Carving pumpkins? Talk to your kids while you’re at it.In today’s culture when almost ALL of our kids have seen at least some of the episodes of the series Thirteen Reasons Why, we need to talk about self image, depression, suicide, bullying, and social media. Their ideas and opinions are coming from somewhere. Why not us? Since our family is so busy, I try to find teachable moments in our everyday[…]

Are you concerned with your dancer’s placement or progress? Do you think your dancer needs private lessons to gain more individual attention? Are you confused about a decision that has been made that directly affects your child’s outlook and self-esteem?These are all valid questions. Dance Mom Devo contributor Meghan Way Stinson helps us out with some answers from her perspective as an experienced dance instructor.We, as dance teachers, know that[…]

Disappointment always hurts. And it’s unavoidable in this world. Whether it’s blowing an audition, failing a spelling test, or not being invited to a friend’s birthday party, at some point in your child’s life, she’s going to be disappointed. Our kids need to be taught how to respond. Here are some of the not-so-good responses I’ve either tried or witnessed: Not-so-good response 1: Say “Toughen up!” and ignore the pain. This response will come back[…]

We’ve all been there. You’re not happy with some things at the kids’ school, dance studio, or maybe even your church. Your first reaction is to bolt and look for that greener grass somewhere else. While sometimes the right answer is staying right where you are, at times families do need to re-locate. But how do you know whether to stay or go? Whether to love it or leave it?Things[…]

As the years passed on for me in the competitive world, the trophies accumulated. When you have been gathering awards for years, where do you put them? For me, we began setting them in my dance room, and they continued to multiply until ironically, there wasn’t a whole bunch of space left to dance. I left behind my room full of collected trophies when I moved to LA. I didn’t need[…]

Private college tuition. Gulp.Times two this year. Double gulp.Medical bills from a kiddo’s recent hospitalization, labs, tests, and follow-ups.Air conditioning that doesn’t work (in TEXAS!).Recent home renovation that overshot the budget.1968 plumbing.A car way past 200,000 miles, ready to give up at any time.Competitive dance.Ouch!When we look at our family’s budget, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We are creatively looking at ways to cut expenses and decide where to spend[…]

Here it comes again. That unexpected gut punch of parenting a high school senior in the spring. Last show choir performance, last choir concert, last banquet, last prom, graduation… I’m so ready for her to spread her wings, and she’s so ready to fly. But, then again, I am devastated to know she is about to take off without me. She can’t wait to leave one minute, but then wants[…]

After an intense day at a dance competition, Rich and I needed toothpicks to prop our eyes open for Bethany’s solo awards at 11:15 p.m. We settled into our “wake me when it’s over” slump in our seats, half listening for the title of her solo, Bluebird, so we could whoop and try to remember which medal the judges decided for her. (This weekend it would be High Gold, Platinum,[…]

I take extreme measures to avoid girl scouts in February. When the doorbell rings, I dive and roll. When they have a table set up at the grocery store, I take an alternate entrance.You see, I have a weakness. One bite into peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness, and the whole box is gone. Then I look for another box. Not long afterward, I feel really, really sick and angry at[…]

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