Today's Family magazine - FALL 2014

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FALL 2014

LESSONS LEARNED from recent college grads




How to recognize & support your child’s gifts


Kids’ Teeth PLUS:

• A Great French Toast Recipe • Rant About Sport Snacks • A Buggy Craft


FALL 2014

















BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL The path is not always straight or simple. BY LYNN WILLING AND MARY ELLEN BIANCO






SCHOOLS THAT CHANGE THE RULES Jonathan Jennings Elementary School strives to impact the individual to impact the community. BY MEREDITH BALL




AGE PAGES: 26 Birth to 5


28 6 to 11


30 12 and Up BY STACIE L. MARTIN


‘RENTS RANT Extra Curricular Snack Attack BY CARRIE VITTITOE


JUST ASK JOYCE: Overpraising • Little Liars • Little Bit of Modesty BY JOYCE OGLESBY




DIRECTORIES Celebrations • Childcare • Education • Extra-curricular Activities • Retail • Wellness BY ALISSA HICKS








INTRO By Anita Oldham, Editor

Volume 23 • Number 4 PUBLISHER

Cathy S. Zion EDITOR

I’M SURE YOU HAVE NOTICED THAT YOUR KID IS WEIRD. Maybe not weird in a negative way — but your kid is different than the others you have met. Your kid has a special mix of gifts, interests, and natural abilities. In this issue, we spent some time focusing on how to help your child nurture the weirdness because we think that once turned into the right direction, your child will find himself in a career and a mission that is perfect for him as an adult. Keep encouraging the weirdness — who wants to live in a world of those who think the same way and follow the same path?


Elaine Rooker Jack



Teri Hickerson

Suzy Hillebrand

Joyce Inman


April H. Allman

ON OUR COVER HAILEY BOLGER, age 6, got red-carpet ready for our photo shoot. We put her in the sparkly big shoes (both literally and figuratively) of Jennifer Lawrence, and she did a great job of looking confident and beautiful. She is representing the idea that as parents, we don’t always know what our kids are going to end up doing in life, but that it is up to us to help them discover and develop their gifts. Her parents, Trina and Shaun Bolger, are raising Hailey to be polite and curious as well as nurture her interest in arts and crafts. Farmer Elementary, watch out for this talented first grader. On cover: Silver dress by Rare Editions, $45; Shoes by Betsey Johnson, $129 Shown below: Black and white dress by ​Rare Editions, $45​. All from Dillard’s (502.893.4400) Photos by Melissa Donald Hair by Denise Cardwell






Alissa Hicks


Jillian LeMaster

Participate! Every weekday, we have new information including fun things to do, parenting help, crafts and school news. You can also enter our prize giveaways every Wednesday.

And, go ahead and start thinking of Halloween and enter our Halloween Costume Contest! Do you have a photo of your child (or even you as a child) in a cute Halloween costume? We want to see them, and we’ll be featuring many of the photos on

Two winners will be chosen from the photos received and will win a Halloween prize package from the Louisville Zoo, including Halloween Party tickets, Carousel ride tickets and the Headless Horseman Tour.

PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY: Zion Publications LLC 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 Louisville, KY 40223 Phone (502) 327-8855 Fax (502) 327-8861

Subscriptions are available by sending $15 to the above address for 6 bi-monthly issues.

Today’s Family magazine is published bi-monthly by Zion Publications LLC and distributed free to the people of metropolitan Louisville and Southern Indiana. Circulation 25,000. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Today’s Family magazine does not endorse or guarantee any advertiser’s product or service. Copyright 2014 by Zion Publications LLC with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited without permission from Zion Publications LLC.


For advertising information, call (502) 327-8855 or email


FALL 2014 5

FaMiLy (Football) funNiGht By Bob Uberti

Cheap Date, Family Style

• Single admission tickets: $6 per person • Cheeseburger & soda dinner: $5 per person • Snacks: $1-$2 each • Parking: Free • Memories or bonding or something intangible:


It all started the night my 14-year-old daughter asked me if she could go with her friends to her high school’s football game. . .

. . . She’s my oldest child, and I’m still trying to figure out these teenage years. In the moments before I could respond, everything that could go wrong by saying yes flashed through my head. So I said, “Let me talk it over with your mother.” We let Morgan go to that football game without us. And the next time, Mary Beth and I and our 10-year-old son, Brian, tagged along. We were surprised by how much we enjoyed being there. As soon as we walked through the entrance, we saw people we knew. As we stood and talked with them, Morgan instantly found her friends, and off she went with a few simple ground rules. It didn’t take Brian long to spot some of his friends, and off he went, too. Mary Beth and I soon saw more people we knew and eventually sat down with some of our neighbors. Now, there’s a difference between

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watching a game and seeing a game. Watching a game involves paying close attention to the event and being invested in its outcome. Seeing a game involves hanging out with friends and noticing a game in the background. We saw this game, and we have seen many more since then. When our family goes to Friday night high school football games, our kids hang out with their friends. It’s pretty easy to keep them safe because they check in with us occasionally, and we can often see them from anywhere in the stadium. They have a lot of freedom and a lot of fun. At the same time, Mary Beth and I get an adult night out. We never know who will show up at the game or who will want to hang out with us. But it’s easy and impromptu. There is no schedule to coordinate, no tickets to purchase in advance, and no rushing to get anywhere on time. We can arrive at our convenience. And did I mention that we spend time

with our neighbors? How often does anyone find a couple of hours to enjoy the company of their neighbors? This is also a pretty cheap outing. Although single game tickets are inexpensive, we spend less because my kids’ school offers a season pass that is good for all varsity sports home games, including my daughter’s field hockey games. Dinner is whatever we choose from the snack bar. And the money we spend somehow makes its way back to the school. So we’re not only supporting the team, we’re supporting the school. I would encourage you to spend an evening with your family at your high school’s football game. And perhaps in a future article, I’ll tell you the story about when my teenage daughter asked to go with her friends to her first concert! Bob Uberti lives in Prospect — and attends North Oldham High School sporting events — with his wife Mary Beth and kids Morgan (17) and Brian (13).

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FALL 2014 7

Helping My Son Find His


By Veda Pendleton McClain

I knew Micah was destined for the arts from the time he was 2. I had no clue what pursuing the arts would mean for him, but I decided to be as supportive and encouraging as I could be with my time, words, and resources. By the time Micah was 5, he was watching Emeril on television and making his own concoctions in the kitchen. He also started violin lessons, and even then, Micah played to his own beat. Photographs of his performances show his bow to be in the downward position while those of the other performers were up. It was during his violin lessons that he found his singing voice, and his teacher asked if he could sing during one of their performances. I said, “Absolutely not!” As his mom, initially, there was a time when I secretly hoped that his imitations of Emeril and his interest in music would lead to a career in science or mathematics. It became crystal clear as he got older that cooking and singing were expressions of himself as an artist and not at all related to the sciences. By middle school, Micah’s violin lessons had prepared him for the school orchestra. He played the string bass, and boy, did I dread lugging that instrument around, but we did it. Micah also joined a boys’ choir and was accepted to a vocal music program for high school. After he learned to use a camera at a journalism camp, Micah’s trajectory of college aspirations changed. He used his camera skills for the high school yearbook and learned about graphic design. Later, he even won awards for his photographs, but it was his volunteer activities with a school club and the influence of Lady Gaga that piqued his interest in fashion design. My other children chose traditional colleges. I had imagined that was the route they all would take, but not Micah. He wanted to attend an arts school. I knew the typical route of taking two years of general education courses at a traditional university — which would not be in the arts — would drive him nuts, so I agreed to explore arts colleges with him. What we found during our explorations was that the colleges were a natural fit for him. As an educator, I knew the pitfalls of college transfers. I also knew that if he started at an arts college, he would have to start over at a traditional college. We discussed these options, and he chose to attend an arts college. In August, Micah will start his junior year of college at an arts school. It is a different learning environment with an artsy mindset toward completing tasks and competing in the world, but it is very much in line with Micah’s natural bent toward the arts. The college nurtures him as an artist, helping him develop his skills and expand his talents in ways a traditional school would not. He is exposed to those in the field in which he plans to work as a professional. Micah landed his first paid job in a design shop for men’s apparel at an athletic clothier this summer. And he had the time of his life.

As his mom, initially, there was a time when I secretly hoped that his imitations of Emeril and his interest in music would lead to a career in science or mathematics.

Veda Pendleton McClain lives in Louisville. Micah is the youngest of her five children. Her latest book Your Presence is Requested is available on

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PASSION + A Cup of Coffee By John G. Warren

lecture to ask why there were letters on the board. Was this an English course? After the uproar of laughter, the professor When I was in management at a local fruit suggested this student consider a vocation such as carpentry market, I had an employee who was a whiz with or something that didn’t require deductive reasoning. And that numbers, extremely reliable, and loved by the evidently the professor lost his job, because he still contacts his customers. During her senior year of high school, after former student trying to secure employment. four years of reliability, I realized the day was coming when On our second round of café mochas, I could see I was easing I would lose her to the world of advanced academia. After her mind. Then she asked me what drove this guy to accomplish all, her scholastic achievements were well known, so I fully all he had. What made him face the fears and the negative expected to lose her at the end of summer. voices that plague so many human beings? I told her the secret What I didn’t expect was her note requesting a meeting to ingredient to all success is passion. Like all successful people discuss the options she had in her future. We agreed to meet since antiquity, this guy found it. Without passion, you’re just at the coffeehouse next door, and the next day I sat face-tobouncing around, doing one thing after another. face with my star worker. I let her vent about her parents’ I let her know that when you tap that burning desire to do expectations, the letters from top universities, and how she something — something great — suddenly the critics melt away or was overwhelmed with confusion on which way to go. She can’t be heard. No one can touch you when you discover your passion. went on about her fears that she wasn’t as smart as everyone Of course, she asked: “How do I know what my passion is?” thought she was and how she really had to study hard to And I told her it’s often easier to know what your passion isn’t. get good grades. She wanted to meet with me because she You’ve got to go out and get your feet wet. If you take action, knew life had knocked me hard and she wanted to get my then soon enough, you’ll find it. perspective on things. So, sporting a mocha mustache, I would I told her to remember this: you don’t ask a fat person how to tell her what really makes a person successful. lose weight; you don’t ask a broke person how to I told her I knew a guy who couldn’t read become rich. If you surround yourself with until he was 12 and now gets paid to write winners, you’ll think like a winner. humorous stories about his children. That You’ll have great this fellow was kicked out of five high teachers and bad schools for operating at a fifth-grade teachers, but when level and now has business and you’re driven by your engineering degrees and consults for passion, you’ll plow Johnson Controls, right through the helping companies all muck of negativity, over the country with whether it’s on a building automation problems. I college campus or in told her that when this guy the boardroom. finally got to college It was nice to hear in his 30s, he had to from her through work a job every night social media recently. to pay for it. This was after I was pleased to hear a full load of classes and she graduated from the struggles of a lifelong a top university, and learning disability. now she’s back in town I let her know that when he went to teaching science for the his first algebra class, he stopped the school district. And she is very happy. Imagine how many young lives I told her an old African proverb: she can touch now that • Failure is a part of success. “When there is no enemy Don’t be afraid to try! she knows the power within, the enemies outside • Seek out the ones who blazed a of passion. cannot hurt you.” I told her to trail and learn from them. And thank God go within and find her passion, • Know yourself! When I look in that when we met the mirror in the morning, I’m no matter how long it takes. for coffee, she added looking at the biggest problem I’m going to have all day. up the tip; I’ve been • Quitting is addictive; passion is struggling with that freedom. Stay the course even if since the fifth grade.

Finding Your Passion:

you have to fake it till you make it.

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Your Child’s Legos Might Be Key to Future Occupation

‘Do What You Love’ Scenario

By Anita Oldham

Maybe the soccer games your kids are playing are going to be important to their future careers. Some people end up working with sports-related fields, and most jobs require some teamwork and dedication, which are part of sports training. Pay attention to the child’s efforts in writing and math. What comes easier and why? Does he love creating with Legos? Does she love studying the clouds? The things we often schedule out of our children’s lives might be the key to what comes naturally to them. Are you seeing your child explore the natural world enough to know what his or her natural proclivities are? Some say that by 2018, 60 percent of jobs will need a college degree. But college comes in all sizes now — specialized by industry (such as nursing), liberal arts-focused programs that offer good overall education, and schools with degrees that are employable at bachelor’s “Parenting begins with degree level (computer science, my acceptance of who my engineering, Web page design). child is, not who I want There are two-year degrees where the money invested him to be, not who I think upfront is less than it will be he is, not who I think he at the four-year colleges. A should become. two-year degree offers an Good parenting means I opportunity for your young people to enter the workforce die to my ambition for him. — especially in medical-related He may have my gender, fields — and decide if they need my looks, even my name, to get further education to but that may be as far as the pursue a more involved career. Also, there is always a similarity goes. That doesn’t demand for skilled trades. mean for a moment that he “There was a time when rough, will share my ambitions, my dirty hands were respected not personality, or my values. hidden; there was a time when parents told their kids that Parenting begins with a being a welder or construction big embrace for who my worker was good because child is.” there was a lot of work,” says — Fred. A Hartley Mike Rowe, host of Dirty Jobs and founder of the Mike Rowe Works Foundation that is promoting and giving scholarships to those entering skilled trades ( His organization says that 600,000 skilled jobs regularly go unfulfilled. Education after high school is a big-money decision, one that your child could be stuck paying off for many years in the future if he or she has a student loan. So, it is important to take the time and effort to find the right fit for your child. It might not be a traditional college situation. Times are changing in the education and job market worlds.

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When you read the next story (page 14) from recent college graduates about what they would have done differently, it will help you guide your child toward decisions before and during college. If you are a parent of a young child, you might think it is too early to start preparing your child for college or the job world. It is not too early to spend time introducing him or her to a variety of ideas and skills that might guide your child to a fulfilling career.

Senior Year of High School I need a degree.

What do I love? (Maybe the better question is: What kind of job can I imagine working in? What do I have interest in that is employable?)

Hmmm….History (one of many often-chosen subjects)

4 years and $40,000-$80,000 later B.A. in History

Job Hunt

Job in low-paying office job unrelated to degree (average undergrad owes $25,000 in student loan debt)

Go to graduate school to study something more employable (Top 20 business school $100,000+ per year in tuition)

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Beyond High School The path is not always straight or simple By Lynn Willing and Mary Ellen Bianco // Photos by Melissa Donald

We were not excited when our daughter Mindy decided to “wait” before going to college after high school. More like devastated. And as we feared, year after year passed with no interest in leaving Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. How could such a bright girl choose such a mediocre path? But 10 years later, she announced plans to enroll in an accelerated nursing program. Two and a half years after that, she graduated as class president with a 3.96 GPA, receiving the Florence Nightingale Award recognizing excellence in the LPN and RN programs. Then we were excited! But soon after she began her new job as a hospital nurse, anxiety overshadowed her love of nursing. “Acute care was so stressful for me,” Mindy says. “I got too attached to the patients and couldn’t stop worrying about them after I left my shift. I hated that I never knew what happened to them.” Mindy continued working in that position for three and a half years, during which she got professional counseling and learned a lot about herself.

Six months ago, she decided to try something new. We weren’t too excited that she would be working in a dangerous part of town where bars cover windows. At the University of Cincinnati Opioid Addiction Treatment Clinic, Mindy provides doses of methadone to drug addicts, which requires a high level of relationship with patients to assess the correct dosage that day. “I now get to see my patients daily and help them begin a journey of recovery,” Mindy says. “I’m helping people who were previously a dismissed population. I get to educate them, encourage them, and watch them change their lives and become productive members of society.” Our children take different paths to get where they're going. Here are the stories of eight young people who took their own paths after high school and things they would have changed.

See page 16 for the interviews.

Nathaniel Smith, 26

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Feature Your Teacher

By Alissa Hicks


Your teacher’s photograph could be here! Lindsey Abell BOWEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Going into her second year with Bowen Elementary, Lindsey Abell is teaching English as a second language to kids in grades K-5. Lindsey has taught fifth grade at Bowen and kindergarten at the Kennedy Montessori School. “I really just enjoy getting to know the kids and help them meet their needs to become as successful as they can be.” Lindsey, who originally got her bachelor’s degree at Xavier University in business, went back for her master’s degree in teaching shortly after. “I think I was always meant to be a teacher. Once I got into the business world, I quickly realized that is not where I needed to be. I think teaching is a very rewarding job. It’s difficult at times but very rewarding.” She is a mother to two kids and also tries to find time for other things.“I also love to read. I recently have gone back and tried to read young adult, award-winning fiction books that I remember as a child such as A Wrinkle In Time.”

Susan Moore GREATHOUSE SHRYOCK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Susan Moore is going into her 29th year of teaching, five as a first-grade teacher at Greathouse Shryock Elementary School. Susan says from day one, that she has taught her class as if her own child was in the room learning. “I’m very hands on, very creative, very high energy. I think it’s a gift to be a teacher and it’s definitely an honor.” Though Susan is recognized for her teaching abilities, what she gives back to the kids, the school, and the community makes her even more admirable. Aside from being a teacher and a mother, Susan spends time fundraising for the Children’s Hospital Foundation. This past year, Susan helped the school raise more than $54,000 for CHF. Susan understands those with medical needs since she had a kidney transplant 23 years ago. “My sister gave me the kidney.”

Your Teacher’s Name

How can you feature your teacher? Nominate him or her at One teacher will be featured each month on and also in the magazine. The three teachers with the most nominations will be featured.

Beyond High School

Sarah Rogers, 23

Her Path: Western Kentucky University, 2014, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Sarah played volleyball for WKU her freshman year and considered a major in the medical field. Since she had knee surgery in high school, she thought about physical therapy. But after researching the requirements for that major, she chose a four-year degree. Her parents, especially her father, helped her decide to pursue nursing during her sophomore year. Sarah continued to play volleyball for three more years. As a student athlete, she balanced sports and school. After the Degree

Tyler Sarkis, 23

His Path: Ball State University, 2013, BFA in Musical Theater. As a freshman, Tyler attended the University of Dayton and majored in English education because he had loved his teachers during high school. After three semesters, Tyler changed his major to vocal performance for a BA in theater. He had started performing in musical theater while in high school, so it seemed like a good fit. Fortunately, he says, his parents were the biggest influence in his transfer to Ball State, and he is happy he followed their advice. The Job Market Tyler says some of the aspects of his major were difficult, but two months before graduation, he booked his first job. Of the 16 people in his graduating class, he is the only person working in the field. After performing in one local musical, he was able to get more roles. He was on a national tour through April with a company in Georgia and is currently in rehearsals for Spamalot. Next, he’ll be in Oklahoma, followed by Pump Boys and Dinettes. Gaining experience has helped Tyler learn to approach auditions differently. When auditioning, he says he would initially “leave his blood and guts on the floor” and wait to hear about a part. Now his experience enables him to get to know the directors.

What would he do differently? Tyler says he is conflicted about whether or not he would follow the same path. He says everything that happened has affected him for the good. It taught him to fight for a role and to not take everything personally. — MEB

After applying for 20 jobs, Sarah is waiting to see where her career takes her. She hopes to get her foot in the door and find something she loves. Many of her peers are applying at hospitals, but she’s open to nursing jobs outside that setting. In addition to concentrating on job applications, Sarah is currently taking classes to prepare for the state nurse license exam. Everything has been positive so far, she says, and she’s excited about her future career. She hopes to pursue becoming a nurse practitioner or nurse educator or working in research. — MEB

Kelly Jackson, 23

Her Path: University of Maryland, 2013, biological sciences with a concentration in ecology and evolution. Kelly started her freshman year as a biochemistry major. After three semesters, she switched, realizing she could only do so much in that field. After graduation, she remained at the Maryland insect lab doing research for a state-funded project. When the job ended, she worked part-time and applied to graduate schools. After the Degree Kelly says she is happy her major gave her the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science in entomology at the University of Kentucky. She will be doing research on insects. It’s a big relief for her since she took a year off, unlike a lot of her classmates. Now she is working in the agricultural department as a research assistant. Starting this fall, she’ll take two to three classes per semester, and her research will be part of her thesis. Kelly’s career goal is to receive a PhD. She’s interested in plant ecology and hopes that research, lab management, or a teaching position will be in her future. — MEB

Katherine Bianco, 21 Her Path

Katherine’s freshman major was fibers at the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD). She received a partial scholarship and says she really loved living in Savannah. Due to chronic medical issues, she returned home before her sophomore year. She took community college courses online for a year and worked part-time. In the fall of 2013, she transferred to UofL. Katherine’s major is now 3D studio art with a concentration in fibers. She says she’s happy with the major, although it’s broader at UofL. In order to graduate sooner, she is pursuing a BA instead of a BFA.

What would she do differently? Katherine says she would have stayed at SCAD if she had the opportunity. While working part-time at a specialty clothing boutique, she’s completed several commissioned art pieces. She hopes her work experience will open opportunities for her future career. — MEB

Nathaniel Smith, 26 (pictured on previous page)

His Path

Nathaniel chose to major in music at Bellarmine, following the adage that if you do what you love as a career, you’ll never “work” a day in your life. But he soon recognized the benefit of having a communications degree to open more career opportunities. He began pursuing a double major, but he lacked the funds to continue beyond four years. He graduated with a BA in music, falling just one class short of a minor in communications. After the Degree Unsuccessful in securing a position with his music degree, Nathaniel began a master’s program in communications and took a job as a technical support specialist at The Learning House, which partners with colleges to provide online services. When he was laid off during downsizing, he specifically sought out positions with nonprofit organizations. He landed an internship with Volunteers of America. “I got to use my mind and be creative, something previous positions hadn’t afforded me,” he says. “Most importantly, I felt that I was helping people. Overall, what I got from these experiences is that I need what I do with my life to matter. That’s the biggest lesson I got from all this.”

What he would do differently? Nathaniel says he would have traded some of the eight years he worked at Kroger for more internships that would have allowed him to explore his interests while gaining valuable experience. He would also broaden his degree to include a double major. — LW

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FALL 2014 17

Beyond High School Courtney Ranalli, 26 Her Path

When Courtney was at Southern High School, the school offered senior year co-ops in two fields: marketing or automotive. She chose a marketing role at Target that she enjoyed, but her volunteer role at Norton Hospital also prompted an interest in the medical field. Courtney went to Eastern Kentucky University after high school, where she felt ongoing pressure from university advisers to choose a major quickly. She chose nursing but later realized it was not the right fit for her. Courtney left with a two-year associate degree with an undeclared major. She then took some time away from school, living with her sister in Virginia and then a friend in Georgia. A few years later, she enrolled in ATA Dental College and found her niche. “I always enjoyed going to the dentist, which I knew was unusual!” she says. And through the program’s partnership with UofL, she earned an Expanded Duties Dental Auxiliary Certificate, allowing her to do more with patients. “I truly enjoy what I do,” she says.

What would she do differently? Looking back, Courtney says she wishes she had resisted the push to choose a major quickly and had instead taken general education classes while exploring other fields. Because she paid for her own education, she’s grateful she resisted pressure from family members to continue in college when she didn’t know what she wanted to do. — LW

Kelly Tabor, 24

Her Path: Attending Spalding University majoring in communications with plans to graduate with a BA in November 2015. As a freshman, Kelly was at the Speed School at UofL studying industrial engineering. Her parents had moved out of town, and she adjusted to college, feeling like she was just away at school. But by her sophomore year, being away from her family took a toll. She left the Speed School and changed her major twice. When she was 21, Kelly had an illness that resulted in a difficult surgery and recovery, which further delayed her education.

What would she do differently? Kelly has experience in food service, retail, and as a membership coordinator at a gym. She currently works two jobs to provide for herself. Although she likes the feeling of being independent, she says she realizes that while her parents were supporting her, she should have quit work in order to go to school full time. Spalding offers weekly classes in the evening with sessions lasting for six weeks. Kelly says it works well for her. After graduation, she plans to continue her education toward a graduate degree in business communication. — MEB

Michael Janok, 26 His Path

After graduating from St. X, Michael set out to discover what career fields could be both profitable and a good fit for his talents and interests. Then he added a second major to set him apart from future competition. Michael is grateful that Centre College required students to wait until the second semester of their sophomore year to declare a major. He chose to double major in economics and Spanish and pursue a position in a financial business that allowed him

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to interact with people. “The economics major gave me a broad range for my career path,” he says. “And I truly believe being fluent in Spanish has set me apart from others in my field.” After the degree “The job search was tough because of the employer requirements,” Michael says. “If a position requires a degree, you also need work experience. If they don’t require work experience, you are often considered overqualified with a degree.” He persevered and found a job to give him the client interaction experience he needed. “I hated it, but it was my springboard,” he says. “The

jobs that do hire [new grads] are hard, frustrating, and generally aren't much fun. But they can make all the difference for your future.” After a few such positions, Michael was hired by PNC Bank and took advantage of what the company offered for advancement. “Now I’ve made it to the role that fits me the best: private client relationship manager,” Michael says.

What he would do differently? The only thing Michael says he would do differently is to find summer jobs to help him advance post-college instead of working at a golf course. — LW

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Allowing Them to Fail By Carrie Vittitoe

As I walk the halls of my children’s school and look at the kindergarten timelines on the walls, I am reminded that parents often have a skewed sense of what failure looks like. While some of the timeline work has been done by the children, with their misspelled words and reversed letters, much of it looks like something out of an Archiver’s store — perfectly contoured cardstock with script font letters aligned just so. They are lovely, but they are not the work of kindergarteners. The timelines written and designed by kindergarteners look like disasters in comparison. Some might say they look like failure. But this is not what failure looks like. These are age-appropriately unpolished, as they should be. As a writer, it kills me a little bit to see my son misspell his words, but they are his words, and he is proud of the work he does with his own hand. If I kept my son and his work from looking like “failure,” I would be removing his ownership and undermining his authority to create his own vision. Holding myself back from “swooping in” also sets a standard. If I micromanage

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every assignment, make sure his library book is in his backpack, and check his grades online every week, I fear I will be doing this kind of babysitting into his college years, and he will expect me — even depend on me — to keep doing it. We fail our children as parents when we don’t allow them to do their own work, when we try to make everything they do seem perfect. We fail them when we don’t give them the opportunity to try and, as a result of trying, possibly fail. It took being a teacher for me to see how critical it is for children to struggle and sometimes fail, and it took being a parent to feel how much a heart can ache at the prospect of one’s child struggling and failing. Somehow failure got a bad name, and struggle became a cancer that we don’t wish on our children. The funny thing is that so many of the people we hold on a pedestal have struggled, “failed,” and continued persisting. We want our children to be as inspirational as Abe Lincoln and Thomas Edison, but we don’t want them to have to work as hard or suffer as many setbacks. And yet, it is the setbacks that make people inspirational in the first place.

What do we do as parents to help our children when it comes to failure? We can talk about our own struggles and failures candidly. I tell my children about the time I forgot to have a form signed by my mom and received a detention, and about the time I flunked a math final in high school that dropped my grade from an A to a C. Our children know we empathize with their struggles when we share our experiences. The other — and much harder — thing we have to do is back off. Give them ageappropriate responsibilities and hold them accountable, and allow the school or teams to do so without stepping in. It probably wouldn’t hurt to look to those inspirational people for help in holding strong:

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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Schools that Change the Rules Jonathan Jennings Elementary School strives to impact the individual to impact the community. By Meredith Ball

Jonathan Jennings Elementary Charlestown, Ind., public school While most schools educate their students with as much individual attention as possible, teachers at Jonathan Jennings have three weekly meetings to discuss each student. They assess the strengths and developmental needs of each individual and adjust learning plans weekly based on which aspect of education needs more attention. “We know that each of them needs something different, so trying to teach to the middle just doesn’t work,” says Adrienne Bach, principal of Jonathan Jennings. What does this philosophy of individual attention, personal growth, and feeling like a valued part of your community translate into? A strong student body ready to pay it forward.

Sofi’s Story Perhaps one of the best examples of the caring atmosphere at Jonathan Jennings can be seen in the story of Sofi Wilkinson. Sofi has a rare form of genetic epilepsy that causes her to have long seizures as well as other physical obstacles. When her mother, Sheila, mentioned the desire to get Sofi a service dog, the school family stepped up. Special needs teacher Jennifer Hutton started a website to advance the cause. Kids on the student council at Jonathan Jennings sold bracelets and collected change. Many people in the community — from the police department to local businesses to churches to local celebrities — got on board with fundraising efforts. “We

22 FALL 2014

raised $13,000 in nine months, and Coral (Sofi’s dog) became a student at Jonathan Jennings in 2013,” says Kristie Weber, Sofi’s teacher. Adds Hutton, “Coral is doing her job well. She has alerted us to potential seizures, and we have been able to give Sofi medication to prevent them. However, Sofi is not the only kid who is benefiting from Coral. Students at JJ are becoming more aware of people with disabilities and their special needs. They are becoming more compassionate people.” Sofi’s mom says it well: “Jonathan Jennings is such an amazing place! They truly care for their students’ wellbeing and futures. Just can’t think of anywhere else I would want Sofi to be.”

Sofi Wilkinson received a service dog, Coral, with the help of her school community.

Meredith Ball lives in LaGrange with her husband Reggie and their sons Coen (9 in October), Weston (6), and Kairo (1).

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Wouldn’t it be great if my school did this? By Carrie Vittitoe

When it comes to education, it seems everyone is interested in big, sweeping changes that take bazillions of dollars, numerous feasibility studies, and years to come to fruition. As I watch the slow wheel of progress turn, I sometimes like to daydream about changes that my kids’ school or district could make to the status quo.

1 Part-time teachers I don’t know how teachers with young families do it. I know how much time I spent planning lessons and grading papers 10 years ago before I had children. As much as I love teaching and wish I could be back in a public school classroom, I can’t do it full time without sacrificing a significant chunk of my sanity. Hiring part-time teachers to serve small groups of underperforming students a few days a week would be a win-win for everyone. Kids would receive more individualized attention from trained professionals, and districts could offer teachers more and different employment opportunities as well as bring some top-notch people back to the field. Oh, and people like me could have a little bit of “it all.”


District-wide life skills classes

Education is an endeavor that begins when a child is born. In a perfect world, all parents would teach their children how to cook meals, manage money wisely, and sew a button, but not every parent knows how to do these things. Some children, like mine, are far more willing to listen and learn from others than from me. In the effort to make every child collegeready, we’ve forgotten the importance of some basic life skills that, for many kids, would have a much bigger impact on their adult lives. I for one spend much more time balancing my checkbook and keeping my family within our budget than I do applying physics concepts to my daily life.

3 Fast Passes for frequent parent volunteers When it comes to visitors, most schools have similar procedures: ring the doorbell at the main entrance, walk to the office when the door is automatically unlocked, sign a sheet stating name and purpose of visit. Some schools have video cameras so office staff can see visitors prior to buzzing them in, while others have intercoms for visitors to announce themselves. Students and teachers coming in from recess and parents whose kids go to before- and after-school care don’t follow these procedures, though. They enter back doors where they punch special codes into a keypad that gains them building access. The couple times a week that I visit or volunteer at my kids’ school, I feel like I’m inconveniencing office staff with the doorbell dinging and buzzing and polite small talk. And I’m not sure what purpose is served signing in since I doubt even a forensic expert could decipher my illegible scribble. One day I jokingly suggested that the school needs a Disney World-like Fast Pass system for frequent parent visitors/ volunteers. But I’m really not joking. Why can’t very frequent volunteers have our own special codes? How about scannable laminated cards that would tally how often we are at the school? Wouldn’t this be a great pilot project for high school technology classes that would challenge them and benefit the system? Schools regularly assess how much time parents volunteer, and having a digitized tracker would make the results far more accurate.

What are some great ideas you wish your school or district would consider? Write your ideas at Carrie Vittitoe lives and dreams of a better world in Louisville with her husband Dean Langford and their kids Norah (10), Graeme (6), and Miles (4).

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FALL 2014 25

AGE Page

Birth to 5

By Tami L. Pyles


Louisville Walk for Food Allergies September 13 at 9 a.m. in Seneca Park


Top 8 Food Allergens Wheat • Peanuts Tree nuts • Milk Eggs • Soy Fish • Shellfish

Get reading this fall with these new books recommended by Shannon Kruer, head children’s librarian at the Oldham County Public Library.

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

This new book from the author of Llama Llama Red Pajama features a little gnu named Nelly and her daddy. With all of the Llama stories featuring Mama, it is nice to have a book in which Daddy is the star.

This book by the author of the Ladybug Girl series is a beautifully illustrated story about three bears who accidentally break their mother’s favorite blue shell. They embark on a journey to find a new one.

Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle

Little Green comes into town and knows one word: Go! He gets everyone going: bulldozers, dump trucks, mixers, cranes. But with everyone going so fast, they need help from Little Red, who knows one word: STOP!

Wednesday Wonders Fall is the perfect time to get out and explore nature. Visit The Parklands of Floyds Fork for

Wednesday Wonders, the Parklands’ interactive nature classes specially designed for children ages 5 and under. Each class has a different theme and includes story time, activities and crafts, and opportunities to see nature firsthand. Classes are free to park members and $5/child for non-members. Visit


Directive When administering over-the-counter medicines, determine the correct dose by using your child’s weight first. If weight is unknown, go by their age. Be sure to check with your pediatrician before administering any medicine to your child. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics 26 FALL 2014

Preschool Prep DID YOU KNOW?

The U.S. is the world’s second largest apple producer.

Pick your own apples with your family! Boyds Orchard • Gallrein Farms Hidden Hollow Orchard • Huber’s Orchard

Ease the transition to school days with these tips from Diane Smith, director at St. John Preschool in Prospect, Ky. • Be sure you are confident about the preschool you have chosen. Your child will sense your feelings. • Ask to meet your child’s teacher. Share any information you think might help your child. • Ask the teacher for a copy of your child’s daily schedule and review it with your child before the first day. • Talk with your child about what will happen the first day of school, including how you will separate. • At drop-off, be happy and upbeat. Give your child a big hug and tell her you will see her very soon.

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FALL 2014 27

AGE Page

6 to 11

Read this advice from a middle-school teacher on how students and parents can navigate organizational nightmares

By Megan M. Seckman

Reap the Harvest of Fall Family Fun



Deere Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch ( Lanesville, IN This home of one of the Midwest’s largest professional corn mazes, a 20-acre pumpkin patch, pig races, hayrides, farm food, and more is open weekends through fall. $8 for adults, $5 for kids 3-12.

National Jug Band Jubilee

( This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Jubilee, where you can enjoy old-fashioned fun with folk music, dancing, and great food and drink. Children can learn to play the washboard or spoons while parents lounge on the waterfront. September 20 at BrownForman Amphitheater in Waterfront Park. Free.

Bernheim’s Colorfest

( Clermont, KY Enjoy beautiful foliage, music, vendors, food, hands-on environmental learning activities, pumpkin painting, hayrides, and more. Events are free and open to the public ($5 environmental impact fee per car for non-members). October 18-19.

Bernheim Arboretum (20 miles south of Louisville off I-65). Open year-round and free each weekday. Trails, an eco-conscious vision and education center, an I-spy scavenger hunt trail, several ponds, wildlife, an imaginative kids’ play area, a suspension bridge, and several programs for children year-round. The Parklands of Floyd’s Fork (located in southeast Shelbyville Road). Offers community gardens, beautiful for hiking or biking, several fishing or wading ponds,

Research shows that middle schoolers don't argue MORE than younger kids. They just argue BETTER. And because they argue better, it FEELS like they argue more. Source: Nancy Darling, Ph.D. Psychology Today

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5 to 7

Louisville paved (and several play Hstructures ow m and spray

of infor any bits m average ation an school s middle t can retaudent in one tim at e

off shaded) trails fountains,

• Buy a soft, three-ringed binder and fill with a different colored folder labeled for each class. Use one folder for homework only; label the right side “to do” and the left “to turn in.” The binder helps with organization (and ensures fewer trips to the locker). • Get familiar with the online grading program for your child’s school, then pass this responsibility (and login information) on to your child. By winter break, your child should be checking the grade book more than you! • If your student is new to a locker, practice opening a combo-lock all summer. A locker shelving unit will help keep a locker organized and divided if students share it.

“See the world without leaving town” Celebrate Louisville’s diverse culture at Worldfest, with great food, music, parades, and vendors on the Belvedere. Free, August 29-September 1. Visit

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FALL 2014 29

AGE Page

12 and up

By Stacie L. Martin

College Planning at Your Fingertips Have a high school student? is a comprehensive source of information and planning for both parents and students. Students can save their favorite colleges, sign up for AP classes and check AP

scores, register for the SAT, create a college plan, and do an individualized search for scholarships. The site is full of info about how to apply for financial aid, explore college majors that match your student’s interests, apply to

college, and practice AP exam questions. The site also has a specific section for students with disabilities.

$13,000 = Financial aid dollars

received by the average undergrad last year

September 19th

Talk Like a Pirate Day

FALL FRIGHTS • August 29: Annual Zombie Walk on Bardstown Road – Throw on your walking dead attire and join 18,000 fellow Louisville zombies on Bardstown Road. Walk, limp, or drag yourself from The Back Door to The Monkey Wrench, then celebrate like it’s the apocalypse at the block party on the 1000 block of Barrett Avenue. • October 10: Celebrate the beginning of the Halloween season in the Highlands at Caufield’s Annual Halloween Parade. The parade features a wide variety of floats, costumes, and trick-or-treats. Best of all: this creepy Halloween tradition is completely free!

Community Service Ideas

Lunchbox Ideas for Teens It’s that dreaded time of year again: “What can I pack that isn’t peanut butter and jelly?!” If you have a teenager, chances are he packs his own lunch before heading out the door for school, but you can give him a variety of healthy choices. Check out Pinterest for loads of great ideas. Here are a few examples: • Hummus wrap (add shredded carrots and cucumbers for crunch) • Pepperoni & cheese cubes with crackers • Ham & cheese croissant • Chef salad • Pasta salad with grilled chicken 30 FALL 2014

Many middle and high school students are now required to perform volunteer service hours for class or extracurricular activities. The following organizations provide opportunities for youth to gain service hours while helping our community: Kentucky

Humane Society, Norton Healthcare, American Red Cross, Kentucky Science Center, Metro United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Metro Animal Services, Home of the Innocents, and Louisville Zoo. Policies vary at each location.

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FALL 2014 31

‘rents rant

What the Experts Say Ryan Connor Physical Education Teacher and Coach

Jefferson County Public Schools

Connor thinks there are a number of reasons why less-than-healthy snacks are offered. “Sometimes parents don’t know any better,” he says. “They aren’t reading food ingredients.” For example, parents might see commercials for Gatorade and think it is the optimal drink for any sports activity without realizing it is mostly sugar. “There is a convenience factor for these foods,” Connor adds. If busy parents have to provide snacks for 30 children, it’s cost-effective to buy a variety pack that doesn’t require any preparation.

Extracurricular Snack Attack By Carrie Vittitoe

No matter what French moms say, it feels tremendously difficult to get kids to eat healthy, and this difficulty is worsened once our children are in school and participating in activities beyond the realm of our control. “I hate that every extracurricular activity my child does ends with a snack and a drink, usually falling in the ‘less than healthy’ category, a.k.a. junk food,” says local mom Barb

Hartman. “My 6-year-old just stood out in left field picking dandelions for an hour; he didn’t run a marathon. He doesn’t need Gatorade.” Whether it’s the coaches, the organizations sponsoring the activity, or other parents in a rotation who determine what types of snacks are offered to children, parents often wonder how to battle unhealthy choices without stepping on toes.

There’s also parent peer pressure. “Some parents don’t want to be looked at as the boring ‘healthy food’ parent,” Connor says. “They want the kids to be excited about the snacks they bring.” If parents want to make a change to the snacks without usurping a coach’s authority, Connor suggests parents take a proactive, helpful approach. “They could say they want to take something off the coach’s hands and make a guideline sheet for snacks that would be given to all team parents,” he suggests. Some responsibility does lie with coaches, though. “Coaches should be getting the kids more active by doing dynamic warm-ups to get the kids’ heart rates up,” Connor says. He also suggests that game rules could be modified for younger children to ensure more kids are getting lots of playing time, such as by using two balls for a soccer game.

Anna Grout MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Check out these healthy snack ideas!

Visit 2014/03/04/kids-dont-needsnacks-recreational-sports/ for snack ideas.

Nutrition Specialist LLC, owner

Anna Grout recommends that parents be mindful of the message they send to children when it comes to sports and food. If treats and other snacky “fun” foods are always offered, it sends the message that the food is a reward for the activity. She says, “The activity should be fun for what it is. Food should be completely separate from the activity.” It is important for children to eat every three to four hours, but if a child has eaten within that window of time, extra snacks are unnecessary. However, if an easy snack is needed, Grout says, “When only convenience foods are available, there are some good choices for kids, such as low-fat chocolate milk, fruit newton cookies, trail mix and peanut butter crackers.” She suggests parents and children start to think of fueling before sports activities as part of their necessary sports equipment, as necessary to the game as uniforms, gloves, cleats, and pads. Carrie Vittitoe lives in Louisville with her children, Norah (10), Graeme (6), and Miles (4).

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FALL 2014 33

Just Ask Joyce By Joyce Oglesby


“We’ve warned [our son] that lying is wrong. How can I break this habit?”


“A friend told me that I praise my child too much. I came from a home where I never received praise and have struggled with low self-esteem my whole life. I want to make sure my children know we are proud of them. Is there such a thing as too much praise?”

Joyce: There is a danger in too much praise. I realize our desire is for our children to believe in their abilities, but sometimes we applaud them for things they really have no business in pursuing because, quite frankly, they stink at it! We know it, and so do they. As a Family-Life Fitness Pro, it concerns me when I see teams handing out trophies to everyone and no one keeping score because there is no loser, only winners. That’s totally unrealistic, and we are setting our young kids up to fail in their teen and adult years. The cold, hard truth is no one wins all the time, and some folks never do at all. When a child suffers from low selfesteem already, praising him or her for watching three strikes clear home plate while standing with a bat in the air is less than ideal. Little Johnny knows he didn’t do his best. It’s much more honest and preparatory to say something like, “Hey, bad day at bat. We’ll practice that at home tomorrow.” He’s more likely to embrace his failure with the winning spirit of “practice makes perfect” rather than trying to live up to expectations he may never be able to meet. Kids need to know they please their parents and that their efforts are noticed, and steering them toward an activity in which they perform admirably will instill the confidence and self-esteem all parents desire for their children.

34 FALL 2014

Little Liars

Little Bit of Modesty


“I see signs of my child beginning to lie. He’s only 5. Now that he’s in kindergarten, he suddenly has been displaying this behavior, and it seems to be getting worse. We’ve warned him many times that lying is wrong and could ruin his reputation. How can I break this habit so it won’t become a character problem in his future?”

Joyce: His lying sounds like a learned behavior since there appeared to be a sudden onset; therefore, it is a correctable one. Set the rules and consequences regarding lying. Make sure you follow through with the assigned punishment so he will be certain what will follow should a lie be discovered, reminding him that the truth typically surfaces. Keep a watchful eye on his circle of friends. Assessing the source of the problem, whether through new acquaintances or a need for attention, will help you get a game plan for how to find a solution. A word of caution: Be careful not to label your child a liar. If others hear it, or if any unkind clichés surface, such as “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” his reputation will precede him and exacerbate the problem. Let him know you love him, but that integrity is the making of strong character.

need family advice?


“My husband is bad about walking around naked. I don’t mind it in front of our 4-yearold son, but not our 3-year-old daughter. Right now the two of them giggle at Daddy. We want our children to be sex-healthy, and we intend to explain things to them. But we are disagreeing about modesty. Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.”

Joyce: There’s something to be said for keeping the horse in the corral! Different families will approach family nudity in varying ways. Personally, I believe once children can talk and point, it’s time to rein it in. I certainly find no harm in calling the anatomy by name, but exposure is a very personal decision for parents. When two parents disagree, it’s not a cohesive model for the children within the home. I believe our culture is far too generous in pushing sexuality on our very young children, hence encouraging an attitude of tolerance for sexual exploration as well as decreasing their propensity to blush. A child will not learn modesty from the world; therefore, parents are his or her best hope for instruction regarding restraint in this area.

Change your life . . . NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro, at Check out her books and other resources today at Listen to The Just Ask Joyce Show M-F at 10am on WNDA 1570/WLRS 1600 AM, or stream it on TuneIn.

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FALL 2014 35


Fun Tip:

Once bread is sliced, use larg e cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.

Brinn’s French Toast is a delicious and nutritious breakfast and a great way for Brinn McKinley Ishmael, 7, to start her morning. You can prepare this dish the night before and just finish in the morning.

Brinn’s French Toast A creamy and custardy French toast loaded with flavor and protein. Photos by Melissa Donald Recipe by Sandy and Mae Pike, Home Cuisine

active time 10-15 MINUTES TO MIX soaking time 1 HOUR OR OVERNIGHT TO SOAK cooking time 10 MINUTES

1. Slice bread into four 1¼-1½” thick pieces. 2. In a medium size bowl, mix together the milk and Greek yogurt. Add one egg at a time and whisk into the milk and yogurt mixture. 3. Add the cinnamon and whisk until well incorporated. 4. Pour the liquid mixture into a baking dish and add the slices of artisan bread.

36 FALL 2014

Flip each slice over once to coat each side of the bread. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or better yet, overnight. The longer your bread soaks in the liquid mixture, the more custardy and flavorful your French toast will taste. 5. Add 1 Tbsp butter to a frying pan and melt on medium-low heat. *If your child is helping with this part, she will need supervision.

6. Add the slices of bread and fry on each side for 3-5 minutes. Check frequently to ensure the cooked side does not burn. Flip bread over when the cooked side is a golden brown color. 7. Once both sides are golden brown, remove from the pan and place on a plate. Top with fresh fruit. Serve hot and enjoy.

Ingredients 4 thick slices of artisan bread ½ cup low fat milk 1 cup Greek yogurt — plain or with fruit 2 large eggs 1 Tbsp cinnamon 1 Tbsp butter Fruit for topping Topping Options: • warmed applesauce • your favorite jam • maple syrup • honey • a dusting of powdered sugar Bread Suggestions: • Whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread (shown here) • Cranberry walnut bread • Cinnamon Swirl bread Artisan bread can be found at local bread shops such as Breadworks and Blue Dog Bakery as well as the bakery section of your grocery store.

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Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Participate! Every weekday, we have new information including fun things to do, parenting help, crafts and school news. You can also enter our prize giveaways every Wednesday.

And, go ahead and start thinking of Halloween and enter our Halloween Costume Contest! Do you have a photo of your child (or even you as a child) in a cute Halloween costume? We want to see them, and we’ll be featuring many of the photos on

Two winners will be chosen from the photos received and will win a Halloween prize package from the Louisville Zoo, including Halloween Party tickets, Carousel ride tickets and the Headless Horseman Tour.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.



Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.


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Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.




My Kid’s Teeth

By Tami L. Pyles and Mary Ellen Bianco


“We have a ton of adult patients. Some parents witness the process with their children and become motivated.”

CHILDREN SHOULD GET A NEW TOOTHBRUSH every three months. Switch it out sooner if your child gets sick or there is a virus in your home.

— Dr. Gerry Ahrens, DMD of Ahrens Orthodontics

— Dr. Korie Acord, Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Korie Acord Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Gerry Ahrens Ahrens Orthodontics

Dr. John C. Wilson Kid’s Dentistree


TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CHILD’S TEETH 1. Begin brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. 2. Avoid sticky and chewy snacks, including fruit snacks and chewy vitamins.


Read food labels. Avoid snacks and drinks with a high sugar content, including popular sports drinks.


Assist your child with brushing his teeth until the age of 7 or 8.


As children get older and begin to play sports, use a mouth guard to protect teeth. — Dr. Korie Acord, Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

48 FALL 2014

Happy Birthday! Let’s see those teeth. Dr. Korie Acord suggests that a child’s first dental visit be scheduled around the child’s first birthday, which for most children will meet the formal ADA recommendation that a child be seen by a dentist within six months of the appearance of the first tooth.

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My Kid’s Teeth

By Lorie Gant Leitner

Sleep by Age The amount of sleep needed each night depends on age. Infants: 9-10 hours plus 3+ hours in naps Toddlers: 9-10 hours plus 2-3 hours in naps School age: 9-11 hours Adults: 7-8 hours



My child is afraid to visit the dentist. What can I do to make the visit more successful?

A. Prepare your child by talking

Soy-Yer Dough After learning children with celiac disease can’t use Play-Doh because it contains wheat, Sawyer Sparks, a native of Bloomfield, Ind., developed Soy-Yer Dough, a gluten- and wheat-free modeling dough. Request a free sample at soy-yer. com/index.html.

50 FALL 2014

about the visit prior to your appointment and role play some the experiences she may have at the office. Dr. Korie Acord of Derby City Pediatric Dentistry suggests simulating the experience in the dentist chair by having her lay down while you brush her teeth and use a mirror and flashlight to inspect the mouth and count teeth. Visit the office’s Web page and show her pictures of the office and the dentist. If your child has special needs or intense fear, consider scheduling what Dr. Korie calls a “drive-by” appointment where she can visit the office and see everything that will happen prior to her own visit. Most importantly, Dr. Korie says to provide information, but do not overwhelm. Sometimes basic information is all that is needed. Do not project your own fear onto her.

Limiting sugary drinks “Parents should supervise what a child drinks . Water should be offered.”

between meals

“Fruit juices have so much sugar. When children drink from it’s like bathing the teeth with sugar.” Dr. Wilson also advises limiting the amount of milk that a child drinks during the day.

sippy cups,

“Also, we’re seeing cavities form with athletes who use

sports drinks before and after practice.”

— Dr. John Wilson of Kid’s Dentistree

2years toold 3

Age at which to switch your child to fluoride toothpaste. The benefit of the fluoride to the teeth far outweighs the small amount of possible digestion. — Dr. Korie Acord, Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

“We would like teenage patients to wear [retainers] into adulthood. Teeth keep moving and will try to go back to their original position. The ideal goal is for the patients to become their own orthodontists. If the retainer is tight, that means the teeth are moving. If it feels loose, they are in a good position.” — Gerry Ahrens, DMD, of Ahrens Orthodontics 4 4 4 4 /todaysfamily 4 4 4 @todaysfamilynow


My Kid’s Teeth


My child uses a pacifier or sucks his thumb. Should I be concerned about the impact on his teeth?


Yes. Pacifiers and thumb sucking create pressure in the mouth that can cause teeth to shift. Dr. Korie Acord of Derby City Pediatric Dentistry suggests eliminating the pacifier between the ages of 2 and 3. Get creative and send the pacifier off to another baby or plant it in the garden with seeds and see what grows. Dr. Korie says thumb sucking is a little more difficult to eradicate as the child has to be ready to give it up, which may not occur until an older age. Some strategies for ending thumb sucking include having the child wear gloves or socks on hands, wrapping thumbs in colored adhesive wrap, or providing your child with a squishy ball to keep hands busy. There are also special guards you can purchase. The key with any wrapping or guarding method is to wrap both thumbs.


New Technology Gerry Ahrens, DMD, of Ahrens Orthodontics says technology is ever changing. “There are newer brackets that require a lower force, and there is less pain,” he says. “There are less frequent visits with a longer stretch in between. The new generation of brackets are more favorable for the patient and dentist.”

By Lorie Gant Leitner

Long-Term Effects of Bullying Bullying might have long-term physical effects. Scientists have discovered an increase in victims’ blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular and other diseases. Source: being-bullied-is-bad-for-your-health



Attending Funerals Attending funeral services can be helpful in a child’s grieving process. Regardless of age, it is important to prepare your child for what will take place. Grief Healing (,

a blog dedicated to providing information on caregiving, grief, and transition, offers these tips: • Begin with who will be at the event, what will happen, and where it will take place. • Explain the purpose of attending, such as saying goodbye or celebrating someone’s life. • Help children anticipate seeing people express a variety of emotions.

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My Kid’s Teeth Q.

Do you recommend teeth whitening for children?


“With our patient population, we don’t recommend whiteners for pre-adolescents,” says Dr. John Wilson of Kid’s Dentistree. “The teeth are pretty new, and they don’t have a lot of staining.” Occasionally a patient will have a condition that leads to staining. A few teenage patients may participate in beauty pageants and will use an overthe-counter product. Dr. Wilson

recommends Crest White Strips since they can be used safely without any damage.


Products to get your kids excited about tooth care Specific items to look for include soft bristles for toothbrushes, the ADA seal of approval on products, and flossers on sticks. Dr. Korie Acord of Derby City Pediatric Dentistry also recommends the Sonicare for Kids toothbrush. If you have a child who is picky about toothpaste flavors, try Tom’s Silly Strawberry toothpaste.

If a kid can tie their shoes, they should be ready to brush on their own. — Dr. John Wilson of Kid’s Dentistree

By Lorie Gant Leitner

Spreading Pink Eye While poor hand washing is the main culprit for spreading pink eye, it is also important that family members do not share the same washcloths or towels. Most pink eye cases will go away in 7-10 days without medical treatment. Source:

Schroth Method for Scoliosis There might be another option for those suffering from scoliosis: an exercise regimen called the Schroth method. The therapy is customized for each patient to concentrate on halting curve progression and reducing pain. It also improves posture and lung function. Source:

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Dating Violence

1 in 3

“The most vital things parents Today, one in three teens in the Number o f U.S. teen victim can do are model healthy U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, abuse froms of relationships in the home and emotional, or verbal abuse from a d ating part a be open to talking to their teens dating partner, but only 33 percent of ner about dating. Even if parents teens who were in a violent relationship don’t think their kids are dating ever told anyone about the abuse. yet, it’s important to routinely check in Kiera Phillips at The Center for Women and talk about what a healthy relationship looks like.” and Families advises, “Everyone has the right to be Visit for more information free from violence in all relationships and to say no on dating violence. — Stacie L. Martin when they feel uncomfortable. 4 4 4 4 /todaysfamily 4 4 4 @todaysfamilynow


1 Cut soap into cubes (4 cubes per bar of soap) and place in microwaveable-safe bowl.

2 Heat for 30 seconds and stir with a spoon or plastic swizzle stick. Then heat in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted.

3 Pour melted soap into separate containers as desired.

4 Add about ½ drop of food coloring to soap and gently stir. A little color goes a LONG WAY.

5 Add your fragrance. 6 You may reheat your soap if it begins to harden while you’re working with it. Kids will love putting surprise toys in the middle of their homemade soaps.

Fun Soap


By Miranda Popp Photos Jason Popp

With a fun toy hidden inside the soap, your children will be begging to take a bath. Plus, they’ll love helping you make it, from stirring the soap to choosing what toy to put in. This project is sure to be a hit with your little ones!

• 1 package clear glycerin soap

7 Fill mold halfway with soap, add toy, and fill to the top of the mold. Let sit for 1 hour.

(found at Michael’s)

• 1 package soap molds (found at Michael’s)

• Food coloring • Small plastic toys • Fragrance such as almond or strawberry extract (optional) 8 Firmly press thumbs onto mold to loosen the hardened soap. This is a little tricky, but it will come out. If necessary, gently pull on sides of mold to loosen.

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4 4 4 4 /todaysfamily 4 4 4 @todaysfamilynow