long thaw and leave our cabin fever behind, with barbeque, beer, and a bonfire to burn away your winter woes. Members $10, nonmembers $20. thetrustees.org. Food Allergies Rock! Norwood High School, 245 Nichols Street, Norwood. Family concert with food allergy musician and performer Kyle Dine, sponsored by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter. 2:30 – 4 p.m. Free. kyledine.com. Celtic Concert. Old Sturbridge Village, 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd., Sturbridge. 7 p.m. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as put on this nighttime concert featuring Full Gael, with Irish-themed food for purchase starting at 6 p.m. Members $10, nonmembers $12. osv.org. Owl Prowl Adventures. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Learn about owl calls, behavior, and habitats as we search and listen for our resident Screech, Barred, and Great Horned owls. Suitable for ages 6 to 16. Register ahead. Member adults $13, children $7; nonmember adults $15, children $9. massaudubon.org.

13 Sunday 11th Annual Poetry Out Loud Massachusetts Finals. Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. Experience the power of poetry, as high school students compete in the finals of this national poetry recitation contest. Free. osmh.org. PJ Library Cirque Du Purim with JFN. Potter Road Elementary School, 492 Potter Rd., Framingham. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. See the circus during the silliest of holidays, Purim, as you dress in costume and join us as we watch young acrobats from Simply Circus fly through the air, with snacks provided. For ages 2 to 8. Preregistered families $20, walk-in families $25. bostonjcc.org. JCC Super Silly Purim Puppet Party. Children’s Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., North Easton. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Get crazy at the JCC’s Purim party to be held at the Children’s Museum, through exploration, yummy Hamantaschen, and a silly puppet show. For ages 5 and under. Preregistered families $20, walk-in families $25. bostonjcc.org.

For more events, visit baystateparent.com 26 MARCH2016

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! The Airborne Comedians. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Dan Foley and Joel Harris throw and catch birdbaths, lawn-chairs, electric guitars, and more. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Adults $12, children $9. coolidge.org. Maple Day. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Explore maple history, culture, and production, help tap a tree for sap, and enjoy sweet treats, fun crafts, and lots of activities. Members $5, nonmembers $8. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Fiddler on the Farm. Powisset Farm, 31 Powisset Dr., Dover. 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Come join Celtic fiddler Clair Pettit as she performs slow airs, marches, and jubilant jigs and reels. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $10. thetrustees.org. Yamato: The Drummers of Japan. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 3 p.m. Yamato takes the ancient Japanese art of taiko drumming and creates a heart-pounding spectacle of athleticism, precision, and exhilarating musical experience. $30-$58. berklee.edu. Fun with Animal Footprints and Signs. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 3 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Find out how to solve the mysteries of the winter. Explore Broadmoor looking for tracks and signs of otters, rabbits, deer, coyote, and many other animals. Suitable for ages 6 to 16. Register ahead. Member adults $12, children $6; nonmember adults $14, children $8. massaudubon.org. DIY Terrariums. KITCHEN at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston. 3 p.m.5 p.m. Stow Greenhouses leads you step by step in assembling a terrarium and provides tips for maintaining it. Register ahead. Members $36, nonmembers $45. thetrustees.org.

14 Monday Pi Day. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Celebrate circles and all things round during this delightfully circular-themed day. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

15 Tuesday Make a MESS: It’s Leftover Pi Day. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Drop in to celebrate the day after Pi Day; create circle collages using lots of

colorful, mixed media, “leftover” circles. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. iToddlers. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Watch and listen to a story, sing a song, or play an instrument during this engaging morning activity mixing learning, creativity, and technology. For ages 1 to 2. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Card Corner. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Play your favorite trading card games, as you duel your friends and battle your way to the top, using your own or one of our decks. For ages 6 and up. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Animals & Art: Watercolors. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Using watercolors and watercolor pencils explore the different shapes and colors of our local wildlife. Suitable for ages 6 to 10. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $18. massaudubon.org. Maple Moo. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Let’s milk the cow, then check to see if sap is running through the maple trees, and find out what might happen when maple meets milk. Suitable for children up to age 7. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org.

16 Wednesday Dance and Movement Class. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10 a.m.10:45 a.m. Join the Joanne Langione Dance Center during this music and movement class for toddlers and preschoolers. For ages 2 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. ARTFull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 11 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Fill your day with art and play through experiences including engagements with art, books, materials, the environment, and new friends. For ages 2 to 5 with a caregiver. Free with membership. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children 12 and under free. decordova.org. What’s the Weather Wednesday. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m. Join us for a program that depends on the weather. From frozen bubbles, to rain painting, to snow forts, discover what Mother Nature gives us to play with. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.


ADVENTURES! April 18 - 22 | July 4 - August 5

Join us during spring and summer school vacation. Old Sturbridge Village’s Discovery Adventures are a special and unique opportunity to step back in time! We offer a variety of activities for ages 6 - 14 including: • Dress in 1830s costumes • Hearth cooking • Sewing • Wood working • 19th-century games • Art projects A sampling of programs includes:

Fuzzy Friends Get to know the animals who live at the Village and help with farm chores. Outdoor Explorers

Join the explorers of the early 19th-century by adventuring in the “uncharted land” of early America.

Militia An introduction to the customs and traditions of early New England militia.

Journeyman Take on the role of an 1830s teen.

Visit our website today for complete details and to register! Hurry: Discount for summer program ends March 31st.

For more events, visit baystateparent.com BAYSTATEPARENT 27


THINK SPRING! Saturday, March 5 Easter Bunny Hop 11:00am - 1:00pm

Help E. Bunny hop into his Spring Garden with some springtime fun & photos. Kids Club members receive your very own bunny ears. Bunny hop begins at Noon Receive a $5.00 discount off photo packages A or B on 3/5 only. Bunny Photo Hours through Sat. 3/26 Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 8:00pm Sunday · 12:00pm - 6:00pm

For more info please visit us at


or follow us on Facebook


Join the club & join in the fun. Membership is always free and includes monthly surprises, special offers, a membership card and a treat on your birthday

Sign Up Now at Customer Service

Burlington, JC Penney, Macy’s, Sears, Toys R Us & more than 60 specialty stores 100 Commercial Rd. Leominster, MA At the junction of Route 2 & I -190 978.537.7500 www.themallatwhitneyfield.com

GO TOUR Families @ WAM Tour, Worcester Art Museum, March 5. 10:30 a.m.

17 Thursday Brainy Sock Puppets. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.11 a.m. Use your imagination and design skills to create a puppet that has a brain, using our special selection of tools and materials. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. St. Patty’s Party. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Plant some shamrocks and enjoy delicious colcannon and boxty. Suitable for ages up to 8. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org. Celebrate Brain Awareness Week. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Learn about the different parts of your brain and what they do, as you try tricking your brain and discovering the remarkable ways it can adapt. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1. discoverymuseums.org. Spanish Bilingual Story-Time. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Join us for this special story-time filled with stories, songs, and movement in English and Spanish. For ages 3 to 5. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

18 Friday Make It and Take It. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Drop 28 MARCH2016

in and spend quality time with your children and other patrons as you make a craft, read a book, schmooze, and relax a little. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Especially for Me! ASD Families’ Night. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Join in all the fun and explore both museums during this special evening for families with children on the autism spectrum, with dinner provided. Register ahead. Free. discoverymuseums.org. Future of Hope. KITCHEN at Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston. 6 p.m.8 p.m. Watch a screening of this documentary aimed at creating a culture of sustainability, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. Register ahead. Members $9, nonmembers $15. thetrustees.org. From the Top Live Performance. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6:30 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. Watch talented and passionate young musicians demonstrate their love of music and instruments. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $1, children 12 months and under free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org. Pajama Party in PlaySpace. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 7:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Toddlers and the young at heart are invited to wear their pajamas to the Museum for a night of games, songs, and stories. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.


19 Saturday Spring Flapjack Fling. Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. 8:15 a.m. -1 p.m. Wrap up the maple sugaring season with a Flapjack Fling, celebrating our labor of love with delicious pancakes, fruit, orange juice, tea, coffee, and milk. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Register ahead. Adults $7, children ages 3 to 8 $5. massaudubon.org. Land Stewardship. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Cut and pull unwanted plants, pile brush, and plant native shrubs as we care for the land and its inhabitants. Register ahead. Free. massaudubon.org. Bunny Eggstravaganza. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Learn how to decorate eggs with natural dyes, enjoy an egg hunt, meet spring animals, and more. Register ahead. Member children $10, nonmember children $13, adults free. southshorenaturalsciencecenter.org. Health Fair: Our Changing Brain. Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston. 10 a.m.3 p.m. Join Museum educators and local researchers as they explore the effects of brain chemistry on human behavior and health, featuring hands-on activities and displays from local scientists showcasing cutting-edge research. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $23, children ages 3 to 11 $20, children under 3 free. mos.org.

Owls Live! Festival 2016. Museum of American Bird Art, 963 Washington St., Canton. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. A fun family day filled with live owls, owl demonstrations, owl art activities, and outdoor Owl Quest. Free. massaudubon.org. Saturday Scientist Open Lab. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.4 p.m. Drop-in during this two-hour Open Lab to explore engineering, circuitry, coding, and robotics, through Hexbugs, KIBO, littleBits, Lego WeDo and Spark Fun Inventor Kits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Afternoon Chores and More. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Feed chickens and collect eggs, bring hay to the sheep, goats, and cows, and settle in with a farm-fresh snack. Suitable for ages 4 to 12. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org. Creature Feature. Ravenswood Park, 479 Western Ave., Gloucester. 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Celebrate amphibians during this live presentation of animals, followed by a night-time visit to a vernal pool. Register ahead. Member adults $10, children $5; nonmember adults $20, children $10. thetrustees.org.

20 Sunday

Maple Sugar Days. Brookwood Farm, 1 Blue Hill River Rd., Canton. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Put on your boots and flannel shirt and join in the fun, as you smell the wood smoke and watch the clouds of steam rise from the bubbling sap, before savoring the taste of real maple syrup. Register ahead. $6. massaudubon.org.

Sustaining the Sea Free-for-All. Joppa Flats Education Center, 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This full day of activities and exhibits demonstrates where seafood comes from, how it is caught, and what community-supported fisheries are. Free. massaudubon.org.

Rolie Polie Guacamole. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Award-winning group performs its smart, parent-friendly musical style. Adults $12, children $9. coolidge.org.

St. Patrick’s Day. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate this Boston-favorite holiday with stories, crafts, and Irish Step Dance performances. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Family Yoga Class. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Chuck your to-do list and enjoy a relaxing morning filled with age-appropriate and parentpartner poses, breathing exercises, and simple mindfulness activities. Recommended for ages 3 to 12. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

Critter Days: Zooshows. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Discover animals large and small, feathered and furry, four-toed, two-footed, and no-footed during this fun day of live animal programming. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

Free Family Fun Day and Food Drive. Chapel of the Cross, 160 Flanders Rd., Westborough. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy thousands of eggs, free hot dogs and snacks, bounce houses, face painting, crafts, games, and more, during this Easter Egg Hunt and Fun Day, as we move to supply local food banks with nonperishable food items. Free. (508) 870-0001.

Nature Journaling-First Day of Spring. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m. Explore the natural world through science, art, and writing, as we make nature journals and then take them on a nature walk through the Great Hill conservation land. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org.

Mommy & Me Photo Contest Send us your Best Photo of you with your children for a chance to win a

Mother’s Day Package from Contest Runs March 1st - April 15th March 1st - March 31st ENTRIES April 1st - 15th VOTING

Go to baystateparent.com/ mommy-mephotocontest or themallatwhitneyfield.com For a chance to ENTER and WIN a Mother’s Day Package. Valued at $500.

Winner announced in May issue of baystateparent BAYSTATEPARENT 29

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Maple Sugaring Moose Hill. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill St., Sharon. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Take an outdoor guided tour on a wooded trail and visit to the sugar shack where we’ll turn sap into authentic maple syrup. Registration recommended. Preregistered $9, walk-ins $10, children under 4 free. bostonjcc.org. Wingmasters: The World of Owls. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a variety of live North American owls during this presentation showcasing their specialized powers of sight, hearing, and flight to survive and thrive. Members $10, nonmembers $15, children under 12 $5. fruitlands.org. Spring Ecospolration. Governor Hutchinson’s Field, 196 Adams St., Milton. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Explore the field and river bank as the natural world wakes up for spring and we look for the first stirring of animals and plants. Register ahead. Members free; nonmember adults $5, children free. thetrustees.org. ARTfull Explorations. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 11 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Fill your weekend with art and family through group explorations, installations, and engagements with materials and processes inspired by the themes and artists of the day. Designed

for families with children ages 5 to 12. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children 12 and under free. decordova.org. The Cat in the Hat. Leventhal-Sidman JCC, 333 Nahanton St., Newton. 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Dr. Seuss’s classic tale comes alive in this engaging live stage adaption. Members $13, nonmembers $15. bostonjcc.org. The Best of Opera del West. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7 p.m. Opera del West performs scenes and arias from 10 years of successful productions, including Hansel and Gretel, Little Women, and Marriage of Figaro. Members $20, nonmembers $25. natickarts.org.

21 Monday Sophisticated Stories. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 7:30 p.m.-8:15 p.m. Enjoy cool, strange, weird, and wacky picture books during this specially curated story-time for older kids. For grades 3 and up. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

22 Tuesday Make a MESS: Holi Celebration. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Prepare for this Indian festival

of color by doing watercolor spray painting. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Toddler Tuesdays. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 598 Assembly Row, Somerville. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Come to the Duplo Farm for special toddler activities, story time, and LEGO fun for the little ones. Adults $16, children ages 3 to 5 $14, children 2 and under free. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/boston. Water Street Trio. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Join pianist Mi Kyung Kim and saxophonists Sarah Marchitelli and Jacob Swanson for an evening of classic music. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net.

23 Wednesday Puppet Lab. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Enjoy a fun puppet-making workshop. For ages 6 to 8. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Bread and Bunnies. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Hop on down and join us in the kitchen for some hare-raising fun, as we check out what the rabbits have been up to, visit them, and then

bake some bread of our own to enjoy. Suitable for ages up to 7. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org. Full Moon Owl Prowl. Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, Bennington St., East Boston. 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Enjoy a beautiful natural gem in East Boston as we search for snowy owls and learn about these fascinating birds during a moonlight stroll. Register ahead. free. thetrustees.org. Full Moon and Folklore Hike. Crane Wildlife Refuge on the Crane Estate, 310 Argilla Rd., Ipswich. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Celebrate the Algonquin Worm Moon, or Sap Moon, marking the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begin, with a hike, hot cider, and a bonfire. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Register ahead. Members $10, nonmembers $15. thetrustees.org. Spring Woodcock Watches. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Watch as woodcocks put their incredible courtship flights on display, spiraling 200 feet into the air before descending rapidly to almost the same “launch site” on the ground. Register ahead. Free. massaudubon.org. Children of the Arctic. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 7 p.m.-8:30




Children’s Orchard is a RESALE store for children sizes 0-14. Unlike any consignment shop, we pay you immediately for the items that we accept.

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! p.m. A year-in-the-life portrait of Native Alaskan teenagers coming of age in Barrow, Alaska — the northern-most community in the United States. Free. fruitlands.org.

to earn a college degree and a lifelong supporter of human rights, including equal rights for women and African-Americans. Members free, nonmembers $6. osmh.org.

24 Thursday

KidsJam @ Club Common. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6:30 p.m.8 p.m. Join us for our monthly family dance party, featuring a live DJ, dance lessons, free dance, games, and more. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. bostonchildrensmuseum.org.

SMART Gals: Beatrix Potter. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. & 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Get inspired by this favorite children’s book author; dissect flowers and plants and use special tools to make our own observations. A World Underwater: The Reefs of Belize. Museum of Science: Boston, 1 Science Park, Boston. 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Take an underwater journey to Glover’s Reef Research Station in Belize and immerse yourself in coral reefs, with images and cutting-edge immersive video captured during their January 2016 expedition into the ocean. Recommended for grades 5 and up. Register ahead. Free. mos.org. International Folk Music Festival. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. The annual performance celebrating Berklee’s abundant international student population, showcases a variety of traditional folk music, accompanied with vibrant choreography, colorful clothing, and rarely seen instruments. $8 advance, $12 day of. berklee.edu.

25 Friday Sugaring Time. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 9 a.m.4 p.m. See if the sap is running high. Take a hike through the early spring woods, learn how to identify a sugar maple, visit the evaporator, and make a snack using Drumlin Farm syrup. Suitable for ages 13 to 17. Register ahead. Members $40, nonmembers $48. massaudubon.org. Egg-citement. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate the arrival of spring with an Egg Fest, as we meet, greet, and take care of chickens, use natural materials to die and egg, and create a bird nest helper for our feathered friends. Suitable for ages 2 to 7. Register ahead. Members $13, nonmembers $16. massaudubon.org. Make a MESS: Spin Art. Science Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Twist our tools, twirl our paper, and give our watercolors a whirl, to create a uniquely spun piece of art that won’t leave you dizzy. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. I Now Pronounce You: Lucy Stone (18181893). Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St., Boston. 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m. Meet Lucy Stone, the first Massachusetts woman

Rock Off Main Street. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7:30 p.m.-10 p.m.

Witness musicians of all ages perform an eclectic mix of music from pop, to emo, to indie. $8. natickarts.org.

26 Saturday Easter Egg Hunt. Francis William Bird Park, 41 Rhoades Ave., East Walpole. 10 a.m.12 p.m. Come down to the park with your little ones to find all the eggs that have been hidden. Member families $12, nonmember families $20. thetrustees.org. Egg-Cellent Easter Adventure. Appleton Farms, 219 County Rd., Ipswich. 10 a.m.-12

p.m. Celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens, through an Egg-cellent Quest around the farm, visit the calves, and enjoy some fun farm crafts. Register ahead. Member families $20; nonmember families $30. thetrustees.org. Bunny Bonanzoo. Stone Zoo, 149 Pond St., Stoneham. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Come participate in crafts, music, games, and other fun surprises, as we hop, skip, and jump our way into Easter, with a special visit from the Easter Bunny. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $16, children ages 2 to 12 $12, children under 2 free. zoonewengland.org.

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OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Woolapalooza. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This annual festival features fiber, food, and fun, and offers hands-on activities, sheep shearing demonstrations, a look at the farm’s new spring babies, and more. Register ahead. Members $12, nonmembers $13. massaudubon.org. Open Season Scared Silly. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 2 p.m.3:30 p.m. Enjoy this film about a group of animated woodland creatures who try to scare the fear out of their domesticated friend and uncover a mystery of the forest. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Vernal Pool Mysteries. Blue Hills Trailside Museum, 1904 Canton Ave., Milton. 3 p.m.4:30 p.m. Explore these “wicked big puddles” filled with frogs, salamanders, and even fairy shrimp during this short guided walk and exploration activity. Suitable for ages 6 and up. Register ahead. Members $5, nonmembers $7. massaudubon.org.

27 Sunday DIY Snowshoeing. Farandnear, 156 Center Rd., Shirley. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Snowshoe through the woods, then gather ’round the outdoor fireplace to warm your fingers and your heart with steaming hot cocoa. Members $5, nonmembers $7. thetrustees.org.

Winter Explorations. Farandnear, 156 Center Rd., Shirley. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Join a naturalist and look for signs of new life, from migrating birds returning, to animals coming out of winter sleep, plants popping up, and vernal pools emerging. Members $5, nonmembers $10, children free. thetrustees.org.

28 Monday Strangers on the Train. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 7 p.m. This fizzy yet intense psychological thriller brims with elaborately staged set pieces creating one of Hitchcock’s cleverest and most celebrated films. Adults $12, children $10. coolidge.org.

29 Tuesday Peep Science Adventures: Rolling Down a Ramp. Children’s Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Discover the science of ramps, using plenty of curiosity and objects to find ways to test what makes things go faster and slower. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. discoverymuseums.org. Pups and Play. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Spend the morning playing and exploring the lives of animal babies, via


crafts and play imagination games. Suitable for ages 3 to 5. Register ahead. Members $6, nonmembers $8. massaudubon.org. Matt Heaton Family Singalong. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 11 a.m.11:45 a.m. Join Matt Heaton, the Toddlerbilly Troubadour, as he brings an infectious energy to his sing-alongs, peppered with well-known classics and a few soon-to-be classics performed with panache. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Goosebumps. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 3 p.m.-4:45 p.m. Enjoy this film adaptation based on the classic series of children’s books, as the creations of R.L. Stein are unleashed and must be stopped. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Matter Matters. Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Experiment with solids, liquids, and gasses. Make crystals, play with ooblek, and take home some slime. Suitable for ages 6 to 10. Register ahead. Members $15, nonmembers $18. massaudubon.org. Singers Night. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy a high-energy concert featuring students narrowed down from more than 100 soloists and small group auditions. $8 advance, $12 day of. berklee.edu.

30 Wednesday LEGO WeDo. Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton. 7 p.m.-8 p.m. Awaken kids’ curiosities and interests in problem solving, as they build LEGO models and program them to move and react. For ages 7 to 10. Register ahead. Free. newtonfreelibrary.net. Perfect Pitch Concert. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 8 p.m. Enjoy this annual contest featuring Berklee’s top vocalists singing songs by Berklee songwriters, through styles from pop, to R&B to country, with prizes awarded for the best performances. $8 advance, $12 day of. berklee.edu.

31 Thursday Alice in Wonderland. Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m. Check out this new musical adaptation for young audiences written by Rene Pfister, an assistant professor at Berklee, featuring Berklee students in the Musical Theater for Young Audiences Ensemble. $5. berklee.edu. What’s In Your Fish? Museum of Science: Boston, 1 Science Park, Boston. 6:30 p.m.9 p.m. Learn how toxic pollution contaminates aquatic ecosystems and the fish we eat, during this participatory discussion and exploration with refreshments. Recommended for grades 10 and up. Free. Register ahead. mos.org.

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34 MARCH2016


hen a new baby enters a family — whether first, last, or somewhere in the middle — life gets a little more complicated for everyone. Routines are shaken up and roles shift. Siblings scramble to redefine or assert their place in the family. Parents’ energy, emotions, and time are tapped. So what happens when multiple babies join a family at once?

“Having multiples is exciting and amazing in so many ways, of course. But having two or more babies at one time is a massive undertaking. And if you’re new to parenting it’s exponentially difficult,” says Dr. Joan Friedman, a psychotherapist, mother of twins, and a twin herself. Especially in the newborn days, when one baby’s finally sleeping, the other is feeding, which can lead to serious sleep deprivation for parents. It can also be isolating since there are more obstacles, supplies, and gear to contend with when trying to leave the house. “When you have two, there’s always one waiting for more soothing.” This, along with a multitude of other unique challenges, faces a growing population of parents raising multiples, and their families. In 2013, National Vital Statistics System data revealed twin birth rates in the United States were at an all-time high — 33.7 per 1,000 total births — and Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of twinning. Despite an ever-growing occurrence, society continues to understandably, find twins fascinating. From scientific studies to the curiosity of the masses, twins tend to prompt deep observation and analysis of nature vs. nurture. Many marvel at the fact that identical twins can look like mirror opposites of each other and share the same DNA (which can change as environmental factors activate or turn off genes). Identical twins often have similar talents, interests, and personalities, and may end up in similar lines of work — even when brought up many miles apart not knowing one another! Fraternal twins, on the other hand, who start from two different fertilized eggs and grow from separate supporting structures, are not necessarily any more similar than other siblings in a family. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t close.

“Twins in general tend to be very close. They fight a lot, but resolve and play again in a millisecond,” Friedman says. “They enjoy being playmates because they know each other so well. Singletons have to learn how to play with other children. Twins don’t, out of familiarity.” The problem is, whether close or not, fraternal or identical, people often “slap the twin label on and expect them to be the same,” she notes. The attention twins receive in public and private can add an extra layer of pressure on parents of twins, on twins themselves, and also on other singleton siblings in the family. “To help determine who’s who, people exaggerate little, insignificant things,” she says. The classic “Who’s older?” question, she notes, may seem innocuous for a singleton because actual birth order determines that for them and it’s their reality. For twins, however, it becomes a label that sticks to them and can define certain aspects. Friedman suggests that parents not disclose which twin is older because it’s a statistic that has no meaning. “Usually it’s 2 or 3 minutes’ difference, or the result of a c-section. Who happens to get pulled out first becomes such a big deal, when it’s really just a very little deal,” she says. Similarly, before multiples even arrive in the world characteristics are ascribed to them — regardless of whether they’re true. “Even as early as a sonogram, Baby A is on top of Baby B, so Baby A in the womb is already labeled as assertive, perhaps even aggressive,” Friedman says. This can continue to happen as they get older and those around them attempt to get to know them better. But attributions such as “the athletic one” or “the dancer” may have no validity to the twins themselves, except that they might like them. Labels can make it difficult for each twin to develop their own

sense of self. “Sometimes multiples are never known for who they are as individuals,” she adds. Parents can nurture individuality in their twins and multiples right from the start, Friedman says, although she notes it can be a challenge. “The twin attachment is powerful. But twins can’t parent each other as they grow up. It’s important to come in early and establish a oneon-one bond with each individual child,” she advises. “The emotional bonding we hold as so important with singleton babies is hard to do with two. I didn’t realize how different the whole experience was until I went through it myself. Some parents may start to feel like they might bond with the baby who sleeps better, needs you less, or perhaps the one who came home first from hospital.” Friedman recommends that twin parents frequently organize alone time with each child, adopting a “leave one, take one” approach. When going out on errands, for example, she suggests leaving one baby with a caregiver and taking the other. “If there are two babies out and about, everyone makes a big deal. At times the attention from strangers can be intrusive and it’s always focused on the twin-factor, not the

babies as individuals,” she adds. As twins grow, that alone time and communication with parents continues to be key, says Dr. Nancy Segal, author, professor of psychology at California State University, Fullerton, and director of the Twin Studies Center. “Parents tend to speak less to each twin than to each non-twin,” she says. “It’s also possible that mom or dad develop a more organic relationship with the twin that’s more like them, and they may need to work harder for a connection with the child that’s not like them.” Adds Friedman: “This can wrack moms in particular with guilt because it’s impossible to love each child the same. And it’s better if you don’t because it leads you to discover the unique personalities of each.” When it comes to birth order, having twins after already having older singleton children make things a bit easier on parents because older children have already established their own lives. “Twins and multiples get so much attention, other siblings can feel resentful and left out. Older kids can help you without being affected in the same way. A 2-year-old with twin siblings, however, may feel that they’re not special because everyone makes such a fuss out of multiples,” Friedman says.

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She points again to the importance of quality one-on-one time with each child, communication, and making positive associations: “If you’re breastfeeding twin babies, have a little basket of goodies for young siblings to help make the experience with the twins feel special. Encourage them to be involved and don’t be surprised if you see a big regression in behavior. They’re going to want to become a baby, too, which is normal. Even in best of prep, they will react.” Another challenge parents of multiples face is whether to keep the children together once they go to school. Friedman suggests helping them deal with separation long before kindergarten so they’re fine in a classroom. “From Day One, make sure they feel confident on their own. Some twins don’t need a lot of prep. Some do,” she says. “Each family needs to be sure about where their kids are at and make a decision accordingly.” “Not all twins should be separated in school, and there shouldn’t be a strict policy on it either Way,” Segal adds. “Handle each decision one pair at a time,” she says. “Twins often show you what is best for them — pay attention!”

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Today’s offerings are a far cry from the days of glass and mercury BY JENNIFER SHEEHY EVERETT

Technology pervades daily life, so it’s no surprise that even thermometers are becoming more sophisticated and “connected.” Pediatricians continue to recommend basic, over-the-counter digital thermometers to monitor for fever. However, will this go-to recommendation eventually shift as they grow more familiar with the next generation of thermometers, which offer far more than just a number? Only time will tell, as pediatricians review studies on the accuracy and efficacy of these products and encounter more families actively using them. In the meantime, the promise of these next generation devices is compelling — to make parents’ lives easier and provide much-needed peace of mind in the face of a child’s illness. Kinsa (kinsahealth.com) is one such company that was driven by this mission in creating the first FDAcleared, app-enabled thermometer, which becomes more accurate over time thanks to the software operating it. Its Smart Stick Thermometer is powered by a smartphone and enables rectal (the most accurate method for capturing core body temperature), oral, and axillary (or under-the-arm) temperature readings. The company’s newer Smart Ear thermometer is a standalone option offering in-ear readings. Both link to Kinsa’s free Health Tracker App to track fever and illness symptoms for family members through individual profiles; keep records of medications needed and administered; capture photos; and even provide advice on fever and illness management based on guidance from institutions such as the Mayo Clinic. The app will also begin to show the “health weather” (common illnesses and symptoms) within certain communities. All data 36 MARCH2016

Kinsa Smart Stick Thermometer

provided within the app can be shared electronically via email, instant message, or screenshot. Product benefits extend to the children impacted by the fever and illness. “A favorite feature of our Smart Stick Thermometer is the bubble popping game it offers (on the smartphone screen) when taking a temperature. We get fan mail from parents thanking us and telling us that their children now ask to have their temperature taken. These days, children use the phone for everything, so using it to gamify temperature-taking has made it an easier process for a lot of families,” said Nita Nehru, Kinsa’s marketing and community manager. “We have been able to change the meaning of what a thermometer is and provide a lot more value than its analog counterparts.” Fridababy (fridababy.com) takes

a different approach with its new fever monitoring and management product. Aptly termed a “Thermonitor,” the FeverFrida is a wireless, low-energy Bluetooth thermometer that continuously monitors a child’s temperature (every 4 seconds) via a hypoallergenic, hydrogel patch placed under the arm. While some pediatricians question the wisdom of capturing a temperature so frequently and worry this will contribute to parental anxiety, parents or caretakers are alerted via smartphone to a temperature only when it reaches a predetermined threshold set within the free iThermonitor app. The device prohibits setting this threshold at less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so smartphone alerts only occur when there is reasonable cause for concern, or at least investigation. “Our FeverFrida product allows parents peaceful, anxiety-free sleep

without the worry that they’re missing some spike in their child’s temperature during the night,” Fridababy President Chelsea Hirschhorn said. “They have peace of mind knowing we’re doing the work for them — we always say FeverFrida is the thermometer that never sleeps so the whole family can.” The device is cloud-connected, so parents can also monitor temperature from anywhere. “It’s a dream for working parents, who can check on their child’s temperature from their desks when their child is being cared for by someone else,” she added. Similar to the Kinsa offering, the iThermonitor app provides customized, symptom-related potential solutions for fever management based on fever content licensed from Boston’s Children’s Hospital. It also offers an email or text message feature to forward an annotated timeline of fever and symptom history, as well as medicine dose reminders, and a weight calculator to confirm appropriate dosing.   “Like any app that tracks health questions or symptoms, it can be helpful to have documentation so we can get a more accurate illness history,” said Dr. Mary Brown, general pediatrician at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “It’s sometimes hard for parents to recall everything that was going on during the middle of the night, after sleepless nights, etc. While parents having access to healthcare advice [through devices

child and not necessarily the fever. If a child is acting well, you don’t have to treat a fever. But if doing so makes a parent feel more comfortable, it’s not dangerous. It just might be unnecessary.” For guidance on fever monitoring and management (and myriad health topics), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers healthychildren.org as a resource for parents. Key fever tips from the AAP (captured in a clinical report published in the May 2011 print issue of Pediatrics) include:

Fridababy’s FeverFrida

and apps] is also probably helpful, they should be encouraged to talk to their pediatricians more. There’s so much easy access to information that people are using us less for that and more to just fix something. We’re getting fewer opportunities to know a child.” Dr. Allie Epstein, pediatrician at Woburn Pediatrics, reinforces the value of interaction with the family pediatrician: “There are basic fever guidelines everyone should know (e.g., that a temperature of greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in a child under 3 months requires a prompt call to the doctor), but the clinical history with the child should also come into play. Only a doctor can really ask the right questions — an app can’t do this as well. We don’t generally need overly

granular information — mainly how many days a fever has been present, its peak, and symptoms that accompanied it. Assessing the child is also important — do they look unwell? This is another clinical sign that something’s going on.” For families without pediatricians, these “connected” devices can provide particularly useful information based on their child’s symptoms, potentially taking them a step further than a Google search or visit to an online health site such as WebMD. And while families with pediatrician relationships can benefit similarly from these devices, most medical practices offer around-the-clock telephone access and welcome calls to calm the worry of a concerned parent or determine if a child should be seen by a physician. Urgent care and emergency department staff are also available resources. “There is a lot of fear about fever, but fever itself is not dangerous,” Dr. Brown says. “It’s just an indication that the body is fighting something or the immune system is revved up for some reason (perhaps because of vaccines or a brewing virus). It’s important to treat the

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• Focusing on the general well-being of the child and his/her activity levels, observing the child for signs of serious illness and maintaining appropriate fluid intake. • Not awakening a sleeping child to administer a fever-reducer. • Remembering that the correct dosage of a fever-reducer is based on a child’s weight, and that an accurate measuring device should always be used to confirm that weight.

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“You know what it’s like when you’re an adult and you have too much on your plate and you feel like you can’t make all your deadlines? It’s a horrible feeling. Imagine being 7, 8, 9 years old and feeling like that every day because you never have time to breathe.” — KATIE HURLEY CHILD PSYCHOTHERAPIST AND AUTHOR

38 MARCH2016

Child psychotherapist Katie Hurley says it’s an exhausting reality for many families today: They aren’t thriving, they’re simply surviving. “Parents and children are in survival mode right now and that is no way to go through childhood,” says Hurley, author of the recently released The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World. “Childhood is short, it should be happy. Parenthood is short and it should be as happy as possible. Of course there are going to be stressors and roadblocks, but for the most part, it shouldn’t be this hard. And it has gotten very, very hard.” The book examines the reality of today’s families and offers practical strategies for raising confident, capable and, yes, happy children. “Parents definitely wear some sort of badge of honor for being the busiest people on earth today, where that never used to be the case,” she notes. “Have you ever noticed when you see a parent and ask, ‘How are you?’ they’ll say, ‘I’m busy.’ Well, are you good? Are you healthy? Are you happy? But 9 times out of 10 you get, ‘I’m busy.’ We need to stop the culture of busy because we’re all on this train to Busyville, everybody’s stressed, everybody’s trying to be the best, everybody’s trying to have the best kid, and it’s ruining our kids. We have to take back childhood and hit the reset so we can get off this train. It’s not good for anybody, physically or emotionally.” Overscheduled, with a distinct lack of family time and good, old-fashioned, unscheduled play, many are stuck on a competitive, performance-based treadmill. Yet Hurley says families can stop and step off to find a more stress-free, happy life. “When parents come to me for help, the first thing I have them do is write out their weekly schedule and put it on a giant piece of paper so we can look at it,” she says. “Often, when parents step back and they see all the things they’re doing, they take a deep breath and say, ‘I can’t believe we do all this every week.’” The next step: Call a family meeting and explain that the family is too busy, leaving them little time to just be together. Ask the kids which activities make them happy and which they can live without. Then, start pruning the schedule.

“Start with: ‘Let’s reset ourselves. We’ve got to do it together. I’m not going to tell you what to do, let’s do it to-gether and come up with our own plan,’” Hurley advises. “That’s a good way to start chipping away at that schedule that follows people around and hangs over their heads. It feels so hard to let go of, but when you do it, slowly, and you start just chipping away at these things, all of a sudden you start to feel free because you’ve given yourself the gift of time.” She reports that families who have made that bold move and downsized their schedule have reaped the rewards. “When I encourage parents and they start chipping away at the excess stuff, finding a balance that works for the whole family, they come back to me and say, ‘We went for a hike as a family last weekend and it was so relaxing and great,’” she says. “You make room for meaningful experiences. So much of what we’re doing when we’re on the treadmill is not all that meaningful. We think this soccer stuff and all that is so important, but long term what’s meaningful is creating family harmony and bonds that last a lifetime.”

Combatting the fear of MISSING OUT Hurley agrees that it’s very tempting ­ and the cultural norm — to try to — keep up with the proverbial Joneses, yet she notes that today’s parents are forfeiting the basics — healthy eating, adequate sleep, play, and family time — for the sake of a slew of extracurriculars. “‘Oh, but everybody’s doing soccer and baseball this season and everybody’s doing this really cool class, and everybody’s going to this party on Saturday.’ There’s such a fear of missing out on the part of parents right now, they’re putting their kids into absolutely everything,” says Hurley, who notes that her children, ages 7 and 8, have one activity per week. Period. “I’m, like, the lone wolf in the neighborhood who doesn’t do lots of things,” she admits. “We really play. Weekends are for slowing down and being together as a family. A lot has changed and it’s manifesting through the children. They’re never slowing down. You know

D Merry-Go-Round what it’s like when you’re an adult and you have too much on your plate and you feel like you can’t make all your deadlines? It’s a horrible feeling. Imagine being 7, 8, 9 years old and feeling like that every day because you never have time to breathe.” Hurley, who worked for years in schools and private practice counseling children and families, says the go-go, competitive lifestyle is taking a major toll on today’s kids. “What kids are hearing is, ‘Be successful, try harder, do more,’” she says. “Sports have gotten so highly competitive, that’s what they’re hearing, ‘Win, win, win.’ And then they’re going to school, where they’re constantly being assessed and graded. They’re really being pushed to success all the time in all areas of their life, and then they’re ending up in my office because they’re so anxious and stressed out. We’re trying to make life more perfect for them, but what we’re really doing is adding this silent pressure to be the best.”

Looking too far AHEAD Unlike earlier generations, today’s parents are more concerned about the future, at the expense of the present, Hurley notes. “Instead of thinking about the present, we’re constantly thinking three steps ahead,” she says. “Society has changed where there’s a ‘best’ of everything. The parents are feeling that pressure and that in turn is trickling down to the kids. There are parents of elementary school kids who are worrying about what middle school will be like and ‘How am I going to get him into the honors classes so I can get him into Cal Poly?’ We’re leaping instead of living in the present. This is adding pressure and stress to [kids’] lives. It’s making them worry about future events when their biggest worry should be what to play after school.” More and more children battle stress and anxiety at young ages today, she noted, a manifestation

of parents’ unintentional pressure. “We’re seeing these mental disorders — anxiety, depression — that we didn’t used to see 20, 30 years ago because kids are play-deficient right now,” Hurley says. “So many kids don’t have time to just play — everything is scripted. Things weren’t necessarily diagnosed back then in young children. These kids are feeling the pressure to perform. Did some of it exist? Probably. But we also do need to take into account how so much has changed in the ways kids are raised.”

Is it harder to be HAPPY? While the evidence may point to the contrary, Hurley asserts it isn’t necessarily harder to raise kids today than it was when we were children. “It’s not fair to say parents had any less stress 20 years ago,” she adds. “The landscape of fear has changed for parents. We’re disrupted by thoughts of school violence, shootings — these things rattle us to our souls. Subject to media and news 24 hours a day in sound bites, we’re seeing things that scare us. We’re trying to protect [kids] from things. We’re doing things different with good intentions. They want to make life better for their kids: ‘I want better for you. I’m going to push you harder because you’ll gain more, succeed more, and your life will be easier.’” Yet, she adds: “It’d never really be easier. “ However, one way parents can lighten their load is to not only downshift the schedule, but also reach out for help and practice self-care. “Parents need to learn to slow down, take a break sometimes,” Hurley says. “It’s OK to call in help. No mom is an island, but we’ve gotten to this place where every mom is an island. We need to stop, step back, and say, ‘We’re all in this together. Together we can all raise great, happy kids,’ but we’ve got to help each other out instead of competing.”

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s s e c n i r

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Defeats Monsters and Stereotypes BY MELISSA SHAW


children’s book series that’s smashing gender roles and growing young readers in a revolutionary new way all started with a 4-year-old’s skirt. “Our daughter Magnolia was

4. She was wearing this butterfly skirt and pointing to these different colors on it,” remembers celebrated children’s and young adult author Shannon Hale. “And she said, ‘Momma, pink is a girl

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by LeUyen Pham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA 42 MARCH2016

color. And purple is a girl color. And yellow is a girl color. But not black.’ “And I was, like, ‘Whaaaat?’ I said, ‘Girls can wear black. I wear black.’ And she kinda looked at me, like, ‘Yeah, whatever…’ because I’m not really a girl, I’m a momma,” she laughs. “And I said, ‘Batgirl wears black.’ And I thought that would take care of it. But she said, ‘Momma, princesses don’t wear black.’” Magnolia’s declaration hit her mother like a lightning bolt. “That phrase just got stuck in my head, and I thought, ‘She’s right.’ I couldn’t think of any princesses who wore black. And immediately I wanted to think of a princess who did wear black. I got so absorbed by this idea. For the rest of the day I must have been a terrible parent because I was barely conscious of what anybody was saying around me; my brain was just firing over it all.” “I didn’t notice any difference,” deadpans husband and co-author Dean with perfect timing and a chuckle. Actually, Dean Hale was at work, and when he returned home, he was met by his New York Times bestselling wife, who was supercharged with inspiration. “I was, like, ‘The Princess in Black! She’s gotta be a superhero! Her princess fluffy dress is her secret identity and she’s secretly this Zorro kind of superhero!’,” Shannon recalls. The result was 2014’s The Princess in Black, a novel that chronicles the exploits of Princess Magnolia, a scone-eating, tiara-wearing, proper princess whose superhero alter ego,

the Princess in Black, saves her kingdom from goofy monsters and, in The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde released last month, really cute, but slightly deranged, rabbits. “It was important to us that she liked both sides of herself, that both were equally acceptable — she didn’t have to choose,” says Hale, who also credits The Scarlet Pimpernel for inspiration. “I feel that, sometimes, that’s the message we give kids: ‘You are this. You are a girly-girl. You are a tomboy.’ With our girls — we have three — they’re just as likely to play tea party and wear those ridiculous little anklebreaking plastic princess shoes as they are—“ “—to club each other over the head with a sword—” interjects Dean. “—or tie blankets around their necks as capes and fight monsters,” Hale finishes. The bottom line: Girls can enjoy all aspects of themselves and do not have to be pigeonholed. The theme has appeared in several of Hale’s other books. She’s written 20 since her publishing debut in 2003, from the Newberry Award-winning Princess Academy, to the popular Ever After High series, to Austenland, which was turned into a major motion picture in 2013. “I feel like we limit ourselves and our kids often by [saying], ‘There’s only one way to be. There’s only one ‘right’ thing.’ Literature should show lots of possibilities and let kids choose for themselves, rather than limit it to, ‘Here’s one way to be,’”

notes Utah-based Hale, 42, who has been married to Dean for 16 years and is mother to their four children: Max, 12, Magnolia, now 9, and twin 5-year-old girls Dinah and Wren.

The dynamic duo When she saw her husband after work that fateful day, Hale says they both were immediately on the same page: “When I said, ‘Princess in Black, superhero.’ He said, ‘Yes!’” As the story started coming out, it felt very natural. I remember that initial pow-wow: We’re sitting in the living room, the kids are playing around us, and we’re just firing ideas back and forth. We’re thinking of all the princess stuff that could be superhero stuff. It was like a great, big brainstorm.” When working as a team, Hale writes an outline and first draft, leaving space for Dean to write scenes she knows he’ll enjoy. “He wants to make sure he got to write the monsters, they’re his people,” she notes. After Dean fills in the blanks in his scenes, “He gives it back to me, and I cut 90% of what he wrote because he overwrites,” she chuckles. “By the time we’re done, we don’t know who wrote what anymore—” “—but I claim all the funny parts, whether I wrote it or not,” he adds. When the story is finalized, it goes to illustrator LeUyen Pham, who has brought Princess Magnolia’s world to life since the first novel and could easily count the Hales as her biggest fans. “LeUyen Pham is so good. We were very, very lucky to get her,” Hale says. “The first time we got the pages with the illustrations and I read [The Hungry Bunny Horde] to my 5-year-olds, I could barely read

The Rise of the Female Hero and The Fall of Gender Classification of Readers From Supergirl and Jessica Jones on television, to Wonder Woman and Star Wars’ Rey on the big screen, female superheroes are finally getting their due, gaining popularity — and more importantly respect — from fans of all ages and genders. “We’re really passionate about female superheroes,” Shannon Hale says. “There are so many great ones, but they’re often not allowed to headline. When you think about how

While Magnolia’s stories may look like fanciful tales on the surface, the Hales write for the target audience — ages 5-8 — very carefully. “When we first pitched this book, a lot of publishers liked the story but didn’t want to publish it this way. They wanted us to make it five times as long because they knew how to sell Junie B. Jones, Ivy & Bean, and Magic Tree House, but they didn’t know how to sell this early chapter book,” Hale remembers. Yet she set out to create a book, and now a series, that fills the gap between the basic 1-2-3 leveled early readers and longer chapter books, like the aforementioned Junie B. Jones and company. For parents whose children are beyond (or bored by) basic readers but are not ready for long chapter books, The Princess in Black, whose three books average 96 pages with full-color illus-

trations, is the perfect companion. “As a parent I felt like I can’t find these,” she says. “This fills a hole, it transitions between picture books and chapter books, which we need. We were really grateful that [publisher] Candlewick Press caught that vision and knew how to do it. I heard from so many librarians that some kids get to first grade and it’s all about chapter books. But a lot of them just aren’t ready to read Junie B. Jones or Magic Tree House, it’s just too much for them. You want to make sure this is still a chapter book, so they feel like, ‘Hey, I’m reading a chapter book,’ but the text is big enough, there’s full-color pictures on every page, that it’s not going to overwhelm them.” Hale’s secret? “It was designed basically for my child and my needs,” she laughs. “I couldn’t wait for them to get out so I had something for my daughter to read.” The couple includes just enough large vocabulary words to give emerging readers a challenge, with “really big, new words repeated two to three times,” she notes. “We try to make sure they’re always in context, so [kids] can deduce on their own what it means, as well as sight words and words that are easy to sound out.” She also enjoys using compound words, which are fun for readers to sound out and for authors to write. Each book sports a slate of fun character names, from the suspicious Duchess Wigtower, to Magnolia’s trusty steed, Frimplepants, to Duff The Goat Boy, who is the Princess in Black’s biggest fan. “They’re great words for early readers because they’re nice, big, crunchy words, but they’re also easy for them to pull apart — like Wigtower and Frimplepants,” Hale adds. “I try to put in a lot of those

kinds of words as much as possible. One of the awesome-est things ever is to see a kid who’s only ever been read to, to be able to pick up a big book and read it all themselves. They see there’s a lot of pages and ‘I read them all!’ That confidence just skyrockets and suddenly they start to label themselves as a reader, and it gives them more confidence to do more stuff.” While the Hales write Magnolia’s adventures for a specific age range and reader, they have been surprised to find the princess’ reach extend far beyond what they expected. “I hear from people that their 2- and 3-year-olds old love it. And I hear from people that their 10- and 11-year-olds love it,” she says. “We knew it was sort of a K-throughthird-grade kind of book, and we knew our 4-year-olds liked it, and our son, who is now 12. But I didn’t know if my kids were—“ “—weirdos,” Dean laughs. “I’ve heard from teachers who teach upper elementary and they wanted [The Princess in Black] in their classroom,” she continues. “Sometimes I think we forget about the kids who aren’t strong readers, who need a book with a plot. Those easy readers, maybe they’re at their reading level, but the story is not. It’s exciting to see there’s so many different kinds of readers and no book is it for any particular age. It just needs to find the right reader.” And if a child is the right reader for The Princess in Black series, they are in luck. The fourth book is being illustrated right now and will be published this October. Book 5 is already written, and the couple will be working on #6 “shortly,” Hale notes. “We could write these books until we die,” she adds. “We will never run out of stories.”

many superhero movies we’ve had and never one with a main [female] character, except for Supergirl, which was years ago [1984]. It’s incredible how many Superman and Batman movies there’ve been and not a single Wonder Woman. It’s just crazy. I think there is a huge market and a huge need, and hopefully they’re just beginning to realize it.” “The story potential is so great,” Dean says. “When I think about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, if they made Rey a dude, how lame would that story have been?” “Those heroic moments with Rey had so much more impact than had it been another Luke Skywalker character,” Shannon adds. “It’s something we haven’t seen before.” “It’s just a better story,” Dean says. Led by a female protagonist, The Force Awakens is the highest grossing film ever in North America and currently the third highest-grossing

film of all time — and it’s still in theaters. Shannon Hale says the tide is starting to turn in favor of the female superhero: “It’s going to be a slow process, but it’s starting.” Famously, blockbuster authors such as J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Ann Rule, and even Louisa May Alcott turned to male pen names to keep their work from being pigeonholed. Hale has spent her career passionately advocating for the eradication of gender classification of young readers. “I wrote a book called Princess Academy that came out 11 years ago,” Hale notes. “Because of that book and because it got a big award [a 2006 Newberry Honor], I got labeled as ‘The author of Princess Academy,’ and because of that I got labeled as an ‘author for girls.’ Over the years I’ve gone to schools and the administration has pulled girls out of class for the assembly, but

not the boys. Because if I wrote a book called Princess Academy, surely I have nothing of interest to say to the boys. But if a male author goes and he has a book with a boy on the cover that’s all about a boy, everybody’s invited, because the idea is that men’s stories are universal and women’s are only for girls. “I’ve seen this for years and I’ve been talking about it for over a decade, but just in the last year I’ve found the conversation reverberating in a way that it never had before,” she continues. “Five years ago, when I’d tweet about this stuff, nobody noticed. This year when I started to tweet about it, it would get retweeted 2,000 times. People are starting to notice it on their own and starting to pick up the conversation and carry it. Parents are starting to say, ‘Wait, I can give this to my boy. It’s OK if my boy reads this book.’ It is starting to change.”

because every single page they were saying nonstop, ‘OOHHH, SO CUUUUUTE. SOOOOO CUTE!’ They kept laying their heads on the pages to pet the bunnies with their cheeks; they were just so overwhelmed by it. We had to read it a second time so they could tell what was going on because they were slayed by these illustrations.” Hale notes that Pham packs in subtle jokes for parents, as well. “If you read it a second time, you’ll notice she does this thing where one eye will be larger than another and it gives [the bunnies] this unbalanced look,” she laughs. “Slightly crazed bunnies are adorable, but there’s also this little wrong-ness to them.”

Writing for young readers


Enter The Princess in Black “When we initially came up with the idea for The Princess in Black, I wanted to do it for this particular age group [ages 5-8] because I knew the boys would love it as much as the girls,” she says. “I believe when you introduce books to boys at a young age, if they’re allowed to like those [female-led] stories when they’re younger, when they grow up, they’re more likely to keep engaging in those stories. We’ve seen it in our own home. Our 12-year-old boy has no problem reading a book about a girl or a boy. A 4-year-old boy will

read The Princess in Black without a worry in the world, but by the time they get to third grade, a lot of boys have been taught that they should be ashamed to be interested in a story about a girl. And they’re mocked for it.” Hale says she’s seen it happen, “thousands of times in front of me with well-meaning parents, teachers, librarians, and booksellers, sort of shaming boys away from having an interest in a book about a girl. The truth is, they’re interested in the story. Is it a funny story? Is it an adventurous story? Is it a mystery? Is it the kind of story I like to read? That’s their in, and we’re really limiting them when we’re saying books about girls are for girls because it’s

great for girls to read them. But Rey is as much a hero for a boy as she is for a girl. Boys also need to see that girls have stories, that they have—” “— internal lives and are real people,” Dean notes. “Yes! And they are not just supporting your story and they are real human beings. I fear a lot of grown men don’t know that and don’t really think about that because they’ve been taught that they not only don’t have to, but also they shouldn’t. That they should be ashamed to be interested in a story about a girl and her interior life and have empathy for her,” she continues. “Reading is one of the best ways that we gain empathy for someone different than us. And when we don’t give boys books about girls, we’re preventing them from having empathy for half of the human race. And that makes life much more difficult for them if they engage in a world full of girls and women.”

Super times ahead

Both Hales are superhero fans, especially Dean: “That’s how I define the world,” he notes. “My metaphors are all superhero metaphors.” “He’s been a comic reader since he could read,” Shannon adds, which is why both are so excited to be currently working on novels for comic giant Marvel, one about Squirrel Girl

and the other centering on Captain Marvel (who is Carol Danvers when not in costume). Aimed at middle grade readers and out this fall, Hale describes Squirrel Girl as “a comedy at heart, she’s just a fun character. She has squirrel powers, it’s so ridiculous, but at the same time she’s really powerful, and that’s so fun to write. She doesn’t take herself or anything else too seriously, so it’s this really humorous adventure story.” The Captain Marvel novel, out perhaps as early as next year, will be geared toward the young adult reader and is a more “big, broad, epic superhero story,” she adds. “Superheroes are important to our family. I’ve written 20 books and I really think of all of my heroines as being superheroes, even though they’re not superhero-genre books,” she continues. “They all are girls who have some kind of power, some kind of talent that they discover and use to more fully become themselves and help others. It’s really rooted in my own belief: We all have stuff. They are super powers, but not in the traditional sense. Sometimes they can be hard to see and sometimes they can seem like they’re actually a challenge or a detriment. Our uniqueness, when we mold it in the right way, can be really awesome.”

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by LeUyen Pham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA

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camp it up! 46 Pack It Up: Hidden Gems To Send — And What To Leave Home

48 Backpack Bound: Camp Gear Goodies 50 5 Ways To Find The Right Camp For A Child With Special Needs

53 Keys to a Safe, Fun Camp Experience For Kids With Allergies

54 Divorce & Single Parenting: How To Swing Summer Camp

56 How To Prep Your Shy Child For A Great Time At Camp

59 5 Unexpected Benefits of Summer Camp 62 Sleep-Away Camp: How To Gauge Your Child’s Readiness…And Yours

Photography by Shawna Shenette, Hair by Rob Roy Hair Salons BAYSTATEPARENT 45


Pack It Up: Hidden Gems To Send — And What To Leave Home BY MICHELE BENNETT DECOTEAU


very sleep-away camp has one: a list of what to bring. While the lists all include sleeping bags, toiletries, and swimsuits, there are several items not on the average list that can make a camper, especially a first-timer, feel more comfortable. “One thing I might recommend would be a sheet for your cot,” says Peter Boll, Eagle Scout and program director for the Cub Scout programs at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation in Rutland. “Often times, young Scouts — and even older ones — hate the feeling of touching a camp mattress. A sleeping bag is fine for sleeping in, but you’ll always be slipping out of it or touching the mattress. So sending

a fitted sheet and instructing them on what to do with it can make their first time sleeping away from home much more comfortable.” In addition to a fitted sheet, Jessica Decke, camp director at the University of Maine 4H Camp at Tanglewood in Lincoln, Maine, suggests some other bedtime comforts. “I’m a big fan of pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers to have at camp, as well as sheets and blankets vs. a sleeping bag,” she says. “Whatever can be transported to make the sleeping and pre-bedtime more like home is sometimes an added bonus. Adapting to camp life is hard enough, compounding that with sleeping in a bag, which can be hard to get out of if you have

Register for hands-on, outdoor summer adventure at

massaudubon.org/camp2016 46 MARCH2016

a midnight bathroom emergency and you are discombobulated on an unfamiliar bed. I like giving kids time to make their beds cozy and comfy, and making their cabins more like homes instead of a strange place.” Having a sheet rather than a sleeping bag can ease the fears of kids who may not have entirely outgrown nighttime bedwetting, as well. It is much easier to make a quick exit if you are not in a mummy bag. Decke also suggests a book or a journal. “Before bed, a book can oftentimes be nice to settle down with. If a child is a reader or a writer, they will find camp does have downtime built into it,” she notes. “And if they are a child who is generally not adept at making their own fun or having spontaneous creative play, being able to pull out a familiar book to read in a quiet nook is a good centering agent. Conversely, magazines are fun to have because it builds camaraderie and is a fun social thing to bond kids together. We’ve found boys and girls bringing card games, like Magic, is fun to play during rainy times or quiet times. [They’re] small and packable, and again, build friendships in sharing and social skills.” Most camps have an open house to meet staff and tour the grounds and facilities. This is an excellent chance to talk to staff and find out what they might add to a camp list. “One of the funniest memories

I have of volunteering as a patrol leader for a Webelos [boys in 4th-5th grades] overnight camp was that on the first day of camp after swim checks, I made a point to tell my boys to make sure they change out of their bathing suits as soon as possible — explicitly telling them not to leave them on,” Boll remembers. “The next afternoon, on our way back up to our campsite from lunch, I see one of the boys walking slowly and uncomfortably. I call him over

body powder — and instruct them how to use it.” Some camp lists include letterwriting materials. Every parent hopes for letters from camp, hearing about all the wonderful experiences their children are having. “Parents are desperate to know how their child is doing,” Decke notes. “In this age of connectivity all the time, not hearing from them via phone or text is really hard for some families. Kids often have a hard time

“We’ve had parents send funny things, like flip flops that were written on. Someone sent postcards that fit together like a puzzle, that was cool. Stamps made from a child’s photo are also hot.” — Jessica Decke, camp director University of Maine 4H Camp at Tanglewood to me and ask him if he still had his bathing suit on. Upon his nodding, I grabbed my travel-size body powder, gave him a brief instruction, and sent him to the bathroom. Chaffing is an all-too-common, awkward experience for first-time campers, and leaving a wet bathing suit on is the best way for it to happen. So I would definitely recommend that parents send their boys to camp with some

pulling away from doing activities in order to send mail, and a lot of times their letters make no sense, but the value is there. Family members who went to camp will connect with their own camp memories when they read that their child is singing songs or doing traditional camp activities. Camp mail helps to build bonds between the camper and their family in a really positive way.”

Many camp staffs remind parents to write letters that don’t mention missing the camper. A camper who is missing home might focus on that and become homesick. When you write letters, share your camp memories or emphasize their experience. Rather than risk mailing letters, many camps will accept letters and packages at the beginning of camp. Read camp directions or talk to the staff before sending or leaving care packages; many camps don’t allow food in the tents. And have fun with what you send with your camper. “We’ve had parents send funny things, like flip flops that were written on. Someone sent postcards that fit together like a puzzle, that was cool. Stamps made from a child’s photo are also hot,” Decke says. Camps, no matter the focus or location, suggest leaving electronics at home. “A phone only distracts them and causes more problems than not,” Boll says. “If a Scout or parent must get in touch with each other, there is plenty of ability to do that through camp administration.” “No kid or camper will ever need a cell phone at camp,” Decke adds. “Digital cameras are great for pictures, but no phones. Camp is a time to be present in the moment, and that tie to home life takes away from the camp experience.”

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Parents are always looking for new fun and functional gear to pack for summer camp. Here are our picks for some soon-to-be family favorites. Camp Board Game educationoutdoors.net $19.98

BugBand Wristbands bugband.net $4.95

Want to get your child excited for the outdoors? Make it a game with this fun family board game. Designed for 2-4 people ages 5+, players learn fun facts and answer questions in a race to be the first to get to Camp. The game is designed to grow with players, thanks to tiered-difficulty questions starting at Level 1; as players increase their knowledge of the outdoors, questions become more difficult.

Campers can keep pests away naturally for up to 120 hours with these DEET-free wristbands. The bands can also be worn on belt loops, hatbands, fastened in tents, or applied to other areas where insects are a pest. BugBands are designed with a patented breakaway strap that snaps if they becomes entangled, and their effectiveness won’t be diluted due to swimming or perspiration.

Aquasana Filter Bottle aquasana.com $29 and up Ultra Fast-dry Towels discoverytrekking.com Starting at $12.95 Whether it’s day or sleep-away, a towel is key to a good day at camp. And with space at a premium in any camper’s pack, three considerations are important: size, weight, and drying ability. Discovery Trekking’s Ultra Fast-dry Towels are a great pick for campers: lightweight, compact, and super-fast drying, thanks to the fact they’re made of microfiber.

Day Camp and Sleep Away Camp Label Packs mabelslabels.com $19.95 (Day Camp), $39.95 (Sleep Away) Mabel’s Labels can be found on many a child’s everyday gear, so it makes sense the go-to label company would develop specialty packs for summer camp. Unlike other Mabel’s Labels offerings, both camp packs are available April 5-July 31 only. Those who order in April can enjoy Early Bird discounts on either pack. 48 MARCH2016

Kids can stay hydrated at camp with this BPAfree Tritan plastic bottle, which delivers professional-grade filtered water. Fill it up anywhere, and the built-in filter will reduce lead and chlorine, plus 99% of bacteria and cysts. Filters last for 80 gallons, the equivalent of 640 disposable plastic bottles.

Life is Good Kids’ T-shirts lifeisgood.com $16 and up New England-grown apparel company Life is Good runs on good vibes and positivity — two traits you want your child to bring to camp. The company’s high-quality, durable spring/summer line has been revamped with new T-shirt styles, sweatshirts, and hats that will bring the power of positivity to camp.


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Photo courtesy The Bridge Center


5 Ways To Find The Right Camp For A Child With


Choosing the right summer camp for a child isn’t easy, and it can be even more challenging for those whose children have special needs. Yet experts say parents can find the right camp by doing a little homework, asking a lot of questions, and communicating honestly with camp staff. “Camp is a difficult one because if you get it wrong, you’re going to hear it all summer,” laughs Sharon Riddle, publisher of spedchildmass.com and a mother of two sons with special needs. The Massachusetts mother created her Website nine years ago, 50 MARCH2016

after moving to the Bay State and finding no one-stop-shop for information on local events and programs for children with special needs and their families. “Information was piecemeal and disjointed. So many programs that were good were not having seats

filled, not having parents come, because nobody knew about it,” she remembers. One of her site’s features is a listing of more than 100 camps in Eastern, Central, and Western Massachusetts designed for children with special needs, or

traditional camps with inclusion programs. As a parent trying to find programs and camps for her children, “it became glaringly obvious for me that [this site] was a huge need for families in Massachusetts,” Riddle says.

Find camps that align with your child’s interests This tip is solid advice for the parent of any child heading to camp. Ask the child what he likes to do and try to find a program centered around that. If a child loves art and could draw all day, an outdoor sports camp may not be the best choice. Even if a camp fits a parent’s budget and availability, if it doesn’t fit the child, why bother? Experts also advise considering a child’s preferences and triggers. In what situation does she thrive and in which does she have the most difficulty? For example, a camp with a lot of field trips may be a poor choice for a child who prefers routine or is anxious in new situations. If a child succeeds best in smallgroup settings, a program that offers only large group activities may not be the right fit. If a child has never been to camp before, is a full-day program the best option? “You really need to say, ‘What does my child like? Am I trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?’” Riddle says. She saw the power of the right camp first-hand when her youngest, now 17, finally found a camp that fit his interests. He had tried a variety of camps and programs, but nothing moved him until the family found an aviation camp that centered around his love of flying. “He came back a different kid,” Riddle says. “For the first time he said, ‘I felt like people really got me. People who had the same passion and interest as me.’” “Parents really need to have an understanding that it’s going to take time to find the right programs,” adds Anna Wood, certified therapeutic recreation specialist and executive director of The Bridge Center, a Bridgewater organization that offers year-round programs and summer camps for people with special needs. “Just like shopping, you don’t want to pick and buy just to buy. Parents

should thoroughly think about their child, their needs, and their interests — all of those components that really make up their child. Take those things and find a program that fits their child, instead of taking their child and putting them in a program that just doesn’t fit them, but it’s the only option.” Wood says her organization sees the latter often.

respect personal boundaries? Acceptance: Does the makeup of the camper population reflect your child or is it inclusive? “Kids with disabilities are just like everybody else,” Riddle notes. “They want to be with kids like themselves, but they also want to be included with everybody.”

“Just like shopping, you don’t want to pick and buy just to buy. Parents should thoroughly think about their child, their needs, and their interests — all of those components that really make up their child.” — Anna Wood, executive director The Bridge Center

“Parents are so eager and excited to consider a summer camp or an afterschool program, and they want their children to make friends, but Johnny really hates soccer, but that’s the only day Mom has available, so she puts Johnny in soccer. We really encourage parents to just step back, understand there are programs out there that will be a better fit for your child and make sure that they leave that with a positive experience,” she adds.

Ask a lot of questions When considering a camp, Riddle highlights several potential topics to cover when talking with staff: Safety: Who is teaching and watching your child? What are their training, education, and credentials? From field trips to bathroom visits, what is the student-to-staff ratio? Are campers monitored to ensure they

Medications: For children who need medication during the day, what is the procedure and who will administer? How many nurses are staffing the program? If a child needs medication at a specific time and the nurse is handling an emergency, is there a backup plan for administering meds? Food: How do programs ensure children with allergies do not get access to food that will cause a reaction? Are snacks provided? Can families send in snacks to ensure their child is safe and does not feel left out? Communication: How can a child communicate problems, successes, and challenges, especially if he is nonverbal? Does the staff send home a daily note or log about the child’s day? If parents are expecting a daily report, yet the staff operates under a “No news is good news” policy, there will be a conflict. Parents should ask ahead of time if and how they can get regular updates, if desired.

At The Bridge Center, Wood says each family is brought in for a getto-know-you session, where parents can ask questions and staff can assess what supports a child needs. “We really love it when parents ask those questions about what sorts of supports we have,” she says. “‘What is the education and training of our counselors? How often will my child be able to take a break? Do you help him take a break if he needs to take a break and he’s not choosing to do so? Do you use visual schedules? Are there timers?’ All those little pieces that parents know their children use at school or need at home.”

If a camp doesn’t advertise accommodations, ask anyway “If you go to a camp fair, ask camps what they’re willing to accommodate [IEP, food modification, special diet, 1-on-1 aide, etc.], even if they’re not a specific camp for children with special needs,” Riddle advises. “Oftentimes they will say yes. I always tell families: ‘Ask!’ A lot of organizations are now looking to talk about inclusiveness.” Wood notes that supports, such as a visual schedule (in which children see pictures that show exactly what is happening that day at the beginning of each day), are simple to execute and can benefit children of all abilities. However, camps not specifically designed for students with special needs may not realize the benefit until a parent mentions it. “They might not realize the importance of a visual schedule and how easy that is to implement into the typical camp day,” she adds. “From a program side, a lot of people hear about disabilities and inclusion and think that it’s really over-thetop, expensive, involved initiatives, and it really isn’t always the case. Schedules help everybody, not just kids with disabilities.” Wood adds that talking to a child’s school team [teacher, aide, guidance

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CAMP IT UP! counselor, etc.] is a great way to get suggestions for tools, accommodations, and strategies that can best help a camper succeed.

Communicate honestly about your child’s needs “When I worked in [municipal] parks and rec, before we started our inclusion programs, parents would hold back information because they were so scared that we wouldn’t let their kid come to the program if they told me, ‘Sometimes Johnny tries to run away from the group,’” Wood says. “Instead, the perspective I took as a provider was, ‘Thank you for giving me information so we can make sure the supports and staff are there to help avoid that.’ It’s a mindset of not being scared to supply the information and understanding the child’s day will be better if more information is shared.” “I think one of the greatest fears is that parents are nervous their child’s going to be turned away, so they withhold information, and once they’re in camp, there may be challenges the camp’s not prepared for,” adds Terrie Campbell, executive director of Camp Howe, a Western Massachusetts co-ed residential camp that boasts one of the oldest

inclusion programs in the country. “I’ve had a lot of parents who have come to us and initially are hesitant to give all the information, but it’s growing in that partnership that provides the best experience for their kids.”

Don’t be afraid to ask about other camps “If you find a camp you like, but you just can’t make it work, ask if they know other programs,” Riddle suggests. “They probably do, they just need a reminder.” The process can appear overwhelming at the outset, but Riddle says finding the right camp is worth the work. “Camps have come a long, long way in the past 20 years,” she notes. “You will find now so many more programs that will say they are inclusive. There’s so many more new programs that have come on, designed for disabilities. “[Inclusion] is the true foundation of our camp,” Camp Howe’s Campbell adds. “Initially, a lot of people were, like, ‘Oh, isn’t that great for children with disabilities.’ Well, it’s great for all kids. You’ve got a child who’s scared of heights and they’re watching someone with Cerebral Palsy who’s in a wheelchair doing our ropes course. We all learn from each other.”

SUMMER at the STUDIO Summer Spotlight Theatre Campers will participate in singing, dancing, costuming, set building, improvisation and more! Two evening performances are held at the end of our two week camp giving everyone a chance to step into the “spotlight” and perform for family and friends. Ages 7-14 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Theatre Camp I • Monday, July 11th-Friday, July 22nd Theatre Camp II • Monday, August 1st-Friday, August 12th Tuition: $399.00 for 2 weeks


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Keys To A Safe, Fun Camp Experience For Kids With Allergies BY MICHELE BENNETT DECOTEAU

Allergies, in particular food allergies, are on the rise in the U.S. One out of every 13 kids has some type of food allergy, which means camp nurses’ offices are faced with more potential medical issues than the traditional poison ivy rash or sunburn. Communication between three parties — camp staff, campers, and parents — is critical to a successful camp experience. Many camps have an open house for families to visit once they’re registered. Don’t wait for this day to start talking with the camp staff about your child’s allergies. Contact the camp director and, if possible, the camp medical staff before registering your camper. “Plan extra time to coordinate paperwork and phone calls,” recommends one parent of a child with multiple allergies. “And don’t assume they will be able to accommodate an allergy the way a school does.” “We are lucky enough to have a parent meeting night prior to the [camp] week where parents can hand in health forms and talk to me about food and medication allergies,” says Paulette Hallihan, a registered nurse who works at a Boy Scout summer camp. “I am able to notify the caterers/kitchen staff about food allergies. I also compose a list of what type of allergy (bee sting, nuts, etc.) and antidote needed if a Scout does have a reaction (EpiPen, Benadryl, etc.), which is kept in the front of my health form binder for easy access.” “Most really good camps have an intro meeting, and those are the best,” says Dr. Scott Schroeder, director of the Pediatric Pulmonary and Allergy Center at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. “These are usually

three, even four, months prior to camp. This is the place for parents to ask questions, see the camp, reduce everyone’s anxiety.” A camp needs to have an action plan for dealing with allergic reactions, and this will not be the same as what you might find at school. Many camps are in rural or remote locations, and may not have hospital access close-by. What provisions can the camp make for storing and transporting medications? If an EpiPen cannot be warmer than 85 degrees and it is a hot summer day, how will it be transported? “Parents should be asking lots of questions of the medical staff,” Dr. Schroeder notes. “You are allowing the staff to be your surrogates. Make sure your philosophies jibe.” “There are never too many questions to ask when it comes to the safety of your child,” Hallihan adds. “We have an RN as the medical officer, other camps may have an EMT, MD, First Aider or a Responsible Person (RP). Our protocol is any emergency medicine, like an inhaler

for an asthma attack or EpiPen for anaphylaxis, stays with the Scout (since they are 13 or older). All other meds are given to me at check-in. Medication must be in original prescription bottles with dose and frequency on it and with the number of pills needed for the number of days they are at camp. Meds are dispensed from a First Aid office at meal times. Bedtime meds could be brought to the individual depending on where they are [in the camp].”

How to determine if your child is ready Deciding when a child with allergies is ready for camp can be especially challenging for parents. Parents and camp staff need to be confident that the child will not share food. In addition, a camper needs to be aware of what to do if he feels like he is having a reaction. He cannot go off alone, even if it is to find the medical staff or go to a

main building, even if the reaction is very mild. In many cases with life-threatening allergies, campers may be responsible for carrying their medications with them so they are within reach if they need them, for instance if a child was stung by a wasp. For a day camp, parents can choose to send in all the food their child will eat during the day, but this doesn’t necessarily cover shared snacks or activities that may involve food that is not consumed, such as in crafts or science activities. “Plan to send all the food your child needs for each day with them,” a parent recommends. “Remind them not to eat anything you did not send with them, as other adults may not read packaging or be as careful as you are.” “Foods that tend to be highly allergic (like peanut butter) are usually kept in a separate part of the dining hall,” Scout Nurse Hallihan notes about her camp. “Most camps offer foods for gluten- or lactose-free Scouters. Areas of use (tents, dining hall, bathrooms) are checked prior to arrival for wasps’ nests, insects, mice, etc. First Aid or medical staff are available during camp hours, or 24/7 if residential camp. Numbers for local hospitals [are] posted. And, of course, there’s 911 in a true emergency.” With all the anxiety and fear surrounding letting children with allergies attend camp, is it really worth the experience? “Absolutely send your child to camp,” Dr. Schroeder says. “Kids who go to camp often come back much better. At camp, kids are empowered to manage symptoms [and allergies]. Camp empowers kids!” BAYSTATEPARENT 53




How Co-Parents Can Swing Summer Camp BY IRWIN M. POLLACK, POLLACK LAW GROUP

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For co-parents, the back-and-forth bickering over children’s expenses can seem like a nightmare, but the additional expense of camp and other summer programs or activities carries an additional layer of stress that can lead to a breakdown in communication. Here’s a piece of advice: Don’t quibble about summer expenses under $50 because these expenditures appear regularly and usually balance out between both parents. Whichever parent finds a hole in their child’s sneakers or decides their son or daughter is in dire need of a haircut should just go to Target or Supercuts and get the job done. Camp costs and tuition for other programs, however, require deeper pockets. Were these additional expenses addressed in your parenting agreement or divorce judgment? Were all costs to be shared between the parties? Did it further articulate that those costs should be shared in proportion to each parent’s income? Were all expenses to be approved in advance by the other parent, with none to be unreasonably denied? Going back to court each year to enforce an agreement — or to ask for a modification to address these issues — will cost you more than a camp, and you may not be able to convince a judge that summer camp is even necessary. Therefore, if you want your child to attend camp or participate in other summer programs, you have two choices: pay for them yourself or secure your co-parent’s cooperation in sharing the costs. Some parents may not see the need for a child to go to camp; they may feel that a little deprivation never hurt anybody, or that

children must learn they can’t participate in everything all the time. One co-parent may feel there’s nothing wrong with spending the summer hanging out at the park or at the town pool with cousins and grandparents, while the other parent thinks that every day should be scheduled and/or doesn’t want their child to miss out on an opportunity. However, both parents should consider what’s best for their child in making these decisions and figure out a way to make it work.

Start making summer plans now Moms and dads who have experience in setting up summer plans know you have to start early to secure spots in popular programs. Add in the element of divorce, and co-parents should plan on spending at least a month to get the cooperation of an ex who isn’t the easiest person to get along with. Best advice: Do your research early and then draft a proposal for your co-parent that contains all the details of the camp or program. Try to include two or three options so you’re not viewed as trying to shove your opinion down your former spouse’s throat. Present these in such a way that you are asking — not telling — the other parent to be involved, and be sure to highlight how these plans are in the best interest of your child.


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How To Prep Your Shy Child For A Great Time At Camp BY MICHELLE PERRAS-CHARRON

Right about now, parents are beginning their search for those write-on clothing labels, water bottles, and colorful rain boots that went missing over the winter. After all, spring break is next month, which means the countdown to summer vacation and all things summer camp can soon begin. Parents can rest assured camp opportunities exist that will suit any age, style, or interest a child may have. But what if your child is shy or quiet…an introvert, perhaps? Will he enjoy camp? Should she even go at all?

“Being shy is entirely normal, and parents shouldn’t overcompensate by not offering them the same opportunities other kids have,” says Dr. Elina Cymerman, developmental psychologist and clinical psychiatrist at Tufts University Medical Center in Boston. She explains that in most cases, being shy or introverted is simply a temperament, or set of traits. “Understand this is a person who is slow to warm up, and they approach the world in a more cautious way,” Cymerman says. Because of their cautious approach to the world, these kids simply need lots of information and details, she adds.

Choosing the Right Camp “Camps have become the neighborhoods of our youth,” says Jenn Becker Carpenter, camp director of Camp Aldersgate, an outdoor ministry site of the United Methodist Church in North Scituate, RI (campaldersgate.com). Carpenter, who is also president of the Rhode Island Association of Camps, believes camps are even more valuable and important today due to the loss of neighborhoods and recess time. 56 MARCH2016

“Kids don’t know how to make friends face-to-face anymore,” she adds. “Kids need free-form play to create those relationships organically.” When deciding where to send your shy or quiet child, Carpenter recommends first and foremost that the camper have a say in choosing which camp he attends. “It’s really important that kids are part of the decision-making process,” she says. “It can help them feel more in control.” She also advises parents to look for a camp with a schedule that has a variety of programming, including downtime. Camps that offer nonstop activities, as well as solely group activities, are not going to be a good fit for an introverted child, she says. These kids need to have choices and not be forced into activities. Carpenter explains that at Camp Aldersgate, staffers are trained to encourage campers to try new things (a food, a game, or make a new friend) — but the children are not forced. “It’s called challenge by choice,” she says. “Our big goal is not to change kids, but to make them the best they can be. We’re not trying to change introverts into extroverts.” And while most families will readily attend the open house prior to

camp, Carpenter says it is important for parents of introverted children to schedule a private tour with the director and have the child bring his or her own list of questions. “Open houses are great, but can be very impersonal and may not help your child develop the 1:1 personal connection that will help them feel safe at the camp,” says Danielle Fitzpatrick, director of Young Arts at MoCo Arts, a family-centered nonprofit arts education organization that offers multi-arts camps in Keene, NH (moco.org). “I answer all the parents’ questions, then I ask the child to tell me some of their questions, fears, or excitement about camp. Sometimes the parents think they know the questions to ask to help their kids feel safe, but often the child has their own concerns the parent never thought of.” In addition to a private tour, Fitzpatrick recommends parents ask the camp for a sample schedule of a typical day and then review it, stepby-step, with their camper. While going over the schedule, find out what specifically worries your child. Dr. Cymerman explains this is an important step for introverted kids as abundant details and information make them feel more comfortable. “Adults’ intuitive response to anxiety in kids is often to say, ‘Don’t

worry, it’ll be fine.’ But it’s more productive to ask, ‘What are you worried about, exactly? Let’s figure this out together,’ then go through step-by-step, problem solving with your child,” she says. Sean Kent agrees information is key for these children, and recommends parents speak to the camp director about any concerns they may have. Kent is the education coordinator and camp director of Wild @ Art! Summer Camp at Mass Audubon’s Museum of American Bird Art in Canton (massaudubon.org/maba). At this 121-acre wildlife sanctuary south of Boston, children experience a combination of art and nature explorations. Kent helps children develop a connection to camp by writing a personal note to each camper in his program before it begins. In his notes, he tells campers what they can expect when they arrive at camp. He also sends parents the same type of letter so they may begin talking with their child about their upcoming camp experience. He also makes it a point to send invitations to campers to attend special events occurring at the museum prior to the start of camp, so they may see the facility and become familiar with the surroundings, as well as meet some of the counselors on staff.

When choosing a camp, MoCo Arts’s Fitzpatrick says parents should also take into consideration how approachable or accessible the camp director is. Information packets from her camp always include a direct email to the camp director, so parents do not have to go through a receptionist when it comes to sensitive matters about their child, she adds.

Tips for a Great First Day • Don’t be late! Start the morning early and let your child take a role in packing their bags or choosing their clothes. Fitzpatrick explains that walking in late and having all eyes on them can be stressful for a camper, and can also leave a child with the feeling that they missed out on something. • Practice opening juice boxes, snack containers, etc. before going to camp. Fitzpatrick says mastering these tasks will help children feel empowered. • Practice a drop-off ritual before the first day of camp. Fitzpatrick offers this example: “Ten kisses from Mommy to fill up your love gas tank, and then you will be fueled and ready to go with your camp coun-

selor and Mommy will leave.” Have your child help develop an agreedupon plan and stick with it. Deviate from the plan even one bit and the whole plan collapses, she says. • At drop-off, find a counselor to introduce your child to and get them engaged talking about pets, books, etc., then head out. “It may seem like a good idea to hang around for a while, or join in, but I have rarely seen that work,” Fitzpatrick says. Parents should not have a plan for their child to call home if they miss Mommy. “In my years of camp directing, I have never seen that be successful,” Fitzpatrick says. Instead, she suggests tucking a loving note in the child’s lunch box. Add a crayon and the child can draw/write letters home when they feel homesick. This allows children to express their feelings safely and move on. Dr. Cymerman says parents often intervene too early when it comes to a homesick child. She suggests parents resist the urge to pick up their child from camp, as homesickness is often a normal, common occurrence that passes in a day or two. “We want to be sensitive to our children, but if we remove every obstacle, that can be detrimental to their development,” she says. “We deprive them of opportunities to work through these stresses and be successful.”

Cymerman points out, however, that homesickness can be serious in a very small percentage of children. Children who are not eating or sleeping, or are unresponsive to other children as well as adults, should return home, at which point parents may want to seek the help of a mental health professional.

Reaping the Benefits “Camp is not going to shift their internal person in a significant way,” Cymerman says of introverted children. “But the challenges and anxiety of meeting new people does set them on a positive path for future interactions and will help them to be more open to new experiences.” Camp Aldersgate’s Carpenter says that after one week of overnight camp, or by week two or three of day camp, she sees introverted children becoming more confident, participating, and trying more things at camp. “It boosts their self-esteem,” she says. “It shows them that it’s OK to be an introvert, that they can still make friends, and that there is a place for them in the world.” Camp, especially overnight camp, also allows introverted children to forge strong friendships and become

more self-assured in social situations. “They’re able to make connections they might not have made without the guidance of camp staff,” she adds. Donna M. Denette, director and co-founder of Children First Enterprises, a nonprofit child care organization in Granby, points out that camp can be very empowering for shy, quiet, or introverted children. “They learn they can be away from their families, they can form friendships, speak publicly, act in a skit, sing a silly song, scale a wall, or solve a problem,” she says. “They learn they are capable.” Denette also emphasizes an important aspect of child development: having opportunities to struggle and overcome. Children who have opportunities to struggle reap huge developmental benefits from the pride and real self-confidence that comes from overcoming challenges, she says. “Our society has reframed danger, struggle, and challenges (as well as unhappiness) as things to avoid and protect our children from when, in fact, they are important, critical growth opportunities,” Denette says. “Our children would never have learned to walk if we refused to let them fall.”

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ummer camp is not just about swimming, sports, and sitting by the campfire singing songs. It’s the one place where kids can be kids, where they are free to make their own decisions without parental input, enjoy new experiences, and explore their individuality. Experts say today’s camp experience offers a host of unexpected benefits for children, which parents may not realize or anticipate. Bette Bussel, executive director of the American Camp Association, New England, says camp may even be the antidote to some of the issues that plague today’s youth: obesity, lack of problem-solving and communication skills, dependency on electronic devices, and nature-deficit disorder. “If I had one wish, it would be that every child gets to experience summer camp,” she says.


Nature-Deficit Disorder

Scroll through social media these days and you’re bound to find a story about the fact that children are not getting enough playtime in school. In fact, they don’t get a lot of unstructured playtime at home, either. Children are spending large amounts of time by themselves online or interacting with their peers virtually. Studies and books, such as Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratney, have shown that physical activity plays an important role in the brain health of children. Yet, some schools have eliminated recess and, unfortunately, your average child may not have the opportunity to run around their neighborhood free to explore. Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” in his book, Last Child in the Woods. The term refers to the fact that humans, especially children, are spending less time outdoors, resulting in a range of behavioral problems. “This generation of kids we’re raising now is the first generation to not have

a real connection with nature,” says Eric Arnold, executive director at the Hale Reservation in Westwood. Spending time outside is important not only for mental health, he says, but also for brain and eye health. “Inside, everything is predetermined. Color is static and nothing moves. When you go outside, your eyes have to work harder, which makes your brain work harder,” Arnold notes. He thinks that camp is the perfect prescription for nature-deficit disorder.

and 2. Social emotional skills

to use electronics. And parents, who are accustomed to being able to reach their child at all times, may have a harder time dealing with that than their camper. “We have to tell parents that we’re with them all day long, and if there’s an issue we’ll handle it or get in touch with them if it’s necessary,” says Arnold, noting that rarely is there a need to call home. He adds that kids seem to adjust much more easily to unplugging, even commenting that they didn’t miss their electronics.

4. Independence Experts agree: Kids today are overscheduled and stressed out. They’re told what to do and when, at school, at home, and even at extracurricular activities. “Life is pretty much decided for them,” Bussel says. At camp, kids are free to make decisions on their own, from deciding which activities they want to do to what they want to eat for lunch. “There aren’t many places that are built just for children. Camp is an environment created just for them,” she adds. Children are encouraged to explore a variety of interests, allowing them to not only learn about themselves and others, but also discover how to make decisions and solve problems on their own — experiences that

empower them well beyond a week or two at camp.

5. Counselorin-Training programs

While there are many benefits to attending camp, being a Counselorin-Training (CIT) is one many may overlook. CIT programs are usually available for teens ages 16 and 17. Some camps offer Junior CIT programs for 14- and 15-year-olds. These programs help young people prepare to be counselors at camp. A CIT program is usually a child’s first opportunity for real responsibility. “They’re asked to care for, watch, and help provide activities for children [at camp],” Arnold says. The program also teaches leadership skills. “The ability to stand in front of a group, organize your thoughts, present a plan, and then execute the plan with children is true leadership. This skill is incredibly transferable to other environments, be it academic or career,” he adds. The CITs are role models for younger children, who look up to them because they are close in age. The younger children see an older child modeling good behavior, compassion, and empathy, making this program a vital part of the camp experience for the campers and the counselors.

Because of the lack of play, experts say children aren’t learning the social and emotional skills that come from interacting with peers as they did in generations past. And due to increasing pressure to improve academics, schools may not be equipped with programs or have time in the school day to help students develop social and emotional skills. For many schools, lesson content is the priority. “Content isn’t what matters. What really matters is the ability to interact with each other,” Arnold says. “Camp is the perfect balance between content and social-emotional development.” Campers must interact with other campers and staff face-to-face and learn how to solve disagreements. “They have to have real conversations with real emotions (at camp),” Bussel notes. One of the most valuable aspects of a camp experience is the connections made between campers, in which lifelong friendships are formed. “At camp, kids are able to shed any preconceived notions about themselves. They’re free from social expectations and are able to make new friends easier,” she adds.

3. Unplug Camp is a place where children are forced to unplug. The majority of camps don’t allow campers or staff BAYSTATEPARENT 59


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Sleep-Away Camp: How To Gauge Your Child’s Readiness…



ast summer, my 10-yearold son had his first experience with sleepaway camp. The halfhour drive to drop him off for the week was filled with a lot of reminders from me — and even more eye rolling from him. “Remember not to forget to apply bug spray every day,” I said. “And don’t forget sunscreen. I don’t want your fun to be ruined by a burn.” “Mom, don’t worry. I will!” he said, with more than just a tinge of exasperation in his voice. Such is the often angst-filled first drop-off at an overnight camp. But whether it’s mom who is worried, or the first-time camper who has a little anxiety, there are ways to gauge if you’ve chosen the right time to try sleep-away camp and keep the fretting to a minimum. “When a parent asks, ‘Is my child old enough for sleep-away camp?’ this is usually a twopronged question, the latter being, ‘Am I ready to send my child to overnight camp?’” said Dr. Kerri Augusto, psychology professor and co-director of BC5 Cheer Camp, an overnight sum-

62 MARCH2016

mer camp held on the campus of Becker College in Leicester. “There is no set formula for determining whether a child is ‘old enough,’ as the child’s temperament is more important to consider than their age. In general, if a child is asking about going to an overnight camp and the child has had some minimal experiences away from home, such as sleeping over at the home of a friend or relative, then the child is ready for sleep-over camp.” Shannon Donovan-Monti, executive director of Chimney Corners Camp for Girls in Becket, looks for benchmarks, such as understanding basic daily hygiene routines. The starting camper at Chimney Corners (a part of the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA in the Berkshires) is finishing second grade, and Donovan-Monti believes that is a good time for a first experience for many children. “What you see with that age is when they should be doing basic self care: showering, dressing themselves. Being able to take care of themselves and with only a little supervision,” she said.

Younger campers are great because they have a tendency to be more in the moment and anticipate less, she added. “They are more concerned with what is right in front them instead of projecting how long they will be there,” DonovanMonti noted. “Sometimes our 8-year-olds are doing better than the 11-year-olds during the first few days of camp.” But more important than age is the interest in having a sleepaway experience. “I ask parents, ‘Do they want to come to camp?’ because that’s a fundamental issue,” DonovanMonti said. “I am concerned when a child says he or she doesn’t want to go. You really need a certain amount of buy-in from the child, too.”

How To Prep Your Camper If your child is raring to go and says he is ready, how can you help him have the best experience? Augusto said in terms of preparation, parents’ attitudes

are critical. “Successful campers have parents who transmit a feeling of excitement and possibility when talking about an upcoming camp,” she said. “These parents focus on favorite activities and new experiences and opportunities to make friends, and as a result, their children come to camp filled with positive expectations.” One absolute no-no that Augusto and Donovan-Monti noted: Do not promise your child an early pickup if she finds the camp experience to be less than ideal. “Less-successful campers often have parents who allow their own anxieties to filter into the pre-camp conversation and offer options such as, ‘If you don’t like it, I’ll come get you’ or ‘You can come home at any time,’” Augusto said. “Though it’s meant to provide a feeling of security, these offers plant the idea that camp won’t be fun, and rather than work through the anxiety inherent in having a new experience, the child is likely to view any discomfort as a signal that it’s time to go home.”

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“By offering to come get them early if they don’t like camp, it is subtly telling them it’s not going to work out,” DonovanMonti added. “And it puts the role of rescuer on the parent. That’s not a great role. To say, ‘If you feel bad for even a second, we are going to step in’ is a bad idea.” Both directors suggest helping children understand that a few bad moments are inevitable and offer strategies for getting through the down times, such as reading a book or another enjoyable activity.

How To Prep Yourself But what if your child is yearning to get away for a week or two of overnight camp, and you don’t feel ready? Augusto and Donovan-Monti recommend keeping that anxiety in check and trying not to be in touch too much over the time the child is away.

“Perhaps the most controversial and anxiety-inducing element of overnight camp involves access to telephones and technology to call home,” Augusto said. “Many parents will state that their child will ‘feel better knowing he or she can call me.’ In fact, it is often the parent who feels better knowing there is a lifeline between parent-child at all times. But this connection to home does more harm than good.” Donovan-Monti said Chimney Corners encourages letters to stay in touch, rather than a phone call. “Letters allow the reader to think about what is being said,” she said. “We encourage parents not to try to manage the camp experience from afar. In writing letters, don’t talk about fun things happening at home, because then they feel they are missing it. Keep the message positive and let them know how proud you are that they are having this camp experience.”


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Teaching Children About Transgender Identities BY ALEXANDRA TOWNSEND

Now might be the first time in history in which transgender people have really had a chance to lead proud and open lives. While it’s always good to make progress, transgender visibility has given many parents new responsibilities. If a child has a friend, neighbor, or relative who is beginning to transition, it’s often up to the parents to explain what that means. Several authorities share advice on the best ways to teach children about what it means to be transgender.

Tip #1: Educate Yourself

Tip #2: Tell the Truth

If you don’t know much about transgender identity yourself, be sure to do some research before you talk to your children. Gender is actually a very complicated subject. Even trans people need to do some reading before they fully understand themselves. Ohio-based author and former lawyer Holly Maholm felt mystified when she first realized she was transgender: “I needed to do a lot of research. Thank goodness for Google!” Karen Topham is an English teacher in Illinois. As an openly out transgender woman, she’s gotten used to educating people about her identity: “[I] just tell them that I am a person who was labeled male at birth because all the doctors could go on was the genitalia, but this is not where gender lies. The genitals may be where sex lies, but gender resides in and is created in the mind, and there are many scientific studies that indicate that the brains of transgender people are very different from others of their physical sex.” Education can also help you to work through any discomfort you might have about a person being transgender. Maholm pointed out that in her experience, parents often have more trouble accepting her identity than children. “I think parents need more support,” she says. “It’s not easy to have your view of the world change.”

Just like stories about the stork and nice farms upstate where the family dog has moved, sometimes it can seem easier to avoid talking with kids about complicated topics. However, white lies about transgender people have the potential to do a lot of harm, both to your children and the transgender population. “Here’s what happens when you lie about it,” Topham explained. “You make it seem like something shameful that you have to lie about. Tell your kids the truth, tell them straight, tell them it’s just another variation in the amazingly diverse human race…don’t make it seem shameful and sad and unfortunate because it isn’t: It’s the most incredible thing in the universe for the person going through it.” “I think that families (and people in general) often don’t give kids enough credit for their ability to understand, digest, and synthesize concepts and situations,” says Rachel Kahn, a behavioral health clinician based in Boston. She said she has worked with many people, both children and adults, to help them better understand transgender identity. “Since kids have a less concrete and fixed world view, they’re frequently able to adjust to and understand new things more easily than we are,” she said. Kahn shared one successful technique she’s used to teach younger

children the basics about transgender identity: “I’ve had a lot of positive experience talking to kids about how, when people are born, the doctor or nurse in the room will look at their body and tell the family if the baby has a girl body or a boy body. For a lot of people, the body they have outside — the body the doctor saw — is the same as the person they are inside, in their thoughts and feelings. For some people though, their outside body doesn’t match their inside person.”

Tip #3: Listen to What Your Kids Know You may be surprised to find out that your child already knows quite a bit about what it means to be transgender. In today’s information age, kids and teens are learning about different identities earlier than ever. “I think that many teenagers know much more than their respective adults, because they are more exposed to gender diversity in their everyday lives,” Kahn said. “Many high schools, and some middle schools, have a GSA (which can stand for either “Gay Straight Alliance” or “Gender and Sexuality Alliance”). Teens/pre-teens may have already met either peers who are transgender or peers who have trans friends just by being students in a school that has an established safe space like that. Many of the teen/pre-teen clients that I work

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with, whether they are transgender or cisgender [those whose bodies at birth match their self-identity, i.e., the opposite of transgender,] learned about transgender identity online — through sites like YouTube or tumblr, where they’ve seen and/or heard transgender people (and often transgender youth) telling their own stories about their life and experiences.” Once you’ve heard what your kids know about the subject, you can help fill in the gaps in their knowledge. Topham also recommended sticking to the basics, at least to start: “Explain only what needs explaining. Allow them to ask questions. Don’t over-explain. And if they need time to handle it, give them time…” Remember, you may also be validating an identity your child doesn’t even know they have yet. As Topham explained, having transgender visibility can make a huge difference in a trans child’s life. “Knowing that I am here, a teacher living a normal life, can’t help making a difference for these kids, who read so many stories about trans tragedies,” she said. “I have also helped with some post-graduate transitions.”  

child or teen can get a more personal sense of what transgender identity is.

Tip #5: Remember, Transgender People are PEOPLE Of course, at the end of the day, the most important lesson to impart is that, like anyone, trans people are people first and a gender second. Make sure your child knows they can ask you any questions they have, but that some topics aren’t appropriate to speculate about. “If a young person, regardless of their age, asks a question about a transgender person’s body or genitalia, it’s totally OK not to answer that question,” Kahn pointed out. “You probably wouldn’t talk to your kids about another cisgender person’s private parts, so why would you talk to them about a transgender person’s body parts? Making that specific point can be really helpful. It’s completely appropriate to reiterate that being transgender is about who a person is inside, and how they are making changes in their life to let everyone get to know who they are inside, and not about body parts.” You can explain that your child might start to see some physical changes to their loved one’s body soon. That’s a good time to discuss things like voice changes or the new clothes the person might now wear. Kahn recommended explaining that there are many ways

Tip #4: Offer Outside Resources

Sometimes kids don’t want to open up to a parent about all their questions. That’s why it’s also a good idea to have books or Websites ready so a

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to be any gender and giving varied examples among the people your child knows. Kahn also emphasized the importance of teaching kids to use the proper names and pronouns for any transgender people in their lives, even if those are different than what they’re used to: “It’s OK to mess up while adjusting to new names or pronouns — if you do,

just apologize, move on, and keep trying to do better next time.” Finally, remember that transgender people lead very full lives, with love, friendships, and fulfilling careers. “I just want to encourage people to be accepting,” Maholm says. “We’re happy and successful. I have friends who are doctors and lawyers and teachers… [Transgender people] get stuff done!”

Transgender resources for parents and kids Here is a list of books recommended by Rachel Kahn, a behavioral health clinician based in Boston.

Gracefully Grayson, Ami Polonsky Riding Freedom, Pam Munoz Ryan The Wandering Son, a series of manga.

For younger kids: My Princess Boy, Cheryl Kilodavis 10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewert I am Jazz, Jessica Herthel The Adventures of Tulip: Birthday Wish Fairy, S. Bear Bergman All I Want To Be Is Me, Phyllis Rothblatt MFT Jacob’s New Dress, Sarah Hoffman Play Free, McNall Mason Backwards Day, S. Bear Bergman Meet Polkadot, Talcott Broadhead

For teenagers: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Kirstin Cronn-Mills I Am J, Cris Beam Jumpstart the World, Catherine Ryan Hyde Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger Happy Families, Tanita S. Davis

For pre-teens: Be Who You Are, Jennifer Carr George, Alex Gino

Non-fiction: Some Assembly Required, Arin Andrews Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition, Katie Rain Hill Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin

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Do You Know the Difference Between Pneumonia and a Cold? BY MARY BROWN, M.D

“What are the differences between pneumonia and a bad cold? What symptoms should I look out for, that is, when is it time to call the doctor? I’ve also heard about children getting it over the summer. How is that possible?”

Dear Reader, As a pediatrician, I receive a lot of calls from parents worried that what they thought was the common cold was, in fact, pneumonia. I welcome and encourage such inquiries, as persistent symptoms such as an ongoing cough or fever can call for further examination. Watching for key symptoms A cold commonly involves the upper respiratory system (sneezing and runny nose), whereas pneumonia is a lower respiratory infection, with coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing as key signs. Breathing troubles are a red flag that’s easy for parents to miss when children are clothed. Parents should pay close attention to whether a child’s breathing is faster or more difficult. This refers to the way your child’s lungs are functioning rather than breathing through the nose — the latter of which will often be a challenge for any child with an upper respiratory cold. You should also look out for a potential loss of appetite; breathing problems can often be observed while your child is eating as well. Coughing could be a sign of pneumonia — or something else Many parents have concerns

related to a child’s persistent cough. Coughs that come with a fever may be a sign of pneumonia or Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), which is common in the winter. While persistent coughs absent a fever may not be pneumonia, calling your doctor is still recommended, as the cough could be a sign of asthma or allergies. Coughs may last for up to six weeks after an infection such as RSV, so it is also possible that your child is simply recovering, or that the cough is a result of nasal drip from a runny nose. Getting a doctor’s opinion is still recommended if these symptoms persist. Pneumonia can be caught year-round Pneumonia is certainly more common in the winter, as are most viral infections, but bacteria that have been seen to cause pneumonia are out there yearround, so catching it in the summer is entirely possible. Children are also more susceptible to pneumonia if their immune systems are weakened, so whether or not your child has recently suffered from a cold also could come into play. Parents should contact their pediatrician if pneumonia symptoms present themselves, no mat-

ter the season — as mentioned above, such symptoms could also be a sign of asthma or another infection. The bottom line is that you should contact your doctor if your child experiences pneumonia-like symptoms, such as a cough that is paired with a fever or difficulty breathing, and not drinking enough fluids. You should also call the doctor if your child’s fever or cough does not appear to be getting better (of course, it’s recommended that you call your doctor if your child displays a high fever at all, and breathing problems of any kind should be met promptly with a doctor’s visit). Getting the right diagnosis and treatment before your child’s health suffers further is critical — and you may even get the peace of mind that your child’s nagging cough is simply part of the recovery process. Mary Brown, M.D., is a general pediatrician at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center and an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Summer 2016


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The Vaping Trend: Friend Or Foe? BY MICHAEL PETERS


1955, Philip Morris gave us the Marlboro Man and made cigarettes sexy for men. In 1968, Virginia Slims united cigarettes and sex-appeal for women. For decades, young people delighted in the “harmless” activity of crafting smoke rings and testing new brands of cigarettes, from unfiltered Camels to menthols, to designer brands infused with candy and fruit flavors. In the two decades since, a collection of research studies clearly established the powerful link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that from 2011 to 2014, the number of students who smoke cigarettes declined by 1.8% for middle school students and 6.6% for high school students. However, this same report indicates that if smoking continues at the existing rate, 1 in 13 Americans ages 17 or younger today will die early from smoking-related illness. Research has reduced, but not eliminated, nicotine use, abuse, or addiction. Enter the E-cigarette, or “vaporizer.” In 2003, Chinese pharmacist Han Lik introduced what is now known as the E-cigarette, to allow nicotine consumption without smoke, tobacco, or any of the other chemicals inherent in traditional cigarettes. “Vaping” is the new term, referring to the use of either the E-cigarette or a vaporizer that processes “E-juice” into a fine mist to be inhaled into the lungs. Vaporizers can be used to taper off nicotine, or users can add nicotine to get the euphoric feeling associated with nicotine use (and the unintended addiction that comes with using nicotine). As a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC), I have read the literature on “harm reduction” and understand the role of E-cigarettes for

those tapering off a nicotine addiction. Vaping is touted as the “safe” alternative to cigarettes because the E-juice does not contain tar or many of the carcinogenic chemicals associated with smoking and linked to COPD, emphysema, and lung cancer. This is, perhaps, a good thing. But as a parent of two young children, I am very concerned about statistics from a recent large national survey showing vape/Ecigarette use among middle and high school students tripling from 20132014. These are not nicotine “quitters”; these are new users. Teens talk openly about vaping, calling it “harmless water vapor with a cool taste” and showing off their newfound abilities to make smoke rings. And it is true that there are dozens of brands of non-nicotine “E-juice” in fun flavors like grape, cotton candy, vanilla cake batter, etc.; flavors reminiscent of the candy cigarettes from my own childhood, and appealing to a young pallet. Manufacturers will claim their products are safe and free from additional chemicals or harmful additives, and teens listen. But, “E-juice” is not regulated by the FDA, and claims are just that — claims. A 2015 study conducted by Harvard researchers and published in

Environmental Health Perspectives put 51 flavors of supposedly “pure” E-juice from a variety of manufacturers to the test. Results indicated that 3 out of every 4 products contained a chemical called diacetyl. Used as a preservative in many ingestible products, diacetyl is not harmful to eat or drink, but when it is vaporized and introduced to the lungs, it has been shown to cause damage and permanent scarring to the bronchial tubes. It has also been associated with bronchiolitis obliterans (“popcorn lung”), a debilitating and irreversible respiratory disease. Significant controversy arose in response to this study, with the media calling for an “E-cigarette health scare” and serious vape-enthusiasts countering with claims that diacetyl only appears in “low-quality” E-juice, and can be avoided by purchasing from “quality, professional vendors that back up their diacetyl-free claims.” But another, less-publicized research finding in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (May 2015) added fuel to the anti-vaping fire with the discovery of another lung-harming substance, acrolein, in the vapor created from many quality, non-nicotine E-juices. Acrolein has been shown to damage

the lungs by attacking the molecules that hold endothelial cells together. As of this writing, the research is still limited, and the vaping debate continues. The best advice, of course, is to smoke nothing. But if adolescents want to fit in with the current trends and they are privy only to the message of “harmless fun” touted by E-cigarette vendors, their peers, and the vague prohibitions of adults, then they will play with the fancy flavored E-juices and perfect their smoke rings. Our job as concerned parents and adults is to make sure children have the information needed to make good choices: balanced information, including what is known and what is uncertain. We do not have the luxury of waiting 20 years for confirmatory evidence on the dangers of vaping, so we must keep our youth informed as research emerges, encourage them to err on the side of caution, and teach them to be consumers critical of industry claims and research findings. Hopefully, one day, vaping will be determined to be as safe as breathing. But until that day, my message will remain: “Every trend is not your friend.”


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ENTER TO WIN April Vacation Youth Workshop from Worcester Art MuseuM!

enter for a chance to win a free youth workshop during April school vacation week at the Worcester Art Museum! WAM offers a variety of fun and engaging youth art classes during school vacations and throughout the year. to enter, visit

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The Little Prince • Rated PG for mild thematic elements • In theaters March 18 • OK for kids 7+

New movies coming to theatres this month

• Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels

By Jane Louise Boursaw

From director Mark Osborne comes the first-ever animated feature film adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s iconic masterpiece, The Little Prince. At the heart of it all is The Little Girl, who’s being prepared by her mother for the very grown-up world in which they live — only to be interrupted by her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor, The Aviator. The Aviator introduces his new friend to an extraordinary world where anything is possible. Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, and Paul Rudd lead the all-star voice cast in this sweet animated family film.

Zootopia • Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor, and action • In theaters March 4 • OK for kids 6+ • Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels This cute animated family movie takes place in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. When optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with fast-talking, scam-artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 • Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material • In theaters March 25 • OK for kids 13+ • Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels

This follow-up to 2002’s breakout comedy continues the story of Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) and Ian Miller (John Corbett). After spending most of their time focused on their teenage daughter, Toula and Ian are facing marital problems while also having to deal with yet another Greek wedding. 74 MARCH2016

The Divergent Series: Allegiant • • • •

Not yet rated; likely PG-13 In theaters March 18 OK for kids 13+ Reel preview: 4 of 5 Reels

After the earth-shattering revelations of 2015’s Insurgent, Tris (Shailene Woodley) must escape with Four (Theo James) and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known in order to find a peaceful solution for their embroiled city. But their journey outside uncovers shocking new truths. Based on the young adult novel by Veronica Roth, this movie also stars Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and Jai Courtney.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice • Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality • In theaters March 25 • OK for kids 13+ • Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels

This long-awaited superhero movie pits Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante (Batman/Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck) against Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior (Superman/Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill). Meanwhile, the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs, just as a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in grave danger. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.

Jane’s Reel Rating System • One Reel – Even The Force can’t save it. • Two Reels – Coulda been a contender. • Three Reels – Something to talk about. • Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! • Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of. Head to baystateparent.com/ March Flicks for a full list of movies heading to theatres and DVDs this month.


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...full time and part-time Multi Media Consultants to help grow our products. They will be responsible for selling our print product as well as a portfolio of digital marketing: SEO, SEM, behavioral targeting, retargeting, web design and more.

The right candidate will embrace the consultative sales approach, be creative, self-motivated, energetic, a team player and have a strong sales background. Traditional print media and digital marketing experience is a plus!

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kreal@baystateparent.com BAYSTATEPARENT 75

our march favorites sunday





March is named after Mars, the Roman god of war, because it was the month in which the military campaigns resumed after taking the winter off.



99 {WIN}



Hearing a baby’s heartbeat is a sound no parent will forget, so why not save it forever? My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear (in a variety of animal forms) and its 20-second red heart battery recorder capture that sweet sound during an ultrasound. Enter to bring this cute Owl, a $35 value, home today at baystateparent.com.

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1 Kids can build their own Star Wars vehicles in less than 30 minutes with lights-and-sound scale model kits from Revell. Each kit has 15 to 20 pre-decorated parts, requires no glue, paint or tools, and includes batteries. Learn how you can win a First Order Special Forces Tie Fighter by visiting baystateparent.com today!

14 13 {Fact} 13

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Jazz up that Easter basket with a twist on plain ’ol plastic eggs — Hide Em & Hatch Em Eggs. Hide these eggs for a hunt, and once they’re found they will reveal a special animal friend, which when placed in clean water will grow up to 10 times its original size. Head to baystateparent.com today for details on how to enter to win a set.

Look At Us Now: A Creative Family Journal encourages connection, reflection, and fun as families answer questions, such as “The last time we laughed out loud was because…,” “What does family dinner look like?,” “Who talks the most? The least?” and more. Visit baystateparent. com and enter today to win a copy for your family.



facts, finds and freebies thursday


44 {WIN} 55 {Fact}


April 16 will be a day of fabulous fun for the mother and daughter who win a set of tickets to Be*Tween. This Natick event, for 8to 12-year-olds and their moms, promises a slate of special events and guest speakers to empower and encourage girls. Go to baystateparent.com today to enter to win your tickets today!

11 10 {Fact} 10 Today is National Pack Your Lunch Day. Make sure you pack the kids — and yourself — a little something special.

17 24 24




It’s believed the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania  and brought with them the tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” 


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FeverFrida checks your child’s temperature every 4 seconds, thanks to a tiny Bluetooth monitor and patch placed under the arm. The FeverFrida will alert your smartphone when the temp goes above a predetermined threshold and continuously stores data for pediatrician visits and medicine reminders. Visit baystateparent.com today and grab your chance to win this next-generation thermometer, valued at $69.99!


Kansas City, Missouri has hosted more Final Fours than any other city. That’s fitting given that the sport’s founder, Dr. James Naismith, coached at the University of Kansas, less than an hour away.

Starting on the date the prize appears, log on to baystateparent.com to enter for your chance to win. BAYSTATEPARENT 77


Welcome to baystateparent's 2016 Reader Survey Thank you for taking a few minutes to answer some questions about how you use baystateparent and what you would like to see in the future. This survery should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Let's get started! I read baystateparent: m Every month! (12x year) m Several times a year (6+) m A few times a year (3-6) m This is my first issue! I typically spend how much time reading baystateparent: m Less than 15 minutes m 15 - 30 minutes m 30 - 45 minutes m More than 45 minutes

baystateparent Magazine My favorite baystateparent sections are: (check up to 5) m Ask The Expert m bsp Online m Captured

m Countdown To Camp m Divorce & Single Parenting m Favorites: Facts, Finds & Freebies m Feature Stories/Profiles m Finally Forever m Let’s Go m Oh, The Places You’ll Go m News Stories m Reel Life With Jane m Ripe/Bites m Show & Tell m Take 8 m The Thinking Parent m Very Special People m Women’s Health I am most interested in reading stories about (check all that apply): m Adoption m Afterschool Activities & Hobbies m Arts & Entertainment m Books m Camps m Children's Health m Crafts / DIY m Day Trips and Travel m Education m Fashion m Food & Recipes m Health & Fitness m LGBTQ+ m Movies & TV m News m Parenting m Personal Development m Professional Development m Special Needs m Tech nology m Things To Do

m Toys, Games & Gear m Women's Health & Issues

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What would you like to see more of on baystateparent's Facebook wall? m Contests & Giveaways m Events m Expert Advice m Live Chats m News m I follow baystateparent on Twitter

baystateparent.com I visit baystateparent.com: m Every Day m Weekly m Monthly m I Rarely Visit the Site m Today Was My First Time My favorite feature of baystateparent.com: m Expert Columns m Contests & Giveaways m News m Online Calendar m Online Versions of the Month's Stories What would you like to see more of on baystateparent.com (Check all that apply): m Blogs m Contests & Giveaways m News m Online Calendar m Online Versions of the Month's Stories m Videos

baystateparent E-Newsletter m I subscribe to baystateparent's e-newsletter When I read the e-newsletter, I am most interested in (choose two): m Events m Giveaways m News m Stories From the magazine Overall, how can baystateparent better serve you? What does baystateparent do best? (Please attach additional paper if needed)

Now, some questions about your buying habits m I use baystateparent to make purchasing decisions for products and activities for my family.

Take this survey online at baystateparent.com/Reader-Survey-2016 for a chance to win a fabulous Grand Prize ­– a free massage and facial from Spa Tech Institute. Two runners-up will win family 4-packs of tickets to a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance in April at the DCU Center. 78 MARCH2016


Within the next 12 months, I plan to purchase the follow products or services: (please check all that apply) Health & Wellness m Athletic & Sports Equipment m Chiropractor m Health Club / Exercise Class m Pediatrician m Pediatric Dentist m Pharmacist / RX Service m Weight Loss m Cell Phone (New / Update) m Home Computers m Television / Electronics For Fun m Dining / Entertainment m Florist / Gift Shops m Men's Apparel m Vacations / Travel m Women's Apparel m Services m Attorney m Financial Planner m Tax Advisor m Veterinarian Home m Carpeting / Flooring m Cleaning Services m Furniture / Home Furnishings m Heating / AC m Home Improvements m Lawn Care m Lawn & Garden m Major Home Appliances Just a few more questions about your household...

The number of children (under 18) in my home: m 0 (relative/nanny) m 4 m1 m5 m2 m6 m3 m Over 6 My children's ages (check all that apply): m0-2 m 10 - 13 m3-5 m 14+ m6-9 My children are involved in (check all that apply): m After-School Care m Gymnastics m Martial Arts & Fitness m Music, Dance, Arts m Summer Camps My children are currently or will be enrolled in: m Public School m Independent School m Private School m Parochial School Household Income m Less than $25,000 m $25,000 - $49,999 m $50,000 - $74,999 m $75,000 - $99,999 m More than $100,000 Highest education level: m High School Diploma / GED m Associate Degree m Bachelor Degree m Master's Degree m Doctorate Degree

Or fill out these pages and mail to: baystateparent Reader Survey 22 West Street, Suite 31, Millbury, MA 01527

Why do you read bsp?

“I rely on the calendar every month. It’s invaluable!”

You provide the words, we provide the photo. We're looking for you — yes, you — to share a few words about why you read us every month. Send your thoughts* to editor@baystateparent.com. Our favorites will win a professional photo shoot with their children, and their picture — and testimonial — will be featured in

baystateparent. * Please include your age, your children’s ages and town you reside in. BAYSTATEPARENT 79


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Answer key: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Macarena by Los del Rio “One Sweet Day” “Because You Loved Me” “Nobody Knows” “Always Be My Baby” “ Give Me One Reason” Bone Thugs-n-Harmony “I Love You Always Forever” Toni Braxton “Twisted” “C’mon N’ Ride It (The Train)” “Missing” “Ironic” Whitney Houston Gin Blossoms Brandy 2Pac “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” Eric Clapton LL Cool J

MARCHINDEX Applewild School..............................21 B.A.W. Inc.......................................61 Bancroft School...........................65,83 Becker College................................57 Big Y Foods, Inc...............................12 Blackstone Valley Boys & Girls Club....63 F3..................................................... 3 Camp Half Moon.............................47 Charlotte Klein Dance Centers..........63 Child Works.....................................49 Children’s Development Network, Inc..... 8 Children’s Orchard-Westboro............30 Citi Performing Arts Center..............40 Cornerstone Academy........................7 Country Montessori..........................37 Danforth Museum of Art..................60 DCU Center................................ 33,68 Earth LTD........................................52 Ecotarium........................................19 Explore Japan.................................60 Fay School.......................................61 Fidelity Investments.........................69 Fitchburg Art Museum......................30 Fletcher Tilton PC.............................51 FMC Ice Sports.................................41 Girls Inc..........................................65 Greater Quincy Child Care................55 Gymnastics Learning Center.............70 Heywood Hospital............................15 ID Tech............................................60 Incrediflix.......................................63 Kathy Corrigan’s Summer Camps.....64 Kids in Sports..................................72 Lanni Orchards................................17 Legoland Discovery Center Boston....77

parents are parents. kids are kids.

baystateparent covered it all... and still does!

Mall At Whitney Field.................. ..28,29 Mass Audubon Camps........................46 Mass Audubon Society.......................55 Millbury Federal Credit Union............44 New Horizon Karate & More..............67 Next Generation Children’s Ctr............. 5 Noble Expos...................................... 31 Old Sturbridge Village................... 26,27 Pakachoag Community Music School.... 59 Parenting Solutions............................ 35 Paula Meola Dance............................ 52 Perkins School................................... 47 Project Smart.................................... 58 River’s Edge Art Alliance.................... 24 Shawna Shenette Photography........... 81 Shrewsbury Children’s Center............. 35 Shrewsbury Montessori School........... 81 Sing This Summer.............................. 71 Spa Tech Institute.............................. 32 Springfield Museums Corp.................. 32 Sterling Academy of Gymnastics......... 46 Summer Fenn/The Fenn School.......... 49 Swings N Things................................ 67 Teamworks........................................ 64 The Chestnut Hill School..................... 39 The Children’s Workshop.................... 44 The Learning Zone............................. 25 UMass Memorial Medical Center........24,84 Wachusett Theatre Company................ 4 Whale Camp...................................... 54 Worcester Academy........................... 64 Worcester Art Museum................2,58,73 Worcester JCC.................................... 65 Worcester Kids’ Dentist...................... 35 YMCA Central Branch......................... 61






20 TH

bsp 1996-2016



with Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu Joyce “Sweet J” Ekworomadu (pronounced eck-wor-oh-MAA-doo) was the 12th female to join the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters. The 5’10” guard from Dallas was named Southland Conference Player of the Year and Student Athlete of the Year in 2008 while at Texas State University, and is now in her third season with Earth’s favorite basketball team. Sweet J and her teammates will be dribbling into the DCU Center in Worcester March 11 & 12 as part of the Harlem Globetrotters 90th Anniversary World Tour. What is it like being a Globetrotter? Read on:


Did you watch the Globetrotters growing up? No, but I always heard about the team and their basketball wizardry. Players like Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal were definitely household names that resonated throughout the world, and it’s an honor to be a part of such a legendary team.

When did you start playing basketball? At what age did you think, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this!” and want to pursue a college career? I started playing basketball at 10 years old outside against boys. I never knew I was good until some people at the local recreation center told me that I should play for my school team and on an organized select team. Once I got to the high school level, I knew that I was pretty good by the numbers I was putting up, but it all stemmed from my passion.


Any advice for student athletes? How did you balance study and schoolwork? Time management is key. The most important thing to know is that you are a student first, then an athlete, so your studies and schoolwork come first.

When did the thought of becoming a Globetrotter enter your mind? Was it a long-held ambition or an opportunity you never expected? The thought of being a Globetrotter entered my mind when I spoke to a college friend of mine who was on the team. He told me there were females on the team and I became interested. It was definitely an opportunity that I just never expected.

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What is the most surprising aspect of being a Globetrotter — something you didn’t expect or your fans would not realize? I was expecting to get a lot of attention from women and young girls. However, I was very surprised when young boys would tell me I’m their favorite player.

What was your first Globetrotters game like? I was very terrified when we played in Pittsburgh because there was so much energy in the stadium with 10,000 screaming fans. I overcame this fear once the game started and never looked back.



What is your favorite part of the show? My favorite part of the show is the intro when we run out onto the court and you see the smiles on people’s faces. It really electrifies me into wanting to put on the best show. Any advice for young basketball players who want to improve? Yes, work on your individual game after team practices. Work for at least 45 minutes to an hour on personal weaknesses everyday. 

BONUS questions


What hobbies or interests do you enjoy off the court? I love listening to music and also attending music festivals in my free time. On my down time I also enjoy relaxing and catching up on my shows. Do you think your opponent, the World All-Stars, has a chance to win when they come to Worcester? Well, we can’t take them lightly because they have great talent with deep shooters and athleticism.


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Profile for baystateparent Magazine


March 2016 issue of baystateparent Magzazine


March 2016 issue of baystateparent Magzazine