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Articles for Parents

Cost of Raising a Child

Cost of Raising a Child

By Pam Henderson

A recent online news headline grabbed my attention: “How long $1 million will last in retirement in every state.” You may be thinking what I’m thinking – that I wish I had one million dollars so I could see just how long it really would last.

Play along and imagine for a moment that you are retired and have indeed stockpiled that much money. For how long could you live off of it? According to this article that appeared on MSN, if you retired in Indiana with $1 million, it would last for 24 years and 9 months. At No. 9 in the ranking, Indiana came in as one of the most affordable states for retirees, ranking just behind states in the Deep South.

The article, which was written by GObankingrates.com, puts annual retirement housing, transportation, groceries and healthcare costs at an estimated $27,021 for Hoosiers. Of course, it’s only an estimation, and one size doesn’t fit all. If retirement has you racing expensive cars in Monte Carlo and deep sea fishing in Fiji, you’re going to be blowing through your money much more quickly than the retiree who is driving his 15-year old pick-up truck to fish off the pier at Washington Park. Lifestyle, health needs, travel, hobbies and whether you indulge your grandchildren with a gift card for birthdays and holidays or a shiny new Jaguar convertible, will determine for how long you can stretch your dollars.

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Responding to Baby’s Cries

Responding to Baby’s Cries

By Pam Henderson

I remember being told before my oldest daughter was born that I would be able to distinguish her cries from all of the other babies’ cries in the hospital nursery. It was true. And, when I heard those cries, I just had to hold her.

As it turns out, mine was the universal response to my baby’s cry. A recent study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which has been widely reported by news outlets, followed 684 first-time healthy mothers from the United States and 10 other countries scattered between South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Researchers found that these mothers were rather consistent in picking up their babies within 5 seconds of crying. The babies were picked up, held and talked to. It’s almost as if new mothers are hard-wired to respond to their baby’s cries. Surprisingly, researchers found no measurable difference in response despite the mothers living in different cultures, in different parts of the world.   

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Baseball and Parenting

Baseball and Parenting

By Pam Henderson

I pretty much thought that I knew everything there was to know about baseball. My brother played ball as a Little Leaguer, Red Devil, VU Crusader and Michigan City Star. Every free moment I had was spent in the bleachers. Our family’s love of baseball intensified in our home the summer when the knob on the television set broke. For months, the channel was stuck on WGN Channel 9. We watched endless Cubs games, and loved every minute of it.

So, it’s been an interesting, yet bizarre, experience learning all kinds of new baseball rules over the past several days while watching post-season games. I learned that you can no longer take out the second base man on a slide; a bat in the face mask of a catcher isn’t reviewable; a player can’t block a runner from home plate if he doesn’t have the ball; and, if the momentum of a slide takes a base runner off base – too bad for him.    

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The Buggy Halloween

The Buggy Halloween

By Pam Henderson

As a child, I always preferred to go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. That is, a full stomach of Reese’s Peanut butter Cups, Sweetarts and Milk Duds.

While parents and researchers may be at odds over whether candy makes a child hyper, sugar bugs are not the only monsters invading our children during the  Halloween season. There is another bug that is just as creepy, just as set on raising havoc. You know it – head lice.

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Expiring Car Seats

Expiring Car Seats

By Pam Henderson

It may seem that car seats naturally expire. After a car seat’s first resident baby has a few spit-ups and super soggy diapers during drive time, or expresses the lunchtime green peas, the car seat starts to look and smell like something from a musty, abandoned basement. It’s hard to believe that someone so little could create such a mess. So, it seems only natural that parents would want to pitch the car seat when Baby #2 comes along.

Well-intentioned parents may be able to sanitize that old car seat until it once again looks sparkling new – and who wouldn’t want to salvage it? A car seat can be a pretty hefty investment. First-time parents are oftentimes meticulous about having the newest, latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos for their baby. Then, after parenting for a little while, they may start to think that a few germs will do a body good (aka boost the immunities).

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