Talking about Death + Teen Drivers

Joseph Primo, author of What Do We Tell the Children?
Talking to kids about death and dying.
Issues: Learning to help kids deal with the “how” and “why” of death and loss; the importance of honest communication; giving kids coping skills they’ll be able to use throughout their lives.

Tim Hollister, author of Not So Fast.
Parenting your teen through the dangers of driving
Issues: How brain development affects driving; what driver’s ed doesn’t produce safe drivers; how and why to prepare a “flight plan” for each drive before handing over the keys; how an when to say no.

Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment

[amazon asin=0762786655&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Luis Fernando Llosa, co-author of Beyond Winning.
Smart parenting in a toxic sports environment
Issues: Why kids shouldn’t do organized sports until about age 11; the importance of not trying to live your sports fantasies through your children; avoiding bullying, trash talk, and elitism; picking sports based on your child’s developmental stage; suggestions for how to revamp the youth sports industry.

Ending Daily Battles with Your Kids + Single Mothers Dating + Like the Child You Love

[amazon asin=0142196924&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Noel Janis-Norton, author of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting.
Five strategies that end daily battles and get kids to listen the first time.
Issues: A step-by-step plan that will help you raise a child who is cooperative, considerate, confident, and self-reliant. The five strategies are: descriptive praise, preparing for success, reflective listening, never ask twice, and rewards and consequences.

[amazon asin=0465018947&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, author of In Her Own Sweet Time.
Finding love, commitment, and motherhood as a single woman
Issues: Testing your fertility and what the results show about your ability to conceive; what it’s really like to search for a sperm donor; how to date while still thinking about motherhood; the joys and challenges of becoming a single mother by choice.

[amazon asin=B002F082A8&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Jeffrey Bernstein, author of Liking the Child You Love.
Build a better relationship with your kids even when they’re driving you crazy.
Issues: Taming the most common toxic thought patterns that stop us from parenting effectively, including the “always” or “never” trap, seething sarcasm; emotional overheating; “should” slamming, and dooming conclusions.

Dad-Daughter Bonding with @MasterCard #FuelFamilyFun and #MC















Just before Father’s Day, as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®, my youngest and I decided to do a little dad-daughter bonding by checking out the @FuelRewards program from @MasterCard. (But sponsored or not, the views and opinions in this post are entirely my own.)

The first thing we did was get online and sign up for a Fuel Rewards Network card and then link it with my #MC MasterCard. You can also do this by downloading the FRN iPhone app. The way the FRN program works is that you earn discounts on Shell fuel for just about any purchases you make with your MasterCard. Given that fuel in California is consistently 10-20 cents/gallon more expensive than the rest of the country, I’m looking for all the help I can get.

The mobile app has some nice features, including a map function that shows eligible grocery stores and other participating businesses (like Home Depot) as well as nearby Shell stations.




Lucky Rewards card for use with #FuelFamilyFun #MCOnce all the downloading, linking, menu planning, and list making were done, we set out for a nearby Lucky Supermarket. We signed up for a new #Lucky Rewards card and got one on the spot.

If you’re interested in the Fuel Rewards Network–and you really should be since it’ll cost you exactly zero to join and you get discounts on fuel for buying stuff you’re already buying anyway–I suggest that you watch the short instructional video below. You can also get more info on the FRN on the Network’s Facebook page.




From a marketing point of view, one of the smartest things the FRN website does is show the lowest prices FRN members have paid for fuel within the previous 24 hours. There are tons of people who paid as little as one cent per gallon. That certainly motivated me to whip out my MasterCard just about everywhere (on our first grocery run I earned an 18 cents/gallon (for a max of 20 gallons) credit.

The way I figure it, if I can manage to fill up my tank three or four times for a penny a gallon, I’ll have saved enough to take my roller-coaster addicted daughter to Disneyland.





I’ve always considered food shopping to be a highly underrated for fathers to spend time with their kids. You can check out our entire shopping adventure in our Google+ album.



Who Knows What the Kids Are Buying with Your Phone in the Back Seat?

It’s sure as hell happened to me–and if you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, there’s a pretty good chance that your darling, more-tech-savvy-than-you child has bought a few things and charged it to your phone bill. Stay tuned–there may be some good news on the horizon.

Under increasing pressure from parents, Apple is the first company to admit that they may have been a little lax on parental controls–and they’ve agreed to pay $100 million to settle claims.  Apparently, upwards of 20 million households are affected. If your child only bought a few small things, the $5 iTunes gift card they’ll be offering will make you happy. But if you’re one of the unfortunate parents whose kids racked up hundreds of dollars worth of apps, movies, tv shows, and more, you’re not going get much compensation. Plus, you won’t get anything at all unless you can prove that your child bought something without having to enter a password.



The Terms of Motherhood + Child ID Theft

[amazon asin=B007PM0BNW&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Kristin van Ogtrop, author of Let Me Lie Down.
Topic: Necessary terms for the half-insane working mom.
Issues: Terms and concepts that illustrate the highs, and the lows of balancing work and family.

[amazon asin=1936984113&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Joe Mason, author of Bankrupt at Birth.
Topic: Why child ID theft is on the rise and how it’s happening right under our noses.
Issues: Who, exactly, is perpetrating child id theft and why they do it; the most common forms of ID theft and how you can tell if your child is a victim; how to proect your child’s social security number; the role of social media in ID theft.