Coping Skills….

I’m going to get way controversial here and so all I ask is that when you disagree you do so in a respectful manner or expect that your comment will go bye-bye…because it’s my blog and I can do that. :P

I want to talk about today’s shooting in Colorado (well more about shootings in general). When I was in my first year of teaching there was a man who robbed a bank. Proceeded to go down the street the Elementary school was on and shot his gun repeatedly at the school, with one of the bullets going through my portable classroom (luckily higher than any person standing would be). Then did the unheard of…he drove to the nearby pre-school and in front of all those little children he shot himself in the head. There probably is not enough therapy for that pre-school teacher and I pray those little kids were young enough to get past it.

But more and more we are having shootings at high school (and junior high) by students that go there…and more and more it’s our fault. Don’t get me started on how people shame the mentally ill as if it’s something they can control it(though let me say that if you are mentally ill and choose to do nothing about that then realize you are effecting more people than just yourself…please medicate). How is it our fault? How we are raising our kids. The teaching of failure and coping skills has gone out the window (and here is where I get the hate mail).

We rarely tell kids no anymore…proof is 12 year olds with iPhones (not saying they don’t need a phone if they commute to school…just saying they don’t need an iPhone for that). I get that parents want nothing but the best for their kids. They want them to have what they want. But the more and more we do that and do not honestly prepare them for disappointment the harder and harder we end up making it on them.

Everyone gets a ribbon. Everyone is capable of doing whatever they want…this is not true or else our whole world would be rock stars and athletes. Kid fails? It’s the teacher’s fault…they aren’t interesting enough. News Flash algebra is not exciting to most people. It is to me but I’m a nerd. I once lost a friend who wanted to borrow money from me to buy her daughter a $50 sweatshirt because she didn’t have the money until next month. I commented why not wait until next month and she said that she promised it this month. So I said just tell you daughter you don’t have the money right now. She freaked saying that she couldn’t possibly tell her that. She didn’t want her daughter to panic and think that mom and dad didn’t have money. Ummm.

I watch shows like Sweet 16 (not long) in horror. Where not only are they not thankful for the fact that they even got a car they so much as go off on their parent for getting the wrong type of Mercedes! Oh no! Did I have a car when I turned 16? Yes. I bought it. With my money that I saved from babysitting from the last 4 years PLUS the money saved from my Jif Peanut Butter commercial. I also went to Washington DC on that money.

Statistics show that kids that have to take out their own loans and work through college to pay for college tend to get better grades as well as appreciate their education more than those who had parents pay for it. The kids who got academic scholarships also did well. :) But they earned that even before they went to college. My parents told me early on that if I was wanting to go to a 4 year college I was going to need to figure out how I was going to afford that. So I did. I worked as an RA most of my time there paying for room and board, had scholarships, grants and worked the front desk of my dorm.

So even if you can give your children everything my suggestion (and I know I’m being controversial) is to not. Teach them a little disappointment. Teach them to do and earn some things on their own for a sense of accomplishment. Teach them coping skills as I feel that is why a lot of these shootings are going on. Don’t think that your teens are just being moody teens who hang in their room all the time. Get to know who their friends are. Annoy them and ask questions. Genuinely care about what they are doing even if they seem like they don’t want it (I’ve had to learn about the joys of Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed and be able to recognize when a song by Vampire Weekend comes on) . Deep down the do.

When I was in junior high my parents would pick me up after the dance and take me to the pizza place where everyone hung out. Cool right? Wrong. My parents would stay there. Not with me. They were cool enough to hide in the corner but they were there. I would be mortified. But I always got to bum money off of them and they always bought my table pizza and my friend NEVER once actually made fun of me for it. I realize now of course my parents did it because they cared about me. Imagine that.

I have hardly met ANY of MDP’s teens friends parents…with the exception if we know them through soccer and the random parent. The one parent I did meet (the mom was also a teacher) knew MDP but still came upstairs to meet me because I was watching their child. Again, imagine that. This is how is should be. Don’t dump your kid off at someone’s house never meeting the parent. This is crazy to me. My parents always insisted on meeting the parents of all of my friends. I didn’t get to go places if they didn’t. One time all they could do was call…but they still called. Show your kids you care EVEN if you are embarrassing them. Parenting isn’t about being their friend. Can you be at times? You bet.

I’ll jump off the soapbox now and give you this AMAZING cookie recipe. It’s kind of cookie meets brownie meets peppermint patty…that is how the hockey team described them. So we will go with that. They get the outside of like a brownie and are soft and chewy like a brownie but somehow still cookie like…which is why I call them hybrid. If you aren’t a mint fan just substitute chocolate chips for the peppermint chips.

Now go spend time with your kids….and let them suck at something while you are at it. :)


Chocolate Fudge Hybrid Peppermint Cookies


  • 1 cup peppermint pieces (I used Andes Peppermint Baking Chips)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract (I used Rodelle)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease baking pan generously with baking spray.
  3. Melt the butter, bittersweet chocolate, and semisweet chocolate in a double boiler. Melt until smooth.
  4. Remove from the heat to cool.
  5. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. The eggs will be a pale yellow color.
  6. Add the vanilla and melted chocolate.
  7. Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes, until the dough is thick and glossy.
  8. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  9. Stir in the peppermint chips and chocolate chips. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes, which makes it easier to scoop.
  10. Use a 1 ¾ inch diameter scoop to drop spoonful’s of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1 ½ inches apart.
  11. Wet your fingertips lightly with water and gently flatten the cookie dough(no need to press hard, just press out the hump).
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops begin to crack and look glossy. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets.


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  1. I could not agree more. I remember (back in my restaurant days) moms calling in sick for their kids on a Saturday night- problem was their kid had been trying to get someone to work for him all week so he/she could go to the game! What is that teaching your children? Life is not fair and you will be disappointed sometimes. You need to know how to deal with it and move on, and if you don’t teach your kids that you are doing them a huge disservice.

  2. I love this post!
    Kids need to work for things. I worked every Friday and Saturday night in high school… missing out on all the games and events so that I didn’t have to work on Sunday and could go to the weekly church activity. It was important for me to do that, because I wanted to… even though my parents were very happy with that choice too:)
    We want to be the party house so that we know that our kids know that we will be involved in their friendships and their lives. There are too many bad situations that can happen, so we will be the uncool parents who dont allow sleepovers, PERIOD! Our oldest is only 6, but we figure if we let our kids know now that we mean NO! it wont be such an issue when they are in high school.
    No video games, cell phones, or facebook is the goal right now. There are enough distractions in life without adding those to the mix…(Plus it’s harder to be cyber bullied if you dont have the cyber part to begin with:)
    Thanks for being awesome and telling it like it is, or should be.

    PS- I think I am going to make this recipe for the neighborhood Christmas Party tomorrow, yum!
    No video games, cell phones

  3. Thank you Peabody, I wish more people would consider the fact that kids need to learn how to lose. Life isn’t always going to go their way. My parents based freedoms on grades. As long as I could stay on the honor roll, we’d discuss my curfew on a day by day basis. Which meant late for studying or work, and earlier for the movies. And I’m gal they taught me that responsibility.
    And now I’m going to go try making those cookies.

  4. I totally agree with everything you wrote. 100%. Kids need to know that they will be disappointed at some time (most likely many times) in their lives and know that the world is not going to end and that they will get through the disappointment. These cookies look awesome. Love your blog.

  5. I 100% agree with you on all counts. Can’t add anything else because you stated my sentiments exactly. I can only hope today’s generation wises up in society. It’s scary.

    Those cookies = amazing! Can’t beat the chocolate-mint flavor combination.

  6. I think you definitely have a point, but I don’t think it’s the whole story. Another aspect I’ve noticed, which goes along with the technology piece, is that kids these days have grown up with the texting and facebook or whatever and they have lost the ability to sympathize/empathize/RELATE to real people. I work with the youth group at my church, and I take students out for coffee or food, and they do not make eye contact anymore! They are so used to staring at their phones that they address the wall over my shoulder or they just scan the restaurant at large because they are so uneasy with human contact. I don’t think a lot of kids think of people as real people anymore. They are all caught up in virtual “friendships” and virtual reality, and the real world just overwhelms them.

  7. As another former high school teacher, I agree with you 100%.

  8. You are being an awesome parent, both of you, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  9. AMEN! Kids will never learn the satisfaction and pride that comes with hard work and perseverance if they never have the opportunity. Great post!

  10. YES YES 100 times YES!!! This is a good portion of what killed my teaching career 10 years ago. Kids would fail because they didn’t do the work and parents didn’t make them do the work and I’d get in trouble. Complete BS. My husband and I are doing our best to make sure our daughter will actually be able to handle failure and disappointment along with success and happiness. Granted, right now that involves things like not being able to play with my computer mouse and eating what I’ve made for dinner and not having something else she likes better, but she is only 20 months old.

  11. Katie Rose says:

    No arguments here! I have three kids and one on the way. There will be disappointments in life for them. There will be things they want and we don’t give them regardless of whether or not we actually could. There will be consequences for their actions (good ones AND bad ones) and they need to learn those lessons well and early because the world is hard and as much as we love our children, we do them no favors by coddling them, spoiling them, and giving them unrealistic expectations.

    We have a reward system of stickers on a chart. 1 sticker = 1 penny and it started when we were encouraging potty training (believe me, they do NOT get those stickers easily for their other actions once they are toilet trained!) when they get to 100 I let them pick one thing from the dollar store (Momma fronts them the tax, lol). However, my oldest son in a fit of anger recently broke one of his own toys. Instead of getting his dollar store prize, the next 600 stickers he receives are going towards buying a replacement for the $6 toy. Could we have just gone the oh well, your toy, you broke it and now it’s gone route? Probably. But the next several times we are in the dollar store and his sister is picking her prize and he is still saving his points for that toy he broke will be a poignant reminder of the lasting affects of our actions. And really, he’s 5 1/2. Maybe some people think that he’s too young for a long drawn out lesson like that, but if he doesn’t learn it now, it will just be harder to teach it to him when he is bigger and stronger and more stubborn than his parents are (and believe me, that punk is going to be big, strong, and stubborn– especially the stubborn part as he gets ample doses from both sides of the family ;-) )

    Unfortunately, the parents who are raising their kids right(ish) will probably agree with you, it’s the ones who are NOT that will be upset you dared mention discipline or consequences in reference to their poor little poopsies. And it doesn’t matter if the childless agree with you now or not since they will either eventually have kids and be forced to reevaluate EVERYTHING they ever thought about parenting, or they won’t have kids and so it doesn’t matter.

    Now I need some chocolate cookies for breakfast.

  12. I wish there was a word to type that conveyed a group of people standing, applauding this post. You are right on the mark. Too many parents think they’re doing the right thing but they are actually afraid that their child won’t like them anymore. My husband is this way with one of his daughters and she is the world’s most ungrateful person. Children should not feel entitled to anything except their parents’ love. Work for everything else.

    Bravo to you (applause-applause-applause)
    ppbbbbbbtthhhhhh to anyone who thinks otherwise

  13. Wait, this is controversial? I thought it was common sense. Oh, wait, same thing these days. :P If you want your kids to grow up right and be decent human beings, then raise them like that. Don’t abuse them, but don’t coddle them like they’re porcelain dolls. Tears are okay if little Suzie falls down and skins her knee, but tears are NOT okay because she didn’t get the toy she wants. Emily doesn’t need a smartphone “because all my friends have them, mooooooom.”

    When I was eight, I knew a girl who told me she had never been spanked in her life. I thought that wow, she must be a really good kid. Nope. Turns out every time her parents were going to spank her, she would sit down or lay down and roll over on her back and tell them, “You’re not spanking me.” And they didn’t. Nor did they make her keep her room clean, ever tell her no, or make her do anything she didn’t want to do. Her selfishness and meanness rapidly disabused me of the idea that she was a really good kid, but she was eight, and that’s how she had been taught it was okay to act. It makes me glad I moved away before we hit puberty….

  14. @Megan- yes, the main reason I left teaching was a combo of the parents and the constant need to test the kids.

  15. Oh @Caley- I am totally with you and was going to touch base on that but I was already rambling on so much that I figured I had better not write anymore. 100% yes! I feel that in order to get control of these situations we need to go back carrying about the world and others. Empathy has been lost. And you are right it’s because we don’t need to really relate to people. When I upset my friend on text messaging and they type back “ok” I don’t hear the disappointment in their voice and in a way get off easy (though I must say it’s more convenient to text :) )
    Last summer there were some kids (and these are honor roll type kids) commenting how bored they were. I said well what do you want to do when you grow up. They gave various answers and I suggested they go volunteer in those fields to get experience. ALL of them commented they wouldn’t get paid. I commented how much colleges look for people who volunteer in the area of study (or for humanity in general) and they just shrugged their shoulders. One went and helped at a doctors office and stopped after two days because it wasn’t interesting. So I said, oh are you changing careers? No…doctors make bank. I said well you just said what they did was boring and all paperwork. He said yes. I said well that’s what you would be doing. I told him life was paperwork. :)

  16. @Liz S- I hope they wise up too.

  17. Bravo! 100% correct. In fact, only a few days ago I had the same conversation with my adult daughter who has children. My daughter was raised correctly (thank you), and she is doing the same with her kids. They need to know how to deal with failure and losing, because that’s part of the real world, and they need to know how to be gracious winners. More parents need to grow a backbone and be parents. Their kids will thank them later.

  18. I am a teacher. It amazes me that in middle school, when nothing “counts” parents will not allow their child to fail. Why can’t we give them a few years of trial and error before high school?? We are in the last week of the semester and some of the things said to me by students and parents this week are appalling. I am not meek but I have even been brought to tears by some of the treatment in the presence of students! They want me to pull A’s out of thin air when they have earned C’s. And my administrators support the parents not me! It is enough to make me think I need to get out of education.

  19. Mary Ellen says:

    Very good post. Agree completely with your view and the other comments. Like that you speak you mind, it makes me happy to know that people with strong values are out and about. Cookies look delicious also!

  20. I was having this very conversation with someone yesterday!! I am not a parent so clearly “I know nothing about children” (!!) but I constantly see parents who are so fixated on being their child’s friend that they forget to be their parent! I always had friends when I was growing up telling me their mother was their best friend and I always responded ” my Mum is more important than that, she’s my Mum – I have plenty of friends but only one Mum”. Parents, you need to be parents to your children – remember that’s why you wanted to have kids in the first place!!

  21. Good one Peabody. I grew up in a middle-class suburb, and we all had, at minimum, babysitting or lawn-mowing jobs by high school. The lucky kids inherited the old car when the family got a new one; the rest of us saved up to buy a used junker. The few kids that had new cars worked practically full time in addition to going to school to buy one. We got up to the usual shenanigans and had the usual underage parties, but no one ever went crazy and shot up the town. It was just unthinkable. On a lighter note, Andes makes chips? OMG. I haven’t seen them in my stores yet, so I guess I’ll just have to do it old-school and chop up some whole mints. I can not wait to try this recipe.

  22. Totally agree. We have three young children and I was already noticing that I was parenting in a manner that made my days easier but certainly wasn’t teaching them anything or a serving them well as children that need to be raised into adults that are not douchebags. I started reading “Cleaning House: a 12 month experiment in ridding our home of entitlement” and it has completely changed how I parent. Definitely reccomend it for any parent to read! And I wholeheartedly believe that a majority of teen shooter and teen suicides are because kids are not taught to deal with hardship or disappointment in any way. When you’re catered to your entire life bumps in the road can seem like insurmountable moutains. Obviously that’s not always the case but we are seeing terrifying trends. I do think a lot can be attributed to social media and the all- encompassing presence it has in kids’ lives now but I also think they are much “softer” because of all the “preshush snowflaking” going on. I will end my novel now, lol.

  23. LONG comment made short…. PREACH.IT!!

    Oh and these cookies…. they sound heavenly!!

  24. Appreciated everything you stated. While I am kid-less, I am fortunate to have friends who actually do parent. And those kids have manners, are funny, kind and compassionate.

    Cookie recipe looks amazing.

  25. Helen in CA says:

    As I read this post……I kept thinking of those kids for whom life has been so about losing that they decide there’s no reason to live.

    It’s not that what you wrote isn’t true. It’s more that it’s true AND the world is much larger w/kids facing all sorts of things. Making the assumption that it’s all about entitlement……..

    And yes, I’ve kids. That managed to make it thru their teen years.

  26. get back up on that soapbox as people need to hear what you are saying. also so echo Helen in CA – it is so much more than this – what about the kids that are homeless or hungry or abused? so many of them are struggling to hang in there and just get by. but their daily struggles and triumphs are frequently not acknowledged in this age of others just buying/giving their children everything. the only thing I would beg to differ on the mental illness and medication piece since it is not always as simple as take your meds and all will be well. yes certainly know that others are affected and do take meds if indicated and helpful – it is just that it is not that simple or straight forward for all.

  27. I love you! And, I love this recipe. :)

  28. I agree 100% and I like the cookies too. Keep on keepin’ on and Merry Christmas.

  29. I’m just catching up, Peabody, but I have to lament that I have NO peppermint chips here…I DO have peanut butter chips though. I know it won’t be the same but that ooey-gooey texture looks like I’ll still be happy, right?!?!? I really don’t care…..I simply need all that chocolate! Perhaps two batches…one with peppermint oil and crushed peppermint candy? I love how I can “play” with your recipes and still have success!!

    I have three young adult children. It’s both satisfying AND heartbreaking to watch them navigate this world on their own terms now. Lessons are still being learned. My mothering doesn’t have (nor should it have) the weight it used to have…..but they’re starting to see that I really did (still do) have their best interest at heart. Sometimes the payoff is WAY down the road. I just want to say to all the younger parents out there…DON’T WAVER!! Don’t give up for one minute! Stick to your plan and your children will eventually (we can hope!) SEE that you did your best for them by not constantly giving in and giving them everything they wanted! Most of us can’t/couldn’t afford it anyway! Lead by GOOD example. They need that strong foundation at home NOW more than ever…..

    Thank you for getting up on your soapbox!! You sound pretty good up there!!

  30. Thanks for the recipe and the post. Life is tough and we as parents should not add to that difficulty by not parenting our children.

    As for the recipe, I made it for Christmas and found that the 1/2 cup of flour was not nearly enough to hold these cookies together. Is the recipe accurate for the amount of flour you used?

    Thanks much!

  31. @Dana- yes 1/2 cup is correct. It’s even MORE flour than the original recipe which uses a 1/3. Did you let them sit for the full 20 minutes to set before scooping?

  32. @Peabody I sure did. Maybe it was my butter (European unsalted) that was the culprit. Either way, I made a trifle with them as the base and top layer, so they didn’t go to waste. :)

    Thanks for answering.

  33. @Dana- hmmm I usually use Plugra (which is European butter). My only suggestion is for the 20 minutes put the bowl in the fridge and chill the batter.

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