Respect

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“Shut Up!! ” “You’re a jerk” “Whatever” “I hate you” “You’re a loser” Any of these comments sound familiar? They represent the #1 parental complaint: “My kids don’t respect me!” It baffles most of us that kids today have become so brazen in how they respond to a parent’s request. We would never speak to our parents this way, is a common refrain. But times have changed. We are not our parents. Our children are not us. They are pressured by our culture to be grown up, smart, sexual, and independent all before they leave the halls of middle school. … Continued

Single Point of Light

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Most of us are aware of the two local girls who ended their young lives on a Philadelphia train track last week. As spectators, we have the grace of an internal circuit breaker. Its’ purpose is to save us from the unspeakable pain devouring the family and friends of these girls. Tragic events always put us at a crossroads. We can ignore this topic, keep it in the shadows and feed the terror it triggers in all of us….or we can find the courage to dig deeper and not let the deaths of these two girls be in vain. Starting … Continued

The Power of Play

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“He can’t swim!” Those are the last words a parent wants to hear while enjoying a lazy poolside afternoon. And when it happened to me, it struck terror in my heart. In less than a heartbeat, my fully-clothed husband launched himself into the pool for the rescue. He grabbed hold of a neighbor’s child who had slipped in without his floatation device, and was flailing in the water as the other kids shrieked for help. Finally safe on dry land, the boy was stunned but fine. The afternoon continued, with the kids appearing unphased as they returned to Marco Polo … Continued

Reason to Believe

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  As the Christmas crazy starts to take hold, many parents risk their sanity by encouraging their kids to believe in Santa Claus. A jolly old guy with the magical power to travel the globe in an effort to bring good cheer. All of this, of course, with the help of eight tiny reindeer! It’s a delightful story that comes with a price. Parents keep Santa’s cover in whatever way they can; languishing in long line lines for a meet and greet or staying alert for the perfect present. All the while never letting their children mix up naughty or … Continued

Done

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Every year my sister prompts our family to declare a word for the coming new year. We’re never really ready for her challenge. So the usual, hopeful suspects always fill the void : trust, creativity, inspired , playful….winning. You get the gist. This year is going to be different . This year I’m going to be ready. This year my word is : DONE.. I’ll elaborate. There are few things about electronic communication that make me smile more than when a request is returned with the crystal clarity of ” Done.” For 2015, I’ve decided to put this word to … Continued

Brutally Honest: When is it OK to leave your teen home alone overnight?

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(CNN)I can’t remember exactly how old I was when my mom went away for a night and left my older sister and me home alone. What I remember clearly though is the “talking to” I received when my mom returned and learned from our next-door neighbor that my sister and I had a party, which involved alcohol. “I’m so disappointed in you,” my mother would say over and over again, which were crushing words for a perfectionist straight-A student, who vowed never to let that happen again. And it didn’t. But the story illustrates two challenges for parents: 1) What … Continued

Brutally Honest: Is it OK to spy on your kids?

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(CNN)Whether you think spying on your kids is acceptable in today’s digital age or a breach of trust seems to really depend on how you define “spying” in the first place. In conversations over email with parents across the country, it’s clear that people have dramatically different views about the definition and whether it’s an appropriate behavior to help keep children safe. “I don’t call it spying. I call it parenting,” said Amanda Rodriguez, a mom of three boys in Frederick, Maryland, which is pretty much how I feel as well. Rodriguez says her sons know she will have the passwords … Continued

Is it ever OK to talk about your sex life with your kids?

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(CNN) For many of us, it’s next to impossible to think of our parents having sex — and even more impossible to imagine them sharing their sex lives with us. But for those of us who hope and expect to talk more openly about sex with our children than our parents did with us, should we consider sharing our own sexual experiences with them? Some parents say it’s crossing a line that should never be crossed; others contend that by not sharing, we’re missing an opportunity to help our children connect and learn from our own sex lives. I posed … Continued

After mass shootings, do parents shoulder some of the blame?

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(CNN)After every mass shooting comes the question: Could it have been prevented? Is there anything anyone could have done to stop a shooter from indiscriminately killing others, often before taking his own life? Those questions have been asked repeatedly since 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer shattered the community of Roseburg, Oregon, and shot nine people to death inside his community college classroom. What’s also being asked, in his case, is whether his mother, Laurel Harper, shoulders some of the blame.Postings on online forums reveal a mother who worried about her son’s developmental issues, but who was also a passionate defender of gun rights. … Continued

How to talk to kids about tragic events

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By Kelly Wallace, CNN (CNN)After a horrific event like the shooting in San Bernardino or the Paris attacks, parents are faced with this dilemma: What do I tell my kids? How can I talk to them about something so senseless and indiscriminate? About something that we can’t make sense of ourselves? “When we feel ourselves bombarded by images of brutal, ruthless violence and evidence of unbridled hate, the question of how to protect our children is a complex one,” said Dr. Claudia Gold, a pediatrician, infant mental health specialist and author of “Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums … Continued