Kids take wing; parents learn to cope with ’empty-nest syndrome’

Amy Dodson looks forward to dating her husband. Not that they haven’t gone out in the years since they married. It’s just that they’re about to have more time to do so, especially since their youngest son, who’s 18, has left for his freshman year at Texas Christian University. "It’s really a transition f...Read More

The big goodbye at college: when your child leaves the nest

I’ve been practicing for months. Practicing what it will be like when, in a few weeks, my firstborn is packed up, flown off and settled into a dorm on a campus on a hill in a town some 1,000 miles from the old house where his stirrings have been the backbeat to my every day. Just to see what it feels like, I find myself walking past the bedro...Read More

Grandmother’s devotion is steadfast after 19 years

The doctors at Tampa General Hospital told Gregory Shifflett’s family to go home and get some sleep. There was nothing they could do for the 13-month-old baby. Consensus was that the child had left them forever that February evening in a drowning, floundering unheard in the cold waters of the family’s backyard pool in Seffner. Yes, para...Read More

They’re Adults Now: Stop Hovering!

My daughter has a cold," the student’s mother said. "Could you be sure she wears her sweater today?" What a sweet, concerned mom, right? But what if the daughter is a college freshman? At Palm Beach Atlantic University, they have a name for parents who call to make sure their son wakes up for class, or who, like the father of a...Read More

Monster-in-law? Not in this family

As a pastor’s wife, Becky Hunter has heard many lamentations over mothers-in-law — particularly as it applies to the relationship with a daughter-in-law. As her three boys grew up and married, she never wanted to be the reason for any such grief. So Hunter, the wife of Joel C. Hunter, spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama and past...Read More

Grandparenting brings joy in so many unexpected ways

Being a mother is one of the greatest joys of my life. Many of the happiest moments I’ve experienced in my 59 years have been because of my four kids. And, to be honest, there have been some lows, too. My four children are now grown and living their lives. For many years, my children lived on the West Coast. Two were in Montana, and two lived...Read More

Recession Lessons for Your Grandkids

Take it as a gift. The days of being blissfully unaware of what something costs may be behind us, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you fell into the habit of showering your grandchildren with presents, you may find it’s harder to do when you’re anxious about keeping your job or about the state of your retirement funds. R...Read More

My Sister Is A Potted Plant

It was a major personal breakthrough. I’m the oldest of three girls born of the same parents and raised in the same Middle-of-America town. An adventurer by nature, I enjoy new ideas, different flavors, and meeting novel people. If there is an opportunity to learn, move forward with my life (and shed an old skin), or try out a different resta...Read More

Need a good home remedy? Ask Grandma!

Before the Internet came along, grandma was the best person to ask for medical advice or a good home remedy. The stunt my 15-year- old grandson pulled the other day makes me question the accuracy of the Internet. He came over to the house Friday afternoon to ride his four-wheeler. As he was getting on all of his riding gear, I noticed he had some s...Read More

Smartest toys for kids can be the simplest

Ed. Note: Buying toys for a grandchild this holiday? Some helpful advice. To a baby, blocks aren’t just toys. They’re appetizers. Eight-month-old Anna Swanwink doesn’t just stack her soft cloth blocks. She chews them, inspects them, rolls them across the carpet. She shakes them, listening for the hidden rattle or jingle bell insid...Read More

Surviving family time stress

Although the holidays should be a time of joy and celebration, they can also be a cause for stress. And oftentimes, a big factor in this stress is the time spent with family. Amanda Spriggs, a therapist at Parkside Psychiatric Hospital & Clinic, said family time can be stressful for several reasons. Spending time with a lot of family can bring ...Read More

Family – And Holiday Traditions

For the first time ever in my memory, we had four generations sitting around our holiday table this year. In the picture to the left, you see the star of the show, our first (and only) grandchild, Daisy. Her dad, (my son) and his wife are pictured there along with me and my mother, who has the exalted role as a first-time great-grandmother. Missing...Read More

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