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THE MAGAZINE PARENTS LIVE BY IN DENTON COUNT Y

F E B R U A R Y 2018

BEST FOR FAMILIES

MOMS+ BABIES

+

MEET MOM NEXT DOOR

WAYS TO SPEND FAMILY TIME THE DANGERS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

SAFE TALK

HOW TO SPEAK TO YOUR LOVED ONES

NBC 5’S SAMANTHA DAVIES

l

spec ia

WOMEN’S HEALTH MOMAPPROVED DOCS

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*

Best Summer Ever Guide


With you every baby step of the way.

Texas Health Denton was voted “Best Childbirth Education Classes” by NorthTexasChild readers. From compassionate and quality nursing care, family-focused rooms and a Level III NICU to breastfeeding support and a variety of classes including prepared childbirth, car seat safety and those for new big brothers and sisters, Texas Health Denton is honored to be recognized for our maternity services. It’s another reason why more families choose Texas Health to welcome their babies each year than any other health system in North Texas. So when you’re ready to be a mom, rest assured you’ll be in good hands.

1-877-THR-WELL TexasHealth.org/Denton-Baby

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital. © 2018


pages / F E B R U A R Y

2018

FEATURES 14 Now You’re Talking

Strong, healthy families—and in turn, healthy communities—are built on a foundation of truly connected commu nication. Are you ensuring you thrive? words Jessica Elliott illustration Malina Omut

18 Best for Families: Moms & Babies See the winners of our 2018 reader survey words Alex Mitchell Mortenson + Jessica Myers

DEPARTMENTS NOTED 5 Matters of the Heart

Why more kids are at risk for high blood pressure

REAL MOMS 9 Mom Next Door / Samantha Davies How better conversation can build stronger families and communities, p. 14

12 Routines / Jheri Whitfield

The single mom balances two kids, grad school and her job at a juvenile detention center

ON THE COVER

THE MOMS + BABIES ISSUE

The meteorologist celebrates nine years at NBC 5 and the birth of her second child

Cora of Flower Mound Photography: Nick Prendergast Hair/Makeup: Shane Monden, Wallflower Management Styling: Lauren Niebes

KID CULTURE 31 The Agenda

Our favorite family events this month

COLUMNS 34 Confessions / Mommy Fails

When bad things happen to good parents

PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Joylyn Niebes CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lauren Niebes EDITORIAL Managing Editor Carrie Steingruber

Calendar Editor Elizabeth Smith

Art Assistant Sara Strugger

Sandi Tijerina, Laura Vardell, Kerensa Vest

Promotions Coordinator Beth McGee

ART Graphic Designer Susan Horn

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher Diana Whitworth Nelson

Advertising Coordinator Amy Klembara

ADMINISTRATION Business Manager Leah Wagner

Editorial Designer Katie Garza

Account Executives Nikki Garrett, Nancy McDaniel, Kristen Niebes,

PR/MARKETING Audience Development Director Candace Emerson

Office Manager + Distribution Robbie Scott

NorthTexasChild is published monthly by Lauren Publications, Inc. NorthTexasChild is distributed free of charge, one copy per reader. Only NorthTexasChild authorized distributors may deliver or pick up the magazines. Additional or back copies of NorthTexasChild are available for $2 per copy at the offices of Lauren Publications, Inc. We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. We cannot be responsible for the return of any unsolicited material. NorthTexasChild is ©2018 by Lauren Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission prohibited.

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noted. MATTERS OF THE HEART the lowdown on high blood pressure in kids

WORDS CARRIE STEINGRUBER + LESLIE CHATMAN

©ISTOCK.COM/MASHUK

H

ypertension is a word you expect to hear at your mother or grandmother’s yearly physical— not your fourth-grader’s. But since the late ’80s, there’s been a growing number of pediatric hypertension cases, enough that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released new guidelines for detecting and treating high blood pressure in kids. According to the report, published in September, an estimated 3.5 percent of all kids and teens have hypertension. That’s two to three times higher than previous studies have indicated. “Elevated blood pressure in children often goes undetected,” says Dr. Stormee Williams, medical director for school-based telehealth services at Children’s Health. “This is partially why the American Academy of Pediatrics’ clinical guidelines for addressing pediatric hypertension have been updated.”

northtexaschild / february 2018

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OF THE HEART

The scary part? Hypertension, ominously The connection between obesity and known as the “silent killer,” has serious high blood pressure is one reason the AAP health ramifications. Undiagnosed cases in made some changes to its blood pressure childhood can result in progressive health screening tables, which provide normal complications, like organ damage and cardioblood pressure levels based on age, height vascular disease. and sex. The previous tables factored in But because high blood pressure is “silent,” measurements from kids who are overthere are no obvious signs or symptoms to weight or obese; the new tables are based on set off a parent’s warning normal-weight children. alarm, explains Dr. Deborah As a result, the threshSchutte, medical direcold for what’s considered GO LOW tor of cardiology at Cook elevated blood pressure Children’s. Consequently has been lowered, meaning If your child’s blood parents have to rely on more kids—overweight sugar is on the high side, blood pressure tests at the and normal-weight both— the American Academy doctor’s office to catch a are likely to get flagged for of Pediatrics (AAP) number that’s too high. high numbers. recommends changing Even when kids notch And, should kids some of your kid’s habits— several high blood pressure register on the high or what you pack in his or readings, they may not get side, the new guidelines her school lunches: diagnosed. A 2016 study recommend ambulatory GET ACTIVE – Any type funded by the National monitoring—taking blood of exercise can help lower Institutes of Health found pressure readings over a blood pressure, but the AAP recommends 30–60 minutes of that three-quarters of kids 24-hour period while the moderate to vigorous physical with repeated high blood child goes about her day, activity three to five days a week. pressure readings went instead of relying only on undiagnosed—and therethe reading from the clinic. SKIP THE SUGAR – Focus on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, fore untreated. This will help clear the kidwhole grains, nuts, fish, poultry The old pediatric blood dos whose blood pressure and lean red meats. Limit pressure screening tables spikes because of doctor’s sugar and sodium—that means were difficult for doctors office anxiety. choosing water over sodas and to navigate. The AAP is sports drinks. hoping its new, streamCHECKUP STRESS LESS, SLEEP MORE – lined guidelines will help The updated AAP guideKids who get seven hours of sleep kids get the treatment they lines make it easier to or less per night are at greater risk for hypertension, and lowneed. But why is it needed evaluate, diagnose and treat quality sleep has been associated in the first place? high blood pressure, but all with high blood pressure. of it is for naught if your Enforce bedtime routines and WEIGHT UP child’s blood pressure isn’t practice deep breathing exercises “For most infants and tested regularly. together before bed to reduce stress and help your child sleep young children, hyper“Because there are no better. After all, studies suggest tension is most likely symptoms of hypertenthat meditative breathing and secondary to an underlying sion, the key is screening at even yoga can lower blood disease often involving well-child checks,” Schutte pressure too. the kidneys or cardiovassays. She points out that cular systems,” Williams for kids 3 and older, the explains. Studies have AAP report says blood shown that sleep disorders and premature pressure should be checked at least annually. birth can also trigger high blood pressure. And since conditions like diabetes and high For kids who’ve reached puberty (say, cholesterol can go hand in hand with high mid- to late-elementary years), high blood blood pressure, those routine health checks pressure is usually the primary problem, due are even more important. to genetics, poor diet, inactivity or environAt your child’s next physical, make sure mental factors. your child’s blood pressure has been evaluBut weight is the biggie. ated by the new standards, and ask to look at “Obesity in this country has increased the blood pressure tables to see where your tremendously over the past two decades,” child stands. Since genetic risk factors can Williams says. According to the latest Beyond predispose kids to hypertension, talk about ABC report from Children’s Health, more your family history with your pediatrician, than a fourth of Denton County kids and Williams says. more than a third of Dallas County kids in If needed, the doctor may prescribe grades three to 12 are overweight or obese. lifestyle changes (see sidebar) or medication Per the AAP, the prevalence of high to get your child’s numbers back on track—a blood pressure leaps to as high as 24 percent small price to pay for a healthier heart down among kids in this category. the road.


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real moms. mom next door /

SAMANTHA DAVIES nbc 5 meteorologist and traffic reporter INTERVIEW NICOLE JORDAN PHOTOGRAPHY CARTER ROSE

S

amantha Davies is a familiar face for early birds across Dallas-Fort Worth. A meteorologist and traffic reporter for NBC 5, Davies occupies the early slot, reporting weekdays from 4:30–7am. With a deep-rooted interest in weather and an aptitude for science and mathematics, she is a natural. “I’ve always been interested in the weather,” says the Plano mom of two: Anna-Sophia, 2, and Alexander, 4 months. “I grew up in upstate New York, so we had snow from October through March. I was glued to the weather as a kid.” In 2004, Davies graduated with her bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the State University of New York College Oneonta. Before joining NBC 5 in 2009, she appeared on national programs including the Today show, NBC Nightly News and CNBC. Now, the 35-year-old has her “dream job” and, with husband Miguel, a picture-perfect family to go with it. But she’s the first to admit it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

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real moms / S A M A N T H A

THE SOURCE

“I’ve had to learn to say no to things,” says Davies. “If I spread myself too thin, I feel terrible. I need to be on it for the kids so I really try to prioritize.”

does to your body. We eat a lot of fresh food and try not to eat anything processed. I make everything at home. WHAT DOES YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? My parents moved

YOU’RE CELEBRATING NINE YEARS WITH NBC 5 THIS MONTH. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED? I’ve really fallen in love

with the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And the station is fantastic—it’s like a big family. I’ve worked every single shift over the years. There’s a lot of opportunity here. We were vacationing in Florida and were part of the evacuation effort from Hurricane Andrew. I remember being a little girl in the hotel room and seeing the Weather Channel [news crew] outside our window. I could see the girl reporting on the weather and realized, “Wow, this is really a big deal.”

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meteorologist] Dylan Dreyer. She does it all, and it seems like she’s always traveling. I think it’s amazing.

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WHAT WOULD PEOPLE BE MOST SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOB?

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There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. Forecasting takes a couple hours of my day. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP? Around 1am. There’s a lot of prep that goes into getting ready to go on air. Plus, getting out the door is a lot because I try to make sure everything in my house is ready for my kids when they wake up. WHEN DO YOU GO TO BED? I take a nap when my kids nap in the afternoon and go to bed around 8 or 8:30pm. I try to get my seven to eight hours of sleep; it’s just split in two.

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february 2018 / northtexaschild

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I REALLY LOVE FORECASTING. THAT’S THE SCIENCE GEEK IN ME. I LIKE LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS AND TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN.

IS THERE A FEMALE REPORTER YOU LOOK UP TO? I really look up to [NBC News

and Friends

10

WHAT DO YOU DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF? I love exercise classes. I

I really love forecasting. That’s the science geek in me. I like looking at the numbers and trying to figure out what’s going to happen. I also love warning people when it comes to severe weather because I think about my own family. I want to help people. Having kids definitely changed the way I look at my work.

Jobi Like him on Facebook

out here about two years ago and have been a lifesaver.

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE METEOROLOGY?

DAVIES

WAS IT DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO THESE HOURS? It’s more difficult now that I have

kids. I really have to make sleep a priority.

IF YOU HAD GONE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION IN YOUR CAREER, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE DOING?

I’ve wanted to be a meteorologist since I was a kid. But I think being a nutritionist would be a lot of fun. I love researching what food

HOW DO YOU AND MIGUEL STAY CONNECTED?

We try to do a date night once a month. Our favorite thing to do is to go out and try new restaurants.

HOW DID ANNA-SOPHIA REACT TO THE NEW BABY?

Everybody kept saying there would be jealousy, but she’s been great. She’s obsessed with the baby. Hopefully, it stays that way. WAS IT A TOTAL GAMECHANGER TO ADD NUMBER TWO? He’s a really good baby,

so it’s not bad. Everything just takes twice as long.

IS TWO THE MAGIC NUMBER? I really love having a sister so it

makes me sad that Anna-Sophia doesn’t have a sister. Three isn’t out of the question, but I know there’s no guarantee I would have a girl. Right now, we’re set with two. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A MOM? Watching them grow up and

experience new things. We went to Hawaii this summer and Anna-Sophia got to see the ocean for the first time. That kind of stuff is really fun. WHAT’S MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT MOTHERHOOD? Keeping my kids on a

schedule is difficult, but it’s totally worth it.

HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD CHANGED YOU AS A PERSON? I’m more caring, gentle

and nurturing. I’m extremely happy. I feel very complete right now.

BEST PIECE OF PARENTING ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU? Slow down and

savor every moment because it goes by so fast. WORST ADVICE? Never wake a sleeping baby. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU PERSONALLY?

Getting out of baby mode. Right now, there’s a lot of coordination, packing and logistics. It’ll be nice when our kids are a little more independent. I’m looking forward to evolving as a family and having a little more time for myself and my husband. AND PROFESSIONALLY? This is my dream job so I just want to keep going. I don’t have further aspirations right now. That may change in five or 10 years, but right now I love what I’m doing, and I’m so thankful I get to do it.


a friday in the life of

JHERI WHITFIELD ShaJherika “Jheri” Whitfield is a single mother of two kids—Eden, 4, and Ezra, 2— who has lived in Lewisville for almost two years. She previously lived in Norfolk, Virginia, due to the military. Her hobbies revolve around Pinterest and quality time with her children. Jheri is currently a juvenile supervision officer for the Denton County Juvenile Detention Center. She is also enrolled in online courses as a graduate student and is hoping to begin law school this fall.

5

:15AM My alarm goes off. I rush to turn it off … and fall back asleep. 6:30AM I hear Ezra in the refrigerator trying to grab a bottled water. This is when I realize that I should’ve snoozed my alarm instead of turning it off because now I have 45 minutes to get two kids ready for school. 6:45AM I have Ezra in his clothes and pray he doesn’t mess them up before we leave the house, and I’m still trying to wake Eden up. She despises mornings. I let her know she can pick out her own clothes if she wakes up. This works 50 percent of the time. 7:10AM We have about five minutes before we should be leaving the house, and after getting the kids dressed, I realize I still have my pajamas on. I grab a jacket and pair of joggers and scream, “donut Friday!” 7:17AM Still haven’t left the house. I can’t find my keys, and Eden and Ezra decided to start a sword fight with their toothbrushes— Star Wars vs. My Little Pony. 7:19AM My car keys are in my pocket. It’s time to go!

7:30AM Arrive at the donut shop. I’m deciding between a Red Bull or cranberry juice. Eden and Ezra pick out their milk and donuts with cartoon characters on them while I’m still trying to wake up. Red Bull it is! 7:45AM Now we’re off to school. I turn on our “Kids Jams” playlist. Now I’m singing Kidz Bop and the Disney Descendants soundtrack. 7:55AM As Eden gets out of the car I yell, “Have a good day! Be kind, be sweet, and be all God wants you to be.” She blows me a kiss and I drive off smiling. 7:59AM Ezra’s daycare is literally down the street. He tells me he’s ready to go to school, but once we walk inside he starts crying and holding onto my leg. I walk out and watch him from the window where he can’t see me. The crying lasts five minutes, and then he sees toys and life is great again. 8:25AM The 8-ounce Red Bull didn’t work for me, so while I’m in the car I might as well drive to Target and get some Starbucks and some things we “need” for the house. 9:30AM I’m just now home from Target, and I realize I didn’t need most of the things I purchased. I just needed coffee. I turn on The Office on Netflix, sit down with my coffee and see if I have any assignments due for school. 10:38AM Down time … I need to catch up on This Is Us! If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d get a glass of wine and some ice cream. I get the ice cream anyway, with a heated brownie on top. During the Hulu commercials I do a commercial workout plan that I found on Pinterest. Helps me work off the ice cream and brownie I downed in five minutes. 11:30AM My “work” alarm goes off. I shower, get ready for work, pack my lunch and get things ready for the babysitter and kids tonight. 12:45PM I leave a note for the babysitter on the counter letting her know there’s a meal in the freezer, the kids’ pajamas are on their beds, their books and homework are on the table, no television until homework is complete and no liquids after 8pm. I’m sure she knows this information, but I write it down anyway. 1:05PM I’m on my way to work. I’m still listening to Kidz Bop for some reason. 1:31PM I stop at Kroger and sprint inside to get some fruit. I need something quick and healthy to eat since the only things I’ve eaten today were kolaches, ice cream and a brownie. 1:45PM At work, I go to the break room to eat my fruit and wind down a little bit before I find out what section I’ll be working in today. 1:53PM It’s time for our daily huddle. I’m in the female section. Things can be pretty

Diaries are penned by moms (and dads) in the North Texas area. The authors volunteer to share a day of their choosing and are not paid or endorsed by NorthTexasChild. Send your diary to editorial@dfwchild.com. All submissions are subject to editing and may be cut for space. 12

february 2018 / northtexaschild

PHOTO COURTESY OF JAREN COLLINS WITH JCI CREATIVES

real moms / R O U T I N E S


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WHAT SHE’S READING She’s Still There by Chrystal Evans Hurst FAVORITE INDULGENCE Blue Bell’s Moo-llennium Crunch ice cream WHERE SHE GOES FOR RETAIL THERAPY Target GUARANTEED TO MAKE HER LAUGH Watching The Office (It never fails.) BEVERAGE OF CHOICE Coffee, chai tea and flavored water FAVORITE SCENT Cinnamon (I’m allergic to it so I like to smell it when I’m craving it.) NO. 1 ITEM ON HER BUCKET LIST Learn to speak Italian. BEAUTY PRODUCT SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Clarisonic Mia Cleansing Brush GO-TO UNIFORM Joggers and a T-shirt WHAT SHE DOES WHEN LIFE GETS STRESSFUL Take a day of complete rest and solitude. DREAM VACATION Italy and Ireland SHE WISHES SHE HAD MORE TIME TO Learn how to start and maintain a garden LEAST FAVORITE CHORE Folding laundry LOOKING FORWARD TO Being admitted into law school CELEBRITY MOM SHE ADMIRES Pink (talk

about a beautiful, strong and no-shame mommy) CELEBRITY CLOSET SHE’D LIKE TO RAID Lisa Bonet

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We Care About Your Family! quiet and repetitive in there—class, library, free time, showers, dinner. 6PM All of the residents are secure so I decide to take my dinner break. I call to check up on the kids. I’m trying to chew food and listen to both kids yell over the phone. 6:15PM I’m back in the section. I’m bored, so I speed walk around the section just to have a little exercise and to make sure I’m doing room checks on time. 8:30PM The residents have completed their bonus free time, snack and hygiene. I’m disappointed that they wanted to secure earlier than 9pm. Now I have 1.5 hours of silence, speed walking and room checks. 8:45PM I call for someone to relieve me so that I can call to say good night to the kids, and then I run back to the section. 10:35PM I am home! I get a mini debrief from the babysitter, and I give the kids a kiss while they’re asleep. 11:15PM I’m in bed trying to watch Netflix and dozing off. I am so glad I’m off tomorrow. I turn off my alarm. The kids will wake me when they’re ready.

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february 2018 / northtexaschild


NOW YOU’RE

TALKING

Strong, healthy families—and in turn, healthy communities—are built on a foundation of truly connected communication. Are you ensuring you thrive? WORDS JESSICA ELLIOTT ILLUSTRATION MALINA OMUT

“T

alking is the most dangerous thing people do,” says Dr. Harville Hendrix. “It seems so odd even to say it, but most human beings don’t know how to talk to another human being without eliciting a negative reaction.” In 1977, Hendrix and his life and work partner, Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, had a big argument, yelling over each other instead of listening to each other. (Both are therapists, by the way.) Finally Hunt yelled something that resonated: “Why don’t we stop, and one of us talk, and the other listen?” In the heat of the moment, it was a revelation to the Dallas couple. And that’s when their argument became an experiment. “We took turns and took it to the clinic and experimented, and determined that the quality of the conversation determines whether or not people can solve problems,” Hendrix says. “If it makes them defensive and anxious, they will deal with anxiety and not the problem.” Hendrix and Hunt, who married in 1982 and have six children and six grandchildren, established a three-step process that encourages

couples to fully listen to each other, creating a safe space for working through conflict. The process became the basic structure of Safe Conversations, the educational model they’ve spent three decades teaching thousands of other couples—and parents and children and therapy professionals—through their nonprofit, Relationships First. For their work, they’ve received raves from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Hendrix has appeared as a guest expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show nearly 20 times. The couple’s transformative revelation—that fostering better conversation can resolve conflict—might seem elementary. But it’s rooted in years of research and brain science. And, as most of us who’ve ever talked to another human can attest, it’s easier said than done. THE CASE FOR SAFE SPACES

“Everyone has different points of view, no one’s brain is the same, and the difference triggers objection, so people don’t know how to connect without polarizing,” Hendrix says. This polarization can create life-changing problems, from the end of a partnership to a negative environment for children. “When children are in an environment where the parents are polarized and being defensive, that’s what they absorb,” Hunt says. “So, connecting and communicating and feeling safe with one another is fundamental.” There is a clear need for communities to ensure families are able to thrive. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, in 2014 nearly ten thousand couples filed for divorce in Dallas and Denton counties combined. This largely looming figure has financial repercussions: When a partnership fails, the possibility that the family will become poverty-stricken greatly increases. Not only that, research shows that people in failing relationships are less productive at work, and more likely to fall into substance abuse. Children from fragmented homes do not perform as well in school as their peers from stable two-parent homes. And both children and adults

northtexaschild / february 2018

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THE MESSAGE THESE KIDS ARE ABSORBING, WHETHER THEY REALIZE IT OR NOT, IS THAT THEY AREN’T ENOUGH.

with a poor-quality family life experience more emotional distress, anxiety and depression. This kind of research has been the motivating factor for Hunt and Hendrix, who are teaching and sharing the Safe Conversations methodology with faculty members in five North Texas schools. They also offer a two-day workshop available to anyone who wants to train others on how to have safe conversations, whether at school, at home or at work, and are working toward educating first responders, veterans, church attendees and members of community organizations. A 2017 study by Southern Methodist University confirmed that Hendrix and Hunt’s process can make a lasting difference: Safe Conversations workshop participants saw “significant decreases” in anxiety six weeks and even a year after the workshop. Hendrix says that turning a relationship into a safe space forges a stronger, happier connection. “The [couple] hangs out together, they like each other—they are talking without polarizing, have a sensation of aliveness, are joyful and relax,” he says. “When they have those features, that means the quality of experience they will have is joyful aliveness.” The Safe Conversations method isn’t just for people in struggling marriages; learning to create a safe environment for resolving conflict is a skill even happy couples can benefit from. But most couples—especially those who are in a happy relationship— don’t even realize they could use a communication boost. So, where do you even begin? STEP ONE: YOU SAY WE NEED TO TALK

According to Hendrix and Hunt, you begin by “making an appointment,” or asking your partner if it is a good time to talk about a particular issue. Dr. Terri L. Gonzales-Ball, a play and family therapist in Dallas, is accustomed to having in-depth conversations and pro-

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february 2018 / northtexaschild

cessing through past experiences with her husband, Tim. (She is a counselor, after all.) “I think my husband and I have always been good at reparation and reconciliation within our relationship,” she says. So she was surprised when the Safe Conversations workshop actually helped them approach those meetings differently. “It has made us more aware of the importance of ‘setting appointments’ with one another when we need to discuss important things, making sure we are both present to listen to each other and not distracted by other tasks,” Gonzales-Ball explains. “It has highlighted that it is OK to postpone those conversations if the timing is off in an effort to have a quality one later.” Once the appointment has been set, Safe Conversations dictates that the partners take turns following Hendrix and Hunt’s three-step process: mirroring, validating and empathizing. The speaker has a few rules to follow (for example, using “I” statements instead of playing the blame game) as they lay out the issue. The listener repeats, or “mirrors” what they heard, confirming every detail was heard correctly. (According to Hendrix, the accuracy rate of listening is a mere 13 percent if you’re in a good mood; that figure shrinks to zero percent if you’re angry or upset.) Before moving on, the listener asks if there are any additional details that need to be further explored. This curiosity is “an essential feature of safe relationships,” Hunt says. “It helps people to be more vulnerable because you have opened the door to receive them.” Then the listener validates the speaker’s perspective with the phrase “You make sense,” confirming that the listener sees the speaker’s truth. Finally, the listener empathizes with the speaker by verifying how they feel and asking if there are any other feelings the issue has stirred up.

A crucial part of every step is acknowledging each other’s “childhood wounds.” Hendrix says everyone—no matter how exceptional our parents were at parenting—has unintentional childhood wounds that directly affect our ability to communicate and understand one another. These wounds are not necessarily literal, but things like feeling unsupported, or feeling too controlled. Gaining an awareness of those wounds is crucial and could mean the difference between a successful or failed partnership. For Kayla and Darrell Young, who live in Lancaster, the workshop revealed childhood wounds of “muted voices.” “We were both afraid to speak our truth because we were afraid we wouldn’t be heard,” says Kayla, who was encouraged to attend the workshop because of her role as a biblical counselor at church. “Now, anything that comes up we can link back to that. We still have arguments, but it has given us a tool to lean on when we have those problems.” Darrell agrees. “Before, we had a sense of helplessness to it, where you go with a resolution or an easy compromise, and having the process where we could come to a mutual understanding of each other’s point of view helped,” he says, adding that they no longer use the tired “agree to disagree” statement. The model was tested when Kayla was pregnant with their last child. She was 45, the pregnancy was challenging, and she felt Darrell wasn’t engaged or supportive. “After months of ignoring the problem, we had a major blow-up,” she says. They implemented the Safe Conversations process and discovered they were harboring wrong thoughts about each other. “Even though I had three other children early in life, this pregnancy was different and I was scared and needed support,” Kayla explains. “His viewpoint was [that] I had three children before and I was strong and could endure anything without


him, and that usually had him feeling inadequate.” The Safe Conversations model forced them to listen to and validate each other’s perspectives. “Thank goodness it was ingrained deeply within us so we could access it when needed,” Kayla says. SAFE CONVERSATIONS, SAFE FAMILIES

A safe haven fosters spontaneity, the telltale sign of a healthy relationship, Hendrix says. Couples who are in the right place are more likely to show random acts of affection—from wrestling or tickling one another to the more risqué act of swimming naked together. Or, basically, they take part in any fun action or event that doesn’t require planning. “You’ll hear safety is a non-negotiable quality of a thriving relationship, whether between partners and parents or parents and children,” Hendrix says. “When you see couples who can spontaneously play with each other or their children, you know they feel safe and their children can feel safe with them. Whereas, if you are scared, you will be tactical, strategic and withdraw from the field.” Applying the steps also helps improve connection, another crucial element of a partnership. “When you connect on a deeper level, it takes that judgmental side away, because there is more understanding,” says Dr. Faith Farnoosh Nouri, who runs a private counseling practice in Dallas and teaches in the family sciences department at Texas Woman’s University. She discovered Hendrix and Hunt’s theories 24 years ago and later attended a couples therapy program with her husband, Frank Massoudian. Their daughter Sahar, now a college freshman, also attended a Safe Conversations workshop after seeing how the method benefitted her parents’ relationship. Nouri says her daughter’s intimate understanding of the process has in turn eased conflict

between them. “I have learned to say, ‘Let’s start over,’ then get out of my own world and in my daughter or husband’s world, to hear them out,” Nouri says. “The more you practice, the more spontaneous it becomes.” Kayla and Darrell Young practice Safe Conversations with their children too. Among other benefits, it shows the kids that, even if they are punished for something they’ve done wrong, their parents understand their point of view. “They have that

safe feeling now, where they are going to be heard,” Darrell says. Recently, when their 11-yearold daughter wanted to move out of the room she shares with her 8-year-old sister, the 11-yearold was able to explain exactly how she felt, and Darrell and Kayla mirrored back to her and explained why she couldn’t make the switch. Later, they can remind her of the conversation. This ideal form of discussion can shape a child’s own communication patterns—and their future. “How a parent disciplines their child can really impact how a child reacts to conflict with his or her peers,” says Karishma Chatterjee, assistant professor of practice in communication studies at the University of Texas

at Arlington. “Do we shout? Do we use a negotiation approach where we talk it through? The basic idea of how we treat our kids has a huge bearing on the life skills they have, how they articulate their feelings, their behavior styles—we play a big role in our children’s behavior.” In fact, children as young as age 3 can pick up conversation strategies from their parents, Hunt says. “It starts with little kids who can learn to talk respectfully to their parents and grandparents. Kids can mirror their parents—they can ask for an appointment, instead of talking when Mom is on the phone. The whole family can learn to respect each other’s boundaries and how to get what they want instead of a glare.” It enables, she says, a mother to tell her child when she isn’t available to do something, such as tie a shoe. “It teaches confidence and sensitivity all the way around.” When working with children, Hendrix and Hunt teach that there are two parts of the brain—the “crocodile brain,” which is reactive, and responsible for a fight-or-flight response, and the “owl brain,” or upper portion of the brain, which uses a kind tone of voice, asks if the person is available, and collaborates and cooperates to create a win-win. “Kids love to learn about the owl brain,” Hunt says. The ideas may be as simple as crocodiles and owls, but Nouri believes that bringing these conversation and conflict resolution techniques into dayto-day life, and teaching them to our kids, can ultimately have effects beyond our own marriage or household. “If we can … communicate how to listen and talk—to talk without criticizing and listen without judgment,” she says, “we can accept people’s differences, and we can change homes, communities and eventually, our world.”

TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES To foster safe, open communication, practice these healthy conversation tips from Drs. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt: 1. Practice becoming silent inside. Listen to your own body (heart, muscles, etc.) to develop the skill of listening to others. 2. Keep your partner’s feelings separate from your own. 3. Practice containing your emotions. Find a quiet place and let yourself experience your feelings around a problem. Use the energy that your misunderstanding is generating to construct a plan for addressing the problem. 4. Ask for availability before beginning a difficult conversation. 5. Commit to zero negativity. Zero negativity doesn’t mean you can’t deal with problems—you can, but in ways that are less negative. 6. Use “I” language in conversation: “I feel…” “I need…” “I want…” (Do not say “You never…” or “You always…”) 7. Send your message in short sentences. 8. Ask for what you want. Don’t tell your partner what not to do, or what they are doing wrong. No shame, blame or criticism—ever!

SPREAD THE LOVE Safe Conversations: The Tool Box for Couples, a six-week course available via box kit ($199) or digital access ($119) at relationshipsfirst.org View Hendrix and Hunt’s Valentines Workshop online for free Feb. 10–25.

northtexaschild / february 2018

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Moms & BEST FOR FAMILIES:

THE WINNERS OF OUR 2018 SURVEY WORDS ALEXANDRA MITCHELL MORTENSON + JESSICA MYERS

YOU DON’T NEED US TO TELL YOU THAT YOU’VE GOT A LOT ON YOUR PLATE. BETWEEN RESEARCHING PRESCHOOLS (IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY, RIGHT?), READING WAY TOO MANY PREGNANCY BLOGS AND NARROWING DOWN THE NAME, YOUR BRAIN—NOT JUST YOUR BELLY—IS FULL TO BURSTING. TO GIVE YOUR PREGNANCY BRAIN A BREAK, WE POLLED OUR READERS TO FIND THEIR FAVORITE LOCAL RESOURCES FOR NEW MOMS AND MOMS-TO-BE, FROM CHILDBIRTH CLASSES TO INFANT SWIM LESSONS. HERE, THE WINNERS. CONSIDER IT OUR BABY SHOWER GIFT TO YOU. 18

february 2018 / northtexaschild

Best Childbirth Class Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources’ sixto eight-hour Prepared Childbirth course covers the stages of labor, comfort measures, anatomy (so you know exactly what’s going on inside your body—after all, knowledge is power) and the medical interventions you may or may not decide to take advantage of. Register online for a one-time Saturday course or three-session weekday course. While you’re at it, sign up for the Sibling Class to prep your kids for the new arrival. Stuck on bed rest? Prepared Childbirth is offered online too. 3000 Interstate 35, Denton, 940/898-7000 4400 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, 469/322-7000 texashealth.org

Best Hospital to Have a Baby

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound

Local mamas trust Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound with their labor and delivery care, and it’s easy to see why. From private labor suites equipped with birthing peanuts and labor bars to the level II neonatal intensive care unit to breastfeeding support, the hospital takes care of your every need before and after baby arrives. That includes the need for privacy— bond with your new bundle during Serenity Time, a daily two-hour window without visitors, testing or other interruptions.

4400 Long Prairie Road, Flower Mound, 469/322-7000 texashealthflowermound.com

Best Birthing Center Inanna Birth and Women’s Care

Since Inanna Birth and Women’s Care opened in 2006, over 1,500 North Texas babies have been delivered at the quaint Victorianstyle birthing center, which has two birthing suites equipped with tubs (for relaxation or water birthing) and plenty of room for your loved ones. Staffed by certified nurse-midwives, the center boasts a low C-section rate (about 3 percent) and a low rate of hospital transfer (about 10 percent). Free tours are available most Saturdays at 2pm; call in advance to sign up. 1823 N. Locust St., Denton, 940/483-1569; inannabirth.com

Best Doula

Maria Pokluda, Great Expectations Birth

After struggling with infertility, Maria Pokluda decided to help mothers-to-be everywhere by training to become a doula. Now she’s been practicing as a doula for 13 years and is founder and owner of Great Expectations Birth, providing support for moms delivering in any setting, be it a hospital or home. She’s also created her own doula certification company that trains women nationwide to become doulas. Pokluda’s most basic Simply Doula package costs $795, with add-ons


& Babies Flower Mound, 469/980-1220 thelittlegym.com

such as childbirth education and postpartum care available. Dallas-Fort Worth area, 214/223-0226; greatexpectationsbirth.com

Best Infant Swim Classes

Best Midwife

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

Kassia Walcott, Singing Tree Midwifery

First-time swimmers at AquaTots Swim Schools begin in the Tadpoles class, a 30-minute parent-child class for ages 4 months–1 year. In class, little fishies learn natural breath control and back floats while parents learn how to properly hold babies in the water. To make sure each baby gets plenty of instructor attention, classes maintain a strict student-instructor ratio of 4-to-1. Monthly pricing begins at $84 for one lesson per week.

As a certified professional midwife and owner of Singing Tree Midwifery, Kassia Walcott aims to help women from all religious and socioeconomic backgrounds have safe, comfortable births. Walcott sees patients for prenatal care at her office in Addison, then the majority of her patients deliver at home or in a birthing center. After baby arrives, Walcott provides six weeks of in-home postpartum visits.

777 S. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 409, Coppell, 972/793-7992 6060 Long Prairie Road, Suite 100, Flower Mound, 214/396-7900 aqua-tots.com

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEXAS HEALTH RESOURCES; MARIA POKLUDA; KASSIA WALCOTT; AQUA-TOTS SWIM SCHOOL

Dallas-Fort Worth area, 509/592-5279 singingtreemidwifery.com

Best Child Care Center for Infants

Best Sleep Specialist

Primrose Schools

At Primrose Schools, low infantteacher ratios, developmentally appropriate play spaces and an open-door policy that lets parents check on their little ones anytime all work to ensure that tots as young as 6 weeks are safe—and that Mom and Dad are at ease. The Balanced Learning approach combines everything from story time and sign language to building balance and motor skills to make sure that kiddos are physically, emotionally, socially and academically prepared for preschool. Multiple locations primroseschools.com

on Care.com’s online babysitter matching service. After signing up for a free membership, post a job (the site instantly writes the job description based on your criteria) then see candidates’ profiles, ratings, reviews and certifications and request a background check. Payment and tips are handled through the app so you never have to remember to stop by the ATM on your way home. Dallas-Fort Worth area care.com

Best Babysitting Service

Best Parent & Baby Class

Find a sitter for tonight, this Friday or that concert next month

Meet other parents, teach your infant new skills and have a bit

Care.com

The Little Gym

of fun at one of The Little Gym’s parent-child classes. Classes are offered for ages 4 months to 3 years and are divided by age to make sure your kiddo is mixing with others at the same developmental level. (The youngest class is for tots 4–10 months.) In each 45-minute session, help your baby build muscles and social awareness through developmental gymnastics—little ones wiggle on mats, balance on beams, push barrels and pull themselves up on padded beams. Monthly pricing starts at $96 for one class per week. 1141 Flower Mound Road, Suite 600,

Newborn Nightingales

If your little one isn’t sleeping through the night, the 25 registered nurses from Newborn Nightingales are here to save your sanity. Choose an inhome, phone or email consultation, and a nurse will assess your family’s situation and provide a sleep plan and daily schedule for your baby (as young as 2 weeks), as well as help you troubleshoot problem areas like swaddling, breastfeeding and tummy issues. Plus, if you have any follow-up questions, Newborn Nightingales provides free email support for six months. Dallas-Fort Worth area newbornnightingales.com

northtexaschild / february 2018

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SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL SECTION

BEST FISH

TO EAT DURING PREGNANCY

THIS MONTH:

OB/GYNS, MIDWIVES & FERTILITY SPECIALISTS WORDS NORTHTEXASCHILD EDITORS

CRAB

What’s for dinner? If you’re eating for two, make sure you check out the Food and Drug Administration’s updated guidelines on the best (and worst) fish to eat during pregnancy. We’ve listed some here, plus other stats worth knowing about women and babies in Texas.

FRESHWATER TROUT

ABOUT

LOBSTER

TEXAS HAS THE

4TH HIGHEST BIRTH RATE IN THE UNITED STATES.

FERTILITY SPECIALISTS

SOURCES: FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION; PLACENTA REMEDIES NETWORK; TEXAS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; UT SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER

Le, Sy MD IVFMD, Irving See ad on page 23

MIDWIVES

Caudell, Heather RN, CNM Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, Flower Mound See ad on page 22 Congleton, Johanna CNM Boardwalk Obstetrics and Gynecology, Irving Dickens, Beth RN, CNM Flower Mound Women’s Care, Flower Mound See ad on page 22 Dominguez, Donnellyn LM, CPM All About Babies Midwifery and Birth Center, Argyle Eizenga, Mercy LM, CPM Comforts of Home Midwifery, Sanger

plus catfish, clam, crawfish, haddock, oyster, salmon, scallop, shrimp and tilapia

PERCENT

OF TEXAS BABIES ARE BREASTFED.

Average number of edible capsules made from one placenta:

120

WORST FISH

TO EAT DURING PREGNANCY (HIGH MERCURY LEVELS)

80 PERCENT OF NEW MOTHERS

EXPERIENCE THE

BABY BLUES. Groom, Holly RN, CNM Caring for Women, Denton Marion, Shirley RN, CNM Caring for Women, Denton May, Kathaleen LM, CPM All About Babies Midwifery and Birth Center, Argyle Monday, Matika CNM Be. Women’s Health and Wellness, Cross Roads

Bartos, Heather MD Be. Women’s Health and Wellness, Cross Roads Cummings, Frederick MD USMD, Denton Ellis, Malathi MD Boardwalk Obstetrics and Gynecology, Irving Fanous, Elia MD MacArthur OB/GYN, Irving

Sala-Smith, Jean RN, CNM Inanna Birth & Women’s Care, Denton See ad on page 22

Fliedner, Thomas MD North Texas OB/GYN Associates, Lewisville

Santangelo, Traci RN, CNM BirthPointe Midwifery Services, Irving

Grubbs, Christina MD North Texas OB/GYN Associates, Lewisville

OB/GYNS

Banks, Lauren MD Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, Flower Mound See ad on page 22

Gupta, Rick MD Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, Flower Mound See ad on page 22 Livingston, Jeff MD MacArthur OB/GYN, Irving

SWORDFISH

plus king mackerel, orange roughy, shark and bigeye tuna

O’Neil, Kevin MD MacArthur OB/GYN, Irving Paroski, Sylvie MD Women’s Wellness at Flower Mound, Flower Mound Patel, Reshma MD MacArthur OB/GYN, Irving Sakovich, Peter MD MacArthur OB/GYN, Irving Staud, Jennifer MD UT Southwestern, Irving Van Dell, Guy MD Flower Mound Women’s Care, Flower Mound See ad on page 22 Wilson, Marc MD Alliance OB/GYN Specialists, Denton All Mom-Approved Doctors are nominated by parents. For our full methodology, visit dfwchild.com/doctors.

northtexaschild / february 2018

21


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Guy Van Dell, MD, & Elizabeth “Beth” Dickens, RN, CNM Obstetrics, Gynecology & Midwifery

MOM-APPROVED OB/GYNS, MIDWIVES & FERTILITY SPECIALISTS

Flower Mound Women’s Care is honored to have a “MomApproved Physician and Certified Nurse Midwife,” Dr. Guy Van Dell, a board-certified OB/GYN, and Elizabeth “Beth” Dickens, RN, CNM, in their practice. They would like to thank the wonderful patients for this designation. They work alongside Dr. Saly Thomas, also a board-certified OB/GYN. Dr. Guy Van Dell completed his education at Vanderbilt and Texas Tech. Currently he is department chair of OB/GYN at Texas Health Flower Mound, secretary/treasurer of the medical staff and on the board of managers for the hospital. He specializes in highrisk obstetrics and complex gynecology. Elizabeth “Beth” Dickens, RN, CNM, graduated from Baylor College of Medicine Nurse Midwifery Program 30 years ago and has pursued her passion with a fervor helping women and their families. Beth knows she chose a profession that is extremely rewarding and fulfilling. She has worked with Dr. Van Dell for nearly a decade. Their mission is to provide care for women at every stage of their lives, and they understand that every woman has unique needs and concerns. They strive to provide the highest quality of care in a comfortable, professional, timely manner while at the same time making their patients feel as though they are family.

Flower Mound Women’s Care 2980 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. E, Flower Mound, Texas 75022 972-899-9787 • fmwomenscare.com

Lauren Banks, MD; Heather Caudell, RN, CNM; & Rick Gupta, MD Obstetrics, Gynecology & Midwifery

4001 Long Prairie Rd., Ste. 150, Flower Mound, TX 75028 972-420-1470 • fmobgyn.com

Since 1989, Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates has proudly served the women of Denton County. We provide compassionate care throughout all phases of a woman’s life. From a young woman’s first gynecology visit, through family planning, child birth, infertility, menopause, and everything in between. We have a diverse group of providers to ensure every patient can find the type of care they need. This year, Dr. Lauren Banks, Heather Caudell, certified nursemidwife, and Dr. Rick Gupta have been nominated by our patients and readers of NorthTexasChild magazine as Mom-Approved providers. We are honored by this recognition and are thankful for the opportunity of continuing to care for the women of this amazing community.

MOM-APPROVED DOCTOR:

2015–18

Jean Sala-Smith, CNM Midwife Jean Sala-Smith is a board-certified nursemidwife through the American College of Nurse Midwives with extensive experience in high-risk obstetrics as well as out-of-hospital birth and women’s care. Jean opened Inanna Birth and Women’s Care in 2006 with a desire to empower women and their families through the birth experience, which she

22

february 2018 / northtexaschild

believes is a natural process and, in most cases, can happen with minimal to no intervention. 1823 North Locust St., Denton, TX 76201 940-483-1569 • inannabirth.com MOM-APPROVED:

2014, 2016–2018


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Sy Le, MD Fertility Specialist Dr. Sy Le has been helping men and women with fertility issues realize their dreams of becoming parents for more than two decades. A fertility specialist with a passion for making treatment cost affordable, Dr. Le founded IVFMD in 1997 with locations in Irving, Grapevine and Arlington. Dr. Le is among the few clinicians in the United States who is also certified as a high-complexity laboratory director (HCLD). Dr. Le and his

colleagues, Dr. Beverly Reed and Dr. Renju Raj, believe in one-on-one interaction with patients and strive to provide personal care for each patient.

7501 Las Colinas Blvd., Ste 200, Irving, TX 75063 972-506-9989 ivfmd.net

MOM-APPROVED OB/GYNS, MIDWIVES & FERTILITY SPECIALISTS

18

NOMINATE &

WIN

Tell us who’s earned your stamp of approval for a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card. Pediatricians // Family Doctors

dfwchild.com Survey closes February 16

northtexaschild / february 2018

23


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

THE

CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL G U I D E Want more information? Find these child care centers and preschools on our website. dfwchild.com SLOAN-NTXC 18 OH.qxp:Layout 1

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3131 N. O’Connor Rd. • Irving, Texas 75062 972-659-1199 • www.thesloanschool.com 24

february 2018 / northtexaschild

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SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Your Child Deserves The Best! Acclaimed Pre-K & Kindergarten Curriculum • Phonics-based Reading iPad Lab • Hands-On Math & Science • Problem-Solving & Conflict Resolution Skills In-house Fieldtrips • Art, Music & Spanish Included >1 Acre Playground in Park Setting • Closed Circuit TV Commercial Kitchen: Hot Lunches & Nutritious Snacks (Optional Breakfast) INEZ BLOOMINGDALE, OWNER Master Teacher 50 years Texas Lifetime Teaching Credentials for Grades K–12

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THE CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL GUIDE

Warm, Loving & Nurturing Environment 6 Weeks – Kindergarten


2018 DART

STUDENT

ART CONTEST

DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018

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february 2018 / northtexaschild


BEST EVER e Fre T N E V E

EPIC SUMMER PLANNING

STARTS HERE

DALLAS

FORT WORTH

Parish Episcopal School 4101 Sigma Rd.

Botanical Research Institute of Texas 1700 University Dr.

Saturday, February 24 10am–2pm

Sunday, February 25 12–3pm

Explore more at dfwchild.com

T R AV E L


BEST Summer EVER CAMPS/TRAVEL/SPORTS/ARTS/EDUCATION

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

BESTSummer EVER EPIC SUMMER PLANNING STARTS HERE

The #1 Summer STEM Camp Learn new skills and discover a passion for technology! At iD Tech, students ages 7–18 learn to code apps, design video games, learn programming with Roblox, mod Minecraft, engineer robots, discover cyber security, create levels in virtual reality, build websites, create 3D-print objects, and much more. In each weeklong session, students explore a top campus, learn from top-tier instructors, create an impressive project and build in-demand skills that last long after summer. Campers are taught in small groups of just an average of eight students per instructor for the most personalized instruction. 1-844-788-1858 info@idtech.com iDTechCamps.com

While most programs are weeklong (overnight stays optional at many locations), teens can enroll in two-week, pre-college academies for the most immersive, in-depth instruction. Join us this summer to see why over 300,000 camp alumni can’t stop talking about iD Tech summer camps. Visit www.iDTechCamps.com or call 1-844-788-1858 to find the right program for your student.

575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd. Lost Pines, TX 78612 512-308-1234 lostpines.regency.hyatt.com

28

iD Tech summer programs are held at 150 prestigious campuses nationwide, including Westlake Academy, The University of Texas at Dallas, TCU, SMU, Rice, Stanford, MIT and more.

february 2018 / northtexaschild

Take the ultimate getaway to Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa this summer. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed vacation or some time to reconnect with one another, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines has it all. From taking Colorado River excursions or horseback rides through the Loblolly Pines to visiting the nearby Zip Lost Pines attraction and floating the lazy river at the resort’s Crooked River Water Park, families can beat the summer heat with an assortment of fun-filled experiences.   The resort also features Camp Hyatt in which children enjoy activities while their parents take time away at the resort’s Spa Django or experience world-class golf at Wolfdancer Golf Club. 


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

Summer Fun in the Branch offers weekly adventures for children in preschool through high school. Camps include digital programming, Kid Nation, arts, cooking, science, field

BEST Summer EVER CAMPS/TRAVEL/SPORTS/ARTS/EDUCATION

trips and many others to spark your child’s imagination. All camps include water slides 14340 Proton Rd. Dallas, TX 75244 972-239-8598 westwoodschool.org/summerprograms

359 Lake Park Rd. #118 Lewisville, TX 75057 972-436-8228 • camps@getintotheact.org getintotheact.org

and pizza on Splash Day. Before care and after school care options are available.

Come spend spring break dancing and singing at The Actors Conservatory Theatre to Winnie the Pooh Kids March 12–16! Campers ages 5–14 will experience the challenge of putting on an entire musical in just one week! Camp days will include staging, choreography, music, lunch, a snack and loads of fun! Camp tuition includes costume, hours of instruction, snack, DVD and a camp T-shirt. Camp culminates in three performances at the end of the week! Space is limited—reserve your spot today with a $50 deposit. Please see our website for summer camps.

Animals • Science • Adventure There is no better place for an animal lover! Camp is home to more than 300 animals including lemurs, llamas, miniature horses, cats & dogs, hedgehogs, wallabies and that’s only a few! There are over 100 hands-on activities campers may choose to do while at camp:

Cub Creek Science & Animal Camp Rolla, Missouri 573-458-2125 • MoScienceCamp.com

2430 Hwy. 39, Hunt, TX 78024 830-238-4650 • 830-238-4670 jane@hohcamp.com • conor@campstewart.com hohcamp.com • campstewart.com

3000 Waketon Rd. Flower Mound, TX 75028 972-355-9988 winkids.net

• Animal Care • Culinary Science • Pottery • Veterinary Medicine • Crime Science • Arts & Crafts • Survival Skills • Ropes Course • Archery Spend just a week making friends and memories that will last a lifetime!

NEW one-week option for boys only, plus two- and four-week options for girls and boys at separate traditional camps on beautiful Guadalupe River near Kerrville. Ages 6–16. Family style dining, healthful, home cooked food, worldwide, limited enrollment, personable role model counselors. More than 40 fun, instruction-oriented activities, including array of sports, horseback riding, swimming and many more. Campers learn self-confidence, teamwork, leadership, meeting challenges. Ragsdale family owned and operated. Stewart est. 1924, Heart est. 1953.

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kid culture

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2 5 F A M I LY- F R I E N D LY E V E N T S Y O U C A N ’ T M I S S I N

F E B R U A RY

NEVERLAND

C AS A M A ÑA NA February 2–18 Indulge your imaginative kids in more than a little escapism with Casa Mañana children’s theater’s latest musical production. Watch as Wendy and her brothers join Peter Pan and Tink on an awfully big adventure to Neverland, on stage each weekend through Feb. 18. Tickets from $17. 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth; 817/332-2272 casamanana.org

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ©ISTOCK.COM/NODEROG; SERGIY1975; NEW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA OF IRVING

TARGET FIRST SATURDAY

NASH E R S C U L P T U R E CENTER February 3 The Nasher opens its art gallery doors on Saturday for kid-friendly entertainment: an architecture-themed art activity, story readings in the galleries, yoga poses in the sculpture garden and more designed to inspire your preschoolers and elementaryage children. Family activities run from 10am– 2pm; museum open through 5pm. FREE 2001 Flora St., Dallas; 214/242-5100 nashersculpturecenter.org

THE DALLAS OPERA FAMILY PERFORMANCES

WINSPEAR OPERA HOUSE February 3, 10 and 18 Catch all three of The Dallas Opera’s family shows on stage this month: The Three Little Pigs with music by Mozart (Feb. 3); the love triangle comedy Pépito (Feb. 10); and Donizetti and Company sung in Italian (Feb. 18). Each is about 45 minutes long and written for kids 5 and younger. Crafts and activities

begin at 12:30pm in the lobby before each show at 2pm. $5 per show; $12 for full season. 2403 Flora St., Dallas; 214/443-1000 dallasopera.org/family

MATTYB FEATURING THE HASCHAK SISTERS

M A J E S T I C T H E AT R E February 9 YouTube star MattyB is a 14-year-old Georgia native who’s been rapping and singing since he was 7. (Check out his videos; he’s adorable.) If he’s your kids’ celebrity crush, don’t miss his live concert at the Majestic with fellow YouTube sensations the Haschak Sisters: Madison, 17; Gracie, 15; Sierra, 13; Olivia, 12. $25. $95 VIP tickets include a meet and greet, an autographed photo and a souvenir to cherish through their teen years. 1925 Elm St., Dallas ; 800/745-3000 ticketmaster.com

THE LION KING EXPERIENCE JR.

STUDIO B PERFORMING ART S CENTER February 9–18 Can’t wait until The Lion King Broadway musical returns to Dallas later this summer? Watch a mini version in Highland Village where the young actors of Studio B have been working on their roar. $15 adults; $10 kids. 2400 FM 407, Highland Village; 972/966-2787 studiobtheater.com

MONSTER JAM

AT & T S TA D I U M February 10 You’ll need ear protection for this one. Feel the stadium rumble as 14 monster trucks rev their engines and peel out across the dirt floor

inside the Dallas Cowboys stadium. The show starts at 7pm; come early for the Pit Party from 2:30–5:30pm to snap photos with the drivers and see the trucks up close. Tickets from $20. 1 AT&T Way, Arlington; 800/745-3000 ticketmaster.com

GUITAR – THE INSTRUMENT THAT ROCKED THE WORLD

F ORT WORT H MUSEUM OF SCIENCE A N D H I S T O RY Opens February 10 On loan from the National Guitar Museum, this new exhibit features more than 70 guitars (acoustic, electric, historical, unusual and antique), the world’s largest playable guitar (as certified by the Guinness Book of Records) and hands-on stations that demonstrate the science of sound and music. $15 adults; $12 youth ages 2–18; free for museum members. 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth; 817/255-9300 fwmsh.org

DISCOVERY DAY

PEROT MUSEUM O F N AT U R E AND SCIENCE February 10 Pretend to be an engineer as you learn how to program robots, create circuits and build your own inventions during this family program all about the gadgets and gizmos throughout the museum’s exhibit halls. $20 adults; $13 kids

ages 2–17. Museum members get in free and get a sneak preview from 9–10am. 2201 N. Field St., Dallas; 214/428-5555 perotmuseum.org

NORTH TEXAS COMIC BOOK SHOW

I RV I N G CONVENTION CENTER February 10–11 Meet the real people behind the comic books you and your kids have grown up with when this annual family-friendly expo brings in the writers and illustrators for Spider-Man, Green Arrow and more superheroes. Have a costume you want to show off? Enter the cosplay contest for a chance at bragging rights and the $100 prize. Single day: $20. Two-day passes: $30. Free for kids 11 and younger. 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving; 817/733-7786 comicbooksdallas.com

AN ORCHESTRA MEETS A DINOSAUR

I RV I N G A RT S CENTER February 11 The New Philharmonic Or-

chestra of Irving gives two performances on Sunday: a rap narration of The Jogger and the Dinosaur and then the Prokofiev classic Peter and the Wolf. $20 adults; $10 children. The concert starts at 3:30pm, but come early for the free Second Sunday Funday (1–4pm) to celebrate the Chinese New Year with traditional paper crafts. 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. 972/252-2787 irvingartscenter.com

MARDI GRAS

L A K E DA L L A S C I T Y HA L L February 13 If you’re a Louisiana transplant or a Cajun at heart, connect with your roots at this family-friendly and alcohol-free Fat Tuesday parade and party, featuring live zydeco by the N’awlins Gumbo Kings and a crawfish eating contest. Join the revelry to catch beads and eat king cake with your kids. (Make sure to check your child’s cake slice for the plastic baby first.) Lake Dallas, 940/497-2226 lakedallas.com

northtexaschild / february 2018

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KINDERCONCERTS – AESOP’S FABLES

A R B O R L AW N U N I T E D METHODIST CHURCH February 15–16 The Fort Worth Symphony and Kids Who Care Musical Theatre team up for bilingual performances of The Lion and the Mouse, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Tortoise and the Hare written for kids ages 3–6. Claim your seats for one of four performances, each 35 minutes long. $5 per person. 5001 Briarhaven Road, Fort Worth; 817/665-6000 fwsymphony.org/ education

AGENDA

street at Klyde Warren Park. Bring along your family dog for puppy portraits and pampering, plus art activities and fireworks at the park. Considering a new pet? Rescue organizations for dogs (and possibly rabbits) will be set up at the Zodiac Zoo. FREE 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas; 214/979-6430 crowcollection.org

MARY POPPINS JR.

PINKALICIOUS THE MUSICAL

ARTISAN CHILDREN’S T H E AT E R Opens February 16 After a little girl named Pinkalicious eats too many cupcakes, an upset stomach is the least of her problems. Dress your own kids in pink from head to toe and see Artisan Center Theater’s new musical that teaches the power of self-control and the importance of moderation. $11 adults; $7 children age 12 and younger. 444 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst; 817/284-1200 artisanct.com

THE WIZARD OF OZ

MEDICAL CENTER OF LEWISVILLE GRAND T H E AT E R February 16–17 The new Christian Youth Theater, an after-school theater arts training program in Flower Mound, presents its fourth show at the MCL Grand in Lewisville. Watch as Dorothy and friends skip down the yellow brick road to uncharted territory in this beloved musical. $13 online; $14 at the door. 100 N. Charles St., Lewisville; 972/219-8446 cytdallas.org

CHINESE NEW YEAR FESTIVAL

K LY D E WA R R E N PA R K February 17 2018 is the Year of the Dog, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art throws its annual Chinese New Year Festival down the 32

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood live on in a PBS Kids cartoon series starring Daniel Tiger. Bring your preschoolers to see Daniel and friends live on stage during this Monday evening musical Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE: King for a Day! with lessons in kindness, friendship and helping others. Tickets from $27.50. 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth; 817/212-4280 basshall.com

FAMILY FESTIVAL – EYE ON FASHION

KIMBELL ART MUSEUM February 18 The masterpieces in the Kimbell’s permanent collection serve as inspiration for this fashion-themed festival for all ages. Encourage your kids to add their own touches to crazy hats and costume designs and join in artist-led collaborative projects and more experiences in the galleries. FREE 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth; 817/332-8451 kimbellart.org

DINOSAURS LIVE!

H E A R D N AT U R A L SCIENCE MUSEUM & WILDLIFE S A N C T UA R Y Through February 18 This is your last chance to see the 46-foot-long T. rex and nine life-size animatronic dinosaurs on display at the Heard. Take a hike along a half-mile nature trail, hear them roar, watch them move and play on dinosaurs in the play area. $9 adults; $6 kids ages 3–12. 1 Nature Place, McKinney; 972/562-5566 heardmuseum.org/dinosaurslive

DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD LIVE

BASS PERFORMANCE HA L L February 19 The positive messages from

february 2018 / northtexaschild

THE ACTORS C O N S E R VAT O R Y T H E AT R E February 23–March 4 The nanny with the magical carpetbag and talking umbrella flies into the Lewisville children’s theater for a twoweekend run. Watch as young actors perform the chimney sweeps’ rooftop “Step in Time” dance and more favorites in this kidfriendly musical from P.L. Travers’ original story. $14 adults; $9 for children age 9 and younger. 359 Lake Park Road, Suite 118, Lewisville; 972/436-8228 getintotheact.org

ZOONIVERSITY – MEET REPTILES

BIODIVERSITY E D U C AT I O N C E N T E R AT C O P P E L L N AT U R E PA R K February 24 Ever wonder how coldblooded animals survive in the winter? Learn all about how reptiles native to North Texas move around, eat and defend themselves during this educational program for kids age 5 and older. FREE 367 Freeport Parkway, Coppell; 972/304-3581 coppelltx.gov/bec

BE MINE

Share your love for family by celebrating Valentine’s Day all month long, starting with a daddy/daughter date, homemade cards and with the biggest flower arrangement ever. FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE

H I LT O N G A R D E N I N N February 2 Chocolates aren’t the only way to a girl’s heart. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, express your familial love by treating your little(s) to a night of dinner and dancing in your best outfits. $30 per person for residents; $35 for nonresidents. Extra packages available for professional photos. // 785 State Highway 121, Lewisville; 972/3177430 // highlandvillage.org

VICTORIAN VALENTINE CARD MAKING

N A S H FA R M February 3 For those you love most, forego the pre-made valentines and instead handcraft your own at this craft program, open to kids 5 and older, as a throwback to the Victorian era, the golden age of Valentine’s Day cards. $5 per person includes snacks and materials such as ribbon, foil doilies and antique-styled patterned paper. // 626 Ball St., Grapevine; 817/410-3185 // nashfarm.org

DALLAS BLOOMS – A WORLD OF FLOWERS

D A L L A S A R B O R E T U M Opens February 24 Why only share flowers on Valentine’s? Give your kids an entire garden’s worth when the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden debuts its annual spring festival of 500,000 blooms. Bring your littles for the petting zoo on Mondays and Tuesdays, and explore the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (reopening Feb. 24 after seasonal closure for maintenance) for a special passport and international themed activities. $15 adults; $10 kids ages 3–12. $3 for children’s garden. // 8525 Garland Road, Dallas; 214/515-6615 // dallasarboretum.org

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR SHOW

BEST SUMMER EVER

PA R I S H E P I S C O PA L SCHOOL February 24 B O TA N I C A L RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF TEXAS February 25 Get a head start on planning your family’s most epic summer when DFWChild hosts back-to-back camp fairs with local and national camps, schools and educators. Sign your kids up for summer sports and art programs on Saturday and Sunday, and between stops at the vendor booths, squeeze in playtime with the Perot Museum TECH Truck, Bubble Ball and animal friends.

4101 Sigma Rd., Dallas; 972/447-9188 1700 University Dr., Fort Worth; 972/447-9188 dfwchild.com/events

DA L L A S C H I L D R E N ’ S T H E AT E R Through February 25 See 75 colorful puppets manipulated by a team of whiteclad puppeteers in this allages performance inspired by four of Eric Carle’s children’s books: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and, his most famous, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Tickets from $17. 5938 Skillman St., Dallas. 214/740-0051 dct.org

F O R M O R E F A M I LY- F R I E N D LY F U N T H I S M O N T H , C H E C K O U R O N L I N E C A L E N DA R AT D F W C H I L D.CO M/C A L E N DA R.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ANGI MAGAÑA; CROW COLLECTION OF ASIAN ART; SAL’S LASTING IMPRESSIONS; ©ISTOCK.COM/ITOGRAPHER

kid culture / T H E


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confessions

MOMMY FAILS

ILLUSTRATION MARY DUNN

I THREW A MILK-DRENCHED NURSING PAD IN THE HAMPER. WHEN LAUNDRY DAY CAME, I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND THAT THE MILK HAD SPOILED AND LEFT BLACK MOLD ON EVERYTHING THAT IT TOUCHED.”

You know you’re tired when you wake up, stumble to the bathroom, keep the lights off so you don’t wake your husband, put what looks like Sensodyne on your toothbrush and quickly learn it’s Desitin butt paste that you’re cleaning your teeth with.” —SHELLEY, HIGHLAND VILLAGE

—BERNICE, COLLEYVILLE

“My two girls overheard me jokingly tell my mom that their stepfather looked like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Fastforward a couple of years … When my older daughter entered kindergarten, she started telling everyone that her Mommy was married to ‘Daddy Dwayne, The Rock.’” —AMBER, MCKINNEY

Got a parenting fail you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Send it to editorial@dfwchild.com.

“My initial reaction to things is usually ‘What the h%$#?’ I’m watching my 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son look in the pantry for a snack. My daughter gets a snack, and all of a sudden I hear my son yell, ‘What the h%$#, Eden?!’ because she took the last oatmeal pie.” —JHERI, LEWISVILLE

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february 2018 / northtexaschild

I HAD JUST STARTED POTTY TRAINING MY 2-YEAR-OLD. WE WERE LEAVING A MUSEUM, AND SHE TOLD ME ONCE WE REACHED THE PARKING LOT THAT SHE HAD TO POTTY. IT WAS TOO FAR TO GO BACK INSIDE, SO I DID WHAT ANY SANE AND RATIONAL MOTHER WOULD DO ... USED A BLANKET AND A MCDONALD’S CUP AS A PARKING LOT TOILET.” —BRITTANY, DALLAS


I FEED HER BRAIN A HEALTHY BREAKFAST. GO PUBLIC. â„¢

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NorthTexasChild February 2018  
NorthTexasChild February 2018