franklyStein editors blog

FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband and four children.

adamLaxIt happened this year. We joined the club.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog about club sports, and how much I disliked the whole idea for my preteens. I didn't like the price tag, the commitment, and I didn't like the pressure — the feeling that if you weren't playing club, you weren't going to cut it.

When I wrote the blog, I said that my kids would have to seriously beg if they wanted to play club. And my son did. The surprise, however, was my daughter, who just last year said "no way" when her friend tried to get her to join. Apparently, she changed her mind. And if one kid in the family wants to play club, can you say no to another?

Photo courtesy of Michele Fuhrman

Read more: Joining the club — FranklyStein

4th KidsI live in Catonsville, which is known for two things — music stores and it's 4th of July celebration.

People here take the 4th very seriously. You aren't a true member of the community if you don't attend the parade down Frederick Road at 3 p.m. and the fireworks at the high school at dark. Both events make for a LONG day. Add to that the Arbutus Firecraker 10K starting 8 a.m. — which I did this year — and the day gets even longer.

Read more: Living in Catonsville on the 4th of July — FranklyStein

There's nothing better than when someone else catches your kids doing something nice and then tells you about it.

If you have kids like mine, you've probably gotten a bit of negative feedback over the years. (Especially if you have boys like mine — or maybe even just boys in general). There have been phone calls about hitting on the playground, report cards pointing out the need for better behavior in class, friends moms' reluctantly informing of poor sportsmanship on a playdate and even a call from a classmate's father about inappropriate language used with his daughter.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad for this feedback and take each case seriously — discussing with my kids what is appropriate and what is not and how we expect them to behave. But sometimes I start to wonder if my kids are doing anything right.

That's why positive feedback, no matter how trivial, means so much.

Read more: When your kids get caught doing something good — FranklyStein

Kids on the camping trip hikeLast week we went on the Moms and Kids Camping Trip for the sixth year in a row.

It's actually not just moms and their kids anymore but we still call it that because that's how it began. This year we had nine families in all — six moms, five dads, one adult child and 23 kids. Two extra moms stopped in for a day and stayed for dinner. They brought seven extra kids. Ages in the group ranged from 6 to 50something.

Things have changed a lot since the first year we went on the trip with just three moms, 11 kids (all under 9) and three new tents that took hours to assemble. This year, I popped up my eight-man tent in record time with the help of my kids and that was a start to a totally stress free camping trip. Unlike last year's trip, which was marred by clouds and rain, this year we had perfect camping weather — warm sunny days and clear cool nights. It almost made all the work associated with camping worth it!

Read more: Mom’s and Kids Camping Trip take 6 — FranklyStein

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