All posts filed under “Pondering parenting problems

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“You’re dead to me!”

“You don’t have a son anymore!”  Those angry words are shouted through the phone, followed by the silence of a severed connection. Somewhere your adult child severed more than just a phone link. He wants you out of his life, forever. Or maybe you’re the… Read more

Balcony scene
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Speak now or forever hold your peace?

Romeo and Juliet is more than a Shakespearean tragedy about teen lovers trying to break free of their oppressive parents. It is a phenomenon recognized by some social scientists as “the Romeo and Juliet effect:” Johnny and Jane fall in “love;” their parents say, “over… Read more

Swimming Toddler
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Just let them go under

The toddlers who lined up at the edge of the swimming pool were learning a life lesson: Jump in and your mom will catch you. Or maybe she won’t. Either way, you’re probably not going to drown. I watched the “Mommy and Me” swim class… Read more

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My son the doctor (or maybe the “virtual social influencer”)

This is your idea of a career for your 20-something child – doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher. This is their idea of a job – a flex-hours position doing something you’ve never heard of in some hipster-run company in California where every day is casual Friday, the… Read more

depressed man
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Saint or Sinner? The addicted child.

The scrapbook of Danny’s life tells one side of his story – Eagle Scout, mountaineer, gymnast, Mormon missionary, soldier, favorite uncle, friend, brother.  And then a casket carried by father and siblings to a grave in a military cemetery when he was just 27, dead from… Read more

Anniversary picture
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A murder in Texas

This is us on our 21st Anniversary trip – the weekend we met the murderer, and the weekend we saw the redemption of a parent’s worst nightmare. My husband Paul prides himself on choosing funky hotels to celebrate our anniversary. There was the “castle” in… Read more

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When you need a parental do-over

There they stood, a father who had expected more maturity than his son possessed, and a 17-year-old boy with a hangover trying to figure out what happened. “Sure, I let him have a few drinks with me at home,” the father said to me. “But… Read more

Child factory worker
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Your Child: Asset or Ornament?

Why did you have children?  Your answer would be very different from that of your great grandparents. Even as recently as 75 years ago in America, children were valued as contributing laborers in the family. Today they are embellishments. They exist to give their parents… Read more

Praying hands
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Leaving the Faith Part 3

If your adult child has left your faith, and their choice is keeping you up at night, it’s time to take the focus off of them and find support for yourself. In two recent blog posts I addressed several possible reasons children leave the church… Read more

A brain
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Thinking makes it so

If you have a troublesome adult child, you may have it within the power of your own brain to make a difference. It will require you to dust off your “reticular activating system.” Two decades spent as a reporter in newsrooms taught me something valuable… Read more