Mom to Mom: Men-Oh-WHAT IS THIS?

By Bethany Parker So let’s talk about the thing. You know, the thing that so many of us here are trying to pretend isn’t happening, but we know deep down is the only real answer. There’s no other explanation for why we’ve been waking up at night for the last six months drenched in sweat, or suddenly ripping off every acceptable piece of clothing during the church service … [Read more...]

Top 10 Places to Take Middle Schoolers in Champaign-Urbana

By Rachael McMillan The middle school years are all about spreading your wings a bit and figuring out who you are. At least, those seemed to be the themes that repeatedly popped up when I asked my sixth and seventh grade students to basically write this for me by listing what they like to do in their spare time. Using their invaluable input, I’ve compiled the … [Read more...]

Survival Parenting: They Grow Up

By Bethany Parker It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Yeah, a long while.  I would make excuses – I’ve been busy with the kids, taking some classes at Parkland, working more – but what’s the point?  Something very odd has happened since I last sat down at this keyboard and I that’s what I’d like to talk about this time around. I’m in a very strange place with the whole … [Read more...]

Champaign-Urbana Area Summer Programs for Older Kids

There is no shortage of Champaign-Urbana area camps and other special activities for kids in the toddler-to-tween range, but if you've got a young teen, you've probably experienced the summer programming void. True, you're not likely to find the same variety of week-long, half- or all-day camps for your older kid as you will for the younger ones, but there are still some great … [Read more...]


Editor’s Note: Be the Benchmark is a sponsor of "Teenagers... you give them an inch, they swim all over you!" - Sebastian (The Little Mermaid) No one (including Sebastian or King Triton) is going to argue that raising kids is hard and raising teenagers is even harder.  And now we have this new category of "tweens" ... how are parents supposed to keep up? … [Read more...]