Articles on Parenting (Garden Variety)


What All Parents (Even Happily Married Ones) Should Tell Their Kids About Divorce
Whether you're happily married or filing for divorce (or somewhere in between), it's always a good time to review how you present the topic of divorce to your own kids.

My Daughter May Have Worn Inappropriate Shoes to Middle School Graduation (But the World Did NOT Come to an End)
The first time I saw the shoes my 13-year old daughter Hannah wanted to wear to middle school graduation, I flat out refused to buy them for her. Frankly, I was astounded that she was asking for them with a straight face. I mean, they had four-inch heels!

Twerking as a Teaching Tool:  How to Tell the Difference Between Slut Shaming and Parenting
Slut shaming is telling girls not to do something because if they do it no one will want them. Parenting is telling girls not to do something because you said so.

New Year’s Resolutions Your Kids Wish You’d Make (And Keep)
It's that time of year again; time to take stock and make changes. Instead of pledging yet again to take off extra pounds or cut back on spending, your kids have something else in mind for you.

My Low Regard For High Ropes: Why I Don’t Want My Kid Roped Into This Common Camp Activity
If you spend any amount of time with small children you hear that question all the time. And when it comes to parenting, I've asked that question a fair number of times myself.

Happy Mother’s Day From The Annoying Mom’s Club!
I'm not expecting a bunch of fanfare this Mother's Day. No homemade card with a hand-drawn portrait of me surrounded by hearts. No "Best Mommy Ever!" title clicked out by my daughter on her trusty label maker.

Can We All Stop Talking About Miley Cyrus’s Shockingly Predictable Performance (As Soon As I’m Done Talking About It)?
When it comes to uproar about Miley Cyrus's VMA performance Sunday night, one thing we can all agree on is this: Cyrus definitely started all the tongue-wagging. Literally.

Four Reasons To Place On Hold Any Plans To Give Your Child A Cell Phone
A recent incident involving inappropriate texts among sixth graders caused me to rethink the following question: What's the right age for a child to get her first cell phone?

Parenting: The Ultimate Joke-Killer (Why I Can’t Laugh At Manti Te’o)
Parenting has changed me. I knew this already, of course, but was reminded of it again in the wake of the Manti Te'o story.

Three Baby Steps To Get You Through The Tougher Stretches of Parenting
I hadn’t seen my friend Emily in a few months, and a lot had happened since then. The biggest? She had given birth to her first baby — and she was ready to get out of the house, so we made plans to get together.

How Abstinence-Only Messages Steer Girls Wrong
"Why buy the cow if the milk is free?" That's how the expression went when I was growing up. In this eloquent allegory, cows symbolize young women, milk symbolizes having sex, and the act of buying symbolizes getting married.

Why I’m Not Wedded To The Idea Of My Daughter Walking Down The Aisle
It was mid-January of 2011 and Christmas was so last year, so my daughter Hannah’s attention turned to the next holiday that would bring gifts. After an unsuccessful attempt to convince me we should exchange gifts in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, she set her sights on Valentine’s Day.

Bringing Sleepy Back: Why Parents Should Always Say Never To Justin Bieber Bedding
One recent morning as my daughter Hannah was eating her breakfast before school, a story came on NPR about Pakistan's faltering economy. The reporter described a textile mill that imprinted panels of cotton with pictures of Justin Bieber.

Why Criticism of Gabby Douglas Should Serve As A Wake Up Call TO Hibernating Mama Grizzlies Everywhere
In my view, one of my main jobs as a mom is to provide encouragement and support to my kids as they explore their passions and pursue their dreams.

Summer Camp Survival Guide: How To Survive Your Kid’s Stint At Summer Camp Without Ending Up In The Funny Farm
Not everybody loves the summer camp experience -- especially not at first. It can take a while to adjust to the different routine: Key players on the home team are suddenly gone, communicating with them is anything but easy and the rhythm of daily life is turned upside down.

Sticks and Stones
Hannah and I were at our neighborhood pool the other day when I ran into my friend Molly. Molly and I aren’t close friends, but thanks to Facebook, I am privy to details of her personal life that only closer friends would have known in a pre-Facebook era.

Is It Over Yet? First Aid For The Home Stretch Of Summer
It’s August in Austin. The heat has escalated to the point that doing anything outside — even if it involves total immersion in water — sounds too hot to handle. The initial euphoria of summer has evaporated like water out of Lake Travis. And all the creative juices that generate ideas for inside fun have dried up, too.

Syllabus For Success: 7 Gifts That Will Make Your Kid The Teacher’s Pet
I know it’s a little early to be talking about gifts for your kid’s teacher. Typically that’s a topic that comes up at Christmas and again at the end of the school year. But there’s something your kid’s teacher would really like from you.