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Trying to talk to a Teenager…

I write for a great blog called WorldMomsBlog, which brings together writers from around the globe to talk about life in their part of the world. Sometimes, as you might imagine, events and issues are culturally specific but more often than not, there are shared connections, sometimes in unexpected places. My post for WMB last week is one of those universal things, I think, at least for parents in relatively …

what goes around, comes around: in which i suffer karmic retribution

Way back in the dim mists of time (which is to say, 1985), my family took a trip to France. I’d been studying in London and my mother, an eternal Francophile, had planned a two-week family driving tour through France at the end of my semester.  A two-week trip that she planned  before the internet.  There was no tripadvisor, people; there was no google map. It was like an artisanal …

The Moral of the Skinned Knee

I’m borrowing the title of this post from The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, that great book about the importance of letting your kids feel some of the bumps in life instead of coddling and protecting them every inch of the way.  Judging from this article about the can-you-top-this attitude towards “care packages” sent to camp, parents seem not to be getting the message, however: smuggling candy to your kid …

There’s a Foosball Table in My Living Room

Foosball. The only people I knew who had a foosball table were Chandler and Joey on “Friends.” Oh, okay, I didn’t really know them know them.  But they did have a foosball table. And now I have a foosball table too. About two months ago, before we knew we were moving, we re-arranged the boys’ shared bedroom, a shift that included moving Caleb’s legos from one side of the room …

yes you have freedom of speech but that doesn’t mean you can call your brother an idiot

  My kids get in trouble if they call each other names.  They lose precious screen time for saying “idiot,” or “stupid,” or (my personal favorite), “pig-head.” Screen-denial happens for shoving as a response to frustration, or for bellowing “shut up,” or for clambering up on the counter and rifling through the cabinets in order to find the last two sugar cookies that mommy was hoarding for herself.  There will …