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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

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CONTENTS

12

8

30 4

On the Cover

20

Parent Perspectives

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See You @ TodaysFamilyNow.com

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My Kid’s Teeth

8

House Rules: Do your kids know them?

By Victoria Squillante

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12

Family Wellness

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By Lorie Gant Leitner

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14

The First Day of School By Mary Ellen Bianco

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When Your College Kid Thinks He or She Made a Mistake By Veda Pendleton McClain

Keeping It in the (Witten) Family By Carrie Vittitoe

By Megan Willman

Things to Do By Victoria Squillante

34

Directories

38

Awesome Coach

40

D.I.Y: Memo Board By Miranda G. Popp

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on the cover

Our Model Search Winners

Volume 22 • Number 5 PUBLISHER

We had online entries and voting for our elementary-age models, and the winners appear in this issue of Today's Family.

Top from left, Mercedes Carter and isabela Wilmes. Below from left, Jack Tisdale and Sophia Bowen.

Isabela Wilmes, 5, loves to joke around, says mother Niki Rodriguez. You might hear her singing a song of silly lyrics she created herself, or she might be unleashing all of her energy on the soccer field. She is attending Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts Magnet School for kindergarten. This winner appears on page 14.

Mercedes Carter is an expert with making funny faces on demand and gave us many during this photo shoot. The 5-yearold is a huge American Doll fan who enjoys swimming, riding her scooter, and playing with her little sister.

Sophia Bowen, 8, and her dog Nacho are the picture-perfect pair. She loves cuddling with him and is involved in dance classes, gymnastics, and runs cross country at Dunn Elementary.

Jack Tisdale, 5, starts school at Floyds Knobs Elementary this year and fills his free time with superheroes and swimming. These three winners appear on the cover and on pages 8 and 9.

Cathy S. Zion

publisher@todayspublications.com EDITOR

Anita Oldham

editor@todayspublications.com ASSISTANT EDITORS

Elaine Rooker Jack

elaine@todayspublications.com

Tiffany White

tiffany@todayspublications.com ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Susan Allen

susan@todayspublications.com SALES DIRECTOR

Cheryl Suhr

cheryl@todayspublications.com account executives

Rose Helm

rose@todayspublications.com

Teri Hickerson

teri@todayspublications.com SENIOR graphic Designer

April H. Allman

april@todayspublications.com photographer

Melissa Donald

melissa@todayspublications.com ASSISTANT EDITOR/DESIGNER

Jessica Smith

jessica@todayspublications.com COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

Melissa Donald

Volume 22 • Number 2

TODAYSFAMILYNOW.COM EDITOR Miranda Popp PUBLISHER miranda@todayspublications.com Cathy S. Zion publisher@todayspublications.com MEDIA ASSOCIATE Alissa Hicks EDITOR

Anita Oldham

INTERN editor@todayspublications.com

Victoria Squillante

ASSISTANT EDITORS

Published bi-monthly Elaine Rooker Jack by: Zion Publications LLC elaine@todayspublications.com 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 Louisville, KY 40223 Tiffany White Phone (502) 327-8855 tiffany@todayspublications.com Fax (502) 327-8861

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR www.todaysfamilynow.com

Susan Allen www.facebook.com/todaysfamily

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

See You @ TodaysFamilyNow.com See You @ Back to School!

TodaysFamilyNow.com

• What do you need for school? • Great crafts. • How to help your kids.

Giveaways The Great Camp Adventure Giveaway! ... you have a chance to win (they happen every Wednesday!) Every Wednesday Win great things to do with youra different family. summer camp experience.

Coming Up... AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

Copyright 2013 by Zion Publications LLC withSENIOR all rightsGRAPHIC reserved. DESIGNER Reproduction or use of editorial content in any AprilorH.graphic Allman manner is prohibited without permission april@todayspublications.com from Zion Publications LLC.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Melissa Donald

melissa@todayspublications.com ASSISTANT EDITOR/DESIGNER

Jessica Smith

Halloween Costume Photo Contest! 4

SALES DIRECTOR

Today’s Family magazine is published bi-monthlyCheryl by ZionSuhr Publications LLC cheryl@todayspublications.com and distributed free to the people of metropolitan Louisville and Southern Indiana.ExECUTIVES Circulation 25,000. ACCOUNT The opinions expressed herein are Rose Helm exclusively those of the writers and do rose@todayspublications.com not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Today’s Family magazine Hickerson does notTeri endorse or guarantee any teri@todayspublications.com advertiser’s product or service.

A Mom’s Favorite Things

Learn about local things that you should try to help your family life get better.

BBB Rating jessica@todayspublications.com of

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY

For advertising information, Emily Burke call (502) 327-8855 or email advertising@todayspublications.com.

TODAYSFAMILYNOW.COM EDITOR

Miranda Popp

miranda@todayspublications.com


Don’t Miss

These Open Houses Assumption High School

Kentucky Country Day School

Presentation Academy

Open House Thursday, December 5 6:30 p.m.

Open House sunday, October 20 1:30-4 p.m.

Open House sunday, November 24 12-3 p.m.

Assumption High School, a college preparatory school for young women in grades 9-12, was founded in 1955 by the Sisters of Mercy. Our mission and values are the foundation of our identity as a Catholic school and guide our decisions and actions as an institution.

Kentucky Country Day School is an independent, JK-12, coeducational school located on a spacious 85-acre campus in eastern Jefferson County. KCD combines a rigorous academic program with a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular programs. Our outstanding faculty create an intimate learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

Presentation Academy strives to create a diverse community that promotes academic excellence and challenges young women to develop their greatest potential as leaders in a global society. Visit Presentation Academy's Open House to discover what it means to be a Pres Girl!

We are the community of Assumption, where faith guides, compassion inspires, integrity matters, and excellence empowers.

In the next issue, look for the winning essays from these schools in the

I Love My School Essay Contest!

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Pick Up Your Dirty Clothes. Jack Tisdale, 5, would choose swimming over chores any day of the week.

No hitting. Do your chores. Don’t complain.

Be respectful.

Do your kids know your rules? By Megan Willman • Photos by Melissa Donald

A

few weeks ago, I asked my younger son what he thought the rules were in our house. His first response was that we didn’t have any. Really? No rules? Have we not lived in the same house these last 11 years? Ouch. After a moment of thought, he said, “I can’t leave dishes and glasses in my room.” The actual rule is not to eat up there at all, but at this point I couldn’t be picky. Not wanting to give away the nature of this article, I resolved to talk to him a bit later and get busy with some research into the matter of house rules. All parents want their children to grow into contributing members of society with strong moral compasses, good hearts, and good minds. How we go about attaining that goal, however, varies from home to home. Even the language differs: page 10

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“Rules are necessary. Kids that don’t have them don’t turn out as well as adults.” — Shanon, 15

House rules,

Kids’ version

“Don’t run in the kitchen when chasing the dogs. The dishes might get broken.” — Lydia, age 8 “I can’t say shut-up or call people names. No shooting Airsoft or Nerf guns in friend’s faces.” — Toby, age 9

Don’t annoy the dog!

“Don’t talk back to parents.” — Caleb, age 11

Sophia Bowen (right), 8, and Mercedes Carter, 5, refuse to let Sophie’s dog Nacho take a nap.

“If I tell my sister she is stupid, I get grounded for a month.” — Chase, age 11 ­

“Can’t play video games too long and only appropriate ones. No sexual content.” — Ty, age 12 “No being home alone with my boyfriend. I can’t ride in the car with anyone my mom doesn’t know.” — Shanon, age 15

­

today’s FAMILY

“I have to call when I get places.” — Spencer, age 18

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 9


House rules,

Parents’ version

In my house, I have lots of procedures — carry plate and utensils to sink when finished eating, put 50 percent of money in ‘save’ bank and 50 percent in ‘spend’ bank — but very few rules. I don't know if this is brilliance on my part or sheer laziness. I don't want to have to remember a ton of rules and be a police officer. — Carrie Vittitoe House rule #1 ... never leave without saying “good-bye,” whether you’re heading to work, running an errand, leaving a family event, or heading to bed for the night. — Lorie Gant Leitner At this point in life our rules revolve mainly around screen time. As the mother of two confirmed vidiots and one adolescent texter, I have to lay down the law in that area. One hour on a school night and two hours on weekends, with mother's discretionary power! — Barb Hartman My husband and I recently instituted a new rule of no electronics on Sundays to enhance our traditional family/ movie/game night. — Sanna Rogers

No computer on Sundays!

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what some call “rules,” others might refer to as “expectations” or “guidelines.” If the bottom line is the same, does it matter how we go about it? Do our kids know what the rules are in the family; do they know what is expected of them? It’s a question that strikes close to the heart of all parents; are we doing our child-rearing properly? I thought it might be best to start by asking the kids themselves. I asked several kids of varying ages and genders about the house rules in their family. Afterward, I spoke to a few of their parents to get reactions to the children’s interpretations of the rules. Finally, I spoke with a counselor who offered her professional insight into the fundamental importance of rule-making in the home. Nearly every child I talked to had to first think a minute before responding to my question, “What are the rules in your house?” Once they thought about it though, I did get the information I was expecting. Common threads came from each kid: • No yelling or hitting • Use nice words • Do your chores without complaint • Be respectful of parents and each other • Don’t ride your bike without a helmet • Don’t play games or watch TV/movies that are inappropriate I even got some very specific rules from a few kids. Toby, 9, told me that he isn’t allowed to cut his brother’s hair; he said he did this once and left a bald spot. (Mom says that’s not even the way the bald spot occurred but doesn’t want to dissuade Toby from this otherwise good rule to follow.) Chase, 11, told me that if he tells his sister to “shut up” he will be grounded for a month. Lydia, 8, gave me a recitation of proper table manners that would put Miss Manners to shame! How do the kids feel about these rules? Ty, 12, tells me “There’s a lot in the world I could do bad but I can’t do here. [Following rules] will make me a good man.” Spencer, 18, who is leaving home for college and admits to feeling a bit stifled by house rules these days, agrees. “Kids have to have rules, or it would be a free-for-all.” Caleb, 11, shared that he and his brothers do their chores because it’s “just part of being a family.” Shanon, 15, has discovered the key to getting along. “If I am good to my parents, they are good to me. When we don’t communicate with mom, she worries.”

When I spoke to the mothers afterward, each felt her child had a good grasp of how to behave at home. As we all know, that doesn’t happen every day, but these kids understand clearly what they are supposed to do and what happens when they don’t behave properly. Dr. Michele Page, school counselor at Highland Hills Middle School in Indiana and licensed mental health counselor, affirms the importance of rules and structure in a family. “Kids need boundaries. The most troubled students are those with no structure.” Those are the students who often behave the worst, and they are searching desperately for rules to help them along. Dr. Page asserts that a consistent foundation is critical. While it’s important to respect individual differences in people, the core principles must be the same for all of us. “Respect, honesty, and integrity are black-and-white truths for all of us; parents can’t be wishy-washy as they instill these values in their children.” What about the delivery of those rules? Do we post them on paper around the house? Lay it all out in a family meeting? Dr. Page says each family should do what works best for them, but that it is critical to “speak it and enforce it.” Talk to your kids, be clear about what you expect, and follow through. Don’t avoid the tough conversations or sugar-coat the rules. Clarity and consistency are key. These sentiments rang true for each of the families I interviewed, although not one of the moms I talked to used the word “rules.” Christy (Ty and Toby’s mom) was pleased when she heard what her boys had shared with me. “I’m glad they don’t see these as strict rules. They just take it as normal behavior — not rules, but a way of life.” The only child who didn’t hesitate when I asked about her family rules was Lydia. She gave me a one-word answer: manners. She was able to follow it up with great examples of what it means to have good manners, but I was struck by the truth of what she had to say. That’s really the heart of all of our rules/guidelines/expectations: show some manners, be nice, be respectful. Tracy — mom to Shanon and Spencer — says it all comes down to communication and common courtesy for her. Right now, Spencer perceives her “rules” as an invasion of his privacy. [I sure remember that feeling when I was 18!] I think communication and common courtesy summarize well what all of us are trying to achieve as we raise our children. Our family rules are a way that we can communicate with each other in our parent/child relationship, and they give our children (and us) the tools we need to carry into the world at-large. After showing my boys the list of rules their friends gave me, they agreed that many of these were applicable in our house. Trace, 11, said, “I didn’t think of those as rules, Mom,” to which Lucas, 14, agreed by saying, “Those things are just common sense. It’s all about respect and treating people right.” Whew! Guess we’re on the right track after all. Megan Schreiber Willman lives in Floyds Knobs, Ind., with her husband Rob and their sons Lucas and Trace.

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Breastfeeding may protect children from ADHD

By loriE gant leitner

There is another reason to consider breastfeeding. A study in Breastfeeding Medicine reported a significant decrease of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cases in children 6-12 years of age who had been breastfed. Source: online.liebertpub.com/ doi/full/10.1089/bfm.2012.0145

Positive Impacts of Music Music is known for entertainment, but it also benefits the mind, body, and spirit. Maria Whitley, owner of the wellness studio Shine, says, “Singing reduces stress, boosts the immune system, improves breathing, and reduces perceived pain. Studies have reported music activates multiple areas of the brain.” At Shine, music also creates an opportunity for family bonding. The program is based on the belief that all children are musical, able to learn how to sing in tune, and keep an accurate rhythm. “Children learn through modeling. When they are creating music with their grown-ups (parents, grandparents, babysitter), they relax and connect on a deeper level. It isn’t important to the child how well you perform — only that you participate,” Maria says. “After seven weeks, many children begin singing the classroom songs on their own.” The Music Together program lasts 10 weeks and is offered for ages 8 months to 7 years. A group of 6-12 children and their grown-ups meet weekly for 45 minutes to enjoy songs, chants, movement activities, and silliness. The goal is to create stories through music. Check it out: shinelouisville.com to sign up for a free demo class.

Members of the medical community will gather at the 2013 Kentucky State Fair to offer health screenings for adults and children as well as free samples and information to promote healthier lifestyles. The Kentucky State Fair runs from August 15-25.

Make sure they fit!

Weelicious founder Catherine McCord offers some great kids’ lunch recipes in her new cookbook, Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunchbox, like the Pineapple Fruit Leather shown. You can find more of her recipes at her website Weelicious.com. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

And they’re free!

The Perfect Pair of Shoes

Think Outside the (Lunch)Box

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Health Screenings

Poorly fitted shoes for children can cause foot problems as adults, including hammer toes, calluses, and corns. Follow these tips when shoe shopping with your kids: • Keep a thumb width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe. • View the bottom sole of the shoe to ensure it is relatively straight, not curved. • Test the shoe for flexibility across the ball of the foot. • Check that laces, Velcro, or buckles hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe.

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The First Day of School By Mary Ellen Bianco

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nne and I have been friends for 20 years. We each have daughters named Laura and Katherine, although their names aren’t spelled the same way. We haven’t lived in the same town for 16 years, but we are still the best of friends. Anne and I have been there for each other from our girls’ first day of kindergarten to their going off to college. When Anne and I dropped off our oldest girls at kindergarten, we met at school with my husband Joe, who was in charge of the younger sisters. The little Lauras were so adorable in their uniforms! When we entered the school, Anne and I took a deep breath, smiled, and began the long walk down the hall. Happily, the girls were in the same class together. When it was time to say goodbye, I fully expected that Laura would hang on to me and not want to walk in the room, but was I surprised when she smiled, waved goodbye, and off she went! Anne’s daughter Laura did the same thing. We both stood there, shocked about what had just happened. No wailing, no clinging, no desperation from our girls? Anne and I grabbed each other’s hands and started walking to the front of school. Joe casually put his arms around us and said, “If you think this is bad, wait until they go away to college!” At that point we both got a case of the sniffles. Thanks, Joe! Like the pages of a Folio scope or flip book, the time between kindergarten and college feels like a high-speed movie. Amidst all of the planning was a lot of apprehension for us moms. This was a huge life change for all of us. I talked to Anne about the college move-in with Laura, and it was like she was there with me. Anne empathized with me, since she had just driven 600 miles roundtrip to drop Laura off. She was counting the days until she would see her at Parent’s Weekend. It was a really hot day. We drove two hours to Western Kentucky University and arrived at a parking lot near the dorms. A group of kids helped us move everything under a tree in front of the building. We were going to use the shade as long as possible. Laura’s room was stark and institutional. We did our best to make it feel like home. The bathroom was down the hall, so Laura had a handy toiletry bag. As we unpacked, we realized the bag was missing. We looked all over the room but had no luck. The tone of the day had already been set by Laura’s nervousness. Now she was really panicking. I started to retrace our steps, and I went by myself to try to relax and stem my own apprehension. The bag had been taken to another dorm building, and fortunately someone left it at the front desk. Mom was a hero! Laura had a meeting in a few hours, and we told her we would leave before that. It wasn’t easy to see the look of disappointment on her face. But how else would we “make the break?” The goodbye with Laura couldn’t last forever, and as I told Anne, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. There were tears, a lot of hugs, and some hesitation from us all. It wasn’t like kindergarten, when the girls walked into their classroom, happily waving goodbye to us as we stood there, dumbfounded. But Anne and I survived the first day of kindergarten for our oldest daughters, and a few years later, we dropped off our younger girls. And we’ve now been through the first day of college for all of our girls. It’s been five years since Anne dropped off her first college freshman, so she can laugh about it now. But she still remembers the long ride home without Laura. Fortunately her husband Keith drove, because it was difficult for her to see through her tears. Anne’s daughters have graduated and are starting careers. Isabela Wilmes is off My girls are working on their degrees. We cherish all the to kindergarten this “firsts” we have had with them as well as our friendship for year with her new the past 20 years. zebra lunchbag. PHOTO BY MELISSA DONALD

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Mary Ellen Bianco lives in Louisville with her husband Joe. She is the proud mom of Laura (23) and Katherine (20). This is her first feature for Today’s Family magazine. 4 4 4 todaysfamilynow.com 4 4 4www.facebook.com /todaysfamily 4 4 4 @todaysfamilynow


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s i e g e l l o c s i Th . . . e m r o f T NO other

n a o t r e f s an r t d l l u e o v h a r s t I d k l n ou h I thi s I e b y a m r o . . rld . l o o w l a e scho r t e g r o . . . d l the wor ... e c n e i r e exp When Your College Kid Thinks He or She Made a Mistake (and other things about that first semester) By Veda Pendleton McClain

T

hree weeks into Micah’s first semester of college, he called to announce that he thought he needed to change his major and possibly transfer to another school. He had concluded he could not

pursue his chosen career in one of the majors at his school and would have to go someplace else to become a designer. His initial choice for college had been a noted design school in New York City, but he had landed instead at a school in Baltimore with equal notoriety. Now, with 12 days of classes under his belt, he felt the need to change his mind about his choice. As a former higher education professor and administrator, I had heard these expressions by first year students previously. As a mother, I knew that my child was subject to change his mind. My comments to him centered around his interests, the transfer process, and page 18

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what purpose he wanted to fulfill in his life. I counseled him as I had done for hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students over the years as well as his four siblings who had completed college. Although he protested my interrogation, I was able to encourage him to give his school a chance. I shared with him that he had not had enough seat time in class to really know or understand the education process at his school. I also reminded him that each year in high school, he had changed what he wanted to do with his life (9th grade – singer; 10th grade – photographer; 11th grade – graphic designer; 12th grade – fashion designer). Lastly, I explained to him the college transfer process and how transfer students get what is left over in scholarship dollars and financial assistance. I told

him he needed to wait. And wait he did. One aspect of the curriculum I found enticing and exciting at his school was that all first year students had to explore all of the art forms offered at the school. That was the best opportunity for Micah. Through his exploration of other art forms, he discovered another interest: namely film. He ended up creating film projects that were imaginative and professional. He took pleasure in completing his work, so much so that he made the Dean’s List his first semester, and his professors encouraged him to further explore film. Last week, he told me he will double major, and one of those majors will be in film. Micah has grown so much as an independent thinker and human being. His visits home are much needed

for both of us. He needs a break from the school environment and needs to make sure he is still my baby. I need to see him to continue to strengthen the mother/son bond we have shared these past 18-plus years. And when he is home, we both seek ways to capitalize on quality time spent together just talking, eating, or sharing quiet time. Micah will return to Baltimore in the fall a year older and wiser, and he will serve as a resident adviser in a dormitory. He continues to pursue humanitarian work and has landed a yearlong fellowship with Young People 4 that will allow him to fund his project ideas. Veda Pendleton McClain is the founder of Veda McClain Consulting and author of The Intentional Parenting Plan. She is a frequent contributor to Today’s Family magazine.

PARENTPERSPECTIVES My Own First Semester College Experience

3 3 3

Academic Team Solid GPA Write the Perfect Essay

3Go to UK when I

graduate! 18

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College. It’s a given in my family. For me, it was something I worked hard toward in high school. Being involved in academic teams, maintaining a 3.8 GPA, and writing that perfect college application essay were steps I checked off of my “going to the University of Kentucky when I graduate” to-do list. Yes, I wanted to go away to school. I wanted to experience being the independent college student, even though I did not have an independent bone in my body. I wanted to major in journalism and go into the news media field. Guess what? I got homesick during those weeks of my very first semester. I had quarrels with my high-school-bestfriend-turned-UK roommate. I gained the Freshman 15. That fabulous 3.8 GPA shriveled up before my eyes. I suffered some, failed a little bit, and came home at winter break never again wanting to see Lexington: 70 Miles. My parents taught us to finish what you start. So I finished that first year at UK. Once I got through it, I transferred to the University of Louisville and graduated 4 ½ years later. I continued into graduate work and was successful. The lessons I learned from that experience that I will pass on to my children: 1. You’re going to college. 2. Finish what you start, but you don’t necessarily have to finish college where you start. There is something to be gained from flexibility and maintaining success while remaining happy and content where you are. — Erin Nevitt

Root Out the Problem Many parents receive calls like the one I received from Micah during the first year of college. Sometimes the issues the college freshman faces seem insurmountable, but trust me, they can be overcome. In order to deal with these issues, parents and students alike must be willing to get to the root of what is causing the problem.

Here are some tips:

1 Question your student about the issues that have prompted his desire to leave college. Ask questions about social and environmental issues as well. Sometimes there are concerns with other students (peer pressure, fraternity/sorority, bullying) and professors (class size, difficulty of classes, class load, homework assistance) that cause students to question their presence in college and their ability to succeed.

2 Have a candid conversation about your student’s gifts and talents and what majors at the college would allow her to use those talents. That’s where the personal and professional fulfillment comes into play.

3 Have your student complete the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) form at the college registrar’s office. This signed form gives you permission to discuss his progress with professors, advisers, and administrators. That way you can get more information about what is really going on with him, whether it is a lack of accountability on his part or a true lack of interest in college.

4 Discuss other college and career options. If transferring is an option, discuss the transfer process and what that might mean with regard to a transfer of college credits, major, scholarship dollars, and financial assistance. Discuss the type of college that might best meet her needs. This is critical if a transfer is truly being considered.

5 Finally, listen to your child’s concerns with a heart of understanding, words of encouragement, and love. Our children need to know they are loved, no matter what they decide.

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PARENTPERSPECTIVES Give your Teen a Break? Yeah, maybe... I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at the age of 17 or again at 24 when I began graduate studies. I can’t help looking back at those years and wondering if it was money well spent. I’ve formulated a plan that will allow my kids to take a year after high school to mature and — I hope — to discover what makes them tick. If they are actively volunteering or interning at least 40 hours a week in one or more fields of interest, they may continue to live rent-free under our roof. When I mention this plan to friends, the response is often, “You know most kids who take a break don’t go back.” Truth or urban legend? I decided to do an Internet search, and my findings revealed quite the opposite. “Princeton encourages it. Harvard’s a big fan. From Tufts to MIT, some of the most prestigious universities in the nation are urging students to consider something that would make most parents cringe: The idea of putting off college for a year in favor of some much-needed downtime,” wrote Danielle Wood in an article devoted to the “gap year” and its potential benefits and downfalls (education.com/magazine/article/ Should_Gap_Year/). The key is to be sure that the process isn’t one of unstructured floundering but a well-laid plan that will assist your child in her quest.

I verified Danielle’s reference to Harvard’s stance on the gap year on the Harvard website. I indeed found that they encourage applicants who have been accepted to take a year of self-discovery before beginning their studies. Whatever your decision as a parent, knowing that a gap year in your child’s education will not equal failure may allow you to weigh more options than you were previously considering. Giving them a break may be the answer. — Barb Hartman

Stay Calm and Carry On My two daughters are in college, so I have experienced the dreaded “first semester.” While they were in high school, I heard stories about kids quitting college, transferring, or hooking up with the wrong crowd. Was I nervous? You bet! My “babies” had flown the nest. When they called to say they were unhappy, lonely, or wanted to come home, my heart broke for them. I wanted to fix things, but I knew this was their opportunity to figure it out for themselves. My best advice is to take it one day at a time, be a good listener, and keep your fingers crossed so very tightly as you board the wild ride of what can be the longest four months of your life. Beware of the stories you hear from other parents because you are dealing with YOUR kid, not theirs. Each child has her own life to live, even if that means stumbling, getting up, and starting over. Our expectations of what our kids “should do” can disappoint, but if we let go a little, an independent and happy young adult will emerge. — Mary Ellen Bianco

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My

PROMOTION

Kid’s. . .Teeth

Babies and the Dentist — When and why?

When do we use Fluoride? Switch to fluoride when the kid is able to spit it out, usually around two or three. “Also, using a tiny smear on the toothbrush every morning or every night wouldn’t be harmful,” says Dr. Korie Acord.

OUR EXPERTS

By Victoria Squillante

It may seem silly to take a baby to the dentist — they barely have any teeth — but it actually is necessary. Dr. Acord and Dr. Hansford agree that right around one year old — typically when they start getting teeth — is the best time visit a dentist. Often dentists will have the child lie back on a parent’s lap, take a quick look into her mouth to make sure everything is developing correctly, and do a quick clean with a baby toothbrush. It helps parents learn good oral care, flossing, and brushing habits for their children.

“Start early. If you wait until an emergency to take a kid to the dentist, the visit may not be as easy as it would have been if the child had started earlier.”

Dr. Korie Acord Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Will Engilman Braces, Braces, Braces

Dr. Kim Hansford Dr. Kim Hansford Kid’s Dentistree

Electric vs. Regular Brushes The winner is whatever will make them excited to brush their teeth! The easiest way is to try both.

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To pull or not to pull —

Braces + Sodas =

what to do with loose baby teeth

Disaster!

Should you pull them out? There are many factors involved in this decision, but parents need to think about the health of the wiggly tooth. According to Dr. Korie Acord, “if you leave them in there too long they can get food trapped and it can make their gums become inflamed, so it’s best to get them out when they get wiggly.” Dr. Kim Hansford encourages children to wiggle and work on their loose teeth at the rate that they are comfortable with. “If they keep them hanging on, the gums can get irritated and swollen, and it can cause them to avoid brushing those areas to avoid pain,” she says. “This causes more risk for plaque or cavities and the tooth can get icky.” Overall, since the child is the one who can feel how attached a tooth is, it is usually best for parents to let the child do all the wiggling and pulling of loose teeth.

According to Dr. Will Engilman, sodas are the worst for anyone who has braces; they can literally melt your teeth away over time. The acidity that is in the soda can destroy teeth, especially when paired with a poor brushing routine. Along with this, sodas can cause cavities, decalcification, and a number of other permanent teeth problems.

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My

PROMOTION

Kid’s. . .Teeth

By Victoria Squillante

Make Them WANT to Brush! Incentives and Apps

2

Things You Need to Know About Braces

Advice from Orthodontist Dr. Will Engilman:

1 Prevent the pain before it gets started. “Before a child sees the orthodontist he needs to take an Advil or Motrin,” says Dr. Engilman. Doing this prevents the pain before it has even started. Instead of taking medicine after the teeth start to hurt, it can already be in the child’s system to prevent the pain altogether.

• Beam Toothbrush: This toothbrush allows parents to keep track of their children’s brushing habits. The toothbrush is connected via bluetooth to a free app. This app collects data about the user’s oral care habits such as how often and when the toothbrush is being used. beamtoothbrush.com • Brushing charts with incentives: By making up a chart for rewards or

2 Keep up with appointments, especially if something has happened like a broken bracket or bent wire. “If you miss an appointment or break a bracket and don’t get it fixed quickly, it can set patients back,” he says. “It could lengthen the amount of time the braces are needed.”

Are those teeth this close? It is time to start flossing once the teeth move together and start to touch. This is when food particles can get trapped in between the teeth.

points for brushing, children will be more motivated. Find free charts online. • Show kids the effects of brushing their teeth: There are many experiments available online that demonstrate the effects of toothbrushing. One example is Crest’s “Eggsperiment.” This experiment uses eggs, toothpaste, and vinegar to show kids what toothpaste does for their teeth. It can be found at crest.com/crest-kids/ eggsperiment.aspx

• Sonicare for kids: Electric toothbrushes like Sonicare make brushing teeth much easier and fun. This toothbrush has fun designs and also has a built-in timer to help kids brush the recommended two minutes per brushing. • Apps: Apps are available that play songs for two minutes to help brushing times. Some of these apps, like the Aquafresh Time 2 Brush app, have

incentives for making it to the two minutes such as points that can buy outfits for dancing characters on the screen. Sources: Dr. Korie Acord, Dr. Kim Hansford, and Dr. WIll Engilman

At left: Beam Toothbrush At right: Sonicare Toothbrush Above right: AquaFresh Apps

“Braces and straightening teeth can be a life-changing event. I like what I do because I can help people who are self-conscious with how they look.” Dr. Will Engilman

Wisdom teeth — What time is the right time? Everyone’s teeth are different, but ages 15 through 17 are usually the right time to start looking into how the wisdom teeth are forming and what— if anything — will need to be done with them. Sources: Dr. Korie Acord and Dr. Will Engilman

Ages

15-17

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My

PROMOTION

Kid’s. . .Teeth

By Victoria Squillante

“Mommy, I Hate the Dentist!” Or is she just following YOUR lead? Help your child be comfortable with his dentist before the first visit by taking a look at the dentist’s website. “This helps introduce him to the dentist and office so the atmosphere looks familiar,” says Dr. Korie Acord. Having fearful children speak with any friends who have gone to the dentist can also be very helpful. According to Dr. Kim Hansford, starting a child’s dentist visits early in life will also help ease his fears since it gives him time to build a relationship with the dentist. Dr. Will Engilman

believes it all boils down to early development of a child-orthodontist relationship before braces are even needed. “This gives the child a feeling of comfort. When it comes time for braces, they know what to expect and it’s less threatening,” he says. All three doctors agree that parents

should never make a big deal out of a trip to the dentist or the orthodontist. The bigger deal the parents make over it, the more stressed the child will be.

“If possible, discourage habits like pacifiers or thumb and finger sucking as early as possible. These habits can discourage development of teeth, their position, and how they come in. The longer the habit persists, the more likelihood of messing up the teeth in the long run.”

A Child’s Mouth

If they can tie their shoes or write their name in cursive, then they have the dexterity needed to be able to brush correctly, say both Dr. Acord and Dr. Hansford. But stay involved: kids will often only brush what they can see, so let them start and then help finish the job.

Dr. Korie Acord

Teething Pain Relief An easy solution is sticking a wet rag in the freezer for a few minutes and letting her chew on it. This helps by numbing the aching area. Or find a teething toy that has chewy and textured areas that massage gums.

How to Brush There are all kinds of methods for brushing your teeth, but some work better than others, according to Dr. Kim Hansford. Some people brush up and down, others go back and forth, and the rest brush in a circular motion. While all of these techniques work for getting teeth clean, the recommended and most successful approach is brushing in small circles. Often when using the other methods, bigger motions are used which cause some bumps and grooves to be missed. Circles take slower and shorter motions that tend to get in every spot better.

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What age can your child brush on her own?

What age to consider braces?

“I usually say the best age to see an orthodontist is around 7 or 8 years old. We can look at things and give the parents an idea of what to expect down the road and can address any problems we notice right then,” says Dr. Will Engilman.

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In Our Family

(From left to right back row): Tom Witten, father; Matt Milby; Denise Milby, now owner of business; Richard Milby; and Tim Witten, original founder of the business. (From left to right front row): Nancye Witten; Tom Witten, son and now owner of business; Michael Witten; Melissa Witten; and Chris Witten.

Keeping It in the (Witten) Family By Carrie Vittitoe • Photo by Melissa Donald

The Changing Face of the Family-Owned Business

T

om Witten and his sister, Denise Milby, are co-owners of South End Answering Service. The company was founded by their uncle, Tim Witten, in 1976. As a kid, Tom sometimes helped out in the office. His job was to wake his uncle if the phone rang and hand him the receiver. In the late 1980s, Tom and Denise’s parents, Nancye and Tom Witten Sr., took over ownership of the business. In 1999 when the business moved into new office space, Tom began working there full-time.

Who’s the Boss? The running of the company is completely a family affair. Tom’s uncle and parents still work at the answering service. Tom’s wife, Missy, and youngest son, Michael, clean the offices, and his oldest son, Chris, occasionally helps with the computer system. Tom says, “We don’t really look at it as ownership. We just all work there.” Longevity: Tom says the reason for the company’s longevity is because it sticks to its original business plan, which 28

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

is to give good service. He says, “We don’t take on more than we can handle, and we typically have a waiting list of clients.”

Changing Technology: South End Answering Service has seen technology change quite a bit in 37 years. Messages used to be taken by hand and lines plugged into a switchboard.

There’s No Leaving Work at Work: Both small and large service companies, such as doctors, funeral homes, and contractors, rely on South End Answering Service to meet their customers’ needs after business hours, on weekends, and on holidays, which means that at least one person must be in the office at all times to answer phones. As co-owner and the person who handles things when the computers go down, Tom is on-call 24/7.

Hold the Phone: When Tom Witten had a home phone, he never answered it because he spends his entire business life dealing with phone calls. In the course of a 24-hour period, his company can field 4,000-6,000 calls. Keeping Family Close: Despite the challenges of his job, Tom is glad

to be able to see his family more often than most people. He says, “Since it’s my family, I don’t worry as much as I might [if the employees weren’t family]. There is a lot of trust. Plus, because of their history with the company, they know how to handle customers.”

The Future? If Tom’s sons ever want to take over the family business, he would be happy for them to take the reins, but he also knows how tough the answering service business is on families. He doesn’t have a set schedule and may have to work different shifts throughout the month. He has to carry his phone all the time and be prepared to leave events at a moment’s notice if there is an office emergency. This is the part of the business he doesn’t want for his children. Only in Louisville: The busiest day of the year for the company is Oaks Day. Tom says, “People outside of Louisville who call the answering service are always amazed that so many businesses are closed because of a horse race.”

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August sunday

monday

tuesday

Information Compiled by Victoria Squillante

wednesday

thursday

1 Through Aug. 4

Coming THIS MONTH AUGUST 24 • American Girl Event

Our Today’s Girl winners will be announced at the 2 p.m. event! Louisville Equestrian Center $25 9:30am-noon and 2-4:30pm 502.629.kids

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9 10 Through Aug. 11 Friday Night Movie

WEEKLY Giveaway @

Ice Age: Continental Drift Enjoy the movie on an outdoor inflatable screen. Louisville Zoo Free to Zoo members, $5 after 5 pm for non-members. 6pm, movie starts at sundown louisvillezoo.org 502.459.2181

TodaysFamilyNow.com

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Through Aug. 25 15

WEEKLY Giveaway @

Kentucky State Fair

TodaysFamilyNow.com

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Ironman Louisville

Watch as both men and women compete in this triathlon by swimming, biking, and running. Louisville Waterfront Park Free 6:50am - Midnight IronmanLouisville.com

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

Willie, Korie, Si, and Miss Kay from “Duck Dynasty” will visit Louisville on the last day of the Fair for “A Conversation with the Robertsons.”

TodaysFamilyNow.com

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$1 Hot Dog/ Pepsi Nights @ the Bats

WEEKLY Giveaway @

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Get up close and personal with thousands of classic vehicles. Kentucky Exposition Center Time varies per day Adults: $14, Children (6-12): $7, Children (5 & under): free nsra-usa.com

Fans can purchase $1 hot dogs and $1 12-oz. Pepsi products. August 6 & 27 Louisville Slugger Field $7-14 • batsbaseball.com

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2

saturday

44th Annual Street Rod Nationals Plus

5 6 7 8 $1 Hot Dog/ Pepsi Nights @ the Bats

friday

17 Dr. Seuss's ABC Storytime

Enjoy exhibits, free concerts, and food. Kentucky Exposition Center Adults: $10, Children (3-12): $6, Children (2 and under): Free Parking $8 per vehicle 7am-10pm kystatefair.org

Relax while your children get read a Dr. Seuss book and participate in activities. Barnes and Noble at The Summit 11am • Free barnesandnoble.com

now.com amily f s y a tod 22 23

away! e v i g y l k ee Extra w

American Girl Event Louisville Equestrian Center $25 9:30am-Noon and 2-4:30pm Today’s Girl winners announced at 2pm event 502.629.kids

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Water Wows Weekend

Featuring Ice Age characters Sid and Scrat Join Louisville Water Company for activities on why water is important. Louisville Zoo General admission fees apply 11am-4pm louisvillezoo.org 502.459.2181

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24 Hummingbird Festival

Learn about hummingbirds and how to attract them while seeing some up close. Yew Dell Botanical Gardens $7 Adults, Free children 12 and under • 3-6pm yewdellgardens.org 502.241.4788

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TodaysFamilyNow.com

Fans can purchase $1 hot dogs and $1 12-oz. Pepsi products. June 4, 11, 25 & July 2, 30 Louisville Slugger Field $7-14 batsbaseball.com

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September sunday

monday

tuesday

wednesday

thursday

friday

saturday

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Through Sept. 8 Art Fair at Mellwood

WEEKLY Giveaway @

Walk through aisles of booths and purchase different kinds of unique items and artwork. Mellwood Art Center Free 10am-6pm mellwoodartcenter.com

TodaysFamilyNow.com

voting ENDS! LABOR DAY

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WEEKLY Giveaway @

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Live performances and pirate games and crafts. Frazier History Museum Adults: $18.50, Children (5-13): $10, Children (4 & under): Free 8am-5pm fraziermuseum.org 502.753.5663

TodaysFamilyNow.com

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Movie Night

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WEEKLY Giveaway @

A Christmas Story 2 Iroquois Amphitheater Free 8:30pm iroquoisamphitheater.com

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.com lynow ysfami a d to

AY! D O T y a w a e giv

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Through Sept. 29 27

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Louisville Irish Fest

Ken-Ducky Derby Festival

Eat, drink, shop, and dance. Bellarmine University Weekend: Adults $8, Children (ages 6-12) $5, Children (Under 6): free Friday night: $5, Children 12 and under free Time varies per night louisvilleirishfest.com

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Enjoy the food, live music, and festivities while waiting to see who wins the big duck race. Louisville Waterfront Park Free Noon-5pm duckrace.com/louisville

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There are some great coaches out there, and

we received nominations from our readers for some especially awesome coaches.

Now we are asking for your votes! Sponsored by:

NOMINEES Bryce Blair, musical theater and voice lessons, Dancensation Studios Jason Button, head gymnastics and uneven bars coach for levels 4-5, floor exercise coach for levels 7-10 and head coach for level 2 at Champion Gymnastics Charlie Fields, head football coach at New Albany High School Jung Oh Hwang, grandmaster at Hwang Martial Arts (Taekwondo, Judo, and Hapkido) Jon Hile, coach at J-Town Youth Baseball League (J-Town Pirates) for 6U coach-pitch and All-Star team Heather Key, volunteer coach at Farmer Elementary School for 4th and 5th grade basketball Shawn Gardner, volunteer coach of Tang Soo Do Karate Rick Geddes, assistant Little League baseball coach at Lyndon Little League Taylor Haydock, volunteer coach, Girls on the Run program at John F. Kennedy Montessori Elementary Philip Hayes, head wrestling coach at Seneca High School Joseph Meredith, boy’s varsity head basketball coach at Portland Christian High School Dave Papendorf, tennis coach at Blairwood and Louisville Tennis Club Tim Rand, head coach of baseball at New Albany Little League Tamara Reed, head coach and owner of competitive all-star cheerleading at Cheer Zone Cheerleading Todd Sharp, coach of Floyd Central High School Dazzlers dance team Billie Stone, head cross country coach at Bates Elementary Tamika Townsend, All girls AAU track & field team coach and track & field coach for boys and girls at Eastern High School and Johnson Middle School Eric Wiegand, J-Town youth baseball coach for 7-year-old machine-pitch Little League La Costa White, cross country coach at Highland Hills Middle School April Woo, volunteer coach at Germantown for softball, baseball, and tee ball as well as coach for cross country and basketball at St. Stephens Mardyr

Vote at TodaysFamilyNow.com until Sept. 2 for your favorite coaches — one vote per person. Check out Today's Family's Extracurricular Directory on page 34. To be listed in this directory, contact alissa@todayspublications.com. (Directory listings can be free or paid listings.)

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presented by

Do you have a photo of a cute Halloween costume? Send us a photo featuring your child or even you as a child dressed up for Halloween.

Submit your photo by email to halloweencontest@todayspublications.com. Be sure to include in your email the name and age of the child in the photo and the parent/guardian’s name and phone number. We will be featuring many of our costume contest submissions right here on TodaysFamilyNow.com. Deadline: October 1. Photos should feature children under age 18 and should either be yourself or your child, if you are his or her parent or guardian. All photos become property of Today’s Family magazine and Zion Publications LLC.

SPONSOR OF:

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013 39


1

SUPPLIES:

d•i•y

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By Miranda G. Popp PHOTOS BY JASON POPP

Back-to-School Memo Board

Get organized this school year with a Memo Board. It’s both a chalkboard and a magnet board, all in one! Hang it near a door, and you’ll never forget another appointment… or lunchbag!

MAKING THE MAGNETS:

1 Cut your paper to the size of the glass tiles by tracing around the tile and cutting inside the line. You can even write numbers or letters in marker on your circles.

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• 12”x12” Photo Frame • 12”x12” Metal Sheet • Scrapbook Paper • Roll of Sticky-Back Chalkboard • Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch 2x Paint & Primer in Satin Lagoon • E6000 Adhesive • Mod Podge Gloss • Glass Tiles • Ceramic Disc Magnets

2 Using Mod Podge, paint one side of the tile and stick the paper to the tile, and then paint the back of the paper.

3 Once the Mod Podge is dry, glue a magnet to the backside of the paper using E6000. Allow 24 hours for glue to dry.

MAKING THE MEMO BOARD:

1 Take glass and backing from frame and spray with paint. Allow at least 1 hour to dry before touching.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

2 Cut the Sticky-Back Chalkboard material to size and cover the metal sheet with it. Be sure to carefully place it onto the metal sheet by slowly peeling off the backing a little at a time, smoothing it out onto the metal sheet as you go. It helps if you have another person for this. If you get a bubble, pop it with a straight pin and smooth the air out through the hole.

3 Place the covered metal sheet into your frame.

Hang your Memo Board on the wall, write a sweet little note in chalk, and post a few notes with your magnets!

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