A Practicing Parent

Being Bored Is Work

13 Feb 2019
A Practicing Parent
“I don’t get it,” Jessie* said to my husband a few years back when he took her to Take-Your-Kids-To-Work Day. “Why do you have these Board meetings?” “What do you mean?” he asked. “Well, they’re boring. Isn’t that why you call them ‘bored meetings?’” Being bored. My children (and many adults) don’t know how to be bored anymore. I can’t even stand on a line anymore without pulling out my phone. I wonder about this and my parenting intuition tells me it can’t be good. “Can I have the iPad?” my 4-year-old son Luke* asked....
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Independence Starter Kit

06 Feb 2019
A Practicing Parent
My 4 (almost 5)-year-old says, “Mommy” at least 700 times a day—and that’s just from after school until bedtime. Imagine what it’s like on a weekend! He’s never been very good at solo play. On days when he doesn’t have an after school activity, he sticks to me like a barnacle on a whale. But, his teachers tell me he sings a different tune when he’s in school. Am I parenting him incorrectly, or it just one of those things where he acts differently with his teachers than at home? People tell me it’s common,...
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Does Your Teen Mumble Too?

28 Jan 2019
A Practicing Parent
“What? I can’t hear you,” I say to my teenage daughter, Jessie.* We are in the kitchen and I’m rinsing dishes. I turn off the water. Maybe it’s drowning her out. We try it again. I see her mouth move, and then, “Mumble, mumble.”I head to the bathroom to get a Q-tip. Maybe my ears are clogged. The next day, walking on Third Avenue, Jessie gestured, “You know….”The rest of what she said was garbled. “What did you say? I didn’t hear you,”I said. OMG. How many times in the last few days, weeks, months...
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Parenting and the Art of Distraction

17 Jan 2019
A Practicing Parent
Yesterday was like any other day at 5pm. I was making dinner, and my son (Luke), four, was absorbed in his one, daily-allowed TV episode. Me: “Look at you! You’re so cute!” I gushed to my dog Snoopy as she wagged her tail at me. Luke: “I’m cute too.” (I guess he wasn’t that absorbed.) Me. “Of course you are.” Luke: “I’m cuter than Snoopy.” Me: “I am allowed to tell Snoopy that she’s cute. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think you’re cute too.” Luke: “But I’m cuter!” Thankfully, he turned back to his...
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Upper School Pressure

20 Dec 2018
A Practicing Parent
I’ve recently been thinking about the first time I ran the NYC Marathon and what I recall most vividly is this: my fellow runners anxiously discussing their training techniques right before the start at the Verrazano Bridge. “I stretched for over an hour this morning, and used a foam roller to work out the knots in my calves,” said one woman. I didn’t do that. “I’ve been eating pasta for a week and carbo loading for a month,” said another. I didn’t do that. “I did three 22-mile training runs and ran 100 miles a...
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Is Judy Blume Forever?

02 Dec 2018
A Practicing Parent
Shhhhh…My book from Amazon has arrived…I carefully remove it from the carton, giggling to myself as if I were a young teenager. I stick it under my shirt and slink into my room and then into the bathroom so I can study it. It has a different cover from the one that I remember. As I read the back cover, I run back to my bedroom door and lock it, simultaneously feeling a little guilty and a bit naughty. I must have been about 14…and oh boy this book taught me things, on subjects I...
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Generational Teen Angst

24 Oct 2018
A Practicing Parent
I heard an eye-opening anecdote today that reveals how difficult it is to be a parent of a teen. Melissa*, my friend, relayed the narrative of her challenging morning. “You’re going to school today? With me?? On the bus???,” said Ally*, her 13-year-old daughter. Melissa was attending a talk at Ally’s school, so it made sense for her to just hop on the school bus. But it did not make sense to Ally. Melissa positioned herself at a window seat leaving space for Ally, who just rolled her eyes and moved past her mom, choosing...
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Honoring Our NYC Superheroes

29 Sep 2018
A Practicing Parent
“Hey buddy, we’re not going to the playground. Today we’re doing something special.” I said to my 4 1/2-year-old son at school pick-up a few weeks ago. My 13-year-old daughter accompanied me. “What are we gonna do then?” he asked. “We are going to Dunkin’ Donuts and getting a big, big box of Munchkins,” I said. My son’s eyes lit up. Previous years with my daughter, we’ve purchased flowers, cards, and one year we made chocolate chip cookies. “Can we get chocolate ones?” he asked. “I think we should get assorted ones because they’re not...
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A Practicing Parent

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