Planning for Uncomfortable-but-Important Conversations

[amazon asin=1615190783&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Sue Sanders, author of Mom, I’m Not a Kid Anymore.
Topic:
Navigating 25 inevitable conversations that arrive before you know it.
Issues: How not to be blindsided by your child’s pre-teen years; tough conversations like, “You and Dad do that?” “Did you ever smoke marijuana?” “Can I get American Eagle jeans?” and “Do these shorts make my butt look big?”

Organ Donation + Childhood Unbound + Improve Family Communication

[amazon asin=0800721888&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Todd and Tara Storch, authors of Taylor’s Gift.
Topic:
A courageous story of giving life and renewing hope.
Issues: Dealing with the question no parent every wants to hear: “Would you be willing to donate your child’s organs?” Overcoming grief at the loss of a child.

[amazon asin=1416559280&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Ron Taffel, author of Childhood Unbound.
Topic:
Saving our kids’ best selves–confident parenting in a world of change
Issues: Guiding children of all ages in ways that bring out the best in kids and parents; understanding our children in 21st century terms; how to encourage the good while steering the kids away from the bad.

[amazon asin=1884734685&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Susie Leonard Weller, author of Why Don’t You Understand.
Topic:
Improve family communication
Issues: Understanding the four basic thinking styles: Logical, Creative, Practical, and Relational; what to do when someone’s style is driving you crazy, how to parent a child who marches to a different drummer.

Encouraging Character and Curiosity + Navy Chaplains

Guest 1: Rick Ackerly, author of The Genius in Every Child.
Topic: Encouraging character, curiosity, and creativity in children.
Issues: How focusing on character, curiosity, and creativity at a young age lights the path to a successful life and academic achievement; how parents and teachers can build self-worth and confidence; the importance of allowing children to take on challenges, learn from disappointment, and take on responsibility.

Guest 2: Chaplain Dale White, CAPT, Operations Officer, Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains. Additional Resources:

A Single Dad’s Guide to His Daughter’s Puberty

I’m a single dad and my daughter is 11. I know I’m going to have some kind of discussion with her about puberty, but I don’t have a clue where to begin. I also don’t know what and how much I should say to my daughter about her body and about sexual feelings she is going to start to experience. Help!

Congratulations! You’re about to deal with something that most dads spend a lot of time worrying about. Luckily, though, it really isn’t all that bad.

Whether you’re a custodial dad or you share custody, it’s reasonably safe to assume that your ex will be having some discussions about puberty and menstruation with your daughter. But sometimes things don’t work out exactly the way you planned. Even if they do, it’s a good idea for you to prepare yourself to deal with these issues anyway. Women’s bodies have always been something of a mystery to most men and it’s perfectly normal to be confused, embarrassed, or even somewhat put off by your daughter’s physical changes.
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Communicating With Your Spouse

Ever since our baby was born, it seems like my wife and I are growing apart from each other. We hardly even talk anymore. She’s a stay-at-home mom, and I work a lot. We used to be great at communication, talking to each other about our days, discussing our child and what she is learning. I’m afraid our relationship isn’t as strong as it used to be. What happened?

Nearly all new parents experience a drop in the quality of their communication. Half the time it’s permanent. Here are some of the factors that researchers have found contribute to this decline in couples’ communication skills:
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From the “Well, Doh!” department

New study out shows that having kids lowers marital satisfaction. Actually, there have been a lot of studies that show the same thing. But this one, which tracked over 200 couples for eight years, found that 90 percent of them experienced a drop off in happiness after having children.

Geez, what do you expect when all personal growth and development goes out the window, there’s no sex, no sleep, and you’re on the all-kids-all-the-time channel.

So how do you stay in the top 10%? Got to find something–anything–to talk about besides the baby/child. Lots to choose from–wars, the economy, the housing bubble, whether you should trade in your iPad2 for a 3. That’s my commentary. More info on the recent satisfaction study at: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/story/2012-03-07/Years-of-research-point-to-strain-kids-put-on-relationships/53403700/1