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For parents who like to find things to worry about (and who doesn't?), there is plenty of grist for the mill when sending your first child off to college. How will she handle her new freedom? Can he keep up academically? Will she get homesick? Does he know how to do laundry? Psych Central, a Web site about mental health issues, has put together a very useful College…

Our puppy is now three and a half months old. We've been taking him to training class, trying to learn how to get a little control over him so that he knows he's the dog and we're the people. The trainer we go to uses the clicker-and-treat method. That involves pressing a clicker -- accompanied by an instant reward or treat -- to reinforce good behavior, such as relieving…

A comment made by another parent a few years ago left a lasting impression on me.  Allison and I were attending a friend's wedding in Albany. Another guest seated at our table was a mom of two teenage boys. We were talking about the music we listen to. The mom said, "Why is it that when we were kids, we listened to our parents' music on the car radio. And now we…

The Beijing Olympic Games on television are consuming most of the waking hours of our children these days and nights. And too often those nights are stretching past 11 p.m. (C'mon, the gymnastics is almost over, or Michael Phelps is about to swim!) I don't get overly excited about the Games, but watching our kids watch them is what  draws me in. One night this week…

A big plus of parenting is the fact that you get to raise the next generation of humans. On the negative side? It can be so darn tough to make it to the gym once you've got children to raise. Blogger Leo Babauta, who is a father of six and lives in Guam, writes about "How to Get in Lean Shape With Little or No Equipment."The key is using your bodyweight for exer…

Our family is back in the dog business. After a two-year lobbying campaign by our kids (we still don't know how they afforded the robo-calls and the newspaper ads), we realized that our children weren't getting any younger, so we might as well take the plunge now. We have a 14-week-old puppy whom we adopted from a friend. He is a Maltese-poodle mix. (Nobody says Malt…

Tefaddaloo -- "Do us the favor of joining us" -- says the  St. John Maron Parish in Williamsville, as it celebrates the 10th annual Lebanese Festival this weekend (continuing today from noon to 6:00 if you haven’t been). I’m proud to say we’ve attended all 10 of the Lebanese Festivals, one of our summer rituals, and so we’ve seen this event evolve o…

The first thing to go was the occasional venti latte at Starbucks. It’s been a few months since I’ve set foot in a Starbucks to fork over $4 for coffee, something that Greg and I did on a somewhat regular basis as a treat (though we ordered one extra large and shared, not being total fools). With gas prices over $4 a gallon, we’ve substituted Texas Tea for coffee, an…

Il cinema Sotto le Stelle, Cinema Under the Stars, has been something I’ve wanted to set up in our backyard this summer. We’re not normally high in the handy department, we don’t suddenly put up ice rinks, major jungle gym contraptions, or for that matter much else besides a badminton net. But after last year at our block party when a clever parent borrowed a project…

It probably is not so funny if you're a camp counselor, but I find this Associated Press story about crybaby parents to be a great reflection of where we are today. The story is about how instead of the kids becoming homesick when they go away to camp, the parents become kid-sick when they are not around their little darlings. One counselor cited in the story says the cam…

We went to see "WALL-E" last weekend with much of the rest of America. The Pixar people are geniuses. Their fusion of story, art, technology, humor and simultaneous adult and kid appeal is unmatched. I actually was more excited about seeing this movie than our kids, and there isn’t much that Hollywood churns out today that gets me that motivated. I loved this…

It's too hot to type, I mean, keyboard today. I'll just link, instead: Mariam Brillantes in WJS's The Juggle: "I want to know everything that’s going on with my 15-year-old daughter and she understandably wants to keep some things private. Our struggles seem to converge around her cellphone, which allows me to keep track of her whereabouts — if only she would ans…

As old-time comic Henny Youngman once joked, his wife ran after the garbage truck yelling, "Am I too late for the garbage?" to a reply of "No, jump in!" In the same desperate spirit, I called Greg’s U-Pick-It on Sunday to ask, “Am I too late for the strawberries?” No, Sunday was the last day for picking, so we jumped in the car for piano lessons…

Over at the Wall Street Journal's Juggle blog, Cybele Weisser wonders about the risks of posting photos of your children to public sites, such as Flick, Picassa or PhotoBucket, to name just a few. What do Parent Company readers think about this? I publish family photos on Flickr occasionally, but I don't usually write captions for them. I figure the people who know us k…

It wasn't quite a pilgrimage, since we were sort of in the neighborhood anyway, but our son and I ventured to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., last weekend. I can't quite wring the same significance out of the trip as Richard Ford in his novel "Independence Day," in which a father and son visit Springfield, Cooperstown and Canton together. Stil…