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From Babies to Buddies

The time to become friends with your kids is after they leave the nest.

It seems like just a short while ago, we found out we were expecting a baby. Igniting our will to give him or her every opportunity imaginable. We would build a fortress to protect our baby from harm, disappointment, and all of the tough challenges we knew he or she would have to face in this world.

I spent plenty of time envisioning the kind of mom I wanted to be. The one whose children would come talk to her about anything. One of those cool moms. The best friend kind that always shows tolerance and understanding.

I wanted our house to be the “go to” shelter. With an awesome basement and super cool parents, surely all the kids would want to hang out at our house. That way I could insure their safety and be a part of things.

It didn’t take me long to switch the channel from Leave it to Beaver to Gilligan’s Island, where survival depended more on leadership and compromise than popularity. Read more

Spare the Hammer But Not the Wrench

Spanking should be abolished entirely.

I was spanked as a kid. I guess I turned out ok.

Think you needed a good whippin’ to learn your lessons when you were little? I imagine a lot of heads shaking with a “Yes, ma’am”. There’s a good chance you “Yes, ma’am’ers” believe your children deserve the same. Read more

Should You Workout on Vacation?

It's up to the parents to make fitness a family affair.

A recent trip to Austin, Texas to celebrate our daughter’s 21st birthday included a few family style workouts. Including exercise when you’re away from your normal environment and routine is a challenge for even the most steadfast athletes.

Consider these 5 FIT tips when vacationing with the whole clan. Read more

Love Notes

A love note is the perfect way to communicate affection.

My first love note was in 5th grade. I can remember the thrill of reading a few words on wide-lined notebook paper. As good as it gets.

Have love notes been replaced with texting (sexting)? Hopefully not. Love notes can send a powerful message to those you love because they meet a basic human need.

The need to be appreciated. 

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My Kid Made a Bad Choice So How Come I’m Punished?

You can create consequences for misbehavior that don't penalize yourself.

Parents resort to physical punishment of children because they don’t know alternatives that really work. No doubt, you need to have a plan of action ready.

Effective parenting requires consequences that fit the crime. Not consequences that make you suffer.

Here are 4 tips that insure you’re not the one feeling the pain of your child’s mistake. Read more

Parents Need To “Shape” Up

Invert the triangle and you'll be headed in the right direction.

If a parenting manual came with every newborn, I’m not sure it would be that helpful. Written directions telling me how to raise the perfect kid. Heck, I don’t have enough patience to read directions on a help screen! I’m more of a “click it until I get it” kinda gal. I always find exceptions in instructions, something missing, or “I already made the wrong turn so what do I do now?!”

Some of us need cause and effect scenarios in plain sight. Kids are perfect teachers. Their feedback is instant, in your face, relentless and uncensored.

I prefer to talk guidelines and strategies when it comes to raising our offspring. Leaves you room for interpretation and adaptation. Every family is unique. Every child is different. But we all want them out of diapers and paying their own bills eventually.

Here’s a principle that may help you transition from wiping snotty noses to handing over car keys. Read more

Under the Mask

A Dedication to Father's Everywhere

Under the mask is a first time Dad holding a newborn wondering how he is going to be a good enough father.

Under the mask is a single Dad trying to figure out what a Mom would do in this situation.

Under the mask is a devoted father praying his little leaguer hits the ball so he won’t have to convince him he’s still a winner.

Under the mask is a strong man in uniform, filthy from dirt and sweat, yearning desperately to see his family again.

Under the mask is a jobless father in despair telling his family it will be alright and things will come around real soon.

Under the mask is a salesman worn out from working under the pressure of a monolith when his wife and kids just want him home.

Under the mask is a distraught father comforting his broken-hearted daughter telling her the boy didn’t deserve her anyway.

Let’s face it. We appreciate our Dad’s masks.

This certainty that they will be there to lean on, to look up to.

        This knowing that they will remain strong when we fall apart.

This faith that they’ll throw the rescue line when we’ve fallen too far.

        This expectation that they have the map if we just follow their directions.

This belief that when we don’t feel good enough, we’re good enough for them.

To all the Dad’s out there, Thank You.  You matter.  A lot.

You are our anchor that only lets us drift so far.

"Fatherhood doesn't build character. It reveals it." Skitz

Get Kids To Do What You Want Without A Battle

A little research project turned out to be a huge parenting lesson.

When one of my children did well or poorly on a school assignment, I could tell the minute I looked at the paper before I knew the grade. When the paper was neat, the grade was good. When the paper was messy, the grade was not what they had hoped for. So I began my very own research project.

I even had a hypothesis. The results taught me more than I bargained for.
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Sid’s Sense- Money Matters

Make it, save it, and spend it wisely.

View previous posts in this series, Sid’s Sense.

My grandfather, Sid’s father, had Alzheimer’s. My father barely attended law school because of his ill father. He was an only child and his mother needed help. After he died, my father and grandmother needed a way to make money so my grandmother used her skills in the kitchen to run a restaurant and later own a boarding house for boys. As many people do, Sid learned about money by not having any.

As you know, schools would rather teach us about “x’s” and “y’s” than “dollars” and “cents.” In my home, we talked and learned about money. Here are a few money lessons that most impacted my life. Read more

Training The Unchaperoned Mind

The number one lesson to teach your kids.

If I had to narrow down just ONE piece of advice for raising responsible children, this would be it. Read more