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

Kids make you cheat on your spouse?

I was reading through a review of the film Sex Tape by my friend Christian when I was startled by the research he cites from NBC’s The Today Show and Melissa Lavigne-Delville about couples and the incidence of (self-reported) cheating on their spouse based on whether they had children or not. Knowing that having children puts an extraordinary stress on relationships, it’s no surprise that married couples with children are twice as likely to cheat on…Read More

To Light a Single Candle

There was a terrible accident this last weekend up in the canyons above Boulder, an accident that resulted in a 7th grader at my children’s school dying. Terrible. But I felt distant from the incident even though I knew the girl and her family. My children are in 8th and 4th, not in the same class and this is the very last week of school so the energy is very much looking forward to summer. Emails…Read More

Is Mothering Learned or Instinctive?

I was reading one of my many news sources this morning, the Boulder Daily Camera, and found a fun story about how a mating pair of clouded leopards at the Denver Zoo have produced some cubs, tiny baby clouded leopards two weeks old the day I write this article. The pics are super cute, as you can see, and they’re the first clouded leopard cubs to have been born at our zoo, which is good…Read More

My Children are all Readers, and It’s a Blessing

I grew up on books. When I was in high school, I even volunteered at the local public library when I wasn’t working (I didn’t spend much time on schoolwork, truth be told). They didn’t have any budget to pay me, but as the person who unpacked the boxes from the publishers, working at the library gave me first dibs on incoming titles, which was terrific. My Dad’s a voracious reader too, often a book…Read More

Do siblings have to fight all the time?

I’ve been taking care of just my younger two for the last three weeks — G-, who is almost 14, and K-, who is 10 — and it’s been interesting to watch. Usually their bigger sister (who is 17) acts as the buffer, the peacemaker, the one who helps things move along smoothly when their rough edges would otherwise be causing contention. But with her gone, I’ve been impressed with how well the younger two…Read More

Why we shouldn’t ban “bossy” and other language games

Over on Facebook I’m being barraged by postings about how we should stop using the word “bossy” because it’s, I dunno, presumably belittling of girls with certain personality traits. I even got a press release about how the campaign was started by Sheryl Sandberg and how it’s so damaging to girls. A direct quote: “How will the Ban Bossy campaign help eradicate gender inequality? We believe so deeply that these cultural problems change by the…Read More

Dads in Films: “The Croods”

Every once in a proverbial blue moon I see a film where the father role is interesting or realistic, instead of us dads being perpetually portrayed as buffoons or the extra child in the family dynamic. Have I mentioned recently how much I hate that and how I hate that it’s just accepted in society that boys rarely transition to manhood and when they do, babies push them back down the evolutionary ladder? Now to…Read More

How Technology is Changing Personal Finance

I was recently interviewed by the team at about my views on finances, money and how technology will change our perception of everything in this realm. Here’s the link:  Dave Taylor on How Technology is Changing Money Oh, and to whet your appetite, here’s one of the Q&A’s there: Do you think that banking apps are the real future of banking? How do you think these apps will change things in the next decade?…Read More

A Discussion on The Diversity of Fatherhood

We Dads are all the same, right? I mean, there’s not much diversity between us, we all have a wife who does much of the work of parenting while we work, hang out with our mates and watch football. Occasionally we interact with our spawn, but begrudge the experience. No? That seems to the prevalent view of TV script writers and commercial producers, at least. But it’s completely false. For every guy like that, there…Read More

Kids, Holidays and Sleep Schedules

I might quality as The Grinch for this one, but if there’s one thing that drives me crazy during vacations it’s when my children get so far off on their sleep schedule that they’re staying up until 11pm or midnight and then sleeping in until 10am or later. When they’re home from college, maybe, but tweens or teens sleeping in until 10am or later? I can’t condone that. As a result, my strategy to keep…Read More

Recitals and How to Get to Carnegie Hall…

You know the old joke, right? A stranger’s walking uptown in New York City and he stops an old man to ask for directions. Stranger: “Excuse me, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Old Man: “Practice, practice, practice!” That’s what I’ve been wanting to drum into the heads of my girls for the last few weeks as they have a cello duet that they’re playing at a recital tomorrow afternoon. It’s not a ridiculously…Read More

My guest stint on The Joel Comm Show

Live, recorded while I was visit Joel Sunday afternoon. If you want to skip forward, our interview starts at about 3:00min mark. We were originally just going to talk about monetization (the fancy word for “making money with your Web site”), but as we started the recording process, the topic expanded quite a bit. Joel and I have also known each other for many, many years, through the proverbial “thick and thin” of our lives,…Read More

Things aren’t looking good for our sons…

If you have an adolescent you get to see this tussle play out on a daily – often hourly – basis: the desire to be a cooperative and respectful child and the unconscious urge to do, to act, to behave in ways that are oft-inexplicable. Children commonly say “I dunno” when asked why they said or did a particular thing and they really don’t know, because many times the actions of an adolescent are impulsive…Read More

The Great Sleepover Adventure, Take XXI

I’ve hosted sleepovers before. With three kids who are all pretty social, it’s a given, actually, and I’m glad to say that our track record is a good one, with no trauma, no police, and no families blacklisting us. But this time the confluence of coincidence ended up where we were facing not one, not two, but three extra girls, making a total of five girls plus my son who would be spending the night…Read More

The pointlessness of “I can’t sleep.”

I don’t really understand the logic of this but my kids were home sick yesterday and while yesterday afternoon my son G- rallied and was feeling better, by last night he was descending into sickness again. He didn’t seem particularly sick at bed time and I was looking forward to a quiet evening with everyone else otherwise asleep. And to his credit, he did sleep for many hours into the night and it was a…Read More

Convincing my children that they’re not parents yet

I can remember all the classic books of my childhood seemed to have a consistent theme of children growing up quickly as they learned to deal with difficult situations and overcome hardships. A staple of literature, the “coming of age” story, and when the pioneer daughter had to take over the parenting, cooking and household operation at 14 or 15 because Ma had died from an Indian raid or influenza or something, that was gripping…Read More

Selective Memory: A Critical Parental Skill?

My kids are going through another tough phase and it’s affecting everyone. It doesn’t help that their Mom’s place was impacted by the recent floods and that Mom’s close to the end of her proverbial rope, but even without that, there are times that things are just tough with the gang, and it feels like that’s where we are as this new school year really spins up. And then there’s the impact that the flood…Read More

Home life during the BoulderFlood: Not so Good

If you’re paying any attention to the news, you are aware that Boulder, Colorado, where we live, has been hit by epic flooding, the result of over 14″ of rain in the previous 3-4 days. It’s unreal, with houses under water, roads closed, schools closed, and a palpable sense of fear hovering over the entire state of Colorado. Further away we see  pictures of towns like Greeley and Loveland, or, closer to home, Longmont and…Read More

Sometimes Parenting Sucks…

I admit, I try to put a good face on things. My dictum is from The Life of Brian: “Always look on the bright side of life.” I mean, when your friends ask “how ya doing?” or “how’s it going?” they don’t really want an exposition on the various challenges and troubles you face as a parent, as an adult, as a worker, as part of a family that might not always sail smoothly into…Read More

Promises, Promises, and the meaning of words

I was talking with another parent a few days ago and she mentioned that her children constantly use the line “but you promised” when she says that they can’t eat something, do something or go somewhere. She insisted that she had never promised anything but simply stated that the activity was a possibility. What they heard, however, was “I promise we’ll do this”. I laughed because my kids and I have the very same issue…Read More