Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

Pinterest & Teens: A “Good Thing”?

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I heard a sweet sound in the house over the past weekend I haven’t heard in a long time: the whirr of the sewing machine. A sewing machine, I might add, that I bought on a Black Friday years ago,
getting up at four in the morning for a “Door Buster Special”. My oldest daughter was 10 at the time, determined to become a fashion designer and learn how to sew, and I was determined to help foster that

Ah, my daughters and I were once such a crafty bunch.  I’m reminded of that a lot—in the garden, where stepping
stones the kids and I made (out of cement mix and pizza boxes) still mark a …

Humor, Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

The Last Official Day of Being a Kid

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Announced the other day by Emmie, the day before her 13th birthday: “Today is my last official day of
being a kid…that’s kind of sad.” I could have said something sage about how “13 is just a number” or “everyone should honor their ‘inner child’ no matter how old they get”, but I didn’t…I
didn’t want to minimize the wiseness of her observation, because it’s true in a way. Plus, the whole concept of a “last official day of being a kid” intrigued me… I thought back to what
I might have been doing on mine…was I dreading another awkward day of 7th grade? (Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I pulled up a ’74 calendar. The day before my
13th birthday was a weekday, a Friday.)  Was I lugging my snare drum case down the long flight of stairs to the jr. high band hall, trying not …

Kids and school, Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

Homecoming 101: Short Dresses and Stripper Poles

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Some words of advice for parents of high school girls who are going to Homecoming (and this probably
comes too late for most of you since we’re right in the middle of homecoming season): be prepared to spend a lot of time shopping for “just the right dress” if she’s going to the
Homecoming dance, since most of the dressy dresses that have been offered in retail stores for teenage girls over the past several years don’t pass dress code. In a school, that is. Or
probably by your own standards as well. But they’d fit right in at a “gentleman’s club”!

I remember being amazed two years ago during Allison’s freshman year how so many dresses she tried on were so short, they didn’t pass when she stood up straight, arms hanging down at her
sides to do the fingertip test– school dress code …

Babies, Raising Girls

Raising Girls Vs. Raising Boys: The Debate Continues

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Who’s easier to raise—a girl or a boy? The topic comes up often among parents. I remember a boy mom reacting with envy
when I told her how my baby girl would often wake up in the morning, sit quietly in her crib and play with books if I needed to take a shower before breakfast. “My boys would never let me do
that,” she said wistfully.
I remember when my daughters were preschoolers and I used to sit at the playground relaxing on a bench while they’d
be engrossed in playing in the sand with dolls or sliding down the slides. I’d feel sorry for the “boy moms”, who never seemed to have a moment’s rest—they couldn’t look away or sit down for two
seconds or their boy might be running away from the playground and down the street. “Aren’t you glad you don’t have boys!” we all-girl moms would say …

Humor, Kids and Media, Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

Bieber Fever Has Hit My House– Should We Be Quarantined?

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Not too long ago, as some of you will recall, I wrote about the phenomenon of teen idols, and how my older daughter,
like me, snubbed teen idols in the preteen and junior high years. I wrote that if she was truly like me, she was due to fall for one “at any minute”, since I had my first teen idol crush in high
school. But I really wasn’t taking my prediction too seriously. If I were a betting mom, I would have bet that Allison would never crush on any of the
faces gracing the current or future covers of “Bop” magazine. I would have bet that this strong-willed child would want to be different, and purposely hold her ground so as not
be a rabid fan of anyone that she’s told by the media that she needs to like. And I would have already lost that bet. Because, …

Being a Better Parent, Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

The Talk, The Film, and Teaching Kids About the Birds and the Bees

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As I got out my brand new 2011 calendar the other day and was going through the stacks of papers and emails in the “add
to calendar” files, I found one about “The Film”. You know, that film, the one on human growth and development that they show to kids in upper elementary grades (well, there’s one for
girls, and a different one for boys). Around here, there’s a film every year beginning in 4th grade and continuing thru 6th. The subjects …

Kids and school, Raising Girls, Raising Teenagers

The Passing Period: More Like A Passing Dash

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When parents have a bone to pick with a teacher or a school, it’s definitely a whole different ballgame than
everyday consumer complaints. Many things race through your head when trying to decide if you should speak out or not. Will the teacher take it out on my child in the classroom if I complain? Will
my complaint really make a difference? Will they laugh at me after I leave? You know there are those parents who are in the principal’s …

Raising Girls, Random Thoughts

When Mom Dresses Like A Teen

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I once bought jeans a few years ago from Limited, Too– for myself! No, I’m not a size zero.  Just a busy mom who never has time to shop for herself, yet gets dragged to the mall on numerous occasions by her oldest daughter so that she can shop. So there I was one day, bored, waiting while my then pre-teen daughter was trying on clothes (and I kept waiting….. and waiting…..) and sick of listening to the pounding pop beats played nonstop in that store, and I started thinking “outside the box”.  Hmmm, I …