Inside The Box

Conclusion of The Mystery Box The box had occupied space in our garage for as long as I could remember, and even though it was off-limits I’d allowed Ricky Delgado, my best friend, to talk me into opening it. My heart sank when I didn’t see a Japanese flag or a chunk of scorched scrap from a kamikaze. Only boring papers and old photographs, just what Dad had said was inside. Black and white snapshots of a remarkably young Dad in ...

Inspiration: A Taste For Balance…

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” ― Rumi Flavor: (1)Distinctive taste; savor (2) A distinctive yet intangible quality felt to be characteristic of a given thing: “What matters in literature . . . is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or color of a particular human ...

Inspiration: Memories of Guantanamera…

“We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” Cesare Pavese Inspiration: Memories of Guantanamera... imagine the music and dad here... Inspiration: Memories of Guantanamera... and of Cuban cigar days past... sitting in the sun Guantanamera – The Sandpipers I was in my living room reading when the song wafted onto the air from the radio… I stopped, looked up, and was immediately transported to a time back in my childhood days, many moons ago, ...

Redemption: The Three Little Pigs – A Retelling…

“Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” John Donne Redemption: The Three Little Pigs - A Retelling... When I saw the Daily Post prompt on retelling or changing a popular story, I chuckled. I wrote a modified version of a childhood story that I’ve always enjoyed. The Story of The Three Little Pigs has always made me smile. The idea of three pigs battling the big bad, conniving wolf and winning is fairly typical of many childhood ...

Fun Flower Facts: Wisteria

Wisteria (sometimes spelled Wistaria or Wysteria) is a genus of deciduous climbers native to Eastern United States, China, Korea and Japan. It is a member of the pea family. Wisteria can climb to a height of 20 m (65 ft) above ground and spread up to 10 m (32 ft) across. Along with its climbing abilities, wisteria is valued for its beautiful clusters of flowers that come in purple, pink and white, with some of the species being fragrant. The flowering ...

Flying Without A Net

Last night I did something in bed I haven’t done in years. I was contentedly lying there, dreaming I was King of Bloggers and had finally figured out the difference between further and farther, and a while and awhile, when it happened. Mrs. Chatterbox was on the far side of our king-size bed and in no position to monitor what was going on. That’s when it happened. I felt ashamed when it was over. I mean, I’m not a kid ...

One Million Flowers at Dior’s Haute Couture Fashion Show 2012

One million flowers.  One fashion runway. One unforgettable fashion show! Walls from floor to ceiling were covered with gorgeous fresh flowers, from roses to carnations to create a showstopping floral set. Each and every flower was cut and arranged by a hand. The beautiful, breathtaking set was created in Paris for Raf Simons‘ Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2012 fashion show. Here is a behind the scenes look at the making of the set. Can you believe all that hard work was for a 20-minute show? You ...

Musings: 20 Simple Pleasures For A Fun Summer…

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” John Lubbock Musings: 20 Simple Pleasures For A Fun Summer… skinny dipping Musings: 20 Simple Pleasures For A Fun Summer… stargazing Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date ...

My Favorite Part of Being a Dad

The kiddos and me on a fall hayride One of my favorite things about being a dad is experiencing the myriad of “first” with our kids. Whether it’s the first laugh, word, step, Christmas or first day of school – they are all precious moments that truly add meaning to life. Here’s the lasted in a constant string of “firsts” from our four-month old son  T.J.   Question: What’s a favorite first your family has celebrated?

The Intersection of Indifference and Forgiveness

I recently saw the Oscar-award winning movie “The Fighter” which starred Mark Wahlberg as boxer Mickey Ward and Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund, Ward’s brother who was a former boxing phenom turned washed-up-crack addict. It was a great, inspiring adaptation regarding Ward’s true life story, his relationship with his brother, their dysfunctional family and redemption. However, Bale’s haunting portrayal of an addict and the subsequent denial of all wrongdoing reminded me of an individual in my life who had similar problems.  There was a timewhen this individual and ...

My Manuscript Is In Shambles

You know how, when you’re doing a major housecleaning, there comes a moment when you look around and see everything in shambles? You think your place will never be nice again. But you keep at it, and the next time you look around (it seems), everything is gorgeous. Well, that’s where I’m at with my novel, Great Wharf. The reason it’s in shambles is that I hired a former Random House editor to take a look and give me some feedback. ...

Two Writing Associations and a Cool Video

Splitting my time between Maine and Florida, I maintain a membership in both theMaine Writers & Publishers Alliance (MWPA) and the Florida Writers Association (FWA). MWPA was founded in 1975. It is, according to its website, “a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization that works to enrich the literary life and culture of Maine. We are the only statewide organization solely devoted to supporting and promoting Maine’s writers, publishers, booksellers, and literary professionals.” A visit to FWA’s website reveals a different type of organization. Its initial ...

7 Questions With an Author: JoHannah Reardon

Author and Editor, JoHannah Reardon This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is JoHannah Reardon and her latest book is titled Proverbs for Kids. JoHannah Reardon is the managing editor of, a division of Christianity Today. She blogs about life and faith at  Here are 7 Questions With an Author: JoHannah Reardon: 1. Tell us about your book? It’s ...

7 Questions With an Author: Greg Wientjes, Ph.D.

This is my weekly series titled 7 Questions With an Author... where I pose seven questions to an author and then share their unedited answers here. Today's author is a Standford University Ph.D. holder, Greg Wientjes. Greg currently conducts research in the area of collaborative teaching and learning in online digital environments. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Greg is also the cofounder and CEO of University Post, Inc., an Internet content ...

Lax Lent Fasting Options

A Lax Lenten Option - fast from the Kardashians including step-dad Bruce Jenner The Lent season is upon us and for Catholics, Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Christians it’s a time of reflection, abstinence and fasting. According to the Bible, fasting is the conscious denial of physical needs such as hunger and thirst to sharpen spiritual focus, bring deliverance and foster fellowship with God. There’s fasting from meats and dainty delicacies; fasting for a predetermined time period ranging from a single meal up ...

Book Trailer – Demon Fish

I’m a scuba diver, now and then. Each time it takes a few days to get comfortable again with the equipment and equilibrium, but the underwater world never fails to refresh and astound. Every now and then I get to see a shark. I’ve swum with the generally harmless white-tipped reef sharks and the known-to-be-unpredictable hammerheads and never had a real scare with one. Unlike my husband, though, I don’t “seek out” the sharks; when I do see them, it’s ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort
November 9, 2012, 9:00 am

What Kind of Kids Are You Raising?

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of an online writing a of mine, Joanna Hyatt.

Based out of Los Angeles, Joanna speaks and writes on dating, relationships and sex. She blogs at and tweets @JoannaHyatt.

If you’d like to submit a guest post yourself, here are the guidelines.

I’m part of the Millenial Generation. We’re half kids, half adults.

Allowed to ‘explore’ and ‘find ourselves’ for as long as it takes, we avoid relational commitment, financial responsibility and change jobs at dizzying rates.

As I look around at my peers, and the kids coming up behind us, I have to wonder:

Are we raising children or are we raising adults?

It’s a subtle difference, but I’ve seen that those who are raising children tend to focus primarily on success in the now and the immediate future.

Encouraging our kids to get good grades or to excel in athletics or music is good. But what of their character, of their ability to learn from failure and setbacks, or the habit of practicing self-control and sacrifice?

On the other hand, raising adults means raising our children with a bigger picture in mind, where today is just a thread in the larger fabric of their life. It means being intentional about raising individuals who can adapt, adjust and be self-sustaining adults in an unpredictable world.

Taking a page from the example set by my amazing parents, here are three ideas for raising adults:

1. Encourage them to take risks

The more risks your child takes, the more chances they will have to fail. Yes, I want your kids to fail now and again. Failure is a powerful teacher. Your child will learn that no matter what they face, they can find a way to move forward, to pick themselves back up, and take another risk.

They may surprise you in how they handle failure, like Tor’s daughter did here. They’ll learn humility, confidence, and character and won’t be afraid to try new things, from sports and student government, to moving to a new city and searching for a job.

2. Focus on the Bigger Picture

What I often find in speaking to parents today is that they are letting society write the script for their child’s life, rather than using their influence as mom or dad to paint a picture of what their child’s life could and should be.

Don’t be afraid to expect much!

Great expectations can be powerfully transformative and give your children a dream to aim for and the hope for a future better than what this world offers.

If you could choose the BEST future for your son or daughter:

  • Would your child practice sexual integrity and save sex until marriage?
  • Would they be financially independent?
  • Would they develop the talents God has given them, growing into the man or woman they were created to be?
  • Would they be emotionally secure and healthy?
  • Would they know how to care for themselves physically: diet, exercise?
  • Would it mean living a life grounded in and oriented towards the Almighty?

Speak that over them, pepper your conversations regularly with these images, and teach them how to get there.

As parents, it is both our privilege and our responsibility to help our children understand that the decisions they make today are playing into a larger story; a story that is epic, transformative and that can only be lived once.

3. Set and Celebrate Milestones

My dad has always made a point to celebrate major moments in my life, whether it was birthdays, graduations or moving out.

He taught me to celebrate change, to gracefully let go of one season while welcoming the next (I’m still working on that), and to look forward to the future without missing the present.

Today’s youth and young adults are growing up in a society where the milestones and markers have been blurred. We struggle to know what to aim for, what signifies our emergence into adulthood, and how to know when we’ve arrived.

As their parent, you have the unique opportunity to set those milestones and celebrate them when they’re reached. Some examples include:

  • Major birthdays like 13, 16, 18 and 21,
  • Learning to drive,
  • First job (or any job in this economy),
  • Moving out and paying their own rent and bills,
  • Getting involved in community groups or a church,
  • Dating, Marriage and Children (I’d recommend them in that order).

Whatever the age of your children, whether 4 or 24, it’s never too late to raise them to be adults, to celebrate the milestones in their life, and to teach them the unique role they play in the epic adventure that is humanity.

What are some ways you are intentional about raising your children to become adults?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons – demandaj

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

Leave a Reply





You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>