Thursday, January 10, 2013
Blogger Janell Burley Hofmann's 18-point contract for her 13-year-old's new cellphone has gone viral. Which of her 18 rules do you love—or hate?
One mother's list of 18 rules for her son to follow with his new smartphone has captured the attention of parents across the country since she posted it at her blog Christmas Day. Is Janell Burley Hofmann onto something? Or overdoing it? Which of the 18 rules in the contract she gave her 13-year-old son is your favorite? Take our poll then explain your choice in comments below. Or tell why if you don't disagree with her approach or don't like one of her rules.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
What if you've seen or done something enough for a lifetime, but younger folks haven't?
Whiz, boom. Ooh, ahh. Yawn. As we age, we tire of fireworks. But it takes a few decades, and most kids are not there yet. So we pack a blanket or a sheet to sit on and head for another fireworks show, whether at a festival or for the Fourth. Even if we're bored, the kids aren't. What is the line between teaching kids your values, and letting dislikes or "been-there-done-that" restrict the richness of their young lives? Take Disneyland and Disneyworld. Maybe they don't have quite the pull they did when I was a kid. But I got to go to each one once during visits to cousins in California and grandparents in Florida. My kids don't beg to go to Disneyland; they don't even mention it. Do they not know or not care? Or have they picked up on the …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Are you going to fire me as your chauffeur—please?
You probably saw the news from the United States Department of Agriculture that middle class families with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend $234,900 over the next 17 years. You may not have heard that $200,000 of that goes for gasoline. They don't tell you when you have kids that you're starting your own taxi service. High schoolers take home baby dolls that cry every 20 minutes to simulate the travails of parenthood. But unless they take home two or more dolls that demand to be driven to opposite ends of the metro area simultaneously, they really have no idea what they're in for. On Wednesday, my 15-year-old fired me as taxi driver. The day before, I'd chauffered him and three of his friends, ironically enough, to driver's ed …
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Do 'temps' get more than an inkling of what it's like for real single parents?
Can parents in a two-parent family ever know what life is like for a single parent? When your partner in child-rearing isn't available to help out—whether for a day, a week, a month, or even an afternoon—does that offer a glimpse into single parents' struggles? At any given moment during those times when a spouse or partner is temporarily out of the picture, the challenges may be similar to what real single parent might face: A real single parent could probably come up with a better list, but those are the kinds of things that came to my mind—such as it is. My spouse is traveling a lot for work this month, and the things falling through the cracks are getting bigger by the day, as are the cracks. Actually, I've always thought it would …