I Don’t Like My Grandchild’s Name

Dear Alex, I think I over stepped my boundaries with my son and daughter-in-law and I am not sure what to do. My daughter-in-law is pregnant and we are all so excited. I made an amazing feast and invited them over for dinner the other night. I had to go to three different markets to prepare this meal, but that’s beside the point. As we were enjoying this fabulous meal, they shared with us what they plan on naming the baby. I tell you, I nearly choked on my food!  My daughter-in-law seemed so excited about the name, but… well….. I don’t like it. Actually, I really dislike it. To tell you the truth, I hate it and I don’t want my grandchild to have that name! So I told her. I told her it was a dreadful name, and she would be making a horrendous mistake if she chose that name. She kind of seemed upset at me, but I’m not sure.   Maybe it was just her hormones, but she sort of had tears in her eyes. But I couldn’t help myself. I just could not imagine living with that name. Please tell me I was not wrong in speaking my opinion. Sincerely, The Grandma of the unnamed child     Dear Grandma, The mere fact that you are writing to me indicates that you recognize some hint of inappropriateness on your behalf. I understand that you dislike the name, but it really is not your place to decide what your grandchild should be named. Your very pregnant and very hormonal daughter-in-law came to you with excitement about the...

Let’s Have a Spelling Bee

I realized early on that one of my children is inherently competitive. It has very little to do with our parenting style and more to do with being internally driven. Last year, he was particularly competitive when it came to spelling tests. And this sense of competition was less directed towards his classmates, and more directed towards himself. He set a personal goal to get 100% on EVERY spelling test. We thought it was interesting that he was so determined, but paid little attention at first. Every Monday, he would come home with his list and tape it to the refrigerator. He spent the week reviewing the words and we did lots of little practice tests. And low and behold, he would come home with a 100% every week. He was getting so good at it that his teacher added some additional bonus words that were more difficult. Now don’t get me wrong, my son is no spelling prodigy and he was not the only one getting the bonus words. But he was really enjoying the challenge. As the year progressed his interest did not wane. In fact, his excitement over his success kept building and one day he asked me if his teacher would consider doing a spelling bee. Thinking that would be a fun culmination and review of all the new words, I approached the teacher with our idea. Considering we have national spelling bees, why not do a mini version in class. Much to my surprise, our idea was shut down instantly. In fact, she wanted to know WHY I would even want to do such...