Dads are Important, Too!

A few months ago, a book was released that emphasized the important role that dads have. It is possible that the book may have influenced some parents to take a moment and think about the importance of dads and whether society might need to update its idea of what dads can do. Let me begin by clearly stating that I think that both dads and moms are very important to their children. Each can have a very strong influence. Whether that influence is positive or negative depends largely on the individual choices each parent makes. A book called Do Fathers … Continue reading

Gas Tank Getaway: Six Flags Great America

Don’t let high gas prices keep you home this summer.  There’s no need to sweat it out in your backyard when extreme family fun is less than a tank of gas away. If you live in Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan or Illinois, a mecca of mind-blowing adventure awaits at Six Flags Great America.  The popular theme park is located in Gurnee, Illinois; less than an hour’s drive from Chicago, Milwaukee, and a host of other major Midwestern cities. Great America’s convenient location is a major timesaver, but the savings don’t stop there.  In addition to banking gas money, you can continue … Continue reading

How to Live on One Income

Is your goal to live on one income so you or your spouse can be a stay-at-home parent, pursue schooling, keep house, or another establish another endeavor? Take the following steps to make sure that you are well prepared for your lifestyle change. Get a New Attitude If you are currently living on two incomes, you may need to make some changes, both drastic and non-drastic in order to make the one income work for your family. Embrace money-saving ideas, such as shopping at yard sales or thrift stores, cooking at home, and bargain hunting. Look at these practices as … Continue reading

Do NOT Reply All

Dear parents of school-age children, It’s not necessary to “reply all” to every single email sent from your child’s teacher… especially if your kid is in the same class as ours. Sincerely, Parents for the Prevention of Reply All Abuse Look, I’m all for open communication, especially when it involves parents and educators, and despite my glaring absence on Facebook, I really do appreciate the advantages associated with digital messaging.  However, when it comes to emails and the “reply all” function, I’m a real hater. I’m not a huge fan of checking emails to begin with, so when I see … Continue reading

The Little Things

My daughter’s teacher has the following quote taped on the front of her desk:  “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” Despite seeing the laminated saying each time I walked my daughter to class, it took me a good two months to fully grasp the meaning of that single sentence. As busy parents trying to keep our heads above the choppy waters of life, it’s easy to dismiss the little things our children do every.single.day.  What’s more, it’s even easier to ignore the many opportunities we have to strengthen … Continue reading

Getting Your Kids to Listen to You

I’ve been a little frustrated with my son lately. It seems like I have to ask him ten times to do anything, and even then he still won’t do it. He’s unbelievably stubborn; and too smart for his own good. That whole reverse psychology thing doesn’t work with him anymore. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve lost my cool with him before when he won’t do what he’s told, much less acknowledge that he’s even been asked to do anything. He’s a pro at ignoring. After our nightly shower battle, I finally decided to do a little research … Continue reading

When Valentine’s Day Is a Downer

Valentine’s Day can be a real downer for many teens.  It may be nothing more than a reminder that they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, fueling some of the negative beliefs they may already have about themselves. Sometimes schools add insult to injury by drawing greater attention to it.  Although last week was “Spirit Week” at my daughter’s high school, I found the theme for Friday to be a bit unsettling. You were supposed to wear a color to represent your relationship status.  The different colors showed if you were taken, single or in a relationship dubbed “it’s complicated.”  … Continue reading

Nutrients for Reducing Stress

Being a single mom is stressful, but did you know that there are certain nutrients that can help reduce stress and anxiety? There are certain vitamins and minerals that can help you manage your stress levels throughout the day. Vitamin B6 helps your body to produce serotonin, a hormone that produces a calming effect on your body. When your stress levels are high, which is often if you are a single mother, Vitamin B6 is completely depleted throughout your body. Instead of feeling calm, you find yourself on edge, easily irritated, and overwhelmed. Green beans, bananas, and avocados are all … Continue reading

Do Children Make You Happier?

What role do children play in a parent’s happiness?  Do we find more joy in raising these youngsters or is there a longing for B.C. days (before children)? Apparently new research indicates that yes, parents are happier than those who don’t have children.  However, those with children that are the least happy are single and young parents. In fact, these groups may even be less happy than childless adults. Some have argued that the results are skewed because they didn’t differentiate between parents of babies and those with adult children.  Clearly the age of a child will make a significant … Continue reading

Teen Challenges: Attitudes

I started off this new series on teen challenges with the issue of lying.  Today’s parenting topic is the challenge of dealing with teen attitudes. At some point even the most compliant, “model” child will display some version of an attitude.  It could be eye-rolling, clucking of the tongue, shaking of the head, arms folded, feet stamping, or words such as “Whatever,” “Oh my gosh!” or even, “I hate you!” Attitudes can also include doors slamming, objects being tossed and storming off to sulk. Some are less dramatic, while others go all out. I wish I could tell you that … Continue reading