February is always a strange but fun mix of Valentine's crafts for the little kids, romantic inklings for some budding tweens and teens, and a reminder for us adults to re-focus some energy on our sexual and romantic partner.
This month's issue will give you great ideas not just for Valentine's Day, but for a whole year of sexy, soulful date nights with your grown-up love, as well as tips and techniques for dealing with the ups and downs of puppy love and the scariness of the teen sex talk. Oh, and don't worry, if your kids walk in on you (flinch) we've got your back on that, too.
And on a more serious but equally important topic, our feature story will guide you through the challenges and possible blessings of living in the middle, as a member of the sandwich generation.
Give, and hopefully receive, much love this month!
Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.
Loving and learning
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12)
On Valentine’s Day 1976, I refused to re-enter my home, angered that no one in my family was livid about the untimely and mysterious death of Karen Silkwood, chemical technician and labor union activist years prior. Google it.
Love was not on my mind that Valentine’s Day!
I kept mumbling, “It’s them or me,” thinking that either my parents had to go, or I did. I was forgetting two important things: The Ten Commandments and the reality that my parents were not going anywhere — it was their home.
Though this was not the first or last battle with dear ol’ mom and dad, it was the day I realized why I had to take the 5th to heart. Not constitutional, biblical.
“Honor thy father and thy mother” is not always easy or intuitive.
“Surviving the sandwich” perfectly identifies family values in action. We moved our aged father to Bellevue from Chicago a few years ago and my kids regularly see what caring for a parent means. On stressful days, I do my best to model tolerance and flexibility. On better days, they see that “caregiving and active parenting can happily coexist or even compliment one another.”
Like family, ParentMap’s edit team has robust debates around issues. These discussions help frame our content’s values and direction. Our 2012 election disputes were tame compared to the recent “date debates.” These got heated — showing divisions that reflected disparate positions on bringing kids along when adult names only are on invites. The debate inspired a number of future articles.
If this month’s “A year of date nights” does not motivate you to leave the kids home so you and your honey can explore “hooky in the hills, burlesque, or a Bainbridge Island adventure,” I say, run, don’t walk to Gottman’s Making Love Last and Marriage Work lecture on May 7!
Since this week was my daughter’s first middle school dance, I adored the timeliness of “Puppy love: Your child's first crush." My daughter asked, “May I slow dance?” I asked her if the school offered guidance. I cherished her response: “The Jewish Day School rule is ‘Torah-width apart.’”
Fall in love and learn why Craig Keilburger (pictured right) enjoys Bieber-like fame in Canada. This inspiring young man brings We Day to Seattle for its U.S. launch at Seattle’s Key Arena on March 27 (“Someone you should know”).
Lastly, make a date with your Valentine to see the inspiring and educational Laura Kastner, Ph.D., on February 12. Focusing on strategies for Wise-Minded Parenting, Kastner teaches outstanding practices that you will appreciate, regardless of your child’s age.