My son's room is a perpetual mess. Hey, he's 7, I don't blame him. My office is a mess, too. And I'm 7.29 times older than he is!But last week, when I could no longer find the covers on his bed because of the layers of stuff strewn across it, I felt enough was enough. (My office is almost at that point, but not quite.) I resolved that we had to clean it up.So we spent his pre-bedtime activities (usually spent reading) by clearing his bed, putting toys away, throwing away broken toys, shoving Legos into boxes. We are in frenzied activity mode .. well, I was. I was pulling everything off … [Read more...]
"Dad," my son said as he looked at me from across the living room while I performed the daily ritual of going through his backpack after school. "I'm a little bit upset with you, Dad. Just a little."It was a very calculated tone to his voice. Determined. He'd contemplated things and ruled that whatever happened it was decidedly my responsibility."Oh, really?" I replied."You forgot to send my library book to school and it was book day."Never mind that just that morning we'd had a conversation before school about whether he wanted to put the book in his bag -- just in … [Read more...]
We all want to treat our children well, but how can we avoid going too far and creating a spoiled brat?Ron Lieber, a New York Times personal finance columnist and author of the recently released book The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, offers parents the advice they need on this topic while offering tips on setting limits on allowance and birthday presents on our latest Modern Dads Podcast. Lieber also provides some suggestions on saving for college.
* Listen to The Modern Dads Podcast with Ron … [Read more...]
Back in June, before the school day begins, my daughter is writing in her diary. I take a peek because I'm curious and often she keeps it pretty secret. It's got a little lock and everything. Usually it has things in it like a portrait of herself with her name under it and on the top of the page the musing, "I love me." Or one whole page covered corner to corner by the lone exclamation, "My brother is CRAZY!"I take a lot of peeks. She leaves the key around. Something about unlocking that little pink diary to read it feels oh-so-right and so wrong simultaneously. I blame the NSA.On this … [Read more...]
Today in my house, we learned a lesson. If you don't want to clean that shit up, don't do that shit.We have a set of plastic bins from Target to help with cleaning up and organizing. Don't mean to brag. We have a set of colorful plastic bins from Target in which a lot of the kids' smaller toys are stored. Blocks, dolls, fake food and plates, old pay-as-you-go cell phones, poker chips, empty cigarette boxes, bottle caps, three-penny nails, mercury. You know.I heard the sound of thousands of tiny plastic pieces hitting a hardwood floor."Are you dumping out the bins?" I asked … [Read more...]