Home Really is the Key, with Help from Habitat For Humanity

It’s easy to put the homeless out of mind when you’re busy living your own life. But we’re facing an affordable housing crisis here in the United States and we’re not even talking about it. Indeed, more than 19 million US families spends 50% or more of their income on housing, which makes it pretty darn hard to afford any other necessities, and even more so for their children. Minimum wage? That won’t cover the…Read More

In memory of a young friend who passed…

It’s easy in the daily hustle and bustle to forget that each of us lives in our own little universe and that how you or I perceive and react to an event might be entirely different to someone else. Even when that person’s close to you and you’ve known them for years, the inner world of people is a unique and remarkable thing. Except for sometimes, when the darkness overwhelms the light and they find…Read More

Dad Skills 101: How to Commiserate

It might mark me as old school, but I don’t think us guys are particularly good at commiserating when we hear someone who’s having a hard time. And if it’s one of our kids, we’ll go right into protective mode and leap head-first into trying to solve problems, even to the point of cutting them off to share our ideas. The book’s not as popular as it once was, but I actually found John Gray’s…Read More

Should Us Parents “Keep the Meter Running”?

This falls into the category of “what would you have done?”, so we can set the stage. Here’s what happened, and here’s how I dealt with it: Last night my youngest, almost 15, wanted to go to an evening event with her pal, an event that ran 8-10pm. No worries, I knew the group performing and the venue was a church, so I figured it was safe and appropriately wholesome, etc. I had a party…Read More

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