Curfew is Not Negotiable

How do you decide curfew? Are the rules any different for single parents? I get up before 5am to go to work so I’m in bed by 10pm on weeknights and on weekends I struggle to stay up any later because my body is used to sleeping at certain times. I have used my work/sleep schedule to determine Hailey’s curfew. During the week she has to be in the house by 10, on the weekend it’s midnight. She always tells me that none of her friends have curfews that early but I just shrug and say “ These are the … Continue reading


We’ve been foster parents since the first darling baby passed through our front door on November 2, 2007. We had been subjected to the rules, regulations, and classes for months prior so we should have been prepared for the mountains of paperwork that accompanied the bouncing baby girl. The Placement Authorization shows that a particular child has officially been given into our care. The Designation of Medical Consenter of Non-DFPS Employee allows us to make medical decisions on behalf of the foster child. We can’t take the child to the doctor or dentist without either of these forms. Just when … Continue reading

Discipline When You’re The Only Parent

I’ve been a single parent for the past six years. One of the many things I’ve discovered along this path is that discipline is really tough to balance out when you’re the only parent in the household. Most couples will admit that there’s always a good cop/bad cop way of enforcing rules in the family. In my marriage I was the good cop and their father was the bad cop. (He was too bad in various ways, which is why we parted ways.) When I found myself a single parent with five daughters to guide and keep in line when … Continue reading

Can You Be Too Strict with Teens?

In the past week, I have written quite a bit about being a strict parent. Are You a Strict Parent, What Does Strict Parenting Look Like, and Teens Rule if You Don’t Set Teen Rules are the topics that were covered. The above mentioned articles were targeted at parents who had pretty relaxed rules at home, and were struggling to deal with their kids. On the other end of the spectrum, however, are parents who are too strict with their teens. Too strict discipline comes in two forms: There are parents who are strict with kids pretty much from birth … Continue reading

What Does Strict Parenting Look Like?

Yesterday I asked, Are You a Strict Parent? Realizing, of course, that “strictness” is highly interpretable. What some people think of as strict parenting, other parents think of it as lax parenting. So what does strict parenting look like? To me strict parenting is… Setting Rules: Rules would include cleaning up behind themselves, taking care of their belongings, asking permission before touching another’s belongings, being kind to others, following household rules for computer, television, and going out. While this may sound a little abstract, one must realize that rules change based on age appropriateness, maturity, and trust worthiness. Where one … Continue reading

Coming up with Some Household Policies

Of course we cannot run our households like businesses…or can we? Are there some basic business practices that can be adjusted to fit the average single parent household? One area where I think it can be helpful is to have some basic household “policies.” How will you handle extra-curricular expenses? What will be your stance on “sick days” from school? How will your family deal with chores or behavior infractions? Instead of thinking in terms of set rules, it might be helpful to develop family policies to guide you in overseeing your family. To share an example, our family “sick … Continue reading

Implementing New Rules

As parents, we are perpetually evolving and trying to come up with new and better ways to do things. Our children change, our family dynamic change, and life in our household changes so we have to change along with it. Implementing new rules is inevitable, but not always easy. Our children may balk, we may have a hard time staying consistent, and it may take some time to get the new rules to “stick.” There are things you can do, however, to make the implementation of new rules go smoother: There needs to be some logic and obvious needs to … Continue reading

Ritual and Rules or Relationship?

Jesus taught that Christianity is about a relationship, not the keeping of rules and rituals. Jesus warned his disciples they would be cast out of the synagogues, for following Him rather than abiding by the rules and laws of the Jewish religion, John 16: 1-4. Jesus’ prayer, for his early disciples and for us, is that we may be one with him and with the Father, John 17:20-23. That’s relationship! If we look back earlier in John’s gospel we see another example of Jesus in relationship with his people. Jesus taught He was ‘the good shepherd.’ He is our shepherd … Continue reading

The Rules Should Apply to Everyone

I have confessed before that I am not a parent with a huge rule book. I have always had some very clear and basic standards and family guidelines that have been the glue that holds our family together. One thing I do believe very strongly about, however, is that whatever rules you have in your house and whatever way you have of parenting—it needs to be fair: the house rules should apply to everyone and the expectations need to be age-appropriate, yet consistent. There should not be different rules for different children. I know that this can be challenging in … Continue reading

The Don’ts of Swap Participation

We have been talking about swap participation and the rules, guidelines and etiquette that goes with it. Specifically I am speaking about scrapbooking swaps, but these guidelines could be used with most any type of swap. Here are some don’ts of swap participation. Don’t: DON’T: Lose the guidelines or do your own thing unless that is part of the swap. Be sure and follow the instructions closely so that everyone is happy with the outcome of the swap. DON’T: Forget the due date. You don’t want to be the one holding up the swap, or feel like you’re going to … Continue reading