Making The Tough Calls as a Parent

My youngest switched from a private school to public school this year. Moving up to high school was a great moment for such a big change, but it was with some sadness that we left the private school community. We’d been part of that school for almost 20 years, and I even served on the Board of Trustees. For K-, though, it was her friends that she’d miss as none of them were also heading…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

My Daughter’s Home Sick. And I’m Going Bonkers…

It’s tough to be sick. The worst is if you’re a baby, of course, because you can’t actually communicate what’s not feeling good and get any meaningful assistance to ease the suffering. As children get older things get a bit better because they can say “I have a tummy ache” or “my head hurts” or just a miserable “ugh, I wanna die.” And once we get to adulthood we’re generally on our own and simply…Read More

How to Enjoy Playing – And Even Losing! – a Board Game

Any time you engage in a game with other people, whether it’s your life partner, your child or a group of friends or acquaintances, you’ve got the potential to encounter friction and upset. Hopefully it’s minor, perhaps taking the form of a snarky comment or friendly jibe, but sometimes it can become more tense and explode into arguments or worse. As someone who has played tons of different games of varying complexity and duration with…Read More

Rentals and Blankets and Children, Oh My!

My son graduated from school in Kalispell, Montana so we headed up for the event and festivities. I rented a house on one side of Main Street and his Mom rented a house about 5 blocks away, on the other side of Main Street. Kalispell is a small town outside Glacier National Park, with a modest popular of 22,000 people or so. Which means, yeah, it’s pretty darn small. Kind of the rugged mountain version…Read More

Psychologist Recommends Children not have Best Friends?

Childhood is tough. We all have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as kids, whether it was a years of ongoing bullying and hassle from other kids or whether it was a string of sleights that grew over time into A Big Deal. I’ve seen all three of my children have to wrestle with one of the great challenges of adolescence time and again: exclusion. This doesn’t go away as an adult, of…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

Dad 2.0 Summit: Of Dads and Brands

Just got back from a fantastic few days in San Diego, California, attending the sixth Dad 2.0 Summit. This time it was almost 400 men talking about masculinity, fatherhood and the role of men in modern society. Just men? No, there were a liberal sprinkling of women to make sure we didn’t just sit around having burping contests and talking about women. Or sports. Or beer. I’ve attended all six of the Dad 2.0 Summit events as…Read More

Taking Care of the Caretakers on Thanksgiving

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Create the Good. All opinions are 100% mine. It’s easy on Thanksgiving to give thanks to the people we can see and interact with on a daily basis. Family, friends, teachers, police, they’re all worthy of our gratitude and appreciation. But it’s also a perfect opportunity to take a moment and think about those people who find themselves in a caretaking position, whether it’s…Read More

Teaching My Daughter How To Vote

I don’t feel like I’m an overly patriotic person, but I do feel quite strongly that it’s the right and responsibility of every American who can vote to do so, whether it’s for the next President, a statewide ballot issues or just a local issues of taxation. Does each vote matter? In some huge ballot initiatives, perhaps not. When something wins by significant percentage points, 70% to 30%, an individual vote might not be a big deal….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

Sorry, Shame is not Part of Parenting

Writing for The Guardian, Madeleine Somerville opines that parents who offer earplugs to fellow airplane passengers are doing something horribly wrong and that “no parent should feel they have to placate judgmental passengers”. She goes on to say that shame is inherently part of parenting: Feeling embarrassed at child’s behavior is a basic component of parenting. Children are wildly imaginative, endlessly entertaining and capable of the purest love I’ve ever known, but any parent will…Read More

Of Pillows, Allergens and Laundry Detergent

Note: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertisers. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeToBe #CollectiveBias Even in the dog days of summer, my children have issues with allergies, and sometimes they don’t quite understand the relationship between choices they make and how they later feel. Top of the list is that if they play outside all day (which is a good thing) and then go to bed without washing their…Read More

A Visit to Santa Fe with Type-A Parent

Parenting conferences are definitely unusual and when they’re not oriented around dads (like Dad 2.0) they end up being predominantly women. Mostly, but not all, moms. Still, when my friend Kelby Carr (@KelbyCarr) announced that she was going to split off her successful Type-A Parent conference into east and west, and that the first Type-A West conference was going to be in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I knew I had to go. I love Santa…Read More

Teaching Kids Leadership with 4-H

As a parent, I’m often overwhelmed by the complexity of my children’s social lives, trying to figure out who is popular, who are the trend setters, and who are the leaders in their communities. My son yearns to be a leader and is slowly recognizing that leadership comes from humility and action, not talk, while my younger daughter is a natural leader, but doesn’t always remember to take into account the interests of her friends….Read More