December 11, 2014

Help, the grandkids are out of control!

Here’s how it all went down.  My mom came to visit for Thanksgiving, and stayed with my family this year.  I love having my mom around because she’s such a great cook (something I did not inherit from her), and when she’s here, we all eat really well.  Thanksgiving Eve, we were sitting around watching Remember the Titans, (A Crawford family fave), when my mother received a text from her girlfriend who was visiting her grandkids in Dallas. I happened to see the text, because the font on her phone is so large, and it read, “Help, the grandkids are out of control”.  So I asked my mother what that was about and she told me what grandma’s really think when they stay with us during the holidays. 

Apparently when your parents are in town visiting, they are observing the way we are raising our kids.  According to my mom, it’s a common thread that strings from the East Coast to the West Coast and the conversation is virtually the same amongst all the grandma’s.  I thought I would share.  Here is just a glimpse into Grandma’s Rants and what they really think about our parenting.

They are horrified that our generation has no family time.  This is especially egregious to her generation because the dinner table is where a lot of good conversations took place when we were growing up. (I vividly remember playing the “fickle finger of fate” and if it pointed towards you, then you had to answer the question).  The grandma’s are looking for some actual conversation with back and forth, and eye contact.  They are extremely offended when they see their grandkids texting during meals.  They can’t get over how much time is spent tooling around on social media sites and the negative impact that social media brings.

Another horror is when they witness the grandkids playing violent video games that we allow our kids to play, and wonder what would ever possess us to purchase a video game where our son is killing another person for pure joy.

They strongly believe that way too much time is devoted to sports and they seem to be dialed into the fact that every kid will not get into college on a scholarship, even if we showcase their talents nationwide.  They used to complain if we had an away game that meant they had to drive 15 minutes outside of their bubble.  I don’t think any of us knows the answer to when sports when from being local and seasonal, to year round and nation wide.

Here are some of their secret coping mechanisms:

1. Stay at a hotel or in their own RV to avoid the possibility that they will actually say something critical of their kids’ parenting techniques.  Apparently they are all afraid they will say something that will get them thrown out on this visit, or that might not get them invited back for another one.

2. They have formed a support system and make frequent calls or texts to each other saying "Help, I need to tape my mouth before something negative comes out".

3. When the grandkids talk back to their parents- grandmas all go into  “shut- down mode” so they don't say something like, “We would have hung you by your toenails if you ever spoke to us that way”!

4. Stay for 2 days max.

5. They pretend their hearing is getting worse and then ignore you.

6. And my personal favorite: They pretend to like your dogs and take them for long walks to get out of the house so they can call each other and complain.

This whole rant could be funny or sad.  We (all of us) don’t spend enough family time.  Who has time for family time anymore?

What say you?  Do “the Grandma’s” have it right? Are our priorities out of wack and upside down?  Email me at 

November 30, 2014

College Crazy

Have you the article entitled, “Harvard, Schmarvard: Why Getting Your Kids Into College Should Be the Least of Your Concerns”?  The basic premise is the author believes that the ROI of parenthood, the epitome of “parental” success and the thinking behind every decision we’ve ever made for our children, has been towards getting them into the best college possible.  And that we (parents) have lost the ability to let our kids make their own choices and find what makes them happy.  Basically, if you cut through the bull, we want boasting rights to tell all our friends where our children are going to college.

Our daughter just started HS and I have to admit, the whole “where do you think you want to go to college” has been on our mind 24/7.  We met with a “college counselor” who told us that college admissions officers want our kids to “find their passion” and then start donating their time and making decisions geared toward building that story.  This is an interesting concept considering that our freshman has no idea what her “life passion” is at this point.  I’m 46 and I still don’t know.  Talk about pressure, I thank my lucky stars everyday that I even got into Villanova, today I’d be lucky to get into anywhere.  Admittedly I spent a few weeks popping my head in her room asking if she had found her passion yet, but got nowhere quickly.  Apparently having fantastic grades and SAT/ACT scores are a it’s all about the community service hours, (with a purpose) along with extra curricular activities that demonstrate to colleges you are a contributing member of society.  Help, I’m suffocating.  Okay Michelle, you nailed it, getting our kids into college is the least of our concerns.  I’ll just wait until she’s a senior, make sure she starts to fill out applications (maybe even during her history class), and hope for the best.  Interestingly, that is exactly how my husband applied to school.  

The article reminded me of a story.  My hairdresser had a long-time client whose son was an incredible swimmer.  This kid was so good, that he snagged a scholarship to Stanford.  He continued his winning streak at college and continued to live “the dream”.  In November of his sophomore year, he called his mom and told her that he quit.  She had no idea what he was talking about.  Did he quit a class, quit dating his girlfriend?  Her son didn’t just quit swimming for the school; he quit college to join a band.  Can you digest the enormity of that phone call?  Imagine all the hours his mom spent, figuring out the best swim coach for her son, the best pool to practice, the best swim-meets to attend, and the time and money attending those meets.  What about everything this kid and his family gave up in order to achieve his goal.  His whole life was centered on swimming and becoming the best so that he could go to Stanford.  And unlike most kids, he succeeded.  And then just like that, he walked away.

Imagine all the questions you would be asking yourself if you were his mom: Did he even like swimming?  Did I push him too hard?  Did he ever want to go to Stanford?  When did he decide that he wanted to be in a rock band?  Does he have any idea what he’s walking away from? Will he hate me?  Does he know how much I love him?   These and a thousand more questions would be swimming (haha) in my head. 

Do I agree with Michelle G. (author), that as parents, we obsess towards the end goal without letting our kids dictate what their end goal is?  Yes, absolutely.  But I feel strongly that in today’s competitive world, our kids need our guidance earlier, and more often than ever. It’s nice to think that applying for school your senior year is doable, but when kids across the country are curing cancer, getting up at 3 a.m. to workout with their personal trainer to excel at their sport, and are starting “green” companies to improve the water quality in Nicaragua, that’s no longer gonna cut it. 

What say you? Email me at

November 13, 2014

More evidence that men are from mars

I don’t know about you but I text my friends all the time.  I remember receiving and sending my very first text a few years ago. I was hiking up Torrey Pines when my phone starting beeping.  I think I had the Palm Treo; I wasn’t even using an iPhone yet.  I had no idea what the beeping noise was indicating, but as soon as I figured it out, I was addicted.  My brain went a million different directions and I just remember thinking that if we had known about “texting” when I was working and sitting through all day meetings, I would have been on my phone the entire time!  And then, a few years after that, I discovered the “emoji”.  It was another “Wow” moment for me.  Now, not only do I not have to talk on the phone when I’m in a rush, but I don’t have to type a lot. The emoji takes the place of all my emotions.  What could be better? 

My favorite one has the one eye closed and the tongue sticking out.  I also love the face that’s sending a kiss, it just makes “the receiver” feel good.  In the morning, I’ll ask my daughter to text for me.  I’m great at dictating entire texts for her to send out and she’s so fast that it’s a win/win situation.  When I’m done, I’ll ask her to add an emoji and she rolls her eyes because she thinks that I over use them.

I asked my son and my husband if they use emoji’s when they text, and their answer was the same – no. I’m pretty sure I’ve never sent a text when I haven’t used an emoji.  It’s just so much easier to portray how you feel and it takes the “guessing” out of what the received thinks you are trying to say.  I’ve certainly misinterpreted many a text and I’ve sent many that could be misinterpreted, if I didn’t add a smiley face at the end.  Sometimes my entire text is nothing but emoji’s.  An emoji just gives you a good feeling and makes you smile.  Here is an example of a text that can get you in trouble:

Sender - “You look great today.  Did you blow out your hair”?  Receiver interpretation- “What is she saying, that I look crappy every other day?  If she thinks my hair looks so bad all the time, why doesn’t she just come out and say it”?  In comes the emoji to save the day!  If you send that same text with an emoji at the end of it, maybe use a “purple party girl”, then it takes all the interpretation out of the message and makes the receiver feel good and not pissed.  I love it when my friends and I are trying to eat healthy and stick to a plan, and let’s just say we aren’t having the best day – we send all sorts of funny emoji’s including: a gun, a pig, a piece of cake, fries, wine, more wine, a few red x’s and then a crying face.  If nothing else, we get each other.  We laugh, we continue to indulge in our eating and drinking, but now we know that our friend on the other end of the phone “feels us”.  It’s almost like the mom’s secret language; I’m fairly certain that if my husband read one of those texts, he’d be scratching his head wondering what the hell it said!

I started asking a lot of friends about their texting habits.  It turns out that women use emoji’s all the time when texting, and men don’t.  One friend told me that she was typing a text for her husband, to a large client, and she added an emoji.  When he saw the text that she sent on his behalf, he flipped out.  He told her that men do NOT send emoji’s to men, especially clients. Today I wished there was a barf emoji – I could use that one a lot! I’m still unclear about the poop with the eyeballs emoji and what it means, but I do have a friend who sends it to me all the time – hmmm?

Do you send emoji’s when you text?  Email me at

October 27, 2014

Apparently parenting does need a license

You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt reaming a*hole be a father”.  That quote (from the movie Parenthood), comes back to me on a daily basis – who knew how dialed in it would be in the year 2014.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep up with all the outrageous parenting stories I’ve been reading about lately.  There’s Adrian Peterson and the “corporal punishment” debate, the shaming your kid method and making your kid drink until they are hospitalized.

I’m not sure what’s going on with parents and their abusive parenting methods, but they are just plain creepy and yes, I’m judging.  I grew up in Texas, and the HS that I attended used “licks” as punishment, with a wooden paddle.  Can you imagine that today?  Your child comes home and tells you that the principle “hit” them?  When I saw the Charles Barkley interview on CBS about Adrian Peterson, when he said, "I'm from the South, Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances." I agreed.  It is a Southern thing but that doesn’t make it right.  Sexual abuse happens too, doesn’t make it okay.  There’s much debate about whether or not this is a racial thing– a geography thing, or just plain child abuse?  I never think it’s okay to hit a child because it’s a form of torture and humiliation.  What do we think is going to happen if we “hit” a child in order to get them to behave the way we want them to?  Violence begets violence.  I was never a fan of time-outs, in fact they are just stupid, but you have to find a way to reach your kid, without inflicting physical harm.  It’s why the men that beat women (Ray Rice) do what they do.  It’s how they were raised and it’s how they are going to raise their own kids.  I don’t think Adrian Peterson thought he did anything wrong when he beat his son, because that’s what he knows.  At what point does Adrian see that causing your child to have open wounds on his little body, isn’t right?  If you grow up with limousines and caviar everyday, that’s how you think the rest of the world lives.  If you grow up and your father beats you everyday, that’s how you think rest the world lives.  You know what you grow up with.

How about when parents want to demonstrate their point, so they make their child stand at school, holding a sign with their punishment saying things like: “I hit my sister and I like hitting girls, or I’m a bully”.  While some parents agree that this type of punishment is effective, I think it’s disgusting.  What’s the goal?  If you shame a child, how is that helping them? Some will argue that it’s the only way to get through to your kid when nothing else works, but I don’t believe they’ve tried everything else.  Those parents should have to stand there with a sign saying, “I’m a bad parent and I like to shame my child”.  Let’s see how they like it.

Did you read about the dad from Mississippi that caught his 15 year-old son drinking alcohol?  He thought it would be a good idea to make him drink until he passed out.   Apparently the boy wound up unconscious and in the emergency room.  I just want to get in that dad’s head and understand what possessed him to practically kill his own kid in order to teach him a lesson.  Does that make sense to you?

Unfortunately, we can’t hand out common sense when someone becomes a parent.  Hopefully these incidents will gain enough attention that we start educating people on how far is too far.  All these disciplinary measures are taken to excess.  I might get my psychology license because there’s going to be a lot of kids on someone’s couch dealing with all their issues later in life. What say you?  Email me at