Archive for: December 2013

Ten Terrific Books For The Holidays

 By Erin Nguyen, Children’s Department, Knox County Public Library




Twas-the-night-before-christmasThe Night before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

This classic poem about a visit from St. Nick has delighted readers for well over a century. Read more →

Too Much Salt Doesn’t Add Up For Kids

by Michael Bryant, Exercise Physiologist


Untitled-5What are your child’s favorite lunch items? If the list includes processed or pre-packaged foods, you might want to take another look at their menus. A “Lunchable” by Oscar Meyer can have up to 1,440 mg of sodium per serving. Pizza, jarred spaghetti sauce, macaroni and cheese, cold-cuts and hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and many other kid-friendly foods are typically very high in their sodium amounts per serving. Pint-sized bodies are ingesting super-sized amounts of sodium, and the effects are showing up in their physicals. Read more →

Understanding the difference between sore throat and strep throat

by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital


HealthDec13Sore throat and strep throat are fairly common infections among children ages 5 and 15, particularly during the winter months. Because these infections share similar symptoms, sore throat is often misdiagnosed as strep throat. In fact, up to 73 percent of patients with sore throat are given antibiotics, which have no affect on viruses so will not help your child. Not only are antibiotics ineffective with viruses, they are also expensive and the primary cause for the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

“Identifying these infections properly prevents the misuse of antibiotics and the development of long-term complications related to strep throat.” Read more →

The Gift Of Martial Arts

The Gift Of Martial Arts

               By Barry Van Over, President of Premier Martial Arts International



As a parent, sometimes the decisions we make or the activities we expose our children to can stay with them for a lifetime, good or bad. It is our constant struggle, trial and error that we all go through to do the best we can.

Finding a martial arts studio for your children is one of those decisions that may just impact your child’s life forever. A professional school can be an integral part in building self-empowerment, self-motivation, and physically and mentally strong individuals. Here are a few of the benefits you as parent should expect from a professional, family oriented martial arts studio. Read more →

Enduring Memories

by Tiffany Beachy, MS


Untitled-12What are some of the enduring memories from your childhood?

When I answer that question for myself, I think about rustic forts and tiny communities built in tree roots for my imaginary friends; smelly concoctions of berries and honeysuckle flowers mixed with twigs, roots and water; long romps in the woods and treasure hunting on the beach. Read more →

Be a Bully Buster!

Be a Bully Buster!

By Hillary Coward, Knox County Sheriff’s Office

As you may know, October was Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, but I chose to discuss bullying this month in an effort to keep us on our toes and to help become aware of bullying year-round. This information needs to be heard by all parents. Your child could be a victim or a suspect of bullying. Both can have serious, lasting consequences.

Do you think you know how to spot bullying? Bullying comes in many forms and can be verbal, or physical. According to, bullying is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” Bullying doesn’t just happen at school. It can happen at the bus stop, on the bus, on the playground, in the neighborhood, on the phone, or on the internet. Cyberbulling, or bullying that takes place using electronic technology, is a scary reality. That’s why it’s so important to monitor our children’s phone, computer, and tablet usage. Read more →

The Gift of Courage

The Gift of Courage

Risking for What

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.

GiftofCourageDec13The theme of this edition of the Knoxville Parent magazine is “Gifts that last a lifetime.” I asked my younger son to recommend an idea for my article. He suggested “You should write about the gift of courage.” That sounded interesting, so I inquired further. He added “You need to have the courage to try things. If you try for something, you might not get it, and you’ll be disappointed. But if you don’t try, you’ll never have a chance of getting what you want.”

For my son, courage involves challenging himself and risking failure in order to get what he desires. Read more →

Building On A Foundation Of Love

Catholic Schools—A Gift of Eternal Value

By Sedonna Prater, Director, Curriculum and Instruction for the Knoxville Diocese Catholic Schools


Untitled-9Who can resist an exquisitely wrapped gift box with glossy, iridescent ribbon taunting us to take a peak? As children, our imaginations go into overdrive as we wonder and dream about the hidden delights within those brightly covered boxes. I am sure all can recall those vivid childhood memories of the greatly desired toy that you just couldn’t wait for Santa to bring. Opening that long awaited gift and retreating into hours of pure joy with the new, delightful toy was a thrilling experience. I also recall the disappointment when too frequently the toy did not live up to the lofty expectations I had created in my mind or the even greater disappointment of losing the toy altogether because it was not made to last very long. Adults also have to admit there is a pleasurable rush whenever they are surprised with an unexpected gift. While adults may become jaded by their experiences, they also become wise and realize gifts of genuine value are those not necessarily found in brightly covered packages. Education is certainly one of these priceless gifts. How blessed are we to live in a country that values this precious gift and seeks to provide education for all! Read more →

The Art of Teaching

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



“If a boy shows a gift for chemistry, the master must be able to encourage him, by throwing open window after window into the future, showing him what he can learn…”


WBT-Dec13During this holiday season, I think we should give thanks to all the teachers in our lives who have worked tirelessly to help us learn. Furthermore, I think we should acknowledge how hard it is to be a good teacher. Gilbert Highet, the renowned classicist, in his 1950s book The Art of Teaching, discusses the four characteristics of the good teacher. Read more →

Let’s play cards!

By Mike O’Hern, Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville


Untitled-7When I was growing up in the dark ages the holidays would mean a lot of traditions. Thanksgiving weekend was spent with my cousins playing board games that would inevitably end up in accusations of cheating from all sides. (I’m fairly certain that this was because there was cheating from all sides.) Christmas would mean drives in the car to look at the wonderland created by virtually every house lit up with Christmas lights. We would do puzzles and play more board games, but my very favorite tradition was playing cards. Read more →