Generally speaking there’s a lot of YAY when it comes to the holidays—time off, tasty treats, fun festivities. But it’s also a time that quickly gets jammed with more stuff. More stuff to buy, more stuff on the to-do list, more stuff to stress about.
One thing we love about our friends at New Dream is that in addition to their year-round commitment to helping people create a life focused on more of what matters, their Simplify the Holidays guide offers amazing resources designed to help people escape the shopping, spending, and frenzied preparations that have become synonymous with the winter holidays.
New Dream’s Simplify the Holidays resources include a (beautifully designed!) 30-day plan to help you take immediate action, a printable coupon book for alternative gifting (we would like a million “I will make you dinner!” coupons, please), a catalog including hundreds of fun, low- or no- cost gift ideas, and lots of other inspiration and tips. New Dream is also the brains behind SoKind, an easy-to-use online registry that will encourage your family and friends to give gifts of time, handmade goods, charitable donations, or useful items that you actually need. So maybe that’s a new direction you’d like to head this winter!
Today is School Milk Day and we have been working with a wonderful influencer team to spread the word about the Heifer School Milk Feeding Program that launched in July 2017. In a nutshell, Heifer has been working on a full-circle “cow to classroom” program to connect milk from Heifer farmers to students in Tanzania. This summer, the first phase of the program onboarded 1,742 pupils to receive fresh milk every day this school year; the ultimate goal is to reach 9,000 pupils. So fantastic, right?
Will you help us reach that goal? Here are 2 easy ways to help!
Make a donation. A gift of any size is wonderful and just $75 can provide one student with fresh milk for a school year (that's just 40 cents a day).
Amplify the posts of our influencer team! Women Online is so proud to be committing to this program and will donate $1 (up to $2,000) for every retweet or Facebook share of these posts!
Women Online recently collaborated with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls on behalf of AARP’s #DisruptAging initiative. Check out this video from a luncheon during BlogHer ’17, where we explored what it means to “act our age” and what influencers can do to flip the script and change the conversation about aging.
Our client AMAZE recently asked a group of men to share stories about communication and sex from a dad's perspective, and we're so happy they did. Check out these fantastic posts from some dads who are breathing a sigh of relief that AMAZE was there to help.
- As a dad-squared family, with a son and daughter, having a resource [like AMAZE] readily available to help with these discussions and other topics is essential. -Joël Lëoj
- "Talking to kids about the wide world of sexuality, weird as it may seem at the time, is important. It normalizes normal things and provides the information that will become the cornerstone of later decisions." YES. Thanks to Whit Honea for sharing these thoughts.
- 3 key ways to help the transgender community generally + 6 organizations to support, via our friend Brent at @DesignerDaddy.
- Yes to being proactive not reactive when it comes to sex ed/health conversations with kids! Thanks to Joël Lëoj for sharing his thoughts about AMAZE via this live broadcast.
- Dad of 4 Jason Greene (of @OneGoodDad) reframes the "running the bases" sex analogy to how to think of each of the bases as by-age landmarks for talking to kids about sex. Thanks, Jason!
- Thom Hofman of Daddy, Medium-Well says, "What I want to convey, when it’s time, when they’re ready, is that great sex begins with self-knowledge. It’s about trust. It’s about intimacy — physical, sure, but more importantly, emotional intimacy. I want them to know that, and I want to be able to leave no doubt that we are here to help them understand anything they might need help understanding.
- This is where AMAZE.org will be of tremendous assistance in the next few years." - Carter Gaddis
- "I’m in no rush for my daughters to become sexually active. But burying my head in the cushions of our couch is not going to stop them from falling in love and acting on the emotions that will someday be stirred inside them both. The same is true in reverse: having an open dialogue about sex, love, relationships, and the symmetry of those things, will not push them to become sexually active ahead of schedule." Thanks to Jeff Bogle of City Dads Group for sharing his story!
- "Amaze continues to surprise me, and I love how the videos and resources are made in a non-threatening way that will really encourage kids to explore, laugh, learn and have fun while doing it." HOORAY! We're so glad that the videos are proving helpful with your daughters Dad of Divas!
- It's not everyday that a presidential library serves as a catalyst for a sex ed conversation. High fives to Michael Moebes of Dadcation for embracing the teachable moments!
- "My sons can flip through [AMAZE] videos at their own pace, I can watch them on my own as well, and we can meet in the middle to talk deeper about any issues that come up." -Buzz Bishop of DadCAMP. YES! And did you know that you can set up custom playlists for your kids at AMAZE. Check it out here.
Following the awesomeness of our AMAZE babies and birth control blog series, we were thrilled to coordinate a group of writers to share about how they talk to their kids about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Read on to learn...
- Why Amanda Magee isn’t letting awkwardness be an excuse for giving up on the essential conversations about sex ed and relationships
- How Lisa Collins is handling sex ed with her 11-year-old son
- Why Tandra Wilkerson equates AMAZE to taco Tuesday
- How Jessica Ashley is wading into the toughest of conversations with her tween son
- How Leah Campbell is using AMAZE to aid her communication journey with her daughter
- 5 great tips for talking about healthy relationships with tweens and teens, via Leticia Barr
- How Cristie Ritz-King leverages teachable moments to talk about the tough stuff
And here are a couple of great AMAZE.org videos you should check out!
Last week we shared a series of stories from parent bloggers about educating kids about babies and birth control on the Facebook page of our client AMAZE. Take a look!
- Just when we thought we had heard it all. Apparently "I HEART PANTS" is a part of a sex ed in Texas. (via Wendi Aarons of Wendi Aarons.com)
- "Explaining where babies come from to your child, but not birth control is not enough." Big thanks to Debi of The Truth About Motherhood for sharing how she has approached sex ed with with tween daughters.
- Writer, educator, speaker, and Being Black at School executive director Kelly Wickham Hurst of Mocha Momma shares about sex ed from her unique lens as a teen mom and educator.
- Jenny from The Jenny Evolution had a father who was bold enough to sit her down to talk about sex which made it so much easier when the time came to do the same with her son.
- "Even if it makes me cringe on the inside, it’s so important that my kids know I can talk about important topics with them. I want to be a good source of information and be a safe person for them to confide in." Thanks to Anne Parris from Not A Supermom for this post!
- I hope to stop freaking out internally at some point but if that doesn’t happen, that’s okay. I’m going to keep talking to her about this. Such a great post from Sili at My Mamihood (who, btw, is still waiting for her parents to have "the talk" with her).
- "Turns out, there isn’t one talk. There are many talks! It needs to be an open, ongoing conversation. Because kids need to learn way more than the definition of sex." (via Kelcey Kintner of The Mama Bird Diaries)
We love the work our client AMAZE.org does to help families make sex ed conversations #MoreInfoLessWeird. And this month, there’s been so much great activity in honor of Pride Month. AMAZE kicked off the month hosting Gender Identity Day on June 3 (check out this great tips recap from the Twitter chat!), and this week we coordinated an amazing group of LGBTQ bloggers to share stories:
- Casey from Life With Roozle explains why there's no such thing as what a boy looks like.
- Vikki from VikkiReich.com points out how it's different now how kids think about gender and sexual orientation.
- Mitch Chaitin of GayNYCDad writes about raising a son in a more gender diverse community.
- Amber Briggle from AmberBriggle.com provides important insight on raising a transgender child.
- Dana Rudolph from Mombian shares two potential pitfalls in talking with her son about sex and gender.
- Brent Almond from Designer Daddy tell us 5 things he won't tell his kid about sex.
And AMAZE also launched this great video:
Learn more about how PDF has been achieving gender parity on stage for years.
Do you volunteer? Even if the answer is no, you can still enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card!
Reward Volunteers is a program run by our client Cabot Creamery Co-operative that gives back to people who give their time and energy volunteering. We are working with them to choose people for a focus group and bring in valuable information about volunteerism.
If you'd like to participate, please fill out this three minute survey to give us your feedback on volunteerism. Your answers will help expand the Rewards Volunteers project, which, in turn, will put more good into the world. To sweeten the deal, you’ll be entered to win a $200 Amazon gift card as a thank you for your time.
So what are you waiting for? Take the survey and tell us why you give back in your community.
We're just getting back into the swing of things after a whirlwind time at the Mom 2.0 Summit last week. We were there on behalf of our clients GSK, for a session on meningococcal meningitis, and the CDC Injury Center representing their work creating safe, nurturing environments for kids. We were so honored to be a part of their teams at this event.
AND, we are THRILLED to share that our very own Christine Koh, along with Asha Dornfest, won Best Podcast of the Year for the Edit Your Life show. Woo hoo!
The American Heart Association’s Voices for Healthy Kids initiative aims to foster a national conversation about the need to ensure quality physical education as a part of every child’s education.
Over the last few months, we worked with a group of bloggers to spread the word about the need for expanded PE and to push for changes in the states and communities where change is most needed and where clear opportunities exist.
- Paige Wolf of Spit That Out talks about how her kids’ active lives are so much different than hers were.
- Jamie Knupp of Mama Without a Clue marvels at the difference she’s seen in her kids’ school work, attention span, and physical fitness since the increase to more frequent PE class.
- Jamie Yonash of Life is Sweeter by Design shares a school nurse’s perspective on PE.
- Charmin Calamaris of The Momiverse emphasizes the importance of making sure her kids get exercise and physical activity every day.
- Lisa Collins of Mom on the Side gives 3 reasons why PE is needed in schools.
- Katherine Bartlett of Our Whisky Lullaby shares why even in homeschool kids need PE.
- Wendi Aarons of WendiAarons.com explains how PE class was the most fun and weird hour she had as a middle schooler.
- Robyn Welling of Hollow Tree Ventures will take a side of athletics with her kids' academics.
- Jen Andrade of Jen is on a Journey gives 3 important reasons to protect PE in schools.
- Jessica McFadden of A Parent in Silver Spring feels lucky that physical education is mandated for K-8 students in her home state.
- Maria Castro of Tough Cookie Mommy has seen firsthand how active students correlate to students who achieve.
- Sharon Sprague of Unmommy explains why PE is an essential part of a well-rounded curriculum.
- Nicole Etolen of Pretty Opinionated outlines 6 skills our children learn in gym class that will last them a lifetime.
- Deborah Cruz of Motherhood the Truth reflects on how physical activity was different when she was a kid.
- Caryn Payzant of The Midlife Guru remembers how school PE in the 60’s and 70’s was regimented, predictable, and plain boring.
- Trina O'Boyle from O’Boy Organic struggles with the fact that kids are sitting far too much throughout the day.
- Danielle Slaughter of Mamademics shares why physical education is on the top of her kindergarten priority list.
- Christy Garrett of Up Run for Life shares the top 6 reasons why physical education is an important part of your child’s education.
- Jessica Woodbury of Don’t Mind the Mess didn’t always love PE, but it always broke her out of my own world.
- Sarah Hughes of Finnegan and the Hughes wishes PE class met more than two times per week.
- Jessica Ashley of Single Mom Nation shares an unexpected story of how PE dread turned around as a parent.
- Elizabeth Atalay of Documama knows that
- Katy Farber of KatyFarber.com stresses that supporting PE in our schools is good for health AND learning.
- Amanda Taylor of Survival Guide by The Working Mom asks if your child is getting enough PE time in school.
- Veronica Arreola of Viva La Feminista shares why even though she got As in math & science, gym was her favorite class.
- Erica Chao of Mama’s Mission has a lot more questions than answers about PE in her child’s school.
- Colleen Panzer of Colleen is Creative shares that for kids who may be struggling academically, PE may be the only part of the day where they get to shine.
- Jenelle Angeles of The Party Parents was surprised to learn that her kids were not getting the recommended daily activity of 60 minutes a day.
- Erin Klein of Kleinspiration is fascinated with the impact that physical activity has on student learning outcomes.
Despite representing half the population, women are disproportionately affected by hunger and poverty and their underlying causes. If women had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by up to 17%.
In addition to their well known animal gifting program, Heifer International also does critical, impactful work to support and empower these women. By equipping and empowering marginalized women with resources and training, Heifer International is ensuring women have the means to live sustainable livelihoods and are reaching leadership positions at every level.
This spring, we worked with Heifer to focus on igniting a global community of women and prove that when women come together and support one another, we all rise. We asked “Who stood beside and behind you?” and here were the responses:
We are so excited to announce that Women Online is nominated for 3 Iris Awards at the upcoming Mom 2.0 Summit. We‘re being recognized in the categories of Philanthropic Work of the Year (for our work with Muscular Dystrophy Association) and Best Sponsored Content (for our work with Muscular Dystrophy Association and Heifer International)! We are so grateful to The Mission List for their work on these campaigns.
Meet Joyce Wong Kup, Parent Advisor to the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
For the past several months, Women Online has been working with the The Aspen Institute to convene a Parent Advisory Panel that is responsible for advising the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development (SEAD). Together, they are trying to re-envision what constitutes success in our schools by supporting the "whole child" - not just focusing on academic success but social emotional development as well.
Joyce Wong Kup, a parent advisor and mom of 2, recently spoke to The Aspen Institute about what supporting the “whole child" means to her and her children.
Do you see examples of your child's school supporting social emotional awareness and development? We'd love to hear about it. Drop a comment below and let us know.
OK, so seriously, what is the deal with all the awkwardness around talking to kids about puberty and sex ed? We chalk it up to a lack of communicative experience (because many of our parents avoided this topic like the plague) and also just not always knowing what to say.
And this is why we’re thrilled to be working with AMAZE. AMAZE is a non-profit collaboration between experts in the field of sex ed -- Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health -- to create engaging, age-appropriate sex ed videos for 10-14 year olds. And we love that the cover not just the biological mechanics of puberty, but also the more complex stuff like gender identity, relationships, and bullying. AMAZE wants to help empower parents to be the primary sexuality educators of their kids and they want the experience to be all about #MoreInfoLessWeird!
To kick off the launch of AMAZE and #MoreInfoLessWeird we engaged a team of influencers to share about AMAZE in the context of their puberty/sex ed conversations (or lack thereof!) with their kids.
- Holly Rosen Fink, of The Culture Mom, recalls how much easier it was for her to learn about how bodies change from someone other than her mother.
- Wendi Aarons, of WendiAarons.com, loves how dynamic the videos are and how they're perfect for tweens who may be embarrassed by their questions.
- Jessica Ashley, of Single Mom Nation, dreadfully realized that her open book policy on sex just wasn't enough.
- Kimberly Miller, of Life in a House of Testosterone, shares how talking about sex with her sons was way different than talking about it with her daughter.
- Kelly, of Kicking It With Kelly, outlines the basic steps for making "the talk" less awkward.
- Aliah Paris, of The Get Fit Diva, talks about how the questions her sons have about sex get more intense as they get older.
- Amanda Taylor, of Guide 4 Moms, actually had fun watching the videos with her kids and talking about the changes to their body.
- Veronica, of Viva la Feminista, declares amaze the "much needed addition to any parents' toolkit".
- Makeba Giles, of MELISASource.com, provides some helpful tips on how parents can support their child's sex education and curiosity.
- Alicia Gonzalez, of 24/7 Modern Mom, shares a slew of funny, but important, sex information she's shared with her kids.
We’re also in the middle of a series of fantastic educational Twitter chats with MomsRising about how to reduce the awkward around puberty/sex-related conversations with your kids. For the latest AMAZE videos, news, and great curated content related to sex ed, join us at the AMAZE Facebook page.
The Aspen Institute recently launched an exciting new initiative to explore how schools can fully integrate social, emotional, and academic development to support the whole student. The ultimate goal is to prepare our children for success by complementing academics with the skills they need to thrive in school and beyond, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking, and managing emotions.
One of AMAZE.org's key goals is to help ensure that young people have the information they need about sex and relationships. And understanding the importance of consent is as critical as it gets! Last week they kicked off the first-ever Consent Week on Twitter, featuring an Expert Q&A with Dan Rice, Director of Training at Answer, and a Twitter Town Hall with Ashley Fowler, Staff Writer at Sex, Etc. Check out @amazeorg’s hashtag #IHeartConsent to catch up on the conversation, and check out these Consent Week features via Hello Giggles and Bustle! And for more from AMAZE, follow along at the AMAZE Facebook page!
Self-care: sometimes it feels like a new age buzzword, and other times it's something you really, really, need. Morra talks to non-profit leaders Aliza Sherman, Beth Kanter, and Christine Koh about how to build self-care into your daily routine, avoid burnout, and still be highly effective at work.
Want to learn more? Get your copy of The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit.
Ah, the question that so many parents dread. Have no fear! Our fantastic clients AMAZE come to the rescue with this easy to understand yet informative video that takes the awkward out of this tough conversation.