Category: common sense parenting

The most conservative baby names eveer—
I am the mother of two who is going through menopause. I miss my babies. I don’t miss the overnight feedings and changing diapers.But what I do miss is having two little people who didn’t say rude things, who helped with housework because they were helping mom not trying to raise my blood pressure.
Every once in awhile I remember when my kids were little and I feel that ache in my heart, which could be heartburn or the fact that I miss my kids. When this happens I start creating things, either that or I’m going to have to take up knitting. Here are the most conservative baby names:
1. Kathy
2. Mary
3. Betty
4. Michael
5. John
6. Jack
7. George
8. Elizabeth
9. Catherine
10. Alexander
11. Phillip
12. Alexandra
13. Andrew
14. Karen
15. Pat
16. Jennifer
17. Barbara
18. Timothy
19. Harold
20. Samuel
Do you think I was influenced in making this list by the birth of the newset addition of the royal family? Copyright(c), 2013, written by Kate Johns; a professional author since 2004.


Have you seen the ad with the two vampires selling a breakfast food, where they say, “Mornings, who knew?”Well, this ad and the slogan got me started thinking on what a mom doesn’t want to know. How this happened  I don’t know. It just happened that way, and I went with it, because I’m creative.

This led to thinking of all the things a mom really and truly does not want to know about. You know what I mean; the things your child does when he or she is older. Here are ten things we Moms really and truly do not want to know about our kids:

1. When the first time your child had sex. Nope, I do not want to know this. Maybe I’m just too old school and don’t believe in sharing is caring, but I really do not want to know the particulars. Tell me when you are thirty how old you were when you had sex for the first time…or maybe never.

2. Moms really do not want to know how drunk you got with your friends on the weekend. We moms also do not want to know that you got in a car drunk and drove home drunk. Unless you got hurt, killed someone we really do not want to know, because we will start yelling!

3. Moms really do not want to know when our kids are failing school. We don’t want a report card shoved under our faces when we are falling asleep on the couch, looking very comfortable and almost asleep when that bad report card surfaces. Show us when we are alert enough to yell at you. Sure, I get it, that’s the reason kids play it that way. But if you hide that report card, we’ll find out sooner or later.

4. Moms do not want to know when our kids get in trouble at school.All moms want to have that perfect child who gets great grades, and gets along well with ALL the other kids. But sometimes, our kids no matter how hard we try to do get in trouble. Sometimes it’s a fight they started, and other times it’s a fight where your child defended himself, and the kids at school taunted him.

5. Moms do not want to know when our kids get in trouble with the law. But most moms will say, “I’ll be right there.”

6. No Mom ever wants to hear the words, “There’s been an accident.” We never ever want to find out that one of our kids got into an accident, caused anyone any harm, is in the hospital, and I will not even say the last four letter word, because I do not wish to even write it out.

7. Moms do not want to know their kids are bullying other kids at school.

8. Moms do not want to know that our kids have completely lost it, becoming that kid that loses it and shoots so many kids at school.

9. Most Moms do not want to know that their daughter got pregnant at a really young age. We also do not want to know that our son got his girlfriend, or a female friend pregnant. As Moms we really do not want our children’s future’s ruined, but most of us moms will be there in a heartbeat to help our children out.

10. Moms do not want to know that their child is flunking college. We really do not want to know this. But considering I’ve already been down this road, I did what I thought best and took my son, home and told him we would work through this together. Considering I don’t understand anything above 10th grade Geometry, I could see why taking three math courses in one semester did my son in.

Moms do not want to know that our kids are sexting each other or posting naked pics of themselves or other kids online. We also do not want to know our kids are texting while driving, so don’t text while driving. And do not do what ALL the other kids do, just because All the other kids are doing something stupid. If you think it is stupid, don’t do it. Copyright 2013, written by Kate Johns a talented writer, who has been writing professionally since 2004!

I was sickened  after hearing  the story of the 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was murdered by two teenage brothers. I felt I had to take action. Two brothers who are 15 and 17,  murdered a 12-year-old girl in their home. They lured her into their home on the promise of giving her parts for her BMX bike. What I also discovered is that this 12-year-old girl loved her BMX bike so much so that she talked about it on Facebook, and these two freepers read this online , and decided to kill her.

I was so sickened by what these two boys did to this 12-year-old girl, named Autumn Pasquale, that I had to tell you parents how to keep your kids safe:

1. Do not allow your kids to go on Facebook or Twitter until they are 15. No kids younger than 13 should be allowed on Facebook. Kids become obsessed with these social networks, they insult each other , tease, bully. Young children and teens are not equipped with reasoning abilities or the ability to mentally walk away from taunts, threats, and viciousness other kids will do.

2.  Keep your kids safe by monitoring their location all day and night.Check in with your kids periodically. Call your child on her cellphone to find out how she is and where she is. Have your child come home several times a day to have a check in time. Any child under the age of 13 is usually not old enough to know about bad people out there.

3. Tell your kids to NOT go into the homes of strangers. Tell them it is okay to go into a friend’s home. But do not allow them to go into strangers’ homes. Remember stranger danger when you were a kid? Well, teach it to your kids, even if they are older than 13!

4. Have your kids hang out at your house when you are home. Then you will get to meet your kid’s friends. You will discover who they are hanging out with, what your kid’s interests are, and what they do with their friends.

5.  Keep your kids safe by buying them  cellphones, and have them call you every hour if you will be away from home a lot. For working parents, cellphones are a Godsend. I never believed in buying my younger kids cellphones, but cellphones may help save a life, or help the police track where your child is.

6. Tell your kids to always ask you if it is okay to go to someone’s home. Make sure they are always communicating with you. In today’s world of unreality TV, violent video games where people are shot, murdered and the killer keeps going unscathed, it may look cool to kids to do this in real life.

7. Also tell your kids to call you and tell you where they are at all times. I realize you will come off as Big Brother, or a Nutjob parent, but do want your kids to stay alive and safe?

8.Monitor you kids online usage. I know it’s pretty much a joke to monitor your kids online, because there are so many sites, and they outlast you well into the night. But, do try to monitor them. Tell them to go to bed at night. Take away the computer. Set down rules, so they stay safe!

In today’s violent, nasty world, you as a parent must protect your kids. Keep your kids safe, even if it means you become the uncool, pain in the butt parent. You’re better off knowing your kids are safe and okay rather than becoming the next target for some mental patient! Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns, who has been a professional freelance writer since 2004.

My daughter has reached the turbulent, hormone crazed teen years. As I’m sure your child will soon reach, or perhaps you have already been through  this hellish nightmare while going through menopausal mood swings.

When my kids were younger they were a lot easier to deal with. It was fun to play hide ‘n’ seek, go to the zoo numerous times a year, and have a young child ask me to take her to the beach or the pool.


Those, fun, child-like years, where mom got to have some fun  are gone. My eldest child is busy  studying for college tests,and finding his path in life.  My youngest is a hormonal mess of nightmare proportions, where I find myself lingering too long at stores to avoid going home, facing a tantrum throwing person who used to be my best buddy.

Reality hit home last year when my daughter was 12, and she refused to go to what used to be our favorite place—the pool. My daughter loved to swim, diving all the way to the bottom of nine feet of water, without any qualms, retrieving  plastic swim rings, or jumping in the water with the glee only a young child can have.

Now when I say, “Do you want to go to the pool?” the answer is almost always , “No.” With summer heat-giving its last hurrah of the year, I am doing housework, wistfully thinking of years gone by when my daughter was a small child who brought much delight to us all. She was the one, after all, that made us feel like a family.

She was the one that ran from the car to the water’s edge at the beach, jumping in with all of her clothes on, as I yelled, “We can’t swim here, there’s no lifeguard.”She was the carefree child who ran up and down the beach’s shore kicking water at her older brother until he would yell, “Hey cut it out!” Which of course was followed by the two of them kicking water at each other, and splashing each other until they were both soaked. Usually they would get me soaked in the process, as I tried in vain, to get them out of the water, due to being on an unguarded section of beach.

But now I have been relegated to—-not seen with status. When I asked my 13 YO daughter to go to the beach or our once favorite spot—the pool, she would sullenly explode with, “No, I don’t want to be seen with you, at the pool.”

One time, she nastily said, “Someone from school might see me.”After the initial shock wore off, I  shook it off saying to my daughter, “Do you want to live your life in fear, or enjoy the life you have?” So, I went to the pool alone, enjoying time spent out of the house, where I spend many hours doing housework, researching, and writing.

Recently, when I asked my daughter if she wanted to go shopping for new school clothes she answered, “No, I don’t want to be seen with you.”

So, I figured I saved a lot of money NOT buying my daughter any new clothes for school.

I can only imagine what it is like to be a dedicated, enthusiastic, patient, supportive parent of an Olympic athlete. Only but a few parents get to reach this pinnacle of success with their children. But many millions of parents do exactly what Olympic athletic parents do. We get up early, cheer on our kids, drive to the middle of nowhere , talk to other parents, volunteer , raise money for our kid’s sports, and other activities.

However I know what it is like to be a helpful, dedicated parent who has, (hopefully), always been there for my kids. I volunteered as a Cub Scout leader for three years. I drove my son to numerous work sessions for his Robotic’s group. I drove my daughter to numerous swim practices, and sat in heat so hot, I thought I would melt. But that’s what a parent does. We get up early, stay late, volunteer, get out of work early, eat junk food, as we cheer on our kids.

We are always there, no matter what. I had a stroke and still managed to call my son to wish him good luck when he was 400 miles from home for the big Robotics final match. Thanks to my son’s friends, and their parents, my child made it to the final building sessions, and the upcoming matches.

That’s why I can only imagine the incredible level of determination, strength, love, support, and pride an Olympic athlete’s parents carry. People watching the Olympics are only seeing the end result of many years of hard work, determination, support and raising money for kids to get to the Olympics. We regular people are not seeing all the hard work, sweat, blood and tears the kids as well as the parents put in over many years. Olympic viewers only get  occasional glimpses of parents sitting in the stands cheering on their child. TV cameras catch a shot of a mom shaking, crying or talking out loud to her Olympic athlete as she races for the other side of the pool.

When I saw the ad of the mom driving her three kids to hockey games, I said out loud, “That’s my life–driving all over God’s creation, never getting a thank you, but having a tired child falling asleep on the way home.”

When we parents do our job as strong, loving ,caring, supportive parents even if our kids don’t stand a chance in hell of getting anywhere near the Olympics, then we know in our hearts that we are doing the right thing for our kids, helping them become the best they can be. Then our kids will learn from their experiences growing up to become successful adults. Not every child is meant to become an Olympic athlete, but for the few who do, let’s cheer them on, as well as cheer on our own kids to a succesful, victorious life!! copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer wince 2004!

My husband and I were discussing one night how our kids spend most of their time cooped up in their bedrooms. When they do come out, they complain about two things—-how hot it is upstairs, and how there is no food in the house. My husband came up with a great idea to get our kids out of their rooms.

Here it is Moms and Dads— the way to get your kids to come out of their rooms to do something else, such as housework, going outside, making friends, etc—-turn off the electricity to their rooms.

When you think about it, it is a relatively simple concept, turning off the electricity. Unless those fuses supply electricity to an important room such as the kitchen or a living room , then I’d advise you to not click that fuse over to off. And also if you need the electricity to keep a person alive, such as using oxygen, or someone who desperately needs the air conditioning always on—-then don’t mess with the electricity.

When we thought about it, we realized we would  save a lot of money each month if we turned off the electricity to our kid’s rooms. They both have more electronics than I knew existed. They both have computers plugged into the sockets, TV’s, video game players, cellphones, iPods, and Kindles.  I didn’t have my own TV, and cellphone in  my bedroom until I got married, buying them myself!

REALLY? How many electronic toys do you need in one room?

How many things do kids need to have in one space to amuse themselves? What happened to good old-fashioned reading? Reading books is a great way to escape into another word, discovering other worlds. Reading books increasing your vocabulary, helps a person become more social–because you have more to talk about, increasing one’s spelling abilities.

As a parent, you can also turn off the Internet, or the wireless Internet connection, bringing your zombie-like kids out of their bedrooms. They may complain profusely, but tell them it is for their own good.

My husband I have not decided exactly what night, or nights we will turn off the electricity to our kids’ rooms, but we will in an attempt to flush them out of their rooms.

Don’t you get this all the time from your teenager—“Hang on!” “In a minute Mom.” or “I’m too busy to do the dishes!”

My teens have kept me waiting for them to get things accomplished , get out the door into the car to drive them to THEIR events for what probably adds up to a few precious years.

With those few precious years  now forever gone, I came up with a great idea—-Instead of yelling, nagging or threatening, walk out of the house into your car, allowing your teen to be late. Allow her to learn the responsiblity of time management, by yelling your last warning and getting something done while you wait , besides getting your blood pressure up. Here are ten ideas I came up with while waiting for my teenager to be late for another event:

1. Check your email, answering a few while waiting.

2. Send those waiting text messages you have not had the time to get to.

3. Throw a load of laundry in to wash and or to dry while waiting for your  late teen to get it into gear.

4. File your broken nails down.

5. Check your social networking sites while waiting for your teen.

6. While waiting for your late teen, clean up the biggest items in your car. Give the last warning. Closing the front door,  go to the car, using that extra time, (mine, they may be late), to clean out the car. Pick up tissues, old coffee cups, old water bottles. I have even manged to scrub off the car windows while waiting for my late teen.

7. Write to do lists while waiting for your late teen. I carry a small notebook in my purse or in my car. When my teens are running late, I use that time to write grocery lists, or write writing ideas down. My daughter said at a swim meet one night exactly what I was thinking while we were waiting for her last meet; “I could’ve written a book in this amount of time.”

8. Instead of wasting time nagging your teen into getting to work on time, thus wasting your breath and your time when you are driving her to work, or an activity–pick up items lying around the house. In just five minutes, you can tidy up a living room, a front hall,set up the sprinkler, or water your plants.

9. Unload the dishwasher–which usually takes 5 to 10 minutes.

10. Fold a load of laundry which usually takes a couple of minutes also.

Why waste any more time waiting to drive your late teen to an activity? Make it her responsiblity to be on time by turning your attention to getting something else done. When your teen has to face an irate coach or boss, she will learn time management, and how to be responsible. Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer since 2004!

I saw a super funny Facebook message the other day where a parent was making a major statement about kids, and how they act.  It said—-“when my kids get older I’m going to move in with them, sleep till noon, never pick up anything, stay in my room 24-7, not help with any housework, expect maid service,  free Wi-Fi, and cable TV.”

Our children live with us parents until they reach that magical age of maturity when they move out. But sometimes we parents build nests that are too comfortable for our baby birds. Many parents are complaining that their kids will not leave home. Mom and Dad want their independence back, but don’t get it due to the current state of the lousy economy. There are millions of different stories with kids going away to college, coming home, not finding a good job.

All I have to say is when my kids get really great jobs, my expectations are not that lofty. I expect to be treated as fairly as I have treated them. So that means–I don’t have to do any housework. If I am told to do housework, I will complain profusely about said housework, and take an entire day to do one thing. I expect to have all of my food prepared for me, and all of my dishes cleaned by my kids. I expect to have my utility bills paid for, including my car, house insurance, and I’m going to need free Wi-Fi, free cable, air conditioning, heat, a heated pool, and free food.

I might get a job to help out, thus only paying my bills, buying my clothes, eating out, paying for my car including gas, repairs, insurance, etc.

I am not threatening my kids with the things our parents said back in our youth of “I hope your kids turn out just like you someday!” Nope, I’m threatening my kids with—” I’m moving in with you someday and I expect to be treated just like I treated you.”

Does that mean my kids will be yelling at me to go bed before the sun rises, and that I need to get up before noon? Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns, a professional writer wince 2004.

When your kids start pushing you as a parent away it hurts. I think it hurts moms more than it does  dads–because for the most part dads are tough he-men kind of guys who don’t show or express their feelings. (stereotype–maybe) When a mom is pushed away from her kids that hurts.

It doesn’t hit the gut either, it hurts right in the heart! Teenagers will do everything they can to push us parents away because they are discovering who they are, what life is about. But when your kids start asserting their independence when they are younger,  that comes as a shock to a mom.

My son started pushing me away when he was in second grade. I was driving him to school, and I stopped walking  him into school realizing he didn’t need his mom to do that anymore. But one day when I pulled up in front of the school, leaned over to hug him, saying “Have a good day.” I was met with a slamming car door.

I drove home feeling rejection spreading through my entire body and especially that area where my heart pumps blood through my body. I physically felt pain in my chest. My head was still reeling with this immense feeling of rejection and  I felt like it was kind of spinning with intensity. My son had slammed the car door on me as I was leaning over to hug him!

I realized he didn’t want his mom hugging or kissing him anymore, especially in a public place. And I realized he did not want any of his friends, classmates seeing this hugging of mom from the tough guys at school. Good God! What was I thinking hugging my child in public, where kids could see this and use it against my son to bully an already tall, skinny child  considered a geek!

So I moved on, as much as a hover mom could, allowing my son to walk to school on his own when he was in fourth grade. I let him have his personal space. I let him walk home alone in fifth grade, and worried about him if he was late. I also complained profusely when my ninth grader had to walk half a mile to get the bus in the dark, snow and cold, down a seriously busy street, mind you, but I did it.

I let him have his personal space and tried my best to let my child have his independence. Now it’s happening again with my second child doing everything she can to push mom away. Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer since 2004.


Parents teach your kids to think for themselves.

When my husband and I moved from a big city to a medium-sized city I became a stay at home mom, even though we couldn’t afford to do so. What I noticed was kids not thinking for themselves. Kids  are taught in public schools to work in groups, go with the crowd, do as everyone else does, and basically to not think for themselves.

So, I am putting out a call to action parents, that you must teach your kids to think for themselves. Kids are taught from the time they enter pre-school to work with a group, to work with their friends. What I’m seeing in public schools, and with many kids today, is that they are just following each other. It does not help that kids are following each other and big name stars on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.What it comes down to is kids follow each other, and seem to be very much like the character in the Wizard of Oz; The Tin Man who didn’t have a brain.

It is up to you mom and dad, to teach your kids to think for themselves. You must teach your kids to not always follow what everyone says and does. That’s what makes kids able to function in society.Raise a leader, not a follower. Tell your kids that if they don’t like what the other kids are saying or doing to walk away, or to not engage in that activity.

Just because there are numerous social networking sites on the Internet and numerous reality Tv shows enabling our children to become followers of self promotional stunts, drinking excessively, doing drugs does not mean you have to raise a follower.

Teach your kids to think and stand up for themselves. Raise a pack of leaders. Leaders led our great nation of America into what truly makes America a great nation. If it had not been for leaders thinking for themselves over 200 years ago, there would not be an America.

Teach your kids to think for themselves, otherwise they will follow you around the house, watch a lot of TV, and never let you get any work done. If you teach your kids to think for themselves, thus becoming strong, independent people, you are ensuring successful adults with great futures.Copyright 2012, written by Kate Johns a professional writer sicne 2004!