When my daughters were 9 and 7 years old, our family moved from Massachusetts to Washington State. My wife and I, in our infinite wisdom, decided to make our move into an exotic adventure. We would drive across the country in the late spring--Why take major highways when we could explore the back roads of our great nation? Why not camp and only occasionally stay at motels? Our station wagon was packed so tightly with gear that we needed a crowbar to fit our children into the backseat. Our 7-year old was carsick and screaming after the first 10 miles of winding roads--Only 2,990 miles to go... Read More
You are here
“Mom, can I have a new video game? Can I have a new jacket? Can I have an Ipad?” The list of “can I’s” seem to go on forever! Parents often wonder if their kids have any idea about the “value” of money. Guess what? They don’t!
In the day of dollar bills and coins, at least children could watch parents count out bills. As their young children developed the concepts of number, they could see that money could be counted, like cookies in a cookie jar. But today, most transactions are made with credit cards and wire transfers. On-line purchases show up on the front steps in boxes brought... Read More
Several weeks ago I was watching a riveting Flamenco performance in Seville, Spain. Ooo la la! It was magnificent. Two rows behind me, a 6 year old, sitting on his Dad’s lap, started to have a loud, spirited conversation with his father! I turned around and gave his Dad a pointed look. His father didn’t even ask the child to stop talking. A few minutes later, his volume increasing, my wife turned and asked him to be quiet with a sharp tone. She was getting annoyed. A woman nearby hissed—“He’s just a kid!” But what about all of the adults who were trying to enjoy the show? Didn’t we have... Read More
When my children were young teens, my wife had surgery. Between the hospital stay and her recovery, she was out of commission for a month.
My two teenage daughters handled their mother’s surgery and recovery quite differently. One wanted to come with me to the hospital when Diane was in surgery. The other one wanted to go to school. Both seemed to swing between genuine sympathy for their mother and annoyance when their lives were disrupted. This peaked when my 14-year-old fell into a fury over her hair. “When are you going to take me to the hairdresser? I look like a drowned rat!"... Read More
It is completely normal for youngsters to have emotional and behavioral ups and downs over the course of their childhood. Pediatricians like to remind parents that most problems disappear if you don’t over react to them. Just take a deep breath in and deep breath out and they will be gone! Sleep problems tend to come and go, eating issues can arise and then disappear, and friend concerns are like the weather in Washington--always changing.
But how do you know when a problem is worthy of getting professional help? To make matters worse, most parents are pretty nervous about seeing a... Read More
I consider myself fortunate. I don’t need to be perfect! (That is a really good thing, because I am so far from it!). But some adults and children suffer from the need to be flawless. In theory, we all know that it is impossible to be faultless. But that doesn’t stop some people from trying!
Ashley, 10 years old, spends hours on school projects. Every poster has to be picture perfect! Reports have to look like works of art. The problem for Ashley is when she makes a mistake, tears flood the bathroom floor. She has to start all over if one pencil line isn’t completely straight! Some... Read More
Last week in The Everett Herald (May 11, 2015) there was a sad story about a woman who allegedly fired a gun at her husband over housework! I am sure there was more to her tale. But I bet that there are more than a few women who have felt fed up over their husband’s lack of household help.
The division of household labor is a problem for many families. While men are more involved in family work today than they were 20 years ago, we still have a long way to go. Studies have shown that the division of household labor is among the top contenders for a happy marriage, a close third... Read More
Today’s parents worry that their children have developed a whopping sense of entitlement. They demand and expect so much from their parents and the world around them! Many kids think that family meals are like going out to eat—they get to order what they want for dinner. Send it back if it’s not perfect!
If they don’t like their teacher, their parents should intervene. If their grade is lower than they think they deserve, Dad should talk to the principal. If the coach sidelines them, Mom should shoot him a “what gives!” email. Parents are expected to smooth the way for youngsters... Read More
Look around you. Everyone is hunched over, walking down the street, texting on his or her smart phone. Families sit at restaurant tables, with every family member’s cell phone at the ready. It’s no wonder that kids want these devices as soon as their parents are willing to fork them over.
When my children were teens, they wanted cell phones too. Their argument—We could reach them anytime and anywhere. The only problem—pretty soon they stopped answering our calls! I frequently reminded them that I was paying for the phone. Isn’t it funny how kids seem to forget who’s paying the bill... Read More
It’s easy to get into a relationship. Boy meets girl and the rest is history. But keeping the home fires burning is the challenge.
As a result, 40% of all marriages end in divorce. Why is the divorce rate so high? Why is it so hard to keep marriages strong over the long haul?
Let’s take a look at the some of the reasons why marriages struggle…Couples marry at a young age. In 1990, 50% of all women got married under the age of 24 (Males are slightly older). If you are over 35 today, in retrospect, what guided your relationship choices when you were in your early 20’s?... Read More