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

First Day of School, Booyah!

It might not be a child’s favorite time of the year, but a surprising number of parents look forward to the resumption of school as the summer wanes. Myself included. I am a firm believer in the idea that children do best in a structured environment where they know what’s going on and what’s expected of them. The typical lack of activities during summer vacation makes it darn difficult to retain that structure, and as…Read More

Bored Girl, Long Summer

Sounds almost like the name of an autobiography, doesn’t it? Bored Girl, Long Summer. Maybe it is an autobiography at that, but since my older children are off on their own adventures this summer, the last few months have been an exercise in unexpected boredom and listlessness for my 13yo. G-, my now 17yo son, is up in Montana near Glacier National Park for the summer, and my oldest, A-, 20, has been in Costa…Read More

High School Graduation from the Bleachers

A few days ago I did something I haven’t done for <cough> years: I attended a high school graduation. You’re likely thinking that my oldest, A-, is 20 so surely I attended her high school graduation, right? Turns out that though she spent many years at the same private school, she ended up deciding that an online program would serve her best for the last year of high school. The program was very good and…Read More

Morning Routine with Teenager

I’ve heard it again and again from my children, I’m a micro-manager and try to orchestrate things too much to fit the way I think our schedule should progress. They prefer a looser schedule and don’t want me urging them to keep moving forward on a timetable. There’s some truth to their claim because I am pretty obsessive about being on time (as all of my friends know by now) and it bugs me to…Read More

We Craft the Perfect Teen Smartphone Agreement

Okay, so maybe “perfect” is a bit enthusiastic, but when my 13yo daughter K- expressed dissatisfaction with her clunky feature phone and asked for an upgrade to an Apple iPhone 6 or 6s, I wasn’t surprised. Who wants an old-school device when everyone around you has modern tech? But I wasn’t about to just give her a window onto the wild west of the Internet and access to people – known and unknown – 24×7….Read More

My Daughter’s Dream Mani-Pedi at The Broadmoor

My 13yo K- and I had an opportunity to go back to one of our favorite hotels in the world, The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s about a two hour drive from our home in Boulder, far enough that it feels like a vacation, but close enough that it’s not A Road Trip. For the drive, we were driving a beautiful, brand new 2017 Lexus NX300h hybrid SUV, but that’s another story, to come…Read More

Kid’s Sports Can Be a Great Experience

All three of my children have been into sports, far more than I ever was as a child. Heck, I joined marching band in high school so that I could take that instead of PE. My sports experience as a youth ended when I was about eight when my parents got sick of the way the other parents treated their children and harassed the coaches on my local Little League team. I actually have no memories at…Read More

Truth or Dare Primer for Parents

My daughter celebrated her 13th birthday over the weekend with a gala party that included almost every single person in her class at our house for cake, dancing and a game of truth or dare, the latter held in a dark room only lit by our laser disco light. Truth or dare? Um… I had some reservations about the game, for sure, particularly since 13 is the age at which girls start to get very…Read More