more about: parenting

The Mysterious Round Object That Appeared in My Yard

Yesterday my youngest son, who is 6, was having a double playdate with two of his dear friends. (A.K.A. practically the best day of life.) I was trying to be a Very Good Mom and was in the backyard with the boys, building a lean-to. Our backyard has this small wooded section that was once, if not an ancient Indian […]

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6 Important Life Lessons it Really is Possible to Forget to Teach Your Children

1) You must always carry money in your wallet. Especially if you are driving 20 miles away to your ultimate frisbee league game and the car’s computer tells you you have 15 miles to go until you run out of gas. And it’s nighttime, Dad is working late, and Mom is at home with your sleeping 5-year-old brother. 2) If […]

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Do You Pay Kids for Good Grades?

I recently wrote a column on things you should never tell your children about money. During the research, I asked parents to email me their strategies for raising money-smart kids. One parent wrote: “We told the kids from kindergarten on that their job was school. Parents get reviews and bonuses for a job well done – kids get report cards and pay for grades.”

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Is It OK to Give One Child More?

I have three daughters. Every year around Dec. 15, I start agonizing. Did I spend more on gifts for one girl? Did I buy a lopsided number of presents? If so, do I need to buy one more for another daughter? And if the “one more” turns out to be something particularly “nice,” will that set off a terrible chain reaction, prompting me to keep buying more and more and more in an attempt to ensure every daughter enjoys perfect, equal parity on Christmas morning?

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My Latest Trick for Passing Time with Children.

I always like to have a supply of games to use to pass the time with my children. Stuck in a line, stuck in traffic, stuck in a doctor’s office…it’s helpful to have a big arsenal of child-pleasing activities at the ready.

Here’s our latest game, and I have to say, I enjoy it as much as my children. It’s called “Name That Book.”

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Do You Acknowledge the Reality of Other People’s Feelings?

One of my very favorite parenting books is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I bet I’ve read that book five times. One of that book’s most important lessons is simple, and it applies to adults just as much as to children: acknowledge the reality of other […]

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The Cliche is True: Sometimes, Less is More.

One challenge of parenthood is setting limits on myself. For her sixth birthday, I gave my daughter a giant book of optical illusions. She loved the book—pored over it, looked at it with her friends, kept it out on her beside table. I was so pleased with myself for choosing it. As an under-buyer, I don’t usually have to resist […]

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My Latest Parenting Aid: Food Dye.

I’ve discovered a fabulous new parenting tool: food dye. Yes, those humble containers of food dye have become my latest emergency entertainment destination.

My mother gave me some really good food dye – not just the little bottles that we used to use at Easter. This dye is strong, vivid, and gorgeous.

I have a lot of tricks I use to pass time with my children, and these days I pull out the food dye whenever I need to lighten the mood a bit. My four-year-old is hungry but won’t eat a snack? I make a “Stripes Surprise” – vanilla yogurt dyed three different colors, served in a wine glass. I need a good April Fool’s trick? I dye the milk in the jug green, and act shock when I pour it out in the morning on the girls’ cereal. I want to have a Halloween holiday breakfast? I dye the peanut butter black (my daughters eat peanut butter on toast for breakfast; healthy if unconventional).Fooddye

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