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 …

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 …

Raising Teenagers

Working to Drive

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Nothing like starting off the new year running. Not me, I mean my minivan. It’s still going, at
just under 200,000 miles– and it’s about to be driven by my daughter Allison. Yesterday I finally signed her up for online driving instruction, and after she completes the first six hours, she can
get a learner’s permit and start “practice driving”, with Andy or I next to her. Parent Taught Driver’s Ed, that’s what we’re doing, and I actually can’t wait to get started.  Because each hour

Humor, Raising Teenagers

Dude is the new Yes

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News Flash to all Uncool Parents (and those on the verge): When you say something to your teen and they answer back with
“Dude!”, don’t get upset—get excited. It means—and don’t faint—that they are AGREEING with you! No kidding! And it’s becoming widespread, so no doubt Webster’s will be putting it right up there
with “bromance” and “frenemy” in the very near future.

I’ve noticed it in Allison’s speech over the last couple of months but …

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 …

Being a Better Parent, Humor, Raising Teenagers

Communication Breakdown? Start Writing…

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I’ve been thinking that the joke about “people texting each other inside the same house” might not be such a
bad idea. Or carrying around a white board. Or sticking notes in lunch bags. According to a study released last week from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 1 in 5 teens now has at
least a slight hearing loss, due possibly to iPod volume. The study, conducted with almost 5,000 kids, showed slight hearing loss increasing in the past 15 years, …

Raising Teenagers

Table for Five

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I’ve written about surprises before—how parents of teens are often faced with “surprise” dilemmas, constantly having to make judgment calls about things they’ve never experienced before. The first
few days with our 16-year-old foreign exchange student, Cleo, have been filled with surprises, too—only the good kind. Gifts? Yes, she brought …