McNerney: How to Avoid Being the Detective

We, as parents, are often put in the role of being the detective. For instance, you head into your child’s room and find the evidence of candy wrappers in the sock drawer. It might be that you have a family rule that all electronic devices be left in the kitchen after nine in the evening and you notice one missing. Or possibly, while going through your teens pockets during laundry, you pull out a vape pen.

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McNerney: Smartphone Use and Teen Depression

If you have read some of my columns this past year, you probably know that I don’t tend to jump on the latest parenting trend, or needlessly attempt to scare parents through alarming and possibly inaccurate studies about kids these days. With that in mind, I have been somewhat skeptical about the alarm bells that have been ringing for the past few years about how cell phones are going to be the downfall of the teenage generation.

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McNerney: Embarrassing Our Kids on Purpose

We, as parents, often inadvertently embarrass our kids. During our recent college tours, I witnessed at least five incidents when students would whisper to their parents: “Don’t ask any questions!” They were certain that anything that came from their parent’s mouth would be obvious and embarrassing. I began wondering what would be the most embarrassing question that a parent could ask during such a tour: “Excuse me, but my daughter is lactose intolerant. Can she have a roommate who won’t bring dairy into the room?”

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McNerney: Starting the School Year on the Right Foot

Chapter 9 of my book, “Homework – A Parent’s Guide To Helping Out Without Freaking Out!,” was actually written by a group of 7th graders. I was invited to my son’s English class to teach them about the writing process. It became a great opportunity for me to understand the minds of middle schoolers and what they want from their parents.

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Parenting with Purpose: Calming the Anxious Child

All kids get stressed and worried at times. They might have butterflies before school, a new activity or sport, or even going over to a friend’s house. For most kids, these anxieties are short term and situational. But for many kids, these fleeting worries can turn into a significant problem. In this column, I will share some ideas to help children who are dealing with anxieties.

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