Giving Thanks

It’s that time of year again to take inventory of what we’re thankful for. The older I get the more I realize that celebrating blessings is something we ought to do every day. The following are a few that are at the forefront for me this holiday season:

I’m thankful for my family – the love and support we’ve shared with one another, but also for

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Experiement shows benefits of switching roles

I’ve been following a series of blog entries on by a married couple who decided to switch roles for a few weeks. He’s an editor at Slate, she’s an at-home mom who does freelance writing. They have two young children.

This type of stunt is always good for readership (it certainly caught my attention), but typically sheds little light on the subject of parenting roles. Nevertheless, the experiment (if it could be called that) is fascinating in part because the two participants have been so candid about their experiences and impressions.

The dad had a lot of trouble adjusting to the home world,

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Kids need both parents

I make no apologies for being a shared parenting advocate. As a family therapist, I’ve understood for years that kids need both parents. But in 2003, the clinical benefits that are achieved for children in shared parenting and the negative outcomes that often result when a parent is under involved became even more meaningful to me when my son was born.

Yet with all the research and understanding,

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Dads present and accounted for at school

Last night was the Ice Cream Social at my sons’ elementary school. While many parents also attended the flag raising on the first day of school, the social is traditionally the first time parents have a chance to greet each other and welcome new faces after the long summer break.

We had a huge turnout of families enjoying the ice cream, popcorn, face painting, DJ and giant inflatables. I was stationed at the latter all evening, where I spent most of my time patrolling to prevent little vandals from turning

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Teaching good sportsmanship starts at home

One of my favorite things about autumn is football. I love the game with a passion that might be more than it should be at my age, but then again I suppose that depends on who’s setting the bar.

A few friends got together this past Saturday to cheer on our favorite college teams (Go Blue!), but when a commercial about sportsmanship aired I was left with some reservations about the traditional trash talking that had begun. The commercial starts out with a group of kids coming together to play a game, but before they take the field each of them give commentary of their dad’s comments during a recent football game. Each child exclaims how their dad,

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Study Confirms Importance of Inviting Dads Too

This week I read about a new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family examining the effects of focusing social services programs on mothers as opposed to parents in general. Researchers at the University of California Berkeley found that (news flash!) such programs end up excluding fathers, which turns out to be bad for children.

The study, funded by the California Department of Social Services Office of Child Abuse Prevention, compared father-only programs to general parenting programs and to a control group. The main findings:

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