Life Skills

People Are the Priority

October 14, 2016

It was clear early on that my friend Christina’s daughter Ava was a bright girl.  She was one of those toddlers who spoke in eloquent sentences when my same-age son was struggling to put two words together.  Her parents were understandably impressed with her abilities.  Unlike other children who develop in fits and starts during […]

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What Getting a Puppy Taught My Tween and Teens about Parenthood

August 31, 2016

As a family we fall on the late-adopter end of the spectrum.  This is challenging for our kids when it comes to owning the newest technology which I’m pretty sure we have none of in our home.  It’s been similar with pets.  After becoming a parent, I remember the sense of awe I had watching […]

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“I Got My First Paycheck!” The Value of Work in Kids’ Lives

April 17, 2015

  At breakfast one morning last summer, Stephen, our 15 year-old suggested, “Let’s all go hiking this weekend.  I have a trail I want you to see.  It’s the one we’ve been working on all week.” Stephen’s comment was notable for a couple of reasons. For one thing, 15 year-old boys don’t tend to enjoy […]

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One Solution to the High Price of Big Kid Activities

January 29, 2015

A little over a year ago, Todd and I were having one of our monthly check-ins about family finances, and we came to the unfortunate realization that our family had more money going out than coming in. Ouch. The previous month we’d targeted a number of areas in which to reduce spending (cable, some organic […]

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Kids Sharing a Bedroom: Pros and Cons

May 10, 2012

When our oldest child, Stephen, was 7 he was invited to spend a night in the hotel room of his visiting grandparents.  I expected our middle child Daniel, then 5, would be excited to be the sole occupant of their shared bedroom. However, as bedtime approached Daniel looked increasingly anxious.  Eventually he took me aside […]

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Teaching Kids to Advocate for Themselves – And 5 Ways to Help Little Kids Learn This Skill

February 15, 2012

Recently my husband Todd, and Daniel, our fifth grader, walked in the door on a particularly gray and blustery afternoon, their grim faces matching the outdoor weather.  “What’s wrong?”  I wanted to know.  “Daniel’s teacher put him next to Jonah for another month, maybe we should talk to her this time,” Todd said with that […]

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Toward Media Savvy Kids

October 6, 2011

A while back Todd took our daughter Annie (8) to the nearby hardware store.  This locally-owned place is stocked with just about every basic item you could want.  Todd needed drywall anchors and screws.  Annie asked to stay by the Japanese eraser display while her dad went to find the fasteners section. I can’t recall […]

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Teaching Kids to Save Money

September 2, 2011

Saving versus spending:   Each of my three kids falls into a separate section of this continuum, depending on how recently they received birthday money.  On the one hand it’s enlightening to see what my kids choose to buy with their own money.  It’s a window into their young minds.  Recent purchases at our home […]

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Helping Your Child Start a Small Business

August 22, 2011

During the Depression my stepfather, Dan, helped his family survive by purchasing fruit and vegetables at the farmers’ market.  Then he sold them door to door in the wealthier neighborhoods of his city from his homemade wooden wagon.  He was 8 when he launched his career as an entrepreneur. When I was a child of […]

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“The Story of Stuff” with Kids

May 26, 2011

School ends tomorrow, as I write this.  We don’t have much in the way of camps or full-day activities set up for the kids, part of the me-not-working decision.  (See previous post.)  Instead we undertake what I refer to as Mom Camp.  Just me and my three friends exploring Boulder’s vast holdings.  (Let’s hope they […]

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