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MEET MOM NEXT DOOR

ALLISON CASTILLO

THE MAGAZINE PARENTS LIVE BY IN DENTON COUNT Y

M AY 2018

WHY YOUR KID NEEDS A MENTOR

HIDDEN GEMS OFFBEAT PLACES TO GET OUTSIDE

24 WAYS TO ENJOY MAY

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TRUE BEAUTY g section: tisin ver d la

spec ia

HOW TO HELP YOUR KIDS LOVE WHO THEY ARE

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The Family How-To Guide


pages / M A Y

2018

FEATURE

16 I Love Me

Teaching your child to love themselves inside and out starts with loving your self first. words Misty Jackson-Miller

DEPARTMENTS NOTED 5 Model Behavior

Why every child can benefit from a mentor

REAL MOMS 9 Mom Next Door / Allison Castillo The artist spills on life as a newly single mom

12 Datebook

Must-do events for Mom in May

14 Routines / Funmilayo Nwokolo When it comes to building a positive self-image, your child’s biggest role model is you,

p. 16

ON THE COVER

The

Brooklyn of Roanoke Photography: Cindy James Hair/Makeup: Jenn Karsner, Wallflower Management Styling: Lauren Niebes

Beauty Issue

PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Joylyn Niebes

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CINDY JAMES

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lauren Niebes EDITORIAL Managing Editor Carrie Steingruber

Associate Editor Alexis Manrodt Assistant Editor Lisa Salinas Calendar Editor Elizabeth Smith ART Graphic Designer Susan Horn

A Lewisville teacher’s adventures with laughing gas, push-ups and three kids of her own

KID CULTURE 29 The Great Outdoors 9 spots to enjoy North Texas’ natural beauty 35 The Agenda Our favorite family events this month

COLUMNS 38 Confessions / Mommy Fails When bad things happen to good parents

Art Assistant Sara Strugger

Advertising Coordinator Alexa Wilder

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher Diana Whitworth Nelson Account Executives Nikki Garrett, Maggie Marston, Nancy McDaniel, Kristen Niebes, Sandi Tijerina, Laura Vardell, Kerensa Vest

PR/MARKETING Audience Development Director Candace Emerson

ADMINISTRATION Business Manager Leah Wagner Office Manager + Distribution Robbie Scott

Promotions Coordinator Beth McGee

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.

northtexaschild / may 2018

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noted.

MODEL BEHAVIOR

why every child can benefit from a mentor WORDS LEAH JOHNSON

©ISTOCK.COM/PHOTOTECHNO

W

e often tell our kids, “Don’t talk to strangers.” To Carrollton father David Parnell, that adage couldn’t be further from the truth. Parnell is a volunteer mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star. He says when it comes to developing social skills with adults, talking to strangers can be the right thing to do. “In safe environments, of course talk to strangers,” Parnell says. “It equips children to look for opportunities in unfamiliar situations rather than learning to approach those situations with fear. Healthy conversation with adults builds confidence.”

Parnell has been a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters for about 10 years. (And that’s not counting his early days volunteering to read at local schools.) Over the years, Parnell has had about half a dozen “little brothers”—some of those relationships spanning many years and some spanning a shorter period. His current mentee is Qwanya, an eighth-grader with an insatiable appetite for science, whom Parnell has been mentoring for nearly four years. While mentors are often discussed in the context of at-risk and underprivileged children, surrounding any child with a

northtexaschild / may 2018

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Now Rome has a heart as strong as her will.

Rome, Age 13 Heart Transplant Patient

After being born with a congenital heart defect, Rome received a lifesaving heart transplant at Children’s HealthSM . Now, with a heart full of determination, she has her sights set on one day becoming the first female president.

Every patient has a dream. Read more at childrens.com/littledreamers


MODEL BEHAVIOR

HOW TO FIND A MENTOR 1. START WITH YOUR KID’S INTERESTS, says Linda Metcalf, director of graduate counseling programs at Texas Wesleyan University. “Find out who your child is,” she says. “Find out what he or she likes.” Once you determine your child’s interests, you know what type of role model to look for. 2. SEEK OUT MENTORS IN THE COMMUNITIES YOU ARE MOST FAMILIAR WITH—for example, your church, your child’s school, his or her sports team and the local community centers. “School counselors are a great resource,” Metcalf says. 3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK ON THE MENTOR, advises Dawn Hallman, executive director of the Dallas Association for Parent Education. “Where is [the mentor] located?” she says. “What are his or her credentials? What qualifies this person? What are his or her values?” Your child’s school and organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters will vet volunteer mentors. David Parnell, a Carrollton father who mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, says they do thorough screenings. “As a parent, I’d want someone who is that diligent,” he says.

©ISTOCK.COM/PHOTOTECHNO

If you get stuck, Hallman recommends asking another parent because they know who to trust. “Parents talk to parents. Keep your eyes open and check it out.”

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role model who can share his or her wisdom and experience is beneficial—for both the kid and the mentor. “Qwanya has a brilliant mind,” Parnell says. “He made me smarter.” BIGGER THAN THEMSELVES

Parnell and Qwanya meet once a week at the boy’s school during lunch. Over snacks and goodies, they work on projects or watch educational videos. Thus far, the pair has constructed a wind turbine and built a replica R2D2. “I let Qwanya guide things,” Parnell says. Giving children the reins empowers them to learn self-control and responsibility. “By making decisions, children learn to believe that they have some degree of control over outcomes,” he says. “By giving Qwanya the power of choice, my role is much more interesting too because I get to learn new things as a result of his curiosity.” “Mentoring gives them a reason to aspire to something bigger than themselves,” says Linda Metcalf, director of graduate counseling programs at Texas Wesleyan University. She adds that consistent time commitment is an important part of what makes great mentors—they need to be available for their mentees. “Mentors have time to answer questions [when] parents don’t have time,” she explains. Dawn Hallman, executive director of the Dallas Association for Parent Education and an adjunct professor at Eastfield Community College, agrees that mentors can function as additional support for parents. “Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever do,” Hallman says. “Most of us need someone else to help us … sort the information that is coming through the fire hose, whether you want to think of it as a mentor, teacher or coach.” Parnell says, though, mentors should not be viewed as parental figures. “I can’t put my foot down with a child I’m mentoring,” he says. “There is a level of authority that is different.” Metcalf agrees and says that makes the relationship a uniquely safe space for the child. “A mentor doesn’t have to discipline,” she says. “A mentoring relationship is a place where [a child] can relax.”

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A GIFT OF IDENTITY

There isn’t such a thing as the right age for a child to have a mentor. Parnell says his mentees are usually no younger than third and fourth grade, while Metcalf recommends middle school age and older since that is the prime age for a child’s self-discovery. “We are in an age in which who we are and how we identify ourselves is important,” she says. “By providing mentors who can help [children] to recognize what fits them best, we give our kids a gift of identity. Then, when faced with social groups that may offer tempting, yet unhealthy opportunities to belong, [children] can make the choice that is right for them.” Anyone can be a mentor, Metcalf says—a family member, a school teacher or a neighbor—but he or she should have interests that align with the child’s. The most important aspect to remember about a relationship between an adult mentor and a child mentee is that communication and relationship building are key. “A good connection lasts a lifetime,” Metcalf says. “A mentor is always someone you can call.”

Learn more at childrens.com

northtexaschild / may 2018

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real moms. mom next door /

ALLISON CASTILLO

cowtown creative; artist, designer and mom of three INTERVIEW NICOLE JORDAN

L

ike a moth to a flame, Allison Castillo couldn’t resist art’s pull if she tried. Whether it’s a custom invitation, a commissioned painting or a Texas-inspired scarf, the Fort Worth native and founder of Allison Castillo Designs is at her best when she’s creating. Though the medium is often flux, art is the constant through Castillo’s ups and downs. And, like a sort of visual biography, it’s revealing in ways that even she finds surprising. Look closely and you’ll see everything from family vacations to laughs with lifelong friends to telltale signs of her recent divorce hidden in the layers of paint. “Painting is my outlet,” says Castillo. “It’s such a release. It’s like a subconscious therapy.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF BREE LINNE PHOTOGRAPHY

DOES A PROCLIVITY FOR ART RUN IN YOUR FAMILY? My mom

was an artist; she painted children’s murals. And my grandmother was an artist and an art teacher. So I grew up around people that influenced me by being creative. INTERVIEW CONTINUES ON F O L LO W I N G PAG E

HER DETAILS

HOMETOWN Fort Worth AGE 43 KIDS Hattie, 14; Tessa, 6; and Tanner, 5 ALMA MATERS Stephen F. Austin University and University of North Texas CV HIGHLIGHTS Bombay Company, Pier 1, Stella & Dot, Allison Castillo Designs CURRENT FOCUS Commissioned paintings, Texas-inspired scarves for

Allison Castillo Designs and Spirit Snobs, a new venture launching soon. RELATIONSHIP STATUS Recently divorced northtexaschild / may 2018

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real moms / A L L I S O N

CASTILLO

seums, but I’m so hyperfocused on working and creating that I don’t make as much time for that as I should.

WHEN DID YOU START PAINTING?

HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR WORK WITH CARING FOR THREE KIDS? My

studio is in my house, so I work from home. As a working mom, I’ve been able to be flexible around the kids but continue to grow a successful business at the same time. That’s been amazing. AND YOU’RE RECENTLY DIVORCED?

Yes, it’s still pretty fresh. My faith has definitely grown through all of this. God hasn’t set me up for failure. I feel so motivated, like nothing can get in my way at this point.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC? Bold, bright, happy. I use a lot of

want to stop painting. I’d like to have a studio/gallery eventually.

Find a store near you or shop online at

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WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO IN THE ART COMMUNITY? I’m really excited

newborns ® to toddlers

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may 2018 / northtexaschild

“PAINTING IS MY OUTLET. IT’S SUCH A RELEASE. IT’S LIKE A SUBCONSCIOUS THERAPY.

about Fort Worth’s growing art community. There’s so much excitement and buzz that I’m really motivated by. I have a group of local artist friends that I get together with. We hang out and pick each other’s brains. It’s important that we have each other’s backs and grow together. On a larger scale, I’m blown away by Ashley Longshore, a pop artist from New Orleans. She’s brilliant.

ANY SIGNS THAT THE KIDS MAY FOLLOW IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS? Yes and no. My

everything for

in Fort Worth and my ex-husband’s family lives in Fort Worth. I have a lot of friends. I couldn’t do what I do without the support of my friends and family. Moms today want to do it by themselves. They have mom guilt if they don’t do everything. I’ve learned I can’t go to every single meeting or game— and it’s OK. It’s important for the kids to see me be motivated and happy that I’m working.

youngest is my unofficial helper. I can’t tell you how many tubes of paint he’s ruined. But I try to allow creative freedom. My oldest loves to draw. I want them to know that it’s OK to make messes because sometimes that’s where the magic is. There’s no right or wrong in art.

WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO GO TO VIEW ART AROUND FORT WORTH? The Modern.

Fort Works Art. The Kimbell, of course. I would love to go and do more art and mu-

WILL YOU TAKE A BREAK FROM PAINTING TO FOCUS ON THE TEXTILES? I never

DO YOU HAVE A SOLID SUPPORT SYSTEM? It takes a village. My family lives

Allison wit ho

daughers, Tessa her of ne

mixed materials—mainly acrylic, some oils. I love gold and silver leaf. I just paint how I’m feeling at the time. Going through a recent divorce, some of my paintings were on the darker side. It’s interesting to see how my paintings have progressed during this time in my life. Being creative has been a gift of stability in a time of trial.

You just do it.

HOW ARE THE KIDS COPING WITH THE DIVORCE? We have grown

closer through the process and are handling it as a team. We’ve got support from our church, family and friends. We are grateful to all of our community. HOW ARE YOU COPING? I have such a strong

mom support group. It’s like a tribe. I know I can count on them. It’s all new.

WHAT’S IT LIKE HAVING A 5-YEAR-OLD AND A 14-YEAR-OLD? Tanner is all boy.

He keeps me young and old at the same time. It’s exhausting. The 14-year-old needs things emotionally; the 5-year-old needs things physically. It’s challenging because I’m needed on both spectrums.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK A FEW WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD THEY BE? Easygoing, laid-back, fun, creative,

messy. I love to laugh and have a good time. I’m friendly, open-minded and spiritual. My faith has grown immensely since the divorce. I never knew I needed God until I really needed Him. BESIDES ART, HOW DO YOU DECOMPRESS? I like to work out a little

bit, but I really love hanging out with my girlfriends—just talking, drinking margaritas together and laughing till our stomachs hurt.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BREE LINNE PHOTOGRAPHY

register with us for great benets

When I turned 40, I started painting largescale abstracts in my laundry room because I had friends who wanted paintings for their homes. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. A hotel in New York commissioned a piece, and it completely took off. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? My brother and sister-in-law have a house in Cabo, so we try to go a lot. I’m so inspired by the colors and art—everything in Mexico. My scarves are inspired by Mexico’s Otomi artisans.


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real moms / M O M

SOCIAL

WORDS NICOLE JORDAN

DATEBOOK Music, food and a fun run for grown-ups top this month’s must-dos MAY 9

SHOP INDIE

#Treatyoself this Mother’s Day by shopping niche beauty brands with cult followings. Presented by Indie Beauty Media Group, Shop Indie brings independently owned beauty brands together in a one-stop shop, allowing beauty junkies to browse curated assortments and interact with brand founders. The expo—which is only stopping in three other cities: New York, London and Los Angeles—stops at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas from 5–9pm. $30 for general admission; $99 for VIP. 6500 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas // 214/999-0061 // indiebeautyexpo.com

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395 Purcey St., Fort Worth // 817/798-0700 // mimosaruns.com

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Long overdue for a day date? Coinciding with American Craft Brew Week is the 34th annual Main Street Fest, held in Downtown Grapevine. On the agenda: more than 75 craft brews from breweries across the country (and wine, if beer isn’t your thing), live music, festival food and a marketplace full of wares from local artisans. $7 general admission; additional fees may apply. Main Street, Grapevine // 800/457-6338 // grapevinetexasusa.com

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TASTE OF IRVING

Grab a foodie friend and stop by Cimarron Park Recreation Center to sample fare from more than 20 area vendors and food trucks; see cooking demonstrations; enjoy live music from the on-site jazz, blues and Latin stages; and more. FREE. 201 Red River Trail, Irving // 972/721-2600 // irvingevents.org

Mimos Run 2018

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STEELY DAN AND THE DOOBIE BROTHERS

Consider this show the perfect excuse to check out Irving’s newest hot spot, the Toyota Music Factory. Along with three concert stages, the entertainment center boasts a slew of bars and restaurants—Yard House, Gloria’s, Martini Ranch, Bar Louie, et al.—that are brand-new to Las Colinas. Tickets start at $35. 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving // 972/810-1499 // toyotamusicfactory.com

Taste of Irving 12

may 2018 / northtexaschild

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FULL UNICORN ASSERTIVE CARE; JULIEN LAMBERT; MALLOUF PHOTOGRAPHY; ©ISTOCK.COM/FERRANTRAITE

18 -20

MIMOSA RUN 2018

What’s a better motivation than a mimosa waiting at the finish line? In its fourth year, the Mimosa Run benefits Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Run 2 miles or 4; either way you’ll start at Panther Island Pavilion and end with a plated mimosa brunch, courtesy of Pacific Table. $70 after April 25; advance registration recommended.


Celebrate the beginning of summer at

Celebrate Highland Village Saturday, June 2 at Unity Park Morning Activities

Evening Activities

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6:00 - Food Vendors/Kids Zone Open 6:30 - Live Music From

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Grand Finale Fireworks Extravaganza

*5K to start after last 1K runner

Decades Band

Bring: Chairs, Blankets, Bug Spray, Small Coolers, Family, & Friends! Leave at Home: Pets and Glass

Visit HVParks.com for more information.

zoo preschool registration opens may 1

immersive learning outside the classroom Zoo Preschool pairs animals with education for an activitypacked, unique learning experience at the Fort Worth Zoo. Your 3- to 5-year-olds will create lasting memories with guided Zoo hikes, live animal presentations, themed crafts and so much more! for more information:

fortworthzoo.org

northtexaschild / may 2018

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a thursday in the life of

FUNMILAYO NWOKOLO Funmilayo Nwokolo is a high school digital media teacher at Lewisville High School Ben Harmon Campus. She and her husband of 13 years, Ugo, a sales engineer, live in Lewisville with their three children— Ronke, 9; Kosi, 7; and Ugo 2.0, 4.

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:20AM I’ve overslept. I must’ve turned my alarm off instead of snoozing. Thank God for my internal alarm. 6:42AM Time for everyone to get ready. To my surprise, my daughter Ronke is already in the shower. My younger daughter, Kosi, is still under the covers, begging for one more minute of sleep. She’s not a morning person. 6:44AM I grab clean clothes for the kids. My husband (Ugo 1.0) and son (Ugo 2.0) have impromptu Daddy-son time by cheerfully roughhousing in our bedroom. 7:12AM My son tells me he wants to wear his soccer jersey instead of his uniform today. When I tell him no, he bursts into tears. He’s not a frequent crier so I’m shocked that this shirt would garner such a response. He exclaims that he wants to play soccer at his preschool—which he’s never mentioned before. I let him wear the shirt and make a note to sign him up for soccer.

7:25AM The kids are supposed to leave by 7:30, but my girls are procrastinating as usual. Hubby tells the girls to get themselves together and then finishes getting Ugo 2.0 ready. I realize that his pants are too short—gotta change those! These kids are growing so fast. 7:33AM Everyone is still here. Officially three minutes behind schedule. The girls and hubby finally head out, and I fix Ugo 2.0 some cereal. I’m in the middle of intermittent fasting so I don’t worry about food yet. 8:02AM Hubby is back home. I tell him that he needs to pick up Ronke for her Girl Scout junior gardening badge event tonight. I took a half day to visit the dentist so I’m not due at work until noon. It’s weird not to be in a rush in the morning, but I like it. 8:50AM Ugo 2.0 and I head out. I drop him off at pre-K and sign him up for soccer. 9:10AM While driving to my appointment, I call my mom. My family lives in Atlanta— I’m the only Texas girl—so I talk to my mom once or twice a day. Even though we haven’t lived in the same city since I left for college, we’re very close. 9:40AM In the dental chair for a quick cleaning. The hygienist offers laughing gas. At first I say no, but she informs me that it’s free and will wear off before I leave. So I say, “Sure, why not!” Famous last words. By the end, I feel woozy and not 100 percent Funmi. I sit in the lobby for a while and sip tea. Mental note: I’m too much of a lightweight for laughing gas. 11:08AM I’m at school with time to spare. 11:15AM My broadcasting students are working on silent short movie projects, but ironically there is no silence in the classroom. We spend time throwing around ideas for videos that they’re making to submit to the Lewisville ISD Film Festival. 12PM My second class of the day settles down. I give them 30 minutes to finish up Adobe Photoshop projects before we move on to our lesson on video editing with Adobe Premiere. 2:22PM Last class of the day. A student asks what we’re going to do, and I reply, “We’re doing what we do every day—figure out how to take over the world.” It’s a line from the ’90s cartoon, Pinky and the Brain. The longer I teach, the fewer kids get it. 3:54PM A couple of students stay for tutoring. One of them has turned around from the beginning of the year; he’s gotten his grades up and is doing great. I love those success stories. 4:05PM I text Hubby a reminder about Ronke’s event. The other kiddos will go with me to the regular Girl Scout meeting right after my 200th check-in at Camp Gladiator. I pick up my kids and we swing by the house so that they can grab scooters and snacks to keep occupied while I’m in class.

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. 14

may 2018 / northtexaschild

PHOTO COURTESY OF FUNMILAYO NWOKOLO

real moms / R O U T I N E S


the fine

print

WHAT SHE’S READING Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi WHAT'S ON HER DVR This is Us, The Voice, Agents of SHIELD FAVORITE MOVIE Black Panther FAVORITE SCENT Freshly cut grass BEAUTY PRODUCT SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT Clinique 3-Step skin care system WORKOUT SHE MANAGES TO SQUEEZE IN Camp Gladiator, karate and Mom Crew (a hiphop dance team for moms) DREAM VACATION Hawaii—I really want to see what all the fuss is about LOOKING FORWARD TO Summer break (I’m a teacher) FAVORITE GIFT TO GIVE FRIENDS Nigerian earrings and purses MUSTMAGAFOR A

PHOTO COURTESY OF TOMI ADEYEMI

FLIGHT

HAVE ZINE LONG

Essence

4:55PM While at CG, the kids color a poster that says, “Mommy’s 200th CG Workout.” They are the sweetest. My CG buddies are there too, and they write encouraging words around my mat in chalk. I love my little CG family! (Don’t tell them I said that though.) 5:17PM Ten more chest-to-ground push-ups to go. I wonder how I’ll get through the 100-plus push-ups I have to do this Saturday for my four-hour karate brown belt test. My trainer plays Prince on the speaker—I cannot hear “Kiss” and not dance, so I groove with my squats. 6:05PM My hubby arrives to pick up Ronke just as I was starting to think he forgot. The kids are hungry, so I take the rest of the crew to pick up some McDonald’s on our way to the Girl Scout meeting. 8PM Kosi reminds me that today is Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen. After the meeting, we head over for free ice cream. My son declines the ice cream in favor of chicken fingers, which makes me laugh. I’ve never declined ice cream—and certainly never for chicken! 8:30PM Back home. Ugo 2.0 gives Ronke her ice cream, which makes her happy. The kids are up past their bedtimes, so I tell them to take their showers. 9:47PM Kids are asleep. I think. Well, they’re at least in their rooms. Hubby and I catch up on one episode of Agents of SHIELD before I am completely zonked out. 10:30PM Bedtime. northtexaschild / may 2018

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i O L VE ME Teaching your child to love themselves inside and out

starts with loving yourself first

S

ome parents have it in a jokey way, but they’ll almost asked her to erase always say it in front of their kids— the tantrum-tears and their kids are listening!” WORDS MISTY JACKSON-MILLER of a young child. As a professional, Jackson knows PHOTOGRAPHY CINDY JAMES Other parents have all too well that cameras can really asked her to edit bring out our personal insecurities. cradle cap, poor posture and run-of-the-mill teenThey can make us feel self-conscious. Now that we live in an age of age acne. Taylor Jackson, 35, a Richardson-based likes and shares, family photos have moved out of the privacy of our photographer, recounted the time a client asked her to shoot a teen homes and into our more widely viewed timelines and Instagram from a certain angle for his senior pictures, so his face wouldn’t refeeds. As a result, we’re careful to scrutinize these images of ourally show—and the client made the request right in front of her son. selves, and quicker to cringe at what we see. “You could just tell, he was so embarrassed,” Jackson says. But as a parent, Jackson is also sensitive to how voicing these inseThe mother of three (soon to be four) has received a lot of editcurities in front of young children can indirectly shape their developing asks from parents over the years, some stranger than others, but ing self-image. Whenever a parent “is voicing her insecurities about she’s noticed another trend during her photo sessions: parents— being too fat, or having wrinkles, or hiding things, whenever she’s moms especially—joking about their own weight or hair or wrinkles. voicing that in front of her kids,” Jackson says, “it makes them look at “They’ll ask to be shot from a certain angle, they’ll say they their own images in a mirror and wonder about this sort of thing.” haven’t gone to the gym in a while, they don’t want to show their In other words, when we as parents make uncomplimentary wrinkles, that sort of thing,” Jackson explains. “They’ll usually say observations about ourselves, no matter how light-hearted, what our

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kids are actually hearing is that these things—hair, weight, signs of aging—matter. And younger children don’t yet understand the nuance of self-deprecatory humor. They closely watch their parents and caregivers for social cues about how to move through the world, and the way the people they love talk about themselves can really impact whether kids develop a positive, healthful self-image. And that can last a lifetime. When we think thing of “kids” and “self-image,” we tend to think of teenagers. But the formation of a positive sense-of-self starts much earlier than that, typically at 18 months of age. And in this touched-up, filtered world, where every moment captured is a moment in the golden hour, teaching our children how to love themselves, both inside and out, is more important than ever. PUBERTY, NOW ON INSTA

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elping your child develop a positive selfimage in their early years will blunt some of the image hits they’ll take as they enter puberty. These image hits come from all over—external sources like media messaging and the peer-topeer pressure to conform to a certain “look,” but also the internal experience of looking in a mirror and seeing (or not seeing) a dramatically changing physical appearance. The onset of self-consciousness and body insecurities during these years is an experience shared by most tweens and teens, regardless of gender. Which is to say, it’s not just girls who experience selfimage issues.

“THEY’RE LISTENING TO HOW YOU TALK ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, AND HOW YOU TALK ABOUT YOURSELF.”

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When Abby Rathkopf’s eldest son, Devin, turned 11, he started gaining weight, even without significant dietary changes—and then he started calling himself fat. While the Carrollton mom wasn’t as concerned about his actual weight (which fell within the “normal” range), she was more concerned about how it was affecting him. She was particularly struck by how her normally laidback son was concerned about his body image during that time. “For him to actually say something, that was really surprising,” the 38-year-old says. “It really bothered him.” Most of us have our own stories about these uncomfortable years. We look back on old school photos with horror at our evolving sense of style, and with vivid memories of every little thing we didn’t like about our physical appearance. Why were we so hard on ourselves? “What we’ve got to stop and recognize, as soon as young girls and boys reach the age of puberty, their bodies begin to change in ways that trigger insecurities. This is normal. No one gets a pass,” says Dr. Kelly Jameson, a Dallas psychotherapist. This has been the experience for the many adolescents Jameson’s treated over the years. But now there’s social media, which only adds to the pressure to “measure up” that teens and tweens feel. “Scrolling and scrolling [through social media feeds] can make these insecurities all the greater,” she says. Keisha Howard Gaddis is a certified life coach and the founder of PEARL Girls, a Dallas organization that promotes selfesteem and teaches social skills to young girls. She understands all too well how the demand to “be in the public eye” via social media can lead to long-lasting self-image issues. “They see these happy and beautiful images of their friends,” she says, “and when they feel like they don’t measure up, they begin to have self-doubt, and that can spiral into other things.”

A lack of self-confidence can reverberate through adulthood. That’s why it’s important for parents to help their kids love themselves, no matter how young they are. “Build them up in their younger years so they’ll have the confidence and courage to face the haters and challenges they’ll have to deal with in high school,” Howard Gaddis says. So how in the world can we prepare our younger kids for this #world? The answer is, we start now. HOW THEY SEE THEMSELVES

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ow we praise our children can go a long way in nourishing how they see themselves in the world around them. Howard Gaddis urges parents to highlight their child’s efforts rather than their appearance. “When they hear ‘You’re so pretty,’ or ‘You’re so smart,’ when that’s the kind of encouragement they get,” she says, “that can really add to the pressure” they experience in their teen years. Instead, she advises, “praise their effort … so they’re confident in themselves, and that will empower them to work through the challenges they’ll come up against.” Giving your children the space to shape their own identity can go a long way in helping them love who they are. Jackson does this by allowing her 7-yearold daughter the freedom to choose her own outfits. “I let her wear what she wants to wear,” Jackson says. “I’m not going to say ‘that’s ridiculous’ about whatever she wants to wear. I’m going to let her develop her own sense of style and self-expression— modest and weather-appropriate, of course!” Rathkopf, whose older son began calling himself “fat” at age 11, is now much more sensitive to how her boys view themselves. She actively listens to her younger son, who’s 7, when he expresses misgivings about, for example, getting a haircut. Another way to help children ward off insecurities is by exposing them to different forms of


beauty, including what beauty looks like in other cultures. That means making an effort to get out of the North Texas bubble whenever you can, Jameson says. But you don’t have to pay for a summer vacation in Europe to do it. Instead, make a point to try out new restaurants or attend local cultural events. (Editor’s note: You’ll find events celebrating Mexican and Scottish traditions, among others, in our Agenda this month—see page 35.) You can even drive as far as your local library and look for picture books with rich stories and diverse characters. Yet even as you give your children other forms of beauty to look up to, remember that their primary role model when it comes to building a positive and healthful self-image is you. THE BIGGEST CASE STUDY

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ven when you think they’re too young, they’re watching,” says Lauren Stockard, 29. Her son, Hardin, is 2. About 14 months after Hardin was born, Stockard challenged herself to lose the last bit of weight she had gained during her pregnancy. So for a couple of weeks, as part of her weight-loss goal, the Fort Worth mom weighed herself on the bathroom scale every morning. One day, she skipped over this little morning ritual. The next thing she knew, her son had pulled out the scale and stood on it to “weigh” himself. “He didn’t know how to use it, or what it was even for,” Stockard says, but the sight was still alarming. “I didn’t realize just how impressionable he was. I thought I had more time! They pick up on so much, so fast, and so early!” To take a page from social learning theory (which posits that we learn how to act by observing the behavior of others), our kids are always watching us. Or, as Jameson explains: “We are the biggest case study.” Even children as young as 12 months old are observing how we interact with the world around us. They unconsciously use these

quiet, everyday observations to influence our children’s developbuild a template for how they too ing sense of self. One of the should interact with the world. ways Arden Prucha Jenkins, 36, They absorb and mimic all the actively promotes a positive selfpositive things we hope to pass image in her children (as well as down, but also all the not-so-good the young women who follow her things—like our own insecurities. on Instagram) is by purposefully And let’s be honest: We all examining how she presents have them, these insecurities herself in photos and on social about aspects of our physical media. The Fort Worth mom appearance, some having to do of five (spanning ages 3–14) is with aging a professional and a life photographer well-lived, and former others with the model. In appreciable the past, she changes that admits, she was happen during very comfortable Three easy ways to promote pregnancy. We with using Phoa positive self-image in your tug at the loose toshop to “clean child, as recommended by the skin on our myself up.” experts: elbows and But about LISTEN TO HOW THEY TALK exclaim, OMG! five years ago, TO THEIR FRIENDS. Skip the My elbows look she began audiobook on the morning like old-timey looking at imcarpool. Certified life coach crepe! But our ages of herself Keisha Howard Gaddis says the children are and thinking, morning commute can be an archiving all of in her words, incredible opportunity to listen these observa“This isn’t me; to how your child interacts with tions we make. this isn’t a fair her friends. “Don’t let her know That’s why representation you’re listening,” Howard GadJameson advises of me.” dis adds. Moments like these against voicing “It feels will help you better understand displeasure cruddy to preshow your child sees herself as with our bodies. ent yourself she relates to her peers. “There should in a PhotoCOMPLIMENT THEM WITHIN be no mention shopped way,” EARSHOT. Let your child by Mom about she adds. “overhear” you say something the insecurities That realpositive about them to another of her body,” ization made adult, suggests Dr. Kelly Jamesays. “That her rethink son, a Dallas psychotherapist. should be kept how she uses PRAISE THEM FOR THEIR very private.” filters on InsQUALITIES, NOT THEIR APPEARFor Stocktagram. In fact, ANCE. Start by praising their ard, that single the photogeffort, Howard Gaddis says. moment with rapher rarely This will empower them to work the scale was uses filters, but through future challenges. eye-opening. when she does, She knew her she always son was watching, but hadn’t realhashtags the filters she’s using. ized how much he was absorbing. “I truly feel these filters are “They see what you’re watchdangerous, especially for our ing on TV and the food you’re eatdaughters,” she says. She is ing,” she says. “They’re listening to troubled by how many teen girls how you talk about other people, she sees on Instagram who careand how you talk about yourself.” fully edit their stories and images, because that false depiction #NOFILTERS of reality can distort how they f we understand that our kids see the world around them—and are always watching us, then how they see themselves. it follows that we can use this So to Jenkins, how parents an opportunity to positively present themselves in images

image boosters

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matters. “Insecurities can really cut you deep,” she says, “but they don’t have to. You can be so much more than that.” HOW BRAVE WE ARE

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efore she was even 18 months old, Jenkins’ daughter Lake had three open-heart surgeries. She spent 70 days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Hospital, and all the wires and tubes inserted into her as a newborn, in addition to the surgical incisions, resulted in a lot of scarring. “One day when she’s older, I imagine she might want plastic surgery to minimize her scars,” Jenkins says. “It would make me sad, but we would support her in that decision. Until then, I can’t even imagine Photoshopping out her scars in photographs of her. It would break my heart.” For Jenkins, so much of Lake’s personal story of survival and of overcoming incredible odds is written in those scars. For Lake, her scars are something to be proud of. When a little boy at her preschool returned to class for the first time after undergoing an operation to repair a heart defect, Lake sought him out and lifted up her shirt to compare scars. “Look at how brave we are!” she exclaimed. This was a moment for her mom to savor. “Lake is very proud of her scars. It’s something she’s very proud of, and I want her to be proud of it,” Prucha Jenkins says. “It might not be pretty, but it’s life.” Lake’s journey has inspired her mother to look at her own image in a kinder, less critical way. And maybe, as we parents strive to encourage our children to love themselves for who they are, maybe we too can learn how to love ourselves—our courage, our strength, our wrinkled elbows and all. VISIT DFWCHILD.COM FOR TIPS ON CREATING A SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN FOR YOUR CHILD.

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HOW TO GUIDE INTERVIEWS BETH MCGEE

From travel advice to pregnancy, finding the right professional to help meet your family’s needs and answer questions is often the first important step in the right direction. Moms understand this better than anyone. Thankfully, Dallas-Fort Worth is home to some of the nation’s best and brightest skilled professionals. In the following pages, several local experts share in-depth information about choosing health care providers, traveling internationally and raising peace-filled kiddos— making your job as Mom easier.

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THE

HOW TO GUIDE

How to Find the OB/GYN

That’s Right for You great way to connect. Do they have kids themselves? That’s probably a sign that they can empathize with you during your pregnancy and everyday parenting moments. You can also find reviews and comments online from previous patients. Oftentimes, these can be found on the doctors’ websites. For more objective reviews, search doctors’ names on websites such as Health Grades or Vitals. Does it matter if the doctor’s office is close to my home?

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound provides comprehensive women’s health care for every stage of life. From that first gynecology visit as a teen to 40 long weeks of pregnancy to mammograms and other imaging services, Texas Health Flower Mound is there at every stage with your OB/GYN at the forefront of your care. Choosing the best doctor to guide you through the ups and downs of womanhood is incredibly important although at times slightly overwhelming. Texas Health Flower Mound can help you narrow your search and find a physician to fit your needs.

What is the first step? Your family and close friends are an excellent place to start! You may be amazed by how many resources you have in those around you—and all you need to do is ask. Quiz your friends about experiences with their own providers. What was the average wait time? Was the office staff friendly? Was working with insurance a hassle? Did the office appear clean? This insider information from your trusted sources is invaluable. 22

may 2018 / northtexaschild

Should I also use online resources? Visiting physicians’ web pages can serve as a great tool. Read their online bios to find out information like where they went for medical school and residency, how long they have been practicing and what their specialties include. Oftentimes, doctors include hobbies or information about their families in their bios. Look for commonality—if a certain doctor is a self-proclaimed globe-trotter and you are a bit of a travel junkie yourself, that might be a

Having your OB/GYN nearby is a huge asset. Besides considering the travel time to get to the hospital come delivery, you will be spending a lot of time visiting your doctor’s office in the 10 months leading up to it, with increased frequency as you near your due date. Why spend your time in the car when you could be putting it toward nursery prep or an extra afternoon nap? What other factors should I consider? Everyone has different values, goals and perspectives when it comes to determining what to do throughout her pregnancy

and during the birth process. It may be useful to discuss and verify your doctor’s point of view on medical decisions that are not absolutes. Examples include whether your doctor supports vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), medicated versus natural birth, how often he or she performs ultrasounds, medical opinions on breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding and so forth. It is important to not only address these topics, but also to find a physician with whom you feel comfortable enough to have these continued conversations throughout your pregnancy and be on the same page. What resources does Texas Health Flower Mound offer to women searching for the right doctor? Visit Texas Health Flower Mound’s website to find a searchable directory of OB/GYNs. You can even filter based on a wide variety of preferences including age range served, location, gender, accepted insurances, degrees and specialties. This directory will share other important information including practice name and location, office phone number, the physician’s age, and whether he or she is accepting new patients.

Find Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound online:

texashealthflowermound.com facebook.com/texashealthflowermound twitter.com/texashealth instagram.com/thflowermound

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound is a joint venture owned by Texas Health Resources and physicians dedicated to the community and meets the definition under federal law of a physician-owned hospital. Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.


Have your baby at the “Best Place” to have one.

Texas Health Flower Mound was voted “Best Place to Have a Baby” by NorthTexasChild readers. From compassionate and quality nursing care, and family-focused rooms, to breastfeeding support and a wide variety of childbirth classes, Texas Health Flower Mound 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.

469-322-7000 | TexasHealthFlowerMound.com

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound is a joint venture owned by Texas Health Resources and physicians dedicated to the community and meets the definition under federal law of a physician-owned hospital. Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.


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THE

HOW TO GUIDE

How To Prepare Your Family For

International Travel

Your Coppell Pediatrician

‘Dr. Vani’ Venkatachalam of MD Pediatrics

MD Pediatric Associates understands that the well-being of each child is a family affair. That’s why their team is committed to helping you navigate every aspect of childhood— including those extending far beyond the doctor’s office. We’ve asked Dr. Vani Venkatachalam to weigh in on prepping your family for healthy international travel. moist (this helps the infectionfighting ability for airborne germs). Apply hand sanitizer before each meal and after walking through the aisles.

How do I know which vaccinations I need? Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, which provides a list of vaccinations sorted by location. Get those vaccinations on the calendar at least 2–4 weeks before departure, as some vaccines need time to kick in. Whether or not you’re taking antimalarial meds, bring along clinical-strength bug spray to protect against mosquitoborne illness.

What rules should I follow regarding food and water intake? Make sure that you’re eating food that is cooked and that all fruits and vegetables are peeled. Avoid salads—if improperly washed, these can lead to foodborne illnesses. Stick to bottled drinks with the seal intact or water that has been boiled.

How do I protect my family from germs on the airplane? Drink plenty of fluids and use a saline spray to keep your nose

– Attended medical school at Andhra Medical College, NTR Medical University in India – Completed residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University (Medical College of Virginia) – Trained as a fellow at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas

Schedule your child’s appointment today!

COPPELL OFFICE Find MD Pediatric Associates online:

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A board-certified pediatrician with a special interest in pediatric conditions, school-age kids, and travel medicine.

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Coppell Maret Center 760 N Denton Tap Road, #120 Coppell, TX 75019 Near Market Street

972.420.1475 www.mdpedi.com


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HOW TO GUIDE

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How to Nurture

Peace in Preschoolers Why is nurturing peace in the classroom important?

your work. What can I do to help you fix it?”

When children are peaceful inside, they experience the pure joy of being completely absorbed in their work. This fosters independence as well as their sense of who they are and who they can become.

If children can’t resolve the problem among themselves, they can “Bring the Problem” by speaking with a teacher and ask for help. This Westwood practice helps them learn alternatives for resolving disagreements.

How can we help preschoolers learn to resolve conflict? This is among the eight Grace and Courtesy lessons preschoolers learn at Westwood. They learn that we all see things in our own way. Little by little, they learn to deal with the frustration of someone they’ve hurt.

Nurturing peace is an important principle in Montessori preschool classrooms. The Westwood School teachers are devoted to helping little ones understand what peace feels like by integrating eight foundational Grace and Courtesy lessons into everyday interactions.

They practice polite wording to resolve a conflict. For example, if one student steps on another’s work area, say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t pay attention and I just ran over

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Find The Westwood School online:

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Cultivating Character

Montessori Lower School Community

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Starting at an early age, Day-by-day... Step-by-step... We help Westwood students grow into caring young adults who are inquisitive, informed and inspired to succeed in an ever-changing world.

Learn more about Westwood’s Montessori School Community: Contact Debra Giorgini, Director of Admissions: dgiorgini@westwoodschool.org or 972-239-8598 14340 Proton Road Dallas, TX 75244 WestwoodSchool.org

northtexaschild / may 2018

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

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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, design Fortnite-inspired games,  discover cyber security, create levels in virtual reality, build websites, 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 8 students per instructor for the most personalized instruction. 1-844-788-1858 info@idtech.com www.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.

The Children’s Courtyard 30 DFW area locations 877-701-4908 www.ChildrensCourtyard.com/summer

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

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Make this summer exceptional. Enjoy a wide variety of weekly themed experiences (exploring interesting subjects such as science, art, animals, history, fitness, world cultures and games), engaging activities, fun field trips and healthy meals and snacks. Choose your favorite weekly camp themes or spend the whole summer here. Plus, campers get a new T-shirt, water bottle and drawstring bag for all their summer adventures! Sounds great, right? Then what are you waiting for? Sign up now for our Summer to Discover Camp, only at The Children’s Courtyard®. Call 877-701-4908 or visit ChildrensCourtyard.com/summer to learn more and find your local school.


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YMCA Camp Grady Spruce promotes Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility through faithbased character-building activities that encourage campers to establish their own identities. Campers discover their confidence when they face their fears, try, try again and achieve!

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

3000 Park Rd. 36 Graford, TX 76449 214-319-9944 ccunningham@ymcadallas.org

Whether your camper is learning to jump the wake on water skis, building up the confidence to ride a horse or hitting a bull’s-eye in archery, Camp Grady Spruce is the place for your child. Parents appreciate a child that returns home more mature and independent with a better ability to problem solve. Campers leave with friendships that will last a lifetime and memories that will tide them over until they can return the following year!

Call our 2000 acres your playground during our action-packed Summer Camp: Wild about LLELA! Your child will enjoy fishing, kayaking and exploring all the wild things at LLELA! Session 1: June 11–15 Session 2: June 18–22 Session 3: June 25–30 201 E. Jones St. Lewisville, TX 75057 469-635-5482 www.LLELA.org Tiara Chapman, Nature Programs Coordinator

Enroll your 7–12-year-old child in the entire week or M/W/F only. All 5 days: $200 per child. M/W/F: $150 per child. Camp is 8:30am–2:30pm.  Extended day (2:30–4pm) available for $50 per week per child. 

Arts, Crafts, Science, Cooking, and More!

690 Parker Square , Flower Mound, TX 75028 972-899-9332 1401 Shoal Creek, Suite 140, Highland Village, TX 75077  972-317-4158 www.adventurekidsplaycare.com

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

Summer is more fun with Adventure Kids Playcare! Take advantage of our flexible drop in options with a new camp theme each week for children ages 3–12! Choose from all 8 locations where each day is packed with arts, crafts, science, cooking and so much more! Themes include Inventors Workshop, Animal Planet, Young Entrepreneurs, Grossology, CSI Spy Camp, Challenge Island, Crazy Chemistry, Kids Who Rock, Chef’s Academy, DIY Stars, Myth Busters.

Win Kids…famous for first-class summer camps for children. From themes like Kritter Kids to Ninja Warriors, Police and Fire and more, our caring teachers will treat your child to the super-fun camps we are famous for! Come experience sports and fitness “The Win Kids Way!” Your child will be handled with love in a high-quality environment! Ages 2½–12. Full and half-day options. Camps fill fast so enroll early. Enrollment begins March 5th. northtexaschild / may 2018

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Look adventure in the eye at the all-new African Savanna! Get up close with our herd of reticulated giraffes as you handfeed these elegant creatures. From a breath away, watch one of the most highly endangered mammals on earth, the southern black rhino. And be nose-to-nose with our amusing hippos, whose underwater viewing exhibit will plunge you beneath a flowing African river. Get closer to these and more ... only at the Fort Worth Zoo.

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kid culture.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MEREDITH BUTTERFIELD

9 spots to enjoy north texas’ natural beauty

B

WORDS ALEXIS MANRODT & LISA SALINAS

eauty can be found in many places, but there’s just something about natural beauty that stirs up curiosity and wide-eyed wonder in our kiddos— and us too. Suburban oases and fresh-air getaways

are hidden throughout North Texas, from winding trails to lush green lawns and towering trees, so get away on a warm

May day (without venturing too far) at one of these spots and bask in the beauty of Mother Nature.

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kid culture / H E L P I N G

HANDS

PREVIOUS PAGE // Flower Mound’s Twin Coves Park offers forested hiking trails, plus not-so-natural amenities like an open pavilion and a fire pit area. ABOVE // Visitors of the Coppell Nature Park can learn about local flora and fauna at public programs hosted by the park’s Biodiversity Education Center.

SLOAN-NTXC 18 Summer.qxp:Layout 1

This oh-so-Denton spot may not have flower “orchard” 4/3/18blossoms, 10:04but AMthe Page 2 of dozens of discarded chairs still shows off the local flora through its quirky marriage of nature and furniture. Families can picnic at the creekside lot by their choice of rocking horse, peacock throne, old wheelchair or painted wooden chair. In the unlikely chance that there is no seat available, lay out your picnic spread under the elaborate archway of melded chairs, branches and metal oddities or the chair “chandelier” suspended from one of the lot’s spreading trees. 1426 Churchill Drive, Denton; 940/38700738 // cityofdenton.com

coppell nature park

Nestled within Wagon Wheel Park is a hidden oasis that is home to some of Texas’wilder residents. A visit to the 66-acre Coppell Nature Park might introduce your brood to a family of fox squirrels, bobcats or one of the over 130 bird species that migrate through the park annually. (May is spring migration season, after all.) Curious to learn more about the wildlife in Denton County’s suburban jungle? Drop by a public program at the park’s Biodiversity Education Center, like the EcoExplorer Drop-In Days every Tuesday and Wednesday and the second Saturday of the month. And print out free guides to the park’s flowers, plants, insects, animals and geological materials, all provided on the website by Friends of Coppell Nature Park. Free entry.

3131 N. O’Connor Rd. • Irving, Texas 75062 972-659-1199 • www.thesloanschool.com 30

may 2018 / northtexaschild

367 Freeport Parkway, Coppell; 972/304-3581 // coppellnaturepark.org

doubletree ranch park

Located on ranchland once owned by Robert DuVall (no, not that one—Highland Village’s first mayor), Doubletree Ranch Park is a recently revamped space for the community that offers brand-new amenities—like turf lawns and a 25,000-square-foot splash pad—in a natural setting with plenty of unmarred green space. Families can picnic on the sprawling grassy areas with views of the property’s pond, or get a closer look at the local wildlife on a paved trail system that loops around the water. If the towering pine trees around the park aren’t cutting it for shade, snag a table under the central pavilion to take advantage of the fans while still enjoying the scenic vista. 310 Highland Village Road, Highland Village; 972/317-7430 // highlandvillage.org

heritage park

What catches many kiddos’ attention when they arrive at this park is Fort Wildflower, a fun-for-all-ages playground with enclosed play areas for toddlers and big kids. But don’t miss the park’s wilder areas too—with paved and unpaved walking trails, water features and plenty of trees, Heritage Park is a destination for nature-seekers as well as playground hounds. Get away from the action by plunging into the forest on one of the soft-surface paths through the trees, or stop on the bridge over the pond to see what creatures might be lurking at the water’s edge. The park’s still a work in progress: The city unveiled new features last month, including more trails and an interactive splash pad for kiddos to cool off come summertime. Watch for future

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF COPPELL NATURE PARK

the chairy orchard


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developments including wildflower meadows, a nature observation platform and more environmentally friendly infrastructure by this fall. 600 Spinks Road, Flower Mound; 972/874-6000 // flower-mound.com

lewisville lake environmental learning area

Encompassing nearly 2,000 acres, LLELA has long hosted local families for nature walks, star parties and other events, but many suburbanites have yet to visit this best-kept secret on the shores of Lake Lewisville. The nature preserve is home to a variety of habitats, from green hills and lush forests to wetlands and rivers, which means the opportunities for exploration are endless. (But leave Fido at home—no pets allowed at the preserve.) Hike a trail to see birds, butterflies and other wildlife; most trails are over a mile long, though the woodsy Cicada Trail is only 0.6 miles out and back, with a wildlife viewing blind along the way. Your brood can also go kayaking, canoeing or fishing, or set up a tent at one of LLELA’s nine primitive campsites—an on-site wagon is available to transport camp gear, and guests are allowed to stay for up to seven consecutive nights. LLELA is open daily; $5 per vehicle. Camping costs extra.

CITY OF LEWISVILLE

SUMMER

201 E. Jones St., Lewisville; 972/219-3550 // llela.org

BREAK CAMP 9-WEEK CAMP

murrell park

Situated on north side of Lake Grapevine, Murrell Park offers not just a scenic panorama for a lakeside picnic, but also options for open water adventures. On those sweltering summer days, splash around in the cove, or take your boat out for a cool breeze and more expansive views of the lake. Families can stick to land and still explore the lake by walking part of the 9.5-mile North Shore Trail, a hike-and-bike path that connects Murrell Park to nearby Rockledge Park and Twin Coves Park. The park also boasts bankside fishing spots and 22 tent-only campsites, if you want to stay and enjoy the lake’s famous sunsets. Free day use; camping costs $10 per night—book through recreation.gov.

AGES

8–12

$125 PER WEEK

June 11–August 10

880 Simmons Road, Flower Mound; 817/865-2600

For more information: 972.219.3560 972.219.5061 cityoflewisville.com ©

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Ads with © are © of Lauren Publications, Inc. 2018.

7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

pilot knoll

Park Families with kids of all ages love this haven on the banks of Lake Lewisville, in part because of the playground and sand volleyball court. But to see more of the area’s natural beauty, choose from hiking, boating and even camping. The Poindexter and Hickory

HANDS

Creek equestrian trails, which are also suitable for families with little ones and leashed dogs, wind through forested areas with scenic views. For an aquatic adventure, rent paddleboards (reserve online) or kayaks (available at the gatehouse, with paddle and lifejackets) to get out on this quiet fork of the lake. Multiple pavilions near the shore offer grills and picnic tables. If you want to get away for the night, book one of the park’s 55 tent and RV campsites. $10 entry fee for day use area; campsites start at $25 per night for spring and summer. 218A Orchid Hill Lane, Highland Village; 940/455-2228 // highland-village.org

stone creek park

We can see why this neighborhood park is a favorite destination of Flower Mound photographers. Besides a playground, basketball court and sports fields, this serene oasis has a multi-use nature trail that’s walkable for kids of all ages. (It’s also open to dogs, so bring your furry family members along too.) The path goes over a bridge and meanders alongside Stone Creek Park’s namesake water feature—your woodland sprites will love clambering over the large rocks on the banks of the creek, and you’ll love the made-for-Instagram photo ops. End your adventure with a meal at one of the park’s five picnic tables or keep cool under the pavilion. 1400 Fuqua Drive, Flower Mound; 682/218-2535 // flower-mound.com

twin coves park

Just across Lake Grapevine from Murrell Park is the 234-acre Twin Coves Park. With 19 furnished cabins (think tiny houses), almost twodozen RV slips, numerous primitive camping options, and a picturesque location, the park is the ultimate destination for families who want to commune with nature—according to their comfort level. Twin Coves is also home to several natural-surface hiking and biking trails and a disc golf course, plus not-sonatural amenities like a volleyball court and youngster-approved playground. Though the fire pit area and picnic tables offer nice views of the lake, you can get right out on the water thanks to the kayak and boat launch. $10 daily fee per vehicle; additional fees for camping, cabin and RV rentals. 5001 Wichita Trail, Flower Mound; 972/874-6399 // flower-mound.com

ABOVE // Families can kayak, canoe or splash around in Lake Lewisville when they visit Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LEWISVILLE LAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING AREA

kid culture / H E L P I N G


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$5 OFF ALL DAY ALL RIDES PASS Clip out and present this coupon to receive $5.00 off an All Day All Rides Pass. Coupon valid for up to five (5) people/five (5) passes. Includes unlimited access to the rides at the Kemah Boardwalk. Does NOT include the Boardwalk Beast, Stingray Reef or Iron Eagle. Coupon must be exchanged at the amusements ticket booth for actual dated wristband. Wristband is valid for day of redemption only. Not valid with any other promotions or offers. No cash value. Tax not included. Must present coupon at ticket booth to be valid. Expires 8/31/18 DC

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$5 OFF ALL DAY ALL RIDES PASS Clip out and present this coupon to receive $5.00 off an All Day All Rides Pass. Coupon valid for up to five (5) people/ five (5) passes. Includes unlimited access to the rides at the Pleasure Pier. Coupon must be exchanged at the amusements ticket booth for actual dated wristband. Wristband is valid for day of redemption only. Not valid with any other promotions or offers. No cash value. Tax not included. Must present coupon at ticket booth to be valid. Expires 8/31/18 DC TM

2501 Seawall Blvd • Galveston Island, TX 77550 409.766.4950 • 855.789.7437 • pleasurepier.com


MOM ZEN

A Wellness Event

Saturday, June 9 | 9–11am Nasher Sculpture Center MEDITATION • TAI CHI • YOGA Followed by bites, beverages and pampering Register at dfwchild.com

TICKETS $8 All proceeds benefit the Nasher


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M AY JUNGALBOOK

MAY 19 // SCENES FROM LAST YEAR’S TASTE OF IRVING, WHICH WILL TAKE PLACE IN CIMARRON PARK THIS YEAR.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MALLOUF PHOTOGRAPHY; LEWISVILLE LAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING AREA; ©ISTOCK.COM

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE LAS COLINAS GRAND OPENING

TOYOTA M USIC FAC TORY May 1 The much-loved Alamo Drafthouse Cinema opens yet another location, its first in Irving, at the growing Toyota Music Factory entertainment complex. Check out the movie schedule online for first-run films and more curated programming and expect made-from-scratch foods for in-theater dining and luxury recliners in all seven auditoriums. Ticket prices vary by showtime. 320 Las Colinas Blvd., Building A2, Irving; 469/713-3424 drafthouse.com/dfw/ theater/las-colinas

MAYFEST

T R IN IT Y PARK May 3–6 Plan your family fun night on Thursday for free admission to Mayfest, the 46th annual party along the Trinity River, with tons of entertainment including a mechanical bull in the Rodeo Zone, paddle boats and the Great American Duck

Races. Eat in the shade under a new pavilion-style tent and stop into the children’s area (look for the white picket fence) for 20-plus free activities. Friday–Sunday: $8 adults; $5 children ages 3–12; $25 family pass for five people. 2401 University Drive, Fort Worth; 817/332-1055 mayfest.org

IRVING CONCERT SERIES 4 KIDS

IRV ING SO C CER C OMPLEX May 4–25 Each Friday morning in May, come out to dance and sing along to featured children’s musicians Mr. Willy Welch, a Dallas-area children’s entertainer; Sugar Free Allstars, a family funk duo recognized by Time magazine; Joe McDermott, notable for adapting 10 classic Berenstain Bears books to song; and Hey Lolly Band, led by Austin musician Laura Freeman. Pack a picnic from home and cool off with snow cones from the Bahama Buck’s food truck. FREE 3585 World Cup Way, Irving; 972/721-2501 irvingevents.org

DA LL AS CHILDRE N’ S T HE AT E R May 4–26 See the panthers, bears, snakes, tigers, wolves and the young boy raised by them in the jungles of India in this new children’s production, written for age 5 and older and adapted from the 1894 original stories by Rudyard Kipling. Get your tickets to the first performance at 7:30pm on Friday, May 4, and come early for the opening night party in the lobby. Tickets from $17. 5938 Skillman St., Dallas; 214/740-0051 dct.org

PARTY ON THE LAWN

OL D TOW N C OPPE LL May 4 Help mark the rebirth of Old Town Coppell at this fourth anniversary celebration on Friday night featuring food trucks on the square, Old Town restaurants and a concert on the lawn. Dress the kids in their swim suits for splash time in the Main Street Interactive Fountain or playtime on the playground. 768 W. Main St., Coppell; 972/462-5165 coppelltx.gov/events

DECORATION DAY

NASH FA RM May 4 Quick history lesson: Memorial Day, essentially, was first called Decoration Day and celebrated in 1868 following the Civil War. Ahead of Memorial Day ceremonies later this month, bring your kids to this monthly heritage program at Nash Farm and learn how to craft oldfashioned paper flowers to be laid at the grave sites of fallen soldiers. $3 per person for age 3 and older. 626 Ball St., Grapevine; 817/410-3185 nashfarm.org

MARIPOSAS BUTTERFLY EVENT

WAYNE FE RG USON PL A Z A May 5 Join Spanish interpreters and conservationists from many local agencies in Old Town Lewisville for this inaugural celebration of butterfly conservation, organized by the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Center. Learn how your family can help monarchs and other butterflies survive and enjoy free entertainment such as seed bomb and kite making, a selfie station with life-size wing props, face painting and sidewalk chalk. FREE 150 W. Church St., Lewisville; 469/635-5482 llela.org

TARGET FIRST SATURDAYS

NASHE R SCULP T URE CE NT E R May 5 For an in-depth art experience, take a closer look at the surface and join in a “Surface Safari” children’s art project during the Nasher’s monthly family day, as well as artist demos, story time and yoga out in the sculpture garden. Museum open from 10am– 5pm with activities from 10am–2pm. FREE 2001 Flora St., Dallas; 214/242-5100 nashersculpturecenter.org

for Woody the Cow, the mascot for Ben & Jerry’s, walking around for selfies. The live, headlining concert begins at 4pm in the shops’ Central Park. FREE 1701 Shoal Creek, Highland Village; 972/317-8741 theshopsathighlandvillage.com

SEA TURTLE RESCUE CENTER OPENING

SE A LIFE G R A PEVI NE AQUA RIUM May 5 The aquarium inside Grapevine Mills debuts its all-new center for sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation, accessible as a permanent, interactive exhibit. Come to see the new center as well as the aquarium’s newest resident, a non-releasable green sea turtle named Thalassia. Then let your kids become turtle rescuers too by performing educational tasks with a faux turtle that demonstrate the process of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles back into the wild. $20.95 adults; $16.95 children ages 3–12. Discounts online in advance. 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine; 877/819-7677 visitsealife.com/grapevine

HIGHLAND VILLAGE ART FESTIVAL

T HE SHOP S AT HIG HL A ND VILL AG E May 5 Check out the 50-plus arts and craft exhibitors spread across the outdoor shopping center and let your kids live it up with face painting, balloon twisting and an obstacle course challenge by Camp Gladiator. Keep an eye out

SUNSET GOAT YOGA

FORT WORT H STO CKYA RD S May 9 Play and frolic with a small flock of adorable baby goats when Deep Ellum Yoga brings

northtexaschild / may 2018

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POLLYANNA

A RT IS AN C E N TE R T H EAT E R May 10–26 It’s time to take back the term Pollyanna. Discover the original story about the young, eternal optimist when the Artisan’s local actors perform in a Second Stage production adapted from the 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter. The musical runs 1 hour and 45 minutes, plus a 20-minute intermission. $22 adults; $12 children. 444 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst; 817/284-1200 artisanct.com

FIREFIGHTERS DRUM & BAGPIPE JAM SESSION

WAYN E F E RG U S ON PL A Z A May 11 Did you know that the firefighting profession has roots in Scottish and Irish history? Witness this live concert called Keeping Tradition Alive, performed each year by firefighters from Lewisville and across the country to honor their shared cultural and ancestral heritage. Load up your lawn chairs and blankets to relax during the bagpipe and drum concert and another concert by Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band, Texas Flood. FREE 150 W. Church St., Lewisville; 972/219-3401 cityoflewisville.com

FOLD TO FLIGHT ORIGAMI BUTTERFLY PARTY

G A LLER IA DAL L AS May 12 Make your own origami butterfly and watch pro origami artist Ekaterina Lukasheva at work, all in celebration of the Galleria’s new exhibit of 4,000 origami butterflies hand-folded by volunteers with Paper for Water, a nonprofit founded by sisters Katherine and Isabelle Adams (when they were only 5 and 8!) to help fund the construction of water wells in impoverished communities across the globe. Fold to Flight is on view May 10–June 30 over the shopping center’s ice skating rink. FREE 13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas; 972/702-7171 paperforwater.org 36

DISCOVERY DAYS – BEING HUMAN

PEROT MU SEUM OF NATU R E AND SCIENCE May 12 During this special day of kids’ activities and experiments, celebrate the complete revamp of the Being Human Hall, the Perot’s first major transformation of any hall since its opening. The new, permanent exhibit hall has twice as many interactive displays and seven colorful components that explore the human face, hands, voice, brain, DNA and more. Free with admission: $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

DISNEY JUNIOR DANCE PARTY ON TOUR

V ER IZON TH EATR E May 12 Have your preschoolers been glued to the newly relaunched series Muppet Babies? Don’t miss the chance to see Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo and the rest of the nursery room gang daydream adventures in a live concert singing alongside more Disney Junior newbies from Puppy Dog Pals and Vampirina. Tickets from $19.50. VIP packages from $129.75 include breakfast with the characters and an after party. 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie; 888/929-7849 axs.com

MAIN STREET FEST

D OW NTOW N GR APEV INE May 18–20 The 34th annual family festival and carnival returns for a weekend-long party in Grapevine’s historic district, so here’s a tip: Take the kids on Friday night for unlimited carnival rides with the purchase of the wristband ($25 in advance online or $30 at festival). There’s something for kids with limitless ambition too: the DFW ICON Vocal Competition, open to aspiring performers ages 7–30. Register online at DFWIcon.com to compete yourself or listen to finalists perform on Sunday at noon. General festival admission: $7 adults; $5 children ages 6–12. $15 weekend pass. Free admission Friday through 5pm. South Main Street, Grapevine; 817/410-3185 grapevinetexasusa. com/mainstreetfest

may 2018 / northtexaschild

LE FREAK DISCO CONCERT AND FAMILY NIGHT

CAST LE HILLS VILL AG E SHOP S May 19 The disco era comes roaring back to life at this outdoor concert by cover band Le Freak, whose band members’ signature wardrobe features bell-bottom jumpsuits and disco fro wigs. Get on the floor and boogie with the kids and then visit the bounce houses, petting zoo and face painters at the Lewisville shopping center. FREE 2540 King Arthur Blvd., Lewisville; 972/410-6500 castlehillsvillageshops.com

TASTE OF IRVING

CIMA RRON PA RK May 19 The food truck movement has taken over Irving’s outdoor food and music fest. Satisfy your taste buds’ curiosity by sampling from more than 20 food trucks on-site, let the kids run loose in the fun zone and check out new entertainment this year: open mic poetry readings in the park and a classic movie screening. FREE 201 Red River Trail, Irving, 972/721-2501 irvingevents.org

DENTON COUNTY FARM HERITAGE DAY

DE NTON C OUNT Y HISTORICA L PA RK May 19 Let your littles climb into the driver’s seat of antique tractors and watch as blacksmithing pros shape metal into tools during the second annual family day celebrating Denton’s agricultural history. Bring your reusable bags with you to this Saturday morning event and browse for fresh, local foods at the Denton Community Market. FREE 317 W. Mulberry St., Denton; 940/349-2850 dentoncounty.com/chos

RAPTORS OF NORTH TEXAS SHOW

BIODIVE RSIT Y E DUCAT ION CE NT E R AT C OPPE LL NAT URE PA RK May 19 You’re probably thinking “velociraptor,” right? Learn all about real birds of prey including hawks, owls and falcons during this live animal presentation by the executive director of the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. Make sure to show up on time for the program from 10am–noon. Doors must remain shut once the show begins. FREE

¡FIESTA IN TEXAS!

Cinco de Mayo is one of the most important holidays celebrated by our state’s southern neighbor. Join your friends and neighbors in honoring Mexican history and culture at these two local fiestas with kid-friendly fun and tacos deliciosos. DENTON CINCO DE MAYO

QUA K E RTOW N PA R K May 5 Commemorate Mexico’s 1862 Battle of Puebla at this family festival on Saturday, beginning with a parade from Texas Woman’s University to the Denton Civic Center and followed by a proclamation at noon, folklórico dancing and Little Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant. Kids ages 1–6 line up for their turn to whack piñatas, and all ages can make and take traditional Mexican crafts. FREE 321 E. McKinney St., Denton; 940/382-7895 discoverdenton.com

EL FUERTE TACO FEST

T H E SHAC K AT PA N T H E R I SL A N D PAV I L ION May 5 Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in your hearts—and with your stomachs at the third annual El Fuerte (means “the fort”) Fort Worth Taco Fest presented by Fort Worth Weekly. Taste taco samples from dozens of local vendors through 5pm, watch cooking demos and theatrical performances and, after digesting, play at the kid zone. Get your tickets online before sell out: $30 adults (includes unlimited samples); $15 children ages 6–13. Free admission for 5 and younger. $50 VIP admission. 395 Purcey St., Fort Worth fwtacofest.com

367 Freeport Parkway, Coppell; 972/304-3581 coppelltx.gov/bec

KIDS SPLASH N DASH

WAT E R WORKS PA RK A ND DE NTON NATATOR IUM May 20 Are your kid athletes ready to dip more than their toes in the water? Gear up for this kids-only aquathlon at the city of Denton’s water park: a 150-yard swim through the lazy river and half-mile run for ages 6–10 and longer distances for ages 11–15. After crossing the finish line, hang out at the pool all day for carnival games and sand volleyball. $25; $6 for spectators to access the post-race party. 2400 Long Road, Denton; 214/697-6922 playtri.com/ water-splash-n-dash

TEXAS BALLET THEATER’S SWAN LAKE

BASS PE RFORMA NCE HA LL May 25–27 The Black Swan character of this most classic of ballets is no ugly duckling. Dress up your family’s most cultured

members to see the beautiful costumes, sets and artistry of a Texas Ballet Theater live show, performed with live music by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Tickets from $20. $35 VIP Experience add-on tickets include exclusive souvenirs and a post-performance backstage tour. 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth; 877/828-9200 texasballettheater.org

HUMAN AND ANIMAL GROSSOLOGY EXHIBITS

FORT WORT H MUSE UM OF S C I ENC E A ND HISTORY Opens May 26 Two new exhibits explore the icky yet fascinating science of human and animal anatomy. Take a “Tour du Nose” to explore how your snout acts as an air filter in Grossology—The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body, and in Animal Grossology, discover why scientists are willing to hold their noses to study gassy cows, leeches and dung beetles, often called nature’s pooper scooper. $15 adults; $12 youth ages 2–18. 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth; 817/255-9300 fwmuseum.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 CHRISTEN DENNIS; ©ISTOCK.COM/ANANKKML

the goat yoga craze to the Livestock Exchange Building lawn. Come at 5:30pm for kids’ pet and playtime ($5) before the 6pm vinyasa flow yoga class ($38). The family-friendly event on the second Wednesday monthly also features live music, lawn games and food trucks. 131 E. Exchange Ave., Fort Worth; 817/625-9715 stockyardsstation.com


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confessions “Potty training a boy can be a challenge. I did some research and came across an article that suggested throwing Cheerios in the toilet for him to aim for. Well, he decided to throw my phone in the toilet and aim for that too.” —VALERIA, DALLAS

A LADY WAS HEADING RIGHT TOWARD MY 6-YEAR-OLD AND ME WITH HER CART AT TARGET. MY DAUGHTER POLITELY SHOUTS, Some days, you think you’re winning as a ‘EXCUSE US!’ parent. Others, you walk outside and see your toddler with his pants down, watering AND THE LADY BEGINS TO the grass.” PRAISE HER FOR HER GREAT “I put my son in his “My 4-year-old MANNERS. walker and after two daughter knows I seconds, I heard the RIGHT AS I sound of grocery bags love the Rick Grimes WAS GOING TO tossed around. To my character on The THANK HER, surprise, I found an Walking Dead. In one oval-shaped brown MY DAUGHTER, object in his hand … of the episodes, the WITH ALL THE my husband forgot to governor and Rick throw away our pet’s SASS, SAYS, droppings.” Grimes are fighting. ‘WELL SOMEONE My daughter walked HAS TO SAY in, looked at the TV EXCUSE ME ... IT and yelled, ‘Come on, WASN’T GOING Got a parenting fail you’d Rick, kick his a%#!’” like to share? We’d love to TO BE YOU!’” hear from you. Send it to

MOMMY FAILS ILLUSTRATION MARY DUNN

I WAS WATCHING A TELEVISION SHOW WITH MY 8-YEAR-OLD, AND ONE OF THE CHARACTERS WAS DRUNK. MY DAUGHTER ASKED, ‘WHAT’S DRUNK?’ I SAID, ‘OH, IT’S JUST ACTING SILLY.’ SHE REPLIED, ‘OH … I’M DRUNK ALL THE TIME!’” —LORA, PLANO

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may 2018 / northtexaschild

—JENNIFER, FORT WORTH

—AMBER, LEWISVILLE

editorial@dfwchild.com.

—MICHELLE, IRVING

—DANIELLE, FRISCO


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NorthTexasChild May 2018  
NorthTexasChild May 2018