Category Archives: Columns

Jill’s “Front Porch” column appeared for years in the Spokesman Review Valley Voice section. Now, her “That’s Life” column appears twice a month in the S-R 7 section. Selected columns are reprinted here.

When Parents SHOULDN’T Put Down the Phone

When my son Ian was small, whenever he talked to me he craved my undivided attention, with unbroken eye contact, preferably accompanied by head nods and verbal acknowledgement. If I was half-listening, like I often did while reading the paper over … Continue reading

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Parenting Boys to Prevent Sexual Assault

Last week when I read the article in Sunday’s paper about Idaho campuses targeting sexual assault, I held my breath for a moment, the way I always do when I read statistics about assault. I have a daughter. The article by … Continue reading

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Long, rich love affair with Joe

I love coffee. My affair with java began as unrequited longing during childhood. My dad made it black every morning as he headed to his home office, its aroma a gentle wake-up that wafted into my room. But I wasn’t allowed to … Continue reading

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Teenager isn’t a Dirty Word

This week my youngest turns 13. He’s my third child to enter the teenage years, dropping the dependence of childhood like a coat that chafes at the collar and strains at the seams. With only a few glances back, he’ll … Continue reading

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Why so Many Youth Sports Officials Quit

‘Come on, ref.” The parent on the sideline threw his hands up in frustration. “That wasn’t a foul!” A few minutes later the complaint flipped, like a coin. “Come on, ref. Call that!” It’s a soundtrack that could have come from … Continue reading

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