Winning for Nothing: Are We Raising Entitled Kids?

There was a storm of sorts in the NFL/parenting world this week when the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison returned trophies his two sons had received for participation. There was uproar on both sides of the fence: parents speaking out against him for doing it, and parents speaking out against the parents speaking out against him. I know, right? In the world I grew up in, we received trophies, badges, and a myriad of other accolades for accomplishing something or for being the best at something. My accomplices and I were respectful (mostly…we did eventually turn 13, after all) of the police, our parents, and afraid of punishment in general, and that fear kept the majority of us out of prison and shaped us into law-abiding adults with a healthy sense of hard-won accomplishment. Today’s standard of handing out the same accolades to our kids for little to no effort at all is not doing our children, or our future society, any favors. I understand the intentions that introduced the concept of giving everyone a trophy, but when did we get into the business of keeping kids sense of self elevated at the cost of learning life lessons? I recently read […]



Deprogramming Women 101 – Find Your Tribe

There seems to be a lot more talk in my life lately about women needing to be kinder to one another and while I am all for it,  I am finding that there is a lot of talk happening out of one side of people’s mouths. Who hasn’t “pledged” to be better to her sisters in vaginahood one second, and criticized a woman for something in the next? I’ll tell you who: every single one of us. I just did it this morning, only this time I was judging myself. A lovely girl sat next to me on the train and I wondered what it was like to be so slim, and it hit me like a frying pan to the face: how did I become so inured to degrading my own value? When did I completely buy into measuring my value as a woman against a magazine rack full of size 2’s? The early and constant brainwashing in the media, our own mothers and sisters teaching us to “suck it in and put some lipstick on” or we’d never “find a man” – we’re doomed before we even know what we are doomed to. I think I found a way […]

The Balance of Beauty and Brains

My 28-month old daughter is pretty cute. I know we all think that about our kids, but really…she is damn cute. Everywhere we go people are taken with her and tell us how beautiful she is, commenting on her eyes/cheeks/smile. And it scares me to death. The compliments (while it warms my heart to hear them and makes me swell with pride) scare me. The constant referring to her beauty and her charm (and oh can she be charming!) worries me to no end. I temper Daddy’s “Where’s my pretty girl?” with “You did that puzzle all by yourself, smart girl!” When the clerk at the grocery store tells her how adorable she is, I ask her to count how many apples Mommy put on the counter. Don’t misunderstand me: I want her to feel like the most beautiful person in the world. But I’ll be damned if she is going to grow up thinking the only thing that contributes to that beauty is physical appearance. If we are going to change the conversation about women, I need to change this conversation with her now. It is so important that I give her enough tools in her life to be […]


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Parenting Children: It’s The New Style

Before I became a parent, I thought it was just called parenting. I can’t imagine how I got this far on so little knowledge. Upon giving birth, I learned new meanings for existing words, like ‘helicopter’ and ‘free-range’; apparently, they no longer only apply to aviation and poultry! I was pretty sure I knew what the word ‘attachment’ meant until I gave birth. Suddenly, the small world I knew was gone. In its place was this crazy world where people got arrested for letting their ten and six year-old children walk home from school alone (together, but without an adult). For shame! I was not a grown-up when I was a child, contrary to my belief, so I can only assume that some variations on parenting styles existed; there had to have been – we all know that adult who still lives with their parents. What I know for certain is that yes, we played outside all day and came home when we were called or when the streetlights came on, whichever came first. I suppose I was a free-range kid of sorts, and I was also a latch-key kid, a broken-home kid, and a step-kid. I was also an honor-roll […]

Hear, Don’t Listen: The Terrible Twos

Every day, I wake up planning on being a better mother to my two-year-old tyrant; who isn’t really a tyrant, but when she is bad, she is horrid. She didn’t start out terrible – they never do. When she was a baby it was all coos and giggles, but when she started talking and learning to exert her “independence” and I started trying to control her behaviour, the shit hit the fan. Since it is up to me to show her who is in charge (big hint: it isn’t me) I had this amazingly stupid brilliant idea that she would respect my authority and instantly straighten up once she heard THAT tone in my voice and snap to it when I asked her to do something. When I emerged from that rabbit hole to find that she hadn’t, in fact, drank my particular brand of Kool-Aid, I was shocked. “What do you mean, ‘She’s TWO!’ She is old enough to know to not hit or bite, and old enough to know when I MEAN it!” Oh, what a fool I am. What the experts mean, exactly (I may be paraphrasing), is that two years old = little giant asshole until […]