‘Gift’ Author Reassures Doubtful Parents

Dear Parents,
Most of you are eager to share the positive and apparent successes of parenting. Fewer of you, however, may be willing to admit to inner doubts of how you measure up in this difficult task of raising children.
In reporting on their child’s school involvements, friendships, sports successes, dance and music lessons, grades and other achievements, parents easily show a sense of pride in what their children are accomplishing and how creatively busy they are. For many parents, this is an outward sign that they are providing every opportunity for their child; proof enough that they are a “good” parent. Continue reading “‘Gift’ Author Reassures Doubtful Parents”

Teens’ Big Bear Cabin Plan Needs Tweaking

Dear Parent Coach,
My friend’s very mature, very responsible 16-year-old high school senior and her five friends (most aged 17, one 18) want to stay in a family cabin at Big Bear and spend a ski weekend by themselves. They have been upfront about the plans: no parents, no boys, and no objectionable substances are to be included. Their argument is that they’ll be on their own at college next year, so why not let them practice their independence now? My friend is asking me if I think this is wise.  What would you say?
Signed, A Mother of
Two Boys, Whew! Continue reading “Teens’ Big Bear Cabin Plan Needs Tweaking”

Entertaining Children During Winter Illnesses

Dear Parent Coach,
The sick season has started at our house, and everyone seems to have caught something. One child passes on their ailment to the second one, producing a never-ending sick cycle. When the kids are feeling bad enough to stay home from school, I feel guilty letting them watch DVDs all day. What other things might keep them entertained?
Signed,
Nurse Mom Continue reading “Entertaining Children During Winter Illnesses”

Allowances Teach Children to Budget Money

Dear Parent Coach,
My kids’ friends are starting to talk about getting allowances, so my children (ages 5 and 8) are now asking for one as well. I never received an allowance as a child, so I don’t know how to go about starting one. I just asked my parents for money and they gave it to me. I do want my children to learn more about the value of money than I did, so I’m willing to try this. It seems like a good idea to start it with the new year. Can you suggest how an allowance might work for young children?
Signed, Mom Continue reading “Allowances Teach Children to Budget Money”

A Happy Literary Christmas to All

Dear Parents,
When Christmas morning finally arrives, many children will be bursting at the seams to see what awaits them in those mysteriously shaped packages they’ve been eyeing under the tree, and trying to guess their contents.
Most children will find among the plethora of new electronic gadgets, games and sports paraphernalia, at least one or perhaps more flat, rectangular-shaped gifts. Here there is no mystery — it is the predictable book.
For some children, as they handle the package and try to guess what’s inside, you can see it written all over their faces — they  know it’s a book, and this is often a “bah humbug” moment for them. “Oh I know … it’s a book.” On to the next gift. Continue reading “A Happy Literary Christmas to All”

Kids’ Mementos Also Important to Parents

Dear Parents,
This weekend as I worked at emptying my garage, containing the accumulation of 40 years of life in this home, I had some wonderings about the process we parents are so obsessed with — that is preserving every stuffed animal, math paper, and trophy our children accumulate throughout the years of their childhood. Oh, and did I mention baby blankets?
The good news is, the garage is now empty as construction is finally about to begin on my house, the victim of a house fire more than eight months ago. The bad news was facing all of those mysterious boxes of childhood mementos among the piles of bins and boxes. Continue reading “Kids’ Mementos Also Important to Parents”