Fatherly Love on Valentine's Day

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Though Valentine's Day may seem like a yearly tribute to Hallmark, this holiday revolves around expressions of love. You give a card to your mom, roses to your wife, but what about to your kids? They may not be expecting a Valentine from you, but such a surprise could show them how much you truly care.

Such Valentines can take many forms, depending on your children's ages and preferences. You can't go wrong with stuffed animals, the bigger the better with younger children. Candy is also an easy choice. If you feel your teen may roll his or her eyes at a pink bear or box of chocolates, try a gift card to Starbucks, Amazon, Target, or iTunes. A Valentine's Day card is also a simple gesture that can show your love.

Amid the flurry of Valentine's Day, don't forget to tell your children how much you love them. A kiss and a hug from Dad mean more than anything else you could give your kids on February 14th.

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College Visits: Be There to Show You Care

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Oh, the joys of college visits. Parents drive for hours while their teenager snores in the backseat until they reach the campus. Then they attend an informational meeting led by a peppy college student who is employed by the admissions office, and this person cleverly highlights the college’s bright spots and manages to answer any question thrown his or her way, even if the answer has little to do with what was asked. Parents listen intently, especially when tuition is mentioned, and the potential students yawn and glance at cell phones. After a half hour or so, everyone is whisked away to tour the campus, which, they are assured, is the most picturesque, the most accessible, the safest, the greenest, etc. Tour guides point to buildings and give them apparently meaningful names and present a recently cleaned dorm room to the group’s inspection.

Children's Books Recommendations for Story Time

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Looking for a good book to read to your child? I have my master list of books that are can't miss choices on the first go around...and many subsequent re-reads. These books will not only be big hits with your child, but they’ll also be interesting enough to entertain you as well. After two years of children’s stories, I can assure you your child isn’t the only one that can be brought to tears with the wrong story time choice; too much of a bad read can bring a parent to the brink as well.

Kids, Cats and the Toilet Paper Roll

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At one point during a party to watch NFL football on TV, one of my over-educated friends pointed out that he had “fixed” the toilet paper roll in our guest bathroom.  Evidently our TP roll was on backwards and (obviously) it should always unroll over the top, etc….  I quickly pointed out that the error of his ways regarding the installation was the simply because he didn’t have any children – or cats.  I’ve already raised my kids and numerous cats along the way too.  Now if your house is like mine, both cats and kids have an uncanny knack for spinning the toilet paper off the roll!

Graduation Gift Giving

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April showers bring May flowers, but there will be more than flowers popping up in May. A pile of graduation invitations will grow faster than the daffodils in your backyard. They flood mailboxes and might include snapshots of that niece, cousin, or distant relative. As this young person innocently smiles up at you, you might nostalgically reflect on how quickly time passes or might be wondering who on earth this person is. In either case, a dark cloud will begin to threaten your blue skies in the form of a graduation gift.

Fathers on Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day, as implied by the name of this holiday, isn’t for dads, but somehow, they always get roped in. My dad is usually coerced into driving my brother and me to the Hallmark store for a card and some kind of useless knick-knack. One year, we decided to plant flowers for her, and that idea became a dirty, fun adventure with my dad being the most productive. No matter the circumstances, be prepared for your kids to come running for ideas and help, money-wise or other.

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Katie
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