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TiffinTalk Blog

Sunday, 03 December 2017 18:05

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up (and Hints for My Kids) Featured

Elisabeth Stitt, parenting coach and owner of Joyful Parenting, ended a blog post with a powerful all-capped question: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? While the post was about helping our children with that question, I think her blog was secretly written for parents often silently asking that question of ourselves. Thank you, Elizabeth, for asking grown-ups what they want to be because I rethink and reevaluate this for myself frequently. With respect to our kids, what I do know is this: Often we need to remind them that their answer is allowed to change many…
Friday, 28 July 2017 21:52

Parenting Lies Featured

In a previous life, I was a teen. It’s hard to admit. But it’s the truth. I’ve told my daughters this. Me being a teen and all. Just like them. And typical teens that they are? . . . They refuse to believe me. As if I am lying. “When have I ever lied to you?” I ask. Then I quickly shut up, because the ice under my feet is feeling mighty thin and I definitely just heard it cracking. Does a willful act of fictional omission count as a lie – even with the best of parenting intentions? What…
Friday, 18 August 2017 01:04

4 (+1) Rules for the Exit of the College Kid Featured

If your summer goes by the college academic year and not by the traditional calendar, then it will come as no surprise that summer is coming to an end regardless of the actual dates. And life as you finally got used to it, at least for these past few months, is also coming to an end (again). The chaotic schedule that you just got used to dancing around? Done. The arguments over bathroom use (and cleanliness)? Done. The frustrations over whether chores were done, or rather, not done. Also done. My daughter is packing up. She’s got a spreadsheet for…
Sunday, 30 April 2017 15:26

4 (+1) Rules for the Summer of the College Kid Featured

Enter, stage front and center*, the child-now-young adult home from college for summer break with a carload of “schtuff” to be unloaded and then repacked (with even more absolutely necessary "schtuff") in just 3 months. Oh joy. Tis the return of the prodigal son/daughter/brother/sister. Possibly in plural form. You can’t wait. No. Hold on a second . . . Yes. Yes, you can. Others – including pets – can’t wait either. Actually, they can, too. Everyone is feeling the return with growing anticipation and with rising confusion. Excitement or fear? Happiness or frustration? It’ll be a shift. An adjustment. There…
Sunday, 27 November 2016 16:44

Mom Knows Best . . . Do Not Listen to Mom Featured

    I’m old enough to be a mom and blessed enough to still have my own mom close by. Here’s how being a mom and having a mom works: My teens don’t listen to their mom (me) and I, in turn, don’t listen to my mom. It’s not intentional. It’s a mom thing. It’s a kid thing. The truth of it is: Moms do know best. They are brilliant. They have experience. And they know (and try to accept) that their children actually do hear them even if they are not listening in the moment. Or maybe children are…
  If you haven’t read it already (and you haven’t just eaten), you might skim the last blog about the vermin-vomiting dog. It’ll get you in the right dog mind. Or left one. (Is there actually room for two?) Unexpectedly, I’m riffing on the service dog. Turns out that animals (and kids) actually do provide a fodder for stories that I never thought I’d tell. Those poop stories I listened to when I was not a parent – the very stories I swore I would never, NEVER, be reduced to even whispering aloud when I became a parent – were…
Tuesday, 14 March 2017 22:58

Real Parenting Stories: The Dog Ate a Mouse Featured

Not just a mouse. A dead mouse. Not really freshly dead, but not exactly shriveled up and odor-free, either. And not just an almost fresh dead mouse, but a dead mouse who may have ingested rat poison that the landlord used in our newly rented home while the house was between tenants. And there’s more. Because Rory-the-mouse-eating-dog is not just a dog. She’s a service dog-in-training. A 6-month old puppy who just passed round 1 of her service dog tests. This is one brilliant dog. (Mouse consumption notwithstanding.) However, she has become the gold-plated dog. The dog who costs just…
Saturday, 31 December 2016 20:40

We’ve Just Survived the Holiday Sandwich Featured

  For many around the world - but certainly not all – the month of December has turned into this chaotic time warp. And time, as we once knew it, has turned into “Apple time” – you know when the time for installation and upgrades alternates (versus counts down) from 75 seconds to 43 days to 27 minutes and so on and then . . . TA DA! Done! What the hell? Who counts like that? And how did the holiday time become some sort of “iTime”? The rush into the holiday season has turned into a crush of the…
Monday, 19 December 2016 17:59

Making the News! Did You Hear the Latest?!

The original start of this post: Not only have we relaunched our website (Again? Yes!! AGAIN!) but we are also in the news and on the road at showsand festivals and conferences and giving talks and being featured in blogs and online holiday gift guides and . . . and . . . and . . .  But it just got better.   Today, Monday, December 19, we were featured on the front page of the business section of the Philadelphia Inquirer. (also here at How's that for exciting news? Go there – but come back here because there's…
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 15:48

Politics – Conversations to Avoid Avoiding

Politics suck. That may be the only political fact we can depend on. (Check that out with Politifact.) Conversationally speaking, of course, politics are great. Usually. But the general rule is: Don’t engage. Stay clear of political chatter if it appears at the family reunion or holiday dinner with relatives who clearly were born on the other branches of the same (?) family tree. It's not worth pruning your tree over politics. Honestly. There’s a lot more to life. A lot. Take a few more breaths. Attempt a polite change of the impolite political topic. Then focus on quietly counting how…
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