Did We Love Too Much or Not Enough?

depressed-girl

Exhaustion, deep utter exhaustion, hit me like bricks tumbling off a truck. I am ready for bed. My teeth brushed, my face washed, I ignore the book on the nightstand and click off the light. “Good night, honey.” “Good night, my love.” Within seconds sleep took my body. The dream settled upon me like darkness at the day’s end. Without warning I was transported to a place I … [Read more...]

Educate and Learn Through Free Time

finding life lessons in free time

Turning Free Time into a Chance to Learn I still remember that day before Christmas, when I was a little girl, sitting down and writing my christmas letter, in which all I wished for was the largest lunchbox that Santa could find, filled with little plastic animals, specifically farm animals… horses, cows, pigs, sheep, anything except chickens (I’ve never liked feathered … [Read more...]

Your Teen Driver Won’t Drive Better Until You Do

helping-your-teen-drive-better

How Can You Help Your Teen Driver Succeed? Our oldest daughter turned 16 last month and if all goes well, she'll get her license next month. Am I nervous? Sure. Can she do it? Absolutely. I know it's hard to watch your baby get behind the wheel of your car but parents, you have to shake it off and get this right. So, what can you do to help your teen driver? I have a few … [Read more...]

5 Tips For Choosing Battles Well

Well

Choose your battles well.. This would be the single piece of advice I'd give to parents of teens and tweens. As a counselor, teacher, and parent, it's brought sanity to otherwise overwhelming circumstances. I wished I learned it earlier. Instead, I learned it the hard way. I'll be honest - I was over-bearing and reactionary when my older children were young. I was so … [Read more...]

Open-Ended Questions versus Cross Examination Which is the Best Approach?

asking cross examination questions instead of open ended one

Experts recommend asking open-ended questions to stimulate conversation with your kids. The idea is to give your children the space to think, be themselves, and answer of their own accord. Here is a real-life example of a conversation using the open-ended method: How was school today, son? Good. What happened? Nothing. When it comes to recalcitrant teens, experts allow, … [Read more...]

20 Great Tips For Dropping Off Your Child At College (Without Losing Your Mind)

how to drop your kid off at school

Dropping your child off at college is one of the biggest milestones of your child’s life and a parent’s day of reckoning –having to let your child go. It’s a day filled with great anticipation, emotion, mixed feelings, and, of course, stress. And it’s your job to make sure it goes smoothly. The key to making move-in day successful lies in being prepared and remaining … [Read more...]

Hot Tempers: Why You and Your Teen Both Lose When You “Lose It”

what anger does to your teen

Raising teenagers is challenging, and sometimes we may simply "lose it": our temper, our equanimity, our self-control, and even our good sense. However, yelling, crying, and carrying on is bound to make whatever interaction you are having with your teenager even worse. Although our intention may be to get our point, and our anger, across to them, this is not really what … [Read more...]

Menopause & Driver’s Training Don’t Mix!

drivers ed and menopause

I am teaching my 16-year-old daughter how to drive. She’d prefer I don’t speak of our experience with anyone she knows. You’re not acquainted with my daughter, but if she happens to run into you (Don’t worry — I mean like on foot, let’s say in a store or a restaurant!) please immediately state the following, “Hi! I don’t know anything about any smashed-in parking attendant … [Read more...]

Failure: The Upside of Letting Your Kids Fail

failing isn't always failure

Many parents today are putting in overtime hours to make sure their teenager never experiences academic failure, but to what end? Exhausted working parents are running around Staples late at night grabbing poster board and glue stick for a forgotten project, or spending hours trying to squeeze the best possible homework out of their child. Moms and dads are allowing for … [Read more...]

Is Your Credit Karma Good or Evil?

hows your credit karma?

I received my first credit card at age 22 and it's been downhill ever since. Somehow I thought having a credit card meant I got to pay it back whenever I so desired. Thus began my life long battle with finances. I will always curse the day that Macy's employee handed me my first shiny new card as I purchased a waffle iron for a wedding gift. I was no longer a credit virgin. I … [Read more...]

What I Found Under My Teenage Son’s Pillow

I'm convinced nothing really surprises me anymore having three boys, ages 17, 4 1/2 and 4 1/2 - (yep twins!).   I live in a house that reeks of testosterone.  It's like a thick (think Pig Pen from Charlie Brown) cloud surrounding my home.  There is a lot of sweat, dirt, fistfights (just my 4 year olds against each other, and nothing interesting, like in a ring for bets or … [Read more...]

What Happens After You Say “No” to Your Teenager?

what happens when you have to say no to a teenager

So, you just told your child they can't do something. Maybe you said no to a concert, a movie date with a young driver, or a gathering with no adult supervision. What happens next? Does your child storm out of the room fuming under their breath? Sulk for an entire evening? Slam their door on the way into their room? All of these possibilities are disruptive and unsettling to a … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Raising Kids in The Age Of Entitlement

entitled kids

The age of entitlement’s been around for a while. As a former teacher and current counselor in public schools, I’ve observed privileged teens over the last three decades, beginning with kids raised in an American economy of plenty. Not only do modern kids receive excessive material items, they get trophies just for being on a team, and expect A’s for minimal work. Raising … [Read more...]

The Dad of a Daughter

The Dad of a Daughter

The Dad of a Daughter   Being a Father is an amazing privilege.  Fatherhood comes in all shapes and sizes;  some Dads have many boys, some many girls, some a few of each, and some have just a single boy or girl to call their own.  By chance, I happen to be blessed with one of each.  While I do raise them with essentially the same parenting plan, there are differences between … [Read more...]

Tips for Dealing with Teenage Rebellion

Dealing with teenage rebellion

Puberty is something that almost always causes plenty of waves to go through the life of any given family. Although it may not seem like it, teenage rebellion has always been here in one form of another and it really is a natural process that one cannot completely prevent. However, responsible parents nevertheless need to know how to respond to their children’s rebellions and … [Read more...]

You Haven’t Lived Until You’ve Traveled With Teenagers

traveling-at-christmas

It's hard to complain about anything when you've been able to take a few days off and escape with the family to a semi-abandoned timeshare in the land of over-landscaped golf courses.  That said there's something very un-relaxing about spending those days ferrying around three teenagers who can't be bothered to see where they're going because they're sending text message number … [Read more...]

When Parents Are Full of $h*t

when parents are full of crap

Yes.. Sometimes Parents ARE Full of $h*t The two oldest of our three kids will be heading to NC State in a few weeks, our oldest for his sophomore year (transferring from UNC Charlotte) and our middle child for her freshman year. Our son has already changed his major from business to a biology-chemistry double major. Our daughter is in First Year College and as of right now is … [Read more...]

Waterfall Problems

Waterfall Problems   Not too long ago, my Little Lady said something really funny about my rough edges.  I was explaining to her friend that the little lady makes me a better man by rounding off my rough edges, to which my little lady added, “Yes.  I’m the waterfall to his rocks.  And it’s taking SO.  Freaking.  Longggg!!!”  She was just teasing me in good fun, although … [Read more...]

Oh Christmas TeePee

Christmas TeePee

Oh Christmas TeePee  If all goes as planned, as of course it always does here, this year I’m going to write a little ditty about each of our Holiday jaunts and favorite places to visit here in the Triad!  The first is right in our own back yard. (This is going to zigzag a lot.  Buckle your seatbelt.) We have a very wise old dog here.  His name is Willie Wonka.  He’s a … [Read more...]

I am a Metal Mom – Not a Soccer Mom

I'm a heavy metal mom not a soccer mom

When we first moved here to Wisteria Lane, I knew we didn’t fit in. (Let me clarify, we don’t actually live on Wisteria Lane.) We live in a cookie cutter subdivision where everyone has 2.5 children, a dog, and a vehicle with third row seating. Sure, everyone said hello when we moved in. It’s not like they stood around making the sign of the cross and hissing. They asked us … [Read more...]