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Claire N. Barnes, MA
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Claire N. Barnes, MA is a recognized national and international consultant who has devoted her career helping families improve their circumstances in an ever-changing, complex world. She was the Executive Director of Kids' Turn (San Francisco, CA) for thirteen years. During her tenure at Kids' Turn, she was the lead author of The Kids' Turn Way curriculum and the author of The Kids' Turn Way, Online. She facilitated replication of Kids'Turn services in Great Britain. She served on the Board of the Euro-Centric International Comission for Couples and Family Relations (ICCFR) for seven years; she is on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco Symphony. She now is a consultant, blogger, instructor (early childhood educators) and soon-to-be published author. Find her at: www.myfavoriteteachersf.com . email her at claireperrigobarnes@gmail.com .

Entries by Claire N. Barnes, MA

What Sam Shepard Taught Me About Families

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 6:27 PM

As I continue my journey through retirement (aka, inspirement ) my participation in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes available in my community also continues. OLLI programming offers affordable classes in a stimulating learning environment designed to keep members curious and engaged in active acquisition of knowledge.

I...

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Inspirement

(9) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 9:01 AM

Since easing out of my position as Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, I have been extremely reluctant to apply the term 'retirement' to my new life status. I am one of those people who found the end of my full-time work life rushing toward me, rather than me rushing...

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Whose Divorce Is It, Anyway?

(6) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 6:11 PM

The high divorce rate in the United States is requiring more and more boomer grandparents to be supportive of their family members if adult children divorce or separate. When this happens, boomers who are enjoying a peaceful, calm and stable retirement may find themselves having to offer financial and emotional...

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Grandma, What Big Eyes You Have

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2013 | 12:06 PM

As part of my transition into my new phase of life (now called "inspirement"), I signed up for a class at San Francisco State University -- one of their offerings through their Osher Lifelong Learning Center (OLLI). If you are fortunate enough to live in a community with an OLLI,...

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The Case for Hiring Boomers -- An Open Letter to Employers

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 12:16 PM

Dear Employers:

I am feeling a little schizophrenic this morning after reading two online posts:

1) This report on how hard it is for workers age 55+ to find new employment if they are laid off.

2) A report by the Building Movement Project confirming...

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Tell Don't Yell

(1) Comments | Posted August 16, 2013 | 7:18 PM

In a recent email exchange with a San Francisco colleague, she told me she observed a mother, obviously at her wit's end, on a MUNI bus yelling at her young child, Just do what I say!. In all fairness, the mom was probably doing the best she could within her...

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I'm Still Your Grandma

(1) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 6:30 PM

While I was Executive Director of Kids' Turn, San Francisco (www.kidsturn.org) and a grandmother myself, I became very aware of the important role grandparents play when their grandchildren experience parental separation. Obviously, this also means an adult child of the grandparents is going through separation or divorce --...

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The Royal Parents

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 1:01 PM

Ring the bells! Sound the trumpets! Hang the bunting! Plan the christening! The royal baby has arrived, and a beautiful baby he is. Like the face of every newborn, hope and innocence are reflected back to each person adoring the infant. And new parents Will and Kate will soon wonder...

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Running Out of Walls to Paint

(1) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 6:43 PM

When my 30-something daughter was in the second grade, she was asked to complete this sentence by drawing a picture: 'My mom loves to...' My darling daughter said: 'My mom loves to WORK!', and the accompanying picture showed me (including the detail of my glasses) driving off to work as...

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With Friends Like This...

(2) Comments | Posted July 5, 2013 | 9:04 PM

Fifteen years ago, my husband and I relocated to Northern California to begin our committed life journey together. I took the job as the director of a small, independent school, and quickly became acquainted with several of the board members. I spent a great deal of time with one young...

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Asking For Help

(4) Comments | Posted May 4, 2013 | 5:21 AM

My husband and I were hanging new window blinds late on a Friday afternoon. Why we picked Friday after work to hang the blinds remains a mystery, but it is accurate to say that the project wasn't going very well when I suggested, "Should we ask a neighbor to come...

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Should Split Parents Ever Lie to Their Children?

(4) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 1:19 PM

When I was four years old, our phone rang one evening and a woman on the phone asked for my father. I was a very late-in-life child -- my parents had married after a complicated ten-year courtship. The woman caller identified herself as my father's daughter -- a daughter he...

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It's Valentine's Day. Now What?

(5) Comments | Posted February 12, 2013 | 12:21 PM

It was bound to happen -- you are facing Valentine's Day as a newly separated adult and you don't quite know what to do with yourself. The good thing is that you no longer have to stand in front of the display of Valentine cards and try to find one...

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Holiday Survival

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 12:18 PM

Where did 2012 go? It's almost Thanksgiving, and holiday decorations, wrappings and sales are abound. With the holidays come great anxiety for separating families, especially those newly separated parents who are feeling worried, guilty and cash-strapped for their first holiday in two houses.

In my twelve years at

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Divorce Children And Bullying

(19) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 4:00 AM

I had the privilege recently of attending an anti-bullying conference sponsored by the U.S. Attorney's office. I came away from the conference a true believer in the close relationship between bullying and the childhood difficulties caused by parental separation.

The first person I met at the conference was an assistant...

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Back To School: Following The School Bus

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 1:20 PM

One of my memorable claims to fame as a parent was following the school bus on my five-year-old twin' daughters first day of Kindergarten. Our family lived in a semi-rural area with isolated roads where drivers regularly exceeded the speed limit. Sure enough, on that very special and important morning,...

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Divorce, British Style

(4) Comments | Posted July 30, 2012 | 1:30 PM

All eyes worldwide are on London for the 2012 summer Olympic Games. I thought this might be an opportune time to examine divorce -- British style. London has been called the divorce capital of the world. What better time to call on noted "Agony Aunt"...

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Family Conflict and Children

(19) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 4:30 PM

San Francisco is in the news again, and unfortunately for the wrong reasons. It's amazing that this spectacular community, with its vibrant and creative energy, seems to occasionally lose its equilibrium -- and I'm not talking about earthquakes.

A high-profile public official pleaded guilty to a charge...

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The Power of Silence

(5) Comments | Posted February 17, 2012 | 3:00 PM

There has been tremendous interest in the phenomenon of the movie "The Artist." The chatter about "The Artist" in the media expresses a curiosity about how and why a silent film appeals to a contemporary audience. Even "Hugo" is a celebration of the silent screen. Some of this speculation occurred...

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The Kids' Will Be Just Fine And Other Divorce Myths

(99) Comments | Posted February 3, 2012 | 12:25 PM

What a start to 2012 -- it seems that celebrity divorces are occurring so frequently that we can hardly keep up. The provocative tabloid divorce headlines grab our attention on the internet, in the grocery check-out line, and even on the news. As these separations are played out on the...

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