Being a Better Parent

Teaching Kids to “Respect Their Elders”– Is It A Lost Cause?

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Sorry for not writing for more than a few days, but I’ve been deep in
thought and research about a topic that I know is near and dear to many parents’ (and grandparents’) hearts, not to mention Aretha Franklin’s: Respect. It has occurred to me this fall that, among
the many values that Andy and I have actively tried to impart to our kids over the years, respect for adults has not been one of those we’ve worked especially hard at. Geesh,  do we have
to teach everything? Can’t some things just occur naturally?
Well, for our oldest, respect for adults pretty much did come naturally, with the exception of the adults known as her parents,
but hers is more of a “defying parents for the sake of defiance” issue rather than respect. As far as I know and have seen over these past (almost) 17 years of her life, she is

Humor

Button, Button, Who Wears “The Button”?

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Recently we officially became a “two-button” family– i.e. both of the kids are now in extracurricular activities which generate photo buttons
of their faces, for parents/grandparents to wear when attending those activities. The Mom version is usually blinged out with colorful ribbons, beads and plastic charms surrounding it and/or
hanging off the bottom; the Dad version is usually “just the photo”, to be more manly of course, so they’re more likely to wear it. But, sadly, my husband Andy is currently a no-button man
living in a two-button world.

I understand his reasons completely, mainly not wanting to buy into every “parent pride” merchandising opportunity that comes along, like yard signs (got ’em), expensive ads in printed programs
(“You go girl!! We love you SOOOOOO much!!”) and personalized car decals (got those, too, although Allison is still too embarrassed by our vehicles to allow us to …

Humor

Just Chequing Things Out…

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I’m out of checks (or as you Brits spell it, cheques). Yes, I ignored the “TIME TO
REORDER” warning sheet at the top of the very last bunch and here I am, nary a check in sight. I keep writing “Order Checks!!!” on my To Do lists and it’s not getting done—but I better do it now
because I’m tired of going to the bank for cash, and hubby has started having to write a few from his own account—and I know he might have heart trouble if he sees just how many checks have to be
written from the joint account each week.

And so, since I’m one of the “lucky” ones whose bank lets them order any kind of color and style and design they’d like, I
thought this time I would finally chose something “different”. I mean, writing checks is boring and never-ending, …

Being a Better Parent

It’s Cold Here Out On This Limb…

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I have a friend who raised her daughter with the philosophy of never saying no, of never having her be upset for too long, of always giving her
what she wanted, no matter how crazy the request or how far the parents would have to bend over backwards to grant it.   It didn’t matter if they hurt themselves while bending
over—whatever she wanted, she got.   “I don’t like hearing the crying and carrying on,” my friend told me.   “It’s so much easier this
way.”  Hah, I thought to myself, easier now, but just wait ‘til later. I imagined the girl as an incorrigible, unpleasant diva as an adult.  

Well, “later” is here– she’s an adult now, and as far as I can see, she’s  a nice, intelligent college graduate who lives on her own;  a law-abiding,
church-going, tax-paying citizen with a good job and …

Kids and Media

Parents Who Shrouded 9/11: Is It Time to Lift the Veil?

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On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was standing in our hallway bathroom, staring at a wall, when the phone rang.   It
probably took me a few rings to snap out of my trance—after all, bathroom remodeling is serious business.   But after I answered the phone, deciding on paint color and tile
didn’t seem so important anymore.   It was Andy calling from work, telling me to turn on the TV and see the events unfolding over 1,500 miles away.   I put
down my tape measure and watched in horror.   It was so unbelievable, at times I felt as if I was watching a twisted episode of Batman where the villains were winning,
 in an over-the-top, diabolical way, using only a few people and a few box cutters.   The atrocities kept happening, and somewhere, you just knew

Humor

Musings on “Meet the Teacher”

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Around here, late August not only
means The First Day of School but also very soon after, “Meet the Teacher” night. Growing up, I remember we had “Open House” in the middle of the semester, so we could show off our work to
our parents and introduce our teachers (if they hadn’t already met them by then) but I don’t ever recall anything like this:  About a week or even a few days after school starts, parents of
elementary and secondary students get to “walk their child’s schedule”, without the child present, visiting each classroom via a “special bell schedule” and sitting
in class while hearing a brief presentation from the teacher. Each presentation takes only about 10-12 minutes, and you have five minutes between them, so you may or may not get to personally meet
the teacher on Meet the Teacher night …