Books & Articles: Family Circle

Family circle
CBS/The Early Show
I've been writing for Family Circle for the last three years on topics pertaining to parenting and family life.

Usually I offer tips in conjunction with a larger article they have done on a particular subject, such as eating disorders and teens or the importance of reading to your child.

Check out our "In The Family Circle" segments each month on The Early Show.

June 2007
Share What You Know

The oldest of my three girls is 10, so they're still a little young for dating-thank goodness. But that certainly hasn't stopped me from thinking about what to tell them when it happens. The experts I've talked to say that when your kid tells you she's in love, it's important not to trivialize her feelings by saying, "That's ridiculous," or even "How cute." That will only shut down communication. Instead, ask lots of questions (such as "What do you like about him?") without giving speeches. Share what you remember about dating so she knows that you get the ups and downs of being a teenager in love.

Kids also need to understand that little gestures can mean a lot at this age and rumors can cause hurt feelings. Talk to your teen about not starting gossip about herself by overhyping a relationship at the very start to her friends. Finally, help your inexperienced teen prepare for decisions that may arise when you are not around. For instance, you might ask, "What would you do if he wants to hold hands or kiss you?" Offer ways to respond.

April 2007
Start Them Young!

All three of my girls have daily duties in the house, such as making their beds and picking up their toys. They also set and clear the table and do simple things like snap green beans or cut fruit for dinner. I tell them they have to help simply because they're part of our family. My husband travels a lot; whenever he's away I ask my daughters to do even more because I think it fosters a real sense of responsibility and pride for us to operate as a team, rather than me constantly serving them.

March 2007
Curl Up Together

One night, as I was reading to my 5-year-old daughter, Riley, she turned to me and said, " Mommy, I'm so happy." It was one of those incredible moments that you never forget as a parent and one that probably wouldn't have happened if I didn't make it a priority to spend a few quiet moments reading as a family each evening. I began reading to my daughters as infants, and now even my wiggly 8-year-old and grown-up-ish 10-year-old love the routine of snuggling up with a good book. It's really a great way to unwind, stay close and end hectic days on a peaceful note.

February 2007
Go Ahead and Give it a Try!

Throughout my career I've learned that what seem like the biggest risks bring the biggest rewards. I decided to become a sportscaster in an era when women just didn't do that, then switched into another competitive field: network news. Along the way I fulfilled my goal of becoming a published author. If there's something you dream of doing - like starting a business - it's up to you to figure out how to make it happen.

A few tips:

1. Find your spark. My first book, "Go Girl!," was inspired by the fact that I had three daughters and couldn't find a sports guide for parents.
2. Devote consistent time. I wrote every night after my kids were in bed.
3. Think of the greater good. I dedicated some of proceeds from my second book, "Notre Dame Inspirations," to a journalism scholarship at my alma mater to make all the hard work extra worthwhile.

January 2007
Help Kids Build Their Confidence

Like most parents, I praise my daughters' achievements and point out their strengths. I also share my own stories, like how I'm always ultraprepared for interviews. I've taught them how important it is to practice for things like school presentations. I also tell them the value of setting small, achievable goals. Instead of thinking about a week of shows, I just take one interview at a time. Likewise, when they have a game, rather than focus on winning, we talk about getting to the ball more. Achieving these "stepping stone" goals can really snowball into the inner confidence a child needs to pursue her dreams!