10 Ways to Prepare Your College Freshman

How to prepare your college freshman for school

Sending a child to college is a monumental marker, like starting Kindergarten. Nothing quiet prepares a parent for the first, second, or youngest child to embark on this new beginning. A few tips can help the transition, both for parents and child. Find out what really is needed for college life on your child’s campus. Dorm life varies significantly between colleges. … [Read more...]

The Best Advice I Ever Got About Parenting a Teenager

the best advice I ever got for parenting a teenager

Do you remember being mad at your parents when you were a teenager? Do you remember saying to yourself, “if I ever have kids I will never be as mean/useless/irrational as my stupid mom/dad is”? I sure do. And I was serious about it; I started reading parenting books when I was a 15 year-old babysitter, a full ten years before my son was born.  The research continues to this … [Read more...]

How a Blunt Soccer Mom’s Advice Lead to the Smartest Decisions I Ever Made

The truth about having three kids

The Third Baby Then…And Now When I was pregnant with my third child, a stranger walked up to me on the soccer field and gave me the most compassionate, rudest, wisest advice I’ve ever received. She said, “I’m going to tell you something nobody else will tell you. Having a third child changes EVERYTHING. You’re going to have to get a new car, a new house, and people will stop … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why My Son Will Hate Middle School

why-my-son-will-hate-middle-school

Somehow my son graduated 5th grade last month. He is an official middle schooler and will head off to Jr High in the fall. At some point someone broke into our house, stole my baby boy and replaced him with a young man who reeks of B.O and makes fart jokes. I honestly never thought I would see the day where I would be the parent of functioning humans called middle … [Read more...]

Mothers and Moving and Making it Home

Mothers, Moving and making it home

My youngest daughter Hannah, who is just finishing her sophomore year, is moving out of her college dorm and into an off-campus apartment. She’s going to be sharing this new place with two roommates, but both of them have been studying abroad this semester, and therefore aren’t in town right now. So, she’s been left on her own to find the apartment for the three of them, … [Read more...]

10 Things Your Growing Son Needs From His Mom

10-things-your-growing-son-needs

The World of Sons I was raised in a family of girls, so the world of boys is an ongoing mystery to me. I always thought I would have all girls since my mom also cam from a family of girls. I realize that my family of origin and my mom’s family of origin really has nothing to do with whether I have boys or girls, but it was still a natural assumption of mine. When I … [Read more...]

To My Daughter on Her 10th Birthday

To My Daughter on Her 10th Birthday

This morning I am making you a cake, per your request like I do every year. This time you asked for something so simple, I almost prod you for more. How about raspberry jam filling? Chocolate shavings? Rainbow layers? But no, all you want is a lemon cake, leaving the icing up to me. You give me that closed mouth smile that means you’re happy but a little hesitant, like you’re … [Read more...]

How Does it Feel When Your Oldest Child Graduates from High School?

when your baby graduates high school

I have friends who have kids older than mine, heck even Karol's kids are older than mine.  Her kids graduated in 2011 and 2013.  I didn't attend Katarina's graduation, but I went to Brandon's.  I cried.  I cheered, I got emotional.  I was so happy for him, but in my experience there is a slight difference between the love for bio kids and step kids (at least in my experience), … [Read more...]

6 Tips to Balancing Family Connection and Fun Screen Time

6 ways to unplug and connect this summer

Oh Delicious Summertime Remember last summer? You started out strong with fantasies straight from your ‘80’s memories of yummy giggling connection, nourishing sunshine, fresh fruit, and dusty barefoot tree climbing. But then there were closets to sort, kids to feed, and socks to wash . . . Everybody kind of drifted off, positioning themselves in front of their screens. When … [Read more...]

The Passenger’s Seat

when you're in the passenger seat with your teen

I pulled into the rocky driveway of the boys' school and waited a minute or two before I saw them bounding down the back ramp to enter the minivan so we could make our way home.  Their teacher smiled and motioned for me to roll down the window as she followed them, so we chatted for a few minutes and I had my back turned from what was going on as the kids entered the van. We … [Read more...]

I Can’t Complain, But Sometimes I Still Do

the joe walsh school of parenting

“I Can’t Complain, But Sometimes I Still Do” (Me And Joe Walsh) If you get a few minutes between your busy life and your dedicated blog-reading, you should check out the CDC’s 511 page report on the state of Americans’ health. There’s no telling how much this research cost taxpayers, so we owe it to ourselves to give it a look. If the fact that you funded this report isn’t … [Read more...]

Tips For Having The “Other Talk” With Your Daughter

having-the-other-talk

When I was about twenty weeks into my third pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed that we would soon be welcoming our third daughter. As we drove home and let the information sink in, I had this conversation with my husband. Husband: "When you shared that apartment in college with three other girls, didn't you all end up on the same menstrual cycle? Doesn't that happen when a … [Read more...]

When Your Son Comes Home with a Green Mohican

embracing your teens colorful side

When your son comes home with a green Mohican you think 'What the f**k!" whilst saying "Wow, that's a surprise, what's going on?" When your son comes home with a green Mohican you wonder whether the Alzheimer's has kicked in early and you missed the fact that it's Halloween. When your son comes home with a green Mohican you want to murder the predatory alien who kidnapped … [Read more...]

Trust Your Parenting Decisions

trusting-your-parenting-instincts

As we get closer to summertime, I am seeing more posts on social media and blog posts about what to do with the kids over the summer.  Some parents put them in day camp, some parents leave them home, some parents have friends watch them, some parents have no idea what to do..... And, unfortunately, when I hear parents talk about what they are doing with their kids, be it … [Read more...]

12 Things Your Son Needs You to Understand About Him

12 things your son needs you to know about him

I wrote about teen girls before, so it’s time to give boys their turn. I was raised in a family of all girls, and other than one family, I think I only babysat for girls, too. When I found out I was expecting my first son, I will admit that I was scared. I didn’t know the first thing about boys, and I am glad we found out at the ultrasound since I needed the four months … [Read more...]

“Take The Money And Run!” (Me and The Steve Miller Band)

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One of the most perplexing things for me when I was a new mother, was when people told me, "Trust your instincts!" I often wondered, 'If I have a feeling of foreboding, is that my gut telling me there really is something wrong?' When you're inclined to worry about everything, it's very hard to distinguish the difference and follow your instincts Thankfully, the further down … [Read more...]

The Cricket and the Starfish

The Cricket and the Starfish

The Cricket and the Starfish When my kids were little, we did all sorts of silly things for fun.  Truth be told, I’m a kid at heart myself, so finding fun ways to see the world and make young children smile has always been very easy for me. They’re only 11 and 14 now, but they’re also much older than you might expect kids their ages to be.  We’re still a goofy lot…  … [Read more...]

Planning a Vacation with Teenagers

how to plan a vacation with teens

Teens and Vacation “Can I bring my Nintendo?” This was my then-14-year-old son’s first question when we announced that we were taking a trip to Malawi, East Africa. Traveling with teenagers is a completely different experience than traveling with children. Sometimes they seem like a whole different species. Yet you undoubtedly love your own teenager, warts and all—or … [Read more...]

10 Things to Know about Parenting Girls

raising teen girls

I was Christmas shopping for my sons at an outlet mall. I have two teen boys and a college-man coed. My store options were Adidas, Under Armour, Nike, and other jock retails. After the first round of purchasing basketball shorts and swoosh t-shirts, I was bored. I slipped into a co-ed fashion shop, gravitating towards things pink and fun. My mind quickly flashed-back ten … [Read more...]

How to Raise a Motivated Child

how to raise a motivated child

I feel one of the most important things we can do for our children is to teach them to develop their own internal sense of motivation. Sure we can impose consequences or correction while they are in our homes to keep them on track, but what about after they leave our homes? Don’t we want them to be hardworking adults who can achieve greatness? Their own personal sense of … [Read more...]