Making Peace with Parenting Mistakes

This is my bonus column for the back-to-school mental health series.

If you missed the first column read it here: Unmasking Support for Mental Health in School,
The Second one is here: Mental Health Matters More Than Adolescent Milestones
The Third one is here: Therapy Is a Valuable Parenting Resource

This week’s column is linked below.

“Conversations with my daughter revealed that she feels some of my parenting choices have even caused her lasting damage. I love my children, but love doesn’t make anyone perfect. I know my intentions, but I also know that I still don’t agree with every choice my parents made for me. My goal was to do better than my parents, but it turns out I’m not any better; I’m just different. Now that I’m older and have children of my own, I do understand more, but I’m also trying to understand it from both ends.”

Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE.

Mental Health Matters More Than Adolescent Milestones

This is the second of three columns in a back-to-school mental health series. If you missed the first one read it here: Unmasking Support for Mental Health in School.
The second column is linked below.

“My daughter was a good student with a part-time job and friends in the marching band. I knew she didn’t like school, but what choice did we have? We had to get her through it. She cried each day on the drive to school. I hounded her about personal hygiene and tried to understand what was going on, but I just didn’t. I’ve never experienced depression, and because of that, I didn’t recognize when she was in mental health trouble.”

Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE.

Vaccines: They’re Worth the Trouble

Getting my COVID Vaccine in April

“Beyond the pandemic deniers, the pushback to getting vaccinated boils down to fear. Fear of rare side effects. Fear of missing work. Mistrust in the vaccine’s speedy approval process, big government, corporate medicine or overall long-term unknowns. This fear prompts justifications for concerns and then settles on a decision that the vaccine is just not worth the trouble. But it is.”

Read the whole column at the link below

Read more columns from Bonnie HERE and HERE

Immigration Is our Universal American Story

“When asked what drove her to see it through, she said that she wanted to be an American citizen like her children and husband. She wanted to show them she could do it and make her family proud. Manuela also very much wanted the right to vote. On July 14, 2017, she was sworn in as an American citizen.

“The opposition to refugees and immigrants is strong, but it is the most universal story we share as Americans. It should be the common ground that unites us.”

Click belw to read the full column


Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE

Is Your Car Childproof?

My newborn son asleep in the car

Parents are busy. New parents especially are stressed and exhausted. It takes its toll. You must understand how ridiculous it sounds to the parents when they have to answer to the authorities. They had just made the ultimate mistake, and all they could come up with is the horrific utterance, “I forgot.”



Read more columns from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE


Abortion and the Catholic Currency of Shame

“Though I appreciated that particular priest, I no longer consider myself Catholic. The recent meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a great example as to why. The bishops voted to draft guidelines for receiving the Eucharist with the goal of ultimately preventing lawmakers, including President Joe Biden, from receiving Communion if they supported a woman’s right to choose. Catholic leaders are exerting their power through public shame, hoping to influence decisions of our supposedly secular legislature.

“It is the same powerplay that Catholic bishops in New York state exhibited in1967 that resulted in something unexpected from their religious peers. It’s a nugget of little-known history that would serve Catholics a great reminder.”

Read the full column at the link below

Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE

Love, Loss and Pandemic Puppies

Bella in 2019

My daughter got Bella at her dad’s house shortly after the divorce. My ex even called the sweet yellow lab “the divorce dog.” Visits with dad also meant time with Bella, which was great when my daughter was 8 years old, but the teen years brought work, band practice and a social life. Visitation with dad became more sporadic. Then, my ex asked if we would dog sit. Bella was a senior dog by then, and we were all smitten. We asked if we could just keep her. He said yes.

Bella and I bonded in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I worked from home, and she was my constant companion. My daughter grew up and moved to an apartment of her own, but Bella stayed with me.

COVID-19 brought with it a puppy boom as people sought comfort and companionship during quarantine and isolation — but for me, Bella was there. We took walks in the woods and played in the yard with my son. Our circle got smaller as the pandemic began to rage. Schools closed, my husband was furloughed, and then, just as everything shut down, we had to say goodbye to Bella. That stacking of hardships is known as collective — or cumulative — grief, and I wasn’t sure I could take it.

Read the full column at the link below


Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE.

Every Path Is Valid

“I did not attend my high school graduation. My family had a lot on its shoulders. My dad and stepmom were going through a divorce. I was told the Friday before my senior prom that it was over.

Graduation photos are all over my social media feed, and even The New York Times featured prom photos on their front page. High school graduation is no doubt a rite of passage and a major transition in life. But there was no point in pomp and circumstance for me. It would seem my future was not so bright anyways. I was a horrible student. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to learn, I just didn’t learn well in a classroom. For others, college would be the next logical step, but I barely had the grades to graduate high school.

I clung to the words of Chuck Keller, my junior year English teacher. He had told me, “Your success in high school does not determine your success in life.”

Read the full column by clicking below


The Privilege to Push Against Progress

Two supporters help up a banner at the back of the auditorium to show their support for the proposed social equity course.

critical race theory

“I recently moved back to my hometown of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, located just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. I promised my husband, who’s Hispanic, that it is more progressive and more diverse than when I was growing up. I also sold him on the fact that it is one of the top school districts in the state. But, as I sat in a community meeting in our local high school auditorium and listened to my fellow community members make public statements about a proposed elective course on social equity, I worried that I was wrong.

Many of the comments at the microphone were in favor of teaching social equity. Some shared a personal story to illustrate why it’s important to them. But those who spoke out against the course hammered home the same sound bite that’s been echoing across the country as states seek to ban critical race theory (CRT) from public education.”

Read the full column at the link below.

Read More of Bonnie’s work HERE and HERE.

What’d I Miss?

Where Chronic Illness and Mental Health Intersect

Life doesn’t happen inside neat little schedules. Plus, my zest for life doesn’t quite match the illness’s demand that I slow down.

Click Below to Read the Full Column

Read More From Bonnie HERE and HERE