Checkpoints and Boundaries

I had lunch with some good friends today and as fellow parents, the conversation turned at one point to the importance of children having boundaries in their lives. Turns out that it’s something I feel quite strongly about and, I recall, our inability to agree on those boundaries was a constant point of contention when I was married too. After lunch I drove up from San Diego to Laguna Beach, which meant that I had…Read More

Sneaky tricks supermarkets use to make us spend more…

I don’t usually just repost press reelases that come into my mailbox (though I sure get a lot of them) but this one piqued my interest and I thought you might enjoy it too, dear reader. It’s from Andrea Woroch who is apparently a nationally recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. Do I recognize her name? No. But perhaps you do. 🙂 Still, interesting information… 1. Super sized often proves undervalue. Bigger isn’t…Read More

The Difference In How Boys and Girls Think

This is a guest post from mommy blogger and author Vanessa Van Petten. My brother and I could not have been more different. As a saggy jean wearing, sport-playing guy his needs, wants and worries seemed totally different than mine. In my book, Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded? I address some of the major differences between boys and girls, including the differences I always perceived between my brother and I….Read More

When did I become so slovenly?

I was talking with a good friend a few days ago, she’d just come back from ten days in Paris (yeah, she has a tough life. Then again, she’s a single Mom to three, the oldest of whom is 5, so it’s not an easy journey either) and she commented that she had to “up her game” while she was there because everyone dresses more nicely than here in Colorado. “I really liked the skinny…Read More

Parenting and social media = lots of missed parties

Before the advent of social media, and particularly geolocation checkin games like Foursquare, it was easy for us parents to sit in blissful ignorance of what was going on around us later in the evening and even into the wee hours of the morning. Become a single parent, get some time off each week, and it’s like a ton of bricks: there’s a world out there after 7pm and it’s full of interesting people! Amazing!…Read More

How much do you pay for birthday presents?

It was a journalist’s query on a media list I’m on that spawned this question, but they wanted to know whether “the amount you feel obligated to spend on preschool/elementary age birthday presents for your kids’ friends started to rise?” It’s an interesting question because with three kids, well, there are a lot of birthday parties throughout the year. In fact, with average classes of 25 kids, that’s basically a birthday every 5 days or…Read More

Parenting in the Digital Age

Just a heads up that my article Digital Parenting in the 21st Century has been published at the Huffington Post. In it I observe: “The forces of the online world are winning and it’s getting harder and harder for us parents to control when, how and for how long our children go online. And that’s a problem. Maybe it’s just me, though. Perhaps I am one of a small percentage of parents who believes that…Read More

How to teach kids not to interrupt?

My kids are fabulous. Yours are too, I bet. But let’s be candid, they have some habits that are a bit annoying — or drive you completely daft! — and it’d be nice to have a way to teach them to grow beyond those behaviors. With my kids the habit that’s driving me a bit nutty is that they interrupt when someone else is talking. Sometimes they interrupt each other, but often they interrupt me….Read More

The challenge of doing the right thing…

Based on my own experience, along with much of what I’ve read in the last few decades, it’s clear to me that one of the greatest challenges we face in life is how to know if you’re doing the right thing at a given moment or not. What does “the right thing” even mean? It’s something that’s baffled people for a long time and is the basis of many philosophies, religions and codes of conduct….Read More

Should you allow your older child to crawl into your bed at night?

A reader writes in a surprisingly common question about co-sleeping: “I’m curious as to what your opinion is on the subject of co-sleeping. I raised my 9 year old on attachment parenting since he was an infant, and will occassionally find him in my bed in the morning. It doesnt happen very often, however my ex’s fiance who was raised in a very non affectionate household seems to think that this is very unhealthy. My…Read More

Parenting as we wished our parents had done

I was chatting with a friend last night and the conversation shifted into how we are with children versus how our parents were with us when we were kids. It struck me that I make decisions on how to father my children with that very idea in mind: when my son wants to do something that’s out of my comfort range, do I say “yes” or “no”, and why? There’s a deeper thought underlying this…Read More

My son is finally having a deep night’s sleep

My son and younger daughter are with me for a few weeks while their Mom travels with our oldest, and it’s been an interesting time. They’re fabulous and terrific company – as always – but my son’s sleep patterns have been increasingly affected by allergies, to the point where we had four nights in a row where he didn’t get to sleep until after 10pm. Not good when we’re trying to get to school and…Read More

Is Attachment Parenting relevant as kids grow up?

I was reading through the great material available at Attachment Parenting International, the “parent’ corporation (or, perhaps better, “mother ship”) for those of us that follow intentional or attachment parenting, and was struck at how few of the Eight Core Principles of Attachment Parenting are relevant once your joyous little bundle grows up and isn’t a little baby any more. To wit, the eight rules are: Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting. Feed with love…Read More

Sleepovers: our place or theirs?

Had an interesting experience last weekend with my 13yo daughter, A-. All day she’d been talking about having her pal over to our place for a sleepover, and her friend had joined us for the day’s activities (she’s a delightful addition to the family and always welcome). Late afternoon we talked about how we were one bed mattress short for things to work: We have three mattresses and one air mattress but adding her would…Read More

Standards of Positive Sportsmanship

My 12yo A- is now part of the school volleyball team, which is awesome. What’s not so awesome, however, is that there are apparently a lot of parents who have no idea how to be supportive of their children in competitive sports and we get to live with these idiots at almost every game. Our coach sent out an email message about his rules for positive sportsmanship and suggested conduct at a game, and with…Read More

Win some free Bach “Daydream Remedy”

I’ve been parenting, non-stop, for almost thirteen years now, first with one, then two, and now three wee folk who live emotionally complex lives in their little bodies. It’s been a challenge because Linda and I have always tried to minimize the allopathic drugs we’ve used and continued to try alternative remedies. One of my mainstays has always been “Rescue Remedy”, whether it’s for myself, to chill out or smooth out an emotional wave, or…Read More

Riding out the waves of a bad mood…

I imagine I’m not alone in having children who seem to have waves of emotions flowing through them, sometimes without any external events triggering the change from one emotional state to another? If your kid suddenly gets gloomy or mad, then a few minutes later is all sunny and happy again, seemingly without anything causing the change, you know what I mean.Read More

How do you deal with aging, sick dogs?

We’re a bit stuck on this issue so I’m turning to the blogosphere for advice: we have two old dogs that we’ve had for many, many years, since we got them as 10 week old puppies from a breeder. They’re both standard poodles, smart, funny dogs, but they’re also both old now, about 13 or so. The problem is that their health is failing. One of them is basically blind and half-deaf, has arthritis and…Read More

Why We Don’t Hit Our Kids

I don’t recall ever being hit when I was a child, and I know that Linda was never hit or spanked as a child either. For us, the very idea of hitting a child has a sense of wrongness, of unfairly taking advantage of our physical superiority. As a result, one of the tenets of how we’re raising our three children is no hitting. Now I’ll be candid, because not hitting them doesn’t mean that…Read More