Posts filed under Parenting

How to Smooth Out a Bumpy Back to School Experience

Oh, boy, it’s that time of year again. Many of us parents and guardians have been working through our checklists, buying new shoes for our kids (who’ve been barefoot or in sandals all summer), and picking out fall clothes for kids who’ve sprouted since June. We’re smoothing the path as much as we’re able, sometimes stopping by the school beforehand for trial runs, figuring out the bus schedule and aftercare, or maybe counting down the days until school starts again.

Posted on September 1, 2018 and filed under Calendar Essays, Calendar Features, Issue 70, Parenting, Children.

Hikes and Tykes — Tree City Babywearing

If you’re from Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti, babywearing is delightfully ubiquitous, and so I’ll assume you’re on board with the idea of combining backpacks and babies. Come along on a fantastic hike around our babywearing culture in this mecca for babywearing folks and activities. Babywearing, or carrying babies in slings on your body instead of in strollers, has had a resurgence in popularity in the last decade, as attachment parenting has gone mainstream. According to Allison Valerio of Ann Arbor Babywearers, which meets in Ypsilanti, the last four years in particular has seen an explosion of new babywearing gear on the market, aimed at parents looking for more choices for baby gear even up into toddler-sized baby slings. 


Posted on September 1, 2018 and filed under Children, Issue 70, Nature, Parenting, Programs.

Reflections on the Power of Music as Support and Healing for Teenagers

Last spring I heard Aaron Dworkin, violinist and former Dean of the U-M School of Music, Theater & Dance, speak at a leadership workshop at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. He expressed the best part of playing in a group/ensemble as a child was that he felt like he was ‘included’ for the first time in his life. Prior to this, he didn’t know anyone else like him and he lacked a sense of ‘belonging.’ He inspired me to investigate further. I wanted to hear from Ann Arbor students and teachers about their experience playing music in collaboration with others and what it means to them. 

Posted on May 5, 2018 and filed under Columns, Issue 69, Music, Parenting.

Raising Musical Kids--Musical Musings ~ A Peek Under the Roof of a Musical Household

It was clear to me that our family was “different” when it was the Ohio Michigan game, and instead of tailgating, we were all home watching a documentary of the history of jazz in America. At intermission, our dog ran figure eights around the multiple music stands and instruments that were scattered about the living room floor. Why the living room, you ask? There is no basement in our house. We like to think that by allowing kids to play in wide open spaces, it makes the whole house vibrate to some higher frequency. 

Posted on May 5, 2018 and filed under Issue 69, Parenting, Music.

Ann Arbor Skate Park – A Welcoming Place

When was the last time you pushed your edge in public? Or really connected with your kids learning a new activity together? How often does your tween or teen get excited to turn off the video game and go somewhere and be active? Have you ever wished your son or daughter felt a sense of belonging in a community of peers outside of home or school?

Posted on September 13, 2017 and filed under Children, Parenting, Public Parks.

Zen and the Art of Hamster Maintenance: Thoughts on Passion, Purpose, and Parenting

Ten years ago, I lucked into a career in the arts. I say “lucked into” because there are loads of other qualified, experienced, arts-loving, ambitious people trying do exactly what I’m doing. The field is competitive; hundreds of people submit their candidacy for a single part-time opening at some of the organizations I've worked with. 

Posted on December 31, 2014 and filed under Parenting.

CWJ Kids — Music and Movement for the Very Young: Gari Stein Adds “Baby and You” Class to Her Offerings By Nieka Apell

Many Ann Arborites are familiar with the name Gari Stein and her acclaimed music classes and curricula for children. What families with young children may not be aware of, however, are her group classes for babies as young as three months old with their caregivers. 

Posted on August 28, 2014 and filed under Children, Music, Parenting, excercise.