Would You Make Ungrateful Kids Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter on Vacation?

By the time he turned six, my son Jack had already taken trips to Los Angeles, Seattle, Florida, New York City, Hawaii and quite a few other places that require a boarding pass and a suitcase. Conversely, by the time I turned six, I’d maybe been out to my uncle’s farm a couple of times. But like a lot of modern families, my husband and I are able to take our kids on the type of vacations that we could only dream about when we were growing up. And that’s a wonderful feeling. But what do you do when your kids don’t appreciate it? Well, if you’re anything like my friend Kristi Jordan, you bring your fabulous trip to a screeching halt and make them volunteer at The Bowery Mission. Oh, yes, she did. ...more
blackgirlinmainethis was one of my first thoughts as well.  But, if a family wants to show their ...more

When Mom Does the School Project

When my son Sam was in kindergarten, his teacher asked each student to decorate a Valentine’s Day mailbox at home and bring it in for the class party. “Have fun and be creative!” her note said. “Parents are welcome to help!”...more
What gets me, what really frosts me: is I tell my children these are THEIR projects and then I ...more

Why I Hate Back-to-School

My kids hate the start of the school year. This is completely understandable, of course. They’ve basically lounged around doing nothing for the past three months, so going back to a structured routine seems like unfair punishment. They whine and complain and act like they’re aging hippies suddenly forced to put on a suit and tie and go work for The Man instead of selling water pipes at Phish concerts. School just totally harshes their mellow....more
Hahahhahha! SpongeBob vocab to prep for school. I need to try that one. I'm staring into the ...more

When Parents Encourage -- or Not (Sweetie)

Last Saturday, we drove to a different part of town for Sam's soccer game. Per the coach's instructions, we arrived a little early so the team could warm up beforehand. Apparently, they needed to work on important athletic skills like not screaming "Monkey nuts!" when the other team gets a goal. Or maybe it was passing, I'm not quite sure. ...more

We've had a at least one of our boys try baseball, basketball, football and soccer and there is ...more