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A few links to scan while you're waiting for the loan shark's check to clear so you can buy Halloween costumes: This soccer mom in Long Island was VERY upset when the coach of her daughter's team dropped her from the e-mailing list. Whatever happened to Danica McKellar from TV's "The Wonder Years"? She wants to get your kids high -- on math. Good grief! Who kn…

(Associated Press photo) Tara Parker-Pope, a New York Times blogger, today writes about the ever-more-frequent habit of parents bringing their babies into their beds to sleep with them. (Click here for her article.) “In the affluent West,” she writes, “the practice is widely frowned on, not just by grandparents and friends, but by the medical community at large.…

Overscheduled and over-stressed family life -- does that sound familiar? An article in today's Wall Street Journal says that many fed-up families are hiring family coaches to try to get a handle on their out-of-control lives. The coaches charge anywhere from $25 to $90 an hour. Several specialize in trying to help families get their homes in order, before getting the re…

"Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed in one in 150 children in the United States, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of autism has increased tenfold in the last decade."Those are the words of Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization that today launched an online video glossary to educate parents and others about early signs of autism in …

An article in the New York Times tells parents to cut themselves some slack if their children are picky eaters. It turns out that being a picky eater, which can morph into a fear of new foods, is something we pass to the kids through our genes. This is a huge concern for families today. Allison and I have a culinary mixed marriage -- she doesn't eat meat or seafood, so sh…

On Sunday we invoked another family tradition -- the annual Columbus Day trifecta trip up Transit Road/Rt. 78 to Olcott-Newfane for a bag of Bye's popcorn, a ride on the Olcott Carousel, and fruit picking at Murphy Orchards. It's my homage to regional historical randomness, with snacks.I learned about Bye's -- stop #1 on our trifecta -- reading a Joyce Carol Oates essay in…

I'll bet you didn't know that October is International Walk to School Month.The thinking is that children need to be more active for their health, so why not start with walking to school? There is no way for me to express this without sounding like a 90-year-old crank, so I won't even try not to. Back in my day, kids actually did walk to school. Why do we require buses to…

There won't be a test, but here is today's suggested reading: Jeff Opdyke of the Wall Street Journal complains about how much homework his fifth-grade son is given. He says the homework is disrupting his family's life, "always hanging over our head." Our Western New York economy is not booming, but our daily commute is wonderful compared to what some families c…

I can't take out a box of Cheerios in the morning without feeling guilty. OK, I can start by feeling good that at least I'm serving Cheerios, not donuts or Pop Tarts. But then there is that pink Box Tops for Education stamp on the top of the box, staring at me, daring me to ignore it and deny an improvement to my kids' school.  For the uninitiated, Box Tops for Educ…

I'm turning myself in: I probably don't know as much about history as a person probably should. I'm not sure exactly why this is, I was a good student, but for some reason I don't remember much. We like to talk today about how kids don't know anything about geography, and/or much anything else, but quiz us baby boomers about history and my guess is our collective literacy …

Today seems like a good day to take a break from family talk and just share our feelings about the Bills' painful start. It's really OK to just talk about it. This is a very safe place; no one can hurt you here, and we all want to validate your emotions. Sometimes laughter really is the best selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. With that in mind, we present the followin…

The cereal aisle is an example of capitalism run amok.          Associated Press photoI dread grocery shopping, and based upon the unsolicited comments I got from friends I ran into at one of our local mega-chains the other day, I am not alone. As I wheeled past the avocados, I ran into a mom (a mom I might add who never says an unkind wo…

At Parent Company, we read the whole Internet -- so you don't have to! In the Washington Post a family therapist named Patricia Dalton writes about the fact that kids no longer seem to have any fear of their parents. Not fear in the "My dad is O.J." sense, but just a healthy awareness that they'd better do what they are told, or else. I especially notice this i…

I was never technically a stay-at-home dad since I never stopped working full-time, but when our kids were babies and toddlers I used to care for them during the day and then go to work at night. (As I used to say, I'd go to work to get some rest.) But to the other parents -- mostly moms -- at the playground or library or wherever, I appeared to be a stay-at-home dad, a …