5 BS Excuses Parents Make for Mean Girls

I talked to a friend of mine the other night who told me a heart wrenching story about how a group of 7th grade girls literally got up from a lunch table and moved when her daughter sat down at it. They certainly had a good reason to do it. After all, an 8th grade hottie asked her daughter to the dance and (gasp) she said yes. Unbeknownst to her the boy was verbally taken and off-limits. Yes, I know this sounds like Mean Girls, Part Deux but in fact it wasn't. It's just another day in a garden variety middle school in a small New York town....more

Blended Family Problems: "Horrible" Stepson and ADHD Daughter Don't Get Along

Reader Frustrated and Sad writes,...more

Surviving Homecoming By Teaching Teens Low-Key Can Be Better

I’m a scrooge when it comes to a lot of things: Valentine’s Day, Halloween, basically any event Hallmark tells me I need to be celebrating. I am not fun. It’s true. Ask anyone. I’m also a scrooge when it comes to anything “over the top.” Like when simple affairs are all of a sudden turned into major functions costing lots of money. You know. Like a high school Homecoming Dance. ...more
Avery Lane Right? But it happens, and it. is. ridiculous! (My opinion, of course.)more

My Football Obsession and Girls in the Game

By Francesca Catalano, faculty member at American Public UniversityMy name is Francesca and I have an unusual obsession: for some reason I have become enamored with college football at a university I have never attended, taught for, or--until recently--even visited: Louisiana State University.  I can’t really explain how this happened. ...more

Who Is Rich?

As kids grow up, they start to ask questions.  Lots of questions.  Some are easier to answer than others.  They constantly challenge you to help define things that in many ways are undefinable, or defined by different people in different ways....more

Listening to Unschooled Teens

Lifelong Learning...more

"Don't Be Silly" and Other Silly Things we Tell our Kids.

I realized with shock the other day that I say things that I don't mean all of the time.  But only to my kids.  And only in thoughtless moments.  Things like "don't be silly" and "learn some manners".  Things that seem neutral but, apparently, have a far greater reach than I could have dreamed...http://planbust.blogspot.com/2014/10/dont-be-silly.html...more

The Black and White Approach to Parenting and Why it Works

I would like to be a panda. I would like to be cute and cuddly and have everyone say “aww” when they saw me. I wouldn’t like to live in a tree though. So I would like to be an acrophobic panda who lives at the Marriott and has room service bring me my bamboo allotment for the day. Okay, maybe I don’t really want to be a panda, but I do envy panda mothers....more

Chalk One Up for Positive Parenting

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