Father’s Day Press Release: How US troops all over the world can say ‘I love you’ to their kids back home

GHMILY Anniversary Edition Cover ArtPress Release: Bestselling storybook Guess How Much I Love You and nonprofit United Through Reading help deployed military dads deliver a special message to their kids, perfect for Father’s Day

Although millions of children in the US will be celebrating Father’s Day with their dads on June 21, for many children whose fathers are serving in the military, dad won’t be at home. But thanks to nonprofit United Through Reading and a very special storybook, there’s a way for every dad to tell his kids he loves them this Father’s Day – however far away he might be.

United Through Reading helps thousands of military men and women separated from the children in their lives during deployment to share in the magical bedtime story experience together, wherever they are in the world. And so service members all over the country – and the world – have the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to their children at home, whether it’s from a tent in Afghanistan, a base in Djibouti, Africa, or one of nearly 200 recording locations worldwide.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram is one of United Through Reading’s most popular book choices, especially for Father’s Day – its story celebrates the unique bond between father and child. The tale of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare’s attempts to measure their love for one another has resonated with parents and children all over the world, and has struck a particular chord with military families facing separation. A global bestseller celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Guess How Much I Love You has become one of the world’s best loved picture books.

Guess How Much I Love You is one of United Through Reading’s favorite book titles,” says United Through Reading CEO, Dr. Sally Ann Zoll, Ed.D.  “Since it was written 20 years ago, we have been providing the storybook to service members near and far to record for their loved ones at home. The story is simple, but the message is a very special one, reassuring little ones at home that a Father’s love is immeasurable with the beloved line, ‘I love you right up to the moon and back.’ For service members who are away from home, the story serves as a reminder that their love can close the distance.  This book is a treasure!” ​

PRT Farah Completes United Through Reading Read-a-thon

U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Jennifer Kleve, left, a medic with Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, helps set up a camera for U.S. Army Capt. Jacob Estrada, right, security force commander for the PRT, prior to his participation in a United Through Reading Read-a-thon on FOB Farah, Jan. 18. Participants in the program were encouraged to read to children in their families or to students at Birch Elementary in Idaho, to promote childhood literacy. United Through Reading is a non-profit organization that enables deployed service members to share their love and support with their children by reading books aloud on DVD. PRT Farah’s mission is to train, advise, and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district, and provincial levels in Farah province Afghanistan. Their civil military team is comprised of members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Matthew Stroup/released)

Learn more: Deployed dads deliver #FathersDay message with @UTR4Military and #GuessHowMuchILoveYou

A heartfelt video especially for Father’s Day featuring military parents reading Guess How Much I Love You to their children back home in a United Through Reading recording. http://youtu.be/-PvcCmSkfZE



United Through Reading is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) public benefit organization that has been around for more than 25 years; it’s mission is to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together.  United Through Reading offers service members the opportunity to be video-recorded reading storybooks to children at home which eases the stress of separation, maintains positive emotional connections, and cultivates a love of reading and early childhood literacy.  At nearly 200 recording locations worldwide, service members can read to the children who are special to them from units on ships, in tents in Afghanistan, on bases around the world, and at more than 40 USO centers worldwide.  Since its inception, nearly 2 million military parents, spouses and children have benefited from the program.



 IBSN:  9780763674489 $16.99 / $19.00    

Guess How Much I Love You is celebrating its 20thanniversary in 2015.Now available in a deluxe anniversary edition, Guess How Much I Love You is one of the most successful children’s books of all time, selling 28 million copies and published in 53 languages. Published by Candlewick Press, Sam McBratney’s timeless, endearing story of Big and Little Nutbrown Hare, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s watercolours, has charmed people of all ages. It has become one of the world’s best-loved picture books, and the phrase ‘I love you right up to the moon and back’ has come to signify a way of saying ‘I love you’ to someone special. You can find out more about this extraordinary book here http://www.guesshowmuchiloveyou.com/us.


Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. The Walker Books Group has a unique ownership structure that includes all of its employees worldwide. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com

Can Feeding Children Peanut Products at an Early Age Prevent Future Allergies?

design (3)As the number of children allergic to peanuts is rapidly increasing, a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine reports on recent research that indicates that withholding these products at a young age could be a contributor to the increase in the number of peanut allergies in the U.S. and other Western countries. This groundbreaking revelation is contrary to what many parents have been advised by pediatricians, who have historically recommended against giving young children ages 0-3 peanuts, due to choking concerns. Though the new research may not be entirely conclusive , it does suggest that advice disseminated to prevent one risk may have contributed to the rise of another, more prominent risk amongst children.

Here is a roundup of the reporting on this new research:

Preventing Peanut Allergy through Early Consumption — Ready for Prime Time?” Rebecca S. Gruchalla, M.D., Ph.D., and Hugh A. Sampson, M.D., The New England Journal of Medicine

“Feeding Infants Peanut Products Could Prevent Allergies, Study Suggests” Andrew Pollack, NYTimes

“Study finds peanut consumption in infancy prevents peanut allergy” National Institutes of Health

“Advisory about not feeding peanuts to infants and young children at risk for peanut allergy” American College of Surgeons, Science Daily

“Feeding Babies Foods With Peanuts Appears To Prevent Allergies” Rob Stein, NPR





Kids and Cooking: Four Fun Websites With Recipes for Young Chefs and Families

Untitled design (2)Teaching kids how to cook is a gift with many benefits to health, family dynamics, motor skills, math skills, and more. One of challenges of cooking with kids is finding recipes that are simple enough for kids to follow while still presenting interesting and healthy food options for the whole family.  Finding entire websites dedicated to overcoming these challenges can also be tricky, many websites offer recipes that are family friendly to eat but not necessarily family friendly to cook. Here are four websites dedicated to teaching kids how to cook by providing recipes and instructions for independent young chefs.


ChopChopKids is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach kids to cook real food. Their mission is guided by the principle that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics.

What You Need to Know: There is a wealth of interesting and appealing recipes on the ChopChopKids website that are kid tested, including Pineapple Frozen Yogurt, Breakfast Kabobs, and Broiled Grapefruit. Access to these recipes are free and include helpful images and detailed recipes and instructions. In addition, ChopChopKids offers quarterly magazine subscriptions and a cookbook, both are great options for engaging young cooks to become involved in food choices.


Spatulatta ‘s mission is to present a fun and compelling website that will help foster the new generation of young cooks, not only by introducing cooking skills, but also through modeling behavior for using healthy, fresh, basic ingredients with a minimum of processing. Spatulatta also encourages children to cook with their families and learn from the older generations to keep family and cultural traditions alive.

What You Need to Know: Each recipe is accompanied by an instructional video, edited down to a few minutes, which is extremely helpful and engaging for young cooks. The recipes are geared towards kid’s interests and are presented as such, including Sea Turtle Taters, Weenie Weiner Dogs, and Teddy Bear Tea. The website also offers help on basic skills and ways to incorporate arts and crafts in the kitchen.

Cook With Amber

Amber is an 11-yr old healthy kid chef and cooking show host who shows kids how easy and fun it is to make delicious, healthy, kid-friendly meals. Amber knows that eating well, moving well, and thinking well, are key to a happy life – she wants everyone to know that “Being healthy is COOL!”

What You Need to Know: Cook With Amber is a kid friendly website with a variety of ways to inspire young cooks, including fun recipes (Creepy Apple Bites, Puking Peppers, Salad on a Stick) and videos of appearances by Amber and cooking segments. This website is compelling because of Amber’s excitement for cooking and her contagious positivity, demonstrating to young chefs that cooking and eating healthy food can be cool.

Food Network Cooking With Kids

The Food Network encourages families to cook together and eat together with a selection of family friendly recipes that kids can make on their own or with an adult. With an explosion of kid centered TV shows and competitions, young chefs will be drawn to this website for its familiar hosts and enticing recipes, including Zucchini Pirate Boats, Pizza Skewers, and Taco Cheeseburgers.

What You Need to Know: There are a lot of bells and whistles and this website, as is expected for The Food Network. However, if users can navigate through to the actual recipes, there are interesting ideas that will encourage even the pickiest of eaters to try something new.

Conscious Parenting: Our Children As Our Awakeners

To parent consciously is to become aware that the parenting process evokes for us many issues from our own childhood. In fact, our children come into our lives to trigger these issues, functioning as a mirror of our own unresolved past. By parenting consciously, we see ourselves reflected through our children’s ways of behaving and the conflicts we experience as parent and child.

Our children may be small and powerless in terms of living independent lives, but they are mighty in their potential to be our life’s greatest awakeners.

“Awakeners.” I like this term because it speaks directly to our children’s potential to raise our consciousness to new levels. When we begin to notice exactly how they do this, we are in awe.

When I speak of becoming “conscious” as parents, I’m not talking about a sudden epiphany, for the insights our children bring to us are hardly ever stumbled upon in the extraordinary.

Rather, it’s in the most ordinary of moments, and often the most humbling situations, that our children’s capacity for kindling our consciousness is revealed. Everyday routines can become a window onto the ways in which, as parents, we have yet to grow up.

It’s usually in situations involving conflict that we tend to glimpse aspects of our behavior that are originating from a lack of awareness. This is why, instead of shying away from conflict, perhaps even denying that there is conflict, I encourage parents to accept the inevitability of conflict, then use the insights that can emerge from such situations to awaken themselves to the growth that still needs to take place in them.

The reason we don’t tend to see the opportunities for growth that are children afford us is that we have a tendency to blame our children for the things that aren’t working in our relationship with them. We then resort to dictating to them, trying to control them, attempting to set them straight.

The last thing we are expecting is for such moments to offer us an opportunity for our own spiritual development. Yet if we are willing to open our eyes, our children constantly reflect back to us things about ourselves that need to change.

Take, for example, the mother who complains that she loses her temper with her children when it’s time to get ready for school because they “never listen,” and consequently arrive late for class. It might seem that such a parent needs to teach her children to pay attention—and in some cases this may be true. But what if the mother were to explore her own behavior, for instance examining whether she herself is disorganized and tends to be tardy, particularly in the mornings? Perhaps she’s not naturally a “morning person.” The conscious approach to parenting shifts the focus away from what our children need to change, to aspects of ourselves that may need to be addressed.

A conscious way of parenting begins with asking ouselves, “Do I need to revisit the way I operate? Are there ways I need to restructure my life so I can be more organized for my children?” Where a certain level of disorganization may have been acceptable before we became a parent, we now realize that such chaos is simply too confusing for a child.

Being more organized may seem like such a small thing. Surely this can’t be the answer to why our children are late? Yet it’s precisely these “small” things that have the potential to create many a dysfunctional pattern in a family.

Consider the eight-year-old child who has inexplicably become a social recluse, refusing to go to school or play with his friends. His parents are at a loss for what to do. Experts have been called in to “fix” the child, yet the situation persists. Profession intervention may indeed be necessary in some cases, what about first turning the focus onto the parents?

When the parents put the spotlight on themselves, the mother discovers that she herself went through a traumatic period when she was around seven years old. She was in a car accident in which her father died, witnessing the whole tragedy firsthand. For the next two years, she became selectively mute. In other words, what we are dealing with here is a generational pattern of anxiety, passed on from mother to son.

These are just two examples, one seemingly superficial and the other more serious, of the ways in which our children tell us, “Wake up, look at yourself, transform yourself, heal yourself. Do this for you, so that I may be free of what burdens you.”

Our children have the ability to awaken us to our tardiness, our obsessiveness, our anxiety, our need for perfection, our desire for control, our inability to say “yes” or “no” and mean it, our neediness, our marital troubles, and even our addictions.

Perhaps one of the biggest lessons we can learn from our children is how to simply be “still,” which is something many of us have a hard time with. Along with this goes the ability to engage with full-on presence, to be intuitive, and especially to be authentic. We can even learn what it is to be open, spontaneous, playful.

The list of opportunities for growth that our children bring into our lives is almost endless. If our eyes are open, we will see our unconsciousness at work in how they act and react to us, as well as in how we act and react to them.

It comes down to awakening to the fact that parenting isn’t so much about raising of our children, but beginning to act like real parents by first raising ourselves.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in New York. Her specialty is in the integration of Eastern philosophy and Western psychology. It is this blend of East and West that allows her to reach a global audience, and establishes her as one of a kind in the field of mindfulness psychology. Namaste Publishing will release her second book, Out of Control: Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work and What Will in January, 2014. Shefali has spoke at events and plays an advisory role to the Milton’s Secret production team.




Parenting Without Power Struggles

No one wins when a parent and child become involved in a power struggle; most parents learn this lesson very quickly after engaging in a few heated battles with their children. At the end of a power struggle, all parties end up feeling battered and hostile and then regret engaging in the struggle in the first place (if they can even remember how it started). These struggles create distance, animosity, self-doubt and general emotional distress. Why is it then that we often go down this road where we, as parents, feel like we need to prove that we have the final say and control over our child? Power struggles with our children are damaging to everyone in the household and can have long-term effects on our relationship with our child as well as their own long-term development.

How can you maintain parental control without engaging in power struggles with your child? Unfortunately, there is not just one answer for every family and situation. However, many parenting experts have discussed this topic at length and there is a bevy of helpful literature available to parents as they navigate this challenge. A few of our suggested reads are listed below.

“Eighteen Ways to Avoid Power Struggles” by Jane Nelsen (www.positivediscipline.com)

“Avoiding Power Struggles With Children” by Eva Nislev (www.montessori.org)

“Avoiding Power Struggles With Defiant Children Declaring Victory is Easier Than You Think” by James Lehman (www.empoweringparents.com)

“Parental Put Downs and Power Struggles with Adolescents” by Carl Pickhardt (www.psychologytoday.com)

“Avoiding Arguments and Power Struggles With Your Kids” by Sal Severe (www.life.familyeducation.com)



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