…your toddler is obsessed with trains. Your kindergartener will eat nothing but macaroni. Your preteen wants to read a popular title that’s a little too scary. Tips for connecting with kids at various stages through books. Need advice? Email your situation to meredith[at]clifonline.org with “If you’re a parent and…” in the subject line.

If You’re a Parent and…You Need a Baby Shower Gift

Posted by on February 9, 2017.

We recently celebrated the arrival of my niece – the only other child on my side of our family! This lucky baby girl has a fabulous library, given to her by friends of my brother and his wife, a group of writers, publishers, teachers, and book lovers.

If You’re a Parent and…You Miss Letters

Posted by on January 12, 2017.

I received a letter – a handwritten card with the inside and back filled with news. It is a bit sad that this is such a remarkable event. We received lots of holiday cards, but they were either picture cards or typed and copied updates.

If You’re a Parent and…You Wish You Had Time to Volunteer

Posted by on November 3, 2016.

My brother James Scott, author of The Kept and creator of TK Podcast, wrote the most lovely piece about our mom as part of the Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote. From the Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote website: “Acclaimed novelist, Julianna Baggott, wrote a simple Facebook post, dedicating her No Trump Vote…Within days, it had been shared over 1100 times… The act of writing the dedication felt hopeful, and it seemed to have struck a chord.

If You’re A Parent And…You Need Graphic Novel Recommendations

Posted by on October 13, 2016.

My 8-year-old has discovered graphic novels. This format makes me feel old – I know my mom read comic books as a kid, but I could not understand the appeal of the graphic novel. I remember a conversation with a school librarian who said she needed to take a class to learn to read them.

If You’re a Parent and…Your Child Wants a New Pet

Posted by on September 8, 2016.

My daughter lobbied hard for a fish. I put it off until after summer travels, but I had to make good on my promise after Labor Day.

I got a book about caring for fish out of the library; I wanted us prepared for the cleaning, feeding, and choosing the correct fish for our environment (our environment calls for the most low-maintenance fish possible).

If You’re a Parent and…Harry Potter is an Obsession

Posted by on August 4, 2016.

I missed the original Harry Potter buzz – I’m not sure how as I worked in a bookstore off and on from 1996-2002, during which the first four books were released. I made up for this last week, when I got swept up in my eight-year-old’s excitement over Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

If You’re a Parent and…You Aim for a Less-Screen-Summer

Posted by on June 29, 2016.

In most of my life roles, I can feel overwhelmed by the information on how to be or do them better, how we can achieve that ideal balance where all parties (kids, friends, coworkers, and family members) feel heard, valued, and bolstered as individuals and also “team” members.

If You’re a Parent…And Your Child Forms a Book Club

Posted by on March 25, 2016.

Recently, my daughter has started to carry an additional backpack to school – one of those square, drawstring, logo-laden bags that one can often acquire at an event. When asked what she carries in it, she replied, “My book club books!” Here is how the discussion went:

Me: “What does it mean to have book club?”

Her: “Me and Elle read and talk about books.” (Said with some disdain.)

Me: “When do you do book club?”

Her: “At recess.”

Me: “You take the library books outside?”

Her: “Only when it is nice out, we haven’t had book club in a while.”

Luckily for her, she has found special friends who share her love of reading.