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True Confessions of a Stay at Home Dad
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This is a blog about my life. My wife and I have three kids, ages six, three and one. Last year I gave up my gig as a middle school teacher to stay home with my kids full-time. This past year has been the most challenging, easy, relaxing, stressful, fun, tiring and rewarding year of my life.

My wife Amanda and I have been married for seven years. She spends her days (and nights and weekends) as an overworked Medical Resident.

Our oldest daughter, Eloise, is a bright, sweet, emotional first grader that loves to talk (she gets it from her mom). When not at school she is most likely playing dress up, turning some part of our house into a playroom, or creating a craft projects that involve: glue, magazines, markers, staples, stickers, scissors, crayons, pens, and a dozen sheets of paper.

Henry, the three year old middle child, is hell on wheels. There is not a house or store Henry cannot destroy in five to seven minutes max. He loves playing with his trucks, digging in his sandbox and occasionally putting on his sisterís pink plastic high heels.

Maggie, the one year old, is as sweet as they come. At a very early age she learned that her crying could barely be heard over the volume of her siblings. She has developed a blood curdling scream in order to get our attention that would make any horror movie producer proud.

Well there you have it, thatís pretty much my family in a nutshell.

DISCLAIMER: If you are looking for parenting advice you have come to the wrong place. Enjoy!

Helicopter Parenting
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Helicopter Parenting

January 29, 2013 | 09:36 AM

Helicopter parenting.

I have a confession to make. It's becoming clear that I may in fact be a helicopter parent. If you don't already know, a helicopter parent is one that some might consider over protective, "hovering" over his or her child.

The issue at hand is school buses. We don't let our kids ride school buses to and from school. If they are taking a bus to an occasional field trip that's fine, but as far as the regular twice a day trips on a school bus, we don't do it.

Would it be more convenient? Sure. Occasionally I have to wake up our other kids in order to walk or drive to pick up my daughter from school when she could just as easily be dropped off right in from of our house. Some cold winter mornings it's not fun to start the 20 minute process of bundling everyone up, loading up in the car and driving three minutes to the school.

There are a lot of reasons why we don't let our daughter ride the bus.

Accidents. This past year seems to have been an especially bad year for bus accidents. More than one of these accidents in the area was fatal. You could make the argument that there are fatal car accidents everyday too, but the difference is I have no control over the bus drivers actions, but I do have control over my own driving abilities. It also seems completely crazy to me that you can put 50 kids on a bus without seat belts and it's perfectly legal. I've heard the argument that buses are safer without seatbelts than with, but I don't buy it. Buses don't have seat belts for two reasons: It would be expensive and you would fit way less kids on a bus and lose the ability to pack them three across a bus seat.

Creeps. The second reason we don't let our daughter ride the bus is there are too many creepy people in our world. There is a news story every week about an attempted child abduction from a bus stop. In the winter time it's also completely dark while kids are waiting for the bus which seems like it would make it easier for these creeps to prey on little kids.

Bullying. There is a lot of bullying on a school bus. I can't imagine how hard it must be to drive a school bus. Somedays I have trouble keeping my three kids under control while I'm driving my car, I can't imagine driving something as large as a bus and trying to keep 50 kids under control. The driver's number one priority has to be driving the bus, not whatever else is happening on the bus. When I was a teacher, there were always incidents of kids getting in trouble for things they did to others while riding the bus to school. Kids can be mean. For some reason they don't see the bus as a place where school rules apply. Many kids treat it like a free for all and since I have a choice, I'd rather them not deal with that at all.

Since I'm home with my kids all the time, and can avoid sending them on the bus, that's what I choose to do., Many of you reading this probably think I'm crazy and being way too overprotective and I'm ok with that, but if your ever in a situation where you need a ride, don't expect me to pick you up in my helicopter ;)

Happy Hovering!

-Pete


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