An Open Letter To My Son

As hard as it is for me to believe this, I’m the mother of a teenager. In fact Tom will be entering 10th grade this September.The years have gone so fast that I really feel as if one day I was taking pictures of him graduating from our Mommy and Me class, the next day I couldn’t believe he was in the fourth grade, and then bang, he was in high school.Play dates at friends houses have been replaced by going out for sushi, a movie, or walking around town with his buddies. Alone. No adults watching over them....more

New study shows which teens most at risk for emotional symptoms post-concussion

Researchers at the University of Kentucky looked at athletes between 12 and 17 who had "persisting symptoms" for about 37 days after they experienced a concussion. (Any teens with psychological issues were excluded in advance.)They found that 22 of the 37 had emotional symptoms (depression, irritability, frequent mood changes, anxiety, aggression, apathy or excessive emotional reactions) and the other 15 did not. The different? ...more

Holding On . . . While Letting Go

Holding on and letting go. Two completely different concepts, right? But right now I find myself trying to balance them both.I have two boys, teenagers at this point. One just finished his freshman year in college. The other just graduated  high school. I’m not sure how this all happened, I just know that old cliché “time flies” is a cliché for a reason.My boys are a little more than a year apart in age. So when my older son was born, I had a year alone with him. He was a baby and it was time I treasured....more
Suzanne Fluhr I know most families fight to sit down to dinner together and we did (and do) ...more

Thanks for the Sex Education for my kid, Carnival Cruise!

I recently took my thirteen year-old daughter on a Carnival Cruise - and she got a big dose of sex education at sea!  We saw lots of skin and some doors were opened for good conversations....more

New test can predict teen binge drinking

A lot of factors go into determining why a teen would binge drink: genetics, peer pressure, personality, accessibility, home life, cognitive abilities, etc.That's why I was so interested in reading this article. After all, how could scientists create one particular test to predict binge drinking?Turns out, they can do it by looking at the physical structure of a teen's brain (age 14) and combining it with a wide range of data on things like personality, life history, genetics, IQ, demographics and life events.Here's what they found:...more

So Long it's Been Good to Know You

I’m a good mother.I’m not a perfect mother. I could easily fill up 100 pages with mistakes I made just this weekend.But unlike the deep bouts of doubt I once had over whether I was a good actor or singer, or the doubts I can have today over whether I’m a good writer, blogger, gardener, or even friend, I don’t have too many over my ability as a mother....more

By the way, Namaste

A little while ago, my husband and I spent the morning with a group of emotional teenagers.… Sorry, that’s redundant. I meant “more emotional than usual, even given the teen thing.”We were chaperoning a group of kids on year-long exchanges from all corners of the globe. On a regular basis during the year, these kids would leave their various host homes scattered across Idaho to gather in a central location. They bonded, comparing notes on their new lives in mostly rural places they may previously believed were only contrived as a setting for Napoleon Dynamite.I've been blown away by their resilience, buoyed in part by their adoption of the mantra:  “it’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just different.”The girl from Turkey didn’t flinch when talking to an acquaintance who didn't realize Turkey is a country as well as the name of a bird.The boy from Argentina just smiled when a classmate was astonished that there were “actually still humans living down there.”Each time the kids converged, they shared stories of such awkward encounters and misunderstandings, and forged the ties that are the hallmarks of adolescence, strengthened by the intensity of their circumstances. At this gathering, like every other, they stayed up way too late talking, taking selfies, and laughing.… and realizing they’d each leave for home in a matter of weeks, possibly never to set foot here again....more

Bomb Threat Oommggg! #LOL | Kids & Social Media

[CN: violence, suicide, sexual assault]...more

Have You Tried Cock and Bull Ginger Beer?

 On May 19, 2014, in Crazy Stuff, Mom, Second Set, by Jennifer McPherson...more

A Survival Guide To Parenting Teens

I'm not a big consumer of parenting books. I've owned four copies of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" over the years, all gifted, and all given away without being read. So much of what we need to know regarding sleep, feeding, bathing, and play with babies is a click away on the internet. As kids grow into adolescents, the problems aren't as simple as being hungry or over-tired. Our children are processing emotions and navigating social situations that they've never experienced before. Our questions get harder, and the answers get longer. Bring on the experts!...more