Laura Ramsborg
On Behavior
After finding birthday money scattered in various locations that were not our kids’ piggy banks — the trunk of a toy Corvette, a glasses case and an abandoned pencil pouch — it became clear our daughters didn’t understand the value of money. We needed to do something. A brief Google search led me to Ron Lieber’s 2015 book, The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money. A personal finance columnist for The New York Times and also a father,... more
Toning down tech
This fall, my 8-year-old daughter started third grade. She also received a Chromebook, provided by the school to support her education. And we embarked on a new challenge as a family — how to help our child balance technology use. Technology is a part of our lives — for both parents and kids. And learning tech skills is... more
On being ‘woke’
I was introduced to the meaning behind the term “woke” in the fall of 2018, about one year after it was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I was teaching a literacy course at St. Catherine University, and one of my students created a project focused on the topic of being woke. The term “woke,” which originates... more
Ready for K
The transition to kindergarten is a big deal — whether you’re preparing your first child, the last in your brood or your cherished only. The biggest question on your mind is likely, “Is she ready?” Especially now, when it seems like kindergarten readiness is about more than being able to sit for story time and play nicely with... more
A mom's guide to Disney
It’s happening. You’ve made the declaration and (you think) you’re ready: Kids, we’re going to Disney World!Then it hits you: After the euphoria of the Disney announcement subsides, the daunting task of planning looms ahead. When it comes to Disney, there’s no shortage of information, friendly advice and must-do recommendations.... more
Learning to fall
“You aren’t from Minnesota, are you?” This was the first question my kind, well-intentioned instructor asked after I hobbled across the ice for my first adult skating lesson. I was born in Wisconsin, which may explain why I’m 40 years old and only just now learning to ice skate — or you might say — learning how to fall.... more
The gift of failure
WHAT IF J.K. ROWLING HAD GIVEN UP AFTER HER 10TH TRY? Imagine a world without Harry Potter’s magic. And yet it took more than a dozen publisher rejections, or “failures,” before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published. Years later, the Potter franchise has raked in more than $7.7 billion dollars. Some failure!... more
My iPhone cleanse
How long can you go without using your phone? After declaring “device-free dinners” at our house, I decided to conduct a monthlong iPhone experiment: For an entire month, I would limit the use of my phone and see what happened.Initially, I planned to restrict my phone use to its intended purpose — making phone calls. However, after... more
Ready for reflux
When expectant parents envision feeding their newborn child, they likely picture cozy moments of bonding with a sleepy, content infant. Nowhere in their minds is a picture of a scarlet-faced baby, screaming in agony, who refuses to eat. And yet this can be the brutal reality for parents of a baby with reflux. Whether you’re a... more
Daring to be vulnerable
Throughout my high school years, I was the girl who liked to run, but never joined the cross country team — the one who liked to shoot hoops in the driveway, but never tried out for the basketball team. I told myself — and anyone who asked — that I wasn’t “into” joining a team, I wasn’t that serious... more
Staying connected amid kid chaos
With the craziness that is parenting — rushed mornings, constantly interrupted conversations and evenings packed with activities — even the strongest relationships can start feeling more like business partnerships than love connections.After our second daughter (who seemed to be an insomniac) was born, my husband and I suddenly... more
Bribe or bust?
When we asked Minneapolis mamas, “Do you bribe your kids for certain behaviors?” — the confessions flowed like red wine on a Mama’s Night Out. The answer was a resounding yes! with all sorts of bribery booty involved, ranging from single M&Ms — given out one at time — to straight-up cash. You’ll find no judgment here. We’ve... more
Beyond 2
When it comes to adding another child to your family — and perhaps taking the plunge to go beyond two kids — how do parents decide? Even more important, how do parents make their bigger families work? Forty-eight percent of Americans believe two children is the ideal number of children to have, according to a 2013 Pew Research... more
The power of play
Take a trip back in time to your childhood and think about how you loved to spend your days.Many of us can remember joyful, uninterrupted hours of play — whether it was spent building LEGO creations, constructing a fort in the woods or dreaming up imaginary worlds for our dolls. Flash forward to today’s jam-packed schedules,... more
The art of the daycare drop-off
Early mornings, sleep-deprived parents, a time crunch and, of course, emotional youngsters, desperate for their parents’ attention. It’s the perfect storm for catastrophe. And yet, that’s when one of the toughest parts of the day looms — the dreaded daycare drop-off. Day after day, we peel away our sobbing offspring and we’re... more
Building character
Ages 0–3Picture BooksGiraffes Can’t Danceby Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-ReesMeet Gerald, a giraffe who desperately wants to dance, but can’t quite get his long, wobbly legs to cooperate. With perseverance and a little encouragement from a new friend, Gerald succeeds. Gerald’s story will inspire your kids to try, try again, and make... more
How to grow a reader
“Lila is already reading!”“Jayden started reading when he was 3 years old.”“Jesse has been reading chapter books since kindergarten.”As a licensed reading specialist and the parent of a kindergartner, I can’t help but notice the push for children to start reading before kindergarten.What once was rare — and only for children who were... more