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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Are We There Yet?


Matt Freeman named executive director of Idaho Board of Education

Idaho’s state Board of Education has announced that its new executive director will be Matt Freeman, now the board’s deputy director and chief fiscal officer. The home-grown pick, chosen after a national search, previously spent nine years with the Legislative Services Office, where he was a budget and policy analyst for the Legislature focusing on higher education. He holds a law degree from the University of Idaho and a bachelor’s degree from Whitworth University. An Idaho native, Freeman is married with two children.

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I honestly don’t know any parents who spank their children – or any who will at least admit to it. Although once a common practice in many American homes and even some schools, corporal punishment is now generally viewed as an ineffective means of disciplining…

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MONDAY, AUG. 23, 2010

Working teens 

I started working when I was about 12 years old. Like other girls my age at the time, I babysat younger children in the neighborhood. I also made money by watching neighbors’ pets when they were on vacation, washing cars or weeding people’s yards. During…

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SUNDAY, AUG. 15, 2010

Beyond Time Out 

Like many parents, I try really hard not to yell at my kids. But once in a while, I just lose it. If my son is being especially difficult after a long, hard day, I’ll find myself making orders: “Go to your room!” Even worse…

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SUNDAY, AUG. 8, 2010

Taking care of other people's kids 

Stay-at-home parents and others who work from home usually have some flexibility when it comes to scheduling and childcare. But sometimes, they end up taking care of other people’s children, too, according to this Wall Street Journal column written by Jeffrey Zaslow, “Yes, I’m Home.…

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MONDAY, AUG. 2, 2010

The benefits of having siblings

Siblings who stay connected as they grow older not only support each other emotionally, studies show; they also help improve each other’s physical and mental health. The benefits of having brothers and sisters are evident at even an earlier age, according to recent research from…

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MONDAY, JULY 26, 2010

The “friendly divorce” movement 

Divorce continues to be a fact of life for many American families. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the world for the kids. Of course it’s terrible when mom and dad can no longer live happily together in the same house. However,…

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MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010

Teaching creativity 

The cover of the July 19th Newsweek immediately caught my eye: America is suffering from a creativity crisis, according to Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, authors of the bestselling book, “NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.” Children, particularly those in kindergarten through the sixth grade, are…

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MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010


Getting parents ready for college

Freshman orientation used to be just that – a chance for incoming students to learn about campus life and what to expect when they enter their first semester of higher education. Now, more colleges are hosting orientation sessions specifically for parents and families. According to…

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Family-friendly Spokane 

Now that I have two kids in tow, Spokane has become the ideal place to live. In a mid-size community like ours, we have all the benefits of downtown and other big city amenities but at the same time, we're still only minutes away from…

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MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010

The Financial Cost of Having a Child

It costs more to rear a child than to buy a house in Spokane. According to the latest “Expenditures on Children” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average expenditures on a child in a middle-income, husband-wife family is about $222,360 – that’s $57,000…

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MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010


It’s a message we often hear from others and also impart to our kids: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Giving up is just something we’re not supposed to do. Sometimes, however, I wonder if some things are just not meant…

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The unique needs of firstborn children

They’re the kids who get the most attention, some studies show. Firstborns are likely to be natural leaders. They tend to be driven, assertive and task-oriented. They also have perfectionist tendencies and like to have thing their way. At least that’s what the literature on…

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Competitive parenting

I don't say it out loud but every once in a while, as I watch other families, I catch myself thinking, "Oh, I wouldn't do it that way."I've also found myself on the other side, as the recipient of other people's advice. "He's too old…

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MONDAY, MAY 24, 2010

More conversations about race 

One of the things that I love about the elementary school that my son attends is the diversity. As we checked out his kindergarten class photo this year, I was surprised – and also relieved – to see that one out of every four children…

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MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010

Gearing up for summer

Brace yourselves, parents, grandparents and guardians. In roughly two weeks, your children will be out of school. Are you ready for summer? In the past, summer often caught us by surprise. We always had a list of things to do – from tending the vegetable…

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MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010

Playing favorites and sibling rivalry

"I love you all equally." At least, that's what most parents tell their kids. But at some point in their life, children who have grown up with siblings will probably question whether or not that's true.As the black sheep in my family, I was definitely…

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MONDAY, MAY 3, 2010

Multigenerational households

During my childhood in the Philippines and then later in Seattle, I was lucky enough to live in the same house as other relatives. At one time or another, we had an aunt or uncle living with us. For a few years, we also lived…

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MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010

Mentors in our community

The obituary caught my eye just as we headed out the door last week for America's Kids Run. Frank Edward Petek, 59, was the guy at the starting line of the annual event who would share a joke, give kids a high five or calm…

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SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010

Friends without kids

These days, my social life revolves around my children and their activities. The people I spend the most time with end up being other parents -- usually mothers -- who have preschoolers and kids in kindergarten or the first grade. It wasn't always this way,…

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SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2010

More family time

Despite all our worries about working too much and not spending enough time with our children, a recent study now reports that the opposite is true: Families are actually spending more time together."The Rug Rat Race," a report based on the research of husband-and-wife economists…

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Ending the Cycle of Abuse

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In addition to raising awareness about this global problem that affects millions of children, it's also a time to reflect on our own actions as parents -- especially if we grew up in dysfunctional households.Abuse isn't just physical…

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SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2010

Financially Savvy Kids

Whenever we sit down for breakfast on Sundays, the first thing my kids pick up from the newspaper are the ads. They're always on the lookout for inserts with full-color images of toys, videogames and all the usual stuff that seem to draw children's attention.…

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This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.