Teens, texting and vacations. What’s a Dad to do?

I’m usually pretty good at coming up with solutions to technological dilemmas with my children, but I have to admit I’m a bit stumped this time, and feel like the problem reflects more on me being too uptight and less on my daughter’s ability to be engaged, part of our group, and maintain her relationship with her boyfriend back home. Let me set the scene: My kids get a two week spring break, so in…Read More

My teen daughter’s rules of dating?

And so the time has come that my teen daughter (15) has a boyfriend who comes over and hangs out with us. He’s a delightful and eerily respectful young man who sometimes seems more interested in impressing me than my daughter, but maybe that’s just because I’m an intimidating guy? I like him and am glad to see my girl stepping into the more adult world of dating and relationships. Problem is, I’m now waaaayyyy out of…Read More

My Kids Didn’t Give Me Presents…

I want to start out by saying I’m not complaining. Really. I’m just contemplating the holidays… For the first time in many years, I took my three kids to Los Angeles to celebrate Hanukkah with my Dad and have a bit of a collective holiday. We had a good time, though the last few days my son G- got sick, which was a drag. Still, visits to the beach, Dana Point and the always terrific…Read More

Making Smart Decisions as a College Freshman

I was given the opportunity to watch the made-for-TV movie Game of Your Life prior to it being shown on NBC on Friday, Dec 2 as part of NBC’s Family Movie Night series and was surprised and impressed with the storyline and production. The film takes place during freshmen year at the obviously fictional Digital Institute of Game Design and centers around likable Zach Taylor (Titus Makin Jr.). Enthusiastic about his new college life, Zach joins…Read More

Sunset at the Digital Gear Corral…

One of the most annoying of modern parenting challenges is managing electronics. Not battery life, not mediating between kids arguing about whose turn it is to charge their latest gizmo that’s “dying and I really need to get that text!” but just managing their all-too-pervasive presence in our lives nowadays. If it’s not a laptop, it’s a cellphone or smart phone. If it’s not one of those, it’s an iPod. Whatever it is, I have…Read More

Teaching a teen to say “no” to her friend

A friend of mine was telling me about a problem his daughter’s facing and I’m rather stymied as to what she can do to improve the situation too. Apparently she’s tight with another girl who is nice, attentive and a long-time friend, but has a bit of a temper, and when they’re together, all too often the other girl decides what they’ll do and dismisses my friend’s daughter’s views and opinions. She is not thrilled…Read More

Texting policy for your children?

Here’s something that’s we’re finding a bit tricky to navigate: what’s a reasonable and fair policy for text messaging for a 14yo 8th grader? My initial reaction is of the “give them enough rope” variety, allowing her to text without much in the way of constraints (other than time-based) and see if she violates our rules. Problem with that is that it assumes a certain level of self-control and time management that might be a…Read More

How to teach kids not to interrupt?

My kids are fabulous. Yours are too, I bet. But let’s be candid, they have some habits that are a bit annoying — or drive you completely daft! — and it’d be nice to have a way to teach them to grow beyond those behaviors. With my kids the habit that’s driving me a bit nutty is that they interrupt when someone else is talking. Sometimes they interrupt each other, but often they interrupt me….Read More

Aeropostale perpetuating the waif ideal with “skinny” jeans

My 13yo daughter A- has a new obsession: the national clothing chain Aeropostale. Their clothes are cute enough, but why people are willing to shop at a store where 90% of the merchandise are billboards for the brand is a bit beyond me. Shows how deeply brand identification is part of modern culture, I suppose. Still, there we were looking for some shorts and I noticed the labels for their jeans: Can you see that?…Read More

Is Attachment Parenting relevant as kids grow up?

I was reading through the great material available at Attachment Parenting International, the “parent’ corporation (or, perhaps better, “mother ship”) for those of us that follow intentional or attachment parenting, and was struck at how few of the Eight Core Principles of Attachment Parenting are relevant once your joyous little bundle grows up and isn’t a little baby any more. To wit, the eight rules are: Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting. Feed with love…Read More

Sleepovers: our place or theirs?

Had an interesting experience last weekend with my 13yo daughter, A-. All day she’d been talking about having her pal over to our place for a sleepover, and her friend had joined us for the day’s activities (she’s a delightful addition to the family and always welcome). Late afternoon we talked about how we were one bed mattress short for things to work: We have three mattresses and one air mattress but adding her would…Read More