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Stage of Life® is a writing community designed for parents to share their stories about raising a family.  Get involved with our educational mission:  Enter our monthly writing contests or share your parenting experiences and explore our parenting resources such as statistics about families, quotes about raising a family, family etiquette, funny family videos, and more.  Save money with our coupons for families too. Whether you're a single parent, traditional family, or multi-generational family, we look forward to reading your parenting essays.  Your stories may just help inspire other people raising a family.  Get started now...

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Recent Writing Contests - Winners

Before you scroll down to read the essays, stories, and blogs being submitted to StageofLife.com, let's celebrate the recent writing contest winners.  We select one essay each month from across all of the non-student life stages to win our monthly blogging contest.  Basically...these winning essays are selected from all of you "grown-ups" out there writing on Stage of Life.
Enter Writing ContestsCURRENT 2014 Writing Contests - All Life Stages - ENTER NOW...


Writing contest winnerMarch 2014 Writing Contest Winner

Writing Prompt:  "How has mental illness impacted your life?
Winning Essay: March Madness: Alone by lauren820
National Press Release:  Pending

Writing contest winnerFebruary 2014 Writing Contest Winner

Writing Prompt:  "What is the meaning of the Olympic Spirit?"
Winning Essay: The Olympic Spirit: Go For the Gold by Aprillw
National Press Release:  View Stage of Life press release


Writing contest winnerJanuary 2014 Writing Contest Winner

Writing Prompt:  "What are your hopes & fears for the new year?"
Winning Essay: Dear Peanut: I hope you never know by Melcol92
National Press Release:  View Stage of Life press release


Writing Contest WinnersPAST CONTEST WINNERS:  Find the list of our writing contest winners on our Writing Contest Winners page.

Parent Stories

Wendy Kennar 481 wordswkennar@yahoo.comwendykennar.blogspot.com YouTube: Bringing the World to My Son My son and I discovered YouTube together. Before he was born, I had causally dismissed YouTube as a wasteland filled with videos of people hoping to be discovered. But, as I continually attempt to expose my son to the world around him, my family and I have turned to YouTube as an additional resource. My son sits on my lap, and as we watch together we’re ...
A Summer Place There is a place we go every summer that has a long winding path covered with trees that hang low over the path and the blue water of the ocean shimmers in the distance; the ink-gold sun hangs heavy in the sky, puffs of high clouds dancing over us; and we walk this way every morning and every evening to and from the beach. The birds sing high and low a song of freedom and possibility. This song reaches out to us like the long winding p...
My brother always loved to be in the spotlight. Growing up, Tanner was always donning silly costumes and performing routines that made us laugh. He didn’t know how to not perform. He loved the attention and the spotlight—he couldn’t wait to be a real actor one day. When other kids in his kindergarten class filled in their “What I want to be when I grow up” worksheets with things like “doctor” or “astronaut” or “teacher,” Tanner would write “actor/ movie director.” The boy was...
Physical, mental, and emotional safety is the most important creed that a parent must uphold. Any parent knows or will soon find out that ensuring safety is easier said than done. Life interferes. We cannot always control what dangers our children stumble across. The internet, other individuals, and rapidly progressing modern technology has left our children more vulnerable than ever. As parents, we are scurrying to keep up. With the proper technology you can increase the cha...
Words to the Graduates: Tomorrow is promised to no one, but the choice to act is yours.There are no guarantees in life…only choices. Today marks a step in the path of your life. A place of no real answers. In fact, often more questions than answers. You have met expectations: some were your own, some were imposed upon you. What comes next is the real deal. This graduation ceremony is dramatic to serve a purpose: that is to etch in your mind that you hav...
Take a moment to look around you. What do you see?Smiling faces, friends, classmates. All of you donned in caps and gowns, ready to go into the world and take it by storm. Fearless and charismatic, you’re ready to start careers, families, and dive into bright futures.Now, look at one another again. This time, not as the people you may become, but as the young adults your parents have raised. Looking at your peers, you may see all the possibilities that lie ahead. But as I s...
After a particularly tumultuous day of sibling fighting, parent frustration, a few tantrums, and lots of tears, I decided to call a family meeting. I invited my daughters and my husband very formally, and we all sat around the kitchen table. All of us wore serious expressions on our faces. "We had a bad day, family," I started the meeting, "but that doesn't mean that we need to continue to have bad days. This meeting is a way for us to air out our frustrations and come to ...
It has been many years since I was a child and went on a family vacation. Back then almost everyone that went on vacation went via automobile. And the cars were not full of all the luxuries that we are used to today, things like air conditioning, various music players, and power windows. Today many children enjoy their very own flat screen with as many cartoons and movies as they can handle and assorted phones, computers, and video games. Taking a trip in the car many times h...
As parents, there are few responsibilities greater than giving your children perfect names. When I was born, my parents were probably distracted by my older brother. They named me Warren.I have never liked the name; it’s too difficult to pronounce. Growing up, I was envious of guys with single syllable names, like James; or no-doubt nicknames, like Jim or Tom or Ben; or just about any name other than Warren. I never had a nickname. Somehow, “War” didn’t catch on. Sinc...
I've been doing it wrong.I didn't know how wrong, until I read "Siblings Without Rivalry: How to help your children live together so you can live too" by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.Most mornings go like this in my house with my 9 year old daughter, Raina and my 4 year old daughter, Story:Raina - "Story, stop chewing your toast so loud.  It's making me sick."Story - Pretends like she doesn't hear her sister. Chews even louder in Raina's direction.Raina - (trying to...
Every spring, when the days become warmer, and the nights are still cold, I am reminded of our years of making maple syrup. The memories, sweet and comforting, fill me with peace. The April sun shines through the window in front of me. I feel the warmth of its rays as I sit at my desk in my drafty office. I can see the stainless steel bulk tank, salvaged from a closing dairy plant over twenty years ago, sitting up in the woods. A cocoon of overgrown thorn bushes en...
I am an Esophageal Cancer survivor that got the itch to share his journey via a blog a little over a year removed form surgery and having recently being deemed cancer free. It's gotten some good responses to the blog, so I wanted to widen my possible audience. the blog is written mostly in first person. I hope it will or would help cancer patients and even their caretakers or watchers. The address is:http://bb1364.blogspot.com --OR--http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogs...
It was 24th of December,2012....Someone lost his father who was ailing with cancer...It happened within 3 months of diagnosis..Though he knew that this was about to happen and seemed to be mentally prepared for it,it was too much to take...Father,the person because of whom he got life wasn't with him anymore...He was away,faraway with lord God almighty and he was never going to be amongst them again....A VACUUM which could never be filled...His father had taught him to be d...
We tend to see depression as the enemy assulting us by trying to crush our spirit. Is it the enemy or is it rather a friend whose strength is trying to push us down onto the ground where we are safe to learn to stand again? There is no more safer place to be than on the ground, laying low forced to recognize the bare truths of our own nature.Our nature with nature, felt again on solid ground.We are programmed, however to see depression as evil and demonic...an enemy liv...
The lawsuit filed by 18-year old, New Jersey teen, Rachel Canning, against her parents is setting precedence across the country. It’s also become a highly publicized topic of family discussions. People keeping up with the case have watched it play out like a wrestling match:In one corner, you have Rachel Canning, a high school senior. She left her parents’ home and moved in with a friend voluntarily, according to her parents.In the other corner, you’ll find her parents, Se...
In our family, we have handed down something a little different. There’s the height, brown hair and blue eyes for most of us, of course. And we are not exactly graceful. A pale complexion is a regular gift as well. But, there is more, a gift that isn’t so visible and obvious… a tendency for crazy. It is a genetic story that binds us all together in a peculiar puzzling patchwork. Some kinds of crazy are just seeds that wither and die. The genes with skewed progr...
Do you know how badly lit dressing rooms can make you feel horrible about yourself? You see the dark circles under your eyes, your skin takes on a sickly green pallor because of the fluorescent lighting, and your thighs are way bigger than you remembered? You know that the reflection belongs to you, but somehow you are your worst version of yourself in that dressing room and nothing fits or looks even remotely appealing enough to purchase. That's what Jennifer Senior's book ...
Growing up with a Mother who has bi-polar was difficult. The highs and lows are difficult to ride as a child who doesn’t even know what mental illness is. She loved us, she did some amazing things for us, but there was always a struggle, a strange swing between knitting our entire family sweaters (at least 30 sweaters), and being in bed for days and days on end. I didn’t understand. As I got older, and understood what was going on with my Mother, it took time to forgive thos...
Why is it so difficult for my kids to clean up after themselves? It's really simple.Put your shoes in the bin when you walk in the door. Hang your coat on the rack.Keep the blankets folded on the couch.Make sure the couch isn't pushed against the wall or it could scratch it.Be sure the two chair pillows are stacked neatly in the center.Straighten up the rug. Picture frames should be stacked and angled perfectly. Remote controls are to be placed on the table next to ...
I can feel my ears get hot. My fingertips are numb. No, not just the tips of my fingers, my whole hand feels like pins and needles. Maybe no one will notice. Oh no, now my leg is shaking and hot tears are pouring down my face. It will only be moments before my breathing will come in short gasps and my heart will feel like it is both leaping out of my chest and being crushed from the inside all at the same time. At 17, I could not verbalize these feelings, all I knew was that...
Forty. Not young, not old. How did I end up at this place? Everyday a struggle,our children always needing. I remember the day our eyes met. electric sparks flew ten feet away. Now you are gone, fourteen years of what? Fourteen years of games and lies? I am still here, the twenty-something with a quick sense of humor, and the consummate planner. I get up, I work, I come home, feed our children, love our children. Then, I look in the mirror. An ocean of everything...
I always seem to stress my Mother out. Everyone always tells her, you have the patience of a saint, or I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know why they say that. Shes always begging me to stop, pay attention, calm down, or sit still. I try to remember that grocery store isles are not made for my cartwheels, but sometimes I can’t help it. I don’t understand a lot about how grownups think, their so strange. I have a condition called A.D.H.D. Mom tells everyone we com...
Her mother is going to kill me, I thought. The four-year-old girl had come in an hour earlier, shyly trailing her mother. In her short life she had already had anesthesia and adenoid surgery for tonsils and throat infections. She also had hip problems, which is why her mother had brought her to a physical therapy clinic, to a hands-on therapist. I watched her walk in. She didn't notice much, a little hand holding tightly to the fabric of her mother's skirt. Dwarfed by the ...
We all have those times when we take “mental health days” off from work. In 2012, I exceeded the number of paid time off days. My dad was diagnosed with leukemia and fought for his life for nine months in the hospital. Time with him was more important than not. I am a therapist. Those negative ways of coping that I advised clients not to do, well, I did them. As time passed I didn’t cry as often, but I still cried. I still went over the “what ifs” on a daily basis. I still ha...
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a behavioral disorder that affects approximately 8%-10% of school age kids, mostly boys. ADHD is most often diagnosed during the early childhood, especially as awareness of the disorder has become more common and understood. It is believed that the earlier diagnosis is made and treatment begins, the better chance an individual has of leading a normal, healthy life. ADHD is characterized the the inabilit...
How often do you get asked what you do for a living? It's a common conversation-starter, and since deciding to leave my career to stay home with my twins, it's something I've felt insecure about answering. But not anymore, and you shouldn't either! Society has a funny way of making us stay-at-home moms feel like we don't have "real" jobs. But our jobs go beyond the average 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m work day.Last week, I was at a new doctor's office filling out patient forms. Un...
When my husband and I met ten years ago on Orcas Island, we would spend a considerable amount of time dreaming of living alternatively. The thought of a house in a neighborhood bored us to tears. We wanted different, we wanted a little hardship in our living, and we wanted to physically work for what we had. The standard American way of living never looked that lovely to us. Don’t get me wrong, I drool over perfectly styled spaces. Historic homes will always tug at my he...
Recently, my eight-year old lost one of her teeth and she was excited. The tooth fairy hands out quite a bit of money in our household. It's almost worth knocking out a few of my own if they weren't permanent. Sometimes a little pain is worth the extra money. The tooth fairy has been somewhat reliable in the past, but this particular time she must have been very busy. I've never felt so bad in my life.Night One:Placing the tooth carefully in a zip-lock baggie, my daught...
Motherhood sometimes sucks.  Some days I question everything- how I lost my temper when Raina told me I had to do the laundry because her hamper was overflowing (doesn't she understand that I already completed 5 loads of laundry that day and the overflowing was due to her use of 3 towels at bath time?), or how I told Story I didn't have time to read another Ariel book with her on the couch because I needed to answer emails.  Some days I feel inadequate because I don't want to...
My wife, son, daughter and I were out furniture shopping a few days ago. As we were leaving and my hands were full manipulating a cart that refused to roll straight, my wife suddenly gasped. With our one year old in her arms along with a bag over packed with the needs of having small children, she asked wide eyed "Where's Connor?!?!" Our 3 year old son had slipped under our normally eagle eyed watch and wandered off into a crazily busy IKEA check out area. My stomach dropped ...

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StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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