Archive for March, 2011

Why do we let our daughters dress that way?

A mom has written an interesting essay for The Wall Street Journal addressing why women let their daughters dress like “prostitutes.”

While her friends believe it’s just the “fast” girls dressing that way and was the same in their generation, this mom has a different theory:

“I have a different theory. It has to do with how conflicted my own generation of women is about our own past, when many of us behaved in ways that we now regret. A woman I know, with two mature daughters, said, “If I could do it again, I wouldn’t even have slept with my own husband before marriage. Sex is the most powerful thing there is, and our generation, what did we know?”

“We are the first moms in history to have grown up with widely available birth control, the first who didn’t have to worry about getting knocked up. We were also the first not only to be free of old-fashioned fears about our reputations but actually pressured by our peers and the wider culture to find our true womanhood in the …

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Would you like a ’safe list’ at your school?

A mom told me an interesting idea the other day. She said by the time her kids got into middle school she wanted to develop and publish a “safe list”  for the grade. The ‘safe list’ would include parents who signed an agreement not to A. have a gun in the house and B. that they wouldn’t sever alcohol to minors.

It is so hard to know – especially in middle and high school when new kids come into the school – whose families you can trust. But would you trust the list? Maybe parents would feel peer pressured to say “yes” even if they didn’t really mean it.

We had some reader questions about drinking and minors that I thought I would include with this topic (I think we hit this a few years ago when that Gwinnett mom got busted for serving to minors but can’t hurt to discuss since it’s been a few years):

“Would you serve alcohol to a minor. If said minor is your child………or if said minor was having a high school graduation party at your home????? Would you provide alcohol to …

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Ga. State University honored by web site with ‘best dorms’

DormSplash.com ranked the best dorms and RAs across the country and Georgia State University ranked No. 1 with best overall dorms. It also ranked highly for best RAs.

The site ranked the Best 14 Dorms in the Country, Worst 14 Dorms in the Country, 14 Biggest Party Dorms in the Country, 14 Schools with the Best Dorms, 14 Dorms with the Hottest Residents, and 14 Schools with the Best RAs.

GSU was No. 1 with best overall dorms in the country.

GSU was No 4 in Best Dorms in the country. (It is not clear to me what the difference is in these categories.)

GSU was No. 6 for Best RAs.

Here is the link to the full lists.

I can’t tell exactly what the rankings were based on. It looks like it was based on the 7100 reviews on the site (at the time). I found this one paragraph of explanation but didn’t find any other info on how they were picked:

“Today we’re excited to launch DormSplash.com! A dorm review website with over 7100 reviews as of today! Check it out to read and …

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Would you take a family vacation with your ex?

We’ve heard of famous people like Bruce Willis vacationing with his ex and kids (and Ashton) but apparently non-famous divorced couples do it too.

A new story from The Associated Press says family vacations with ex-spouses and kids is a great way to save money and foster good memories for the kids and sometimes even the parents.

From The AP:

” ‘If you get along with your ex it can be very easy to do,’ said Mike Geoffrion, 39, who has vacationed with his ex-wife, Janna, and kids, including a trip to Disneyland.”

“Geoffrion, who manages a bike store in Fort Collins, Colo., divorced in 2006 after six years of marriage but thinks the joint vacations have been nice for the kids as well as the adults. Supervising and entertaining children is less stressful with two parents, he said, and he enjoyed the adult interaction. ‘You get tired of talking to an 8-year-old over nice, expensive dinners,’ he said.”

“Vacationing together has also worked well for Meredith Morton, 39, an actress in …

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Are kids rebellious because parents are rule breakers?

We have a regular that sent in a topic near and dear to my heart — situational ethics. She wonders if parents are teaching their kids to break rules by breaking  small rules themselves that they don’t think matter. Here is what she wrote:

“We began talking about children’s behavior. Often, educators will  tell you that some children today are more disrespectful and have  less manners, than 20 years ago.  I asked them why they thought so. This mom is NOT a teacher. She mentioned that she sees co-workers, in their 30’s who are not apt to follow rules. She is baffled!  They tell her, ” I am not going to do that…” She replies, “the  boss asked you to do it and it is your job..” Their reply, ” well I am not going to do it.” So, we are wondering if this is trickling down to children not  wanting to follow rules, as they observe this at home. Are people today less apt to follow rules and more apt to challenge them? Does this mean we are less respectful of others and more self …

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Motivated kids: Something you make or something they’re born with?

One of our regulars wanted to discuss whether you can motivate kids to excel or whether they are born that way. Here is her question:

“How do you raise a child to excel when he/she seems to lack initiative or motivation? Are external rewards or incentives ever enough? Do some people suddenly get initiative or are we just born that way?”

I think some people are definitely born self-driven. I always turned my work in, never wanted to get bad grades, and rarely if ever got in trouble at school. I don’t remember my parents really doing anything to foster that. I definitely didn’t want to disappoint them but I’m not sure that was something that was instilled or was innate. My brother was not a great student until he decided he wanted to be. He found his calling to teach and then all of a sudden it was straight As. I don’t think any type of reward system would have created that result (and I believe they tried) until he was ready to do it for himself.

My kids know we want them to do …

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How are you being ripped off? 10 things American waste money on

Because I love Top 10 lists and saving money, I present to you CNNmoney’s top rip-off’s families should avoid.

Time.com quoting CNNmoney research: Here is the list of the top rip-offs (Because I don’t want to rip-off (heehee) their whole list, click on the link to see the cost-saving alternatives):

Text Messages.

Movie Theater Popcorn.

Free Credit Reports That’ll Cost You.

Brand-name Painkillers.

Wine at Restaurants.

College Textbooks.

Super Gasoline.

Hotel Mini-bars.

Hotel In-room Movies.

I’m not surprised they listed Hotel minibars and movies as big rip-offs but I am surprised that anyone is using them. My parents are all about their super gasoline — I can’t imagine their cars, while nice, are high-performing enough that they need it.

I am torn on the used textbooks. I would need to examine them in person to know how “used” they were. I also would want to know what grade the person got who used the books so I would know if I should follow their highlighting or not.

So what …

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Are you financially supporting your adult child?

We had multiple readers yesterday say they wanted to discuss whether parents were financially supporting their adult children. Obviously this topic is particularly relevant in today’s economy with high unemployment rates and the job market bleak for college students when they graduate.

So, are you financially supporting your adult child? Are you sending supplementary cash for fun things? Are you buying them groceries, paying their rents, letting them live at home? How old is too old to be getting parental support? At what point do you tell them they need to look for a cheaper place to live or a roommate? Is it different when they have families as well? Are you more likely to aid your adult child when they are trying to care for your grandchildren too?

(I will work in my suggested topics over the next two weeks.)

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Too many presents: How to say ‘No thanks!’ to Grandma?

We had a regular who wants help with over-generous grandparents. Here’s what she wrote:

“How have others addressed crazy gift-giving friends and relatives? DD has more toys than she will ever play with – and it gets worse each birthday and Christmas. I know the in-laws and grands-in-laws do it because they love her, but it’s a literal MOUNTAIN each holiday. We give stuff away, but I know they look for certain gifts when they visit. We do gift ideas (like books, clothes, specific toys like Legos) and asked for them to not spend so much money (or to put that $ in the 529!), but nothing has worked…”

I love the suggestion of asking for help with college fund. Or I have friends that ask for help with extra-curricular activities like music lessons or Gymboree classes. I think asking for experiences instead of objects is a good way to address it.

Or if you had to get mean, you could make your pile of what you’re going to give away and let them “accidentally” see it. Maybe that would …

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Would you use child care in theaters? Would it make you see more movies?

Recently, Entertainment Weekly offered suggestions for how to improve the movie-going experience and one of their ideas was for theaters to offer babysitting.

(I just searched the bathroom to find the old EW and I can’t find the right magazine. And I can’t find the link online either. However, I am pretty sure this theater in Portland is the one EW wrote about.)

The Academy Theater in Portland offers babysitting in the theater for children ages six-months to eight years at a cost of $7.50 per child. You can to make a reservation and fill out their babysitting release form.

Another Western theater chain, Harkins, also offers babysitting in the theater. It is $6 per child for the length of the movie. They’ll take kids ages 3 to 8 in their playcenters. Reservations are not required but encouraged. Parents are given vibrating pagers to alert them if there is a problem.

I didn’t find any of the East Coast, but there may be some I missed. I have never seen it  in Atlanta at …

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