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

The Joys of Moody Teen Syndrome (MTS)

My youngest is just about 13 and you’d think that with her being my third teenager, I’d be an old hand and quite capable of dealing with the chaos, the mood swings, the self-absorption and the entitlement of the teen brain. Usually I’d say yes, but teens are a peculiar beast and while 90% of the time they may be predictable and understandable, that other 10% of the time can be crazy and, more importantly,…Read More

My Tween’s Cellphone Contract Agreement…

I really can remember years ago how I scoffed at people with cellphones, sneering that I’d never be tied down by a digital leash. Zoom forward to 2016 and how times have changed. I not only have the latest and greatest smartphone but have a smart watch on my wrist, and every person I know has a cell phone too. Except for one: My 12yo daughter. She’s just a few months away from turning 13,…Read More

No, I don’t want my adult kids living with me…

I was reading an article in the Denver Post about current demographic trends that startled me. The article cites data from the latest US Census American Community Survey that indicates “34.1 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. lived in their parents’ home in 2015.” Thirty-four percent. Now it’s possible that the 18yo and 19yo gap year students are skewing the data, but it’s still a bit mind-boggling that fully one-third of all young adults are…Read More

An Open Letter to Parents of Teens about Marijuana

Dear Parents, As the parent of two teens – 16 and 19 – I know what it’s like to have everything you say met with a sigh, an eye roll or even a dramatic “you don’t understand me” as they flounce out of the room. Chores? Forget about ‘em. Homework? Hopefully, but on their schedule, not yours. Problem is, while they’re trying to figure out who they are and what kind of young adult they’re…Read More

How my daughter’s Fiji trip was hurt by drug abuse

My daughter A- is 6200 miles away as I write this, just outside the capital city of Suva, Fiji. It’s the other hemisphere, so while we’re limping slowly into spring, she’s getting to enjoy the tail end of the Fijian summer. She’s there in a gap year program organized by a third party company, a three-month adventure that’s also taken her to New Zealand and, next, to Australia for her last month. The group started…Read More

Don’t be a Dope around Marijuana

A while back I wrote about teens and marijuana in a piece entitled “Legalization Doesn’t Make Marijuana A Good Idea for Teens“, talking about the dilemma of raising two teenagers and living in a state that has legalized retail marijuana for adults over the age of 21. As with so many other topics, it’s hard to explain to a child why when they wake up on the “other side” of a specific anniversary of their…Read More

Teen Girls Still Prefer Beauty over Smarts

I’ve been playing around with the slick mobile voting application Wishbone on my iPhone ever since my 11yo turned me on to it. It’s incredibly simple: users are presented with A/B choices and tap to vote on which they prefer. Every 7-8 votes, you’re forced to watch a banal streaming video advertisement, almost always a mobile app aimed at teen girls and related to fashion, hairstyles or virtual high school experiences. Still, advertising aside, it’s…Read More

Upgrading my shoes with Rockport on #MyDailyAdventure

For a guy who tends to wear sneakers or boat shoes most of the year, it’s a bit of a puzzle how I became a part of the Rockport Inner Circle, but it has given me a splendid opportunity to upgrade my footwear and thereby my image a bit. It’s the curse of the solopreneur: when you don’t have an office and don’t have a boss, you tend to forget that “the clothes make the man”…Read More

Legalization Doesn’t Make Marijuana a Good Idea for Teens

In fact, the laws voted in that changed the legal status of retail marijuana in the state of Colorado don’t apply to those under 21 anyway, but let’s be candid: legalization has made weed considerably easier to acquire. Problem is, it turns out that while there are good and bad effects to marijuana usage in adults, the scales are considerably further tipped to the “bad’ side when you’re under 21 and in particular when you’re…Read More

Finding Happiness in the Sea of Life

I met a friend a few days ago for lunch and we had a nice catch-up, enjoying the beautiful rooftop of one of the local eateries here in Boulder. Each of us faces challenges with our teens, each of us talked about what we hoped our children would do and how we hoped they’d travel through the complex world of adolescence and young adulthood. As with every parent, we each also shared the reality of…Read More

Life Skills: Teach my daughter about paying the bills

My 18yo is poised to move out. She’s not quite done with school, but she’s ready to go and she’s definitely at a moment in her life where she’s looking out the front windshield, even while occasionally glancing at the rear view mirror and remembering earlier years and childhood. Thing of it is, as with almost all children, she really has no idea about the most basic elements of running a house, whether it’s a…Read More

Parenting Tip: Use Their Communications Channels

Sometimes it’s tricky to know how to proceed as a parent in these modern times, and at other times it’s pretty darn obvious what the next step should be. But whether they’re six or sixteen, it’s hard to know how best to communicate with them when the going gets tough. Sure you can just insist on a face-to-face sit-down discussion, but not only do most guys hate to do that but most kids hate to…Read More

Old Enough to Avoid An Abusive Relationship…

A few days ago I had what I felt was a really important conversation with my 18yo daughter about relationships and expectations. It’s a topic I feel strongly about and particularly so as a father of girls: abusive relationships. Abuse can be subtle, psychological bullying or a simple lack of kindness, but it can also take on a more physical form that’s far more egregious. Both stink, and everyone deserves a loving, nurturing, caring relationship…Read More