Fighting the dumb fight

There's a moment in between the biggest fight of our life week and the time when we'll make up when it's realized I may have been insane.  This is the only explanation as to why I chose to purposely make up my bed on the couch to avoid sleeping with someone who got mad because... Continue Reading →

The Excuse Maker vs the Howler Monkey

Howler MonkeyThere is a certain sound resonating in my household that is akin to fingernails on the chalkboard or a dog howling out of tune in the middle of the night. Without warning, this noise modulates into a higher pitch with each note, getting more frantic if it is left to continue. This annoying clamor, unfortunately, is an epidemic. What starts out as an innocent first becomes a habitual occurrence. They come more frequently as time goes on. And the result of this reverberation to anyone within earshot (mainly those it is directed at), is an elevated heart rate, a clenching of the fists and teeth, an ability to see red, and a sudden burst of mania that comes forth as a string of shrill commands even louder than the original sound.

I am, of course, talking about the “excuse maker”. (more...)

Inked

My mother called me over the weekend before the clock even hit 9 am. “Are you at home right now?” she asked. “I am.” “What time are you going to take the kids over to their dad’s house?” she asked. “Around 2,” I told her. “Oh. That’s too late. Nevermind.” She was being awfully cryptic, which of course got my curiosity up. “Why? What’s going on?” “Well…..” She asked me if I remembered the Ninja Star that the Taz had been coloring at her house. Of course I remembered. He had colored it pure black and told me how all he had to do was throw it and it would whip through the air slicing anything in its way. I suggested that he not throw it in the kitchen, at least. “I remember. Why?” I asked her. “Well, apparently he was coloring it in my living room…” (more...)

Is it ok to discipline other people's children?

We want our kids to have friends. But sometimes friends aren’t welcome. Little Timmy comes over to play with your son, and lets himself into your home as soon as you open the door. And even though he came over to play with your son, suddenly your child is playing by himself in the living room while Timmy rifles through his things upstairs. He invites himself on your family outings. He opens your refrigerator to see what you have to eat. Maybe he lies repeatedly. Maybe he makes a mess of your home and then leaves before cleaning it up. He might use language that doesn’t fly in your home. He might be a hitter, or a biter, or use some other form of brutality to get his way. He might even steal your child’s belongings, maybe even yours. Whatever he’s doing wrong, the kid gets under your skin. Little Timmy has no sense of boundaries whatsoever, fails to follow the house rules even though you have reminded him of them repeatedly, and you have noticed that your child’s behavior has gone downhill dramatically ever since Timmy made his first appearance. And yet your child insists they want to be friends with them. (How do you deal without dropkicking Little Timmy across the neighborhood? Read more...)

How Rebellion is Born

“Did you eat your breakfast?” I asked my son this morning as he turned on his video games before school.
“Uh, yeah,” he said.
“Alright, what did you eat?” I asked my little Tasmanian Devil.
“Oh yeah, I didn’t. But I’m not hungry,” he told me.
“Turn off the game. You’re not allowed to play until you have finished getting ready, and that includes eating breakfast and brushing your teeth,” I reminded him.
“Oh my gosh, Mom! You don’t care about me?” My son likes to go into dramatics when he isn’t getting his way, especially when it’s getting in the middle of his game playing time. “I told you I’m not hungry, and now you’re making me eat!”

Guiding our Children Positively

Call it sassiness, adolescence, or plain old Back to School backtalk, but my 8 year old is suffering from it. And this means that our whole household is suffering from it. Last night was a prime example. We’ve been working on implementing the rules for a successful back to school schedule: packing up the backpack... Continue Reading →

Teenagers: A Mom's Lament

A mom was lamenting to me about her 13 year old son. He used to be such a nice kid – totally respectable and responsible, and extremely trustworthy. But things changed in the last year. His parents got divorced, surely a huge shock to his world. And with the divorce came a lot of changes.... Continue Reading →

Teenage Angst

I was an awful teen. I can say that now that I’m in my 30’s, because I sure didn’t think so then. I thought my parents were idiots, completely clueless about anything in life. I was sassy (to put it nicely) and sullen. I would lock myself in my room all day long just to... Continue Reading →

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