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

How Parenting is like the Apollo 11 Mission

Today, July 20, is the anniversary of one of the most amazing accomplishments that mankind has achieved in the entire history of humanity: on this day in 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped foot on the moon. But there were three people on this particular Apollo mission, as there were on all Apollo missions: Mike Collins, orbiting the moon in the command module Columbia and ensuring their safe return back to planet Earth, is…Read More