How to ensure safety while letting my daughter get her own email address?

The tempest has come home: my 11yo daughter A- has begun communicating via email with her out of state cousin. Nothing amazingly new, except we’ve kept our children off the computer completely so it is a brave new world. To date, email from the cousin is sent to Linda, who then shows it to A-, who then uses Linda’s account to compose a response or new message. Alright, I say begrudgingly, maybe, just maybe it’s…Read More

When you need to keep track of your nursing schedule

A few days ago, I was surprised and intrigued to see an application show up at the Apple iPhone Application Store that helped women keep track of when they were nursing their baby. I communicated with the program author and found out that it was actually a team: a woman who had the need for the application and a man who actually wrote the program itself. A bit of discussion and I ended up with…Read More

Why do people divorce, and how can you heal from a divorce?

I recently had a chance to interview Jeannine Lee, facilitator for Fisher Rebuilding divorce recovery seminars, about divorce and why the workshop can be so valuable for people who are getting a divorce or already divorced. Fair disclosure: I have gone through this course myself and am now a volunteer for the Fisher Rebuilding Divorce Recovery Seminars. This article is long, but I think it’s well worth reading. Q: Based on my own personal experience,…Read More

Hey Dads, don’t give up on your kids!

I don’t know if it’s just complete coincidence or something more curious, but in the last ten days or so I have had three conversations with men about how some men who leave a relationship leave not just their wife or partner, but their children too. Most recently, someone named “David” left a comment elsewhere on this blog saying: “She took her rings off over two and a half years ago. I haven’t given up…Read More

The dangers of going off-schedule: The day from Hell

One thing I am learning as a separated / divorcing parent of younger children is the consequence – the really bad consequence – of going off schedule after finally establishing a routine. Today, I’m sorry to say, was the poster example of how family dynamics can add up to drive everyone crazy rather than establish harmony when things get too far off track. And yet, somehow this is the inevitable result of summer activity, with…Read More

Finally, my kids are ready to enjoy art galleries!

I am so, so psyched! We’ve been visiting my folks in Southern California (yes, we were here for today’s 5.3 earthquake. We were in the car and thought the engine was misfiring!) and staying at the lovely Ayers Hotel. They’re very nicely appointed hotels, super comfy beds and lots of classic paintings (reproductions, obviously) hanging in the hallways to add a touch of elegance and class. This evening G-, my 8yo, A-, my 11yo, and…Read More

Hey Mattel! Now you can put Bratz to sleep once and for all

After a hotly contested court case between huge toy conglomerate Mattel and MGA Entertainment, it looks like Mattel might actually be given back profits and the intellectual property that comprises the entire Bratz line. Here’s the thing though: I hate the entire concept behind the Bratz toys and am frankly aghast that any parents buy it. Hold on, before I rant too much, let’s have a bit more detail about the lawsuit itself: “A U.S….Read More

Flip-flops for a good cause, spread the word

In a tragic event last May, our friend and neighbor Steve Parrish lost his college-age son, and Lesley, his daughter and our occasional babysitter, lost her brother, in a mugging gone wrong while he was on spring break in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Watching them come to peace with the terrible occurrence has been an amazing thing. I’m not sure I would ever have the grace to manage even half as well, and certainly hope never…Read More

The power of reflective listening

This last weekend was a rare treat: five days of solo time with G-, my 8yo son, and it was a delight. Five days of “dude time” with lots of bonding. We both really had a great weekend, and a busy one too, including hanging out with friends watching the final match of the Euro 2008 soccer competition. Most of the time, of course, A-, my 11yo, and K-, my 4yo, are in the mix…Read More

How we’re managing Video Game Time

Okay, this is an update following my earlier plea for help metering video game time. You should start by reading that blog entry and seeing what I wrote about and, more importantly, the great comments people left with their own ideas and practices. I took the different suggestions and thought a lot about the dynamics of my own children and what they do and don’t need, and came up with the following…Read More

How do you meter video game playing time?

It might be a sign of us buckling under to cultural pressure or perhaps the ongoing weight of constantly feeling like we’re saying “no” to our children as they too process the divorce and changes in their lives, but Linda and I have agreed to let the kids have some Nintendo Wii play time this summer and each of us bought a unit and hooked it up. First off, the Wii is one amazingly fun…Read More

Press Release: Divorced Women’s Dating Styles

[ this is one of the more peculiar press releases I’ve received in rather a while… ] From Debbie Nigro Chief Executive Girlfriend and Founder First Wives World.com Approximately 30 million women are transitioning thru divorce in the United States. There are many different stages. Debbie put this friendly list together so both women and men can better identify the different levels before venturing into the dating scene. DIVORCED WOMEN’S DATING STYLES Damaged Daters –…Read More

Signing “Ask for ID” on my credit cards invalidates them?

I had a weird experience at the Post Office this afternoon when I tried to buy a roll of stamps and am hoping some of my blog pals can offer up some thoughts… When I got the latest wave of credit cards I decided that this time, instead of signing them, I’d write “Ask for ID” on the back, as a bit of a fraud protection and identity theft prevention. So far, it’s distressing to…Read More

… and still, sometimes bedtime just stinks

Last night I was at a workshop until 10.30pm, which wouldn’t have been a big deal if my kids would have cooperated with the babysitter and gone to sleep when they were supposed to. But they didn’t and when I walked in, there they were, sitting in the living room, lights low, like zombies, waiting for me. I chalked it up to the exacerbated separation fear brought on by our separation and the two different…Read More

Taste Test: Hansen’s Junior Water

Sometimes being a blogger is crazy fun, like when the PR agency from Hansen Beverage Company contacted me and asked if they could send along some product samples for the kids to try. The product? Their new “Junior Water” product. I said “sure, but no guarantees anyone will like it, that we’ll write positively about the product or that we’ll ever actually write about it in the end.” They were okay with that clause and…Read More

How do you explain sex and “Free Condoms!” to your kids?

Rather an amusing situation happened over the weekend: I was in the touristy downtown area of Boulder with G- (8) and K- (4) having a good time wandering around. We’d just stepped out of Ben & Jerry’s after enjoying some delicious ice cream and G- spotted someone across the pedestrian mall with a basket and a sign that said free condoms It didn’t take more than a second or two for him to ask “Daddy,…Read More

Overheard: exactly the wrong way to tutor someone

I am hanging out at one of my favorite haunts, The Cup, in downtown Boulder, Colorado, sharing a table with a couple of guys who are working, laptop adjacent to laptop. From what I can glean, one of the guys is a tutor with a local group of some sort, while the other guy is either a senior in high school or a freshman at CU. Yup, a buddy just stopped by and the tutor…Read More

When did shopping online become such a drag?

Hmmm… should I admit that I like shopping? Well, shopping online, but even the local neighborhood mall is a comfortable space and one I enjoy visiting, probably because my teen years were spent in “The Valley” (yes, that valley, the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, home of “valley girls”, etc 🙂 Shopping seems like a fun social experience mostly, a chance to people watch and see a much wider variety of folks than I…Read More

Singing my children to sleep….

It’s a routine we’ve been in for over a decade now, me singing my children to sleep. From when they were wee ones to now, when my oldest is 11, they enjoy listening to me sing and it helps them easily drift off to dreamland. What’s curious, however, is what they most like me to sing: The Beatles. Maybe it’s because I’m a boomer myself and so I am quite familiar with all their lyrics,…Read More

Tourists and product stickers…

At the risk of sounding like a cranky guy, I have to say that I am completely baffled by people who buy consumer electronics and then don’t peel off the product feature stickers. You know what I’m talking about, they used to only be on “display” or “demo” units at the store, but now for some reason we all get to enjoy stickers all over our TVs, DVD players, stereos, computers, and cameras that tell…Read More

Finding the balance between “honoring their voice” and avoiding chaos

So our story begins with me going over to Linda’s house to get K-, our 4yo, who I had agreed to have over at my place for the night. Originally all three kids were going to be with Linda, but she’s been telling me how overwhelmed she’s been lately so I thought taking the little one could be helpful. I’m also cognizant that I’m going to be totally unplugged for three nights at a conference…Read More