Posts Tagged ‘family dinner’

Parenting News: Sharing Photos of Kids, Family Meals, Osama Bin Laden, Television, Daycare

By Dad News Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Posting Images of Our Kids Online: What Are the Rules?: Much has been publicized about how important it is for parents to monitor their kids’ use of technology, but what are the guidelines for parents of small children? (

Family Meals Benefit Health of Children: A study in the journal Pediatrics finds that children and adolescents who share meals with their families at least three times per week are less likely to be overweight, eat unhealthy foods or be at risk for eating disorders. (

Talking to Kids About Osama Bin Laden’s Death: Since last night’s unexpected announcement that terrorist Osama bin Laden had been killed, many parents are grappling with how to talk to their kids about this huge news story. (

The Sad State of American Kids’ Food Environments: Nearly half of all American children and teens are overweight or obese, according to government statistics, and a large part of the problem may be lack of access to healthy foods in kids’ environments. (

TV’s Common in Daycare Centers, Flouting Guidelines: More than two-thirds of daycare centers included in a new U.S. study have TVs available for children to watch, and nearly 60 percent of the centers ignored the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for television exposure in young kids. (HealthDay)

Why Spaghetti Fail Is Okay With This Dad

By Daddy Clay Saturday, February 28th, 2009

At this writing I’m sitting at a desk in a swank suite at the Raffaello Hotel in downtown Chicago. The Nice Couple from New York found the place for an amazing bargain price, and I’m really looking forward to an anti-freeze soaked lunch (it’s cold here) followed by an art crawl (I can’t remember the last time my wife and I went to a museum). It’s a quick getaway on the tail end a private school conference that my wife attended (gotta love frequent flier miles), but I definitely paid my dues before getting here.

Actually, I should probably admit that some secret part of me enjoys when my wife goes out of town and leaves me with the kids. Not because I like it when my wife is gone, but it does give me a chance to prove that I’m not a total parenting schlub. I can feed, clothe, and transport three kids for a couple of days without anybody getting rickets or needing intensive psychotherapy. The wife going out of town gives me a little parenting competency check-up.

I felt a little guilty taking the easy way out on Wednesday night (we ate out), I decided that I needed to go for the domestic Full Boat on Thursday night — cooking dinner, dishes, all family laundry, baths for everyone, reading.

I’m incredibly spoiled when it comes to preparing meals. My wife is an amazing home cook and “foodie.” We’re awash in cooking and food magazines that she reads avidly. We have amazing grocery stores nearby where she shops for fresh ingredients. She mixes it up and is constantly trying new things. As a result, our kids are little gourmets with wide ranging tastes with a minimum of pickiness (Ri-ri doesn’t care for pizza or chocolate — weird). They live for fresh fruit and tolerate veggies fairly well. I used to help out on the grill fairly often, but since we’ve scaled back on the red meat, I can’t even claim that as a regular contribution. The kids and I set the table, and I do the dishes.

So for my cooking night I know to keep it really simple: spag and meatballs, Caesar salad, yogurt and watermelon. Not exactly Le Cirque, but I swear I felt like I was slaving all night. I was particularly proud of the timing. The plates hit the table just as Bubba walked in from soccer practice. The praise for my meal was extravagant to the point of patronizing. Bubba was particularly effusive. I certainly appreciated the support.

But the proof was in the pudding, so to speak. All praise aside, within just a few short minutes, Bubba was asking to be excused. His meal virtually untouched. Despite having used all the same stuff that my wife does, something wasn’t quite the same. Nothing can compare with your mom’s spaghetti, I guess. My feelings weren’t too badly hurt. Coop helped me out by cleaning his plate. Which isn’t really much of a complement — the kid is a garbage disposal.

By the time the the kids were tucked in and folding was done, there would be no curling up with “The Given Day.” I was freakin’ beat. So thanks to my wife for all she does. You single parents out there have my undying admiration and respect. Cheers to Baba and Bud for taking the kids for the weekend. Now I’m off to collect my reward.

Wristwatch Parent Or Cell Phone Parent Which Are You

By Daddy Clay Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

In our very unusual neighborhood, we have decided to afford our ten-year-old a good deal of independence and freedom. This is result is a result of our very informed decision to encourage free and imaginative play outside the home, building independent coping and social skills. Also, we are so raggedy-ass after work that we just want the kid to get the hell out of the house. Read the rest of this entry »