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

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

Better, more restful sleep? Breathe Right = sleep in

Never one to shy away from testing and experimenting, I was intrigued by the Breathe Right strips and when I learned they were introducing a lavender scented strip I was ready to give it a try for a few days and see how it would affect my sleep. Their slogan caught my attention: Breathe Right, Sleep In. Sleep in! An unimaginable luxury as a single parent. To set the stage, I tend to go to…Read More

Sexist T-Shirts are a Sign of a Healthy Culture

The latest brouhaha on the Interwebs is about the fact that retailers are selling t-shirts and onesies for children that are >>gasp<< sexist in nature. Let’s start right out with the most offensive of them, the pajamas that Target has for sale at one of their stores up in Canada: They’re not really for rocket scientists — or their children — I’d think, but really, it’s not a horrible thing to have a sense of humor….Read More

Fatherhood bonus vs. Motherhood penalty?

Claire Cain Miller writes in the New York Times about The Motherhood Penalty vs. the Fatherhood Bonus, summarizing the data that “A child helps your career if you’re a man”. There’s a part of me that bristles at this entire discussion when she says “one of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children” while “for men… having a child is good for their careers”. But another part of me realizes…Read More

Back Off, Helicopter Mom!

I was sitting at my favorite coffee shop a few days ago and couldn’t help witness the parenting drama play out in front of me, the extraordinarily overt demonstration of what is popularly called “helicopter parenting”. Let me start with a photo I took (and then blurred out the faces for privacy) so you can see how things were set up: On the left side you can see a tween boy working on a small dry…Read More