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

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