Monthly Archives: May 2012

Making Mealtime Meaningful: The Antidote to Supersized and Overweight

Your kids are begging for fast-food.  Burger King. McDonald’s. Wendy’s. Somebody’s screaming for Kentucky Fried. Where should you go?

Absolutely nowhere. They might be jumping up and down on your left foot waiting for you to jingle your keys, but what they really want is face time. That means time with YOU!

When meals are prepared, served and eaten together within the family setting, kids get the message that meals have meaning, and that’s way more important than a biggie fry.

When parents make meals meaningful, they are helping create  important mental Continue reading

Family – It’s What We Do

The word family should be an action verb. Like party and vacation. Here’s one suggested use: say a co-worker insists that you and your spouse come over on Saturday and try out his new massage table. You could say, “Sounds cools, but we family together on weekends.”

When you make family a verb, it sounds like you’re actually doing something, not just sitting around watching Family Guy. It also lessens the possibility of further inquiry, implying that what you do in your home is really no one else’s business.

Not everyone is into roasting wieners, building airplane models, and reading Babar till the Continue reading

Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

Customer service is a big thing with me. If a salesperson points out an item that’s hiding down on a bottom shelf, or tells me when they’ll be getting more and gives me a raincheck, he scores major points. My basic personhood flourishes and I walk down the aisles feeling like more than just another shopping cart.
When I go to Macy’s, I love it when a sales person walks up to me and says, “Would you like me to start you a dressing room?” I unload my armful of sale merchandise – in sizes and colors that I hope both fit and match at least one thing I already own – and think someone really cares.
And when they don’t have it in my size, I expect the girl to at least grovel a bit: “I’m sorry. We seem to be out. Let me Continue reading

The Gift of Reading Aloud

For Mother’s Day, I decided to write about one of my most pleasurable experiences as a mom: reading aloud to my kids. Not just when they were little tykes, but as they grew.

By reading aloud, I could model my love for reading. Hearing stories and words beyond their reading level helped them grow in their vocabularies and knowlege, and introduced them to people and places near and far.

They learned to read with expression and take an active interest in the characters and story. And when they read aloud, they didn’t feel like they had to drone on, embarrassed to “get into” it for fear someone would say they were weird.

After we read a book we liked, we would go to the library and find more of the author’s work until we ran out. And best of all, the closeness of reading together night after night Continue reading

“Tanning Mom” No Different Than Any Addicted Parent

For the past week, “Tanning Mom” Patricia Krentcil has been in the public eye. Now I hope everyone takes a good look. She’s a poster mom for addictions that afflict parents and negatively impact children.

Krentcil tanned until she turned herself into a freak. Not because she wanted to look like Al Jolson in blackface or because it’s pledge week, but because she’s addicted to it. And like any addict, she needs intervention.

Krentcil’s story has been in the news recently because she took her young daughter to a tanning salon, although the details remain unclear. As I see it, she is just like any parent Continue reading