I’ve redecorated my kitchen! Alternate Title: How the wonderful women in my family helped shape my character by bringing me to the table.

Raise your daughters with love and learning, with help from ThaliaBrandon.comOver the last year and a half or so, the same conversation has come up time and again between myself and my assorted mom friends. It basically amounts to these other moms having difficulties (all minor – nothing serious here) with their tween-aged daughters. Not having any female offspring myself, my only point of reference is my own upbringing; and thinking back on what worked with me at my many difficult developmental stages is where I’ve turned to for answers for my mom friends on this subject.

They have been troubled as their daughters begin to change from contentedly playing with the other younger kids and now suddenly start to grow a little awkward and need different care and certainly a new and different kind of communication between mother and daughter as they are starting to become young ladies.

In every instance, I’ve described my Grandma’s old kitchen and how, as I was growing up, she and my aunts and my mom would so kindly welcome me into the kitchen and put me to work peeling apples or helping in some way as all these wonderful women bustled around me, talking and working, socializing and doing. Continue reading

Neighborhood Crime: Why Prevention is Better than Punishment

B&E on ThaliaBrandon.comLast night was awesome, to say the least! For National Night Out, we had a big event in our neighborhood park that featured free ice cream, an official dedication of the new length of sidewalk we helped put in including a local city official speaking and confirming the city’s commitment to doing the next two blocks of sidewalk next summer, and just a whole lot of meeting neighbors we’ve never met before and making new friends. Over sixty people showed up! More than triple the turnout from last year! Everyone had a really good time.

During the event, I was approached by three different retirement aged men asking my opinion about the ongoing crime we experience in our neighborhood area. The most common forms of crime are graffiti tagging, cars being broken into when a bag or something of value is visible inside the car, and sometimes we even get a home being robbed when it’s quite clear that a door has been left unlocked or the house is otherwise very vulnerable.

Here’s what I had to say on the matter: Continue reading

Deep Thoughts Parenting Q&A: Why I teach my child to do what he’s told

ThaliaBrandon.com supports happy, harmonious familiesThis was a more generic statement that was put to me recently, not specifically a question. A friend simply spoke their thoughts out loud to me, remarking at how wonderfully amenable my child is, and how he does what I ask him to do without arguing, asking why, or whining. So here’s a full explanation of why I’ve cultivated that level of authority, and the lead and follow relationship that exists between myself and my son. Continue reading

How the worst ever career day helped change my life for the better

ThaliaBrandon.com supports well-read citizens of the world.When I was about nine, I happened to have a really terrible career day at school.

The guidance counselor came into our class and asked us all, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Basic question, right? We were assigned a writing project to explain our future ambitions, and then “guidance guy” took us aside one by one to talk with us about our career plans.

I was nine. I had no clue what kind of career path I wanted! So by the time the guy got around to me I was really anxious, knowing that what I’d written wasn’t at all applicable to the exercise, but hoping I wouldn’t get in trouble. Here’s what I wrote down that day: Continue reading

Deep Thoughts Q&A: “Is there such a thing as preaching too much?”

Deep thoughts on ThaliaBrandon.comThis one is short and very much to the point. And in my answer, I have tried to express the point without naming any person or group to ensure that I carry my point without simultaneously demonizing or casting blame, because I really think that most any person can read my answer and instantly understand my meaning, and with reflection, think of at least one person or group who my answer pertains to in their own opinion. So I don’t need to blame specific individuals or groups here. The short answer is sufficient in and of itself. Continue reading