Kids, Summer, Screens & Keeping the Peace

Matel_Football_I A Facebook SOS went out this week from my friend Missy (mom of 4 tween/teens): I need some help setting up guidelines and restrictions with screens during the summer with my 4 kids. (Screens=tv, computer, phone, video games, etc). Help! It’s especially an issue with all my boys. Any ideas welcome. (I am not super administrative–so I don’t want something that needs me to keep track of too much)! Apparently, she’s not alone. According to Common Sense Media, tweens log 4 1/2 hours of screen time a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. For teens, it’s even higher: nearly seven hours a day. And that doesn’t include time spent using devices for school or in school. The response to Missy’s SOS was significant. Because, during the school year it’s one thing, but now its SUMMER! When I was

A few end of School-Year Favs

end_of_school_year_bag_tag_template_04 With May coming to an end and summer shouting a big HELLO :), I thought I’d share a few of my favs from commencement, award ceremonies (I’m not kidding) and EOY carpool contemplation. Sherly Sandberg’s Cal Berkeley Address: Today I will try to tell you what I learned in death. Ms. Sandberg shared for the first time in public what she has learned from the death of her husband last year. She encouraged the young grads that one can thrive in success and in adversity. She included research from psychologist Marty Seligman (from whom we’ve learned a little bit about tackling entitlement via his research on learned helplessness vs. earned success.) “Martin Seligman found that there are three P’s—personalization, pervasiveness, and permanence—that are critical to how we bounce back from hardship.

HuffPost :) What to do when what’s heard doesn’t match what’s said

Leaving a graduation ceremony and subsequent reception last night, I glanced at the clock, “Wow, that lasted a long time.” “I’m sorry,” said my daughter riding shotgun. “Why are you sorry?” I nonchalantly asked. Then quickly realizing that I was entering the strange teen-zone where an unassuming question can instantly transform a regular moment into an emotionally-charged field of landmines. “WAIT,” I divert and quickly add before she can answer my why question, “what did you think I said.” “Well, you said that I talked too long.” “What?” “Yeah, that I’m the reason it ran late.” Huh? “I was only commenting on how long it lasted. I wasn’t saying anything about you.” “Well, that’s what I heard.” Welcome to a common field of landmines — the space between what is said and what

Hello … It’s me and it’s May

Mad-Madness Bracket 2016 Hi. My name is Kay. I have definitely been MIA. (And apparently, I”m a poet – this is where I need a laughing-crying emoji. Seriously, I think I could communicate 100% emoji, kind of like hieroglyphics- or not. But that’s another story for another day.) Anywhooo – I just haven’t been moved to write much. Probably because I’ve had so much on my mind. And especially of late because life has been bombarded by some hard stuff in our neck of the woods. My dear friends traveling the cancer road were both hit hard (one even had a heart attack in the midst of everything else!), my sweet and wonderful uncle passed away followed by an unexpected/untimely death of my dear friend’s husband. Moments like these put life into perspective. Then, in the strangest turn of events, I had put together a 2nd Annual

Time-Change and the Power of Perspective

trees Why is the Spring Forward time-change so hard? It was like waking the dead this morning. And it’s only an hour difference. I think perspective could go a long way to help my sleepy-heads (and me!) Really. Because truth be told, if we lost an hour and due to a nice trip to the mountains – we wouldn’t feel it much. It would be the best lost-hour ever – a vehicle sending us to slush down the snowy slopes instead of a tool of torture dragging us in a catatonic state to the car; gleeful giggling instead of moaning, struggling, complaining: “The sun isn’t even up!!” (The sun had risen – but clearly not when they woke up.) Enter Stage Left: Sunshine Mom “Quit complaining. Look a the bright side! And rather than let the lost hour put you in a sleep-deprived funk, force your thoughts to see the good. [sidenote: I’m not quite sure

Lessons on Leadership from the Fruit Bowl

Brand You They say that love makes the world go ‘round. I think a kind word does too. A kind word plays by the same rules as love –it considers someone else’s interests as much, if not more, than our own. These days we sure could use come kind words in our world of agenda-promotion. On a daily/hourly basis we are bombarded by the exact opposite from the top down. The political debates have been a free for all of me, me, me – listen to me. I’m right. You’re wrong –without even slowing down to listen or say something kind. Saying something kind might appear as if there’s a chink in the armor or could allude to someone else being right. And we can’t have that happen in the this world of spin where people can take any topic and find some way to make themselves look good and the other guy look bad. Spin – who came up with that

Regular in a High Octane World

high-octaine “How was the basketball game?” I ask Jack – whose name probably needs to be aliased since he is getting old enough to be aware. “Not good,” he answered. “What?” I was surprised. He has so much fun running around, shooting for the hoop and hanging out with his friends. “You love basketball.” “Yeah,” he said thoughtfully. “I just didn’t get to sit on the bench enough.” Oh my word. Apparently, he enjoys the experience a lot more than the competition. He’s never had much interest in intense (if you can call 3rd grade anything intense.) This kid – he basically enjoys life. Things that distract from life-enjoyment can be frustrating to him. He likes to ponder and experience people/places/things. Slow and steady set his pace. The striving part of life is a give or take for him. Don’t get me wrong; he enjoys

Something to Talk About

A Great Big World - Say Something Album artwork A Great Big World – Say Something Album artwork Walking by a hearse with a teenage daughter isn’t on my Top Ten list of things I’d like to do. Sitting next to a teenage daughter at the end of a row of her grieving friends, struggling with disbelief, in a sanctuary anchored by a simple casket – not on that list either. Especially when that casket holds the lifeless body of their friend. That was yesterday [really, Tuesday]. So please bear with me as I briefly grapple. Because I’m sad. Sad for those kids. Sad for my daughter. Deeply, so deeply, grieved for the family. So very sad for her. And I’m mad. I’ve started and stopped this post over a dozen times. But I wanted to write because I feel like something needs to be said; but words are really hard to find. Within the span of one-week two teenage kids in our neck of

Eyes on 2016

Christmas Card 2015 My road – the one paved with good intentions – never ceases to be plagued by detours. And detours can be distracting. Distracting and deflating. Mostly due to focus issues that can arise while on life’s little detours. Because detours can tempt our focus to settle on all that hasn’t gotten done, rather than seeing all good comes with side-roads. Over the last couple of weeks, several of the things I had great intentions to get done didn’t. I had great intentions to finish posting on hydrating for the holidays. I wanted to share about the joys/freedom of: Pop-up-invites. I lived out the beauty of relative-spontaneity when I invited a group of gals with whom I regularly meet to pop by for “coffee & tiny bites” (I wanted to be sure to set the menu bar low). But I had no idea of how low it would

#hydratefortheholidays Water Station 1: Others

hyrdate water station - others Well – the holiday marathon has certainly begun. And I hope that our little hydration effort has been a help. If nothing else, thanks for humoring me. It has helped me on many fronts – even yesterday when a whole line of cars started honking as a stoplight turned from red to green. Rather than be frustrated, I was reminded to go beyond that unnecessary-rudeness (no one in the long line could move due to the lined cars on the other side of the light) to consider the people behind the steering wheels of those honking cars. And I hoped that whatever was making their day crummy enough to indignantly blast their horns would get better. Traffic stress got dialed down. But along with pre-race hydration, marathoners also have water stations along the way. So, welcome to #hydratefortheholidays water stations: practical, hands on
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