Parenting advice

  • Featured,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Parenting advice,  Where I'm published

    A short survival guide for grads

    At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.” ~Paul Freund Like most moms, I spent years lecturing my child on the importance of working hard, eating healthy meals, writing thank-you notes, and ironing his dress shirts. But I neglected to impart other nuggets of wisdom along the way. As my dad used to say, earning good grades is important, but learning how to get along with people is even more important. That’s why I wrote the following list of graduation “survival tips” and shared them in my local newspaper column before my son…

  • Anna Quindlen,  Events & news,  Health & wellbeing,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    Book banning

    “Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don’t discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s stupid. Banning books shows you don’t trust your kids to think and you don’t trust yourself to be able to talk to them.” ~Anna Quindlen Last night, I had the pleasure of working at one of my favorite local libraries. Before my class started, I enjoyed a quiet moment, browsing the shelves and absorbing the ambiance created by so many literary choices. And then I thought about all the recent talk on TV about book banning. As my mother used to say, you can make just about anything twice as attractive or interesting by…

  • grandparenting,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    A little night magic

    “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Seuss Our son had warned us that our two-year-old grandson, Liam, might have trouble settling to sleep during his weekend stay with us. While this was a change from Liam’s usual pattern — he’d usually fall asleep without a struggle — Doug and I were prepared for the screams that ensued not long after we put him to bed on Friday night. But I didn’t have the heart to let Liam “cry it out,” as some childcare experts would advise. Instead, I invited the little guy to join us outside in the backyard, to sit…

  • Change,  Empty nest,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    Taking flight, growing strong

    “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron Today’s quote spoke to me in several different ways. First, I thought of all the new college students who’ll soon be starting school — and how leaving the nest for the first time is such a milestone for our kids. The whole process involves facing change and challenges — and learning how to adapt. But Buddhist author Pema Chodron isn’t just referring to young people living on their own for the first time. She uses “the nest” as a metaphor for our comfort zone. No matter how old or young…

  • Anna Quindlen,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    Here and now

    “I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing. Dinner. Bath. Book. Bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” ~Anna Quindlen A short overnight visit with our two-year-old grandson this week reminded me, again, how important it is to savor the moments we spend with children. I remembered his father’s toddler years (“Dinner, bath, book, bed”) and how quickly they flew. Too often, as Anna Quindlen points out, we neglect to savor the routines and rituals that anchor our lives. There’s always “the next thing” on our to-do lists. Childhood…