American Girl’s Latest Puberty Book Is Just for Boys — and I Need It as Much as My Son

  My soon-to-be 10-year-old son came to me yesterday and said, “Mom, I have a spider bite on my nose. It hurts.” That was no spider bite. It was a pimple. A BIG one. His first. “That, my friend, is a pimple,” I said with a lighthearted giggle. “Welcome to puberty!”

7 Tips for Taking Your Teen to Disney That Will Clinch Your Status as the “Fun Mom”

You have a teen. A bored teen. A been-there-done-that-I’m-not-impressed-by-much teen. Maybe it’s time for a vacation. Maybe it’s time for fun. Or maybe it’s time for some much-needed, long overdue magic. I get it. As the mom of a 14-year-old son, coming up with new and fresh ways to connect and have fun with my […]

Do You Check Your Kid’s Grades Online…Like, A Lot?

Step away from the grade portal…

46 Things No One Tells You About Parenting a Teenage Boy

If you think life with an almost-teenage boy is full of surprises, I’m here to tell you the biggest, baddest, and bestest is yet to come. More than big appetites and even bigger messes, parenting a teenage boy is magic and madness — and that’s what makes it so damn good. Bridging those years between boyhood […]

In Defense of the Simple School Dance Ask

His name was Brian and he was a junior. He had red hair, an ambitious goatee, and he liked me. I suppose I should have been flattered. As a shy freshman, I didn’t get the attention of boys — or upperclassmen — very often. One day after class, Brian approached me and said hello. I muttered […]

The Great Retainer Debate

Dear Son: These Are the 5 Best Decisions You’ll Ever Make

My Dear Son, Lately you’ve been hearing a lot about how the decisions you make today affect all your tomorrows. I see you taking it all in. Worrying. Wondering. You mentioned there didn’t seem to be room for mistakes anymore. I tried to assure you mistakes were yours for the making — a rite of […]

13 Things I Learned from My First Week of High School

Hi everyone, it’s Ryan*. This week I started high school as a freshman. The bad news is that the week was terribly long. The good news is that I learned some things that might come in handy for kids starting high school soon. Take a look:

8 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Their Child Starts Middle School

In four short days everything will change. My son will walk through the student entrance of his new high school a gawky freshman and emerge a graduating senior in only four short years. I don’t know how we got here so fast. I didn’t intend to speed through this parenting road trip. It feels as […]

62 Thoughts Parents Have at 8th Grade Graduation

Today I watched my son cross the stage in his 8th grade promotion ceremony. Dressed sharp in a charcoal vest and tie, he took to the field of his new high school seven inches taller and immeasurably wiser than the once-timid kid nearly swallowed whole by 7th grade. Junior high wasn’t easy on any of […]