Increasing Communication Between You And Your Tween

    Wouldn’t it be great to increase communication between you and your tween? The question is: how do you make that happen? Communication is an important part of parenting, no matter what stage you are at. Here are some tips to help you make increased communication a reality. Have a Date Night     Spend time one-on-one with your tween. Some parents refer to this as a mommy-daughter date night or a father-son date night. It’s just a special night where the parent and tween spend time together. This is a time for you to know what’s going on with your tween and to hear what they have to say without much interruption. Talk About It     It seems as though talking about things is such a thing of the past. Families are too busy with life that they forget to chat and catch up. Talking about life is one way to increase communication between you and your tween. It’s possible to understand what’s going on in your tween’s life, you just have to make that effort. After a while, they’ll see you … [Read more...]

The Mother In Law Chronicles-Moving Forward

    Many of you who are long-time readers of this blog know that my mother in law and I have had a pretty rocky relationship.  A lot of it has to do with her religious convictions and the fact that my husband is her only son.  Over the years, we have had our share of disagreements and have never really gotten along.  A while back, she moved to South Carolina and it actually made me sad because I knew it would mean that there would be a slim chance of her being more involved in my sons' lives.     You see, despite our never seeing eye to eye, it has always been important to me that she have a relationship with her grandsons.  Family is important and I have fond memories of the time that I spent with my grandmothers growing up so I have always wanted my boys to have that relationship with their grandparents.  Unfortunately, this has not been the case and my boys have never really had the opportunity to get to know her.     Last Saturday, she dropped in for a surprise visit after almost … [Read more...]

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

      I have always felt that family was the most important thing in my life.  Like most of you, I come from a pretty close-knit family with our share of problems but that always looked out for each other when the going got tough.  That's just the way it has always been, my crazy family, but my family nonetheless.     Now that I am an adult, it has become more complicated to keep those close family ties with all of the things that get in the way.  Things are not as simple as they used to be where I could just bicker with my siblings and we would make up before any one of us had time to dwell on why we had argued in the first place.  There are other people involved in these discussions now that we are all married with kids.     As a result, it seems like everyone is just out for themselves now.  Family is not defined the same way it was when we were growing up.  I'm not really sure what the exact moment was when things changed.  Perhaps every family is destined to become distant … [Read more...]

Are Children Entitled To Privacy?

         Have you ever had someone completely invade your privacy?  Well I certainly have...  I can still remember what happened as if it were yesterday.  There were so many emotions that I experienced at the same time including resentment, anger, embarrassment, and betrayal.  Unfortunately, it was my very own mother who invaded my privacy all of those years ago and it set the precedent for all future conversations and interactions that I had with her during my adolescence.      It all began when I received my "Snoopy" diary for Christmas.  My Grandmother knew how much I loved to write, even as a young girl, so she bought me a diary as one of my Christmas presents that year.  As I held it in my hands for the first time, I examined the bright red cover with the image of Snoopy on it and I especially checked out the little lock on the binding of the book that was meant to deter the nosy little minions.  In retrospect, I should have realized that this was the beginning of the … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk About Sex…

        Tonight, I had the first ever conversation about sex with my seven year old son.  I'm not sure that you could even call it a conversation since it was mostly one sided with me doing most of the talking stuttering and blurting out some partly incoherent explanations.  You would think that I would know how to talk about sex with my own son.  After all, I have worked with hormonal teenagers for over the past ten years and am not really intimidated by anything at this point.  I can tell you, though, it is a totally different ballgame when you are talking to your own baby about such a serious topic.     What prompted me to have this conversation with him, you ask?  The truth is that television these days throws the word "sex" around on practically every show.  Lately, I have noticed that even some our favorite sitcoms use the word from time to time.  It bothered me that he would hear the word often and possibly come to his own incorrect conclusions about its meaning.  … [Read more...]

No Refunds or Exchanges

         This afternoon, I was waiting for my husband to move his car so I could park in the driveway when I saw the neighbor's teenage son, "D". He walked up to my car and I asked him how he was doing and I told him that I was worried about him. Hubby had seen him the day before with all his bags packed and walking in the cold in a flimsy jacket. He arrived this way on his father's doorstep. You see, his father lives next door to me with his girlfriend and "D" lives with his mother and usually has visitation with his father on the weekends. Unfortunately, this commonly occurs that "D" is kicked out by Mom and has to come to his father's house seeking refuge. Luckily, his father always welcomes him with open arms and he has a wonderful Stepmother who treats him like her own son.     As he was explaining to me what had happened between he and his mother, I could see the sadness in his eyes. He told me that he argues with his mother all the time and that, when she gets upset, … [Read more...]