No, I Don’t Want My Son to Befriend His Bully

shutterstock_121428757It all started last year when BooBoo brought a rubber ball to school to play with at recess. After playing with it for a few minutes, a kid named Trevor confiscated it for his own amusement. Words were spoken, a struggle was had, and tears were shed. Trevor was swiftly reprimanded for his actions and first grade life went back to normal.

Or so we thought. Unfortunately for BooBoo, Trevor was a classmate with an apparent axe to grind. So from that recess forward, BooBoo became the sole target of Trevor’s aggressive and passive-aggressive behavior. There were secret arm grabs and pinches, personal items that mysteriously went “missing,” verbal threats, put-downs, and even a random rumor about BooBoo pooping his pants. My son, a spirited boy who’d always loved school, was slowly being reduced to a defeated child who complained about stomach pains on school days. My kid who used to skip out of the school gate upon dismissal now shuffled slowly with his head hung low. When I’d ask how his day went, sometimes there would be tears, other times there would be silence, and still other times there would be only one word spoken: “Trevor.”

Who was this Trevor? Was he a misunderstood kid? Did he have good parents? Surely there was something we could do. After talking with my son’s teacher and exhaustively addressing every personal concern, I felt reasonably confident our troubles with Trevor would be over.

But they continued. [read more...]

6 Spooktacular Ways to Celebrate Halloween as a Family

2275Think Halloween is just for kids? Think again!

Now, I know when we think of traditional family holidays, the usual suspects come to mind, but for many families Halloween holds a special (and spooky) place in our hearts. As the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season, Halloween offers all the spirited magic, yummy treats, and festive fun that a family could hope for.

I invite you to join me in celebrating Halloween as a family this year. Even if you haven’t dressed up in ages or dared to let your fright flag fly, with a little imagination and a playful heart, your family can enjoy the best of the Halloween season — together!

Take a look at my six favorite spooktactular ways to celebrate Halloween as a family.

In Defense of Older Trick-or-Treaters

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“If you don’t tell me what you want to be for Halloween, you won’t get to go trick-or-treating.” I told Boy Wonder for the hundredth time. “I’m too old for that.” he said. “People don’t like giving candy to older kids. Last year they kinda made me feel bad about it.” “What? Who? How? Was […]

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Apparently California Doesn’t Want Dads Changing Diapers

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Last week a woman gained national attention for changing her 16-month-old’s diaper on a dining table at a Chipotle restaurant. She would have used a changing table, you guys, but they didn’t have any and her burrito was getting cold. While most of us would have made the dreaded trek back to the car to […]

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5 Ways to Recapture the Magic of Childhood with Your Tween

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“Mom, you can get rid of all that stuff.” Boy Wonder said as he pointed to a giant box of toys he’d spent years collecting. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yeah, that stuff’s for kids.” And just like that, my tween closed the door on his childhood without so much as a nostalgic look back. […]

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My 6-Year-Old’s Guide to Proper Parenting

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For all the things your parents were throughout your childhood — kind, supportive, loving — they were also wildly unfair when it came to things like discipline. There were rules. So. Many. Rules. And they were unnecessary! I mean, what did you need all those rules for? You were a good kid. All you wanted to […]

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Fellow L.A. Parents, Why the Heck Aren’t You Vaccinating Your Kids?

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Parenting is full of tough choices, but some choices are pretty easy: we always use seat belts, we insist on a helmet, and we vaccinate our kids. Unless, of course, we live on the westside of Los Angeles County, where vaccinating doesn’t make “instinctive” sense. Wait, what? Apparently, parents within L.A.’s wealthiest communities have a big […]

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10 Myths About Moms Raising Sons – Busted

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As the mom of two boys, I’d like to think I know at least a little something about raising sons. Experience has taught me that boys are wild and wonderful, loud and daring — and guess what — also tender, and thoughtful. There was a time when the very notion of raising a son (let […]

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The Real Reason Moms Need Family Vacations

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Vacations are a relatively new thing for my family. We went nearly a decade without ever taking a single one. Working in a high-pressure corporate environment, I reserved vacation time for sick kids, school holidays, and necessary Monday-through-Friday personal appointments. If you’re not careful, “vacation” time can go pretty quickly without even a single relaxing […]

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7 Ways I’m Helping My Kid Resist Peer Pressure

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Like every parent of an incoming junior-higher, I’m filled with excitement and anxiety for what the future holds for my son. I think about the friendships he’ll form, the rush of his first crush, and the scary and difficult decisions he’ll someday have to make. It’s no secret that the stakes are higher now. He […]

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