Talking To Our Kids About Diversity

Kim Kinzienon-judgment, the '70s2 Comments

I love the ’70s and would happily return to those carefree days as far as parenting is concerned. There are many things, however, the ’70s didn’t get right, and political correctness is one of them. I will admit that I don’t love having to be PC 24/7.  Does anyone? Comedians sure don’t and, I won’t lie, one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes was ridiculously offensive to Native Americans.   Nonetheless, I’m grateful that my kids will grow up in a world that’s slightly more enlightened. Despite the fact that we live in a town with almost zero diversity, I’m doing my best to teach my kids that we’re all equal – the same, but different.   Judging by their reactions to people who look or live differently from them, I think my techniques are proving to be successful. This is quite a feat for me as a kid of the ‘70s who also grew up in a town with almost zero diversity and watched “All in the Family” on a regular basis. I’m finding that it’s easy with regard to sexuality and religion; it’s slightly more challenging when it comes to race, and extremely difficult when it comes to disabilities.  (I admit these are my shortcomings, and that is something I hope write about someday in more detail.) Does this mean I make … Read More

Skipping the Field Trip

Dawn Michaelguilt, our book, School issues, self care5 Comments

I love a good field trip just as much as the next gal!  Shopping, yoga retreat, tastings (wine or food)!  School field trips, not so much.  And so it was with reluctance that I told my daughter to add my name to the chaperone list to Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI.  Just what I wanted to do with a day off from work- spend it with 31 fifth graders!  I did get a little excited when my daughter said there might be ghosts at the mill!  Would these spirits channel my energy and offer me some supernatural advice?  Perhaps this trip wouldn’t be so bad?! Alas, I wasn’t chosen as a chaperone.  Two other moms got their names in before me.  What if I had told my daughter upfront that I didn’t want to go on the field trip?  Would that have hurt her feelings?  Would she have thought I didn’t care enough?  Part of being a parent is to make sacrifices for your children.  So even though the thought of making small talk with other chaperones and keeping all those children in line wouldn’t have been my thing, I owe it to my daughter to support her.  Yet, as a believer in conscious unparenting, I need to put my needs at least on par with my child’s. I decided … Read More

Please Be With You

Kim Kinziehumor, kids in publicLeave a Comment

Throw-back Thursday!  I wrote this piece a few years ago when I took my son (then age 5) to a Catholic Church for the first time.  Since communion season is now upon us, I thought you all might enjoy this read:  Do you take your kids to church? Did you go to church growing up? I grew up Catholic but that didn’t mean we went to church.   We were those “holiday Catholics,” also known as Creasters or CEOs.  Regardless, religion played a large role in my upbringing. My grandfather was a Eucharistic minister and Grand Puba of the Knight’s of Columbus. I received my first communion, was confirmed with the name “Rebecca” (oblivious to the fact that Rebecca is a traditionally a Jewish name – should have been a sign) and my first marriage was conducted by a Catholic priest. I never intentionally ate meat on a Friday during lent, though I was known to forget occasionally…but only with chicken, I swear! At some point, however, the Catholic Church and I had a mutual break-up.  They no longer wanted me due to the fact that I got divorced and had broken every commandment. (Hey, don’t judge me; you probably have too. Read the fine print!).  I, in turn, no longer wanted them.  Between the sex abuse scandal, the opposition to … Read More

Eight Years Old and All Washed Up

Kim Kinzieathletics, the '70s18 Comments

My son played baseball for the first time last spring. Given that he was only 7 years old, the atmosphere was low pressure: coach pitch; no strikes; no outs; 3 innings – short and sweet. My son walked away with a new appreciation for this age-old american pastime. Jump ahead 1 year and it’s a whole different ball game. After registering my son for another season of baseball, I learned that, given his age, he’d moved from coach pitch to a more competitive style of baseball. We would therefore need to attend a skills assessment. or, as they were known in my day, the dreaded “try-outs.” So on a chilly Saturday morning last month, I woke both of my sleeping children up from a sound sleep, ran them through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru, and drove to the local high school for 8AM skills assessment. I was relieved to see that the trials were indoors, as it was snowing outside. Once we checked in, my son found some familiar faces and soon got ready to display his skills (or lack thereof). First up: pitching and catching. I can tell you without an ounce of guilt that my son probably has not thrown or caught a baseball since the season ended last June. (I’m not actually convinced he’s ever caught a baseball with his glove, though not for lack of … Read More

The Go-Gos Would Never Sing a Song About THIS…

Dawn MichaelADHD, our book, self careLeave a Comment

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to get the book, here’s an excerpt from my chapter called,”You Call This a Vacation???” It takes place in 2013 at Loon Mountain in NH. Foolishly, we had decided to take the kids skiing. Here’s what ensued when we signed them up for lessons. Hope you enjoy! We got to the mountain and made our way over to the ski school corral. I put the girls in level two classes and my son in level three with his buddies. My friends and I kissed our kids goodbye and skied away. I felt the familiar sensation of exhilaration I always felt when I finally get some time to myself – one you can only feel when you’ve also experienced deprivation. As a working mom, my time away from my kids is mostly when I’m at work, so when I get some actual time to myself, it’s positively delicious – like the first glass of wine after nine long months of pregnancy, an unexpected warm day in the middle of winter or eating that chocolate Easter bunny after giving up candy for Lent. Yeah, it’s that good. I hit the mountain and slowly re-acclimated to the swaying and balancing that comes with skiing while the sun shone on my face. I was so … Read More

The Battle of the Screens

Kim KinzieScreen Time1 Comment

I’m in Vermont this weekend visiting family and stumbled across an article in the local paper entitled: 3,000 Miles With the Kids, on a Roadtrip to Boredom.  After just having survived a four-hour journey  with my 2 boys, this article naturally caught my attention. The author, concerned about her children’s growing addiction to screens, decided to take a long roadtrip with her kids (ages 3 and 6) with no electronics. Yes, you read that right:  no phones, ipads, DVD players, handheld gameplayers…not even an ipod.   She sought to teach them to deal with their boredom, which is an important tool in accessing creativity (I’m living proof:  my boredom being home with 2 toddlers drove me to write a book) I applauded the author and wondered if I had the guts to do the same.  My boys, ages 5 and 8 are definitely addicts.  I dont worry as much about my 8 year old.  He has many interests and seems to have a solid internal barometer that tells him when he’s had too much. My 5 year old on the other hand, is a true junkie.  Like a heroin addict, he’s always looking for his next score.  Every car ride comes with the request:  “Can I play on your phone?”  Every free minute he wants a screen:  to play a game, watch a show, … Read More