Self-esteem and the Dreaded Piano

self-esteem in kids

By: Shannon Ralph “I’ll never be good enough,” Sophie says as she frowns at the musical notes on the page. “I’m just stupid.” These are words that can cut straight to the heart of any parent. Words that feel like a punch in the stomach, and can instantly take your breath away. No parent wants […]

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A Lesson in Feminism and Basketball from My Eight-Year-Old Daughter

Women's Basketball

By Shannon Ralph As a born and bred Kentuckian, I am a self-avowed addict, and my drug of choice is basketball. More specifically, University of Kentucky men’s basketball. As such, this time of year—March Madness—is my Christmas. My Easter. My celebration of all that is good and right and holy in the world. My children […]

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Partying With Kids

AlltheKids

  By: Shannon Ralph Being a forty-something woman smack dab in the prime of my child-rearing years, most of my friends have children around the same age as mine. Occasionally, I will make the naively optimistic decision to invite all of my friends—and their children—to my house for dinner. Or a barbecue. Or a game […]

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Mom Decisions I Make Every Day

mom decisions

By: Shannon Ralph There are numerous decisions that have to be made when one chooses to have children. Some are rather large, crucial decisions—bottle versus breast, to circumcise or not, letting the baby cry it out or co-sleeping. Others are seemingly insignificant—should I share the last Oreo or swallow it whole while hiding behind the […]

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15 Surefire Ways to Survive Another Snow Day

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By: Shannon Ralph It’s been snowing for two weeks straight, your car is buried (likely until May), your hair is a gigantic ball of static atop your head, your skin closely resembles the Australian freshwater crocodile despite lathering your entire body surface in lotion ten times a day, and you can’t seem to find a […]

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A Teacher’s Nightmare Show-And-Tell

classroom

By: Shannon Ralph I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things I hate. I know the current trend amongst fully actualized adults is to focus on things you love—those things for which you are most grateful—but frankly, I don’t have it in me today. I’ve spent the entire day laying on the couch, nursing a […]

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How to Keep Your Child Safe Online

how to keep your kids safe from computers

By: Shannon Ralph As a modern-day mother, I like to pride myself on my enlightened approach to parenting. I think my children are fairly well-behaved (when around human beings who do not inhabit our house), honest (or perhaps just extremely adept liars), intelligent (as evidenced by their constant questioning of every decision I make), and […]

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An Open Letter to All Parent-to-Be

Life before kids

By: Shannon Ralph Dear Parents-to-Be, You have no idea—NO IDEA—what you are getting into. I am thrilled to be a mother. Really, I am. My three darling children cause me—in addition to the rare headache and occasional string of obscenities—boundless degrees of happiness and immense pride. I love being “mommy.” I can’t get enough hugs […]

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7 Things Your Kids Need Every Single Day

What kids need

By: Shannon Ralph I readily admit to being a parent who does not have all the answers. Or most of the answers. Okay, some days I cannot even manage to scrape together a single, rudimentary answer. I am winging it just like you. At times, I find it really hard not to focus on all […]

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21 Things No Mother Would Ever Say

Things Mother's Should Never Say

By: Shannon Ralph Since having children, I have said some pretty crazy things. Strings of words come out of my mouth on a daily basis that defy all reason and logic. The phrase, “Snorkels aren’t made for penises” immediately comes to mind. And “Stand still while I lick it off.” On more than one occasion, […]

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