Category Archives: Parenting

Good Quote for February 4, 2014

“If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own.”
― Charlotte Brontë
The Life of Charlotte Brontë

Here’s something a little bit related to what I was thinking about yesterday. This quote of  Charlotte Brontë is a good description of how we should love our kids and spouses, too.

Continue reading Good Quote for February 4, 2014

Good Quote for February 3, 2014 — Raising Rebellious Kids

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“So few want to be rebels anymore. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily.” 

― Ray Bradbury

The other day my daughter, Michelle, came home from school all chattery about a plan she had for Valentines for her class.

This struck me as weird, and, frankly, not terribly important. Nothing I’d ever heard that had anything to do with homemade paper Valentines had ever struck me as important. Regardless, I spent all last week in a state of heightened awareness of the importance of listening to my kids instead of just preaching to them about whatever thoughts stagger across my mind, so I listened to her.

Her plan involved a poem she’d seen on pinterest (Michelle is a big fan of pinterest – particularly cute animal memes). As related to me on the walk home from school, it was a picture of Grumpy Cat with this poem:

Continue reading Good Quote for February 3, 2014 — Raising Rebellious Kids

Dad Jokes Are Not Funny

funny, not funny, dad, dad jokes

Today, while I was putting together the kids’ after school snack, my son, Jack, laid this on me:

Jack: You know, daddy, we’re the same.

Me: We’re the same?

Jack: Yeah. We both want to be funny, but we’re both not that good at it.

Me: Oh. That’s how we’re the same?

Jack: Yeah. Also, we both have all our teeth. Except I still have some that haven’t grown back in yet, so I don’t have all mine.

Me: So, we’re the same because we’re both not funny and because both of us except for you have all our teeth?

Jack: Yeah.

Me: Here’s your snack.

Now I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Which, apparently, has been a problem for me for longer than I was aware.


Image: andrewblack/Flickr

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, kids. Behold! I am the Beholder of Legend!

beauty, kids, teaching about beauty, dads, talking about beauty, self esteem


“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” ― Confucius


In the movies, one of the markers of being a good dad is telling the kids about who’s beautiful. I have no data to back this claim, but I feel like I’ve seen it a lot in popular culture, which surely can’t be wrong. On TV, the good dad always tells his daughter how beautiful she is and/or tells the kids how beautiful their mother is.

I’ve never really done this with any regularity, and it’s nothing to do with how beautiful my family is because they’re all drop dead gorgeous. But, for whatever reason, it occurred to me recently that I should maybe think about this. And when I say it occurred to me, “for whatever reason”, what I mean is “for the simple reason that I worry about all the things all the time, for no reason.” Continue reading Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, kids. Behold! I am the Beholder of Legend!

Talking About Racism With the Kids!

talking to kids about racism, race, racism, sexism, a family in the city, afamilyinthecity,

Years ago, back when we first brought my daughter home from the hospital, all swaddled and tiny, I remember thinking what every parent probably thinks: “I can’t wait until she’s old enough for me to tell her all about racism!”

What a fool I was! I should’ve been looking forward to talking to her about racism AND sexism.


As an adult, I understand that my skin, class, and gender give me a leg up in the world; that racism is a system—a cultural ill—as much as it’s any random individual’s  lazy reliance on hurtful stereotypes. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t know much of anything about racism beyond “prejudice is bad” and “Don’t use The Racist Word We Don’t Use”. I also knew a lot of other racist words, but didn’t really get that they were racist or that I “Wasn’t Supposed To Use Them”. That’s mostly because I didn’t actually know what racism was. All boiled down, I thought it meant slavery, sitting at the back of the bus, and being mean to a person because of their skin color. Full stop. Continue reading Talking About Racism With the Kids!

How Does a 7-Year Old Teach a 35-Year Old What Fairness is?

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The holiday season has been left behind in a crumpled up pile of brightly colored wrapping paper shreds on the floor. So, of course, now is when it occurs to me to give a good, hard think about fairness.

Fairness is actually relatively easy during present giving time. You just have to wrap things so that there are the same number of packages for all the kids. The raw numbers are at least as important as the contents, so if you have to put a couple of unrelated items into a gift bag to even things up … well … no problem.

Fairness gets tougher after the presents have been given and played with. Continue reading How Does a 7-Year Old Teach a 35-Year Old What Fairness is?

The Blogologist Pieces Together a Winner of a LEGO System

Lego, Lego table, Blogologist, A Family in the City

The Blogologist has officially inspired me! He just put up a really cool post on building a simple, homemade LEGO table for his kids. Take a look for yourself here! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go build one!

Image: Puck777/Flickr