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Melinda Blau
Melinda Blau is the author of 15 books, including Family Whispering. Like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @MelindaBlau and Instagram, and visit her website,

Entries by Melinda Blau

Mourning My Mother-in-Law

(6) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 1:18 PM

My 96-year-old mother-in-law, my children's "Grandma Dorothy" -- "GG" to her three grandsons, the oldest now 13 pictured above -- died on March 10, abruptly and peacefully. She was spared the indignities and discomfort that so often accompanies dying -- no tubes,...
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Dear Family Whisperer: What's a No-Longer-Needed Great-Grandma To Do?

(46) Comments | Posted December 19, 2015 | 5:47 PM

My husband and I kept our great-granddaughter 2 days a week for 3 years while her mom (our granddaughter) worked. We saw her mom maybe 5 or 6 times during that 3 years as her husband dropped the baby off and picked her up on his way home from work....

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Decluttering: The Delightful, Awful Pangs Of Human Molting

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 5:33 AM


Human molting begins in middle age -- when you've lived long enough to have more things than you really need. Birds molt annually, humans less frequently. Birds lose feathers. Humans get rid of what George Carlin famously labeled "stuff."

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Dear Family Whisperer: Take a Holiday and Let Your Kids Work

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 3:48 PM

We need a new national holiday: Give Your Kid a Real Job Day. I'm all for Bring Your Child to Work Day. It's vital to model persistence and creativity for our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. And increasing evidence suggests that
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Dear Family Whisperer: Grandma, Compromise Is Out of the Question!

(11) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 10:04 AM


"Speaking of class differences..." began the distraught 60-something woman whom I'll call Elizabeth (in honor of the Queen). As she put down her glass of wine, she launched into a several-minute tirade about her daughter-in-law's decision to pierce the baby's ears. In her...

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How to Affix a Decal (and Other Daily Lessons)

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 5:01 PM

2015-08-16-1439743596-8612693-licenseFullSizeRender.jpgWas life always filled with so many details, so much minutiae? I'm tempted to blame this on the Internet. But I know that we are simply in the middle of the forever march of technology that continually changes our lives and forces...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Facing the Death of a Pet... Together

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 1:34 PM

Dear Family Whisperer Barney, our chocolate Lab, is 12, arthritic, half-blind and deaf. He's still eating and enjoys short walks, but... I'm starting to worry. He brought my husband and I closer when we first got him. It was like he was...
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Dear Family Whisperer: What To Do About "Grandparent Detox" (or Summer Camp Re-Entry)

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 10:03 AM

Typically, the Family Whisperer waits to be asked. That's a cardinal rule for all relationships, especially adult child/parent duos! But I'm on vacation; I have beach brain. So I'm throwing caution to the wind and offering unsolicited advice to Rachel Toalson, author of a recent blog entitled, "

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Dear Family Whisperer: Why You Shouldn't Make Your Kid Clean His Room

(14) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 2:02 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,

My 11-year-old son drives me crazy because his room is always a mess. He leaves clothes in a heap on the floor, and then wears them, wrinkled. Every surface in the room (his desk, drawers the bed, his bean bag chair) is covered with papers, toys, school...

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Dear Family Whisperer: My Adult Children Still Fight!

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 1:52 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,

I have two daughters aged 29 and 22, both beautiful. My younger one has adjustment problems, is highly sensitive and cannot handle changes. Recently, my elder one got married and the younger one created lot of issues by expressing displeasure and discontent with the situation. There...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Motherhood Stinks!

(10) Comments | Posted May 10, 2015 | 2:38 PM

A baby-book author called me this week to ask if I'd collaborate on an article for Mother's Day, because, "we both revere motherhood."

I begged to differ. Modern motherhood takes a toll on women's well-being, strains parents' relationships, weakens families, and certainly doesn't do children any good. My heart goes...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Should This Friendship Be Saved?

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 5:29 PM

Dear Family Whisperer:

I'm a single mom of a teenager. A guy friend, who tends to be totally focused on his stuff when we chat, recently completely dropped the ball on a major loss that I experienced. By that, I mean he knew I was going to lose a...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Don't Get a Dog 'For' Your Child

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 7:09 PM

Dear Family Whisper,

We gave our son, Devon, an adorable long-haired dachshund puppy for his tenth birthday. He wanted a dog desperately and swore he'd take care of it. As it turns out, the job has fallen to me. I can't help wondering if I made a mistake. Both...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Fostering 'Family Grit' to Survive Adoption

(5) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 6:24 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,

Hi! My husband and I are planning to add to our family by means of adoption through our state children's division. We have an 8-year-old son who is very mature for his age, and also very sensitive to other's feelings. Since we are at the beginning...

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Dear Family Whisperer: 8 Game-Changing Strategies for Sister Who's 'Always Right'

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2015 | 6:48 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,

My older sister and I are four years apart. I was always closer to our brother (he's in the middle) than her, but now that we are both mothers, we have more in common. The problem is, she thinks she's always right about...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Is it OK to Leave One Child Behind?

(85) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 8:58 AM

Dear Family Whisperer,

We have two daughters, Serena, 7, and Fiona, 4, and have taken the older one twice for weekend getaways while we left the little one behind. But that was when Fiona was an infant or young toddler. This weekend, we want to take Serena to dinner...

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Dear Family Whisperer: 8 Ways to Make Valentine's Day Matter

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 12:02 PM

I don't need an email to imagine what happens in many families on Valentine's Day: The little ones bring home hand-made red-heart-themed gifts for their parents. Older kids make or buy Valentine cards. Mom and Dad "ooh" and "aah." Hugs and kisses all around. The cards are proudly displayed on...

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The Endless Bounty of Garbage Soup

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 8:40 AM

This is my partner's version of how I invite friends to dinner: "Come on over--I'm cleaning out my refrigerator. I need to use everything that's about to spoil."

The truth is, I hate to see food go to waste--I'm my mother's daughter. But I'd never serve almost-spoiled food. And...

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Dear Family Whisperer: 5 Steps Toward Combating Homophobia in Your OWN Family

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 4:38 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,

I have no children of my own, but I've always been close to my niece, who is now married and has a 5-year-old son, Nicholas. He asked me recently, "Do you have a husband?" I said, "No," but it bothered me later. I have a life partner...

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Dear Family Whisperer: Letting Him Do the Small Stuff HIS Way

(4) Comments | Posted August 15, 2014 | 5:14 PM

Dear Family Whisperer,
How do my husband and I work out our rules on the small stuff? For example, the bedtime routine -- bath 6:30, stories 7:00, bed 7:30 -- often turns into bed at 7:45 or even 8 because he doesn't stick to the timing and also does...

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