29    Aug 20150 comments

Then and Now: Seven ways summer vacation has changed

During summer vacations, many parents scramble to find fun and enjoyable things for their children to do and keep them occupied. For many children, the beginning of September means the sad end to their summers.

While it's still summer, we wanted to travel back in time tand take a look at some summer activities, then and now. Continue reading "Then and Now: Seven ways summer vacation has changed" »

8    Aug 20153 comments

Family Size: The bigger the better?

Does family size impact how happy we are?

Our ancestors often came from larger families, with at least three siblings. Today, however, the number of couples who are having more than two children is small.

A recent happiness study found that two-thirds of couples with three or more children consider themselves happy most of the time. Also, they are more satisfied with their lives and build stronger personal relationships with others. Continue reading "Family Size: The bigger the better?" »

29    Jul 20159 comments

5 Things Only Middle Children Will Understand

I was the second of four siblings. Growing up as middle children, my sister (the third child) and I often joked that we were considered double-stuff Oreo filling, and therefore we were the best part of the family.

But, let's face it, it's not easy being a middle child.

According to various studies, birth order in a family can have a great impact on a child's life.

Middle children often feel squeezed between older and younger siblings and have trouble finding their place in the family. There's even a syndrome named after us!

Here are five things that only middle children will understand:

1) Always wearing hand-me-down clothes. Continue reading "5 Things Only Middle Children Will Understand" »

29    Jun 20142 comments

Fathers: More quality time

Spending time with family is vital for maintaining a happy family with strong relationships. The more time you spend together, the better chance you have of bonding over quality experiences.

Today’s fathers are spending more time with their children than ever, and are becoming more and more involved in family childcare.

Continue reading "Fathers: More quality time" »

2    May 20140 comments

Mother’s Day 2014: Send us your selfies!

There's a famous saying -- “A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, a man becomes a father when he sees his baby.”

Even from the first signs of pregnancy, a woman begins to hope, dream, and worry about her future offspring, and what the future will hold for them.

Mothers never stop thinking about their children. They shower their children with kindness, show off their talents and achievements to anyone who will listen, and always have the best hopes and dreams for their kids.

My mother is a remarkable woman. She is the most positive person I know, always bringing sunshine to every room that she enters.

My mother and me, posing for a selfie

Continue reading "Mother’s Day 2014: Send us your selfies!" »

27    Mar 20142 comments

Family History: What we leave for our children

We often think of family history in one direction- what we are learning or "taking from" our ancestors. We rarely take the time to think about give and take in the other direction.

What's the legacy that you would like to leave for your children and for future generations? How are you making sure that it will be passed on?

There are many practices for ensuring that your family history survives into future generations. Perhaps the most crucial is including your children and descendants in your family history research.

By encouraging interest in the family tree from your children, grandchildren and other relatives, they will want to preserve the records for generations to come. Continue reading "Family History: What we leave for our children" »

18    Jul 201324 comments

New Chinese law: Children must visit parents

In China, a new law makes it mandatory for children to visit their parents (over age 60), with a fine for those who don’t comply.

Image credit: http://bit.ly/14Tv2Ko

According to the law, children are required to visit their parents “frequently” and make sure their financial and spiritual needs are met.

The new law would be a major reform in safeguarding the rights of Chinese elderly. Coupled with an aging population and a one-child policy, the number of those over 60 is projected to increase. In 2011, some 185 million people were over 60. By 2050, a third of China’s population will be classed as elderly. Continue reading "New Chinese law: Children must visit parents" »

6    Jul 20138 comments

Photos from the Past: Hidden Mothers

Photography is a great way to document our ancestors and to learn more about who they are, even just from their portraits.

Since the late-19th century, photography has become much more accessible and affordable for middle class families, yet taking a photo back then was a very different experience from today's.

A 19th-century photographer

Two centuries ago, there were no “instant” photos. Those posing for photographs had to remain in position - patiently - for five minutes to get the perfect image.

Continue reading "Photos from the Past: Hidden Mothers" »

1    Jun 201317 comments

New Zealand: Banned names

What’s in a name? Well, in New Zealand, your's could be a problem.

In early May, New Zealand’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages released an updated list of banned baby names.

Do you have a Lucifer, Queen V, King, V8, Prime Minister or Justice in your family tree? Those are all (as well as others) on the list  that are unacceptable.

The banned list is not static, and grows over time. According to the registrar, acceptable names may not cause offense, be unreasonably long or resemble any official title and rank.

Continue reading "New Zealand: Banned names" »

26    Feb 20130 comments

Family History: Our children, their ancestors

When the genealogy “bug” hits us, we just can't help ourselves. We want to search deeper into our heritage.

It's disappointing when some family members don't share our ancestor interest. We want them to ask questions and learn about our shared family history.

A great way to start is with our children and grandchildren.

Children are curious about black-and-white photos, strange names, and seeing a family tree filled with images of people they may or may not know. Most importantly, they ask questions - lots of questions!

Children love listening to stories, so reading to them about the family is a great way to grab their interest and demonstrate that they are part of a grander history. Sharing family moments creates a stronger family bond, as well as a chance to share ancestral information.

Do you share family stories with your children and grandchildren? How do you pass on your unique heritage to the younger generations? Let us know in the comments below.

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