Archive for the ‘Parenting Issues’ Category

The Vacation Attraction Planner

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Many families, time and money willing, plan a summer getaway to, well, anywhere else. Whether you’re going to Paris, France or Paris, Texas, if you’re taking the kids with you, you’re going to have to figure out how to keep them entertained. For some destinations, that can be as simple as heading for the hotel pool to splash the hours away or letting them loose to roam the campsite creating their own adventures.

If hanging out at the hotel all day doesn’t tickle your fancy and you’re not headed for the great outdoors, then you’re going to need to come up with some activities and destinations that will keep them interested and engaged. The idea is to prevent the constant wailing and whining of “I’m bored”. So what’s the best way to figure out what your kids will want to see and do? I say ask ’em!

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Um, You’re Welcome?

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Photo by DodgertonSkillhause at Morguefile.comA while back, I ran into a fellow parent at the grocery store.  Her youngest and my oldest are in the same grade and had been in the same schools since kindergarten.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while, now that our kids are in high school.  I was pleased to see her again and we stopped to chat.  Our kids weren’t ever especially close, but our elementary school community was a close-knit one and we had gotten to know each other reasonably well.

She asked about Jared and I told her how well he’s adjusting and about his joining the robotics team and so on.  And then, I wanted to ask about her kid.

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Talking to Kids About Trump

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
My Daughter's Whiteboard Crossed out: Equality, Diversity, Constitution, and Education

My Daughter’s Whiteboard
Crossed out: Equality, Diversity, Constitution, and Education

Well that didn’t go the way I’d hoped.  Welcome to a Trumpian world.  Or perhaps I should say dysTrumpian.  In case you hadn’t heard, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

I’m sure there will be plenty of analysis about how this happened and what went wrong and who is to blame.  Personally, I blame those who underestimated the amount of racism and hatred that has been hiding and festering in this country for at least the last 150 years.  I also blame not only those who fought for Trump but also those who fought against Hillary Clinton.  Too many people went around saying that while Trump was a nightmare, they didn’t trust Clinton or believed she was dishonest or even simply didn’t like her.

But that’s not the issue I need to deal with right now.  What I need to figure out is what to tell my kids.

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The Point of Pride

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Ezra and Sara in their pride shirts, 2016

Shortly after the Orlando massacre, my family and I were headed for a local shopping mall and, as we often do, were discussing recent events on the way.  We arrived and parked and proceeded to get out of our minivan in the parking lot near a chain department store.  The area is not as upscale as some other parts of the Bay Area and the store is known more for lower prices than for its appeal to educated professionals.  In short, while still relatively liberal (it was, after all, still the San Francisco Bay Area), it was an area where one might run into a homophobe.

Getting out of the car and walking through the parking lot, I continued talking loudly about the terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida and its effect on the LGBTQ community.  My oldest began trying to get me to quiet down and stop talking about it.  He said that one day, I would end up getting shot if I kept talking that way.  He was worried that some homophobic terrorist would take offense at what I was saying and respond with lethal force.

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Time To Go Shopping!

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

2012-06-27_18-49-06_717_12x12

Ever since having kids, I’ve been a fan of Old Navy.  They have good children’s clothes at affordable prices — a big help when you have three active kids who are continuously outgrowing and wearing out their clothes.  But that’s not the only reason I shop at Old Navy, especially this time of year.

Recently, we were on holiday and found ourselves in need of some new pants (sans holes) for Ezra, my youngest, as well as a couple other small items.  The only viable option we had available was Wal-Mart.  Normally, I don’t shop at the retail giant because I have some serious issues with the way they run their business, but sometimes, evil becomes a necessary evil.

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As Long As They’re Healthy…

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Children holding handsFor most parents-to-be, once they find out they’re going to have a child, the biggest concern is that the child is healthy.  Sure, there may be a preference for one gender or the other, but there are so many other far more terrifying possibilities to worry about that no one in their right mind really gets upset about having a boy instead of a girl or vice versa.

But even if there are complications or issues, parents generally don’t say “Oh, my kid’s not perfect, so I’m going to toss him in the dumpster and start over”.  And if they did, they would be prosecuted, jailed, and vilified.  I know plenty of people who face challenges far more significant than trying to get their kids to eat broccoli — and it seems they love their kids even more for it.  Challenges that include dyslexia, autism, and even DIPG, a rare form of childhood brain cancer with a 0% survival rate.  Zero percent.  And I’ve known two sets of parents whose children have lost or will lose their battle with the disease.

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De-facing the Book

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

No_Face_logoSo, for a full month, I was off Facebook.

Over the last decade or so, Facebook has managed to become an integral part of our society.  Facebook pages are nearly as important as, if not more important than a company’s website.  A Facebook account has become the single account used to access many other websites, rather than a site-specific account and password.  It is our address book and is trying hard to replace e-mail as our primary means of electronic communication and interaction.

So the notion of not using the site for nearly a month seems ludicrous, even for someone like me who, while not in danger of being called addicted, did use the site fairly heavily.  So how did that go?

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The Joys Of Being A Celiac Dad

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

FlatwareThere’s more to being the father of a kid with celiac disease than being annoying at restaurants and crying in grocery stores.  There’s a lot of freaking out about the presence of gluten and cross-contamination as well.  And sometimes, it involves washing dishes.  Lots of dishes.

Last night, I went to the silverware drawer to get some forks and knives for dinner.  I pulled out a knife and realized that it was covered with Nutella.  “Who put a dirty knife back in the drawer?” I called out.  “It’s covered with food!”

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Riding In Cars With Friends

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

seat beltJust about the number one job of any parent is to keep our kids safe.  We teach them not to take candy from strangers, we tell them to stay away from drugs and cigarettes, and we make sure they wear a helmet when riding a bicycle and a seat belt when riding in the car.

But we can’t be with them every moment of every day — sometimes we just have to let go and trust in what we’ve taught them and in the competence and responsibility of those to whom we entrust them.  Whether they’re in the watchful care of a teacher, a fellow parent, or a family member, we have to believe that that person will work as hard as you do to keep them safe — or at least as hard as they do for their own kids.  But what if that’s not enough?

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Crazy in Labor

Saturday, August 15th, 2015
Source: Facebook/WOTE

Source: Facebook/WOTE

Having a baby is a crazy time in anyone’s life.  Whether it’s your first child and you don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into or your third and it’s all been-there-done-that, it’s surely going to be a crazy, hectic time.  And yet, many of us manage to fit in some wild stuff in between labor pains.  There are the usual things like not getting any medication to help with the pain (you put me in that much pain and I’d be breaking into the prison pharmacy if I had to) or eating a hearty meal only to throw it up shortly thereafter.

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