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Helping Your Five-Year-Old Not Binge Drink

Helping Your Five-Year-Old Not Binge Drink“Are you guys hammered?” That was the comment my 14-year-old received on a social media site after he posted a short video of himself and three friends laughing and sumo-wrestling. Just a few months ago I reminded him that 7th and 8th grade is usually when some of the kids start drinking alcohol. Usually boys first. Usually hard alcohol stolen from parents’ liquor cabinets when the house is empty. Most often the “cool kids” looking for a thrill or the … [Read More...]

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Hey, Scary Mommy! Why So Scary?

Over the years I have come across a few of the blogs from the "Scary Mommy" blogosphere. They are usually real, raw, and humorous. Sure, they often contain superfluous expletives that I could live without, but often I enjoy the interesting content. I sometimes even nod in agreement…but not today.Today I need to push back on the blog titled, “I Refuse to Tolerate Backtalk and My Children Know It.” I need to push back because “not tolerating backtalk” is not the most effective way to actually STOP … [Read More...]

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Hey, Who’s in Charge Around Here Anyway?

 Anyone with kids has probably wondered, “Hey who’s really in charge around here anyway?” The answer to this question might surprise you:  Sometimes you have the power. But sometimes your child has it. The key is in discerning the difference.Now don't panic. I am not suggesting that parents defer to their kids. No. You have been placed in authority over them. Maintaining this authority is easiest, however, once you understand exactly where your authority is and where it is not.For example, if a … [Read More...]

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The Power of the Parent/Child Relationship

The Power of the Parent/Child Relationship     Our parenting is most effective when we parent through a positive relationship, with authority, 24/7. The foundation of this three part thesis is the positive parent-child relationship. This does not mean "friend." It means parent. Creating and maintaining a positive relationship with each of your children will make teaching (disciplining them) much easier. If the relationship is neglected, teaching and guiding them becomes frustrating, unpleasant, … [Read More...]

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The Realities of Almost Two Decades of Raising Four Boys

The following is a collection of almost two decades of the highlights and lowlights of raising four boys, born within five years. These memories have been hand picked to best represent the nuances of raising little boys, medium boys, and teen boys. (Plenty of opportunities below for Mommy Shaming, but refraining would allow those moms with “wild” little boys to feel less alone. )Things I heard:“Seriously, Mom? You don’t have a knife in your glove box?”“Can we pour lemonade in the (public) … [Read More...]

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Got Bored Kids? Great!

       Have you ever heard the repetitive mantra of, “I’m BORED!” (slight whine implied) at your house? Are you diligently preparing right now for a summer of possible boredom with camps, classes, and activities for your kids? Does their boredom become your problem? Do you fear their boredom?            Rather than fearing it or trying to eliminate it, celebrate boredom with your child. Why? Because if they are bored, it means that they are not among the 168 million children worldwide involved … [Read More...]

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Stop Teaching Your Teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”

 Stop Teaching Your Teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”     While I appreciate Nancy Reagan’s war on drugs slogan to teach kids to simply say, “No,” I would like to challenge the effectiveness of this slogan with teenagers. Yes, my ten-year-old might benefit from the simplicity of this statement (should he ever be offered drugs by his friends on the playground,) but my four teenagers need more.       You see, teens no longer accept everything that parents say as truth. And we don’t want … [Read More...]

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Top 8 Reasons Why My Teenagers Aren’t Wearing Their Winter Coats

Top 8 Reasons Why My Teenagers Aren’t Wearing Their Winter CoatsThey don’t want to. This is a good reason since they are becoming their own individual person who has unique likes and dislikes. Personally, I like wearing my winter coat.They don’t think they need it since they only go from the car/bus to the school and then from school to the car. This seems logical since they no longer have recess.Their sweatshirt is “fine.” It keeps them “warm enough.” Since I do not know their exact body … [Read More...]

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Attention Gift-Loving Grandparents…

Dear Well-Meaning Grandparents of the United States,                    For over a decade I have heard the laments of moms and dads across the country as they attempt to help their kids appreciate the material possessions they have. These parents don’t want to steal your joy from giving gifts when you visit or at Christmas and birthdays, but they do need your help.  These parents want their kids to be grateful. They want them to understand how much is enough. They want their kids to be content. … [Read More...]

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Warning: ISTEP Rant Ahead

Dear Indiana Department of Education,I received the letter that you sent last week with my two sons’ ISTEP access 16 digit codes. When I opened the letter, I had totally forgotten that we had never received the results. To be honest, I couldn’t even remember when they took these tests. I do remember that their teachers obsessed about it for months prior. I remember it lasted over a week and that my kids complained about them each day for being a waste of their time. I remembered that I fed them … [Read More...]