How MMORPGs Can Make Family Life Perfect Together

Have you ever heard of video games?

Or computer games?

Better yet, do your kids go bananas over playing games like Minecraft, Team Fortress 2, Starcraft, Warcraft and others?

Heh, if so….you'll love this post!

You see, it all started when HS1 and HS2 decided to play Minecraft.

Ummm, it's kinda sorta a game where you, um, mine stuff.  Yeah!  That's the ticket!

To quote Wiki:

…The game is focused on creativity and building, allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. The game has two variants – free Classic and paid Beta – where Classic is focused entirely on construction with unlimited material supply, whereas Beta requires players to acquire resources themselves, and contains mobs, player health, and additional features and items. The gameplay is heavily inspired by Infiniminer by Zachtronics Industries,[6] Dwarf Fortress by Bay 12 Games and Dungeon Keeper by Bullfrog Productions.[7][8] …MORE…

That by itself is boring…here's what utterly magnificent!

Yesterday, HS1 and HS2 had a disagreement which was resolved…but still took a toll on them.

And then HS1 had the brilliant idea of:

"Hey!  We can both play Minecraft together and work as a team and get rid of our icky feelings!"

Pardon me as I gently exclaim


Think about this for a moment, aye?

Two siblings consciously choose to work out their angst via a MMORPG.

Is that the most awesomely incredible thing you've heard today?

Here they are in all their Minecraft glory:


You can see HS1 suggesting to HS2 their next plan of action. 

I don't know about you, but I never ever *ever* thought of online video games as a way for siblings to work issues out…together.

The amount of character-building I've been experiencing now for the past few days – it will definitely last me years and years, but wow.

It's ever so much worth while!!

Thus, if you have more than one child at home, and if they have similar interests….see if they can become a team at an online game.

You might find it will be a sanity-saver when issues might arise.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about MMORPs, have you seen:

Deflating Children

Are your children overweight?

If so, just what are you doing about it?

Here's what I'm doing about it!

Luckily, my kids aren't vastly overweight, or even really overweight at all.  HS2, however, did inherit my metabolism…the one that causes me to easily gain unless I either exercise, eat healthy, or both.

Recently, I've noticed a definite pudginess around HS2's face.  Realizing this is the beginning of the road to Bad Decisions, I told him (and HD2 as well) the following.

"Kids, the plain fact is….along with my utter godlike brains and beauty, you also inherited my utterly lousy metabolism.  And the fact is….we're all starting to put on weight.

So!  It's time to revisit eating healthy and exercising once again!  But you do need to know – HD1 and HS1 take after Dad, so they don't have the same issues.  Thus, they might get more desserts than we do…these things happen."

And you know what they said when they learned their siblings wouldn't have to work as hard?

"That's fine Mom, we understand."


I think the fact I included meself in the buckling-down health-wise had a hugely positive impact as well.

Which brings me to the point of this post!

If your children are ballooning up, you owe it to them to rein them in and help them learn food self-control.

And if this means you yourself have to be deprived….that's fine!

It's what parents *do*.

I'm happy to announce the 3 of us are already seeing results!

Every day, we do Dance Dance Revolution for 45 minutes or so, and I either indoors bike or lift weights etc.  The kids really enjoy seeing their DDR ability improve; it's truly a tremendous thing to see how they all get along together.

Want some tips about helping your kid get fit?  Check out:

Remember, children have no incentive generally to eat well and stay strong, so it's up to you to make it so.

They'll thank you in the future.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about Dance Dance, have you seen:

1 Blindingly Simple Way Your Child Can Selfishly Waste The Future

I have to admit, I truly love my guardian angel sometimes….because the most brilliant lessons are gleaned from the utterly horrible experiences through which I go. 

With that as a spine-tinglingly enticing way to start today's post, let me explain.

As I had mentioned yesterday, I happily failed more spectacularly than the blazing sons of over-indulged Hollywood children….and I was earlobe deep into reinventing how I do business online.

This morning, I dashed myself awake at 4am (yay!  Getting back into effective working, woot!) and continued my overall planning and actions.  At 6am, it was time to rouse my clan of Magnificent Ling Kids, and start their day as well.

Well!  And what did I spy with my little eye?

Yes indeed, it was the laundry room existing in a state more disaster-prone than NJ baseball fields after Hurricane Irene.

ie, something like….this.

Imagine that in your laundry room….and you'll comprehend a wee bit of the emotions that flooded thru my very being.

But!  Instead of screaming my head off, which I never do…I instead spoke very quietly to my children about their lack of wisdom.

And afterwards, I idly commented to HS1,

You know, it would be soo much easier if I was the kind of parent who screamed my head off.

He responded,

Yep, it would be so much easier too if I was the kind of kid who screamed my head off in response, too!

I had to smile!

My husband came up shortly afterwards, and we all indulged in a rather awesome breakfast:

Husband breakfast!

I explained to my Better Half the discussion that had erupted earlier, and he….told…me…..


"The thing about getting and staying mad at yourself is that you're depriving yourself of the ability to move ahead

When you dwell, you root yourself in the past, but the thing is, you can never change that!  It's over, it's done, and all you can ask yourself is, "Sure it's a painful experience, but what have I learned?" 

He then returned to eating while our son and I looked at each other.

Now, true, his philosophy is very similar to mine (I always view making mistakes as our guardian angels' way of bashing us in the head and saying, "Yo!  Learn this lesson!") but I will confess…

I never really did consider the "rooted in the past" aspect.

Apply this now to your children, aye?

Have you ever seen them so focused on regret or anger or what have you….that they become immobilized and unable to move forward?

That's not good *at all!*

When we as parents allow our kids to imitate The Dreaded Sunken Mushroom Of Doom and Despair for more than a few minutes, we're witnessing them wasting their future.

True, every person should have the ability to mourn their loss…but…. (and stay with me here, this is critical), they also need to learn how to "let go."

In other words,

  • Do *your* kids know how to let go?
  • Do your kids witness you letting go?
  • Do your kids understand how the excessive beating of oneself up can really do massive damage to their future self-confidence?

If not, that's one lesson you truly *want* to embed into your kids so indelibly that when they dream about their failures, they dream of the future successes that will come from them.

Always model the way you want your children to grow!

It will greatly help their self-confidence indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about self-confidence, have you seen:

3 Ways To Hack Your Parenting Skills Into Sheer Awesomeness

Ah, parenting.

The delightful activity in which we all indulge!

Wouldn't it be great if you could just add water and happily drink up techniques that would propel your parenting experience into the stratosphere and beyond?

Wait no more!  Indulge in:

NoteTechnique #1.)  Listen *first* before erupting into a seething, boiling plasmatic fury.

Imagine the following.  You've just finished cooking the evening meal after boldly dealing with customers who were so idjut-like, they'd make Goofy a contender to beat Stephan Hawkins in chess.

And right before you serve the meal, your charming child saunters in and says:

"Mom, can you come by the bathroom?  I saw the faucet was leaking so I took it apart with your styling iron and but it doesn't go back together."

Now, most mere mortals would look incredulously at said child before imploding into a brilliant sunburst more radiant than teenagers receiving 35 hours of math homework.


But not you!

No, instead, *you* first choose to *listen* to understand just why your child hates you so much they try to turn your hair grey in less than 3 seconds.

Then you shun that idea and realize that hey!  The impulse that drove your child was one of "helpfulness."

Not anything negative was intended.

It might have resulted in dire agonizing angsting for you, mind you, but (and stay with me here, the following is key) that was *not* the intention.

With kids, sometimes it pays far more to focus on the intentions instead of the results.

Thus, awesome parenting technique #1 is to listen before screaming your head off.  Your blood pressure will thank you for it.

Next, we have:

NOTE!Technique #2.)  Apologize when you're (gasp!) wrong.

I know, I know.

Accepting the notion that parents can be mistaken can be, well, daunting.

But amazingly enough, just like moons can become a beautiful shade of blue when viewed with cyan-tinted glasses, it does happen.

You goof.

You're wrong.

And your child calls you on it.

Now, I know of many parents who find admitting they are wrong is more distressing than consuming metric 16 tons of nuclear cactus spikes without possessing anything to wash it down.

And that's just, alas, plain silly.

See, our kids learn how to parent by experiencing our own parenting methods.

And if they see us refusing to admit when we're wrong, they'll think, "Ah HAH!  When *I'm* a parent, I'll be infallible too! Muah hahah!"

I firmly believe that children deserve the honor of "truth".

It takes nothing away from you as a parent to admit when hell has frozen over, and you're (gasp!) wrong.

I remember when HS1 called me on a mistake of mine; he tensed himself up for a huge confrontation with me that I utterly destroyed by agreeing with his assessment…and then apologizing.

Talk about sails being deflated!

But our mutual respect grew.

Which brings me to my last awesome idea:

NOTE!Technique #3.)  Respect your kids as you want them to respect you.

Now, don't get me wrong.

I do *not* believe you need to earn your child's respect. 

You're the parent, you deserve respect, period, end of story, do not pass "Go", do not collect $200!


When you *do* offer your child respect, you are modeling the very behavior you desire to see.

What do I mean by "respect"?


It involves:

  • Listening to your child before jumping to conclusions (even if at first glance, the situation at hand is more unbelievable than politicians who actually keep promises)
  • Empathizing with how your kid feels (even if you deem it more ridiculous than 3 mooses trying to form a 74 foot tall cheerleading pyramid ).
  • Being there when needed (even if you're in the middle of putting out 34 natural disasters that threaten to devour your business)

Parenting is truly a hero's journey for us as parents, but never do forget….

Growing up is a hero's journey too.

Make it a worthy experience today.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about hacking, have you seen:

The Brilliantly Secret Use For IKEA You NEVER Even Considered

I know, I know….

Summer time is almost over, and your kids are clamoring for one last exciting adventure!

Well, if you're in MamaBear's family, you do the non-obvious, of course.

Which in our case means….taking the kids to IKEA!

Yes, IKEA.  The furniture store.

Confused?  So was I, until I realized just how much the kids enjoyed it!

Here's how it started.

About 4 years ago or so, the husband and I packed the kids in the moose-mobile to visit IKEA.  Our IKEA, mind you, is situated right next to the airport, so you can see the jets zoom in and out all day (makes for exciting conversation during the world-famous IKEA lunch!).

At that time, our resident space alien, HD2, picked up a stuffed hippo at the beginning of the IKEA marketing walk (What's the "IKEA marketing walk", I hear you ask?  It's the way the entire store is laid out so you *have* to pass by tons of iirresistible impulse buys – you can learn more at Opinions vary on IKEA store 'maze' layout).  Of course, HS1 and HS2 followed suit!  When I asked them, what were they doing, HD2 said, "This is a temporary hippo who we're showing the store to".

And the official Mama Bear Ling IKEA outing was born.  :)

The kids happily walked thru the entire IKEA maze and started making up stories about the various rooms/products/etc.  They were very respectful to displays, they didn't speak loudly or annoy other shoppers, but wow….they had a tremendous ball and were ready to fall asleep once we were finally done.

We've taken the kids to IKEA ever since!

Here's some pix:

Camping in the wilderness:

Camping in the wilderness

Star-gazing (kinda sorta) in the wilderness:

Stargazing in the Wilderness

As you can tell, a grand time was had by all.  And yes indeed, we also bought some necessities for home too!

Thus, should you ever need an exciting outing for your children that sparks their imagination…take them to IKEA.

Guaranteed, they'll never look at retail store the same way again.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about IKEA, have you seen:

RANT – The #1 Stupidest Parenting Fail… Are YOU Guilty of This?

Sometimes…I confess.

MamaBear just utterly despises namby-pamby, wimpy pathetic parents who lack the brass-plated balls to inspire their kids….in the *right* way.

Let me explain.  I now decree the following.

Children can scientifically be divided into 3 easy-to-generalize categories.

Leaders, Followers and Independents.

  • Leaders are those kids around whom their peers gather.  They say "jump", the other kids say, "How high?  And while I'm in the air, might I massage your feet at the same time, pretty please?"

Yep, I'm sayin'.

  • Followers are those sad pathetic excuses for carbon-based life-forms who waste oxygen and who blindly follow others without thinking.  They live to be told what to do, when to do it, and how to then worship the leaders at the completion of it.


  • Independents are kids who think for themselves and both refuse to be led by the leaders or craven lemmingize with the followers.  Their attitude is to live life as they see fit; whomever likes them is welcome to be friends, and whomever doesn't….hell, it's their loss indeed.

In my family, HD1 and HD2 and HS1 and HS2 are all independents.

True, there was a time when HD2 showed a tendency to be a follower; luckily I recognized that when she was in 2nd grade and crushed that tendency dramatically (it was easily done, actually; I merely spent a huge amount of time figuratively beating into her her own personal greatness and magnificence, and how if someone doesn't like her, that someone is a damned fool idjut.  It worked beautifully; HD2, as you already know from reading my blog, is my bonafide space alien who lives life to the fullest and makes no apologies for herself).

But I digress.  :)

With the above as an introduction, let me now regale you with the #1 stupidest parenting fail.

And it's this.

Parents who dismally *fail* to lead by example.

  • It's truly nauseating. 

Contrary to what some parenting gurus would like you to believe, kids are *not* born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

Kids are *not* born knowing how to think about others if that means they themselves might get hurt in the process.

Kids are *not* born understanding empathy!

Kids need to be taught.

They need to be led by example.

And who's the biggest example in their lives?

You are.

The all-powerful parent.

Tell me now, and tell me seriously.

How are you leading your child by example?

If you see an injustice happening while walking with your child outside, do you….act?

  • Or do you ignore it, tell your kid, that's not *my* problem, and walk away?

If you see a friend treating another like moose feces, do you get up in that friends' face and say, "HEY!  That's just *not* right!"

  • Or do you shrug your shoulders and say, well, they're adults, what can I do?


The very worst thing you as a parent can do is fail to guide your child, lead by example, and walk the walk you talk.

After all, they're the ones who make up our next generation…and they're also the ones who will take care of *you* when you become 'way elderly in the future!

You see….

You *always* want to ensure your kids not only know right from wrong, but also have the backbone to take a stand and make a difference.

It only takes one small example to inspire others.

Our society recently saw this in action!  To wit:

Jennifer McKendrick, Pennsylvania Photographer, Refuses To Photograph Teen Bullies

…A Pennsylvania photographer has chosen not to photograph a group of high school girls for their senior portraits after she found evidence of the teens bullying other students on Facebook.

Jennifer McKendrick, from Indiana County, Pa., wrote on her own Facebook page earlier this week that she came across another Facebook page with nasty comments from four high school girls whose names matched her scheduled clients.

She emailed the girls and their parents to cancel their senior photo shoots, while including screenshots of their comments to explain why she was calling off the session.

McKendrick wrote more about her decision on her personal blog in a post titled "I Won't Photograph Ugly People." …MORE…

Think about this for a moment, okay?

This photographer saw a group of high school seniors bullying another on Facebook…and refused to have them as a client.

She blogged about it over at "I won't photograph ugly people".

Now *that*… admirable….beyond mortal comprehension.

There's been lots of talk about her already:

I especially like the comment at

to wit:

…Especially on the topic of bullying. We all love to wring our hands about mean behavior in kids, but few of us really do anything about it. And the fact is that grownups too often are setting the standard for dissing other people. That includes, for example, parents gossiping about neighbors in front of their kids. It also includes politicians. Our state legislators were extremely quick to pass the nation's sternest anti-bullying law for schools. But just listen to the language they use when talking to and about each other. It's easier to prescribe for others than to take responsibility for our own actions….MORE…

See that quote?

We all love to wring our hands about mean behavior in kids, but few of us really do anything about it.

So now…

You.  Tell.  Me.

Are *you* leading your child by example?

And if not….why the *hell* are you a parent in the first place?

It's something to think about…indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about bullying, have you seen:

Steal This Trick – The #1 Secret Of Successful Parents Part 1, Attitude


Why good morning to you, gentle reader, and how was your weekend?

Mine was an exhausting roller-coaster of goodness, tears, relaxation and more.

The sad, teary part was attending the memorial service for our Sensei's son, Lincoln High, down in MD.  I wrote about that over at In Memory of Lincoln High (8/24/93 – 8/13/11) – at only 17, he died in a freak tragic accident.  The memorial service was very tough for me; it reminded me how you just never know when your time is up on this planet. 

The goodness part was realizing that yes, I *could* do something for the family…and started creating a Memorial Site for him online.  Others might have thought, it's not your place to do this, MamaBear….but hey.  I figured the chances were, it would be received in the spirit I was giving it… and I'm so glad I did take that chance.

And the relaxing part was simply giving myself permission to shut down on Sunday late afternoon…. and watch TV, rest, hang out with the kids/husband etc.  I have to admit, I love simply doing nothing sometimes.  :)

Which brings me to today!  It's a brand new week and it's time for me to amaze and astound you.

Here goes!

Ever wish you were privy to the very best secrets of successful parenting?

Well, on MamaBear, you certainly have bunches of them at your fingertips!

But let me zero in on the very best, #1 secret of successful parenting.

And it's this.

Focus on both *you* and your *child's* attitude, respect, imagination, and self-esteem.

In other words, ARISE! 

It's the basic fundamental core parenting philosophy of the Mama Bear Mother.

You see, so many parenting ideas focus on how the parent should guide and raise their children….but kinda sorta drop the ball when it comes to the parent listening to the child as well.

Successful parenting, like with any relationship on this planet, goes both ways.

Certainly, your child must respect you, and also certainly, it's not a question of, you have to *earn* that respect.

You're the parent, bam, you deserve respect.

But at the same time…*your* attitude…should *compel* respect too.

In other words, when your child disagrees with you, you should encourage an open dialogue.  Actively *listen* to your kids' feelings; they need to be validated that it's okay to have a differing viewpoint.  You don't have to change your final answer, of course, but a great attitude will foster profound communications between you and your children.

  • That makes life far, far more tolerable.

You see, we have *all* failed mind-reading 101.  It's very easy to *imagine* what your children are thinking and for them to make assumptions on what drives your parenting actions….but when you both actively *talk* with one another……

It results in *understanding*.

Communication rocks!

Remember, it's *not* just your child's attitude towards you that makes parenting an adventure, it's also the attitude you project to your children that fosters an environment of growth.

Successful parents know…it goes both ways.

And that, of course, is a Very Good Thing indeed.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about Attitude, have you seen:


Get Your Kids Their Domain Name Online…NOW!

Brief, pithy and to the point post today!

Tell me.

Do you have children?

Well, okay, that's probably like asking….

Tell me.

Do you breathe every now and then?

Yep.  What MamaBear said.

But I digress.  :)

If so….

Tell me.

Have you secured your children's online domain name yet?

If not, might I kindly ask…

  • What the *hell* are you waiting for?

With today's job market especially….people are simply branding themselves online.

Consider the following.  Let's say that 5 years from now, your child is applying to colleges. 

How utterly fantastic would it look to say, Hey!  Check out the past 5 years of what I've done in High School and more!

An online domain lets you do that.

  • Honestly…it just makes incredible sense.

Your kid can highlight his or her:

  • Extracurricular activites
  • Awards won
  • Jobs held
  • Special essays
  • more!

And when the time *does* come to apply for colleges or jobs in the real world…BAM!

They'll have concrete *proof* of their pro-activeness.

  • You just cannot beat that!

I've written a free report about kids building their sites online over at

Kids Build Sites Online Free

You can receive a free copy as a thank you from me for signing up.

I walk the walk I talk meself, you know…

  • I've bought domains for all of my kids.
  • I've bought domains for all of my close friends.
  • Heck, I've bought domains for the friends of my friends who would truly prosper from them…but don't yet know the benefits *of* them.

It's one of the smartest things you can do.  Period.

Thus….click on the newsletter above and learn how to reserve your child's domain name yesterday.

They'll thank you for it.  Truly.

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

The BEST Kind of MamaBear Birthdays!

Sometimes I love birthdays, aye?

This past weesaw the birdieDay of HS1 and meself!

And it was truly grand: the highlights included:

Sir HS1!

Sir HS1!

A vest HD2 embroidered for me that says…Mom 2011 <3


Half a Black Belt Shark Tooth! (we had had torrential rains, and I figured it would be great fun to splash the kids all over the place)

Shark Tooth!

But you know what the best part of me birdieDay was?

The fact that everything (as in, *everything*!) was from the *heart*.


The husband cooked me my favorite meal (lobbysters!), and each kid made something for my gift.

It was really great!

Which brings me to the point of this post.

Prior to my BirdieDay, my kids asked me,

"Mom, what would you like?"

And I was able to communicate that anything, from the heart, would be *perfect*.

  • No missed expectations
  • No "But Mom, I had no idea!"


It rocks!  :)

After the lobbyster, I told my kids I'd be going on shut-down, and spent the rest of the afternoon reading, relaxing and all around having a most spiffy day indeed.

So if you're going to have a birdieDay sometime in the future, and you want to ensure it goes as smooth as it possibly can…..

Be proactive and *tell* your children what you expect.

It will help make the day grand!

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about Medieval Times, have you seen:

PROVE To Your Kids They Can’t Always Trust What They Hear

Do your kids believe everything they hear?

If so….


Watch this!!

Then watch this!!

Is that utterly awesome beyond belief??

My husband and I had a date night a few days ago, and we watched:

It's amazing!  The instant after watching it, I notified one of my best friends about it, made plans to tell my kids (who were on sleepovers or otherwise busy making my birthday gift (HD2 was barricaded in her room and told me that's what she was doing, so I let her be)), and promised myself I'd blog about it.

The husband and I had a wonderful chat regarding it and how utterly scary some of the parts are (they include a hires EM wand that compels people to actually *think* differently when their morality cores are invoked). 

Take a look here:

But I digress.  :)

The point is, let your kids watch at the very least, the first two clips – guaranteed, not only will it blow their minds, but perhaps you can use that as a starting point for the following discussion.

"School is going to start soon, and you'll be thrown in with all of your peers once more.  Always remember that what you hear from them….might *not* be the whole truth.  Always take the time to really *listen* to what's being said; often there's far more going on than ever gets voiced."

Parent powerfully,

— MamaBear

ps – speaking about listening, have you seen: