How It’s Done Blog


Privileges and Responsibilities, Part 462 (or thereabouts)

In theory, our kids have responsibilities. And they do—they pack and unpack their own lunches, they each have a weekly chore, they’re responsible for cleaning up their toys and getting their laundry in the bin. And, of course, they have privileges. We feed them, right? And take them places. And periodically buy them stuff. We’ve been having some trouble, Rob and I, figuring out how those things were supposed to be tied together. Surely if you didn’t do your responsibilities, […]

Can I Give Today Back?

What a day. Let’s just say that the amount of crying that went on this afternoon was stunning, and that was before I told the kids that the (old) dog had (easily, I hope painlessly) died this morning. I have had better days. So, I guess, had she… But (so I won’t start crying) back to the crying. I told the kids this am that I would bring them home for an hour before soccer. We take Lily’s friend B […]

What Lily Does on a Rainy Day

Crafty Lily Originally uploaded by kjda Lily has crafty instincts in more ways than one. By all rights, today should have been soccer. Normally, we play soccer in the rain around here. We do not let a little 50 degree weather or drizzle stop us! In fact, we have, and have had since Sam was this age and playing in this particular soccer (a spring fundraiser for the Dartmouth men’s and women’s soccer teams), special soccer gloves. Well, they’re not […]

Nothing for Me!

When next I post, it will no doubt be a picture–and it will surely be a happy picture, because we are off to the Happiest Place On Earth ™! Actually, is that right? We’re going to Disneyworld, anyway. The Happiest Place On Earth ™ might be Disneyland. Or somewhere else. I forget. But we’re off to Orlando. And I do expect there will be plenty of happiness, although I’m not fool enough to expect nonstop joy or even a day […]

The Family Meeting

The family meeting is a big part of Parenting on Track, and as it happens, it’s a part I really love. But oh, it’s hard to schedule. The idea is to meet once a week, at a regular time, for the following: family “appreciations,” the choosing/handing out of jobs (which ought to be called contributions, but we don’t), problems (which we don’t really do yet, I’m waiting to get really regular with the meeting) and allowance. I think tonight was […]

Off Track

“No!” Wyatt stood in our hallway, feet in his socks firmly planted on the floor. “No. I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay here!” Yesterday, I brought Rory and Wyatt home for about an hour before picking Lily and Sam up from school. I’d meant for us to stay out–but they were so awful, so whiny and obnoxious to me and to one another, that we ran one errand, abandoned the plan for coffee and treats (with a rousing […]

The Parenting on Track Car Playout

Last week, I described the plot my friend Mimi and I laid to get my three littles to STOP MAKING ME CRAZY in the car.  How did it play out? So far, so damn good. I’m always a little embarrassed when these very simple things–courtesy of Parenting on Track–work over all the far more complicated strategies I’ve tried, and for the car, I’ve had more than a few. Let’s see, there were the stars that I took away for fighting […]

The Concert and the Tantrum

Holiday Concert! Originally uploaded by kjda It was an accident. I have been to enough Montessori concerts by now to know that you do not MESS with the afternoon before the concert. You do not go swimming. You do not have playdates, or hair cuts, or doctor appointments or flu shots. You do not accept deadlines or work assignments. You take those kids home, cursing the fact that a 6:00 concert makes dinner impossible, you feed them a massive snack […]