Archives for January 2018

L.A. Vaulting Program Helps Kids of All Abilities Thrive on Horseback

At birth, Steven Rostomian suffered oxygen deficiency , leaving him with physical and mental challenges that would last the rest of his life. “He used to be in a wheelchair, had maybe 20 to 30 seizures a day and a food tube in his stomach,” says his mom, Sarah. Doctors emphatically told the Glendale family that Rostomian would never walk. Then the family heard about a program that gives children of all abilities the chance to learn skills that could possibly change their lives. At age 9, Rostomian entered Rick and Virginia Hawthorne’s back yard in Lake View Terrace and...

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Connect and Communicate With these Three Strategies

Melissa Reiner knows about talking to kids. Asked what she does, the oldest of her three sons, who’s 10, says, “She uses this special way of speaking. I didn’t like it at first, but it really works.” The founder of Bridging Pathways, Reiner uses these talents to help kids and families throughout Southern California who are dealing with the challenges posed by autism. She offers these three strategies for improving your communication with a challenging child – or any child. Change your language. Most parents talk to their children like this: Come to the table. Put on your shoes. Brush...

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having more kids

On Having More Kids: When Baby Makes Four

The decision to have a child is one of the most momentous people can make. Those who venture down that path undertake lifestyle changes that transform every aspect of their financial, social and personal lives for decades to come. An equally momentous transition can be the one from one child to two. Add a sibling and you’re upending things for yourself, your co-parent and your first child. While parents bond with their second child, they also have to ensure that the first child bonds with the newest family member. And they’re doing it on even less sleep, with more stressors...

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Valentine's Day Events in Los angeles

Make it a Date with 15 Family-Friendly Outings in Los Angeles

February is the month for Valentines, hearts, flowers and dates with the one you love. We’ll trust you moms and dads to plan your own grown-up outings (or evenings in) – but why should you have all the fun? Here are 15 family dates you can enjoy with the kids. Bring on the Brunch For a cozy way to start the day, head to Home (, with locations in Silverlake and Los Feliz. “When you come to Home, we want you to feel at home,” says General Manager Edwin Del Rosal, the dad who runs the family-friendly restaurant. Among their...

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summer camp los angeles

#CampReady in Los Angeles: Outwit Summer Brain Drain

Imagine, for a moment, that you are on “Jeopardy!” Host Alex Trebek rattles off the answer to the question you need to provide: “This phenomenon results in two to three months of academic learning loss in school-age children.”   You punch your buzzer and light up your podium. “What is summer brain drain?” you yell, triumphant. You are right. While summertime represents that much-anticipated season of rest and riotous fun for kids – sleeping late, basking in waves and vitamin D, indulging in screen time, letting rollercoasters shake equations from the brain – it can also bode the wrong kind of...

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millennial dad in Los Angeles

Millennial Dad in Los Angeles: Suds with my Bud: Kid-Friendly Craft Breweries

On a December afternoon, while the rest of the country was freezing its collective butt off, mine was planted on a picnic bench at Rock & Brews, a kid-friendly biergarten in El Segundo. I sipped craft beers and noshed on fries while my son Hank romped around in the kids zone. There are moments in the L.A. region where one is left wondering, “Should this be happening?” This was one of them.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed a craft beer revolution in this country – especially on the West Coast. IPA (India Pale Ale for...

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chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies You Don’t Have to Bake

“Why do we bake them?” my husband often asks after snatching some dough from the batch of cookies I’m making. With this recipe from Pastry Chef Lindsay Kirk of Small Batch Ice Cream in Mar Vista, you don’t have to. You can have your cookie dough and eat it, too. “It’s less messy, more portable,” Kirk says of the Cookie Doh Pops served up at Small Batch.  Substituting margarine for half the butter in a normal cookie recipe makes the dough soft enough to eat right out of the freezer, and pasteurized egg yolks make the pops safer to eat...

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Little Leaders Vashti Harrison

Instagram Challenge Turns into Best-Selling Children’s Book

Rosa Parks was an icon in the civil rights movement that began in the 1950s. But that bold woman who refused to give up her seat on the bus was also once a child. A new book shares the stories of Parks and other female leaders from black history with illustrations that remind us of their quiet beginnings.  “I was a quiet, shy child, and I think it’s important to show young readers historical figures in a different way,” says author and illustrator Vashti Harrison in explaining her approach to “Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.” The book’s short...

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children's radiation exposure

Children’s Radiation Exposure: Gentler Imaging for Kids

When children are injured or ill, medical imaging can give doctors important information to help make kids well. But whether that’s an X-ray of a possibly fractured limb, a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia or a more advanced CT or PET scan, these procedures expose children to radiation. Marvin Nelson, M.D., is chairman of the department of radiology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where they perform as many as 130,000 imaging exams a year and also offer imaging through outpatient clinics. He suggests parents visit the Image Gently website ( to learn more about keeping children’s radiation exposure to...

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Los Angeles smog

Smog Linked to Kids’ Bad Behavior

If you need to add to your list of reasons we hate the smog that hangs over every part of our SoCal home, here’s something new: juvenile delinquency. In a study published in December, USC researchers linked exposure to particulate matter in the air to an increase in behaviors such as lying, stealing, skipping school, vandalism and substance abuse. The researchers weren’t able to compare SoCal teens in highly polluted neighborhoods to teens not exposed to air pollution. “Unfortunately, there actually are not adolescents here who have not been exposed to air pollution,” says lead researcher Diana Younan, postdoctoral research...

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