How do you make sure your other kids receive the care they need, too, when you have a special needs child in the family? Find out in this great guest post by parenting blogger Amy Williams. [ read more ]

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How to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families

[ Thursday, August 25, 2016 | 0 comments ]

Guest post by Amy Williams

Parenting is tough, but it becomes even more difficult when you have a special needs child and other kids to take care of, too. But parents aren’t the only ones who have face challenges with a special needs child in the family. Siblings of special needs children often go through life feeling left out since parents often don’t give them as much attention as they need. Every child needs support in your family, not just your special needs child.

To support your other children, follow these tips:

Don’t let them act out.
When siblings don’t get enough attention from their parents, they begin to act up and misbehave. Kids who are desperate for attention don’t care whether the focus is on them for positive or negative reasons, so they will go to extremes to get you to notice them. If this happens in your house, make sure you still punish them, even if you know the reason why they are acting out. Without a punishment, kids will know this is the way to get your attention in the future, so the behavior will only get worse.

Be honest.
Kids are bound to have questions about why their sibling acts or talks a certain way. When they come to you with these questions, it’s important to be upfront and honest with them. Talk to your kids about what health condition your special needs child has, but make sure you explain to them this is not an illness they can catch like the common cold. If you don’t make this clear, they could begin to alienate their sibling.

Celebrate their accomplishments.
Siblings of special needs children love receiving praise after they have done something positive, so make sure you celebrate every achievement, no matter how small. Did your children clean their rooms without you having to nag them? Or did one of your children bring home a stellar grade on his or her math exam? Make a big deal out of these accomplishments to make your other children feel special and rewarded.

Give each child one-on-one time.
It can be hard to spend alone time with each child, but it’s necessary. Try to plan to spend a Saturday afternoon with your other child doing something he or she really loves. If carving out this much time is nearly impossible, don’t worry. Even spending ten to fifteen minutes alone with each child before bed is helpful. Read a book or start working on a puzzle together so you can catch up with each other and bond in these quiet moments. Spending this time together shows your other children you love them just the same as your special needs child, even if they don’t always feel that you do.

Above all else, remember to look at the positives together. Children who have grown up with special needs siblings tend to be more compassionate, generous adults. These kids learn how to tolerate people who are different at an early age, and they take this accepting nature with them into adulthood. It may be difficult now to raise all of your kids at once, but it’s definitely worth it.

Amy Williams is a freelance journalist based in Southern California and mother of two. As a parent, she enjoys spreading the word on positive parenting techniques in the digital age and raising awareness on issues like cyberbullying and online safety.
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Start the School Year Right with a Free Summit on Managing Stress!

[ Monday, August 22, 2016 | 0 comments ]
It’s hard to believe, but a new school year is already upon us – meaning opportunities for new friends, new lessons, new obstacles to overcome…and new stresses.

Demanding classes, rigorous sport practices and uncharted social situations present everyday stress and anxiety for children and parents alike, but by establishing healthy habits and routines, moms, dads, and other caregivers can help kids manage back-to-school stress and thrive throughout the year.

We hope that parents, caregivers, coaches and educators to children of any age will join us for 

Children’s Hospital Colorado is hosting a #StressAskUs Social Summit and live panel discussion for parents, caregivers, coaches, and educators on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 10:00–11:00 a.m. in the hospital’s atrium on the Anschutz Medical Campus (13123 E. 16th Ave. in Aurora) and online via Twitter.

This combination in-person and online event is designed to provide tips for identifying the signs of stress and anxiety, offer tips for talking with your children about stressful situations and feelings, as well as to answer your questions. 

The panel includes:
  • Kyle Dyer, 9News, who will moderate the panel
  • Christine McDunn, Ph.D. psychologist, Children's Hospital Colorado
  • Cody Hudson, MS, CCLS , program assistant child life specialist, Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital Colorado
  • Emily Vanek, founder, blogger, and mother of three
Helpful handouts will be offered to those who can join in-person for the Social Summit. To secure your spot for this timely conversation, please register here. You can share this invitation with anyone who might also benefit by joining in-person or virtually using the hashtag #StressAskUs on Aug. 31.

Looking forward to a less-stress year! Read the full story »
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Neighborhood Spotlight: Whimsy Paint and Sip Northfield

[ Wednesday, August 17, 2016 | 0 comments ]
by Jaime Travis

Whimsy Paint and Sip Art Studio is a wonderful, locally owned business located right here in Stapleton where budding Fridas and Diegos can go to hone their artistic skills and come home with their very own masterpiece. My art-loving daughter fell in love with Whimsy when we visited on a scouting mission, so on a recent Saturday afternoon, we hosted 15 of her closest friends to paint a colorful kitty, while the adults imbibed in Whimsy's many adult beverage options.  A win-win!

My daughter was thrilled that she was able to select the painting that her guests would create and the party was lead by two lovely professional art teachers who were not only truly talented, but also fun, patient and kind. The whole day was a huge hit, and I didn't have to do any of the clean up!

Sounds great, right? Whimsy Paint and Sip Art Studio offers adult, teen and kids painting events  and even hosts a weekly Kids Club on Saturday mornings. You can find them at The Shops at Northfield!

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Register for Jets Lacrosse Mini-Camp for this Fall

[ Monday, August 15, 2016 | 0 comments ]

Is your son a lacrosser? Does he want to be? Jets Lacrosse is offering a fall 2016 mini-camp for new/newer lacrosse players or players who really want to work on fundamentals - visit to register and for more information!

Their fall program at-a-glance:

  • Designed for players who are new or relatively new to the sport, or more experienced players who want to work on key lacrosse fundamentals.
  • Focuses on teaching/reinforcing the basic fundamentals of the sport such as ground balls, cradling, passing and catching, shooting, and defense.
  • Practices will run from 5:45 to 6:45 on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9/13, 9/15, 9/20, 9/22, 9/27, and 9/29. They are currently working on securing their practice location and will send out an email to all registrants once they have a field reserved.
  • For boys in kindergarten through eighth grade.
  • Their fall mini-camp is instruction only — the participants do not play competitive games vs. other clubs.
  • Costs $110 per child plus an additional $30 for insurance:

    To cover insurance, all participants of the Jets program must be members of US Lacrosse. This is an additional fee of $30 and you must register your child directly with US Lacrosse. Each new US Lacrosse member will also receive six issues of Lacrosse Magazine. Your payment of $30 to US Lacrosse covers your son's insurance for one year, so if you paid last spring, you're covered for this fall. 

More about Jets Lacrosse:

Jets Lacrosse is a boys youth (K - 8th grade) lacrosse organization in Denver. The club was established in the spring of 2009 by a small group of Stapleton neighborhood parents — current and former lacrosse players and coaches — who wanted to bring boys' youth lacrosse to the area. 

Looking for girls' lacrosse? Check out the Stapleton Electras - today is the last day to register for their fall programs without a late fee!
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Welcome Gymtegrity to the Neighborhood!

[ Tuesday, August 9, 2016 | 0 comments ]

Stapleton Moms sat down with the owners of Gymtegrity, a brand-new gym in Stapleton that offers competitive and recreational gymnastics and cheerleading, a USAG fitness program, camps, and birthday parties. We sat down with owner Michelle Sampson to get to know Gymtegrity better.

Tell us about Gymtegrity

Gymtegrity combines athletic talent on the outside with integrity on the inside. We offer a training center for all levels of gymnastics and cheerleading instruction in a supportive and encouraging environment with the aim of helping each child reach their full potential and provide them with tools for success, both in and out of the gym.

We’re located in Stapleton with an 18,000 ft2 training area, and offer a training center for all levels of gymnastics and cheerleading! Our coaches and instructors are well-trained and certified under the guidance of USAG and USASF. Our training center promotes physical activity, a foundation for building flexibility, coordination, spatial awareness, and lifelong skills. Gymtegrity wants to promote a healthy lifestyle to ensure our youth seek out physical activity for fun and entertainment. With our encouraging and supportive culture, we ensure that each individual develops talent on the outside, and integrity from within!

Tell me more about your Gymnastics and Cheer programs.

Whether you're training to be an Olympian or just wanting to bounce around on a trampoline, Gymtegrity offers a wide range of both girls and boys' classes for all ages and abilities. Gymnastics develops coordination, strength, flexibility, mental prowess, and the ability to set goals for all athletes from beginners to elite-level. Participation in the sport gives kids a solid physical and psychological foundation they will carry throughout their lives. Cheerleading is an athletic activity that combines elements of gymnastic tumbling, dance, acrobatics, and traditional cheerleading skills such as jumps and arm motions. We offer both competitive (USAG and All Star) and recreational gymnastics and cheer.

I hear you also offer a USAG Fitness Program – what is that?

Our USAG Fitness Program encourages physical fitness through fun activities emphasizing strength training, cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and nutrition. It’s designed for 12-16-year-old athletes, featuring scales of measurement and movement training exercises for all levels of fitness, and runs year-round to develop a physically active lifestyle for today's youth.

What else might Stapleton parents be interested in?

Gymtegrity offers camps, parents’ nights out, and birthday parties.
Our theme-based full- and half-day camps play encourage flexibility, creativity, and integrity – our first one will be over Labor Day and we’re really excited!

Parents’ Nights Out include a foam pit, trampolines, ropes, and other structured activities. They’re from 6:30 to 10:00 for ages 5 and up. Our birthday parties are all-inclusive and come with set up and clean up, pizza and drinks, balloons, goodie bags, structured games – you just bring the cake!

How can we find out more about Gymtegrity?

To learn more, parents can visit, call us at
(303) 371-1338, email us at, and follow us on Facebook at

Thanks, Michelle – welcome to Stapleton!

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