Entries by Common Sense Dad

“The Circle Game”

As my children have gotten older and more self-sufficient, I’ve seen them become more “objective” about the hard-earned advice I offer.  They no longer hear my voice as if it were thunder on the mountaintop.  As my role in their lives has become far less primary than it used to be, I’ve begun to think […]

Talking With Kids About Ukraine

I’ve been doing a lot of media lately, specifically about how to speak to our children about the situation in Ukraine. It is my experience, theory, and observation that we all like to feel safe – especially children – so the idea of introducing something into the life of a small child that might create […]

What’s a Mommy or a Daddy Anyway?

or…  EXCUSES PART TWO In a previous blog I addressed the folly of parents too frequently accepting excuses from our children. I also mentioned the possibility of parents actually making up excuses on behalf of their kids – as in, they ate sugar and got all wired up, which is why they covered the walls […]



I meant to write this post last week, but… …….the dog ate it. As a world-class procrastinator, I’ve become pretty friendly with the concept of a decent excuse. But as the son of hard-working and “absolute” parents, I’ve also learned not to accept my own excuses in bulk. When it comes to parenting, I believe […]

5 Easy Parenting Resolutions

Here are 5 do-able resolutions that can help you and your family make the most of the coming year. 1. Ambush Your Kids With Something Positive Every Day I was recently speaking at an elementary school when one of the parents asked about consequences for bad behavior.  I thought about it for a moment and […]

The Parent Questionnaire

Our own life experience is our greatest parenting resource.  In my book, Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around”, I suggest that parenting is like driving a cab: if you don’t at least ACT like you know the way, your passengers (children) are going to be nervous and uncomfortable as you would be […]


My mom would have been ninety-two last week.  Here are three gems she left me: Don’t be so open minded that your brain falls out. All of us have been in situations where our better nature overrides our common sense.  I’ve loaned money to friends.  I’ve counseled people to stay hopeful and remain in bad […]


It’s November now, the month of Thanksgiving (one of my two faves (4th of July being the other)). November is also the month when our children start rehearsing seriously for their school Holiday Programs.  Singing, dancing, holding signs – whatever it is they’re doing – they’re preparing to be “on their best” for their parents […]


I wrote “Raising Children That Other People Like to be Around” to guide parents toward a better understanding of their roles – as moms and dads, as well as parenting partners – because the core strength of a family comes from the leadership that the adults offer. To help parents discover their objectives and define […]