Editor's Note:

Editor’s Note

Happy Mother’s Day! This has been a lovely spring. I’ve enjoyed these sprinkles of rain interspersed with beautiful sunshine. I hope you were able to enjoy every minute. Now that we’re on the cusp of summer and all that implies— summer school, summer camp and other activities—we hope that you peruse the great ideas POP brings you this month.

If you do nothing else, make sure you sign your kids up for swim lessons! There are so many wonderful swim schools on the Peninsula—King’s Swim Academy and La Petit Baleen (three locations!) for starters, as well as the YMCA, Jewish Community Center and other municipal pools. Don’t risk your child’s life because he/she can’t swim!

Have you been to Filoli this year? Don’t miss their annual flower show and Mother’s Day festivities May 5th to May 8th. It’s a huge celebration this year because it is also their 100th anniversary. One hundred designers will display their creations and the gardens are set for Mother Nature to put on her own show. Filoli is a Peninsula treasure tucked away off Cañada Road in Woodside. Check out www.filoli.org for all the details.

Our columnists have outdone themselves this month. Kimberly Gonsalves, a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and Parent Coach, gives us five questions your teen wishes you’d ask. Steve Shapiro, our resident dad, reminds us that the only thing predicable in this parenting game is unpredictability. (Amen to that!)

“Preschool Parent” Robin Campi lists the ABCs of kindergarten readiness. (Check out your preschooler against her list.) Donne Davis, our grandma guru, gives us the go-ahead to impart our secrets of a successful life to our grandchildren, and Dr. Jason Clark explains the ins and outs of jaundice in babies. (Don’t worry, it’s not scary.) Our lactation consultant Sheila Janakos explores the joys of nursing after a C-section. (Yes, it’s perfectly possible.) Good ol’ coach Brien Shamp gives us techniques to get off the food craving treadmill (“Never Crave Naughty Foods Again”) by creating negative associations with unhealthy foods and positive associations with healthy foods. (Note to Coach: If someone invented kale ice cream would that be naughty or nice?)

Enjoy this issue—it’s packed!

  • Tory Hartman, Editor

POP Picks:

POP Picks: Book Recommendations

In 2009 children’s book editor and literary critic Anita Silvey published a memorable book titled, Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, and I couldn’t agree more with its premise. As an owner of The Reading Bug, I have the pleasure of discovering children’s books that I believe will impact their readers, both young and old. This column will focus on four of my favorite new books that help teach important life lessons.

Keeping Camp Costs Budget-Friendly

Camp is a life-changing experience—one that’s possible for every child and every budget. Even though the experience is priceless, paying for it doesn’t have to be!

“I’m a great believer that you don’t have to go to the most expensive camp to have a great camp experience,” said Phil Lilienthal, former camp director of Camp Winnebago in Maine and Global Camps Africa CEO. If you’re dealing with an experienced and caring staff of camp counselors, “you can have a program in a parking lot, and it can be great,” he said.

Toddlers and the Risk of Drowning: Five Things You Should Know

What are the top five things parents should know about water safety for toddlers?

  1. Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5.
  2. Drowning doesn’t just happen in swimming pools; it also happens in fountains, ponds and even buckets and dog bowls.
  3. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), formal swim lessons can decrease the risk of drowning by up to 88%.
  4. Layers of protection are essential to drowning prevention.
  5. Seconds count…all childcare providers (including grandparents) should be trained in CPR and first aid.

Time out for Teens:

Five Questions Your Teen Wishes You’d Ask

Remember when you were a teen, and you had big ideas and dreams, a hotbed of convictions, lots of questions and more than a few doubts? How might your growth have been impacted if you’d had someone on your side that you could talk to, without fear of judgment or ridicule?

By learning to apply many of the same skills that coaches use, you can help your teen develop self-awareness, resilience, persistence, self-discipline and a host of other life skills. The key is to recognize that entry to a teen’s inner world is a privilege, reserved for those who are trustworthy and encouraging. No haters allowed.

Preschool Parent:

The ABCs of Kindergarten Readiness

It’s inevitable . . . Our kiddos are just around the corner from their first experience with formal education— kindergarten!

Sure, we have all spoken with our beloved teachers and chatted with our friends and neighbors about the process, but the reality is that some of us still have knots in our tummies that our babies are off to school, and maybe, just maybe they (or we) need more time. Do they need to have pre-academic skills such as letter identification and phonemic awareness, and identify and count numbers 1-20? Do they need to sit at attention for more than twenty minutes at a time? How are their friendships? Social skills? Ugh! There are so many things to consider!

Nursing Your Baby:

Can I Breastfeed After a C-Section?

Melanie asks, “I am eight months pregnant with my baby girl. I am planning on having a scheduled C-section due to my large uterine fibroids. I heard that having a C-section can impact my ability to breastfeed and get my milk supply in. I am so upset at the thought that I will not be able to breastfeed my baby. Is there anything I can do to make breastfeeding work if I have a C-section?”

There are many women who end up with C-sections for a multitude of reasons in this day and age. If you need a caesarean, please do not feel you failed and will not be able to successfully breastfeed.

Coach's Corner:

Never Crave Naughty Foods Again

You wake up each morning with every intention of eating “good” today.

You’ll skip the drive-thru line on your way to work. You’ll refuse to get fast food with co-workers at lunch. You’ll boycott the vending machine in the mid-afternoon. And you won’t even think about having dessert after dinner.

But then your cravings kick in…

Father Knows Best?:

The Predictability of Unpredictability

I was 15 years old. My older brother, father and I were just finishing dinner and I was talking about a young lady in school I was hoping to ask out on a date. After a brief moment of reflection, my father unexpectedly said, “You know, it’s actually becoming fun to be a parent. You guys talking about girls and dating. It’s nice.” He wasn’t being sarcastic. He really meant it. For the first time since he became a parent, he was actually enjoying himself.

The Doctor is in:


Jaundice is derived from the French word jaune, which means yellow. Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes. It is estimated that 60% of full-term babies and up to 80% premature infants have some jaundice in the first week of life. The vast majority of babies will have no medical issue with this but we must watch closely because there can be serious medical consequences if left unchecked.