Middle School, B.L.A.A.R., and Lessons from Bug

I'd like to thank Click Communications for sending us Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life so that I could share with you my feelings on standardized testing, my Bug's journey as a square peg, and our feelings in general on this movie. "Rafe has an epic imagination…and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to a rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do’s and don’ts, Rafe and his best friend Leo hatch a plan to expose the principal by breaking every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. As the principal strikes back, Rafe’s world, at home and at school, explodes into hilarious chaos (both real and imagined) in this laugh-filled family comedy based on James Patterson’s best-selling book series."  Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life When I was first presented with the opportunity to watch Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, I really had no interest. I mean, for real, I still have kids in elementary school, I've watched others of mine go … [Read more...]

Dear Step Son, You’re Right, Today You’re an “Equal”

Being a "step" parent is rough. Today, after reading a dissertation of a text from my 18-year-old step son last night, I realized that I don't treat him as an "equal" to my own kids. Today, everything will change, for him, and I hope he's happy that he'll actually finally have to follow rules for the first time in his life. Dear 18-year-old step son, I'm sorry. I read your 500-word text to your dad last night (yes, he showed me, you knew he would) and I can't say I disagree with you. You're right. We do NOT treat you as an equal to our "real" kids. You live by different rules. You are treated differently. In fact, you are treated way differently. Thanks for pointing it out so that I don't have to anymore. You did us all a favor and, thanks to you, your life will change today and you'll finally be "equal". You see, my "real" kids have a lot of rules. They live on a budget (yes, a budget, we're not made of money). That's why we have stuff. We work hard, I budget our money, we get … [Read more...]

Dear Kids, About that Allowance You Never Got from Me

An open letter to my kids, all six of them, about that allowance that they never got from me no matter how hard they begged, no matter how hard they worked, no matter how hard they tried to state their case about how much they earned it. Dear Kids, you're welcome! Dear Kids, About that allowance you never got from me? You're welcome. All of you have asked for it over the years (except you, Bubby, my youngest and current favorite, but you will). You see, I'm one of those moms that doesn't believe in a traditional "allowance" because, really, I already pay you enough. I pay you too much, in fact. Let's dissect allowance, shall we? Allowance the amount of something that is permitted, especially within a set of regulations or for a specified purpose. Huh? Every time you broach this topic, my dear lovelies, I scratch my head. Can I have an allowance? By definition, it makes no sense. With practicality in mind, it makes even less sense. You cleaned your room and you want an … [Read more...]

Everyone’s Not a Winner in this Era of Entitlement

Today's kids, Generation Z as they are being coined at the moment, are going to face a huge wake up call when they grow up and leave the nest. Personally I think they should be called Generation E or The Entitled because they are truly growing up in an Era of Entitlement, and as parents, we are to blame. Let's face it, the kids of today, well...they're pretty spoiled for the most part. I know there are exceptions, but let's don't go there, I'm talking the typical American kid here. They feel entitled while they happily grow up during the Era of Entitlement. Mine are no exception and it honestly drives me insane (so I guess insanity is an option). We all want the best for our children so we give them stuff, we let them do things, we want them to have a better life than we did, but are we, as parents and educators, really doing the right thing or are we doing them, and the future of our country, a disservice? Hear me out. I love my kids just as much as you do, but we're raising a … [Read more...]

My Baby Girl Is Broken and I Can’t Fix Her Alone

A while back I made a bold stand and explained that my baby girl was different. She's a societal square peg being shoved into a round hole. I stand by that. She doesn't fit any mold and I celebrate her uniqueness and I support her no matter what. She's my baby. That's my job. I love her unconditionally, and I always will. But lately, she's been trying that unconditional love theory. She's been trying it for 6 years in fact and I'm beginning to think that I can't tackle these issues alone. She's a bright girl. She was in the GT (gifted and talented) program at school until earlier this year when I pulled her and moved her to a different school. She's no dummy. At. All. She's intelligent, beautiful, and she amazes me every day. But she's broken and I'm afraid I can't fix her alone. I have to be honest with you because honesty is important to me. At times, she's just bad. She doesn't mean to be. I know she doesn't. But she pitches fits (like frightening fits), she talks back, she's … [Read more...]