Barbie Makeovers

Ah, Barbie. She first came on the scene in 1959 as a teenage fashion model. Barbie Millicent Roberts, from Willows, Wisconsin, was the creation of Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler, who named the doll after her own daughter. My mother, on the other hand, absolutely forbade Barbies in our house. Anticipating …


Collateral Punishment

There is a phenomenon in parenting that I’ve come to think of as “collateral punishment”. This is a situation in which, in the course of punishing their own child for something that they have done, parents also punish a friend of theirs who has nothing to do with the behavior …

Sex and Sexuality

My Perfect Valentine’s Present

I’ve been married for over two decades. It’s a good marriage. I love my husband more now than when we first married. But Valentine’s Day has me thinking. What would be a great gift that could make us happier together? Flowers, chocolates, candles? Those are all nice, but they aren’t …


Choices and Regrets

I decided not to have children when I was 13. In fact, I thought that no one related to me should ever have children, I just assumed that my own fertility was the only one that I could control. I used to say that I was descended from long lines …

Ages 13-17 (Teen)

A Brief History of the American Driver’s License

Recently my daughter decided to delay getting her driving license. While it came as a surprise to me, it turns out that she may be part of a growing trend among young people in the United States of not rushing into getting a license. While many reasons to put off …

Ages 13-17 (Teen)EducationSex and Sexuality

Saying No to Logan

When the Steubenville case broke into the news it was met with a combination of handwringing and finger pointing. While there was plenty of predictable shaming of the victim, the response to Steubenville also included some long overdue soul-searching about the privileged place that sports holds in American schools, and …

Ages 10-12 (Tween)Ages 13-17 (Teen)Ages 6-9LGBTQSex and Sexuality

Resources for parents of kids who don’t fit the heterosexual cisgender model

Let’s say that you’ve just found out that your child is LGBTQIA. Unless you live somewhere significantly more utopian than I do (in which case you don’t need this post), it means that your kid is likely to face some tough times. If you are reading this post, then I’m …

Ages 13-17 (Teen)LGBTQ

Opening Doors

My daughter told me that she was gay* a couple of weeks before her 15th birthday. She had been trying to figure out her preferences that year, and I had suspected for a while, but she is not one to communicate through uncertainty. She wants to be sure of the …