Meet Andrew Alford, Jeffrey Norberg, & Kate, Wicker Park, Chicago

by Lela Nargi When hotel designer Andrew Alford got an offer to pack up shop in hometown San Francisco and become chief creative officer for boutique chain Graduate Hotels, based in Chicago, he knew it would be a big transition (not least of all because of the weather). “It was definitely a change for our family,” says […]

Are You Afraid? A Message to Daughters, From a Daughter

By Eliza Reynolds Are you afraid? I know that I am sometimes. There are moments when I have been so afraid of life beginning —like becoming-a-grown-up beginning—because then I might discover that I’m a failure, or a total disappointment, or maybe (whispers an especially dark part of my brain) never truly, fully lovable, except by my […]

Meet the Music-Loving Solares Family, Bucktown, Chicago

Photographed by Thomas M. Kubik | © 2015 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com

By Lela Nargi Jessica Solares and her husband, Luis, don’t just teach music in Chicago’s creative epicenter; they live music, too. Parents to 3-1/2-year-old Lucia, who attends preschool at Bucktown Academy, near the Solares’ Bucktown Music studio, the two met at Elmhurst College, where they both studied Music Business —a major Jessica describes as “odd” and also uninspiring when […]

3 Misconceptions About Twins, Busted!

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By Dawn Van Osdell There’s a lot of contradictory and downright erroneous parenting info floating around out there. We’re not afraid to tackle it head-on! Societally, we have a fascination for twins, likely because they used to be a pretty rare thing—only about 2 percent of births resulted in twins just a couple of decades ago. […]

How to Help Kids Deal With Rejection

Girl being left out

By Denise Daniels If your child has ever been left out on the playground, left un-picked for a sports team, or overlooked for the school play, you understand the heartbreak and humiliation of rejection. Being snubbed is painful, especially for younger children, who lack experience with and perspective on peer relationships and haven’t yet developed the […]

What Kids Really Gain from Arts Education: One Mom’s Personal Reflection

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By Lela Nargi It’s a late evening in early December and I’m sitting with my tween daughter in a stiflingly heated, baldly lit, packed-to-the gills auditorium near Coney Island, waiting for Mark Twain middle school’s winter concert to begin.  We’ve come out to see a friend of my daughter’s sing with her 7th grade choral class. […]

5 Ways to Teach Kids the Value of Volunteering

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By Mark Palm Parents today face an uphill battle when it comes to getting their kids interested in doing anything besides burying their faces in the screen of a phone or tablet. They might put their devices down to eat, play sports, and sleep, but otherwise engaging them in the physical world around them can […]