10 Lessons I Want My Son to Learn Before He Becomes a Teenager

Things I want my son to learn

By: Shannon Ralph I have an amazing eleven year old son. He is smart. He makes me laugh every day. He is kind and he is generous. And despite my nightly pleading to the universe to please—for the love of God—slow down time, my son is becoming a man before my very eyes. He is […]

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How to Get Your Tween to Do His Homework in 50 Easy Steps

Getting tweens to do homework

By: Shannon Ralph Homework is the bane of my existence. It’s not that I am necessarily anti-homework. I get it. I see the value of the concept—the otherworldly, ethereal, high level, metaphysical abstraction of it. I understand the need for homework to reinforce the tiny shreds of algebraic knowledge my son’s harried teacher is able […]

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45 Big Fat Lies Parents Tell Themselves Every Day

Lies parents tell themselves

By: Shannon Ralph I’m a liar. I will readily admit it. I lie to my children. (“Santa only brings new toys to kids who empty the dishwasher.”) I lie to my wife. (“It was on sale.”) I lie to my doctor. (“I walk on the treadmill every day.”) I lie to my mother. (“Thanks for […]

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5 Questions You Should Never Ask a Lesbian Mom

mommy mom and me

By: Shannon Ralph Recently, my family and I found ourselves in a rather uncomfortable situation. We had stopped into a hair salon—Great Clips or Costcutters or one of those quickie-no-appointment-necessary places—to get haircuts for our boys. The hairdresser who ushered Nicholas to a waiting chair had extraordinarily big hair and an even bigger voice. In […]

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10 Things I Would Tell My Daughter (If She Would Only Listen)

Sophie

By: Shannon Ralph My daughter is eight years old. Eight is a tough age. Our days consist of equal parts unabashed adoration and seething contempt. Sometimes I know everything. Some days I am supermom. Those are the good days. Those are the days when my Sophie feels like the baby girl I fell in love […]

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Summer: Is Camp For The Kids Or The Parents?

summer splash

By: Shannon Ralph I swore I wouldn’t do it. I promised myself I would never be one of those parents. You know the parents I am talking about. The ones who believe summer vacation should be a time of cultural “enrichment” for their children. The parents who sign their kids up for Cantonese lessons over the […]

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11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand

raising boys

By: Shannon Ralph Years ago, when my children were nothing more than an unsuspecting twinkle in my eye, I had a vision of what parenthood would look like. In my vision, there were tea parties and tutus. There were hours spent quietly reading on the couch together. There were Disney princesses and Dora the Explorer. […]

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Hobby Lobby: I Object!

Hobby lobby

By Shannon Ralph   There have been many articles written about the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. Most have scoffed at the premise that one person’s religion trumps another person’s healthcare decisions. Several have justifiably lamented the ridiculousness of a company—a non-human entity—having its “religious liberties” threatened. Some have warned of […]

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Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like These

bad days

By Shannon Ralph There are days when you think you are actually doing pretty well at this parenting gig. Days when your children seem almost content.Almost happy. Days when you are in the zone—the parenting zone. You all know what I mean, right? Days when you look at your children and you think maybe—just maybe—their […]

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