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The Parenting Dare: “We give parents the words” to arm their kids against porn

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Last week, mother-and-son team Lori and Eric Doerneman released The Parenting Dare, an online video course designed to help parents and kids work together to resist pornography.
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Lori told me:
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This isn’t your typical “Porn is bad and you shouldn’t look”-type of course. We address our broken nature and we clearly show God’s plan of life and love. We talk about why they will be attracted to porn, but that it’s just a trap. We hit that concept pretty hard. We want to dissect the lie and showcase the truth.
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Lori has a degree in education and several years’ experience teaching, and speaking for Project Freedom, a program promoting chastity geared toward eighth graders and their parents. Eric is the oldest of the eight Doerneman children.
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Here is our conversation about The Parenting Dare. My questions are in bold.
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Lori, when we met a few years ago a the Catholic Family Conference in Kansas, you were writing a blog called “Prayer and Duct Tape.” Can you explain that title?
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Lori: I wanted it to be a Catholic blog but without too pious of a title. We had duct tape all over our house. Also, my bra was held together with duct tape at my wedding! Like prayer, it holds us together.
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Eric, you’re pretty open about your own struggles with porn addiction. What happened?
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Eric: We were super Catholic, hitting all the spiritual nails on the head, praying the rosary a lot, going to Mass every Sunday. One summer, I served at Mass every day. Mom was killing the spiritual aspect. But she completely missed the physical aspect.
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Lori: I thought talking about porn would ruin his innocence, and I wanted to keep him innocent.
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Eric: In 5th and 6th grade, I started looking at pictures on internet, masturbating and looking at porn consistently. Mom walked in on me one time, and from, there we always had a bit of a back and forth conversation. I wasn’t always transparent, but through that, we always had a real relationship.
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Lori: I want to talk to my kids, intentionally building a relationship so they will trust me.
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Eric: I told my friends my mom was helping me through it. Initially, they freaked out, but then they thought it was cool. They could never talk to their parents.
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So where did you go from there?
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Lori: The most of the year it took to get him out of porn startled me. Once he finally got out, it was through [an understanding of] the science of what was happening in his brain.
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Eric: I tried [to stop] throughout high school and college. I knew it was immoral, but I couldn’t stop. It wasn’t until college that I said, “I’m actually addicted.” After college, mom kept hounding me. She got me a book [Pornography Addiction: Breaking the Chains] which taught me about the science, and I got a good grasp on what was happening to me.
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What made you think not only of helping your kid, but trying to help other kids and other parents?
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Lori: I changed my parenting through the course helping Eric. I have five sons, and I know I have a lot to offer to other parents.  So I thought, “I want to offer an online course.” Parents need to acknowledge that porn is stealing the hearts of their kids. So we called it “The Parenting Dare.”
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Eric surprised the crap out of me by saying, “You’d suck at doing this alone. I want to do this with you.”
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Eric: We’re daring you to take your blinders off. It’s a hard course. We’re funny, but it’s not tutti frutti. It’s not Pinterest-y.
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Lori: We have made the Gospel too easy. Kids want to do something heroic with their lives.
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Tell me a little bit about what your program offers.
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Eric: There are five main sections of the course, called “modules,” and each one has videos in it, anywhere from seven to ten minutes long. The first module is background, stuff you need to know about us, and then some concepts covered in the course: the four levels of happiness, the brain and addiction, and your belief system.
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Lori: Module Three covers kids age zero to five, to get moms keyed in, and to get them to discuss things openly, like, “That’s your penis!” We get them to establish themselves as an authority.
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“The sex talk” is not a talk, it’s a continual conversation. It starts from a young age: how beautiful your body is, how awesome God is that He created this. This makes it easier to have conversations about sex, porn, lust and love.
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The best addiction is one that never starts. That means we target parents of young kids. In the last three modules, we discuss the parents as the general contractors of their home. The foundation is the understanding of god, and we describe different parts of the “house.”
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The biggest module is the fifth one, for ages eleven to fourteen. As kids mature, we get into bigger concepts. We talk about love versus lust, and about puberty. It helps them be warriors. We talk about understanding the science of porn addiction and help them reject it.
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Eric: We give parents the words to say.
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Lori:  The course is very practical. We address girls sending nudes. I interviewed lots of college girls, and I give them things to say when someone asks for nudes, so they don’t commit social suicide.
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People who enroll are entitled to any updates that will come in the future. Technology is always changing, so is this one of the parts you see yourself updating?
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Lori: Yes. Module Two is about how to protect electronics in your home and your phones. People will buy, for instance, Covenant Eyes, but they don’t install it. We hold their hands, step by step, click by click.
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Why a mother-and-son approach?
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Eric: That’s just how it worked out in our family. In a lot of families, the kids spend more time with mom, and mom has a lot more time to mold the kids.
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Lori: Women use more words, too. But throughout the course, we say this isn’t just for moms to do. We address parents, and that could be moms or dads.
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There are going to be some concepts men will understand in a deeper way because they have testosterone. And some women are so conservative,they can’t even say the word “porn” or “orgasm” or “masturbate.” We hope it will be a family thing, parents going through it together. Husband and wife sitting down together and opening up.
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What if the parents themselves have issues? Do you see this helping them as they help their kids?
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Lori: One of the beliefs we tear down is, “I can’t help my kids because I have my own issues.” No, that actually makes you more qualified. If you grew up dirt poor, are you never gonna talk about it, or are you gonna teach your kid to grow up to avoid it? Do you want your child to be better off, or not?
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I’ve learned how to talk in a different way. How not to shame our kids, to be present for them. It’s almost more of a parenting course: How to authentically connect with your kids so they will open up. We don’t talk about porn all the time. We talk about how to have fun as a family.
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Eric: It’s not even about how to talk when you find out they looked at porn; it’s for beforehand. The tone you want to give off is: If you ever look at that, I’m not gonna hate you. If you do that, they’ll never talk to you about it.
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Lori: It’s a weird tightrope, because you don’t want them to be worldly, but you want them to talk to you.
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What are some other common beliefs you refute?
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Lori: That if my child is moral, and believes in Jesus, they will never look at porn.
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That girls don’t look at porn.
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And the biggest one is: I can’t talk to my child about porn because I want to keep his innocence.

By talking to them, you teach them innocence. They are kind of grossed out when they hear about porn, and that’s kind of good. You catch them before they’re in it. Talking to them gives them this huge protection.
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Eric: In the part for the 6-10 year age range, we discuss a study that says if kid sees porn, he’ll go back to see if it’s still there, out of curiosity. So parents can ask them if they saw anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
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Lori: Priests say the heartache is that there are young kids looking at porn, and their parents don’t even know. We have to shake up the tree a little bit.
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You touch briefly on the topic of modest dress for girls, which is such a hot button topic.
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Lori: A priest told me, “Don’t go there!” But I saw a woman in the park, and the way she was dressed, she was turning me on! We just raise the question, comment, and say how we handle it. We’re not telling you what to do.
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What is your ultimate goal?
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Lori: It’s our vision to get rid of porn. It won’t happen in the next hundred years, but I want to be able to raise men and women who are porn resistant.
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Eric: The things we’re talking about can be overwhelming. We’re going to help you through every step of the process.

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avilad
27 days ago
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Keep Kids Entertained in the Car Without Staring at Screens: Circle Round Podcast

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I do a lot of driving with my five kids. A lot. Around town to get them to activities. From Florida to New York every summer. And most recently, to get out of Hurricane Irma’s path. We were able to fly to Atlanta but then had to drive to my sister’s house in Memphis. That’s six hours of “needing to entertain children” time.

I generally have pretty lax technology rules on those long drives but there are times when I insist on everyone taking off their headphones and doing something together. Because honestly, how many times can you watch Sponge Bob? (I think my 7 year old just said 751 times.)

Despite the fact that it can initially bring on deep sighing from children, there are some really great activities to do together as a family when you’re stuck on I95 (Mad Libs, 20 Questions, singing every song you’ve ever heard) and here’s one more amazing one we just discovered…. the Circle Round podcast, which is our sponsor for this post.

Keep Your Kids Entertained in the Car Without Staring at Screens: Circle Round PodcastCircle Round is a new storytelling podcast for kids aged 4 to 10, and comes from the same talented people at WBUR (Boston’s NPR station) who produce the podcast Modern Love. (And, I love me some Modern Love podcast!)

The Circle Round podcast has beautifully narrated folktales (each 5 to 20 minutes long) that are entertaining, represent cultures from around the world and also spark conversation. So even after the episode has ended, you can can be discussing topics like kindness, persistence and generosity with your kids.  (Yes, I pinky promise.) This is way better than listening to your children vacillate between, “I’m bored” and “I have to go to the bathroom again.”

Keep Your Kids Entertained in the Car Without Staring at Screens: Try the Circle Round PodcastPlus, the stories are narrated by theatre, film, and TV actors. As an example, Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame stars in the pilot episode. And later on this season, Jon Cryer makes his debut. (I’ve always had a soft spot for Duckie from Pretty in Pink. I’m tuning in for that one whether my kids are in the car or not.)

We listened to the first two episodes somewhere on the road between Memphis and Atlanta.  My children really loved them. Even my 13 year old (who is older than the targeted audience of 4 – 10) said she liked the stories. The pilot episode, “It Could Always Get Worse,” is about a farmer who lives in a crowded house with his family and longs for more quiet (hey, my family of seven can relate to that!).  The message is about appreciating what you have.

Keeping Your Kids Entertained in the Car Without Staring at Screens: Circle Round PodcastThe best part was none of my kids were looking at screens. And boy did I appreciate that! My children were actually using their brains to envision and imagine what the characters and scenes looked liked while listening to the stories.

So the next time you’re sitting in traffic trying to get to that gymnastics class or embarking on a long drive, try out Circle Round. Because we could all use a bit less screen time and a little more conversation with our families. And this might just be the perfect way to do it.

New episodes air Tuesdays at 3 pm.

Subscribe (so you never miss a new episode) to Circle Round via iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app and download episodes.  And, because these are podcasts they are all FREE.

This post is sponsored by Circle Round, but all opinions are my own.

Illustrations by WBUR’s Circle Round

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avilad
28 days ago
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5 Financial To-Dos for Every Parent (and parent-to-be)

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When it comes to parenting there is an enormous amount of advice out there on everything from how to prep for baby to what to buy for back-to-school, but we often skip some of the most important to-dos. While many parents may have a financial plan in place most of us forget (or avoid) the big ones. Instead of sticking your head in the sand, I have an easy guide to help you get these tough to-dos to-done.

1.  Have Uncomfortable Conversations

We’ve all had to have uncomfortable conversations, but talking about death and serious illness ranks up there as one of the most challenging discussions you can have. Grab a cup of tea or a bottle of wine and sit down with your partner, spouse, or a family member to discuss.

Here are a few conversation starters:

  • The Kid(s): Who will be their guardians? Who is the backup? What kind of financial plans do you want in place for them?
  • Income/Work: What would you do if you could no longer work? What plans do you want in place for retirement?
  • Health: What are your wishes when it comes to your health? If you were unable to make health decisions for yourself who would you want to do it for you?
  • Death: What are your wishes for your remains? What kind of wake/funeral/end of life event would you prefer?

Starting these conversations isn’t easy, but once you’ve discussed these tough topics the next to dos will be much easier.

If you’ve already had these talks it’s not a bad idea to check in that nothing has changed.  My husband and I recently realized it’s been 10 years (!) since our last check-in. A lot changed in that time including our first-born being old enough to be named as a guardian for our other kids! I would recommend you check-in more frequently than that-consider having these conversations about once every 3-5 years depending on your life’s circumstances.

2. Have Wills Drafted 

I can’t tell you the number of wonderful parents I know who have no will in place. Please don’t do this to your family. I know it’s hard to think about, but it’s imperative. And no, you don’t need to have a million bucks in the bank to have a will. It’s simply a document that shares what assets you have and where they should go (even your action figure collection or your most prized jewelry can be listed).

The simplest way to get this done is to contact a local lawyer who specializes in estate planning (a fancy word for end-of-life documents). They’ll ask you some questions or have a form you fill out and then create documents for you to sign. Most of it (thankfully) can be done via email with a brief meeting to sign your final documents.

Already have a will? Take some time to go over it to check if you need to update anything. 

3. Look Into Your State’s Estate Taxes

Estate taxes are the taxes paid on your assets as they pass on to your heirs. That’s a fancy way of saying the federal or state government tax a portion of your estate when you die. While your estate lawyer (see #2 above) may provide this info, you will want to discuss the tax implications with your accountant or financial planner.

Federal laws require estate tax on amounts over 5.49 million dollars, while state laws vary. In some states setting up a trust is in your family’s best financial interest to ensure your kids aren’t stuck with a hefty tax bill.

Already know this info? Double check that your state laws aren’t changing in 2018; several states are doing away with estate taxes.

4. Share Your Health Wishes

No one likes to think about getting sick– much less being so ill that you can’t make choices for yourself–  but it happens to nearly everyone at some point in their lives. You can work with your estate lawyer to create a healthcare directive to give your spouse, partner, or family member (and usually a backup) permission to make decisions about your care.

A health care directive can include instructions on when (and when not to) use life support, whether you’d like your remains donated to science, burial wishes or instructions, and whether you’re an organ donor among other things.

Already got these details sorted for yourself and your spouse? Double check that you have them in written format in a legal document. 

5. Get Life Insurance (Or Review Your Policy)

Life insurance is one of the simplest things you can do for your family. Put simply, it offers a financial benefit to the people you choose if you die. There are two options: whole life and term.  Term life insurance is a smart option for families because you can get it at a low cost and it has the potential to replace years of lost income. It ends after the term on the policy, so a 15 year policy means you pay the same monthly cost for 15 years and the benefit remains the same. Whole life insurance has fixed premiums for as long as you pay them, but the cost is more expensive and many financial advisors would recommend other ways to stash your cash.

Life insurance may seem like it’s forcing you to put a value on your life, but it’s simply a way to help your family remain financially stable despite the loss of your income and/or care. As for how much life insurance may be appropriate, consider about 10 times your income (stay-at-home parents should calculate the cost of caregivers) plus any debt including your mortgage as a general guideline. You can purchase life insurance through your current insurance agent or you can look at companies who specialize in life insurance such as Haven Life.

Already have life insurance? Double check your beneficiaries and check that you don’t need to increase the amount to reflect your current financial situation.

Made it through our list, okay? High fives all around.

Want bonus points? Go over these to-dos with your parents, in-laws, adult siblings, and friends. They won’t want to have these conversations either, but it’s helpful to know what their plans and wishes are now, so when the time comes you’re prepared.

I know these to-dos aren’t easy to get through, but trust me once they’re done you will feel a huge sense of relief knowing if anything happens your plans are in place.

Photo source: Unsplash/Drew Hays

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avilad
68 days ago
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10 Secrets for a Successful Family Road Trip (from a mom who has traveled 10,490 miles with her kids!)

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If you’re embarking on a big family road trip, you need tips. Secret, battle-scarred, amazingly helpful tips that will make your trip easier and possibly more fun. Because these adventures are supposed to be fun, right?! Okay, well, let’s at least aim for not-so-painful.

I’ve traveled more than 1,400 miles with my five children just so far this summer (10,490 miles over the past few years) and I’ve learned a few things on the road.  And, I’m going share them with you. And please, after your next road trip, share your best tips with us! Because road trips are not for the weak.

1) Always book a hotel offering free breakfast

If you’re staying at a hotel, you must book one with a free breakfast option. Mostly because every kid loves a waffle maker (and who wants to clean a waffle maker at home?). A free breakfast is such a cost savings. Plus, the early risers can head down to breakfast while the others gets some extra sleep.

But when you check in, ask about breakfast hours because there is nothing sadder than busting down to the lobby to get your waffle on and find that everything just got shut down and the only thing they can offer you is a bruised 3 day old banana.

Also, in addition, some hotels even offer a happy hour! So if you’re staying in town for a day, this is definitely worth finding out about. The Embassy Suites in Alexandria, VA had a happy hour that was the perfect end to a day of sight seeing in DC.

Other good hotel amenities for road-traveling families: I also love a hotel with a gym (because getting 30 minutes of exercise makes it way easier to sit in the car for hours) and a pool (because kids can really get their energy out and most importantly have fun).

2) Register Any Discounts When You Book the Hotel (Not at Check In)

Hotels won’t always honor a discount like AAA unless you make note of it when you’re booking the hotel. Meaning at the time of check in – it can be too late. This recently happened to me in New York City. I thought they would honor my AAA card when I checked in but it had to be done at the time of booking and no amount of begging or crying could change their minds. Okay, I didn’t cry. But I wanted to because I hate losing out on free money!

Important note: I often check travel/hotel discount and other similar sites for the best rates and then book directly on the hotels’ sites so I can use my AAA card. Because discount travel sites don’t always allow you to use these kinds of discounts from their sites. Also, another tip…. don’t think you have to be a senior to take advantage of AARP discounts. Anyone over the age of 18 can join the AARP and take advantage of lots of hotel and other travel discounts.

3) Portable Potties aren’t Just For Kids

Bring a small, fold-up travel portable potty if you have young children who might need to pee and can’t wait for a rest stop. Make sure you have bags that fit the potty. Sometimes you’re stuck in traffic or there is not a rest stop in sight.

I will even admit that I have used one of these toddler potties after drinking a way too big latte in the car. Obviously I’m incredibly proud of this feat and it will hopefully give my kids something to write about for the “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” when they get back-to-school.

Also, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking water but keep the soda/coffee/anything else drinking to a minimum. This is also not the time to potty train little Susie. She will do great in her diapers until you reach your destination. Rest stops really slow down a trip.

4) Have Pajamas Easily on Hand

If you’re getting in late, have PJs easily available so kids can get comfy in the car and be ready for bed upon arrival. It will save you a lot of digging through suitcases at 1 in the morning. Also, make sure you pack a separate suitcase for the trip. This is REALLY important. You don’t want to be lugging all your stuff in and out of hotels when you’re on the road.

I also pack pillows and blankets so the children can get comfortable in the car and hopefully sleep! Please let them sleep.

5) Clean Out the Car Each Night

You do not want to check out of your hotel in the morning, open up your car and find out someone left a piece of bologna under the seat so that it could bake in the hot sun.  It will smell soooooo badly. So every night, just collect all the trash and clean out the car the best you can. It won’t look like palace – but did it ever?

6) Fun Car Games Before Screen Time

No kid wants to shut off his or her movie to play the license plate game with their parents. So bring out the car games first. Here are some ideas from my good friend Wendi. We did a family Mad Lib every morning of the trip during which I taught my kids the difference between an adverb and an adjective. We also had our 7 year old twins (who just learned how to read) read books out loud to us.

7) Save the Sweets for When You Need to Stop

Pack lots of snacks (especially healthy ones) for the car but save the candy for a special treat. At some point during the day, we would stop at a gas station for a bathroom break (and yes, everyone must pee!). During the stop, the kids would get to pick out any candy they want (as long it wasn’t king size). They really loved this treat and looked forward to it every day.  When it feels like you are driving forever, you need little things like this to look forward to.

8) Stop at Places You Actually Want to Visit

Whenever possible, stop at places you want to visit or have friends.  It lifts everyone’s spirits during a long road trip. I’d rather drive a bit out of the way and enjoy a city I really love than end up staying at some random place on the side of the highway.

So plan the schedule ahead of time. For example, on our drive from Florida to New York, we often stop in Savannah to eat at the super yummy and adorable Sandfly Bar-B-Q.  So don’t rigidly stick to only the fastest route. We’ve hit cities like DC, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill and Charleston. They weren’t always exactly on our way but we never regretted the stop. Well, I do sort of regret one Chuck E. Cheese stop in Alabama but I’ve always had a difficult relationship with that kids’ place.

9) You’ll Never Regret Having Wipes

Carry a package of baby/toddler wipes in your purse. I don’t care if your kid is 2 or 15. Wipes come in so handy when traveling… for spills in the car, messy ice cream stops, a quick substitute for toilet paper when you find yourself in a bathroom stall without one square to spare. Carry wipes and you’ll be the most popular person ever (or at least in your car).

10) You Will Now Hate Me for Saying This

Remember it’s a journey, not a destination. Yeah, sorry. On a recent road trip, we stopped in Washington, D.C. and my husband was very anxious to get to the National Air and Space Museum. And our children were very content to run, skip and jump from this stone wall a few blocks from the museum. I finally reminded my husband that this was them having fun. And we would get to the museum. And eventually we did.

Sometimes we are so busy trying to get to our final destination that we forget about the stuff in between. And that goes for road trips too. You need to look for the moments of joy in between tedious hours on the road.

Because at some point (between the sibling fighting and constant bathroom stops), your whole family will be laughing hysterically at something and you will think, “Yes, this is why we did this!” I mean – you also saved a bunch of money on airfare – but you also did it for that moment.

Safe travels.

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Have a great family road trip tip? Please share!  (I’ve still got about 1,300 miles more to drive this summer so I’ll take any help I can get.) 

Photo source: Depositphotos/Yaruta

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avilad
78 days ago
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Marriage advice that’s great . . . for toddlers

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Ah, June, when the internet is awash with advice about marriage — most of it lousy.

Either it assumes that men and women are puppets in a simple story, rather than complex human beings who are learning how to love each other; or else it applies to some marriages but by no means all; or else it’s really good advice . . . for parents dealing with toddlers.

Here are a few bits of marriage advice that work great for a toddler-parent relationship, but is awful advice for a marriage:

Never go to bed angry.

For little kids, sure. I believe in soft landings at bedtime. No child learns lessons when he’s exhausted — and most parents don’t teach good lessons when they’re exhausted, either. Bedtime is time for a hug and as much affirmation as you can muster. If your kid has been a louse all day long, bedtime is still time to say, “I love you,” and maybe remind yourself that your kids isn’t always an irrational demon. Tomorrow you really can start again.

But marriages are more complex. If you suffered a minor annoyance before bed, then yes, you can decide, “Meh, I’ll shake this off and give my love a kiss, because the major good in our marriage overrides the minor bad.” Sometimes the reason you’re angry is because it’s time to go to bed, and a good night’s sleep will set everything to rights.

But if there’s something actually worth being angry about, you’re not going to work through it after a long day when you’re both exhausted and not thinking clearly.

Most marriages go through rough spells, and going to bed angry isn’t the end of the world. Sometimes, spouses will wake up in the morning, feel rested, and decide to apologize, or at least they feel more ready to address the problem in a constructive, loving way.

Or sometimes they will realize, “I’ve been angry for twelve years, and I don’t want to live like this anymore. Time to make some changes.” This can’t happen if you paste on a contented smile just because you now have pajamas on.

Just open up and express what’s bothering you if you want things to change.

For little guys? Oh lort, just tell me what is wrong and I will fix it. Or if I can’t fix it, I will read you Frog and Toad so you forget about it.  Here, have a bit of chocolate from my secret stash. I’m glad you told me what is wrong. I would be upset, too. I love you.

It’s not that simple between spouses, though. Oh, don’t suffer endlessly in silence. No one, husband or wife, should offer themselves up as an open sewer for whatever the other spouse wants to dump.

But it’s also not useful to allow an endless stream of complaint to flow from your lips. Listen to yourself. Do most of your words reflect the true nature of your experience of your marriage? Or are you super devoted to being “honest and open” when it comes to the bad, but suddenly stoic and self-contained when it comes to the good?

Expressing anger and frustration day in and day out is more likely to shut down communication than to open it, whether your unhappiness is justified or not. One of the reasons I finally started seeing a therapist was because I didn’t know how to tell the difference between big problems and little problems, and even when I could tell, I didn’t know how to adjust my response accordingly.

Being honest isn’t the same as opening the floodgates. Honesty is also about discernment. It’s less stream-of-consciousness blather and more poetry, in which words and ideas are carefully chosen and balanced to express something true.

Also, some bad spouses just don’t care. You may be doing your level best to express, in as truthful and balanced a way as possible, that your marriage has serious problems, and it may just not work. Communication is vital in marriage, but it’s not magic. It’s only useful when both spouses are willing to listen and willing to make changes.

Just submit to the head of the household and all will be well.

In most toddler-parent relationships? Absolutely. Dear child rolling around on the floor like a maniac, I am bigger and smarter, and I am in charge of you. Just obey. Put clothes on, because it is snowing. Do not put your head in the dentist’s aquarium. Forever forsake the idea of eating that lightbulb, ya little dummy. Submit, and all will be well.

But in most marriages, this crap advice leads to unhappiness, resentment, and even abuse — and it often expands to abuse of children, too, which the wife feels unable to stop, or unwilling to acknowledge. Unquestioning submission lets insecure, immature, un-self-controlled men to treat their families like garbage in the name of godliness, which is just as bad for men as it is for women and children.

Couples who obsess about wives obeying husbands tend to gloss over the extraordinarily heavier burden God lays on men, which is to love their wives as Christ loves the Church (and no, not even St. Paul says that men have to do their part after women do their part, but if she’s being a lippy dame, you are off the hook, being-Christ-wise.)

In loving, functional relationships, it’s not even on the radar, because husband and wife will both be focused on working out what’s best for the family and best for each other, rather than on who’s obeying whom.

Unpopular opinion: Wifely obedience is occasionally useful in loving relationships in times of some forms of extreme crisis. It’s like when the government declares a state of emergency and suspends habeas corpus. It’s not a long-term plan; it’s to get the union through until things can function the way they’re supposed to again; and it’s only a good idea if the leader isn’t a tyrant.

And then there are other forms of extreme crisis that call for the wife not to submit, but instead to extricate herself, at least temporarily, from the idea that she’s in a marriage. When the husband is being abusive or otherwise dangerous, obedience would be wrong; and she is required to simply protect herself and her children.

***

Next time you hear some bit of marriage advice that’s popular but rubs you the wrong way, maybe this is the problem: It’s good advice for a parent-child relationship, but completely inappropriate for a marriage between equals who love each other.

What would you add to my list?

***

Image: Kewpie bride and groom on Ebay

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avilad
134 days ago
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Lunch Order

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GO FOR LUNCH, REPEAT, GO FOR LUNCH.
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popular
161 days ago
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avilad
162 days ago
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kizilbash
161 days ago
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Cracked me up!
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