Protect Your Kids Online, or Protect their Privacy Online?

If you’ve got tweens or teens in the house, you know the worry of wondering if they’re going to be bullied – or bullying someone else – online, along with questions about whether they’ll succumb to scams or creepy adults masquerading as youngsters. Twenty five years ago, it was easy since the only interaction children were having in the digital world was through chat rooms on AOL and similar, but with the rise of social…Read More

Parents! Here’s How To Talk With Your Teens

In the movies, teenagers are all estranged from their parents, sullen, prone to one-word answers, and typically found hiding out in their bedrooms, surrounded by their possessions. While there’s an element of truth to this portrayal, the fact is that what most teenagers really seek is a sympathetic listener, not isolation. I know this first hand as I have three children, the youngest of which is 17. I’ve made it a habit to listen respectfully…Read More

Dating Advice for Teenagers (and everyone else too)

I’m now on the sidelines watching my third child go through the adventure of dating. She’s 17 and pretty darn particular about who she spends time with, especially when it comes to the possibility of an intimate relationship. My two other children are older, so I’ve been able to watch – and hear about! – how dating has progressed with each of them, and their friends, over many years. What’s become clear is that most…Read More

How My Kids Are Using Video Games to Stay Social

It turns out that all the pandemic films I’ve watched, all the books I’ve read have missed the mark. One of the great challenges of a pandemic turns out to be wrestling with boredom. Yes, there’s a mental health part of it – we’re social creatures not designed to live in separate little caves – but mostly my kids and I are daily facing the question of “now what?” I’m perhaps the luckiest of all…Read More

Online High School: A Progress Report & Update

Seems like about five years ago, but back in August of 2019 I shared that my youngest daughter, K-, had decided to attend a private online high school, Laurel Springs, rather than return to her public high school in Longmont, Colorado. You can read about our collective thought process here: And So It Begins: Online High School. We’re now six months into the adventure and she’s mostly moved smoothly into her second semester, there’s one…Read More

First Day of (Online) School: It Begins…

Though my youngest did great in 9th grade last year at the local public school, wrapping up the year with a darn impressive 3.93 GPA (way better than I did in high school, I’ll tell you that!), K- wasn’t enthused about going back for 10th grade. It wasn’t the social experience that was the obstacle as it is for many teen girls, but rather the ratio of solid and engaging academics vs busy work and…Read More

We’re All Smelling Much Better with Native Products…

One of the more interesting facets of parenting is watching your children go through different phases of their personal hygiene. Little kids reject cleaning their teeth and won’t bath unless it’s fun and involves toys, clueless as to why everyone else shuns them (possibly a slight exaggeration). Later, the lazy teen years hit and they don’t do much in the way or morning or evening ablutions because, well, they’re tired and busy with other things….Read More

A Discussion about Vaping in High School

One of the great challenges of parenting is to educate your children about health and lifestyle choices. Like everyone else, children don’t want lectures, they want practical and realistic advice and guidance and accurate and pragmatic facts. Like it or not, they’re also going to ultimately make their own decisions, particularly as they hit the high school and then college years. My family is healthier than most in our lifestyle choices and eating habits, but…Read More

Japan Realizes Smartphones Are Damaging Children’s Eyesight

This is really no news to me at all, nor should it be to you, but now the government of Japan has come out and said that the increase in vision problems amongst its youngsters is due to smartphones and portable game machines. Well, yeah. “The proportion of primary school and high school students whose vision is [less than 20/20] has reached a record high” according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and…Read More

Should Us Parents “Keep the Meter Running”?

This falls into the category of “what would you have done?”, so we can set the stage. Here’s what happened, and here’s how I dealt with it: Last night my youngest, almost 15, wanted to go to an evening event with her pal, an event that ran 8-10pm. No worries, I knew the group performing and the venue was a church, so I figured it was safe and appropriately wholesome, etc. I had a party…Read More

Quality Father/Son Time with Our Pal “Venom”

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #ManCaveMovieNight #Venom #TheEqualizer2 My son’s in his first year of college. Dorm life, a completely unstructured lifestyle, girls, an occasional class to attend, lots of cafeteria food (fortunately Pitzer College has an excellent dining hall) and all the socializing a young man could desire. Underlying all of it, however, is a subtle current of loneliness; it’s…Read More

Too Much Homework, Or Poor Time Management?

I got a press release from the makers of the Sleep Cycle app that boldly stated that children have too darn much homework – “Teens and Parents Agree School Is Exhausting” – and that it adversely impacts their sleep. Never one to let something go unchallenged, I pushed back on the company because, as the parent of three, I believe that the real issue isn’t that kids have too much homework, but that they lack time…Read More

Hey Colorado Kids! Vaping is not “Safe Smoking”

My youngest is a freshman at a public high school in Longmont, Colorado. So far, so good, she’s on the volleyball team and making friends in all her classes. She went to her first high school football game a week or two ago and there were a group of kids hiding behind the bleachers vaping. Her friend warned her, “don’t go over there, coach will get mad!” I asked her later about how many kids…Read More

Of Boys and Girls and High School Sports

My youngest is on the local high school volleyball team and she’s doing great. I’m a proud Dad and show up for all their games, whether at home or to the further reaches of Colorado oforn away games. The volleyball season is pretty darn short, however, just a few months, then it’s over for the entire school year. Which is a bit odd, really, since games are always indoors so they could certainly play throughout…Read More

The Big New World of a Public High School

I went to a public school throughout my childhood, K-12, though my ex was at a rather elite prep private school for her childhood. Two very different experiences. When our oldest began her own journey through schooling, we agreed that we’d like to do something different and enrolled her in a Waldorf School. Actually the Santa Cruz Waldorf School because at the time we were living in the Santa Cruz Mountains above Silicon Valley (and…Read More

Meeting the Boyfriend / Girlfriend…

One thing that’s hard to wrap your head around as a parent to young ‘uns is that someday you’ll be with your child and not their friend or BFF, but their boyfriend/girlfriend. At seven, a “girlfriend” is innocuous, but as they grow up and hit those teen years, well, the stakes go up and the chance for getting into serious trouble increases. To make things more complicated, we live in a highly sexualized society where…Read More

Planning and Hosting Teen Parties as a Single Parent

My youngest just turned 14 and we missed her birthday weekend because of this darn flu. Second year in a row that it’s kicked her down and she’s missed a week or more of school. Next year I’m definitely going to push daily vitamins, lots of extra vitamin D and oodles of overprotective personal hygiene into her daily routine and hope that helps. This year, however, we missed it entirely. Her birthday lands right in…Read More

Critical Co-Parenting Skill #7: Stay Out Of It

I know, the very first question you have is “dude, what are the first six skills I need to know to do well at the co-parenting thing?” but my answer is, like a Zen master, they will reveal themselves when you need them. Which is to say, I dunno. 🙂 One of the most challenging things about parenting, whether you’re divorced, married or even flying pretty much solo, is triangulation. You know it’s happening when your…Read More

Teens, Upset and Emotional Redirection

Having a 13yo is always an adventure in parenting, as children this age are just hitting adolescence so they can be all over the place with their emotions. Heck, I’m pretty sure that they can have emotional responses to external stimuli that are completely random and a surprise even to them. Parents of teens know what I’m talking about, where there are tears and screaming over something as incredibly trivial as how much you filled…Read More

I Survive The All-Class Teen Halloween Party

“Hey Dad, can I invite my entire 8th grade class over for a party?” You wouldn’t think so much fear could be instilled with such a simple question, but parents who are willing to risk hosting social events know the resultant anxiety! Dozens of short people roaming unsupervised through your house, messing with things, tracking dirt on the carpet, spilling food and who knows what else. Should I warn the neighbors or check with the…Read More

Do You Pay Attention to Eye Health? You Should.

It’s amazing as parents how much attention we pay to our children’s health. Not every facet of health, though, just the easy and overt aspects, like nutrition, sleep and exercise. At least, I hope you’re paying attention to those three cornerstones of health with your children, whether they’re 4 or 14. This means that generally you need to lead by example, of course, so if you eat poorly, sleep just a few hours each night…Read More