Category - Parenting

1
How Much Allowance Should I Give My Kids?
2
When Parents Behave Badly
3
What Do I Do If My Child is Afraid of Shots?
4
Putting Standardized Testing in Perspective
5
Homeschooling (Yes, This Again)
6
When a Pet Dies
7
Hate to Pack? Try This “Hack.”
8
A Little Potty Talk
9
Hooray for Summer (Exclamation Point): Steps to a Successful Break (Question Mark)
10
Let’s Get Organized: a Stepwise Process for Parents and Kids

How Much Allowance Should I Give My Kids?

Guess my husband and I have been paying our kids sweatshop wages.  It’s not intentional, but with three kids, weekly allowance is a noticeable expense.  And right now, my husband and I do pay for all their needs.  So how much money do kids really need in their wallets? More than we are paying out.  There are definite clues the amount of money we provide is not enough.   For example, their birthday “windfall”  is so scorching hot it doesn’t have a chance to burn holes in their pockets; they spend it that fast.   And my son wants an…

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When Parents Behave Badly

Go with your gut. These four simple words guide me more often than not these days.  When I hear them in my head, I listen.  I never gave this advice much thought until a few months ago, when I read Valerie Gangas’ book, Enlightenment is Sexy, in which she talks about transforming her empty, rat-race life into a life of true fulfillment (and transcendental meditation).  One of her first pieces of advice was Go with your gut. Not that I feel I need a complete life makeover, but I decided to practice this particular mantra first before I took a meditation…

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What Do I Do If My Child is Afraid of Shots?

Shots are a real pain for everyone.  Unfortunately some of us have an intense reaction, called a vasovagal response, to receiving vaccinations and pass out at the sight (or the mere thought) of a syringe and needle.  Heart rate and blood pressure tank.  Blood flow to the brain tanks.  And thud, fainting occurs and there’s a call for smelling salts.  (But I think those are only used in black-and-white movies…) My son is deathly afraid of his vaccinations.  He doesn’t go vasovagal, though.  I  hate to say it, but I kinda wish he did.  Because he is an otherwise 100-pound, very determined and…

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Putting Standardized Testing in Perspective

Well, the remaining 40 percent of the districts are reporting in.  But it’s too early to call it. Even in this tumultuous election year, I actually wish this post were about the drama leading up to November 4th.  But instead, this post is about standardized testing.  Our school district is one of the 40 percent whose scores from spring testing are not released until the following school year.  As expected, the scores were released recently, and they made headlines in the local newspaper (Butler, Ann.  “State tests:  Math results alarming, 9-R superintendent says”  Durango Herald, Friday, September 2, 2016) ….

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Homeschooling (Yes, This Again)

Well, at least I didn’t say “never.”  Instead, fortunately, I said “won’t.” I love the saying “Never say never, never say always.”  It’s clever.  And most of the time it’s good advice…but there are exceptions.  For me, for example, those exceptions are: I will never like marmalade. I will never not get motion sick in an IMAX movie.   I will always love my family. I have written three posts on homeschooling, the most recent about how I won’t homeschool our kids and the reasons why.  Well, if I don’t swallow my words on this one, I (ahem) never will….

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When a Pet Dies

We have the worst luck with pets. Dog number one.  We had to give her up because she kept running away. Dog number two.  Became food aggressive with kid vomit and bit my husband.  We had to surrender him to the humane society. Lizard.  My son caught “Lizzy” in our yard and designed a lovely terrarium for the randomly-assigned “her.”  She lived her life span adored, sunning herself under her own heat lamp and feasting on bits of banana.  My son was devastated when she died. Dwarf hamster.  Our most recent, and possibly cutest, pet.  She loved corn and green beans…

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Hate to Pack? Try This “Hack.”

When it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence, I just have to share.  Getting all three of my kids to agree to anything at the same time and in the same place is practically a miracle.  As my mother-in-law has observed, not just with her own grandkids but in other families as well:  one child is always unhappy. Not this time.  And the task involved actual work.  A request.  And since the reward wasn’t a lego set (note:  it never is)…well, I still can’t believe this project went 3-for-3.

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A Little Potty Talk

I completed a half marathon last weekend and this time,  I crossed the finish line under my own power (my first “half” didn’t go nearly as well…but that’s another story).  Along the way I was relieved to find a port-a-potty a) because I really had to go and this meant b) I was actually well-hydrated for this run through our high-altitude, arid climate.  After taking care of business, I was startled to see a man sitting by the side of the road near the portable stall.  I hadn’t seen him before so I felt a little creeped out, especially as…

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Hooray for Summer (Exclamation Point): Steps to a Successful Break (Question Mark)

It’s almost here!  For some of us, it already is.  Summer break.  Honestly, my head is spinning the school year went by so fast.  And I feel totally unprepared for having my brood around for three months.  So I dug up this post from a year ago to help refresh my brain on how to (and not to!) navigate summer with kids.  And I hope it helps you, too: A year ago, as the school year drew to an end, I wrote a post that received some flak.  In Hooray for Summer? (In retrospect, Horrors, It’s Summer! would have been…

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Let’s Get Organized: a Stepwise Process for Parents and Kids

One of the least “organized” decisions we can make as adults is to become parents.  Is there anything less neat, orderly and predictable as having children in the house?  And if you can show me a mom who, without missing a beat, can juggle the school field trip schedule, remember who likes what cold lunch fixings and recall if she brushed her teeth that morning…I’ll show you a mythical Greek Goddess. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the messy business of parenting.  I adore my kids.  In fact, I relish the unpredictability of their fights, their ever-changing school…

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