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THE ROCK FATHER loves Mac & Cheese, so he would’ve written about KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner even if it wasn’t a sponsored post for Socialstars #Youknowyouloveit

As parents there are quite a few traditions that my wife and I have carried over from our own childhoods, putting a modern spin on them and sharing with our daughters. Most of those things could be considered more pop-cultural - the movies, the toys, the games but there aren’t many of are traditions that involve food. On the surface, that might seem a little odd, both of us coming from relatively large extended families, rooted in food-centric cultures of Italian and German heritage. Times have changed, as have tastes. And what we know about the things we eat - but one childhood tradition that we have carried on is just about as American as they come and continues to get better with age: KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.

Published in Food and Drink

Last summer, my wife and I loaded up the car and took The Rock Daughters on a 1,900+ mile road trip - our first true family vacation. We headed east from Illinois, making our way to Philadelphia at our farthest point. Over the course of six days, we would visit Sesame Place, The Crayola Experience, Hershey's Chocolate World, The J.M. Smucker Company Store & Cafe... and about 15 different rest stops along the way. And, because we did stop in Philly, I also tossed my taste buds in the ring for a round of cheese steak sampling with Pat's and Geno's (the battle rages on!). For 2015, we're doing it again, but I'm not telling you where we're headed just yet. The journey will be shorter, but the adventures will still be big - especially for the kids. Curious where we're headed? Keep an eye on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook this week, and follow #RockFatherTour

Published in Rock Father Rides

Nope, R.E.M. did not release a sequel to "Everybody Hurts," but KOO KOO KANGA ROO is back with the first video from their new EP, GROSS. "Everybody Poops" is the perfect song for my almost six-year-old and her friends right now - all of whom seem to have become fecalpheliacs over the past few months. Weird thing is, I really don't like gross-out kid stuff (poop, snot, etc.), and previously gave a one-star review to PAPA CROW's fart-themed EP from 2013. Still, I do enjoy KOO KOO KANGA ROO, who Addie and I saw on tour with THE AQUABATS last year. Check out the new video below, and catch the guys on a Warped Tour date near you...

Published in Family Music

In support of their new book, Addicted Kids - Our Lost Generation: An Integrative Approach to Understanding and Treating Addicted Teens, Drs Ron and Cherie Santasiero stop by to share their list of ten important tips to help parents prevent addiction with their children...

Published in Books, Mags, Comics

THE ROCK FATHER is participating in The Every day, care™ Project from Whirlpool® as part of a sponsored campaign for Socialstars. #EveryDayCare

I think it was last year that I said it (being nearly six years into parenting, things blur together), but I’d referred to the mid-year months as our “first true summer break.” Thing is, it’s not really a “break” at all. Gone are the true three-month runs of warm weather adventure that my wife and I knew as children - the ones filled with days that seemed to last forever. My first “back-to-school” pitches were hitting my office before June 1st, and the reality of the matter is that with kindergarten ending in June and the kids back at it in August, the summer is a blip, and a busy one at that.

Published in James' Journal

THE ROCK FATHER™ has been compensated for this shop by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are that of James Zahn. #PlayNGrow #CollectiveBias

Is it possible that toys can help children learn to deal with their emotions? While we've discussed a variety of "learning" toys at length over the years, I've never really written about the emotional consequences or benefits of play. Of course, toys are a big part of the emotional development of a child, but the possibilities have perhaps never been quite as defined as they are with the new toys based on Disney•Pixar's INSIDE OUT. As family films become more layered and sophisticated (Walt Disney Animation Studios' BIG HERO 6 is a prime recent example), the subject matter lends itself to opening up important conversations about life issues, and emotion is what INSIDE OUT is all about. On one of our recent visits to Toys "R" Us, The Rock Daughters™ (Addie & Finn) and I couldn't resist checking out the new assortment of INSIDE OUT toys by TOMY, displayed in the "Feature" section at the front of the store.

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