If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


After Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon, my high school senior has been anxious about venturing out too far from home. Even though she hasn’t been pouring over newspaper accounts and video footage, she’s really taken this to heart with it having hit so close to home. It’s not just empathy for the victims and anger toward the cowards who perpetrated such violence, emotions we all surely share. For teens especially, who are too old not to be touched but too young to fully process, an event like this is especially confounding and troubling. This kind of terrorism reflects a unique combination of targeted malice and randomness. While one ponders the nature of evil and hate, there’s also the realization, “That could have been me.”

My own response is to carry on –  refuse to be cowed, “living well is the best revenge.” But for kids who might need some thoughtful parental intervention, “Psychology Today” offers some excellent thoughts.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I love this provocative new seven-minute video coming out of New Zealand that asks us to consider a disturbingly common scenario from a different viewpoint. It follows a young woman caught up in group of partiers becoming more and more drunk as the night goes on, while a young man bides his time until he thinks he can move in and take advantage of her incapacitation to get lucky. It ends back at her apartment as she is about to get sexually assaulted.

But then it rewinds and asks “Who Are You” in this picture? As it examines the various bystander roles in the scenario – friend, roommate, bartender, stranger – it urges us to think about the assault in a different way. It doesn’t focus on why it happened, but on how it could have been prevented at several points along the way. Instead of castigating the predatory man or the young woman who gets carried away and has way too much to drink, it asks us to put ourselves in the shoes of any of several people who could have stepped in and stopped what was happening, becoming someone who helped instead of someone who just stood by. Show this to your teens….