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July | August 2013


Meet the Staff


Publisher Mary Wynne Cox


10 | On the Radar

Editor Susan Bryant

Fishers Fair Train, Sheridan Bluegrass Fever, Art on the Square and more!


12 | An Interview with the Redding Family

14 | DĂŠcor Next Door

Associate Publisher Advertising Sales Jennica Zalewski

Turn on the charm

Creative Director Katie Pfierman

16 | The Grieving Child Helping kids cope with the loss of a loved one

22 | To Your Health

Advertising Coordinator Karen Ring

Minor cosmetic procedures

24 | What's Cool After School

Editorial Assistant Wendy Schrepferman

Gymnastics, cheer and dance

26 | What's Your Back to School Style?


Business Manager | Accounting Roxanne Burns

There's more than one approach to prepare for the first day!

28 | Early Orthodontic Care What happens before getting braces

30 | Mommy Magic



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Trisha Shepherd, Karen Ring, Julie Costakis, Elizabeth Henderson, Carolyn Loub, Nicole Turner, Mary Susan Buhner, Susan Bryant

32 | Fourth of July Celebrations Fun activities to keep you busy this holiday!

34 | Reci-please Wheat berry salad

35 | Weathering the Storm Local meteorologist Angela Buchanan weighs in



Michelle Tiek Contact Us:

36 | Ask the Expert Photographers

38 | To Do With Your Crew Family fun activities

40 | In Our Opinion

Public Relations and Events Wendy Cox


On The Cover

Carmel residents Cory and Priscilla Redding, with children Kaylie, CJ and Christian


Hamilton County Family PO Box 40206 Indianapolis, IN 46240 (317) 417-3031 or (317) 710-6622 Hamilton County Family Magazine is published bi-monthly. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Unsportsmanlike conduct

41 | The Last Laugh Favorite funny family moments



Scan this QR code and instantly access Hamilton County Family from your smart phone or tablet device!

Greetings JULY/ AUGUST 2013

Getting into the summer groove Woo Hoo! I love summer and the laid back pace of having my kids home. And if I am totally honest, I love that the alarm does not need to be regularly set to 6 a.m. Although it takes our family a few days to “settle in” to our summer groove (or lack thereof), once we do the summer adventure begins! Thanks for taking some time to check out our July/August issue. You Colts fans may recognize someone on our cover – Cory Redding and his family join us for a fun interview with his three children on what it’s like to have this famous Colt as a regular dad. Also in this issue we tackle the difficult topic of how to help a child who may be dealing with a significant loss in The Grieving Child. Children often handle grief differently than adults and this article helps parents see this process from a child’s perspective. Although we hope sunny skies will prevail this summer, a few noisy thunderstorms are sure to pop up and rattle our nerves. In Weathering the Storm local meteorologist Angela Buchman gives tips to reassure frightened kids through these powerful displays of Mother Nature. Of course the Fourth of July is always a highlight of the summer and we have the lowdown on all the festivities in Hamilton County for you and your family to celebrate with a bang! There’s so much more – grab a glass of lemonade, find a shady spot and relax with a little Hamilton County Family summer reading. As always, let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.

Jennica Zalewski Associate Publisher





On The Radar JULY/AUGUST 2013

Mark Your Calendar

Get Involved


Westfield High School named one of America's Best Congratulations to Westfield High School for being named to Newsweek’s America’s Best High Schools list. This honor highlights the nation’s best 2,000 public high schools. WHS was ranked 10th in the state of 28 Indiana public high schools and 1,183rd nationally. Six components were evaluated for this distinction: graduation rate, college acceptance rate, AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student, average SAT/ACT scores, average AP/IB/AICE scores and percent of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course. Go Rocks!

All aboard the Fishers Fair Train! The Indiana State Fair is a highlight of every summer and getting there can be half the fun! Hop aboard the historic passenger coaches on the Indiana Transportation Museum’s Fair Train in Fishers and ride in air-conditioned comfort all the way to the fairgrounds. Choose from nine daily departure times August 2nd through August 18th. One way travel is approximately 30 minutes and the train is handicapped accessible.

[ 10


For more information, visit the Indiana Transportation web site at


Art on the Square Enjoy the works of various local accomplished artists at this year’s Art Fair on the Square in historic downtown Noblesville. The event takes place on August 3rd rain or shine on the grounds of the Noblesville Courthouse. Admission is free, so bring the whole family for a day of appreciating the arts – and find that original piece suited just to you!


To learn more, visit the Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission web site at


Pickin’ and grinnin’ at Sheridan Bluegrass Fever Kick up your heels to the tune of banjos, fiddles, mandolins and guitars at the Sheridan Bluegrass Fever event on Friday, July 12th and Saturday, July 13th. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to the Sheridan Veterans Park at 1st and Main Street and spend the day enjoying the sounds of this truly American music.


For more details and to see the lineup of musicians, visit the Bluegrass Fever web site at


Up close and personal with Honest Abe Come to the Noblesville Library to see the new traveling exhibition “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” which examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War – the secession of the Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. The traveling exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents – including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. Visit soon – the show moves on after July 26th!



An interview with the Redding family Defensive End for the Indianapolis Colts, Cory Redding, joins his wife Priscilla and three children on our cover this issue. What’s this famous football dad like at home? Let Kaylie (8), CJ (4) and Christian (2) tell you. What do you and your dad do for fun? Kaylie: My dad takes me on daddy/daughter dates where I get to pick what we do. I like to get frozen yogurt and play golf with my dad. CJ: Play golf, ride bikes and play basketball. Christian: Fight! (Christian likes to wrestle with Cory says Priscilla!)

What is your favorite thing about having a dad that plays football? Kaylie: It's cool that my dad plays football because we get to go to the games and see him on T.V. CJ: I get to go to work with daddy. (Both boys love going to work with Cory because they can run around the building says Priscilla.)  Christian: Daddy plays football! (He’s only 2!)

What do you like best about your dad? Kaylie: He does fun stuff with us like take us bowling and golfing. CJ: He pushes me on the swings when we play outside. Christian: He wrestles with me. Thanks for being a part of our magazine Redding family! Go Colts!



Cul-de-sac Connections

Neighborhood bonds can last a lifetime by: Julie Costakis, mom of 3

In our early twenties, my husband and I built our first home near the border of Carmel and Westfield. Construction, landscaping and eventually furnishing our nest became a focal point. Heavily absorbed in our individual careers, we paid little attention to what lay beyond the property line. As the months flew by, we observed other homeowners sharing an appealing camaraderie. Neighbors who chose to turn off the hedge clippers and engage in conversations were rewarded with everdeepening friendships. It began to dawn on us that our home had less to do with bricks and cedar siding, and everything to do with people and relationships.

When one in our group shared plans to move out East for a new job, I felt the first tear in our carefully woven fabric of friend-

In time, providential circumstances led a new friend to my back

ship. Eventually, others “needed” bigger homes for growing

door and shortly afterwards, another to my front door. Within

families. Most of us have remained in or near Hamilton County

days, our trio expanded to include a roomful of twenty-some-

and occasionally gather for coffee. We resume our friendships

things. For the next eight years, we navigated our life journeys

right where we left off, yet the loss of proximity once enjoyed is

alongside one another, sharing both joyous occasions and dev-

profound. Gone are the spontaneous treks to my friend’s back

astating losses. Our spouses forged friendships and together

door, children gathering in the cul-de-sac for an Independence

we strengthened our faiths, marriages, families and livelihoods.

Day parade and backyard movie nights. Nothing compares to

Children became best friends, classmates, teammates and

comfort arriving at your doorstep in the form of a hot meal or a

camp buddies. Yet without a willingness to open my door and

warm hug. Nearness to those with whom you have navigated

my heart to neighbors, these precious experiences and strong

life makes all the difference.

friendships might not have blossomed. The depth we are willing to engage with others and the time we invest to develop friend-

Recently I visited with the friend who had moved to New Eng-

ships can be life-altering.

land. Despite their multiple moves through the years, she explained they have yet to find a community even remotely similar

In cities and suburbs across this country and throughout the

to the warm culture they enjoyed in Hamilton County. Reflection

world, close bonds are formed as neighbors walk together

has taught me the importance of recognizing such experiences

through the ups and downs of life. Nothing knits people closer

as more than steps along the path to the final destination. They

than shared experiences – and raising children is one where

are a destination in themselves. Those early years of living on

support is vital. These are spontaneous, vibrant days accented

that memorable cul-de-sac are the ones my family would revisit

with raw authenticity when juggling the early years of marriage,

without hesitation. The relationships we nurture and memories

parenthood, demanding careers and what we in the suburbs

we create become the gemstones, rather than the stepping

often believe is the race to get ahead. In today’s world, where

stones, of this wonderful adventure called life.

extended family members are scattered across the globe, neighbors help to fill the void.

Check out Julie’s new blog “Postcards to Parents” on the Hamilton County Family web site at





Turn on the Charm:

Small changes to transform a standard house into a neighborhood standout

by: Carolyn Loub, mom of 4

Have you driven past the same ordinary house several times, when one day it suddenly makes you slam on your brakes and crane your neck to get a better look? If the house didn’t undergo a major remodel, chances are the homeowners simply added something that’s missing from many homes: charm. If the front of your home is “okay,” but you’d like it to be “oh wow,” add some character and charm of your own. The front door gives your home’s first impression to guests, so make it a good one. If your door is in good shape, enliven it with a new paint color and add some interesting hardware and a decorative doorknocker. If you’re in the market for a new front door, this is the perfect time to kick up your home’s character a notch. Choose an attractive door that complements the style of your home for an instant facelift! Once your door is looking good, make sure it can be seen! Light it up with lanterns or sconces that enhance the style of your home. The right light fixtures add character to any home, traditional or contemporary. Proportion is key, so make sure the fixtures aren’t too skimpy. Consider adding landscape or walkway lighting to make your home a standout in the evening hours. Your guests will appreciate being welcomed by a well-lit entrance. Design is in the details, and house numbers are a fun, simple way to add charm to your home’s exterior. There are many options available from wooden and enamel signs to tile or metal numbers. Vinyl numbers adhere directly to your front door and come in various sizes and fonts. Check out for ideas and information. Few things can detract from a home’s charm


like an ugly garage door, especially if it sits on the front of the house. Fortunately, there are some beautiful garage doors on the market that can solve the problem. If a new door isn’t in your budget, spruce up what you have with a fresh coat of paint and add hardware for a custom look. Painting garage doors a shade or two darker than the rest of the house will keep the eye from resting on the garage. Another trick for detracting from boring garage doors is to add a trellised arbor above the garage. This not only breaks up the edges of the garage, but makes the door appear recessed. Plus, you have the added bonus of growing flowering vines. What’s more charming than that? Windows are the “eyes of the house,” so don’t overlook them. Installing shutters is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal. The shutters should be sized to cover the window when closed, even if you purchase inoperable ones. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass, PVC or composite wood materials that look like wood, but don’t split or rot. Decorative hardware on the shutters not only provides extra charm, it gives the impression that the shutters are truly working. Want your windows to have a real wow factor? Add window boxes. Filled with pretty flowers, window boxes are literally spilling over with charm.

front porch or bay window that is obscured by landscaping. Trim trees and shrubs to unveil your home’s hidden architectural elements. Removing or replacing outdated window grills or storm doors helps to revive a dated façade. Small details make a big difference in giving your home more charm and character. Try turning on your home’s charm and watch how many cars stop to take notice. For more great ideas, visit Carolyn’s blog at

Creating charm isn’t only about adding architectural details, but showcasing what you already have. Perhaps you have a charming







Helping kids cope with the loss of a loved one by: Trisha Shepherd, mom of 3


ike many school children, Chris, Katie, Olivia and Jack Graddy made Mother’s Day gifts this May. Instead of placing those precious items into their mother’s hands, however, the Graddy children laid them on her grave. It

was just one of many poignant moments Tim Graddy of Fishers has helped his children handle in the wake of their family’s enormous loss. Michele Graddy died in 2009 after a brief and devastating battle with breast cancer. Jack, the youngest, was just 2 ½ at the time. Chris, the oldest, was 10. “For the first couple months it was pretty much a big blur,” explains Tim. His parents stayed with them during that shocking period right after Michele’s death.

ways of grieving.” Braden recalls working with one little girl who

“They were a huge help to me in explaining things to the kids,”

kept drawing a tree during support group sessions. “It took about

Tim recalls. “They were so young they didn’t really know what

six or seven times, and she said, ‘My mommy and I would always

was going on. It was awful trying to explain it. Every night for six

play in a tree house in this tree,’” recalls Braden. Other children

months it seemed like somebody would ask, ‘When’s Mommy

who enjoy reading may find it helpful to read books about coping

coming home?’”

with a loss. Braden says the key is letting the child’s interests and personality guide them toward the best channel for their

Listen and respond


Confusion can be a normal part of a child’s grieving process according to Carol Braden, the Executive Program Director of

Listening carefully to a grieving child’s needs is a critical step

Brooke’s Place. The north side Indianapolis non-profit organi-

according to Amy Haskamp, a Pediatric Clinical Nurse who

zation offers grief support services for children in group and

works with cancer patients at Riley at IU Health North Hospital

individual settings. Braden says it’s important to understand that

in Carmel. When Haskamp works with children who are coming

children grieve differently from adults. “Talking is not usually the

to terms with the idea of their own death, or the loss of a sibling,

favorite mode of communication for kids to express their grief,”

she has found one question to be the most valuable: What fears,

she explains. “A child might want to go draw a picture. Some-

questions and concerns do you have? “We can think of what

one else may want to shoot baskets. Whatever outlet a child has

questions they have, but that may be nowhere near what they are

that’s good for them is important because there are so many

really concerned about,” Haskamp explains.



such as a support group at first, Haskamp says to try again later.

Letting the story out Grief experts say it’s critical to let children share memories about their lost loved one. “Usually they want to talk about the person,” says Haskamp. “The child may be fearful of talking to

“It’s important to reassess. Sometimes what they need today is not what they need tomorrow.”

survivors within the family because they’re afraid to make them

Grief bursts

cry or upset. But no one ever wants to forget their loved one

If a child in your life is grieving, experts say be prepared for

who has passed. They want to keep them close to their mind

emotions to come to the surface at surprising times in unex-

and hearts.” Haskamp cautions adults not to stifle conversa-

pected ways. Carol Braden has seen it happen with children

tions about the lost loved one. “Ability to express grief is vital. It

at Brooke’s Place. “There’s so much inside them because their

absolutely will impact their future if they aren’t able to express

loved one has died, that they may bump against a table and just

that grief as a child,” says Haskamp.

lose it,” Braden explains. She calls this type of sudden expression of sadness a “grief burst.” When a child’s pent-up emotion

Tim Graddy says his children enjoy hearing stories about their

bursts loose, Braden advises adults not to try to stop it or fix it.

mother from other family members. He appreciates the way their

“Just be there loving them in the midst of it. Just say, ‘I’m here, I

school counselors have reached out to help his kids express

can take your tears, I can take your anger.’”

their grief whenever they need to. His youngest daughter Olivia, a sensitive and thoughtful 8-year-old, explained what she does

The best medicine: love

when she is having a hard time during her school day: “You talk

Back at the Graddy house, a quiet type of “grief burst” punctu-

to the counselor and she’ll cheer you up and let you do some

ates an otherwise giggly evening. The children have just opened

fun stuff.” Sometimes at home, her emotions spill over, and it’s

the special box that helps them remember their mother. Inside

Tim’s job to provide a safe and comforting place for his daugh-

are two small plaster slabs with Michele’s handprints and two

ter to let her feelings out. “At night I usually start crying,” Olivia

locks of her golden hair, tied with pink ribbons. At first, the

explains. “Dad comes and then he usually starts crying too. And

children are chatty and cheerful as they touch and play with the

I usually cheer him up.”

items. Then, suddenly, Katie curls up in a chair and begins to cry.

Kids helping kids

“I really miss mom,” 9-year-old Katie tells her father. Tim offers

At Brooke’s Place, Carol Braden often notices that children are

her a hug. “It’s alright,” he tells her. “We all miss Mom, sweetie,

much more candid than adults when given a chance to tell their

you’re doing a really good job.” While her tears flow, he doesn’t

story of loss, especially if the conversation is with another child.

try to change the subject, or cheer her up, or silence her sad-

“It’s amazing what your peer can ask you that an adult couldn’t


get by with asking you,” says Braden. “They’re not shocked when they ask each other really strong questions.” She says the

“Can I read you that book tonight?” he asks her gently. “Can I

openness of child-to-child conversation is a huge benefit of of-

read you the book on heaven?”

fering support services in a group setting. “That just helps them share more about their story. They usually don’t skip a beat.”

For a comprehensive list of information and resources on helping grieving children, visit the Brooke’s Place web site at

Teens and grief When a teenager suffers a loss, grief experts say it’s important to give them healthy channels for their grief so that they don’t turn to risky behaviors such as drugs, alcohol or promiscuity. Just as she does with the younger children she sees at Riley at

Recommended reading for grieving children:

IU Health North, Amy Haskamp likes to ask grieving teens what

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

they are worried about, and what would be most helpful. “Some

The Gentle Willow by Joyce C. Mills

teenagers won’t talk about it with their friends or at their school,

Goodbye, Mousie by Robie H. Harris

because it makes them look different and feel different, and they

The Fall of Freddy the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia

don’t want that. They want to blend in. That’s a question I some-

When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard

times ask "do you want to let your school know?” Haskamp says some teens resist attending support groups, but she sees a lot of value in giving grieving teens a chance to meet others in

Help Me Say Goodbye by Janis Silverman What’s Heaven? By Maria Shriver

similar situations. And even if a teen says “no” to an activity








to your HEALTH. Minor Cosmetic Procedures Slowing the hands of time has never been so easy With age comes wisdom…it also comes with a slew of unwelcome side effects, such as pesky wrinkles, stubborn fat deposits and unsightly veins. Luckily, advances in minor cosmetic procedures make it easier than ever to achieve a look that belies all those wisdom-building years.

Taking on wrinkles Not all wrinkles are created equal. Dynamic wrinkles, or expression lines, are caused by the movement of muscles as emotions are conveyed through facial expressions. Crow’s feet and those grooves that line the forehead are common manifestations of the dynamic wrinkle. Botox™, which temporarily impairs the nerve functioning of the muscle it's injected into, remains the leading treatment for tackling dynamic wrinkles for one simple reason – it works. Static wrinkles, by contrast, are those that are visible even when the face is relaxed. The thinning of the dermal layer and loss of elasticity that come with age contribute to these deeper, more permanent wrinkles such as the nasolabial folds, or parentheses, that frame the mouth. Dermal fillers, which are generally comprised of hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar compound found in living organisms, can help minimize static wrinkles by adding volume to the dermal layer. No matter the type of wrinkle, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan and it may take a combination of procedures to achieve desired results. Furthermore, it is essential that a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist administer Botox™ and dermal fillers. As Andréa Bradley-Stutz, cofounder of Ology, a medical spa with locations in Carmel and Avon, points out, “You can offer the latest techniques and have the most convenient location, but without a qualified provider, success cannot be guaranteed.” At Ology, Dr. Barry Eppley, a board-certified plastic surgeon, administers all Botox™ and dermal fillers, ensuring the ultimate combination of effectiveness and safety.



Tackling stubborn fat Often, despite best efforts in regards to diet and exercise, stubborn fat deposits remain – perhaps lingering in the abdomen or firmly planted on the hips. For those not wanting to go the surgical route to get rid of excess fat, EXILIS RF, an FDAapproved device that utilizes radio frequency energy for fat reduction and tissue tightening, offers a highly effective, nonsurgical alternative. According to Kimberly Ross, an aesthetician at Ology, the thermal energy allows targeted fat cells to release their contents, which are then flushed out of the body through the lymphatic system. EXILIS RF also stimulates and strengthens the collagen network, improving its elasticity and thereby tightening the skin. Four treatments are recommended but because the body’s natural systems are in play, it can take up to three months after the final treatment to see full results. Ross is quick to point out that EXILIS RF is not a magic wand. Maintaining a healthy diet, adequate fluid intake and a regular exercise regimen will go a long way in achieving lasting results.

Treating unsightly veins For many, unsightly leg veins are a cause for concern particularly as we reach the peak of the leg-baring season. While

by: Karen Ring, mom of 2

varicose veins, the large, ropey, twisting blue vessels that protrude from the legs, and spider veins, the small red, blue or purple web-like veins that appear on the surface of the skin, can be a nuisance from a cosmetic standpoint, they can also have underlying medical implications. A visit with a physician specializing in the treatment of vein disorders is therefore recommended to ensure these veins do not develop into a larger medical concern and also find the proper treatment for minimizing their appearance. At Indiana Vein Specialists, Dr. Jeffery Schoonover, a board-certified phlebologist (a physician specializing in veins and their diseases), utilizes diagnostic ultrasound vein mapping to determine the cause and severity of vein problems and then devises a treatment plan. Fortunately, the procedures used to treat vein abnormalities have improved dramatically in recent years. Painful surgical vein stripping has been replaced with less-invasive measures that are performed on an outpatient basis with little to no downtime for recovery. While vein treatments have lost their surgical stigma, they continue to be medical in nature and should be handled by a vein specialist. Most importantly, when seeking treatment Dr. Schoonover advises, “Make sure you feel the treatment plan is being customized to your presentation and that you are being listened to�. It is impossible to stop the hands of time. However, with advances in minor cosmetic procedures, it just got a whole lot easier to slow those hands down.





Gymnastics, Cheer and Dance

by: Elizabeth Henderson

As summer is in full swing, many parents are on the hunt for fun activities to keep their kids entertained and active. With a variety of options to choose from, it’s essential to do some homework to find out which activity suits your child best.

When looking for a dance studio, be sure to consider the teaching philosophy. While many studios focus on recreational dance, others concentrate on pre-professional training. “A parent should always visit a studio, unannounced maybe, to get a feel for the class and the other children and parents involved. It’s always a good idea to have your child take a trial class before committing,” says Michele Stewart, Owner of Pink Slipper Dance Studio in Noblesville.

Gymnastics, cheer and dance are great activities to keep your child socially and physically engaged.

Gymnastics, cheer and dance all offer great benefits. Enrolling in a camp or clinic this summer can give your child a feel for the sport prior to committing long term.

In addition to teaching self-discipline, gymnastics allows your child to develop better coordination and body movement. “Children from as young as 18 months can begin in gymnastics related classes,” says Stephanie Robinson, Complex Manager at A Plus Gymnastics Center in Noblesville. When considering a gym, parents should confirm that trainers have been certified in the USAG’s Safety Certification Program and that their child is being supervised at all times.

Interested in learning more? Below is a sample of some of the many cheer, dance and gymnastics programs available in our area. Gymnas t ics M-Power Gymnastics

Danc e Academy of Dance Arts

Spectrum Sports

Central Indiana Academy of Dance

A-Plus Gymnastics Center

Dance Class Studio

Does your child love to root their team on to victory? Cheerleading is an exciting way to develop confidence and build cardiovascular strength and physical endurance.

Deveau's School Of Gymnastics

The Pink Slipper Dance Studio


Wishes Dance Studio

Cheerleading squads often become like mini “families” as they spend extended periods of time practicing, performing and traveling together. Teamwork is a necessity as each member learns to rely on the other as they cheer, tumble and build human pyramids.

Cheer Indiana Elite All Star Cheer and Dance

When looking for a cheerleading program, be sure to confirm that the coach is safety certified. It’s also important to decide ahead of time at what level your child would like to participate. Many cheerleaders are involved not only in their school squad but a traveling squad as well.

Hollywood Cheer and Tumble Speed Athletics

If your child enjoys keeping a beat, dance class may be a creative avenue to tap into their rhythmic skill. In addition to exercise, dance can improve a child’s body image, self-esteem and communication skills.



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what's your BACK to SCHOOL There’s more than one approach to prepare for the first daY!

by: Susan Bryant, mom of 2


The lazy days of summer have to end eventually, which means that kids and parents alike must get back into the groove of a more rigid school routine. Do you embrace this inevitability with steadfast early preparation or take a more laid back philosophy to the final days of break? School supplies

a) I get list as soon as possible, scan area stores for the best prices and methodically check off each item. b) My kids scrounge up what can be recycled from last

year and we do our best to fill in the gaps as needed.

c) There’s a list?


a) I slowly move back bedtime every few days to arrive at an appropriate hour that the kids have adjusted to a week before school starts. b) The kids start going to bed earlier, but I allow a little wiggle room to enjoy some special late summer nights. c) I let the kids live it up to the very end to squeeze out

all the late night fun possible before the big day.

Back to school clothes

a) I know the dress code and am ready to break out the ruler to measure the length of those Bermuda shorts if necessary. b) I rely on what my kids’ say is appropriate according to the school guidelines and hope for the best. c) I let my kids’ decide what they should wear, knowing

I may get a few notes from the school on the subject.


a) My kids have been keeping their skills sharp over the summer with consistent school work – no “brain drain” here! b) We’ve done some academic work over break, but nothing very structured. c) Summer break = a break from school work.



Paperwork and appointments

a) I have all my children’s sports physicals and other first day paperwork in, and have gotten their dental checkups, haircuts and any other necessary appointments out of the way so they don’t have to miss time from school. b) I’m a little fuzzy on what’s due when, but I think we have most of the important stuff done. c) I will get to that paper avalanche on my desk – eventually.


a) My children and I have talked about any concerns they have for the new year and what they can do to make it a good one. b) We’ll deal with things as they come up. My kids will tell me if something is bothering them.

c) I tend to lament that summer is ending as much as the kids do. We both check the calendar to see when our first day off will be.

The night before

a) Clothes have been carefully selected and laid out with matching accessories, shoes, etc. Lunch box or lunch money is ready and bedtime is enforced. b) We’re mostly prepared but it’s a bit of a mad rush making sure everything is ready. c) Our last free night. Par–tay!


Mostly a’s



Mostly b’s



Mostly c’s


A+ for your admirable organizational skills! You run a tight ship. Other parents might hire you as a “back to school consultant” to whip their family into shape. Now relax! Enjoy these last fleeting days of summer break with your kids.

You’ve found a pretty good middle ground between enjoying the last days of summer and ramping up for a new school year. Some areas may need tweaking so you can be fully prepared and know everything is in order to start the new year off right.

Hold on – it’s going to be a bumpy ride! While your laid back approach may get a little more fun in, you’ll be paying the price with some stressful first weeks of school. Get the kids on board to accomplish the must-do tasks before the first day and enjoy a smooth start to the school year.



early orthodontic care

What happens before getting braces

by: Susan Bryant, mom of 2


or parents who began wearing braces well into their teens, or never wore them at all, seeing elementary school children flashing a silver smile can seem surprising. What’s behind this early orthodontic care?

Laying the groundwork

The proper orthodontic approach actually begins well before braces are applied. “During early treatment we only use braces when there is a direct advantage to future orthodontic needs,” says Dr. Bunch of Clear Choice Orthodontics in Carmel. His practice will often place orthopedic and orthodontic appliances without braces to develop the upper jaw, break poor oral habits and guide jaw growth. This might include expanders/spacers, habit breaking appliances and lip bumpers. Expanders/spacers correct cross-bites and orthopedically develop proper jaw width. “This helps reduce the amount of crowding when the adult teeth erupt,” says Dr. Bunch. “Braces are used during early treatment only when needed so that your child does not burn out with a second stage of braces in early adolescence.”

First evaluations

Holly Ives, Fishers mom of a seven-year-old and nine-year-old, has talked with her dentist about when to start orthodontic treatment for her two children. “My kids aren’t experiencing any problems yet, but it’s on my radar to keep an eye on this for them.” According to The American Association of Orthodontists, an initial evaluation is a good idea for children by age seven. “The goal with early treatment is to guide jaw growth and size in a way that allows us to achieve the best results when braces are placed during early to mid-adolescence,” says Dr. Bunch. “There are orthodontic problems that are better corrected at an early age (underbites, cross-bites, thumb/finger habits, openbites, etc.). There are other orthodontic corrections that are best started later during adolescence.” Indeed, starting orthodontic care and observation at an early age does not always include braces he says. “We are in a ‘prevent future problem mentality’ instead of wait and watch.” Early treatment can guide jaw growth and size in a way that allows the best results when braces are placed later on.



Signs to watch for

Aside from having an attractive smile, the goal of orthodontia is really to have a good bite. Without a good bite, problems with speaking, chewing and biting can arise. These signs, in children or adults, indicate that a consultation with an orthodontist is in order: • • • • • • • • • • •

Early or late loss of baby teeth Difficulty chewing or biting Mouth breathing Sucking the thumb or fingers, or other oral habits Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth Jaws that shift, make sounds, protrude or are recessed Speech difficulty Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth Protruding teeth Teeth that meet in an abnormal way or don’t meet at all Facial imbalance or asymmetry (features out of proportion to the rest of the face) • Grinding or clenching of teeth • Inability to comfortably close lips (Source: The American Association of Orthodontists web site

Something to smile about

Although it may seem that a visit to an orthodontist is something busy parents can “put on the back burner” for their young children, scheduling an initial evaluation early on is the way to go. With the proper first assessment, kids can get on the right track for jaw-dropping smiles later.



Mommy Magic "Momships" Friendships with other moms have an important impact My dad used to tell me, "If you are the smartest one in your group of friends, your group is too small." He felt that it was important to surround yourself with people who have a strong sense of self, who are striving to make a difference in their family and their community and who encourage you to be your personal best. If you choose to surround yourself with friends who settle for things or get too complacent in life, those attributes could rub off on you over time. On the other hand, spending time with positive people can inspire you, give you energy and help bring focus to a chaotic day. Several years ago I had my first adult breakup with a friend. It was painful and felt terrible. I felt like I had failed. The friendship came to a crossroads. My friend had gotten into the habit of verbally bashing her husband every time we were together. At first, I was confused because I knew her husband and really liked him. “Momships” is a term I use for friendships that we develop with other moms. Sometimes these women come into our lives from our kids’ connections and other times are developed through situations we have been in while being a mom. Either way, “momships” are important to us and can be an amazing source of support and encouragement during motherhood, es-

Whenever we spoke or spent time together, she expected me to tear down my husband as well. It was exhausting. Although I tried talking to her several times about the issue, it only resulted in putting more distance between us. I kept thinking about what my dad had taught me. Is this person pushing me to be my personal best? If she is bashing her husband, what is she saying

pecially during the summer when our kiddos are out of school.

behind my back about me? I realized that this mindset was not

In our youth, most of us took for granted that friendships came

that I needed and wanted to surround myself with friends who

easily and many were based on having common interests. For instance, friendships might be based on what school you went to, what sport you participated in or even what instrument you played. As we get older, friendships overall can change. Who you call a friend is usually based on a past history or a shared value system. It is no longer necessarily based on how much time you spend together, but rather, how you spend your time in general.


what I wanted in a friendship. It was hard to let go, but I knew were encouraging and responsible for their own happiness. There really is no substitute for time and no one knows this better than a busy mom. One of the most precious gifts you can give someone is your time and your friendship. Who you spend time with says a lot about who you are, what you are doing and where you are going – so give yourself permission to be selective and choose wisely. Momships are important and can be a lifeline for busy moms – providing a chance to laugh, relate to


by: Mary Susan Buhner, mom of 3

one another and have fun. Spend time this summer with moms that appreciate you and your family. Celebrate the freedom of summer with those you love and spend time with moms who bring out the best in you. Mary Susan Buhner is a Life Coach for Moms and author of “Mommy Magic: Tricks for Staying Sane in the Midst of Insanity.� Visit her Mommy Magic Fan Page on Facebook and her website at:



CELEBRATIONS Westfield Rocks the 4th Fishers Freedom Festival Saturday, June 29th through Sunday, June 30th Times: 6:30 AM - 10:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-595-3195 Location: Roy G Holland Memorial Park, Fishers This free event offers fine arts & crafts, food & business vendors, live music, 5K Event, K-9 demonstrations, Children’s Tent, Street Dance, Children’s Parade, Main Parade, Fireworks and much more to the 50,000 attendees who come from all over the U.S. each year.

Glorious Fourth Thursday, July 4th Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Price: Included with general admission Phone: 317-776-6000 Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers Website: Take a trip to the past and participate in authentic Fourth of July fun straight from the 1800s. Visit 1836 Prairietown where festivities, games, songs and patriotic presentations await, including a reading of the Declaration of Independence.



Thursday, July 4th Times: 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM Price: Free Location: Asa Bales Park, Westfield Website: We're pulling out all the stops to make sure our city celebrates the 4th of July in style. This year’s Headliner’s Car Show is anticipated to double in size, the Kids Area will continue to add new activities to the live entertainment and rock climbing wall brought in last year, and the fireworks display will be bigger and better than ever!

Marsh Symphony on the Prairie: Star Spangled Symphony Wednesday, July 3rd through Friday, July 5th Times: 8:00 PM Price: See website for ticket pricing Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers Website: Featuring patriotic pops, a salute to our veterans and a spectacular fireworks display during Stars and Stripes Forever, your Fourth of July has never sounded so good!

Blast on the Bridge at Geist

Noblesville 4th of July Parade and Festival

Thursday, July 4th

Thursday, July 4th

Times: 5:30 PM - 10:30 PM Price: Free Location: Fall Creek Road bridge, Fishers Website:

Times: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM Price: Free Location: Downtown Noblesville and Noblesville High School Website:

Celebrate July 4th at the biggest block party of the summer on the Geist Reservoir bridge. The Fall Creek Road bridge closes to car traffic and converts into a family-friendly fireworks pre-show. Attendees bring lawn chairs to enjoy an evening featuring a boat parade, skydivers, music, food vendors, and a KidsZone, all topped by an amazing fireworks show scheduled to start at dark.

The annual Noblesville July 4th Parade and Fireworks Festival begins with a parade downtown. The free Fireworks Festival follows on the grounds of Noblesville High School and will include several activities for kids, a classic car show, food vendors and more. The fireworks display will begin at approximately 10pm. All games, activities, and entertainment at the festival are completely free to attendees.

CarmelFest Wednesday, July 3rd and Thursday, July 4th Time: See website for event schedule Price: Free Location: One Civic Square, Carmel Website:

Sheridan Fourth of July Celebration Thursday, July 4th

Celebrate Independence day in Carmel with live music, arts & crafts, a parade, fireworks, and many types of vendors! There will also be an evening performance by the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

Times: 10:00 AM Price: Free Phone: (317) 758-5054 Location: Main Street & Biddle Memorial Park Start your Fourth of July with a Parade on Main Street. The festivities continue at Biddle Memorial Park, ending with a Fireworks display.

Lights Over Morse Lake Thursday, July 4th through Saturday, July 6th Time: See website for event schedule Price: Free (some paid activities) Website: Tons of great Fourth of July activities for the whole family. Enjoy a fish fry, arts & crafts vendors, balloon glow, talent show, a parade and of course – fireworks! See website for event details and schedule.



Reci Please by: Nicole Turner, Registered Dietician, mom of 2

Summer makes way for many opportunities to gather with family and friends. Cookouts are prevalent and many will call for you to bring “something” to share. One of the things I love about this recipe, other than it being passed on to me by a friend, is how wonderful it is as an accompaniment to any cookout ranging from burgers to poultry to seafood. It also tastes wonderful chilled or warm. I’ve made several additions to the original recipe over the years, including adding fresh corn and diced cucumbers, so don’t be afraid to modify this yourself. Food is always better when shared with family or friends. You can feel good sharing this recipe because it’s healthy as well as tasty!

WHEAT BERRY SALAD • • • • • • • • • • •

4 cups water or vegetable broth (for cooking) 1/2 cup dry wheat berries 1 cup black beans rinsed and drained 1 cup shelled edamame, fresh or thawed frozen 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes 1/2 cup fresh corn cut from cob (or thawed frozen shoe peg corn) 1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumbers 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning



STEPS: 1) Place water (or broth) in a medium saucepan and add wheat berries. Bring to a boil.  2) Reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 55 minutes or until wheat berries are just tender. 3) While the wheat berries are cooking, combine all the other ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. 4) Once wheat berries are done cooking, place in a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water to cool quickly. Drain well. 5) Add drained wheat berries to other ingredients in bowl and stir well.

Weathering the Storm Local meteorologist Angela Buchman shares her thoughts on talking to kids about scary weather When thunder cracks and lightning flashes through the sky, how do your kids react? For many children, severe weather can be very frightening. Hearing about the damage caused by major weather events and natural disasters on the news can boost their anxiety level even more. How can you teach kids to be safe in a storm without pushing their panic button? We asked Angela Buchman, weather expert and mom of two, for her suggestions.

fected by these storms are warned ahead of time and have time to get to safety. Letting kids know that their family is prepared for storms is very important too. You can get all children involved in making a safety kit. The American Red Cross has a list of what you need in that kit on their website at All children need to practice what to do during severe weather at school and at home. They will feel calmer if their parents practice too, so make it a family event a couple times of year.

Some kids are fascinated by electrical storms and looming dark clouds – others get very upset when bad weather strikes. What can parents do to help this latter group? I think education is the best defense. Learning more about storms and talking about them will help kids understand that not all weather is bad weather. I would also advise parents to watch storm coverage with their children. As they watch, they can see if the storm is severe and if it is coming to their neighborhood. What if I’m a parent who tends to become very tense about impending bad weather? How can I make sure my kids won’t pick up on my anxiety? Whenever I talk to children at schools, I remind them that the state of Indiana only averages about 20 tornadoes a year. That is a good statistic for adults to remember too. It is best to stay as calm as possible when severe weather strikes. Practicing what to do will help everyone prepare ahead of time – which will help calm nerves. What kind of information is appropriate to tell a preschooler versus an older child when it comes to talking about severe weather and safety precautions? I really think knowing about severe weather and what to do will help children of all ages. Knowledge is power. Preschool age children can understand green on radar is rain and red on radar means storms. Older children might be interested in how those storms develop and how tornadoes form. All children need to know that a watch means watch and a warning means take action. There are also great books and websites that can help if children want to learn more about the weather. With so much media in our kids’ lives these days, it seems that they hear about the devastating damage of tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, snowstorms etc. on a regular basis. How can parents help kids keep some perspective on events like these? Reminding kids that these bad storms don’t happen every day will help. It may also help to let them know that the people af-



ask THE




“How can I get good candid shots of my kids? When they see the camera come out they start to pose.” When I had my picture taken as a child it was a very special event. My mom or dad loaded the camera with film and we only had 24 exposures to capture family moments. Each click of the shutter was a precious moment! These days we live in a very different "photo culture." It seems everywhere you turn someone is taking a picture with a cell phone, camera or even an iPad! Our kids are constantly being asked to pose, smile or interact with a photo device. That can make getting natural expressions challenging. At my studio we make sessions more like play dates. Start by playing with your child and getting them to relax. Have the camera out, but don't use it until after you feel your child is connecting with you. Being silly and encouraging creative expressions as opposed to "smiles" is a great way to start. If things get silly enough those sweet smiles will come naturally, so have your camera ready. Working one on one is best, it can be overwhelming to have many people asking for your child's attention. One thing I never do is show a child an image on the back of my camera – that only encourages posing and interrupts the connection I'm trying to establish. It isn't about the pictures, it's about having a good time! Pictures are just a wonderful product of good memories. Submitted by Jennifer Driscoll, Jennifer Driscoll Photography

“What are some creative projects or unique ways to display my photographs?” When displaying your cherished photographs, first think about your style. Whether sophisticated, classic or eclectic, you can create a unique display by integrating your old and new images. If your style is classic or sophisticated, create groups of frames by similar color or material – this will give your display unity. Also stick to a specific color palette to avoid chaos. You can always add old photos to new frames to coordinate with your new photos. If your style is eclectic or classic eclectic like mine, make a collage or mix and match frames and shapes. To make a collage even more interesting, add other objects such as a clock, mirror or child’s painting. Start with larger pieces in the center and work your way out. You might also mix canvases and framed prints, or even try decopaging your photo onto wood. To mix it up a bit, I also encourage thrift store or antique finds in your display. Hang photos on an old washboard or clipboard – this method is easy and unique and allows quick photo changes as well. Finally, remember to put your photos at eye level for everyone to enjoy! Submitted by Shannon Weirick, Shannon Weirick Photography



“What are some new, fun ideas for taking a really good family portrait? There are so many ways to take a family portrait that are much more interesting than the traditional family pose of the past. Think outside the box for a special location or activity for your photo – like a favorite park, carnival, beach, waterpark or miniature golf course as a backdrop. Or take a photo of your whole family eating popsicles, blowing bubbles or playing chase. If your kids are having fun, you will get more genuine smiles and will have interesting photos to capture those moments. Posed family portraits are great to have, but it’s important to get some shots that are not posed as well. Shots of the family playing together, throwing a ball, tickling, reading a book, embracing in a family hug, etc. are good options. This way you will capture the memories of how your family interacted with each other. Also, it’s important to follow your child’s lead. If he or she is always wearing an old blue hat, include it in the shot! Twenty years from now you will be glad you did when you look back and see that old blue hat again. Most importantly, don’t stress about the “perfect” family portrait. Just let your kids be themselves and “the shot” will come naturally. Screaming at your kids to smile usually doesn’t result in a good family photo!

Submitted by Michelle Tiek and Kim Mitchell, Michelle Tiek Photography and Design



To Do With Your Crew JULY/AUGUST 2013

July | mon 01 Fireworks (in a Jar) Help us celebrate Independence Day with some indoor fireworks. We’ll do some cool experiments and a craft or two. For children entering grades 1-5. Time: 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM Price: Free Location: Carmel Clay Public Library Website:

July | tuesdays through 16 Fishers Summer Concert Series Join Fishers Parks and Recreation and presenting sponsor IU Health Saxony Hospital Tuesday nights in June and July for an outdoor concert series perfect for the whole family. Bring a picnic, lawn chairs, or blankets. Times: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Price: Free Weather Line: 317-595-3491 Location: Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, Fishers Website:

us throughout the summer as we sing and dance to classic sing-a-longs, kid favorites, and new tunes performed by Indiana artists. See website for schedule. Times: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Price: Free Phone: 317-848-7275 Location: River Heritage Park, Carmel Website:

July | fri 12 Storytime Express @ the Monon Center: Down on the Farm For children ages 2-5 & their caregivers. This fast-paced interactive mix of fun-filled stories, rhymes, and songs paired with a simple craft is designed to introduce and practice critical early literacy skills. Registration for this free program is required through Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation. Time: 11:00 AM Phone: 317-848-7275 Location: Monon Community Center, Carmel Website:

July | sat 06 – sun 07 Prairietown Land Sale Dr. Campbell, town founder and land speculator, has choice town lots and out lots for sale! Spend the early part of the day earning money around town, find partners to combine your earnings with, and come place your bids as these choice town lots are auctioned off to prospective settlers. Times: 2:00 PM Price: Included with general admission Phone: 317-776-6000 Location: Conner Prairie, Fishers Website:

July | mon 08 Kids Koncert: Dumpster Drummers Watch your child bounce to the beat of his or her own drum and play outside. Join


Phone: 317-776-9743 Location: Morse Park and Beach, Noblesville Website:

July | sat 20

Fishers Parks and Recreation: Mud Day Combine two hundred tons of topsoil and twenty thousand gallons of water and you have created every six year old’s fantasy and every mother’s nightmare. Join us to participate in this mud-filled event complete with “mud limbo” and other muddy relay races. To top off the event, we will crown our champions, King and Queen of Mud. For children ages 12 and under. Times: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-595-3150 Location: Cyntheanne Park, Fishers Website:

July | weds 24 Touch a Truck

July | weds 17 Beach Bash Beaches, sunbathing and fun are the perfect combination for summertime! Our FREE annual Beach Bash is a fun way to enjoy summer. Activities include great music, games and tons of fun in the sun! Times: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM Price: Free, but limited to the first 200 to arrive


Does your child love watching big trucks pass by as you drive? Come explore fire trucks, police cars, limousines, and more. Let them sit in the driver’s seat and honk the horn as their imagination soars. Times: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Price: $3/child Phone: 317-848-7275 Location: Carmel High School Stadium Parking Lot Website:

July | sat 27 Summer Reading Wrap-Up Celebration! You've read your books! You've collected your prizes! Now it's time to celebrate with food, fun and magic! Celebrate with games, stories, crafts and more. Magician C.R. Ryan Demler will also make an appearance. Congratulations on participating in the 2013 Summer Reading Program! Times: Noon - 3:00 PM Price: Free Phone: (317) 773-1384 Location: Hamilton County East Library, Noblesville Website:

July | weds 31 Madcap Puppets: The Cinderella File Bring the entire family and see what happens when Cinderella’s fairy godmother goes on vacation and her husband, Ralph, must get Cinderella to the ball. These tremendous puppets make stupendous shows! For families with children of all ages. Time: 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM Location: Carmel Clay Public Library Website:

August | thurs 01 Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come! Calling all children entering Kindergarten! Join us for this fun program all about Kindergarten. We’ll read stories, play games, and make a craft, all guaranteed to get you ready for that first fun day. Registration is required and begins Thursday, July 25.

Times: Dusk (usually around 9:30 PM) Price: Free Phone: 317-848-7275 Location: Carey Grove Park, Carmel Website:

August | fri 02 – sun 18 2013 Indiana State Fair

Movies In the Park: Despicable Me Pack up the munchkins, grab your snacks, and enjoy the fresh air while you watch a movie on the big screen at West Park. Kona Ice will have food for purchase during the movie for your enjoyment.

Times: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 317-595-3458 Location: Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve, Fishers Website:

The Indiana State Fair continues to be the one event which brings families together to experience the very best of Indiana! With 17 days of entertainment, exhibits and delicious food spread out over 250 acres – there truly is FUN AT EVERY TURN! See website for complete schedule. Price: see website for ticket pricing Phone: 317-927-7500 Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis Website:

August | fri 23

I Scream...You Scream

August | sat 10

Spaceport Indiana @ CCPL Want to be an astronaut for a day? Children ages 8-11 are invited to join mission control and blast off during a day-long Space Lab presented by Spaceport Indiana. Each child will have the opportunity to participate in three super cool, handson space projects. Registration is required and begins Saturday, August 3. Times: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Phone: 317-844-3363 Location: Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel Website:

We all scream for ice cream! Join us for an evening of games and a special treat. Make your very own ice cream in a bag! We will have some other ice cream and sundae fixings. Appropriate for ages for ages 6-9. Registration required by 8/16. Times: 6:30 PM Price: R$6/NR$9 Phone: 317-595-3458 Location: Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve, Fishers Website:

August | thurs 29 CSI Come enjoy a Crime Scene Investigation Mystery! Attendees must be between the grades of 4 and 8. Times: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Price: Free Phone: 579-0304 Location: Hamilton East Library, Fishers Website:

Times: 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Phone: 317-844-3363 Location: Carmel Clay Public Library Website:

August | fri 02

provide roasting sticks, marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. Preregistration is appreciated by 8/8.

For more ideas, visit www.hamiltoncounty

August | sun 11

National S’mores Day

Join us for our annual celebration to honor the s’more. With crispy graham crackers, gooey marshmallows and melty chocolate, what is there not to love about a s’more? The campfire is open for all. We



In Our Opinion JULY/AUGUST 2013

Unsportsmanlike conduct For any parent with children involved in sports, you know how great it is to see them win. The teamwork learned, the physical challenges met – it can be inspiring. Too bad parents so often mar this experience with their own poor behavior at athletic events. The mom clapping when the other team makes an error, the dad loudly challenging a referee – we’ve all seen this and worse. Even something positive, like a win (or even a good play) provokes a look-at-me end zone dance or some other chest-thumping antic – emulating the behavior of our sports heroes. There’s a serious lack of humility and grace to winning in our culture today, replaced by an in-your-face, win at all costs attitude. And parents are sometimes the worst offenders. That’s my opinion. What’s yours? – Susan Bryant, Editor

What do you think drives some parents to “go overboard” and act out at their kids’ sporting events? Have you seen this happen?


I had to report some parents to the league commissioner this year because they were so out of line. Their team was winning the basketball game by a large margin, but not only were they cheering for their team's successful plays, they were cheering when our team would miss a basket or get fouled! … It was a horrible display of sportsmanship and, in my opinion, was a blow to the losing team’s selfesteem. – Shauna R.

Let us hear your opinion!

For a lot of parents, their child is a reflection of them. When their child does something worth bragging about, it's like the parents are bragging about themselves. It's the whole "my child is better than yours therefore I'm a better parent than you" mentality. I've known a few of those types. – Deanna S.

Too often! I have two daughters who play travel soccer. I have heard parents, usually a dad, yell at their daughters to "head butt her out of bounds next time" or "take her down." My husband is a soccer coach, and even when our teams don't win he is happy if they have applied newly learned skills. Winning isn't everything. We teach all the players that good sportsmanship goes both ways. – Tiffany O.

We want to know what parents in our community think about important topics affecting our children. Send me a message at to join our email panel. Your opinion matters and we want to hear it!




One of the great things about kids is their spontaneity – until they blurt out an unexpected and mortifying statement to strangers! We asked our readers to share the most embarrassing comments from their kids. After all, what’s parenting without a few “cringe-worthy” moments? “My three year old said ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie.’ It was the answer to a nurse asking how things were going at his checkup. My ten year old had a lot to explain when we got home.” – Stacey A. “One of my most embarrassing moments was when my oldest was about five and she announced to the grocery cashier and everyone in line: ‘My mom grows hair on her lip and has to get it taken off by a nice lady who deals with that sorta thing.’” – Mary Susan B. “When we were potty training, we offered small Kit Kat bars as a reward for doing #2 in the toilet. Halloween week, we went out to eat at Pizza Hut and they had those same bars in a basket by the register. Our son yelled out, "Look! POOPY candy!" – Anna L. “I was in line with my son at Meijer and he started singing ‘It's getting hot in here so take of all my clothes. I am getting so hot, I wanna take my clothes off!!" I was dying of embarrassment.” – Emily J. “My husband made the mistake of telling our son about a prank he played on his fraternity brothers in college, involving shaving cream, feathers and some other materials most former frat boys are likely familiar with. Our son proceeded to tell his kindergarten teacher the story the next day, but prefaced it with ‘Last night my dad took shaving cream, feathers and rope and played a prank on his friend in bed!’" – Julie C.

Have something funny you can share? Send it to to be included in our next issue!



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