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Life beyond the special needs diagnosis


Spring clean your parenting























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No limits A special needs diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of dreams

LIFE IN CHI Real Life …. .............. 8


Dear deli lady … Life with autism is still a daily struggle

22 Get a grip

Spring is the perfect time to get a handle on all things parenting


How Gen Z learns Even their classrooms are different from those of their millennial and Gen X parents

Failing with Gusto .... 10 Viva Daddy ............... 12


Design: Kelly Buren



Ivy Kimble, 5, of New Lenox



Parenting dilemma ... 40

On the Cover:

Thomas Kubik

Chicago Parent is published monthly by Zoe Communications Group. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Chicago Parent, 332 S. MIchigan Ave., 9th Floor, Chicago, IL, 60604. © 2020 Zoe Communications Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Calendar ................... 30



Life beyond the special needs diagnosis

PLUS Spring clean your parenting


EditoR’s Note

Big dreamers



very parent wants to see their kids achieve their dreams. We sacrifice, we scrimp when we need to in order to pay for lessons or fees, and we spend hours and hours in the car driving them to whatever their current passion is. All the while, we hope they are happy and fulfilled. This month, you’ll meet three families who are making it possible for their children to achieve their own big dreams. The kids—Ivy, Patrick and Emmett—just happen to also have a special needs diagnosis. When I first helped create Chicago Special Parent, our annual empowerment

guide for families with special needs, I often heard parents tell me one of the hardest things they faced with a special needs diagnosis was coming to terms with the loss of their dreams for their children. Now that almost 12 years have passed since the first issue hit the streets, I often wonder what they’d tell me if they were just starting their journey now. Special needs shouldn’t mean the end of big dreams. We’ve seen many improvements and opportunities for people with special needs. More museums and theaters reach out to special needs guests, our sports stadiums recognized more should be done for people with


special needs and sought help to do it, and access to technology to make life a little easier has improved. Yes, there is still so much more work to do. More places need to be fully accessible and we need to see more job opportunities that go beyond the stereotypical jobs created for those with special needs, as just two examples. And once and for all, people must stop using the “R” word and judging the parents when their child acts out in public. I hope you enjoy getting to know Ivy, Patrick and Emmett this month as much as I did. I predict even bigger dreams are ahead for them. Happy March.

our village

Hello, spring


We’re welcoming the new season with open arms by updating our website with plenty of things to do with your kids. On ChicagoParent. com this month, you can find kid-friendly St. Patrick’s Day events, Spring Break ideas in Chicago (and beyond) and so much more. Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram by using #sharechicagoparent.

Enter to win Feeling lucky? We’re giving away a $50 gift certificate to Pinstripes, where you can enjoy bowling or a bite in the bistro at any of four Chicagoland locations. Enter for a chance to win this prize and more at ChicagoParent. com/Contests.


Open House All potential students welcome

Discover why Moraine Valley is your best choice! Saturday, March 21, 9 a.m.

9000 W. College Parkway • Palos Hills Buildings S and U • Ends at Noon n Hear a short presentation about the college, admission and financial aid, student life and more. n Learn about the transfer process — complete the first two years of your bachelor’s degree here and save thousands of dollars! n Discover how to earn college credit while still in high school. n Attend a presentation about starting your engineering studies here. n Meet faculty from academic and career programs. n Take a tour of the campus.


(708) 974-5355

morainevalley.edu/openhouse 200519T


Thomas and his daughter Adair from Chicago, Instagram: @usalongtheway

our village

Talk with parents Our Facebook group — Chicago Parent Village — is growing and it’s a great space for local parents to connect. Need recommendations for coding classes? Have a parenting dilemma? Join the conversation at ChicagoParent.com/OurVillage.

Vote for your favorite family attractions We’re joining in on some of the basketball madness this month with our very first bracket battle. In collaboration with local blogger, Amanda Simkin from Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘N Berries, we’re having the ultimate city vs. suburbs showdown. Nominate and vote for your favorite local family-friendly businesses at ChicagoParent.com/Bracket.

ICYMI Looking to book a last-minute getaway for Spring Break? Head to ChicagoParent.com/ Travel to find the top 20 Midwest destinations to travel with your family in 2020. PHOTO CREDIT: THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS


Real life | Dad

Dads with big, dope beats



rothers JQ and GQ, plus Jackson “Jax” Doran and Postell “Pos” are freestyling, fun-inspiring artists who are the definition of hype. They make up the Q Brothers Collective and have been bringing hip-hop music to the masses for more than 15 years.


Now, they are releasing their first children’s record, including songs about “dealing” lemonade and all the ways to “bug out.” We sat down with the guys in a rapid-fire chat that had them all answering our questions to find out more. What is the Q Brothers’ music mission? Whether it is theater or music, we make art for people. We make a lot of satire in a super entertaining way to get people to have fun and to think a different way, but while they don’t even know that they are doing it. So, if it is a piece of the-

ater or a kids’ song, we are looking for that extra twist that is making the parents laugh. How did decide you wanted to be accessible to children? Ultimately, the truth is we are just a bunch of hip-hop heads. We wanted to find a way to still make dope sounds, have the camaraderie that we have on records, and still have the connection of the messages that we want to tell. Whether they are meant to be super adult or squeaky clean, we wanted the opportunity to do that for the widest audience possible.

dad | Real life

Q Brothers ■ JQ is from Chicago; Jackson “Jax’ Doran is from Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Postell “Pos” Pringle is from Decatur, Ga.; and GQ is from Chicago. ■ Spouses: Greta (JQ), Anne (Jax), Alexis AKA “AG” (Pos) ■ Kids: Collectively seven kids, all 7 years and younger (which makes one, big Q Brothers mini crew!) ■ Watch out for the new album: Buggin! ■ Social Media: @qbrothers1 You were a kids’ favorite before some of you became parents. How has becoming fathers changed how you approach music? We consume a lot more family-friendly, and kids, art. We have strong opinions about it! Our goal is to have songs that your kids will ask you to play them in the car. You are going to go “Yeah!” because that beat is dope and that song is funny. Kids can handle big beats. They understand it on an innate level much quicker than adults do. Is music part of your parenting style?  There is a certain age where you can’t get anything done unless you make it a song. In general, us being musicians, music just constantly flows through our homes. The work happens when the work happens. So, sometimes when you are making their dinner, changing their diapers, cleaning their messes you have that

beat on and you are working through it. What does balance look like for your families? We are partnered with incredible women and we all have a different take on it, but it is a lot of communication, a lot of scheduling. When one person is traveling, you have to build a support system to help. More than an emergency backup, you know who is ready to help on any given day. How did this new album come about? This album is the first one that is pointedly at kids. For about half the record we try to keep it very much in the vain of the freestyle we do with the children. This is a record designed for parents to listen to with their kids at very high volumes. We don’t pander the style of the lyricism. It is still rip-your-face-off rapping. Like Wu-Tang Clan, if they made a kids’ record. CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 9


10 commandments of carpool


s I was picking up a collection of kids from hockey practice the other day, I noticed something askew. Four boys dropped their bags and jumped into the minivan. Meanwhile, my youngest son, Joey, was playing a complex game of Tetris, moving seats around and positioning bags and sticks so everything and everybody could fit. I lost my mind and addressed the crowd. “JOEY IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL VAMARIANNE LET. GET YOUR BUTTS OUT AND HELP WALSH HIM. NOW.” It got me thinking about carpools and how happy I am to be wrapping up this period of my life (my oldest will have his license in May). For every parent who uses a carpool, there are understood passenger rules. Sacred rules. Being aware of them can ensure a decade of seamless rides to the four corners of Illinois: 1. Await transport at front window, fully dressed with shoes on. Bolt out the door like you’re storming the beaches of Normandy. 2.

Never complain to a parent that you’re hungry. I’ve only got about $3.45 in my purse anyway.


If you notice you forgot something 35 minutes into the trip, it’s best to contact someone who sired you.


If I accidentally ask you how things are going, put down your phone and respond with more than 10 syllables.


Take all evidence of your existence with you.


Enter the building with your carpool cohorts instead of running ahead and denying association.


If I’m late (most likely because of a breach in rule No. 1) and get pulled over, I will cry. You are never to speak of this again.


Do not be mean to my child in the car. I have ears. And a long memory.


Exit the vehicle on the curb side.

10. Thank me. I fear these lessons have been lost on an entire generation of Uber kids who hold up the “gimme a minute” finger at the front window. My father was born in 1939 to parents who barely survived the Depression. I am Gen X. No child left behind never made sense to us. You opt to eat your Pop-Tart instead of running to the car? Vroom vroom. Marianne Walsh, mom of three boys, is married to Chicago firefighter and lives on the South Side.




Hurry up and wait


y daughter Viva is destined to be a glaciologist, should any glaciers remain by her adulthood. I know this because every time it has snowed or frozen since she learned to walk, she has taken time to test the texture, density and load bearing qualities of every drift, puddle and snow mound she’s come across. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the house to the car after a snow… even (espeMATT cially) if it’s time for school. BORESI I, like most parents, am perpetually harried. When Viva is making it a point to stomp every snowball from the lakefront to O’Hare, my blood pressure skyrockets and my head swims. She and I are reliably tardy to whichever school, social or enrichment activity she is supposed to attend, and I do a lot of shouting at red lights in the car. It is an infuriating but inevitable lesson of parenting: You simply cannot rush a child. Perhaps you can lead the horse to water, perhaps you can convince it to drink, but you cannot make it drink quickly. If your New Year’s resolution towards getting a grip on moving your child efficiently from place to place has already been scuttled, perhaps do as Viva and I do. Embrace the three P’s of transporting your progeny:

Prepare. Your child cannot rush, so have all clothes, toys and foodstuffs ready. Plan backwards and leave adequate time for tarrying. Patience. Your child’s dallying and poking about is where learning happens, where you can bond with them and mentor them, and maybe learn a few things yourself. Pffft. Forget it. You’re always going to be late. You’re no longer driving your own life—you’re a passenger. Your child, the tiny pilot of your existence, cares not where you go nor when you get there. Did I mention have patience? It is a virtue and a necessity. You might as wetll make like Viva and enjoy every snow drift. Viva Dawdling. Viva Viva. Viva Daddy.

Viva is 8 years old. Daddy is about 5x that age. They live happily with Mommy in Chicago.


Our Chicago Parent Village is growing – and the welcome mat is out for you, too. The Chicago Parent Facebook group is great for city and suburban parents Discuss raising kids in Chicagoland • Be the first to know about what’s happening in the city and suburbs • Swap stuff • Maybe even make an IRL friend

Join our Facebook community at ChicagoParent.com/OurVillage CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 13

THINGS TO DO THIS MONTH Family Night Out: The DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville stays open late just for families with children with special needs. Lighting and sound is muted, and additional sensory activities and cool down rooms are provided. The limited spots fill up quickly. Free. 5:30-8 p.m. March 21.


Sensory Friendly Mor nings at the Play Zoo: The Hamill Family Play Zoo at Brookfield Zoo opens an hour early to families with individuals that benefit from being able to explore and play in a less crowded environment. Noise and light levels are less and noise-reducing headphones, visual schedules and

Sign up for our monthly special needs newsletter at ChicagoParent.com to get more special needs news.

a quiet room are available. $5 per family includes admission and parking. 9-10 a.m. March 28. Registration opens the first of each month and is required.

Play for All: Held the second Saturday of every month, children and families with special needs can experience Chicago Children’s Museum’s inclusive, multi-sensory exhibits and programs in a quiet environment. The museum opens one hour early, at 9 a.m., for preregistered guests. The first 250 visitors to register receive free admission. March 14. Red Kite, Brown Box: A live theater experience by the Chicago Children’s Theatre

in Chicago leads children with autism and their caregivers on a 60-minute imaginative journey where simple cardboard boxes transform into a magical world full of treasures and joyous play. $12. Saturdays at noon and 1:30 p.m. through March 21.

Sensory Saturdays: Field Museum opens the Crown Family PlayLab early just for families with special needs. Free with advance registration, space is limited. 9-10 a.m. March 7.

Register at accessibilityeducator@fieldmuseum.org.

“Chords for Kids” A Concert for Children with Autism: North Central College hosts its 12th annual free concert for children with special needs at Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. The music includes a range of classical pieces to popular tunes. Free, but tickets required. 7 p.m., March 28.

STEPS TO SECURE YOUR CHILD’S FINANCIAL FUTURE We collected some tips to help parents begin making a few steps to make sure their child’s future is not limited by financial problems. Sara Shalvey of Northwestern Mutual, who often has these conversations with parents, offers a few suggestions:

1 Investigate setting up a special needs trust or savings plan such as ABLE accounts or 529 plans. 2 Build a team of professionals and trusted people. This team should include an attorney with expertise of special needs families, a family member or trusted individual that can stand in the gaps if one or both parents die before the child, and a financial expert well versed in special needs financial planning.

3 Letter of Intent. This is a letter stating what you envision for your child’s future. While the document is not a legal document, it does serve as a roadmap or blueprint for the people taking on the care of your child after you die. ERICKA POLANCO WEBB



DEAR DELI LADY … Life with autism is still a daily struggle BY ALI GOODMAN



’m no longer embarrassed by my kid. I admit, there was a time, not too long ago, where I was embarrassed. Woefully. Painfully embarrassed. I think it stemmed from not understanding his behaviors and thinking that others would judge me as a mom when he was acting out. And then there’s the stimming. Jackson stims with hand movements, visually with his eyes and verbally with sounds. The verbal stim is usually an “eeeee” sound or a high-pitched “aaaahhhh.” They happen automatically. They happen often. They happen without warning. They are never quiet. When he was a baby, I had no clue his rocking on all fours, his mouth noises or his obsession with ceiling fans were clues into what was happening with him. I thought it was totally normal baby behavior. My first clue into something amiss began with what I wryly refer to as “The Bagel Incident.” Jackson was about 15 months old when we went to lunch at a deli in our neighborhood. We were a large group— my four nephews, my brother and sister-in-law, my parents, Jackson and me. It’s one of those restaurants where you order at the counter,

looking deli/restaurant. Jackson looked up and was totally enthralled by the ceiling fans. He was hyperfocused and excited by them and started to verbally stim a high-pitched sound that was, yes, loud. But he was not crying. He was not even upset. He was excited and fascinated and his way of expressing it was through sound. We were mostly finished with our meal when an older woman walked up to us. My mom was holding Jackson and I was trying to finish my meal. I heard the woman say, “It isn’t fair. You shouldn’t bring him.” That’s when I snapped to attention. I joined my mom and said, “I’m sorry, what was that?” She looked at me and said, “Is this your child?” I said, “Yes, he is.” She then gets a sympathetic look on her face, places her hand on my arm and tells me, “Honey, you cannot bring this child out. He ruined 50

grab a table number sign and then find somewhere to sit. It was pretty busy since it was lunchtime. The space has tall ceilings with ceiling fans and fluorescent lights. The floor is a linoleum tile. It’s a standard


”I should have stood up for him. I should have advocated for him. Granted, I didn’t know his diagnosis, but I still should not have let that woman say such shaming things to me about my kid.”


I would immediately remove him from a place if he started verbally stimming and apologize profusely for his behavior. I started getting frustrated with Jackson and telling him to stop this behavior (and not giving him anything else to DO). It was messy. Once we got the diagnosis and I learned about stimming and I learned that I was, essentially, asking him to stop something but not helping him replace the stimming behavior with something more appropriate, thereby creating even more anxiety for him, I felt even more ashamed. My poor kiddo. I should have stood up for him. I should have advocated for him. Granted, I didn’t know his diagnosis, but I still should not have let that woman say such shaming things to me about my kid. Today, I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed by my kid. He’s working, learning and growing. And so am I. We live in a neurotypical world that is not set up for disabled people. While “autism awareness” is a political phrase being spread around like glitter, equity and inclusion for people with autism is still a daily struggle. Sure, there are some battles not worth fighting. But my kid deserves to see me stand up for him when he is being misunderstood, mocked or mistreated. I will model standing up for him until he can do it for himself. Because being autistic is nothing to be ashamed of.


people’s lunch today. You have to control him or leave him home. It’s unfair.” I was shocked. Mortified. Furious. Incensed. Hurt. I think I mumbled out, “What? Are you serious?” She continued, “Honey, I’m sure you didn’t intend it, but he ruined our lunch. He’s just not equipped to be in a public place like this.” I sputtered, “Th-this is a DELI. This isn’t some nice restaurant with tablecloths and…” I trail off and my mom intervenes and says, “OK! Thank you. Goodbye.” But I’m feeling stifled and held back. I’m unsure how to address this. I feel my face get hot and tears stinging and I’m looking around and realizing I hadn’t noticed anything or anyone looking at us. I was just living in the moment with my kid and my family. I wasn’t aware that he might be causing issues. And I felt crippling shame. Gut-wrenching awful shame. At that moment I was both angry at this woman and deeply ashamed at my parenting skills. Why was this so easy for others and just didn’t come naturally to me at all! What a horrible person I was to not notice my son was disrupting people. And what a wretched woman to come POINT THAT OUT TO ME and shame me as a mother. I was chock full of emotions and I had nowhere to put it. So, I did 100 percent the wrong things: I stopped taking him to busy restaurants.

Ali Goodman is a professional actor, writer, mom of two boys and podcast host of the Acting Up With Ali Goodman Podcast. Follow her shenanigans on Facebook and Instagram @ActingUpWithAliGoodman or on Twitter at @Ali_Goodman. CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 17

No limits A special needs diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of dreams




ristin Kimble remembers looking at her beautiful newborn’s eyes and her shock of thick black hair and thinking, Oh, she has Down syndrome. Her euphoria with her new baby turned to tears for just about 24 hours. Kimble, who had spent six years working in special education at the high school level, wasn’t upset that Ivy has Down syndrome. The tears came because she had seen too much of how hard life could be with special needs. “I didn’t want the world to treat Ivy the way I had seen kids with special needs be treated and I was very scared about that. I didn’t want anyone to put limits on her or make her feel like she couldn’t do something, couldn’t be something,” Kimble says. When she dried those tears, she and her husband made a decision. “I am going to make sure that this is not the world that she lives in,” she says. Kathy Zebracki, chief of psychology at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, says she sees society becoming more accepting and open and the opportunities increasing for people with special needs. “I think we still have a way to go, unfortunately,” she says. In her role, she encourages families to help their children follow their dreams, balancing their big dreams with their skills, just like they’d do with their other children. Barriers, she says, can be devastating for a child. “We need to focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.”


Ivy’s got the look F



Patrick’s big heart

atrick King says he knew he was different from the other kids, he just didn’t know how. But other kids picked up on his differences, bullying him, making fun of him. He says he tried so hard to conform to their “norm,” only to realize he couldn’t. A severe concussion from a kick in the head during taekwondo forced him to miss 100 days of school his freshman and sophomore years, critical years to create bonds with other kids, his mom, Terrie, says. When he returned his junior year, he faced crippling anxiety and depression. After finding kids he could finally relate to in group therapy and getting an evaluation, the 17-year-old finally got a name for his difference: autism. It was the closure he says he felt he needed to understand what he was feeling. “Now that I know that I can’t function like other people, I’ll work my way around it that’s most successful for me,” he says. Though his mom wishes they knew sooner, the diagnosis has been positive for Patrick and their family. “He is such a strong person, he has overcome so much and he

continues to wow us,” she says. Now a high school senior who loves driving his 1987 Camaro, Patrick carries a 3.8 GPA and has been accepted at three colleges to seek a business entrepreneurship major. He already has his first company in mind: a website and social media platform for teens with mental health issues that provides them constant support from people their own age who have gone through or are going through the same issues. His big dream is to pursue his love of cars while helping people all over the world. “No matter what obstacles that ever get in your way, there is nothing that can ever stop you,” he says. “I always like thinking, there’s two things you can do with your past — you can leave it behind and try to start anew or you can use your past in a way that will make you successful, harness the difficulties that you had and realize what you have it in yourself … Apply that strength and confidence towards your future. I feel like that would make life so much better for anyone and everyone if they knew how strong they were inside.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 20



ive-year-old Ivy Kimble is a spitfire, funny and adorable, the kind of kid that makes people instantly fall in love, her mom says. “She’s changed our lives for the better absolutely, the different joy that she brings,” Kimble says. The New Lenox family, which also includes three other girls ranging in age from 9 to 1, decided from the start that Ivy wouldn’t be treated differently than her siblings — or any other child for that matter. For Ivy, that means working hard, spending hours in therapy to do simple tasks that come as second nature for her sisters. But Ivy never says ‘I can’t,’ her mom says. Right now, Ivy has her sights set on being a model. She loves having her photo taken, her hair done and makeup applied. She loves being in the spotlight. So when a casting call for the American Girl catalog appeared, Kimble thought Ivy might enjoy it. So far, she has. Though she isn’t the first child with special needs to model for American Girl, Kimble feels getting picked for the most recent catalog is a victory, not just for Ivy, but all kids with special needs. “It’s showing you how far we’ve come that people are ready to see that these kids don’t have limits,” Kimble says. “You can’t put limits on what they can do. … Ivy’s worked so hard her whole life to do everything.” And should others underestimate her? “She’ll prove you wrong every time. It’s kind of my favorite thing about her,” Kimble says. Ivy will keep modeling as long as she enjoys it, Kimble says. Then she’ll move on to other dreams. “I think for her, she is just going to dream big like my other children do. For me, I’m just going to keep helping her get these opportunities and see where it takes her.” Kimble’s other goal is just as big: To convince the world that people with special needs should get the same opportunities as everyone else.

No limits



Emmett’s pure joy



etermined to help her little boy overcome his struggles with holding a pencil, Kathy Menighan pulled out paint brushes and paints, cranked the music and together they had a dance painting party. That day fueled a passion the now 14-year-old Emmett Kyoshi Wilson has turned into a way to share his joy with others. Not only does one of his paintings hang in the U.S. Embassy in Croatia among famous artists, he uses his art to raise money to help others. He’s currently working on a series of limited-edition paintings of the flags of all 50 states; already three have raised $17,000 for first responders and veterans. “When he paints, he expresses himself so confidently versus when he’s trying to write something. It just freed him up to express himself,” his dad, Paul Wilson, says. “... It’s been a really cool journey.” That journey, though, started as a surprise to the Glenview couple and the hospital staff; he had none of the typical physical traits of Down syndrome. When the diagnosis was made, the couple rejected the staff’s “sorrys”; they knew Emmett was destined for something special. “His view of the world is infectious,” Menighan says. “That’s what’s been the most impactful thing.” And he’s so proud to know his art is making a difference, they say. They envision taking Emmett’s work on the road as a mobile gallery to show people around the country the joy on the canvases. If it happens, going with them will be a message of ability and inclusion in school and out. “What he brings to the table to the other kids and what they are learning from him, that to me is the most amazing part,” his mom says. “… He’s showing the other children that everybody has differences and modifications in the school system is absolutely necessary for all kids. When he is in these environments, it’s not only helping him, but helping other children that don’t fall into that square box.” His dad says he hopes Emmett will keep painting. But truth be told, Wilson says with a laugh, Emmett’s big dream probably isn’t to be an artist. It would be to become the next Justin Timberlake or like ventriloquist Terry Fator with his own show in Vegas. Either way, Wilson says, he knows his son will continue to bring his pure love and joy to everyone he encounters. See his art and apparel at emmettkyoshiart.com.


Advice for families Kathy Zebracki, chief of psychology at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Chicago, offers these four tips for families with children with special needs: Assign your child chores. She encounters parents who are nervous about giving their children responsibilities around the house, but she always tells them chores are so important. Chores help them be an active participant in the family and instills accountability, responsibility and a sense of belonging, she says. In fact, research shows children who do chores are more likely to have a job in the future, she says. Focus on the big picture. “Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day, but it’s really important to step back and look at the big picture.” Look at what happens when they are

15, 20, 30 and 40 years old and what kind of life you want them to live and focus on that quality of life. Enjoy your child. We all know kids grow up too quickly, she says, so it’s important to focus on playtime and being together. “Amongst all the chaos of raising kids, it’s really important to just spend that quality time with them, doing what they want to do, what makes them happy and fulfilled, just having that positive relationship. That’s going to carry through their life and your life with them.” Get sleep. Sleep is one of the first things to be cut in an over-stretched family but it is crucial for parents and kids. Without sleep, people get cranky, stressed out and can’t reach their goals, she says.








ith the best of intentions, when the ball dropped in 2020, you resolved to better yourself as a parent, keep your house organized, so on and so forth. While it seemed like a good plan at the time, maybe you fell off the train or never even got on. We’re here to tell you that it’s perfectly OK, because we’re all human and are trying our best to raise our tiny humans. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, most people fail to achieve their New Year’s goals. If you’re part of that group, spring is the perfect time to finally complete that clean slate. “When we make resolutions at the start of a New Year, oftentimes we feel like these are

the things we have to do for ourselves,” says Carolyn Jones, life coach at the Chicago-based Coaching with Carolyn. “If we reframe it and focus on what we want to do for ourselves, it is more motivating.” When it comes to getting a handle on it all, we asked the experts where to begin.

Your role as a parent

Society puts a lot of pressure on parents to perform to extremely high expectations. It’s important to understand and accept that failures will happen and that is OK. “Even the ‘best’ parents make mistakes,” says Veronica Ursetto, owner and therapist at Integrative Perspectives Counseling and Consulting PC. “What separates failure from success can be as simple as a CONTINUED ON PAGE 24




reframe that we have an opportunity for growth.” When parents evaluate their parenting style, Ursetto encourages them to first set their personal goals for parenting. After “slowing down to breathe,” she recommends taking a realistic look and choosing one area of change for focus. A few questions that parents might answer in this step are: what is my motivation for change, what are the barriers to change and what is my model for change? “Start there,” Ursetto says. “Once you can clearly answer these questions, then you can create small goals for yourself. You can even include

“KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT, FOCUS YOUR TIME AND ENERGY ON THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU, AND USE THOSE STRENGTHS TO IMPROVE YOUR LIVES.” your family.” One such goal she sees many parents struggle with is how to be more present in the digital age. “Model for your children by putting your electronics

down. You can even start small by making one meal a week ‘phone/TV free,’” Ursetto suggests. “There are many other ways we can be present with our children, and I encourage families to talk about what’s needed in each individual home.”

Your kids’ behavior

The kids are acting out. What else is new? Instead of immediately resorting to yelling and punishments, take a step back and look for a potential underlying cause. “The first place I look when trying to find the culprit of a change in behavior is sleep schedule,” says Pediatric Sleep Consultant Maggie Moore, the owner of the digitally-based Moore Sleep. “It plays a huge role in your child's ability to self-regulate and their emotions. Not getting the right amount of sleep can cause your child to act out, fight sleep, have a hard time falling asleep and have a difficult time staying asleep.” While there isn’t a one-sizefits-all solution to sleep issues, Moore says the best way to get your child’s sleep back on track is an earlier bedtime. Even moving it up 15 to 30 minutes can make a big difference, she says. “Night sleep is the most 24 March 2020 CHICAGOPARENT.COM

restorative sleep,” says Moore. “Naps are only a temporary fix.” Dr. Rebecca Unger, general pediatrician in Northwestern Children's Practice, says whether you suspect your child has a behavioral problem, it is best to initially meet with your pediatrician or health care provider to evaluate treatment options. “Your pediatrician and your pediatric office are your medical home,” she says. “Your primary care health care provider knows your family the best and early intervention with them is the best place to start.”

Your home

Home organization isn’t easy for anyone, and when you throw dishes, laundry and general cleaning up in the mix, it can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task to tackle it all. Lauren Tenenbaum, owner of the Chicago-based home organization business Leave That For Lauren, says being organized at home helps to live an organized and stress-free life. “When everything you need has a designated home, you will not waste time searching for items that are needed,” she says. For people who want to start organizing but don’t know where to start, Tenenbaum suggests starting small and beginning with the room or items causing the most anxiety.

“If it is the kitchen, start with one cabinet a day,” she says. “If it is the playroom or office, start with one section. Get yourself some heavy duty garbage bags and get ready to purge. Take it day by day, decluttering and organizing can be very emotional and overwhelming.” Tenenbaum also recommends the “hack” of getting kids involved by letting them aid in both the decluttering and giving process. “You can look up organizations together and decide as a family where donations such as toys and clothes can go,” she says. “Kids can be so generous and giving that parents will be surprised at what they are willing to part with.” In addition to being disorganized, one of the first tasks that suffers when life gets busy is housecleaning. Val Oliveira, owner of Val’s Services: Cleaning With Care, says one of her best tips to keeping the house clean is to clean as you go. “Doing a little bit at a time is the easiest way to stay on top of house cleaning to avoid being overwhelmed,” she says. That can be as simple as putting pots and pans in the dishwasher after you cook, or folding laundry immediately after it comes out of the dryer.

Your schedule

An overly hectic schedule can also negatively impact your family’s well-being, says Jones, who cautions that when too many things are on the family calendar, activities and events can easily slip through

the cracks. She encourages parents to tweak their reoccurring schedules to see if there is one thing on there that they can say “no” to. On the other hand, she says it is important to add something that benefits families, such as a family game night. “There is so much pressure to feel like you have to do all of those things so as not to let your kids down,” Jones says. “But the reality is, when you are frazzled, irritated and exhausted, you can’t be your best self.” For that reason, Jones suggests that moms block off weekly time for themselves on their schedule, giving them something to look forward to. “Self-care comes in a lot of forms, and whether you are scheduling a yoga class or just a walk around the neighborhood, setting this special alone time can improve your health and well-being.”

Putting it all in perspective

Dr. Ivy Ge, author of The Art of Good Enough: The Working Mom’s Guilt-Free Guide to Thriving While Being Perfectly Imperfect, says at the end of the day, it’s important for parents to acknowledge that no parent is perfect in one or all of these areas. “As parents, we must know our limits and not beat ourselves up. We must let go of unreasonable expectations,” she says. “Know what you are good at, focus your time and energy on the things that are important to you, and use those strengths to improve your lives.”



1. Reverse engineer a plan for your life A lot of moms have sacrificed career or dreams for kids. “Think about your old dream and what got you excited and re-find that passion,” Ge says. 2. Stop comparing yourself to others There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes of those perfect postings we see on social media, Ge says. “Competition is toxic,” she says. “Know that we all shine different ways.” 3. Always take time for yourself to recharge Whether it’s a breathing exercise, a workout or pampering, focus on what makes you feel good about yourself, Ge suggests. 4. Live more simply Realize that material things aren’t what truly bring you comfort. Go through your things and donate what you don’t use anymore so it can bring joy to someone in need.




LEARNS The classrooms are even very different from those of their millennial and Gen X parents BY JESSICA SCHRADER ART BY JON WILCOX


A “

lexa, who invented homework?” The question—known so well by our household virtual assistants— says as much about kids’ classic disdain for math worksheets as it does about the drastically different ways our children are accessing information into the 2020s. Instant educational gratification has become the norm. Beyond a quick answer to who masterminded after-school assignments (Alexa says it’s probably Roberto Nevilis, by the way), our kids have multiplication facts, key historical dates and more at their fingertips. Trying to draw a horse? There’s a YouTube video for that. Learn that dance move everyone’s doing? Just open TikTok. And current events? Forget the news; my middle schooler learned of the recent conflict in Iran after his Instagram feed was full of memes referencing a potential WWIII. The 21st-century learner isn’t bound by library hours, dial-up connections or even the content selected by teachers or parents. And that’s just scratching the surface. The answer to how Generation Z learns is more than “in front of a screen.” It’s in groups, with projects, by doing, through relationships—and this knowledge is key to propelling our kids forward, even if it means a mindset shift for Millennial and Gen X parents. “There’s a misconception that different is not better, or that it might be worse,” says Gary Abud, an educational consultant with SAGA Educators. That isn’t the case, he says. Instead, the latest ways to reach Gen Z—those born between 1995 to 2015—aim to change the school experience for the better.

An individualized approach

“Hands down,

The one-room schoolhouse features prominently in any imagining of America’s educational roots. While today’s schools couldn’t look more different, there’s one aspect that’s making a comeback: individualized education. “Personalized learning has grown tremendously. The students are going at their own pace, individually, even though they’re in the same classroom as other students,” Abud says. “If a student is excelling, they don’t have to wait for the next day’s lesson to be able to learn more, and a student who needs more time isn’t left behind.” While one student practices division basics, a classmate might be working out more advanced equations. Like the multi-age classrooms of the past, teachers are increasingly individualizing curriculum to match a student’s progress. Roycemore School in Evanston has always prided itself on personalized learning, but Elizabeth Shutters, director of curriculum and innovation, says she’s seeing the trend becoming more prevalent at other schools. It’s a trend she likes. Darren Pierre, clinical assistant professor of Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago, says one of key differences is this generation not only wants more individualized learning but also cares less about individual recognition vs. the Millennial stereotype that everyone deserves a trophy. As he teaches the students who will become tomorrow’s teachers, Pierre’s been fascinated with the

this is a very

we see that social, very communicative generation. Part of that is that they’re growing up with these high-powered communication tools (like Alexa) at their fingertips, which require you to communicate verbally.”








findings in the book, Generation Z Goes to College, by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace. One takeaway is the challenge for teachers to find a way to not only give students that individualized instruction, but to engage them through teamwork using technology and social media platforms in new ways. “They are going to be engaged learners and driven in ways that we may have never seen before. While they appreciate technology, there is still going to be a value of face to face connection,” he says. Teachers with classrooms full of Gen Zers will find themselves challenged answering questions of how what they are teaching connects to what’s happening right now on political and social issues, Pierre says. They have to be prepared for “how students are bringing energy of the world into the classroom.”

Inspired by collaboration, projects If there’s one thing most people understand about Gen Z, it’s that they’re always communicating—both “IRL” and online. So, it’s no surprise to see collaboration take center stage in the classroom. “Hands down, we see that this is a very social, very communicative generation,” Abud says. “Part of that is that they’re growing up with these high-powered communication tools (like Alexa) at their fingertips, which require you to communicate verbally. If kids are growing up with that in

their homes these days, they’re getting the message that verbal communication is important.” Even more than that, he says, educators are seeing the results of letting kids build learning and understanding through talking with one another. By working with a partner or in a group to solve a problem, students learn from each other, brainstorm solutions and gain important social and cooperative skills. “Learning is very social, and that is probably more true today than ever before,” Abud says. “So many things are social in our culture. When students are collaborating, I think that’s a good match for how their brains are going to naturally learn things. When kids can talk through their ideas with someone else, it helps their brain to solidify that learning and understanding even better. It’s crucial.” Student engagement is also increased through hands-on educational activities, which have been proven to help kids retain what they learn. Gen Z students know this better than anyone, as project-based learning has exploded over the past decade thanks to the growing body of research behind it. It’s another concept that isn’t necessarily new. Project-based learning was supported by influential philosopher John Dewey in the early 19th century; he called it “learning by doing.” “Project-based learning has taken on a big contribution to education over the last 10 to 15 years,” Abud notes. “Rather than just learning content by itself, students are doing real-world projects that are related to their content as


Try This at Home Understanding how today’s kids learn best isn’t only useful in the classroom. Consider these tips for supporting your Gen Z learner at home. • Give your child concrete examples of what you expect from him or her, educational consultant Gary Abud suggests. This is helpful with household chores and at the homework table. “Find a picture of what the finished product should look like,” he says. “That could be a way to get parents and students working together.” • Offer your child plenty of feedback—and don’t be vague about it. “Gen Z students want specific and frequent feedback,” Abud says. “The frequency of the feedback they’re getting is really important. They don’t want to go very long without knowing, ‘Was this right or wrong?’” • Keep the big picture in mind. Fretting over a single low test score or underwhelming report card can send a harmful message. “Be aware of the language parents use to talk about academic performance. That can trigger unintentional pressure,” he says. In other words, “Don’t make such ado about grades,” but “keep them in perspective of the bigger picture.” a way to learn things but also a way to develop skills that go beyond the content area that they’re studying.” Shutters sees that every day. While she describes classes as still fairly traditional at Roycemore, students are given opportunities to connect what they are learning to real life through personal passion projects in middle school or January short terms in high school. “I think that sometimes they can be misunderstood. I think

sometimes we adults might make assumptions that because they are on their phones all the time or can get that information super quickly, that they won’t want to sit down and learn,” Shutters says. “I have found, especially with our (personal passion project) program, that if you can find what a kid is passionate about, then they can really buckle down and get into it and solve problems and be creative in ways that a lot of people might assume they can’t.”

Potential downfalls While many teaching methods catering to Gen Z improve the student experience, parents should know that kids today don’t have it “easy.” Far from it. “This generation has seen more school shootings and more conversations around gay rights and immigration rights than any other generation, they’re the most connected to political issues and they are the first generation born under an African-American president,” Pierre says. “Some of those things are really great things to be exposed to, some of them are very jarring. But even the really jarring things help us understand this is going to be a much more socially conscious generation than perhaps Millennials and Gen X.” He hopes Gen Z will use the negative experiences for positive change as they get older. Of course, then there’s the pressure to do well as they manage it all. “In some ways, the academic pressure that’s out there is even more today than it has ever been before,” Abud says, pointing to staggering rates of student stress and anxiety. And some of today’s strategies can backfire. Individualized learning, for instance, can come with the unspoken expectation that all students should excel even faster. “If you’re on grade level, now you’re behind. That perception is out there, whether people want to admit it or not,” Abud says. “That’s part of the crushing academic pressure that is going on.” With this pressure, Gen Z learners can find themselves

“shortcutting”—or gaming the system to gather enough points for a good grade, regardless of what they’ve really learned—or even withdrawing completely. “Instead of making an attempt and doing poorly, they’re just not doing it. A student can then get in trouble for not doing their homework at all, or not studying and doing poorly on a test, and they can say, ‘Well, I didn’t even try.’ They can sort of protect their image,” he says. “That’s a very maladaptive coping strategy that we see commonly in junior and high school.” Parents should watch for warning signs like habitually missing homework assignments or disengaging from school. “They’re scared of the way they are going to be perceived,” he says. “It’s no longer just a ‘you did poorly,’ it’s ‘you’re not good enough and you’ll never amount to anything.’ I do see that that’s a direct result of the academic pressure being put on students today.” If your child is distracted with her cellphone or retreating to a video game, consider that it may be a reaction to stress rather than a Gen Z weakness. “The psychology on this is very, very clear: We procrastinate or let ourselves get distracted because it’s a mechanism to deal with stress,” Abud says. “When parents see distraction or procrastination, it’s a red flag that stress is going on. They need to allow their student to vocalize and name the stress and find a way to deal with that.” Ultimately, reaching Gen Z is an ongoing learning process that the best teachers and advocates are still working out—just in time to decode Gen Alpha. CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 29



25 family-friendly

events you can’t miss

kits” for survivors and knit scarves for refugees on March 15 at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show.

Inspire young gardeners at this year’s show beginning March 18 at Navy Pier.

From Sap to Syrup.

Learn all about maple syrup making and eat pancakes March 21 at Pilcher Park Nature Center in Joliet.

Women's History Collage Night.

Celebrate the 19th amendment and women’s history March 24 at Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago.

Jurassic Quest

Chicago Polar Plunge. Dive into icy

Lake Michigan at North Avenue Beach to raise money for Special Olympics Chicago March 1.

Jurassic Quest.

See life-sized animatronic dinos and go on fossil digs March 6-8 at Navy Pier.

South Side Irish Parade Film Fest.

See a family feature film, “The Secret of Kells,” during a 3 p.m. matinee March 7 at Beverly Arts Center.

Reptile Rampage.

Get up close and personal with more than 150 reptiles from all over the world. March 8 at Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Center.

National Geographic Live: Adventures Among Orangutans. Learn more about the animals that share 97 percent of our DNA March 10 at Auditorium Theatre.

Casablanca in Concert. The Chi-

cago Symphony Orchestra brings "Casablanca" to life March 13 and 15 at Symphony Center.

Dyeing of the Chicago River. The green is best viewed from the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive bridge or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive on March 14.


Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade.

This parade steps off at noon on March 14 and features more than 200 floats and marching bands down Columbus Drive.

U-505 In-depth Experience. Quiz

U.S. submarine veterans and dive deeper into the history of the MSI sub March 14.

Family Day: Museum of Contemporary Art. Take part in

workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours and performances March 14 at Museum of Contemporary Art.

Jump for Justice!

Make cards for U.S. troops overseas, assemble “sick

Global Connections. Welcome Spring

with the Hindu holiday of Holi, also known as the festival of colors March 14 at Navy Pier.

Pi Day. Join an irrational

celebration of 3/14 playing with circles, shapes, puzzles and games at Discovery Center Museum.

MCA Family Day

ESCONI Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show. Play games,

make crafts and try to split a geode March 21 at DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton.

Pot o'Gold Hunt.

Kids follow the leprechaun’s trail and hike through the prairie and forest to find the hidden

RBG: An exhibit for our time


Dyeing of the Chicago River PHOTO CREDIT CHOOSE CHICAGO

treasure March 21 at Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm.

Dragons Alive! The Science and Culture of Reptiles. Learn about dragons daily at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Teen Opportunity Fair. Teens

ages 13-19 seeking volunteering opportunities can find them March 14 at KennedyKing College.

Red Kite, Brown Box. A live theater experience for kids with autism and their

caregivers through March 21 at Chicago Children's Theatre.

Homemade Granola. Make

personalized, ovenbaked granola and a no-bake granola treat March 24 at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Castle. Let kids create their own kingdom at the new play space at Chicago Children's Museum. The Ghost in Gadsden's Garden. The

Actors Gymnasium applies its unique brand of stage-craft to tell a tale with an all-new spectacularly spectral circus Fridays Saturdays and Sundays through March 22 in Evanston.

South Side Irish Parade.

This alcohol-free parade marches on Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th on Chicago's South Side March 15.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show PHOTO CREDIT CHOOSE CHICAGO

or a museum known for celebrating upstanders who do what’s right, the Illinois Holocaust Museum has chosen a can’t-miss new exhibit that speaks directly to the importance of overcoming challenges and perserverence. “Notorious RBG -- The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” the first-ever exhibition dedicated to the Supreme Court justice and cultural icon, offers something for all ages, says Wendy Singer, the museum’s director of education. Younger kids will love learning about Ginsburg’s life through interactive rooms, from her childhood apartment in Brooklyn, her hobbies (baton twirling!) to the Supreme Court bench where they can try on robes. Older kids will enjoy a deeper dive into discovering Ginsburg’s influence on America with media clips of the famous cases she’s heard and the role of the three branches of government. Parents, too, can relate to the trailblazer who balanced a demanding career and raising a family. Everyone will be able to relate to Ginsburg as an upstander who faced challenges, yet persevered to make a difference without diminishing others, she says. “The power of the exhibition is there is much detail about her life that people can see themselves in it,” says Marcy Larson, vice president of marketing at the museum. At the end, you can even buy a RBG bobblehead. Tamara L. O’Shaughnessy

Notorious RBG The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Now through Aug. 16 Illinois Holocaust Museum 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie ilholocaustmuseum.org/rbg CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 31


tion of reptiles and amphibians during an immersive experience provided by the Chicago Herpetological Society. Free with admission. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. naturemuseum.org.

South Side Irish Parade Film Fest. A family feature will highlight the matinee performance with an older-audience feature in the evening. Visit website for tickets. 3 p.m. matinee, 6-10 p.m. feature. Beverly Arts Center, Chicago. beverlyartcenter.org.

Jurassic Quest. See March 6. Today’s times: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. SUBURBS

Countryside St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade steps off on Kensington Avenue at 61st Street and proceeds one mile, ending at 55th Place & Edgewood. 1 p.m. Countryside. countrysidechamber.org

MCA Family Day




Diaspora Design. Kids ages 6-12 with an adult will learn and make the art of the African Diaspora and its frequent reliance on recycled materials. 4-5 p.m. Little Italy Branch Chicago Library, Chicago. chipublib.com.

Chicago Polar Plunge. One of the largest fundraising events for Special Olympics Chicago takes place on Chicago’s icy lakefront. Once the dive is concluded, all are invited to a “Melt Down Party” inside the North Avenue Beach boathouse and expanded heated tents. Free; fundraising encouraged. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. North Avenue Beach. chicagopolarplunge.org. SUBURBS

Oak Lawn Park District’s Community Art Day & Competition. Artists of all ages

Free with admission. 11:30 a.m. Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. mcachicago.org.

6 | FRIDAY Jurassic Quest. See life-sized animatronic dinos and go on a fossil dig. $22+. 3:30-8 p.m. Navy Pier, Chicago. jurassicquest.com.

4 | WEDNESDAY Stroller Tours. Caregivers discover the MCA’s exhibitions with a docent, exploring galleries without concern that their baby or stroller will disrupt the tour.

and abilities showcase their artwork. Fun activities planned in the Art Room. Registration required for competition. 1-3 p.m. Oak View Community Center, Oak Lawn. olparks.com

Sap’s Rising. Walk in the sugar maple forest to learn about the sweet history of maple syrup making. 1:30-2:30 p.m. River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook. fpdcc.com 32 March 2020 CHICAGOPARENT.COM


Cold Blooded Weekend. Get up close to a large collec-

About the calendar The deadline for submitting listings for the April issue is Feb. 24. All events are subject to change. Please confirm before you go. Events taking place on four or more dates during the month are listed in Ongoing Events, beginning on page 36. ■

Searchable listings updated daily ChicagoParent.com/calendar

Elmhurst Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Includes more than 80 floats, marching units, Irish dancers and local team mascots. Noon. Elmhurst. elmhurststpatsparade.com.

Forest Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Features bagpipers, antique cars, Medinah Mini Choppers and more. 1 p.m. Main Street, Forest Park. exploreforestpark.com.

Lemont St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival Parade. Parade begins at 55 Stephen St., follows south on Stephen to west on Main Street to the VFW Hall. Food and entertainment planned at Lemont VFW. 1 p.m. parade, party until 5 p.m. Lemont. facebook.com/ events/517025242282511/.

Manhattan Irish Fest Parade. The parade begins at East North & Jan streets, following west to State Street, where it turns south and ends at Second Street. 11 a.m. Manhattan. manhattanirishfest.com.

Sap’s Rising. See March 1.


Cold Blooded Weekend. See March 7.

Jurassic Quest. See March 6. Today’s times: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. SUBURBS

Reptile Rampage. Get up close and personal with more than 150 reptiles from all over the world. Featured exhibitors include Jim Nesci from Cold Blooded Creatures, the Chicago Herpetological Society, the St. Louis Herpetological Society, The Field Museum, the Madison Herpetological Society, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Grove Nature Center. $10, free kids 3 and under. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Center, Lake Forest. lfparksandrec.com/ wildlife-discovery-center.

Sap’s Rising. See March 1. Dog Admission Day. Hit the trails with your furry friend. Fee includes a stylish Arboretum bandana for your pup. $5/dog plus regular admission. 7 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. mortonarb.org.

Tinley Park Irish Parade. See floats, community groups,

local schools and businesses. The parade steps off from Central Middle School, 18146 S. Oak Park Ave., and proceeds north on Oak Park Avenue to 171st Street. Fees for food. 1 p.m. Tinley Park. tinleypark.org.

Makin’ Music Bluegrass Jam. Make a simple instrument, then join the fun in a bluegrass jam circle. Or bring your basses, fiddles, mandolins, guitars and banjos. All are welcome to play at the jam or just listen. 1-3 p.m. Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest. fpdcc.com.

Irish Tea. The Vogt Visual Arts Center will be decked out for St. Patrick’s Day with decorations, music, and traditional Irish goodies like scones, soda bread and an assortment of teas. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Vogt Visual Arts Center, Tinley Park. tinleyparkdistrict.org.

9 | MONDAY Lucky Leprechauns. Kids ages 3-4 enjoy festive activities and unique crafts, all while hunting for gold. Dress in your best St. Patrick’s Day green. $18, $12 residents. 5-6 p.m. Pat Shephard Center. Schaumburg. parkfun.com.

ing and flipping as the gym will be full of inflatables. $3. 6-7 p.m. Rosedale Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

10 | THURSDAY National Geographic Live: Adventures Among Orangutans. Husband-andwife duo Tim Laman and Cheryl Knott have dedicated their lives to understanding and protecting orangutans with whom we share 97 percent of our DNA. In this presentation, the pair gives insight into the work that they’ve done. $42+. 7 p.m. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago. tickets.auditoriumtheatre.org

Casablanca in Concert. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra brings to life “Casablanca,” a movie with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Check website for costs. 7:30 p.m. Symphony Center, Chicago. cso.org. 14 | SATURDAY CHICAGO

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This parade features

11 | WEDNESDAY Nature Tots. Kids ages 2-5 and their adults will explore nature and nature play. Outside adventures in nice weather. Registration required. 10-11 a.m. Trailside Museum of Natural History, River Forest. fpdcc.com

13 | FRIDAY Movies in the Parks: Spiderman. Enjoy a viewing of. Movie is rated PG and runs 2 hours, 13 minutes. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Revere Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Inflatable Fun Night at Rosedale. Enjoy a night of jump-

more than 200 floats and marching bands. The river dyeing can be best viewed from the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge, the west side of the Columbus Drive bridge or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus. The parade units will proceed north on Columbus Drive and the viewing stand will be in front of Buckingham Fountain 9 a.m. dyeing; noon parade. chicagostpatricksdayparade.org.

CAC Family Day. Families with kids ages 3 and older can explore the galleries to learn fun facts, find hidden gems and participate in hands-on demonstrations. Build and make a take-home craft project. Themes and activities change each month. Free with admission. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Chicago Architecture Center. architecture.org.

Teen Opportunity Fair at Kennedy King College. Teens ages 13-19 will have access to information about job readiness and connect with organizations in attendance to receive feedback and critique. Teens seeking volunteer opportunities and skill development offerings will find ample options during the fair. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Kennedy-King College. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Family Day: Museum of Contemporary Art. Take part in workshops, open studio sessions, gallery tours and performances

Holi Navy Pier CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 33

main National Geographic Live Adventures Among Orangutans PHOTO CREDIT TIM LAMAN

all designed and led by Chicago artists. Free for families with kids 12 and under. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Museum of Contemporary Art. mcachicago.org.

museum admission. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Discovery Center Museum, Rockford. discoverycentermuseum.org.

U-505 In-depth Experience.

Day. The parade kicks off from

Naperville St. Patrick’s

Little People, Irish dance schools and more. Noon. southsideirishparade.org.

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts at Maplewood. Kids ages 3-6 can get crafty for St. Patrick’s Day. $5. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Maplewood Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Dive deeper into the story of the U-505 submarine on a special extended tour before museum hours. U.S. submarine veterans will be available to answer questions and share their stories. Recommended for ages 10 and older. $40, plus museum entry. 7:30 a.m. Museum of Science and Industry. msichicago.org.

Naperville North High School, continues south on Mill Street, east on Jefferson Avenue, south on Main Street and west on Water Street to the Municipal Center. 10 a.m. Naperville. facebook.com/ events/2435184463201757.

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts at Maplewood. Kids ages 6-13 can


Casablanca in Concert. See March 13. Today’s time is 3 p.m.

Global Connections.


A celebration of the diverse people and cultures that make up Chicago’s local character. This month is Holi, the Hindu spring festival of colors. 1-4 p.m. Navy Pier. navypier.org. SUBURBS

Pi Day. Join an irrational celebration playing with circles, shapes, puzzles and games. Free with

Northwest Side Irish Parade. The parade and party have activities ranging from face painting to balloon art. Noon. northwestsideirish.org.

South Side Irish Parade. Alcohol-free parade on Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th on Chicago’s South Side (Beverly/ Morgan Park). Expect high school bands, bagpipe bands, Those


get crafty for St. Patrick’s Day. $5. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Maplewood Park. chicagoparkdistrict.com.


Jump for Justice! Families can enjoy exercise circuits inspired by RBG’s fitness regime, healthy snacks and hands-on activities for the whole family, including making cards for US troops overseas, assembling “sick kits” for survivors, and knitting scarves for refugees. 2-3:30 p.m. Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, Skokie.


Plainfield Hometown Irish Parade. The parade steps off from Plainfield Central High School, turns north on James Street, east on Lockport, south on Illinois, then west on Commercial to return to the high school. The Village Preservation Association is hosting a family area at the intersection of Lockport and DesPlaines streets, before and after the parade. Special entertainment will be provided by some of the featured bagpipe bands and Irish dance groups from the parade. Fees for food. 1 p.m. Plainfield Central High School, Plainfield. plainfieldirishparade.org.

Sugar Bush Fair. An annual celebration of nature’s sweet gift of maple sugar. Free admission; breakfast is $6 for full stack and $8 for half stack. 9 a.m.-noon Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. parkfun.com/event/sugar-bush-fair.

main 17 | TUESDAY St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. Kids and their families learn about the origin of St. Patrick’s Day through fun activities. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Jeffery Manor Branch, Chicago. chipublib.com.

Youth Mosaic Workshop. Artists ages 6-15 learn the basics of mosaics and create a square piece made of a fun selection of materials. Students will be introduced cutting techniques, materials, safety and placement and designs will be provided. $60. 4-6 p.m. The Chicago Mosaic School, Chicago. chicagomosaicschool.com. 18 | WEDNESDAY Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Features garden displays, demonstrations, seminars, kids’ activity garden and daily potting parties. There also will be cake decorating contests featuring top pastry chefs. This year’s theme is “Focus on Flowers,” inspiring, educating and motivating the next generation of gardener. $16; $5 kids 4-12. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Navy Pier, Chicago. chicagoflower.com.

19 | THURSDAY Parents’ Night Out. Kids ages 5-11 will play games, make crafts, and enjoy pizza and a movie while parents take a night out. $30, $24 residents. 6-9 p.m. Lincolnwood Parks & Recreation, Lincolnwood. tinyurl.com/uhs4wla. Chicago Flower and Garden Show. See March 18. 20 | FRIDAY Brunch with the Bunny. Includes refreshments, face painting, entertainment and the Easter Bunny for kids 6 and under. Parent must accompany child. Registration and advance ticket purchase required. $10. 10 a.m.noon. Merrimac Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Hejsan! Crafts and Story time. Hejsan story and craft program for young children to meet

a different animal each month. Free with museum admission. 11 a.m. Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, Chicago. swedishamericanmuseum.org.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show. See March 18. 21 | SATURDAY CHICAGO

Chicago Flower and Garden Show. See March 18. Maple Syrup Festival. See the entire maple syrup-making process and other activities. Take a walk through the sugar bush, enjoy storytelling, make a maple craft, warm yourself by the fire and taste real maple syrup fresh off the fire. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. North Park Village Nature Center. chicagoparkdistrict.com. Spring Celebration. Kids ages 3-10 can celebrate the arrival of spring with games, crafts and music for the whole family. Douglass Branch Chicago Public Library. chipublib.com. SUBURBS

ESCONI Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show. The Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois will host dealers, demonstrators and museums for a rock and mineral show. Kids can receive a free collection of minerals and fossils, play games, make crafts and try to split a geode. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. DuPage County Fairgrounds, Wheaton. esconi.org.

Get Sticky! Maple Syrup Day. Discover the sweet secret of turning tree sap into syrup and enjoy samples along the way on a 75-minute guided tour. Tours start every 20 minutes until 2 p.m. $10. 10 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, Oak Brook. dupageforest.org.

From Sap to Syrup. Learn about maple syrup making and watch tree tapping demonstrations, then eat breakfast with 100 percent pure maple syrup. $8 ages 13 and older, $6 ages 12 and

Washington Library Center, Chicago. chipublib.com.

younger. 9 a.m.-noon. Pilcher Park Nature Center, Joliet. jolietpark.org.

Pot o’Gold Hunt. Kids 4-7 follow the leprechaun’s trail and hike through the prairie and forest to find the hidden treasure. $10.50, $7 residents. 10-11:30 a.m. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. parkfun.com. Pioneer Pancakes. Kids 7-12 help make maple syrup the pioneer way by collecting sap from maple trees and boiling it down in a wood fired evaporator. Afterward, enjoy some maple syrup on pancakes made over the campfire. $10, $8 residents. 1-3 p.m. Spring Valley Nature Center & Heritage Farm, Schaumburg. parkfun.com 22 | SUNDAY CHICAGO

. Maple Syrup Festival. See the entire maple syrupmaking process from tapping the tree to boiling it down into syrup. Take a walk through the sugar bush, enjoy storytelling, make a maple craft, warm yourself by the fire and taste real maple syrup fresh off the fire. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. North Park Village Nature Center, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show. See March 18. Today’s

25 | WEDNESDAY Teens DIY Wednesday. Each month will feature a new item to create with step-by-step directions for teens to make and take home, and then inspire more ideas. Cost varies, see website. This month is bath bombs. 4-6 p.m. teens, 7-9 p.m. 18+. Lincolnwood Parks & Recreation, Lincolnwood. tinyurl.com/rdeh6yw.

26 | THURSDAY Writing Club for Kids. Create a story based on a fun writing prompt. Recommended for grades 4-6. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Homewood Public Library, Homewood. homewoodlibrary.org.

Bunny Bonanza. Kids 6 and under can enjoy face painting, a craft project, inflatables and egg hunt. Parents can bring their cameras to capture a special photo with the bunny. Advance tickets required. $7. 9:45-10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.-noon. Welles Park, Chicago. chicagoparkdistrict.com. 28 | SATURDAY SUBURBS

hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. SUBURBS

ESCONI Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show. See March 21. Today’s hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

24 | TUESDAY Women’s History Collage Night. Make collages that will incorporate the celebration of the 19th amendment and women’s history. Supplies such as magazines, glue sticks, markers and colored pencils will be on hand. All levels of art skill are welcome, though classes are for ages 14 and older. Registration required. 6-8 p.m. Harold

Homemade Granola. Make personalized, oven-baked granola and a no-bake granola treat. This class is nut-free. $24, $19 members. 9:30-11 a.m., 1-2:30 p.m. Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe. chicagobotanic.org. 29 | SUNDAY CHICAGO

Sunday Morning Cartoons. Wndr Museum shows classic cartoons projected in the food and beverage space plus all-youcan-eat cereal from the cereal bar. All ages welcome. $20, Free 10 and under with adult. 10 a.m.noon. Wndr Museum, Chicago. wndrmuseum.com.





Fantastic Bug Encounters.

Art on theMart. Curated digital art installation across 2.5 acres of theMART’s river façade. About 4-6 p.m. WednesdaysSundays. The Merchandise Mart, Chicago. artonthemart.com.

Told from a bug’s point of view, Fantastic Bug Encounters! invites you to take a closer look at the beauty, diversity and abilities of these resourceful creatures. $6+. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Field Museum, Chicago. fieldmuseum.org.

Castle Kids. Kids use their

Maple Sugaring. Discover how

imaginations to create their own kingdom in a one-of-a-kind castlethemed play space that includes secret tunnels, a rope bridge, tower, dungeon, throne room, wizard’s room, kitchen, feasting table and market. Free with museum admission. Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago. chicagochildrensmuseum.org.

Discovery Town Stop in at the vet clinic, pizza shop, fire station, local theater, town park, post office or airport in this tiny town. Kids play as they learn about the people and places that make up a community. Through May 10. Discovery Center Museum, Rockford. discoverycentermuseum.org Dragons Alive! The Science and Culture of Reptiles. Learn about the culture of dragons, then see 10 species of reptiles and lizards with dragon-like features. Free with museum admission. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago. naturemuseum.org.

sap becomes syrup as you try tapping with tools from the 1890s, check the collection buckets, watch sap thicken over the fire and try a taste of real maple syrup. $5 suggested donation ages 3 and older. 1-4 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays in March. Kline Creek Farm, West Chicago. dupageforest.org.

Nature Cat: Backyard and Beyond. In collaboration with WTTW, Kohl Children’s Museum features Nature Cat and his friends in an exhibit designed to encourage children to explore the natural world. Through March 29. Free with museum admission. Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview. kohlchildrensmuseum.org.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The first-ever museum exhibition focused solely on the judicial icon explores her life and many roles as student, wife, mother, lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer and Internet phenomenon. Briefs and other writings by RBG, including some of her famously searing dis-


sents, are woven throughout the exhibit. Illinois Holocaust Museum, Skokie. ilholocaustmuseum.org.

On the Right Track: By Rail to Chicago & Beyond. Visitors discover how Chicago-area railroads helped create the suburban transportation landscape. Free with museum admission. 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays & Sundays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Elmhurst History Museum, Elmhurst. (630) 833-1457, elmhursthistory.org.

Stunning Stories in American Indian Jewelry. For thousands of years, artisans have expressed their cultural stories in a wide range of jewelry. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdaysSaturdays, Noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Evanston. (847) 475-1030, mitchellmuseum.org.

The March. “The March” brings the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to virtual reality for the first time. Free with admission. DuSable Museum of African American History, Chicago. dusablemuseum.org. Wired to Wear. The first-ever exhibit dedicated to wearable technology—smart clothing and devices designed to extend the human body’s capabilities. Recommended for ages 6 and

older. $12, $9 ages 3-11, $6 members. Timed ticket required. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. (773) 684-1414, msichicago.org. OTHER EVENTS

DAILY Story Time. Listen to a story selected for the littlest visitors, and then keep the fun going with games and activities. Free with admission. 11 a.m. daily. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago. (773) 755-5100, naturemuseum.org.

Winter Play. A self-guided glimpse into the world of outdoor play. Free with admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

SUNDAY Family Build Lab. Join experts in the studio for themed stations to introduce you to architecture basics, a design challenge and a take-home project. Recommended for families with kids 3 and up. $12, free members. 10 a.m. Chicago Architecture Center, Chicago. architecture.org.

Fiddleheads. Join the conservatory for activities and projects that get kids and families

ongoing wondering about the plants and the natural world. Each week is a different science-based activity. Noon-4 p.m. Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org.

Weekend Crafts. Explore the Native American culture with crafts for different age groups. Crafts change monthly. Free with admission. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, 3001 Central St., Evanston. (847) 475-1030, mitchellmuseum.org. MONDAY Morning Glories. Children and their caregivers can explore different areas of the Children’s Garden. Educators provide storytime, imaginative play and sensory activities. Recommended for 5 and younger. Free, donation requested. 10 a.m.-noon. Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org.

Art Games. Children create art through playing games and play games while creating art. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wonder Works, Oak Park. (708) 383-4815, wonder-works.org.

door; free kids 2 and under. 10 a.m.-noon. Legoland Discovery Center, Schaumburg. chicago. legolanddiscoverycenter.com.

Baby & Me. A chance for parents

From sorting pinecones to digging in smooth seeds, kids ages 1-5 can experience The Farm at Lincoln Park Zoo, including a storytime and art station. 10 a.m.-noon. Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago. lpzoo. org/play-days-farm.

of infants to meet others adjusting to parenthood, ask questions and make friends. Free with admission. 9:30-11 a.m. Kohl Children’s Museum, Glenview. kohlchildrensmuseum.org.

TUESDAY Kido Books Storytime. The story time specializes in books that feature multicultural characters and encourage empathy and inclusivity. 10:30-11 a.m. KIDO, 1137 S. Delano Court, Chicago. kidochicago.com.

Little Playtimes. Legoland opens early for toddlers and their parents. $10 in advance; $12 at

on the grounds for an adventure walk. Themes change each week. $5. 11-11:45 a.m. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. (630) 968-0074, mortonarb.org.

Play Days at the Farm.

WEDNESDAY Wild Wednesdays. Kids explore nature, get their hands dirty and discover new things about plants, animals and nature. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 4-7 p.m. Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. (773) 6381766, garfieldconservatory.org. Arbor Reading Adventures. Interactive story time and fun crafts indoors before heading out PHOTO CREDIT CHICAGO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

THURSDAY Play Late Thursdays. On the first Thursday of each month, kids take center stage with programs including open mic nights with guest MCs to run the show, themed dance parties for the whole family, kid-friendly and kid-starring performances and more. The rest of the month on Thursdays, entrance late in the day is $14.95 for up to four people, $5 each additional person. 4-8 p.m. Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, Chicago. (312) 527-1000. chicagochildrensmuseum.org.

Songs and Stories. Attend every Thursday afternoon for songs and stories. Entry includes cost for open play. $12, free enrolled families. 3:30 p.m. Bubbles Academy, Chicago. bubblesacademy.com. FRIDAY Juicebox. A music and performance series for the stroller set. 11 a.m. first and third Friday. Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago. cityofchicago.org. Arbor Reading Adventures. See Wednesday.


SATURDAY Little Squirrels Storytime. Stories and songs celebrating classic literature for preschoolage kids. Free with admission. 10:30-11:30 a.m. American Writers Museum, Chicago. (312) 374-8790, americanwritersmuseum.org.

Play Days at the Farm. See Tuesday.

Juicebox. See Fridays. Today’s location: Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. Fiddleheads. See Sunday. Weekend Crafts. See Sunday. Saturday times: 11 a.m.-noon. CHICAGOPARENT.COM March 2020 37

performances The Greatest Story Never Told. Professional improvisers take suggestions and volunteer performers of all ages from the audience to come on stage and co-create a 45-minute story. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. with coloring, crafts, board games and dress-up fun for kids on the stage. $15-$30. 3 p.m. SaturdaysSundays through March 22. Newport Theater, Chicago. greateststorynevertold.org

The Fantasticks. A funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl and their two fathers who try to keep them apart. $40-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays through March 8. Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest. (847) 735-8554, citadeltheatre.org.


The Ghost in Gadsden’s Garden. The Actors Gym applies its unique brand of stagecraft to tell a ghastly tale with an all-new spectacularly spectral circus. $18-$28. Not recommended for children under 5. Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4:30 & 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. through March 22. The Actors Gymnasium, Evanston. actorsgymnasium.org.

Wake Up, Brother Bear. An interactive show that will take theater-going cubs on a fun-filled journey through the four seasons with a playful pair of bears. $22. 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. SaturdaysSundays through March 1. Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org. A Family Affair. An improvised show in which personal, sometimes hilarious, but always true, stories are told from the perspectives of a real-life mom, dad and daughter. $12. 8 p.m. Fridays through March 13. iO Chicago Theater, Chicago. ioimprov.com.

Hit Her With The Skates. This family-friendly musical explores the magic and hope of finding your one true love while still being true to yourself. Stars American Idol talents Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young. $40$79. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays,

2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning March 18. Royal George Theatre, Chicago. hitherwiththeskates.com.

Storytown. Kids design the setting and help shape the story, and the Storytown actors, artists and musicians bring it to life. $10. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Stage 773, Chicago. storytownimprov.com.

Grease. Join in the fun of the

What the Constitution Means to Me. Playwright Heidi Schreck’s

hilarious antics of Rydell High’s class of ‘59. $50-$60. Through March 15. Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. marriotttheatre.com.

Red Kite, Brown Box. A live theater experience that leads children with autism and their caregivers on an imaginative journey where simple cardboard boxes transform into a magical world full of treasures and joyous play. $12. noon & 1:30 p.m. Saturdays through March 21. Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago. chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

The Secret of My Success. Adapted from the 1987 Michael J. Fox movie, Brantley Foster, a young ambitious Midwesterner, moves to New York City to start his dream job at a major corporation and hilarity ensues. Recommended for ages 10 and older. $36+. Through March 29. Paramount Arts Centre and Theatre, Aurora. paramountaurora.com.


play resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives. Recommended for high schoolers and older. $30-$85. Begins March 4. Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, Chicago. broadwayinchicago.com.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Show features new works and timeless classics as the company commemorates its 60th anniversary. $35+. 7:30 p.m. March 4-6; 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. March 7 and 3 p.m. March 8. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago. tickets.auditoriumtheatre.org.

Evanston Dance Ensemble: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. This production brings the fantastical characters and the magical world of Narnia to life with music, costume and exhilarating dance. $24, $16 students & seniors. 7 p.m. March

12-13, 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. March 14-15. Josephine Louis Theatre, Evanston. tinyurl.com/lww2020.

American Ballet Theatre. See the stars of the American Ballet Theatre in a mixed repertory program featuring “Kingdom of the Shades” scene from the classic ballet La Bayadère, Antony Tudor’s one-act ballet Jardin aux Lilas, and Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe, with principal dancer Misty Copeland. $50+. March 19-22. Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Chicago. tickets.auditoriumtheatre.org.

Amira: A Chicago Cinderella Story. Hyde Park School of Dance reimagines the classic fairy tale as set in Hyde Park and showcases a variety of Chicago neighborhoods. $10-$25. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 and 6 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. March 27-29. Mandel Hall, Chicago. hydeparkdance.org.

ComedySportz. Chicago’s longest-running, game-based improv comedy show is recommended for ages 7 and older. $25. 8 p.m. ThursdaysSaturdays, plus 6 p.m. Saturdays. ComedySportz Theatre, Chicago. (773) 549-8080, cszchicago.com.

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C HI C A G O P A R E N T . C O M


L ast word




arenting dilemma: My newly tween daughter is begging for thongs instead of cotton panties because she says all the girls in school wear them. I’m horrified at the thought! I know my mom would say no and that would be end of discussion. Should I at least consider it? Would you?

Absolutely not. You have to step up and learn how to use the word NO. A kid should always be a kid and that’s it. Thongs are not for children. Bana W. ■ Because everyone else has them is a lame reason. But if she’s the only girl walking around with granny panty lines, I would feel bad for her. Dana H.

Join parents at 8:10 p.m. Fridays on Chicago Parent’s Facebook page to talk about fellow parents’ dilemmas. Submit your own by emailing tamara@chicagoparent.com.

■ Thongs are just underwear. I don’t see the big deal. Wearing thongs isn’t going to make her a bad girl and just because she wears them doesn’t mean she’s going to sleep around or anything like that. Trust in your parenting skills and trust that you’ve raised her to be strong and able to make good decisions. Mandy M.

sions. Especially if she’s feeling peer pressure, all the young girls nowadays are feeling that need to dress like Kylie Jenner and look older than they need to. Jennifer L.

comfortable with her wearing thongs, then let her. If not, then don’t. She’s not going to die if she doesn’t have dental floss up her a$$. Rebecca T.

This isn’t about you. They are underwear. Buy them and pick a real battle. Kathryn J.

At least she wants to wear underwear. If you sexualize the idea of thongs, I think that’s your own issues. None of us like panty lines ... and if you let her get thongs for that reason, then why not? I highly doubt that she’s going to show up to her friends and/or boys and let the fact that she has a thong on change anything. Nina V.

For someone that is ol’ school, the answer would definitely be no!!! She will continue to wear those eight-pack Hanes specials until she can buy her own things and be on her own. Candice C.

■ I would not let my daughter ever wear those, but I would also respect her enough to explain exactly why I don’t approve. It might not temper that rebellious flare that you will no doubt encounter, but at least she will know that you care about her and hopefully use this to consciously think about future deci-

■ It depends on your values, not anyone else’s. If you’re


■ Skinny jeans are the current vogue. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that look. However, if you are going to wear skinny jeans you will have panty lines unless you are wearing a thong. The panty lines will

get the girl more trouble than the thong, in my opinion. But it’s time to have a discussion. If she wants to wear skinny jeans to please herself, then that’s positive. If she trying to attract boys that’s a trap. Amy C. ■ I was curious about thongs at 13. I stole one from my mom and when she found out I did she didn’t scold me. She took me to the store and bought me girly thongs. Sometimes when you don’t let kids do something you make it more desirable and they’re going to do it anyways. Why not know about it instead of denying her and her doing things behind your back? Estefani L.

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