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June-July 2019

Features

Meet Shayy Winn! Voice of Inspiration

Fame and fortune weren’t top of mind when Shayy Winn decided to try out for American Idol last fall. While the 18-year-old would be happy with a career in music, her immediate goal was to encourage others not to be afraid to go after their dreams. “I knew her main…

Your Next Virginia Family Field Trip

Ever since our first child was born fifteen years ago, we’ve made a habit of living out of a suitcase at least once a month, traveling as a family to destinations near and far to expose our two kids (now fifteen and thirteen) to different cultures and environments.  In Virginia…

Big Kids DO Cry … and That’s Okay!

Last spring, my son played coach-pitch baseball for our county’s recreational team. The boys, mostly 8- and 9-year-olds, were hard workers and frequent criers. Some burst into tears after a strikeout or when the opposing team scored a run. Others cried if they didn’t get a chance to bat during…

RVA Families Love Baseball!

Whitman’s speculation below, misquoted (just a bit) by a character in the 1988 movie Bull Durham, speaks to the peculiar American-ness of baseball. It’s a game that traces its origins to England, but became wholly ours in the nineteenth century. Played first in New York, baseball then expanded throughout the…

Columns

8 Life Lessons from the Pool

All of us want to be effective parents, and all of us want to engage our children in activities that support our goals and intentions in raising them. With fifty years of teaching people to swim, I have found the process of learning to swim is one of the first…

You Better Make Believe It

For a long period in my life, I forgot how to play pretend.  As a child, I’d spend hours on the floor of my bedroom constructing narratives: superhero mashups between Green Lantern and Spider-Man, sequels to Nintendo games drawn on long rolls of paper, epic space adventures with my LEGOs.…

Happy summer!

There are so many signs of summer right now that remind me of my childhood home. The scent of honeysuckle and pulling that one sweet drop from the middle takes me right back to the honeysuckle bush in the alleyway that ran across the back of our yard. The slimy…

Jerold E. Solomon Shines Brightly

This month, we caught up with actor, singer, teacher, husband, and father Jerold E. Solomon. You may have been awed by this performer onstage a few months ago in Virginia Rep’s Atlantis. Or, you might recognize him as the actor who starred as Walter Younger in the family drama, A Raisin…

Sharing the Load

Parents today are venturing into unchartered territory – pursuing a parenting style that’s never been attempted by any previous generation. It’s called teamwork. That’s right. The men and women turning into parents today are the first generation in history to treat parenting like a team sport. This notion is as…

Departments

Crash Course in RVA Music

Through the 1980s, Richmond was home to a thriving punk music scene. In general, East Coast punk bands toured from New York to the Carolinas, getting regular gigs.  Situated on I-95, Richmond was a natural and profitable stop on the tour circuit. Venues such as Hard Times, Going Bananas, 538 Club, Stonewall’s, and The Cha-Cha…

The Secret to Baby Smiles

I bet you can’t think of anything more smile-inducing than a baby’s smile. Just seeing one – the real thing or even a photo – makes you smile. It warms your heart and it makes you forget about everyday worries. As a pediatrician, I get to see babies all the…

Why Underage Drinking is as Bad as You Think

As a researcher who studies adolescent alcohol use and its associated problems, I frequently talk to parent groups, and inevitably, I get asked a question like this: “Isn’t part of the problem that in the United States, we make alcohol off limits to adolescents, and by doing so, make it…

The Trauma-informed Approach

Richmond is still savoring the honor bestowed on Richmond Public Schools teacher Rodney Robinson, who was named National Teacher of the Year this spring. Robinson, who teaches at the Virgie Binford Education Center in the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center, is beginning his year-long tour of the country, talking about the…

Bedroom Do-overs Made Simple

Now that summer is here and family schedules are a little more flexible, it’s the perfect time to take on a kids’ room redecorating project. Collaboration is key, and most kids are excited by the idea of updating their space to reflect their individual taste. They are also more likely…

Make a Star-Spangled Suncatcher

Summer is prime time for a patriotic project. Kids will have fun filling the inside of the suncatcher with bits of tissue paper and starry shapes to dazzle in the sunlight. Hang the craft inside near a window or under a covered porch outside to show off the colorful magic.…

Starting Your Own Business?

I think it’s safe to say women can do it all these days. Not only can women do it all, but more and more, it seems we are expected to manage everything, both inside and outside of the home. Not that I’m complaining. I take pride in striving to be…

Expert Parenting Advice

My soon-to-be eighth-grade daughter has suddenly started closing her bedroom door almost all the time and locking it sometimes. Should I ask why? Tell her to stop?      Thanks for this question. I think it is something that many parents of teenagers ask themselves: What is going on with…

Diversity Richmond

Side by Side in Richmond  hosts youth group meetings most days of the week. Here, young people ages eleven to twenty gather and discuss things like healthy relationships, role models, and body image. Some of the meetings – built around the support needs of LGBTQ youth – also incorporate a…

Harsh Realities of Financial Abuse

You or someone you know could become the victim of one of the fastest growing crimes in America – elder financial abuse. Fraudsters are using new tactics to take advantage of retiring baby boomers and the growing number of older Americans, a group that controls more than 70 percent of…

Smart Speakers and Family Life

Imagine having a personal assistant follow you around the house adding items to your grocery lists, playing your favorite songs, and most importantly, turning off all the lights. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod, and Google’s Home can do all those things – and more. After nearly five years…

Notes on Summer Safety

Climb on and we’ll all go together!” Golf carts aren’t just for the course anymore. Leave it to parents to find a new use for the golf cart: the mover of all the things and all the people. These slow-moving carts are perfect for hauling beach gear, zipping around at…

Cooking Up Summer Yum

What’s the first meal you remember regularly fixing for yourself when you were a child? At our house, it was breakfast. On weekends especially, many parents want to sleep in a bit longer. That’s when kids can spring into action – not only making themselves something to eat, but if…

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