What's next?

At this same time last year, we had started to talk about what changes we wanted to make as part of the redesign and re-launch of ParentingNH. It was an exciting time, especially because we were also gearing up to celebrate the publication’s 25th anniversary.    

So what do you do for an encore after such a big year? Good question.

When the whirlwind winds down to a dull roar, you realize what’s next is working to make the publication even better.

The magazine re-launched in July with a new look, making this issue lucky number seven of the new ParentingNH. And I’d like to hear what you think.

Reader feedback is a critical part of a publication’s success. I appreciate hearing what we are doing right, what we can do better, or even where you think we made a misstep.

For example, I recently heard from a representative of one of New Hampshire’s community colleges. After reading December’s Dad on Board column that focused on the trials of navigating his first college fair and feeling overwhelmed by the entire college experience, she was concerned we had not provided information alongside his column for parents about making that experience easier.

Each fall we produce the specialty publication, NH Next: Your Guide to Life after High School, which is distributed to and geared toward high school juniors and seniors in New Hampshire. We include valuable information from NHHEAF and other statewide resources about paying for college, workforce training and exploring career options (one of the articles from NH Next is excerpted on page 22 — the full publication can be viewed at www.parentingnh.com).

The college representative made a good point that even though it is an opinion/entertainment column, we could have taken the opportunity to give readers at least some guidance by telling them how and where to access information, such as NH Next. After thinking about what she said, I am planning for some articles about college planning written specifically for parents later this year in ParentingNH.

It’s through these phone and email exchanges where I learn a lot more about what readers want to learn about, what resources they need and how they are feeling about a particular subject.

ParentingNH also has readers who have asked to write about their experiences of being parents and to be considered for publication. In December, we introduced the occasional feature “My Turn.” Rob Levey, one of ParentingNH’s longtime contributors, kicked off the feature by talking about his struggles with his son and advocating for his troubled teen. It resonated with other parents who said they felt better just to know they weren’t alone.

Whether you are interested in sharing a story about your parenting journey, or you want to let us know how we are doing, or tell us what we have not included that you would like to see, I want to hear from you.  Feel free to contact me at editor@parentingnh.com.

More Letters from Editor Melanie Hitchcock

Lessons learned through a Christmas tree (or how I learned to embrace disorder and chaos)

For as long as I can remember I have compulsively applied order to everything, so I did not understand the hodgepodge of holiday decor and why everything couldn’t look like it went together.

What we need to teach our sons

If there is something good that comes out of recent events, it’s that men and women are talking more about sexual assault.

Put a different spin on Halloween

Just a quick flip though this month’s issue and you can tell that I think Halloween is a pretty big deal.

Finding comfort in a familiar friend

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of reading through dozens of essay contest submissions for our fourth annual contest, in which I asked kids and teens to answer the question: “What is your most prized possession?”
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