How to Get Your School to Teach Digital Manners and Skills

Digital citizenship and media literacy have to be taught and modeled by the adults in kids’ lives- school included.

Today’s kids are impressively tech-savvy. But the digital world — just like the nondigital world — requires all kinds of skills that kids don’t simply pick up as they go. Digital citizenship and media literacy have to be taught and modeled by the adults in kids’ lives. How do kids tell the difference between trustworthy and false information on the web? When is it OK to use someone else’s work in their creative projects? How do they keep their personal information private online?
Every day in the classroom — especially in schools with lots of technology — teachers can help kids build these essential skills. But teachers are incredibly busy and often overwhelmed by all they’re expected to accomplish each day. Though they may want to teach digital citizenship and media literacy, they may struggle to fit these lessons into an already packed agenda. Here are five ways that you, as a parent, can help start conversations about these important topics and introduce valuable resources to your school community.
Talk to your kid’s teacher. Find out what your teacher is already doing to build these skills, and share a few of the high-quality resources Common Sense Education offers. Our K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum is a great place to start. And with ready-made lessons and engaging videos on a range of key topics, teachers can easily fit digital citizenship activities into their existing instruction.
Get to know the school librarian. The media center is often the hub for all digital citizenship and media-literacy lessons. Find out if the school librarian is addressing these topics regularly. Point out our fun interactive student games, which allow kids to explore and discuss the impact of their decisions in the digital world.
Share family resources with other parents. Raise awareness about balanced media use at home by sharing our K-12 Family Media Agreements and Device-Free Dinner initiative with other parents and caregivers in your school community. As more families get on board with digital citizenship, the easier it will be to convince the school to follow suit.
Engage your PTA. Spark a community conversation with Connecting Families, a free, yearlong program that includes everything parent facilitators need to encourage their schools to use connected technologies in ways that are both fun and safe. From cyberbullying and photo sharing to digital footprints and online safety, our program helps parents and teachers have meaningful conversations with kids about making thoughtful choices in their digital lives.
Connect with the principal. They may seem too busy, but school principals want to know more about your priorities for your kid’s education. They’re also always on the lookout for quality learning opportunities for their teachers. Share with your principal Common Sense Education’s webinarsteaching videos, and digital citizenship training for ways to get teachers up to speed on teaching these essential skills.
Written by Erin Wilkey Oh for Common Sense Media

10 Books for Middle Schoolers to Read Over the Summer

School’s out for summer! That means swimsuits, beach trips, summer camp, and loads of summer reading. We’ve rounded up 10 new books for book-hungry middle schoolers. Five picks are nonfiction and five are fiction, but they span genres and topics as varied as the Russian Revolution and futuristic empires, touching memoirs and clever urban fantasies. And if your kids are reluctant readers, find some tips from Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.
For even more recommendations, check out our Summer Reading for Kids and Teens list.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, ages 10+
What It’s About
: Raised in both South Carolina and New York, author Jacqueline Woodson shares tales of her upbringing through Jim Crow and Civil Rights in the ’60s and ’70s. Told completely in verse, Woodson’s book details cherished memories about her grandparents, pop culture, new friends, and living in both the segregated country and diverse city streets.
Why Read It? Woodson’s award-winning memoir (National Book Award, Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Author Award) is funny and sad and everything in between. The intimate and engaging poems will teach middle schoolers about a complicated time in American history, but it’s also a universal story about coming of age, changing family dynamics, and learning what makes you uniquely talented.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, ages 10+
What It’s About
: Before she was the youngest Noble Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai was a young Pashtun girl who loved to learn in her hometown of Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Although her mother was illiterate, Malala grew up in a girls’ school run by her father. A curious, precocious learner who firmly believed in a girl’s God-given right to learn, Malala was considered a blasphemous troublemaker by the Taliban, and in 2012 she was shot by a Taliban gunman. She survived and refused to be silenced.
Why Read It? Educating girls is a global human rights issue, and Malala’s story teaches young readers that even the youngest advocate can have a huge impact. As Malala explains, in countries where women aren’t allowed to go out in public without a man, we girls traveled far and wide inside the pages of our books. In a land where many women can’t read the prices in the markets, we did multiplication … we ran as free as the wind.”

Murder Is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens, ages 10+
What It’s About: In 1930s Hong Kong, a Chinese Anglophile sends his 13-year-old daughter Hazel Wong to boarding school in England. When she arrives at the perpetually dark and damp Deepdean School for Girls, Hazel is in awe of the young (and mean) English girls she meets. Still, she connects with plucky and beautiful Daisy Wells, who asks Hazel to be the Watson to her Holmes. There’s not much sleuthing for the girls to do until Hazel discovers the dead body of the science mistress — but by the time Hazel runs back with Daisy, the body has mysteriously disappeared.
Why Read It? This boarding-school mystery in a historical setting is written in the tradition of Nancy Drew with a dash of Veronica Mars humor and Hogwarts excitement. Although the main characters are girls, boys will enjoy the Holmes-and-Watson-style (or should we say Wells-and-Wong) adventures in figuring out what in the world is happening around them.

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip M. Hoose, ages 12+
What It’s About
: During WWII, Denmark didn’t resist Nazi occupation, and this deeply shamed 15-year-old Knud Pedersen, who along with his brother and some classmates started a small, secret club of political resisters in 1941. Full of brave but naïve teenage boys desperate to undermine the Nazi regime, the Churchill Club committed 25 acts of sabotage — disabling German vehicles, stealing Nazi arms, and destroying and defacing German property — before being arrested in 1942.
Why Read It? What middle schooler doesn’t want to read about teens who defied authority for the greater good? The Churchill Club’s actions sound like something out of a movie, but they really happened, and Hoose interweaves his own historical nonfiction with recollections from Pedersen himself. This is the kind of book students would gladly read for history class, because the characters are such courageous, clever young heroes.
The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming, ages 12+
What It’s About
: Award-winning children’s author Candace Fleming captures the final years of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. Czar Nicholas II isn’t prepared to step up and lead his vast empire. An intensely personal man, Nicholas is better suited to family life with his German and English wife Alexandra (a granddaughter of Queen Victoria) and their five children: four girls and one sickly son. As revolutionaries gain ground and WWI approaches, it becomes clear that the Czar and his family are headed toward doom.
Why Read It? History buffs or not, kids interested in “real stories” will love Fleming’s straightforward style of explaining complex sociopolitical ideas and historical contexts concerning the Imperial family, World War I, the Russian Revolution, Russian Orthodox ideology, and even European royalty. There’s a lot to digest, but it’s always fascinating. Fans of nonfiction narratives will dive into Fleming’s chronicle of one of history’s most fascinating downfalls.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, ages 12+
What It’s About
: Fourteen-year-old Audrey struggles with severe anxiety stemming from unspecified school bullying. She is under a doctor’s care and making slow but steady progress, but things significantly change when Audrey meets her brother’s online gaming friend, Linus. Despite her social anxiety, Audrey finds it easy to talk to Linus, and their friendship eventually turns into a sweet romance.
Why Read It? Best-selling author Kinsella, who’s best known for her popular Shopaholic series, delivers her first young adult novel, a realistic contemporary story about social anxiety and gaming addiction that’s nevertheless filled with her infectious brand of humor and romance. A book featuring a young teen protagonist, tough issues, humor, and a quirky, close-knit family? Sounds like an ideal mother-daughter read.
I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganada and Caitlin Alifrenka, ages 12+
What It’s About
: In 1997, 12-year-old American middle schooler Caitlin and 14-year-old Zimbabwean Martin are paired as pen pals through their schools. At first, Caitlin sends photos and trinkets and asks for the same, not realizing the depths of poverty in which Martin lives. Eventually Caitlin and her family start to send financial support to Martin, and their international friendship forever changes each of their lives.
Why Read It? Caitlin and Martin’s letters and perspectives will teach kids to better appreciate their relative good fortune and to understand how a little bit of help and a lot of compassion can make a huge impact on someone else’s life. Caitlin and Martin’s extraordinary friendship should inspire your kid to be a better global citizen.
Undertow by Michael Buckley. ages 13+
What It’s About
: Coney Island native Lyric Walker has a family secret: She’s part “Sirena.” So when 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race (Sirena being among them) of beautiful but violent humanoid sea warriors, land on her beach, she knows this means trouble. Lyric’s New York City beach town turns into a militarized zone with the Alpha on one side and humans on another. Then Lyric is asked to give Fathom, the gorgeous and militant Alpha prince, reading lessons, and sparks fly. Which side will she choose?
Why Read It? Described as a combination of The 5th Wave and Twilight with sea creatures, this romantic dystopian fantasy seems to have enough action, war, and adventure to balance out the fiery romance, making it an equally compelling choice for any kid who wants to start reading a popular new series.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, ages 14+
What It’s About
: This dual-narrative fantasy follows two characters in an alternate universe with a strict caste system: Laia is a Scholar (the oppressed class), and Elias is an elite military student for the Empire. After Laia’s brother is arrested, she joins a resistance movement that places her as a slave at the military academy where Elias is a rising star. Despite their differences, the slave and the soldier have more in common than they care to admit, and together they could start a revolution.
Why Read It? One of the biggest debuts of the year, Tahir’s fantasy novel is already a New York Times bestseller and has secured a sequel as well as a lucrative movie deal.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, ages 14+
What It’s About
: Thirteen-year-old Noah and his twin sister Jude are inseparable until their art-critic mom announces that their dearly departed grandmother’s ghost wants them to apply to a local arts high school. The competition for their mom’s approval coupled with an unexpected, catastrophic loss leads to three years of drifting apart, finding love, and discovering whom they want to be as artists, siblings, and people.
Why Read It? Nelson’s gorgeously written coming-of-age novel won multiple awards in 2014, and it deserved every accolade. Best for seventh- and eighth-graders mature enough to immerse themselves in the story’s magical realism, philosophical themes, and relationship issues, I’ll Give You the Sun will impress English teachers and make readers want to share the book with friends.
Written by Sandie Angulo Chen for Common Sense Media

Sharing is Great But There's No Shame in Wanting

Go ahead and swipe that phone from your co-worker. See how that goes.

The story goes that when I was a toddler and my brother was born, I tried to throw him out of my Swing-o-matic because it was mine. I’ve heard this memory retold countless times, and rather than feeling like it’s being shared as a funny tale, the deeper meaning seemed to be, “she doesn’t like to share, and she never did.” Oh no – I thought when first hearing about my actions – other kids are born with a sharing nature, but I was the exception because I didn’t feel that generosity toward my own baby brother! What kind of a person am I?!
Lately, I’ve been reconsidering the “sharing is caring” adage, thanks to my two-and-a-half-year-old son. In the past six months since our new baby girl arrived, our son is not prone to sharing his toys with her. In fact, he keeps one eye on his toys at all times, and he seems to have a sixth sense for when she’s playing with one of them. He then instinctively beelines over and grabs the toy out of her hand. She doesn’t cry, whine, or display any outrage. In fact, in her baby way, she seems to understand and just waits for the next opportunity to get hold of a toy.
What is going on, I thought the first time I witnessed this interaction. Did my son inherit my non-sharing gene? Also, why instead of responding with the waterworks I expected, did our daughter simply concede defeat?
The first time, I automatically started to explain to my son, “You have to share with your sister…” I didn’t want him to become like my former toddler self, after all. We decided in our household, however, to buck this rule and see what happens. It can be difficult, and at times pointless, to try and drill a specific rule into a toddler. More importantly, though, we felt like a natural order was playing out in our house. Our oldest kid was defending his turf, and in the process, he was teaching our baby girl about how the world really works.
In real life, how often do you go to someone’s house, appropriate an item that they own, and expect them to be okay with it? Imagine going over to your neighbor’s house and taking their car for a joy ride without asking. You can tell your neighbor that “sharing is caring,” and they would still not be understanding of you disrespecting their turf. Similarly, even within families, it’s not customary to take people’s stuff whenever you want. Adults are not great with sharing as a general rule. For some reason, though, we expect our children to be experts at it from a very young age.
Obviously, our baby girl is just being curious and she doesn’t mean any harm or disrespect by playing with these toys, but our son still knows what is his and he wants her to understand it. If we were to give him a blanket statement like “sharing is caring,” and therefore not sharing is “bad,” then we would be doing a disservice to both him and our baby girl. He would feel like he can’t want anything purely for himself, and that if anyone wants what he has, he has to give it away without any feelings of frustration or sadness.
On the flip side, we would be teaching our baby girl that she can take from others whenever she wants and they’re not allowed to do anything about it. If people are not willing to give her what she wants, she can whine, cry, and make a fuss until they part with their treasured items.
Our son has been the little man of this house for two-and-a-half years. He’s the oldest kid and has earned that title. So now, he gets to make decisions about his stuff and when he wants to share or not. Lo and behold, without we parents being overly involved in his decision-making, we’ve seen him share toys with our girl on his own. Wow, I thought when I first saw this. Maybe I wasn’t an uncaring sister after all! Maybe I was becoming frustrated that I couldn’t take part in making decisions about my stuff. I was being made to feel like a bad person for wanting in the first place.
Sharing is caring, but so is wanting. Since oldest children in households all over the world are grabbing their toys out of their younger siblings’ paws, this behavior can’t be inherently bad as a rule. Otherwise, why would toddlers and kids do it in the first place? It’s instinctual to want, just as it is instinctual to share at certain times. If you do away with one, it’s very difficult to have the other.
Personally, through my teens, young adult years, and even now, I have to remind myself it’s okay to want things for myself. These dynamics that we’re told to play out as kids can follow us through life, causing some internal conflict. I’m hoping for my kids that they both learn how to want and share in a way that fits who they are. As parents, we can model a good balance of these behaviors as well, so that our kids can see that it’s okay to want things for yourself.
To my younger brother: It was never personal. I just wanted you to know, as maybe all older siblings naturally do, that the Swing-o-matic was mine first. It’s our birthright, after all.  
 

5 Things You Don’t Have to do to Be a Good Parent This Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day skip obsessing about what you “should” do and keep it simple by crossing these chores off the list.

Oh my fellow parents, what have we done to ourselves? Somehow, in an effort to ensure our children enjoy their childhoods or to help ourselves feel good about our parenthood (i.e. less guilty about working, staying home, getting a divorce, staying together, moving, not moving, not giving them a sibling, giving them to many siblings etc.) we’ve arrived in a world where the calendar is no longer marked by the turning of one month to the next, but instead by the turning of one holiday to the next.
We move through the year at a rapid clip. We start off with ball drops and valentines and leprechauns and move swiftly to bunnies and flags and fireworks. Before our sparklers fizz their final kid-friendly fizz we head to the pumpkin patch, plopping our tots and hay bales and sweating our way though corn mazes. From there we dive into the season of gratitude during which we give thanks for Amazon prime and drive-through everything. Then the month long marathon of remembering to hide the elf and stock the calendar with chocolate begins. We round out the year with the man in the big red suite and finally, once the cookies have been eaten and the wrapping paper tossed and the new toys ranked by favorites, we rest. For six days.
Then we start all over again.
Thrown in the middle of our holiday centric year are various family birthdays, anniversaries and milestones we simply can’t let pass without some kind of instagramable celebration. At each juncture we craft and bake and create to ensure our children “experience” the holiday rather than simply celebrate it.
While every family celebrates things differently it’s hard to deny that things have become much BIGGER since today’s parents were kids themselves.  Easter is the new Christmas, with baskets overflowing with candy, toys and treats, community wide egg hunts, and afternoons spent sweetly dying eggs. And what, you ask, is the new Easter? That my friends is Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day, now celebrated not only at home and at school but also at EVERY extra-curricular a kid is involved in, has gotten big. Where a foldable Valentine from CVS may have cut it when you were a kid (BIG bonus if there was an off-brand tootsies roll taped inside) there now seem to be a whole set of things that “good” parents just DO. No, there’s no set of formal rules to follow and no one will say you’re a bad parent for skipping out on the hippest, hottest most wholesome trends of the season, but if you run in certain circles you’ll surely be the odd man (or mom) out if you do.
Sure, it feels good to make our kids feel good and it can be fun to make the holidays special but, if all your hard work’s not bringing you some major joy, it’s probably time to cut it out. This Valentine’s Day skip obsessing about what you “should” do and keep it simple by crossing these chores off the list. 

You don’t have to buy your kid a Valentine’s Day outfit

In order to be a good parent this Valentine’s Day you don’t have to buy your baby a “my first valentines” onesie. Your daughter doesn’t need ruffle bottom pants. Your son is not required to wear a “little heartbreaker” shirt. No one needs a bow or a bow tie or anything in any specific shade or red or white or pink. Sibling sets (even twins!) don’t need to match or coordinate or even look half decent standing next to one another. On February 14th, in order to be a good parent your child should wear clothes, something weather appropriate if they’ll cooperate. Shoes are a bonus.

You don’t have to craft anything

You don’t need to paint your baby’s feet and try to angle them just right as you press them to paper so they make a little heart you can Instagram and toss in their keepsake box. You don’t have to glue googley eyes or pom-poms or shaped cut-outs onto anything at all. You can leave the glitter tucked away and the colored pencils in their case. This Valentine’s Day, in order to be a good parent you should complement your kid’s art. Or hang something they made on the fridge. Or look at the “art” they brought home from school for more than five seconds before hiding it under yesterday’s paper in the recycle bin.

You don’t have to bake a special treat

Your kids don’t need to wake up to pancakes in the shape of hearts. They don’t need a pink smoothie or a sprinkled cupcake. Their friends don’t need caramel corn wrapped in red cellophane with a handmade tag that says “you make my eyes POP!!!” They don’t even need a Valentine’s Day little Debbie in their lunchbox.  This February 14th your kids should eat. Regular food is fine.

You don’t have to have a photo session

This Valentine’s Day you don’t have to photograph anything to be a good parent. You don’t need to book a session with a photographer, you don’t need to “hurry up as mini sessions are filling fast!”  There’s no need to strip your baby to their diaper in cover them in lipstick kisses or dress your toddler in a tutu and cupid wings. You don’t have to shop for coordinating-but-not-matching family outfits for your session on the farm or pick out the perfect boots for your snapshots on the train tracks. This Valentine’s Day, if you’re worried that your kid won’t have access to their childhood memories, pull up your facebook and remember that you’ve been posting their picture online since they were a fetus. Take comfort in the fact that your timeline is easier for them to take to college than any sort of baby book.

You don’t have to be involved at all in the class party

You don’t have to send in snacks. You don’t have to send in crafts. You don’t have to arrive early or stay late or take a long lunch to pass out cupcakes and wipe up spills. You don’t even have to apologize for not doing any of it. If your kid is too little for school, then you don’t have to organize a Valentine’s Day themed play date or tea party or picnic. If your kid is too little for school you don’t even have to tell them it’s Valentine ’s Day. This Valentine’s Day, in order to be a good parent you do whatever it is you do with your kid on any regular Tuesday.
This Valentine’s Day all you have to do is keep doing what you do all year long- love ‘em, feed ‘em and try your damn hardest to get those suckers to bed on time.

5 Things I Could Not Have Known About My First Born

What I learned about my daughter, my firstborn, was mostly in retrospect after my second arrived.

First time parenting is rough. It’s one of those things in life that, even with preparation, leaves you unprepared. I studied early child development while earning my Psychology degree. I read tons of books while pregnant. I drew on my experiences taking care of my younger siblings as a teen. I talked to everyone I knew about parenting strategies.

Despite all of this, what I learned about my daughter, my firstborn, was mostly in retrospect after my second arrived.

How “little” she really was

This may sound intuitive to some people, but I continually expected my daughter to be so much more capable than she actually was. I pushed her very hard to be able to sit quietly, entertain herself, play well with other children, and get quickly over disappointments and tantrums.

But now, watching my 22-month-old son, I am struck by how little she really was at this age. Now I get it and I am gentler with him (and her) because of it. I better understand how much time it takes to learn to communicate or develop emotional control.

I think part of what made it confusing was her advanced development. She ate with utensils at 10 months old. She spoke in full sentences at 18 months. She could entertain herself for an hour or sometimes more. She appeared so much more mature than she actually was.

How much she was capable of doing for herself

I had super high expectations for her in some areas, but I also had very low expectations in other ways.

It wasn’t until I enrolled my son in day care at one year that I realized how much babies could do for themselves. Their goals for that age were self-feeding and self-care. They were consciously teaching this age group things I was still doing for my daughter at three.

Instead of taking the time to empower her to do things for herself, I just did the things for her. I picked out her clothes, dressed her, washed her hands for her, and even fed her if it was too messy.

Now, with two little ones, it’s a lot easier to encourage them to try more things for themselves. I get a lot more resistance from my daughter because I have helped her for so long. She sees my reluctance to help her as me pushing her away.

How much she was not “boyish”

At the risk of sparking a gender debate, please remember this is just an account of our experience.

My husband and I watched her approach to life and would often comment that she was more like a boy than a girl. She was aggressive and rough, preferring blocks and cars to dolls and stuffed animals. She wanted to run around, jump, and be thrown up in the air.

At age one, we noticed she was incredibly mechanically minded, driven to figure out how things worked. She was fascinated by buckles and latches, manipulating any she could get her hands on.

When our boy arrived, it become obvious how wrong we were. The elements of her that had seemed to be “boyish,” now proved to be characteristics of her unique personality as opposed to being gender related.

Our son does not ever stop moving. Our daughter can sit still for long periods, exploring a book or a puzzle. Our son is rough and tumble in a different way, often getting hurt without even noticing. He climbs everything. It never occurred to our daughter to climb some of the things he’s climbed until she saw him do it.

How kids are so different

So often, we watch our son do something that instantly reminds us of the time our daughter did the exact same thing. Their mannerisms are so eerily reminiscent of each other it’s like déjà vu. Yet what I’ve really learned is that they can also be so different, despite being so alike.

Our little man is sweet and sensitive, craving physical closeness. Our daughter is much more independent, preferring physical contact on her own terms. She plays imaginatively, while he is very physical: throwing balls, pushing cars, running, and jumping. She loves to communicate; he is not determined to do so. He tends to get frustrated and gives up easily, while she will persevere until she solves it.

How siblings aren’t necessarily good for each other

This one hurt for me. I knew from my husband’s experience that sibling relationships aren’t always easy. But nothing could have prepared me for what happened.

Our daughter was two when he was born – a difficult baby, who commanded an extraordinary amount of time and attention. She had been very attached to me up until that time, barely allowing anyone else to do anything for her, even my husband.

The arrival of a new baby broke our bond in a very intense way. Despite our goal of encouraging additional connections in her life, I wish it hadn’t happened in such a drastic manner. Looking back, I’m not sure what else we could have done to ease her transition, short of postponing having another baby.

It took her more than a year to even out and get settled into her new role. Now that our son is almost two, we feel heartened by the beginning of a relationship between them.

These are not lessons you can learn from a book or a more experienced parent. You have to live them and breathe them, and let the experiences change you. I have regrets, but I can’t change the past.

What I can do is learn from these insights, applying them to each new stage as we all grow together.

Jordan Spieth Must Have Awesome Parents

Golf is the ultimate individual sport. It’s all on you. There’s nobody to blame but yourself when it’s not going your way.

I’m a huge fan of golf. I’m also a huge fan of The Masters tournament.

I attended in 2014 when Bubba Watson took home the coveted green jacket. It’s a magical, almost spiritual place where cell phones and unauthorized cameras are not allowed. It’s also a place where older, seasoned players play right alongside the spry young kids of the modern era of golf. Dreams can be made and also dashed with just a few errant swings of the club.

Watching Jordan Spieth (who is only 22) find the water twice on the 12th hole at Augusta National yesterday, essentially losing the tournament on one hole, was tough. Honestly, I love to see a tight match with golfers neck and neck going into the final few holes, but Jordan did deserve to win this tournament. He lead the field from the very first round and it appeared that he would slip on the green jacket for the second straight year, the youngest player to ever accomplish the feat.

Golf is the ultimate individual sport. It’s all on you. There’s nobody to blame but yourself when it’s not going your way. When the “meltdown” happened, I thought of Jordan’s parents, Shawn and Chris. I bet they’re pretty great.

First of all, they have instilled in their young man the ability to keep his composure in the most strenuous of situations. He certainly carries himself with the composure and charm of a much older man and I would imagine these traits can be traced back to an incredibly supportive upbringing, but with an emphasis on self reliance.

They must have been watching in agony while their son’s day in the sun slipped out of his grasp. I can only imagine the tears and words of encouragement when he and his family connected after the round was finally over. You could see the disappointment on his face during the jacket presentation ceremony, but he did crack a smile when he finally put the green jacket onto Danny Willett.

Just goes to show that he understood it wasn’t his day and he was ultimately happy for his rival. He’s a very young man and he’ll have more than his fair share of chances to win. Here’s to Jordan’s parents for raising a fine young man who we’ll all enjoy watching on the course for a long time to come.

Virgo April 2016 Horoscope

Wow. You’re a pain in the ass. But hey, you’re also discerning, funny, and curious. Oh, and highly distractible. Oh, and endlessly restless.

So listen, you gotta give the kids a break if they can’t follow your every move, plan, joke, expectation, and thought. They’re kids. And you’re a coked-up chipmunk — high functioning and fairly efficient, but all over the place. Some new moon stuff early in the month will make it a good time to consider fresh financial ideas. So if your kids say, “Hey, invest in my lemonade business! Get in on the ground floor!” You should definitely consider it. There’s gotta be a pretty good return on lemonade. Throw in a little marketing. Use paper cups and powdered mix. Save money on the overhead. It could work. This lemonade thing could take off. WAIT A MINUTE. Holy crap, Virgo. STOP OVERTHINKING IT. Trust your gut a little more, think a little less.

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Pisces April 2016 Horoscope

You’re an intuitive, connection-making, emotional – um – fish. You’re a fish.

You’re an intuitive, connection-making, emotional – um – fish. You’re a fish.

You prefer your dreamy, aquatic version of life to actual reality. You’d rather glide through, feeling your way in the quiet. It’s hard when the kids are noisy, right? Beeping and yelling and banging and singing and PLEASE MAKE IT STOP. Awesome news, though! Venus is couch-surfing over at Aries’ place, so now is the time to take initiative and state your demands. Kids: empty the dishwasher! Kids: put your shit away! Kids: monetize your own adorability on Instagram! It’s a good time to look for love and adventure. You could easily find both of those things at your local pet store. Of course, next thing you know, you’re the proud owner of a 27 year-old half-blind rescue-ferret. Probably best just to meet an old friend at a new coffee shop, and have a good belly laugh.

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Aquarius April 2016 Horoscope

You’re a people-watching, problem-solving, gadget-loving student of life.

First impressions — you tend to come off as serious, maybe even a little detached. It can be a challenge to hold your tongue, because you have a lot to say, and you want people to hear it. A Mars-Moon mash-up is set for later this month, and it’s gonna get hot up in here! Yes! Get a sitter and go git that! Mercury’s gonna head over to Taurus and see if there are any beers left in the fridge, so it’s a good time to make a move on your living situation. New house? New lease? Or hey, maybe you just need some help around the digs you already have. Maybe you need someone else to fold the laundry now and then. Maybe you need a trip to IKEA. Maybe you need some lighter fluid and a match. Just change what needs to be changed and stop suffering. April looks like a good month for your persuasive abilities. Be a little vulnerable. Ask and ye shall receive.

Capricorn April 2016 Horoscope

You’re industrious, productive, and resourceful. Your work ethic is intense.

So intense, that it’s hard for you to relax unless you assuage the associated guilt with more work. Booooo, guilt. Turn off the work, turn up the tunes, and let it all go. Preferably in the living room with your kids because they love to see you enjoy life…even though your dancing is so bad the people around you wonder if they should be wearing shin guards and helmets. There’s a new moon in your solar 4th house of family. No, that’s not an HGTV show. It’s an astrological energy that could bring your family its newest member! Maybe it’s a baby? Maybe it’s a pet turtle? I really hope it’s not your Uncle Ted coming to crash on the couch, because that guy hasn’t managed to pull his shit together one time in 52 years. NOT TODAY, UNCLE TED. A moon in Aquarius means now’s the time to take another swing at whatever money matters have been vexing. Here’s the thing: everything’s fine, Capricorn.

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