Appreciating Mommy, Domestic Engineering, Great Parenting Tools, Raising Teenagers

WAHM on the Run: My New Approach to Ending Arguments and Getting Older Kids to Be More Responsible

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Moms (or Dads) of teens (and other kids that
try their patience) need a place they can retreat to, at a moment’s notice, to get away from them. To think before flying too far off the handle. To de-escalate a situation, eliminate whining
and cut the exchange of words short, with the promise of discussion at a calmer time. To be alone in order to come up with really good consequences for certain behavior rather than
“grounding them from everything for life” in the heat of the moment. In other words, when the kids are too old to “go to their rooms” for a time out, you need to go to yours. Or take a walk
outside. Just get away… only, sometimes that’s not so fun to go to …

Being a Better Parent, Great Parenting Tools

The Unbearable Lateness of Being: Breaking the Tardy Habit

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I’ll never forget it. I was in first grade, and it was the last day of school. My teacher, Mrs. Cook, was wrapping things up for the day and passing out things for us to take home, like art projects, old papers, etc. “I’m going to pass out the attendance cards for you to take home to your parents,” she announced. “Some of you have no tardies, and some of you have a few. SOMEbody in here has been late in arriving to class TWENTY-ONE times! Can you believe it?” We all dropped our jaws. We couldn’t imagine who that was. After the white, 3 x 5 cards were distributed, I looked at mine. In the blank next to the word “Tardies” was a penciled “21”.

Being a Better Parent, Great Parenting Tools, Raising Teenagers, Siblings

When Kids Steal

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One day last week after I picked up Emmie from school, while concentrating on navigating the aravan out of
the parking lot and keeping with the school zone speed limit out on the street, I caught the words “hundred dollar bill” as she chattered about her day. It took me a few seconds for it to
fully register on my brain. “Wait a minute—back up,” I said. “What did you say?”

“Frankie gave me a hundred dollar bill today,” she said. Of course I’m thinking it was one of those fake bills, like the
old $3 bill with Bill Clinton on it, but I asked to see it anyway. She passed it up to me, and I almost pulled the car over. It looked, smelled and felt like a real hundred dollar bill (not that I
handle a lot of those on a regular basis, but this was definitely not something out of a Monopoly …

Giving Kids Some Freedoms, Great Parenting Tools

A Good Alternative to Preteen Cell Phones

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Just wanted to put in a plug for something we’ve used when our kids get to that age when you really don’t want them to have a cell phone, yet
they need to be in communication with you: good ‘ol walkie talkies.   Not the nerdy, bulky walkie talkies of yesterday– today’s two-way radio can fit in the palm of your
hand, and your child’s (and some can clip on bike handlebars, belt loops, etc.).

For as little as $20 a pair, you can give your child some of the freedom that comes with a cell phone, but you don’t have all the “baggage” that comes
with one (the cost of the phone, “the plan”, possible higher phone bills, texting, games, etc.)  It’s a great after-school communications tool–  when we plan
ahead, my 12-year-old and I both turn on our …

Great Parenting Tools, Kids and school

“I’ll Do My Homework Later”: Helping Kids Battle Procrastination

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It’s tough sometimes being an anti-helicopter parent, who seeks to help their children learn life lessons by not jumping in and taking over
everything.   It’s like standing by and watching a train wreck, after you’ve warned the engineer several times of danger ahead.   To borrow again from the
train metaphor, lately our house is like “Procrastination Station”, and even though I keep warning my kids, the trains keep wrecking.  

“Emmie, …

Great Parenting Tools, Humor

The Parental Power in Being a Bookworm

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You’ve heard that some people become a better parent by reading parenting books, but here’s another
thought—have you ever considered that reading any book (or magazine or newspaper) helps with parenting? No, I’m not talking about the old adage, “Be a reader and your kids will be one, too”
although I think that’s true.   I’m talking about the fact that being “into” reading can help you calmly get through some “trying” times that would make
some Moms …