Do’s and Don’ts for School Shopping


  1. Make a list
  2. Discuss with your child your budget and give him/her one or two things he/she can pick out on his/her own. This will give them a sense of independence and allow you to stay within your budget. A budget is very different than complaining about money!
  3. It is ok to take this time to teach a little bit about money. If your child is young, break it down for him to understand or give a simple math problem, i.e. “If mommy has $1 and this cost 79 cents, how much change would mommy get back?” If you have an older child, you can talk to your child about allowance or a part time job and start the conversation by saying,” You can see how expensive things are, if you need some extra money, do you think you can handle a part time job and still do well with school?”
  4. Be rested and as pleasant as possible. This should be a bonding experience for you and your child, not hard labor or some form of punishment you feel has been handed to you in the form of a school list.
  5. Use this time to have a conversation with your child to find out his/her anticipated joys and/or fears for the upcoming school year. Don’t dismiss either one. This is your chance to LISTEN. Set the mood for the rest of the school year so your child feels safe to come to you.


1. If money is an issue, do not make it your child’s issue in a negative way. Your child should not be made to feel guilty he/she needs school supplies, so don’t make him/her feel that way. Encourage learning, not guilt.

2. This is not time for “Ask your mother, ask your father” crap. It is never the time to do that stuff in front of your child. If you’re not mature enough to ask your ex spouse yourself, please don’t ask your child to do your dirty work:

Q “Mom, why can’t I have those markers?”

A:”Ask your father, that cheap bastard” –

What the hec does one thing have to do with another??? Get the point!!! Plus, they’re your children. You chose to have them. You are responsible to nurture them when you have them, no matter what the other spouse is or isn’t doing. Don’t turn your children into receivers of your anger.

3. If you are cranky, stay home. Go another day. If you have nine children and two have colds, with snot all over their face, and one has diarrhea, three are whining, and they are all under the age of nine, the others are pissed off teens – THIS IS NOT THE DAY TO GO! WAIT!! First, no one in the store wants to witness or listen to you and your group screaming at each other.  Second, by the time you get to that poor cashier, she is going to wish she stayed home that day; and third you will inevitably forget at least half a dozen things on your list because you will be in such a rush to get in and out of there as quickly as you can.

4. Don’t go on an empty stomach or when the kids are tired. If everyone had something to eat and is well rested, you have a much better chance of cooperation. Give each child one thing to find. It will make them feel responsible.

5. Don’t fall for the “But I Neeeeeeeeeeed it” scam. If you do, you’ll be walking out of there with $300 worth of junk they will never use!

Good luck!!!!!



The only moment that matters is right now……..

I was in a car accident last July. I was hit from behind on the Merritt parkway in CT. Traffic was coming to a full stop by exit 42. I was going north and a 19 year old teenager was obviously not paying attention because he slammed into me at such a high speed, I hit the car in front of me in the left lane and the car in the right lane and was somehow perpendicular to the road, right smack in the middle of both lanes. Right before I lost consciousness, in that one second – in that blink of an eye moment you have where your thoughts are still functioning – and I do mean one second, I thought about my daughter Rachel, and how I couldn’t believe I never published my books.

Well, I obviously didn’t die. In fact, other than some annoying vertigo, some ringing in my ears, and an annoying pain in my arm, I really can’t complain. But I didn’t forget the two thoughts I had before I blacked out. When I thought about my daughter, there was a peace because I knew she knew she is my life. No child could be loved more than I love Rachel. My eyes are tearing up as I write this. You know how parents say,”Oh my child is a miracle” and then you see them screaming at their kids and sending them out of the room or shutting them up when they have company or never valuing their opinion; Rachel always knew her opinion and her company was more important than anyone else’s.

I used to believe I was a great mom, and I was – until she left home. Go figure. That’s when I made some mistakes. Anyway – I digress!

My books – I wanted to write since 1995. First, my then husband laughed at me. Then, after the divorce, I used the excuse, I was a single mom, I had no time. I had excuse after excuse. Even after Rachel left the house, more excuses. The truth was, I was scared. I was scared to put myself out there. Scared for the world to see me fail. Scared to be laughed at or embarrass my daughter. That car accident was the best thing that happened to me. At the time, I was p-i-s-s-e-d!!! I had only one year left of payments on my hard-top convertible 280SLK Mercedes. Now it was gone. PISSED I tell you. Insurance only pays for what is left on the loan and that is it, no car. Soon I was driving my daughter’s, 2005 Honda with material seats. PISSED! Oh, this isn’t a comment on anyone who can’t afford a Mercedes. Let me tell you up front, my experience with them was the worst ever. I always dreamed of having one. For a poor kid from the Bronx, I thought that was a sign of wealth. It turns out, at least for me, it was a sign of a massive headache. They were horrible. I always left there PISSED!!!!

Anyway, having that accident and that feeling that it can be over in a second, pushed me to do what I needed to do. It reminded me we don’t get a memo when our time is up. We don’t get a warning. It happens in a moment. Even if you get cancer, the doctor gives you the news, and right after that, in that moment, your life has just changed.

The accident felt like a foreshadowing. The universe was telling me to listen, and listen quickly. I felt an urgency for once in my life that time was ticking and I needed to get this done, for me, as well as for my daughter. I’ve been talking about them for so long and I wanted to show her that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Whether they are successful or not, I don’t want her memory of me to be of someone who never followed through. My books aren’t for me. I believe it is what I was sent here to do. I never had self-esteem. I still suffer from a lack of self-love. I know while I’m an A+ mother in how much I love and adore my daughter, I’m a C- as a role model in showing her confidence about body image and self worth and loving yourself as you are. That breaks my heart. Rachel has fabulous self-esteem. She really does. I told her since she was young how beautiful she is, especially when she first got up in the morning, still in pajamas. It just would have been nice if I could have talked the talk and walk the walk for her as well.

So whatever you need to do or want to do – Do it now. If you haven’t had patience for your child, apologize and/or get help now. If there is something you have been dreaming about, stop dreaming and instead, live your dream now, because you can, if you really want it, you can.

In the blink of an eye in can all be gone! Now go hug the ones you love and thank them for who they are and then……… celebrate who you are……now have fun and enjoy NOW – it’s all you have!