"got Kids?" Corner

Lake Erie Ink hosts writing workshops for youth online

During this time of social distancing and staying at home, Lake Erie Ink is maintaining its identity as a writing “space” for youth though a free, virtual program series. 

The series, Creative Communities Online, will use Zoom meetings to host workshops for youth of all ages. The series has something for everyone, regardless of age or interests, including a podcasting workshop, poetry challenge, collaborative comics, and a D&D campaign. Registration can be found here

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 10:17 AM, 04.07.2020

Parenting Q & A

Q. I never imagined that I would struggle with so many aspects of parenting. Some days I don’t seem to have enough time, patience, or creativity to manage to keep my kids happy, healthy, stimulated and fed. Why does it look so easy for everyone else when I feel like I’m drowning?

A. While it might look easy for others, they struggle, too. Sure, parenting might come easier for some and some kids might seem easier than others. For the most part, though, if a parent is being honest, he or she will agree that parenting is hard work that leaves many otherwise successful, competent adults feeling just like you do. Here are a few things to remember as you are wiping up spilled milk or stumbling down the hall at 3 a.m. to soothe a crying child:

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Volume 6, Issue 6, Posted 2:03 PM, 05.30.2013

Parenting 101 for elementary school parents

Q: I thought I was well qualified for parenthood. I graduated from college, married an intelligent person, read all the right books, attended parenting classes, and consulted with friends and family about preschool programs. I thought my child was well prepared for kindergarten, but at my son’s parent-teacher conference in November, I found out that the son who was wonderful and gifted in my eyes was not on track to be reading in January, like the rest of his classmates. Someone forgot to tell me that kindergarten was the new first grade. Do you have any suggestions for what I can do to improve my child's reading skills?

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Volume 6, Issue 1, Posted 2:35 PM, 01.03.2013

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. If you have questions for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@familyconnections1.org.

Q. Lately, my 4-year-old son and I butt heads over and over, all day long. If I say “stop,” he says “go.” If I ask him to hurry up, he goes into slow-motion mode. We are on opposite sides all the time. What can I do to reduce the number of battles we have every day?

A. Your son is figuring out how to assert himself in the world around him. He has many skills and a growing curiosity. He is figuring out what he likes and doesn’t like. At the same time, you are likely thinking that, at this age, he should be able to be more cooperative. These two positions are in direct conflict with each other. Adjusting your point of view, and learning a few strategies may help pull you out of this rut.

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Volume 5, Issue 2, Posted 3:31 PM, 02.01.2012

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections for the last 15 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@familyconnections1.org.

Q. My next door neighbors’ 7-year-old drives me crazy. He has every toy and gadget imaginable. He doesn’t ever want to share; and when we have given him birthday gifts, instead of thanking us, he critiques them (“I already have that,” “that isn’t the one I wanted”). I am worried that our son, who is three, will pick up on this. How can we raise a gracious and thankful child, instead of an ungrateful boorish one?

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Volume 4, Issue 12, Posted 12:17 PM, 12.01.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

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Volume 4, Issue 10, Posted 3:14 PM, 10.07.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions for Barret e-mail her at ebarrett@familyconnections1.org.

Q. I have a sweet and curious 2 ½-year-old daughter, except when she melts down into a completely head-turning temper tantrum, which seems to be happening a lot lately. It's so unpredictable--it happens at home, in a store and sometimes at her grandparent’s home. When they occur, I feel completely helpless. I don’t what causes them or how to make them better. What can we do?

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Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 12:39 PM, 08.02.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions you would like Barrett to respond to in this column, please e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org. 

Q. My husband and I have two children, ages five and seven. I always thought I’d be the mom who could work outside the home, prepare nutritious homemade meals, attend PTA meetings, volunteer at our church and in the community, and entertain friends on the weekends. Each year, as the kids get older, I expect to find time for all of that. I’m waiting for our family life to get easier, to feel more settled, and for us to be able to enjoy each other and do more than just survive. How can I find time for work and family, and have some kind of a life outside that as well?

 

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Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:34 AM, 06.07.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. E-mail questions to Barrett at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 11:33 AM, 05.03.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. E-mail questions to Barrett at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org. 

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 12:59 PM, 04.05.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues affect many parents. If you have questions for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

Q. My husband and I have two children and we need to start to build a good pool of reliable sitters. We have no idea how to start. Where do we find sitters? How do we choose one? And how can we determine whether a sitter is a good fit for our family?

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 2:54 PM, 01.18.2011

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. E-mail questions for Ellen to ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

Q. My wife and I used to look forward to meal time, but now find that we dread it. We have such a hard time getting our two-year-old to eat what we’ve made, and he never wants to sit still long enough for us to enjoy our meal. We’ve come to expect a battle each time. It makes us tense and cranky and is very unpleasant. What can we do to get him to eat and enjoy dinner so we can enjoy our family?

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 2:29 PM, 12.15.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues affect many parents. If you have a question for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org. 

Q.  We have two kids, ages 3 and 5. Last year our holiday season was a disaster! Temper tantrums and meltdowns for the kids; fatigue and stress for us. With this year’s festivities right around the corner, I am determined to avoid a repeat of last year. What can we do to enjoy the special celebrations and help the kids stay calm and happy?

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 2:38 PM, 11.09.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Family Connections (formerly known as Heights Parent Center) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues affect many parents. If you have a question for Barrett, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

Q.  My wife and I both work full time and we have a 7-month-old who is in full-time daycare. I am worried about my wife’s constant level of stress around balancing work and motherhood. She loves her job and we have chosen a quality daycare, but she still expresses concern about the possible lifelong harm we are doing to our son by not having a parent at home. How can I help her to feel good about our choices and alleviate her fears about the negative impact on our son?

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Volume 3, Issue 11, Posted 9:45 AM, 10.20.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center (now known as Family Connections) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. If you have questions you would like Ellen to respond to, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

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Volume 3, Issue 10, Posted 12:08 PM, 09.24.2010

Parenting Q & A

Q. My daughter is extremely shy. Whenever we go anywhere she hangs on my leg, and may be reluctant to enter a new place at all. Even after we’ve been someplace multiple times or have been there awhile, she tends to stay very close to me. I tell her that I would never put her in harm’s way, and that all the people we know are nice, but she still has trouble adjusting to anyone new. I am worried that she won’t have any friends and will miss out on all the usual children’s activities. Is there anything I can do to bring her out of her shell?

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 3:29 PM, 08.10.2010

Parenting Q&A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center (now known as Family Connections) for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions you would like Barrett to respond to in this column, please e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

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Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 2:19 PM, 07.20.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. If you have questions for Ellen, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

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Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 11:10 AM, 06.25.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center for the last 12 years, fields questions about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions you would like Ellen to answer in this column, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org. 

Q.  My husband and I have very different parenting styles. He is much more of a disciplinarian. He expects there to be order, process and consequences. I feel our children (1 and 3 years old) are still babies and we should be nurturing them, not punishing them. He likes more structure and order. I like to see what unfolds and go with it. How can we find balance and determine what is really best for the children in spite of our own ideas?

A.  What you are experiencing is a very common parenting dilemma. I often hear that spouses can “agree to disagree” on many topics but then along come children.

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Volume 3, Issue 6, Posted 9:38 AM, 05.20.2010

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues affect many parents. If you have questions you would like Ellen to respond to in this column, please email her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

Q. My kindergartener is going through a major "test mom and push the limits" stage. When things get out of hand and he gets into trouble, he won't answer me, won't move, won't try to make things better.
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Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 11:51 AM, 04.27.2010

Parenting Q & A

Q. No matter how much quality time I spend with my 3-year-old, the minute I am on the phone call or computer, my daughter seems to haven an immediate need! How can I help her understand that sometimes she has to wait?


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Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 1:50 PM, 02.18.2010

Parenting Q & A

Q.  For several reasons my husband and I have decided not to send our almost three-year-old to preschool next year. It seems like most kids today get some kind of formal school before kindergarten and I am worried about him not being ready for school when he gets to kindergarten. Will he be behind the other kids?
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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 11:02 AM, 01.19.2010

Parenting Q & A

Q. I am pregnant with our second child, due in the spring.  We are excitecd and scared at the same time.  Our first child will be just two years old and is used to being an only child - the center of the family.  How can I help him prepare to be a big brother and adjust to the idea of sharing us with another baby?
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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 4:49 PM, 12.15.2009

Parenting Q & A

Q. Although my husband and I really want to keep the holidays simple, my parents and in-laws are already asking what we want for our son’s first Christmas! This is their first grandchild and many of our relatives are very excited to be able to celebrate with a young child -- bringing sugarplums, reindeer and all of the traditions around Santa back into the holiday.

We’re not sure this is what we want. How can we celebrate the holiday season with our family and keep it simple at the same time?

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Volume 2, Issue 12, Posted 10:28 AM, 11.17.2009

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues affect many parents! If you have questions you would like Ellen to respond to in this column, e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org. 

Q. My 14 month old is so busy these days! With his new walking skills and curious temperament he’s a little tornado and I’m having trouble keeping up with him and his mess. It can get very frustrating to have to keep running after him and picking things up over and over again and it seems he is most interested in all of the things in the house that he can’t have, such as electrical cords and outlets. Help!

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Volume 2, Issue 11, Posted 2:38 PM, 09.22.2009

Parenting Q&A

Q. Our daughter is usually so pleasant but we have had a very hard time getting her to share. It is almost impossible in our own home and often just as much of a challenge at friend’s house. We feel sure that she knows better and often looks right at us as she snatches a toy or pushes her way into a space! How can we teach her to share and be a more compatible friend?
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Volume 2, Issue 9, Posted 9:49 AM, 08.18.2009

Parenting Q & A

Q. I have a six-month-old baby and am planning on attending a family reunion this summer. My son is starting to go through a phase where he only wants me to hold him. How can I protect him from my well-intentioned relatives wanting to pass him around? How can I get a break to enjoy the vacation too?

A. Depending on your accommodations, one thing you’ll want to try to establish is a “relative-free zone.” This should be an actual physical space (a bedroom, a chair in the corner of a room or maybe just the back seat of the car!) This is where you can retreat whenever your son is feeling stressed. Hopefully, it will be comfortable enough for you to feed him, let him play and be a place where you two can take a break. It would be great if you could tell a few close family members your situation and have them run interference for you. That way you won’t always have to be the one to deny everyone access to your beautiful baby.

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 3:27 PM, 07.21.2009

Parenting Q & A

Ellen Barrett, a parent educator at Heights Parent Center for the last 12 years, fields questions from parents about the daily ups and downs of parenting. The same issues impact many parents. If you have questions you would like Ellen to respond to in this column, please e-mail her at ebarrett@heightsparentcenter.org.

Q. My wife and I have always looked forward to meal time but now find that we dread it! We have such a hard time getting our two year old to eat the food that we have prepared for him that we now expect a battle at every meal. It makes us tense and cranky and is very unpleasant. What can we do to get him to eat and enjoy dinner so we can enjoy our family?

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Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 2:32 PM, 05.19.2009

Learning together is fun for families

James Smith manages the second shift at a restaurant, meaning that he misses most evenings at home with his kids. Mary Curtis finds that between errands and housework and phone calls, she is busy all the time. Many families with school-age children are faced with a similar challenge: When is there any time to play or read with my children?
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Volume 2, Issue 2, Posted 2:47 PM, 12.19.2008

Toy Lending Library shares the fun

It was April of 1998 when I discovered Heights Parent Center (HPC). My daughter, Erin, was eight months old and we attended the Baby & Me group. By November of that year, I was asked to join HPC’s Toy Lending Library (TLL) as a volunteer.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. TLL is a program run only by volunteers; dedicated parents who count, clean and care for hundreds of toys. Instead of finding chaos, I found a well oiled machine. Each toy being checked in or out gets counted, every toy gets washed upon return, and volunteers keep tedious track of the broken and missing pieces. Amazing!

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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 12:08 PM, 08.26.2008

Tips for finding a baby sitter

Whether you have a dentist appointment in the middle of the day, a meeting at your kid’s school in the evening or are trying to plan “date night” with your spouse, the task of finding a sitter can be a challenge. Where to begin, what to ask and what to expect are just a few of the dilemmas you might face. Here are a few tips to guide you through this journey.
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Volume 1, Issue 5, Posted 3:37 PM, 07.22.2008

School's out; play time and summer reading are in!

Longer daylight hours and no homework signal the perfect time for families to enjoy some leisure time together. Whether your child is already in early elementary school, entering Kindergarten this fall or is still in preschool, summer is the perfect time to brush up on school readiness skills.
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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 2:51 PM, 06.16.2008

Families play, share and learn at Heights Parent Center

Tucked away in Taylor School is a great resource for families with young children ages 0 - 5! Heights Parent Center is an education, resource and support center for parents, caregivers and young children. In our comfortable and welcoming playroom children and parents can play and talk together, share experiences and resources, and find new friends.
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Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 1:53 PM, 05.22.2008