Category Archives: Parent Society

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

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funny-cartoons-electronicsElectronics, machines in general, and I do not always see eye to eye.  This was never more apparent than in my article about the onset of my war on electronics in the fight for control over my kids – I Am Woman (Ode to Chris the Caveman).

However, there was also the showdown with the nasty smoke alarm in Woman vs. Machine.  And don’t even get me started on my nemesis – the vacuum – as portrayed in The Day I Killed the Vaccum.

The thing is, I was recently lulled into a false sense of security when I found a way to make my big time enemy – electronics – into my unwitting ally.  Or at least, I thought I had found a way.  Today, on ParentSociety.com, I share my story of underestimation and slippery deception.

Are You a Parent Fighting the War on Electronics?

Here is something you need to know about the enemy!

Go Here! Quick!!

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Making Choices: Outlook Not So Good

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8ballTo Shave or Not to Shave?  This is a question, or rather choice of great import I recently faced – which started me thinking about the parenting nightmare it can be teaching our kids how to not only make choices but also, (dare to dream) make good choices.

Today, over at ParentSociety.com, I share three phases we (husband and I) have experienced in the quest to teach our kids how to make choices, which phase I am not sure I will live through, and the ultimate outcome of my own big decision!

Go here!

The 3 Phases to Teaching Your Kids to Make Choices

And if the proposed strategies all fail, no worries, there is always the 8 ball!

The Travel Scavenger Hunt

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Brooklyn Bridge

We love to travel with our kids and…

…When they were little, the primary goal was just to get there and back again without losing our sanity. Be it by car or plane, the trip was deemed a success if accomplished with the minimal amount of tearing out of hair (our own) or disturbing the peace (a group effort).

However, as they got older, we began to want them to actually get something out of the experiences.

And thus, the Travel Scavenger Hunt  was born…

I swear, it really works!  Go here –  over to ParentSociety.com – to my article about how it works and how to make your own Travel Scavenger Hunt – trust me, you kids will love it!

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy

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Venice

Travel: it costs money. Sometimes a lot of money. Scratch that, travel pretty much all the time costs a bucket load of money. Unfortunately for our pocketbook, my husband and I have developed an obsessive love for traveling, and we have successfully infected our kids with the obsession as well!

Today, over at ParentSociety.com,  as a result of a trip to Italy in November, I am sharing nine of our favorite free (or practically free) activities to do with kids in Italy (believe, if you are planning a trip to Italy – with or without your kids – you are gonna need it!). Go here!

9 Free Activities to Do With Kids in Italy

Other Sweet Spot posts about Italy.

A Boy’s Eye View of Italy

Just ‘Cause It’s Friday

For more Sweet Spot Travels posts Go Here!

The Chaos of a Newly Working Mom

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Today, it would be nice if I was doing something like this:

Santa Cruz, CAOr maybe even this:

pig chillinBut, in all likelihood,  my day will probably look more like this:

messyhouse2

In September, I began the task of looking for a job outside my home.  It turned out to be a much more arduous process (and at times embarrassing – Bag Lady Goes a Job Hunting) than I had anticipated.  But at long last, in December I was offered a full time position (someone finally took pity on me) and officially changed my status from WAHM (work at home Mom) to WOHM (work outside the home Mom).

I expected a transition time, what I got was chaos.

Head over to ParentSociety.com where today, I share the whole messy story and what I plan to do about it!

Go Here: The Chaos of a Newly Working Mom

Pay Attention in School, You May Win the Lottery Someday

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winning the lottery

Powerball-mania!!  Do you or your kids have it?  Well then, I suggest you share with your kids a cautionary tale I wrote about on ParentSociety!

Do your kids complain about school? At times, do they just not want to go, do the work, be bothered with it, get out of bed in the morning, pay attention, apply, learn, concentrate, etc.? I mean, what kid doesn’t have those days (or weeks, months, or even years)?

But, every once in a while, a real life story comes along that plays right into the little parental hands. I love these moments. And even though my kids probably secretly hate them, this particular cautionary tale about why they should always pay attention and stay in school was pretty hard to deny!

OK, so here is the  story…

What?  You didn’t think I would put it here.  No, you will have to go to ParentSociety.com to get the whole story.  It is a good one, I promise!

Go here

A Tricky Way to Get Your Kids to Pay Attention in School.

Saying No Sucks!

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We all know there are aspects of parenting that really stink, don’t even try to deny it!  Today, on ParentSociety.com I reflect on  complain about one of my least favorite responsibilities of parenting.

Go here to find out what I am whining about!

Saying No Sucks!

A Life Lesson, The Easy Way

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tom sawyer

We have a huge pecan tree in our yard.  And when I say huge, I really mean it — as in if it fell, our house would be reduced to rubble.  Every 2 to 3 years, the pecan tree decides to drop thousands of pecans all over the yard.  The squirrels, in these years, do a little happy dance knowing their future is secure.  But for me, I feel compelled to do something about some of those nuts littering my yard.

All I wanted was the pecans in my yard picked up – or rather, to find a way to get my kids to pick up the pecans in my yard.  I didn’t expect to get a life lesson out of it, too!

Check out my latest article on ParentSociety.com

Teaching Kids About Money:  A Life Lesson, The Easy Way.

Boys Will Be Boys

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Boys will be boys, but how do we turn them into men?  This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately because…

This year, for the first time, I have two boys attending Middle School. Let us just say that the start to our year has been a bit of a rocky road — like the kind you need a four wheeler for … or a tank. Don’t get me wrong, their grades are fine; good, even. They get their work done and they make an effort. The problem is they are on a quest to fulfill the saying “boys will be boys.”

That’s it.  That is all you get.  You will have to GO HERE to read the rest of the article The Secret to Raising Good Kids?  Teaching Respect  on ParentSociety.com. It will be worth it, I promise – you will laugh a little and maybe even cry a little (at my bad jokes, that is).

The Secret to Raising Good Kids?  Teaching Respect.

Are You Mom or Housekeeper?

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If you are not immediately sure of the answer to the question “Are you the Mom or the Housekeeper?” then you are in desperate need of  a personal day and my most recent article on ParentSociety.com may be just the thing: 6 Ways to Pamper Yourself During Mommy Time.

You know the moment when you are knee-deep in laundry and it occurs to you that the job of mom (or in some cases, dad) is more like the job of live-in housekeeper?

I don’t know about you, but before I became a mom, my visions of motherhood went more like little children tripping along behind me, through the grassy meadow, singing in perfect harmony. OK, that might have been “Sound of Music,” but you get my drift.

Well, whenever I begin to overly obsess on the housekeeper aspects of being a mom, which usually comes in the midst of some particularly gross job like scrubbing toothpaste globs out of the carpet, I know it is time for a personal day…

We all need some personal time every now and then. Go Here to get 6 suggestions on how you might spend it.

Go now…what are you waiting for?…the laundry will wait…I promise!

6 Ways to Pamper Yourself During Mommy Time.

10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use

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So let’s just say you did something completely crazy like, oh I don’t know,  answer the wanted ad for parenting?  Wanted: A Parent. Faint Hearted Need Not Apply.  Hey, it’s ok, we all do it because there is no accounting for crazy.

But now, you may really need to check out my post on ParentSociety.com10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use.

It is the logical progression.

1.  Do something crazy like become a parent

2.  Ask for help from those who have run the gauntlet.

3.  Apply advice liberally in a trial and error fashion.

4.  Hope, plead, pray, cross fingers for the best.

Thank you to all the contributors who helped me put together the awesome list! Apparently, I not only need help with parenting, I need help compiling a list of tips to help with parenting. It is a good thing I have such wonderful (and vastly smart) friends and family!

10 Awesome Parenting Tips You’ll Actually Use

Wanted: A Parent. The Faint-Hearted Need Not Apply

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Ever wonder how a Want Ad for the job of “Parent” would read?

Well, wonder no more, just head on over to ParentSociety.com where my latest article or rather ‘want-ad’ is running today. It might be good for a laugh (or cry).

Wanted: A Parent. The Faint-Hearted Need Not Apply

How to Grow Old Gracefully

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See that cool lady in the photo?  That is my Grandmother, on her 80th birthday, riding the pink bicycle she requested as a gift.  The picture was taken shortly before she passed away. I love this picture because it will always remind me to…

Well, if you want to know the answer to that dangling statement you will have to hop on over to my recent post on ParentSociety.com,  “How to Grow Old Gracefully”.

Here is a little excerpt to tempt you:

Here is the thing; mostly I picture my personal aging journey being more like “Sunset Boulevard” than to “Driving Miss Daisy.” And what’s more, I fear I will be taken through my golden years chained and shackled like Hannibal Lector in “Silence of the Lambs.”

However… bear with me here because I think I may actually have figured something out for once about How to Grow Old Gracefully!

Go here to find out what I think I may have, with the help of my beautiful Grandma, figured out about how to grow old gracefully!  You might be glad you did…

“How to Grow Old Gracefully”

Other musings on age: “Is There Life After 40?”

5 Steps to Getting Your Kids to Stop Asking “How Much Longer?”

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If your kids never, ever ask this question, wouldn’t even think asking it, would die before this question passed their lips,  then stop reading right now this instant.  However if, as I strongly suspect, your kids are like mine and fully abuse the question “How Much Longer?” , you might want to check out my latest article on ParentSociety.com,

5 Steps to Getting Your Kids to Stop Asking “How Much Longer?”.  

Alright, already, here is the teaser…

My son has an annoying habit of constantly asking the question, “How much longer?” How much longer will something last, how much longer until we get somewhere, how much longer until something arrives, etc. (OK, it isn’t annoying, it is cute, endearing, precious, just like him … now do I get my parent-of-the-year trophy back?).

Actually, the problem isn’t just that he asks the question…

Enough?  Now, if you please, go here to get the rest of the snarky story.

5 Steps to Getting Your Kids to Stop Asking “How Much Longer?”

Oh, and if you need further laughs on this Wednesday hump day, I recommend this short and sweet vlog –  Boy Meets Tree

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

6 Budget Activities to Do With Kids in the UK

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For those of you not sick of hearing about my trip to the UK yet (I hope there are at least 2 of you left), my article 6 Budget Activities to Do With Kids in the UK is running on ParentSociety.com today.  It starts out like this…

Ok, here it is people: the truth about travel with kids. You can plan and plan and plan until you are blue in the face. You can research activities you hope your kids will find intriguing until you are bleary-eyed. You can root out every possible fun activity there is until your head is spinning. But no matter how much work you do to entertain your kids on a vacation, the sad reality is that in the end it doesn’t matter. No matter what you do, those slippery little suckers will end up liking some random activity better.

Now, come on, doesn’t that make you the least bit curious?  Wee bit?  Go Here!

6 Budget Activities to Do with Kids in the UK

Other travel musings:

Sweet Spots: UK

Leaving My Heart (& “the Cheeseman”) in Hamburg

Don’t Worry, I Speak the Language

Round ’em Up Son: All is Good in Wales

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Glutton for Punishment: aka Airplane Travel with Kids

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Planning an airplane trip anytime soon with your kids?  Well, if you are ever going to entertain the idea or have had the potentially not-so-pleasureable experience already – better skedaddle on over to ParentSociety.com where today I am sharing

10 Travel Items to Never Leave Home Without

My husband and I have always loved to travel. Therefore, since the time our kids were babies we have dragged them all over the USA and abroad. As with all things, doing any activity with kids involved is, to put it mildly, different. Throughout the years, I have developed a mental checklist of items I never leave home without.  Most All of these suggestions have been learned the hard way, through the rough road of experience (as in sometimes, there was not even a road, just a trail with big ruts).

Some or all of these items may just save you from a few more grey hairs! GREY HAIRS I SAID! What are you waiting for??!  Go Here! Quick!

Some of my early travel experiences When All Else Fails, Cry.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

The Freezer Club

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Have you ever heard of  The Freezer Club?  Well, if your first thought runs to some strange club that meets in a deep freeze, or group of people who text while sitting in the refridgerator, you better hurry on over to ParentSociety.com.

My most recent article Why You Should Join the Freezer Club explains in detail about a little discovery I made last week while…

... away from home at a baseball field in over 100 degree heat, getting bitten by bugs, coated in dust and desiring to rip all my clothes off in order to stop them from sticking to me (although I worried such a display might throw off my kids batting).

Trust me – it is a good discovery and quite possibly the most innovative idea I have come across in a long time with regards to feeding a family in a way that is all at once healthy, economical and fun! Go here!

Why You Should Join the Freezer Club

My other forays into cooking:  Where’s the Beef?

Confessions of a Shopaholic

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My most recent article on ParentSociety.com deals with something very near and dear to my heart, a favored activity if you will, something my son abhors but my Mom and I always adored …shopping.

I know, I know, not my usual literary contribution (’cause usually I write ‘high and mighty’ posts such as  Show Me Your Weenus), but I felt like sharing some of my favorite discount shopping sites this week with readers in  My Top 5 Discount Shopping Sites. (you can thank me or curse me later).

It starts out like this:

Hi, my name is Paula, I am a shopaholic.

Yes, it is true. But don’t plan an intervention just yet. For, you see, I am very content in my addiction. Happy, even.

So, if you are a shopaholic like me, shopping enthusiast, or just plain curious, go HERE to read the rest and find out 5 places to find a good deal.

My Top 5 Discount Shopping Sites

It’s All Spicoli’s Fault

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Did you know Spicoli from the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High is responsible for increased Marijuana use in teens today?  Ok well, not exactly but it is amazing what one can accomplish with a little circular logic! Hey, it is the internet, I can make up anything I want, right?

Alright, alright, there might be a little scientific information thrown into my recent article just for good measure!

My most recent article on Parentsociety.com “Are You Ambivalent About Marijuana Use?” explores the possibility that, as parents of a certain age, our perception of the big M is contributing to the increased use by our teens.

Marijuana, or as my son likes to call it, “mar-i-ji-hwana,” is a drug parents of a certain age are well familiar with. We all had friends who smoked it, we laughed about “stoners,”and maybe we even partook of it ourselves a time or two …  I recently realized I tend to look on the little dried plant as a chihuahua among a brood of bulldogs where drugs are concerned.

Oh, and don’t miss the 8 little tips at the end.  They are gems, I tell you, gems!

Go Here!

“Are You Ambivalent About Marijuana Use?”

4 Things to Know About Raising Country Kids

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Yes, I seem to be running a theme of Country Living lately (Top 10 Clues You Are Not Cut Out For Country Life).  No rhyme or reason, just where my brain is roaming around on these hot summer days leading up to Fourth of July!

Today, my most recent article about raising country kids is running over at ParentSociety.com.

I grew up in the suburbs, lived in the city, and then moved to the country when my kids came along. I did not expect there to be any difference when it came to raising my kids in the country as opposed to the city/suburbs. Kids are kids, how different could it be? But I am here to tell you I was naive as a turkey on Thanksgiving…

Yes, I was naive – but my kids have educated me well.  I mean really, who needs shoes or a license to drive anyway?  Have I said to much?  Alright, already, just go read this quick little piece and find out the rest!  Whether you are planning on ever being a Country Parent or not, you just might be glad you did! Go Here!

4 Things to Know About Raising Country Kids