Tag Archives: kids

20 Reasons why I am a terrible parent (according to the Internet)

Being a parent today means having access to a wealth of information to guide you toward raising your kids in the best possible way. In the “old” days our parents and grandparents maybe had a handful of books and an occasional newspaper advice column to turn to for help. Most of the time, people with kids were just making it up as they go, and didn’t live under constant fear of shame and ridicule. Or, at the very least, any shame they felt was limited to a close circle of friends and family.

Now, we have a whole Internet full of ideas on how to raise kids, and, more often than not, a contradictory list of all the ways you’re doing parenting wrong. You would be right to think we shouldn’t let our worth be determined by randos online, but, what can I say, those keyboard warriors have a weird power about them.

As much as I share about my motherhood experience, I do hold back, because I know many of the things I do as a parent would be met with ridicule and shame. My style is a mishmash of attachment, tiger, free-range and anything else you may think of. My parenting often changes with my mood or based on what I feel my kids’ need. I consider outside input, then do what I feel is best for my family.

No matter how I hard I try, I still feel shamed by parenting “advice” online, whether it is coming from an expert or just a bunch of moms in a Facebook group. I acknowledge that as a writer who focuses on parenting, I also contribute to this mess. I hope anyone who reads my stuff takes it with a very large grain of salt.

I think we need to laugh at how varied and disconnected parenting advice can be, so I made I list of all the things I have done or am doing wrong as a parent.

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boy looking on a tidied desk

Parents share tips to help kids transition to new schools

The summer is winding down, and many kids are already back in the classroom or will be in a matter of weeks. While every school year has its challenges, starting kindergarten, heading off to college, or moving to a new school bring unique worries for both students and parents.

I asked my followers on Facebook to share their insights and tips on making those transitions easier for families. I was amazed by their responses, and am pleased to share some of them here with you. If you have more suggestions on making school transitions easier, please share them in the comments.

Many parents agreed checking out the school before classes began was crucial for easing new-student anxiety. Many schools offer official orientation days where teachers and sometimes older students walk the incoming students around the building and answer questions. Other schools will offer individual tours of the school if arranged in advance.

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Moving? Here are 5 things to look for in a potential community library

When my husband and I were considering areas for our growing family, we wanted to be sure we would settle in a place our kids could thrive and be fulfilled. Though this meant looking into a number of factors, such as schools and overall quality of life, I made a point to place one particular community element at the top of my list: the local library.

Whether the town or city we visited was large or small, I took stock of how regarded the library was in the community. I took special care to observe the children’s section, as I knew that would be where my family would spend most of our time, yet also made note of the overall condition and atmosphere of the building as a whole.

To me, a library that is active, clean, well-staffed and highly regarded reflects a community that is engaged, involved and invested in the happiness and well-being of its members. This does not mean the library needs to be huge or filled with all the latest technology. I am well aware of how underfunded libraries are, and how unfortunately many communities lack the resources to improve old buildings, pay staff and keep shelves stocked. If you are able, please consider donating to your local library and other programs that support libraries across the country.

When you are exploring potential neighborhoods, here are some things to look for in the local library.

A library that is active, clean, well-staffed and highly regarded reflects a community that is engaged, involved and invested in the happiness and well-being of its members. Click To Tweet Continue reading

Croquet is the friendly lawn game you must try

If you just finished watching the second season of Bridgerton, you likely noticed how prominent a role croquet played in highlighting the smoldering, competitive chemistry between the Viscount Anthony Bridgerton and Miss Kate Schwarma.

Or, you might be fonder of Heathers and how croquet was used to show the divide between the haves and the have-nots.

And who could forget the memorable scene in Disney’s version of Alice In Wonderland, where Alice was forced to play a highly unusual and markedly unfair game against the Queen of Hearts?

For years, croquet has captured us through pop culture, and may even seem a bit exclusive. However, this centuries old game really is for everyone.

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VIDEO INTERVIEW: Camp expert on choosing the best overnight camp for your child

I sat down with Tom Rosenberg, President and CEO of American Camp Association, to talk about how families could choose the best overnight camps for their children.

In our interview (posted below), we discuss taking the time to research the options available and consider what camps would appeal most to your children. We also discuss concerns such as tuition costs, homesickness, and device dependence.

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Connecting environmental and racial justice on Tu B’Shvat and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

My nine-year-old and I were updating his PJ Library reusable wall calendar for January, when he noticed Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating the new year of the trees, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, fall on the same day this year, Monday, January 17.

As we look ahead to Tu B’Shvat, we can be mindful of Dr. King’s work, how climate justice and racial justice are linked, and how we can bridge the Jewish values of caring for our planet and working toward a more just world together.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. King’s words continue to ring true, as we look back on his legacy and wonder if we have gotten closer to achieving his dream for an equitable world.

While Tu B’Shvat is traditionally a holiday focused on trees, specifically the trees of Israel, and celebrating the land, the festival can be used an opportunity for both Jews and non-Jews a like to consider the topic of environmental justice.

Tu B’Shvat is the perfect time to ask ourselves, and our children, do we have access to clean water? Can we breathe clean air? Do we live in a place that is safe from the impact of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters? Are we close to parks, nature centers, and other places for appreciating the environment?

If the answer to these questions is yes, we can take the opportunity to think about how others might be living, and note how environmental inequality is very much an issue in the U.S. and beyond.

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5 simple ways to enjoy a fun, safe family vacation

By Joyce Wilson

Family vacations during school breaks are always something to look forward to and can still be enjoyed even in the era of COVID-19. Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise domestic travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals who wear a mask in public. If your children are too young for the vaccine, the CDC recommends you limit your travel to a short road trip to a location with outdoor activities that allow for social distancing.

Read on for ways to enjoy vacationing with your family in these unique times.

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10 times my kid’s outfits were better than anything at the Met Gala

The annual Met Gala is the place for high society to see and be seen in the most glamorous, avant garde and jaw-dropping fashion. From models to movie stars to even politicians, anyone who is anyone was on the red carpet at the event of the fall.

Scrolling through this years looks, I am reminded of all the creative clothing choices my youngest child has made over the years. From the moment he first became aware of clothes, he’s loved to dress up and express himself in unique ways. While I may have a mother’s bias, I think his looks could definitely upstage or at least turn a head or two if they were to strut their stuff at the Gala.

Here are a few of my favorite looks from recent years:

Overalls And Boots

Nothing says style like a snazzy pair of red cowboy boots.

Red Warrior

What can I say? The kid likes red.

Stealing The Scene In Green

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Yes, my “big” kids still sleep with me

Pitter, patter, pitter patter, little footsteps make their way across the hall and into our bedroom. Our youngest child, age five, crawls into bed with my husband and me.

Thump, thud, thump, big kid feet noisily follow suit, and soon our oldest, nearly 9, squeezes himself between the covers.

Four of us in a king-sized bed, which once seemed so vast and endless, now filled with our family.

All of us struggling to find our space, yet not wanting to leave. Snuggling close in a sea of arms and legs.

Our bed has always been open to our children.

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A tribute to my siblings on “Aunt and Uncle’s Day”

My children are fortunate to have a strong bond with their extended family. Though we often go too long without seeing them in person, I am grateful, in particular, with the connection my kids have forged with my brother and sister.

Affectionately known by the Hebrew words for aunt and uncle, their “Doda” and “Dod” are an important part of my kids’ lives.

In honor of “National Aunt and Uncle’s Day,” today, I am sharing my love and appreciation for my siblings, and all the other siblings who are devoted aunts and uncles to their nieces, and niblings (non-binary alternative for niece or nephew; I was unclear on an accepted one for aunt or uncle, please suggest one in the comment).



When my first son was born, my sister stepped up and offered her babysitting services, allowing my husband and I to get much needed nights out. We still joke about how the only way to stop my son from crying was to change his diaperconstantly. Hey, whatever works!

Two years and another baby later, my sister continued to be an important part of my kids’ lives. As they both got older, this bond grew from helping with feeding, bathing and diapers, to doing projects with them and taking them to museums. And, when we couldn’t get together in person, “Doda” was always eager to video chat.

With the world opening up (hopefully), my sister will soon be jetting off to some fabulous location, and I am sure will pick up (as she often does), cool souvenirs for my boys. I am thankful that even in her travels, my sister has her nephews in her heart.

Though my brother’s bond with my kids started slowly, in recent years, this connection has grown stronger. They are thrilled whenever they get the chance to spend time with their “Dod,” which means lots of fun playing games, running around or just being silly.

My brother had a special connection with one of our own uncles (may his memory be a blessing), who served as a guide, mentor and confidante to him over the years. As my boys grow older, I am grateful they will have their “Dod” to turn to for guidance and support.

Speaking on behalf of all parents out there, I want to say,”thank you,” to all the siblings who cherish their role as aunt or uncle. You are the ones our kids can go to when they are uncomfortable talk



When my first son was born, my sister stepped up and offered her babysitting services, allowing my husband and I to get much needed nights out. We still joke about how the only way to stop my son from crying was to change his diaperconstantly. Hey, whatever works!

Two years and another baby later, my sister continued to be an important part of my kids’ lives. As they both got older, this bond grew from helping with feeding, bathing and diapers, to doing projects with them and taking them to museums. And, when we couldn’t get together in person, “Doda” was always eager to video chat.

With the world opening up (hopefully), my sister will soon be jetting off to some fabulous location, and I am sure will pick up (as she often does), cool souvenirs for my boys. I am thankful that even in her travels, my sister has her nephews in her heart.

Though my brother’s bond with my kids started slowly, in recent years, this connection has grown stronger. They are thrilled whenever they get the chance to spend time with their “Dod,” which means lots of fun playing games, running around or just being silly.

My brother had a special connection with one of our own uncles (may his memory be a blessing), who served as a guide, mentor and confidante to him over the years. As my boys grow older, I am grateful they will have their “Dod” to turn to for guidance and support.

Speaking on behalf of all parents out there, I want to say,”thank you,” to all the siblings who cherish their role as aunt or uncle. You are the ones our kids can go to when they are uncomfortable talking to us. You are the ones who bring the cool gifts and take the kids to fun places. You are the ones who let the kids stay up late watching movies and give them all the junk food. You are the ones who bring joy and love into all of our lives.

Thank you aunts and uncles for being your wonderful selves.

Happy Aunt and Uncle’s Day!

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