Category Archives: family

“Fur babies”

Did you view a pet as a “starter child?”

A growing number of pet parents view caring for their dog, cat or iguana as practice for having children.

So many people celebrate pet milestones like birthdays and obedience class graduation, it’s obvious that the fur baby economy is a real phenomena!


Impact vacations

Mission trips traditionally take tweens and teens move beyond their comfort zones, but this summer, more families are making a difference through “impact vacations.”

Volunteering with a charity near home or in a vacation destination gives entire families the opportunity to serve. Activities vary with location, but often include cleaning up highway trash, delivering groceries to the elderly, and doing yard word for cancer patients.

I anticipate family impact vacations will be even more popular next summer.

“Impact vacations” trending

Researchers show that Americans prioritize “making a difference.”

That’s why I’m not surprised so many families are taking “impact vacations.”

Helping to install a park playground, paint a house for a low-income family or volunteer at a special event for developmentally disabled adults are being included in summer trips and travel.

The definition of what it means to raise children in a healthy, balanced environment is expanding to include helping those outside the family circle.

You are important

“Quality time with people close to me” ranked first in recent research. Those surveyed: 9-11 year olds in the U.S.

Although tweens frequently go through a “smart mouth” season that can last for years, spending time with family ranks as their top activity. This result was identical to research findings five years ago.

Population replacement?

The shift toward smaller families is becoming noticeable.

Some school districts have already recorded declining enrollment, a sure indication that funding changes are on the horizon, too.

Researchers note that Millennials continue to delay having children. The number of births in the U.S. isn’t keeping up with the number of deaths. Can you hear the cheers from fans of negative population growth?

Transparent parenting

Have you noticed the seemingly increased number of ads that feature family settings?

And not only that, but commercials online and on TV that show home scenes that are far from perfect?

It appears the concept of the “picture perfect” family is gone. That’s good, because the reality of occasional chaos and disorder is easier to relate to. However, it’s still interesting how unfiltered glimpses of family life have become more common.

Shifting the screen balance

September means it’s time for the perennial fall balancing act.

Homework enters the picture for kids who’ve spent the summer playing video games, using social media and watching other screen-based entertainment. Nearly half of students rely on some type of electronic gadget for homework.

Electronic devices have a place, but a bigger challenge is to include tech-free family time in busy schedules.