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

A child asks for a change in parenting schedule…

I’ve been a divorced, single parent for almost a decade now, something that’s a bit hard to wrap my head around, but when I review our divorce papers and parenting plan, my 12yo daughter is listed as being 3 years old. Three! It’s hard to imagine that much time has passed and that my oldest is now 19 and on a trek through New Zealand, while my youngest is a vivacious tween in middle school. Time is definitely…Read More

Could you live without music and arts?

I’ve been a music lover for as long as I can remember, both as an amateur musician and as a listener. Some of my earliest memories are of music, muchly compliments of my folks (jazz) and my older sister (The Monkees, The Beatles, then darker stuff like Aorta and Black Sabbath). I went through phases as a teen, jazz, bluegrass, pop and rock. Never really got into the harder rock or industrial, nor heavy metal…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

My daughter attends a business meeting…

I remember as a child being fascinated by where my Dad worked. It was this building full of computers and people dressed all fancy and my Dad spent hours and hours there every single day. What did they do? What was going on behind those locked doors? He’d take me in every so often if he needed to stop by on a weekend and I can still being impressed by everything, and by his staff…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

Online Safety and Cell Phones

I’ve written about online safety plenty of times, posted videos of me talking about this subject at a local high school, and even led discussions at parenting groups on the subject. There are a couple of problems with the topic, though, one of which is that each parent has a different perspective on how safe or unsafe the online world is for their children. The bigger problem, though, is that our devices keep becoming more…Read More

Four Reasons I Hate Cat Sitting

Between our two homes, we have three cats. Two of them travel with their humans, Ozzy (pic at right) with K- and Kiwi with A-, and the third one, Izzy, lives full time at my ex’s house. Except for when I cat sit her. Until a month ago it wasn’t an issue because it never happened, which was fine with me: two cats is sufficient feline company without feeling like the neighborhood cat lady dude. But…Read More

Of absent fathers and the culture that allows that choice…

Received a nice note from a reader that’s worthy of discussion: I stumbled upon your website. Being that I am a single mom (sole parent) and a member of our neighborhood single mom’s club (which is really play dates involving wine), it was refreshing to read some of your articles and how you actually spend time with your children and take care of them, and most importantly love them. Most of our group’s ex-husbands do…Read More

“The Interview” and capitulating to bullies

I had lots of problems with a bully when I was in middle school, and each of my children at various times have had issues with bullying behavior, and not always on the receiving side of the equation, unfortunately. Still, there’s a certain power dynamic between big people and everyone else. But it doesn’t take physical size to make a bully: there are plenty of people who bully and are of smaller stature, they just…Read More

Claridge’s asks breastfeeding mom to cover up. Wrong?

There’s a small kerfuffle in London today after a woman tweeted pictures of her breastfeeding her baby in the Claridge’s hotel restaurant. The problem? Hotel staff asked her to discretely cover up so as not to “cause offence at Claridge’s” and a spokeswoman for the hotel said that they simply ask that all “mothers are discreet towards other guests.” In case you’ve never heard of Claridge’s, it’s a very expensive luxury hotel in the heart of…Read More