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The Middle School Bus Stop – One Door Closes & Another Opens

So what’s up with that? Our pre-teens don’t want us waiting at the bus stop, but they’re the first ones to yell, “Shotgun!” as they enthusiastically plead to hop in the front seat of our car. I know I shouldn’t take it personally, like that day I ultimately acquiesced and didn’t go to the bus stop (okay, confession, I peeked from around the driveway….I mean, have you seen the news?), but can’t we maintain a mere bit of that parent-kid connection, that quality time thing……that How Are You, Tell Me About Your Day thing?   I hate to tell you, but those quality time days from the bus stop are gone. Gone like a ham sandwich with a hobo. Trade them in. Give that pre-teen of yours the rite of passage for . . . are you ready? . . . a new level of quality time. Once you view your tweener as big enough, safe enough, strong enough to handle that (gasp!) potential airbag thing, trade the bus stop in for the front seat. It’s …

Spring Has Sprung . . . And the “Buds” are Budding!

Moms, dads of 5th graders, take hold; be ready!  Spring is here and the buds are budding. Far be it from me to acknowledge again all the “buds” that were budding on the stage of the recent spring concert in our local school, as parents in the audience muttered, “Whoa, the buds are budding in those little white shirts!” Whether you’re ready or not, here it comes. PUBERTY. Don’t let it catch you from behind. Take the quiet, gentle (imperative) lead. Spring is here, the buds are budding, and puberty is all around those upper-elementary spring concerts, classrooms, cafeterias and recesses. And the kids are noticing, asking, wondering. Take the quiet gentle lead. It will be easier than you thought. Check out my books – one for boys and one for girls – they’ll show you the way and maybe make you (and your “budding” one) chuckle a bit too. Speaking of buds, here’s a little taste of what’s in store (at least for the girls): (Page 31 of my book, just to be exact) …

Are You & Your Kids Ready . . . Just in case??

As parents, we wonder (sometimes constantly) if our kids are ready.  Ready for kindergarten.  Ready to ride the bus.  Ready to be “dropped off” without mom.  With each new stage, comes new questions of “readiness.”  Sometimes we prepare them; and sometimes, they can suddenly prepare us.  Whether we’re ready or not. Be ready.  Be ready to be their leader, their source of information, their “at that moment” teacher of values.  Some things come quickly with these kids, especially in this rapidly developing world in which we live.  Be ready.  I can help.  I can help your kids too (and have them laugh along the way). Check out my books.  They’ve helped a lot of parents, caregivers, kids . . . to be ready . . . for so much.  For girls, I suggest a Just In Case pouch.  Yep.  A Pouch.  Just in case.  Read on, check out my books.  There’s that . . . and more . . . awaiting to help you and your middle graders be ready . . .

A New . . . (Back-to-School) . . .Season

    It was dark when the alarms went off. My soon-to-be 6th grader said it felt like she was getting on an airplane. When else was she up, dressed, and breakfasted by 6:15 am? My high school freshman was relatively chipper for his typical 14-year old self as he embarked on the world of high school. Off they went, with the sunrise, to catch the bus. Gone, for now, are days of the sunlit freedom of summer bliss. Surely they will come again. For many of us, it’s a new season. A season of new schedules, fresh priorities, revisited goals and values. For many of you, your child will be embarking on the season of puberty, whether you know it or not (or like it or not!)  Be ready.  Be prepared.  Take a deep breath.  And know it will all be fine.  Check out my books.  They’re here and they’re ready to help.

Being A Dad Can Be Hard Work

. . . especially when it comes to raising those . . . girls . . . and dare I even mention . . . those . . . teenage girls.  I do remember good ‘ole John Gray who taught us (in his ever-so-famous book) that Men are From Mars and Women Are From Venus.  Hence, from what planet comes the teenage daughter?  I imagine this thought has crossed the minds of a few dads every now and then. I mean, it’s enough being a woman (from Venus) raising a daughter (also from Venus).  But throw in a man — a dad — from Mars.  Yah.  Not always so easy with those teenage daughters.  There are the hormones.  The emotions.  The drama.  The tears.  Those often unexplainable tears. If this speaks to you (or someone you know), I offer you this:  the Dad of Divas. As a Dad of Divas, he’s the first to offer anything helpful from fatherhood to dads in the limelight to the ultimate college prep blueprint (he even wrote a book on …