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The fourth book in my series, Lather, Rage, Repeat is the biggest yet, and includes dozens of my very best columns from the past six years, including fan favorites “Bass Players”, “Sex Robots”, “Lawnmower Parents”, “Cuddle Parties” and many more. It makes a killer holiday gift for anyone who loves to laugh and has been feeling cranky since about November, 2016.

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Also available at Chaucer’s Books in Santa Barbara, and of course

Parenting Columns

Charting the puzzles and peeves of kid-herding — from Huggies to homework, Pilates to pinatas.


  • The Bullet-Proof Backpack
    September 3, 2019
    It’s the Tactical Assault Accessory All the Cool Kids Are Wearing Aaaaand that was “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the…
  • Escape-Room Escapades
    June 12, 2019
    Parents Prove Useless in Puzzling Through Adventure Game [caption id="attachment_1177" align="aligncenter" width="1416"] Starshine and family, saving the world one Dark…
  • Uber for Junior?
    April 30, 2019
    Ride-Hailing Companies Recognize Parents’ Need for Kid-Hauling Help Here’s a little secret no one tells you about raising children but…
  • ‘My Parents Are Stupid’
    April 1, 2019
    When Kids Refuse to Be Properly Indoctrinated If I had any doubts that Gen Y and Gen Z possess the…
  • How Not to Raise a Sexual Assaulter
    January 13, 2019
    You Never Really Know If You’re Raising Good Kids ... Until You’re Long Done The political pandemonium of the past two…


  • Secrets of a Very Catholic Daughter
    June 2, 2018
    ‘Hiding Out’ Author Talks Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives I thought my dad saddled me with some psychological baggage. He used to…
  • Raising a First-Person Shooter
    April 7, 2018
    ‘Fortnite’ Video Game Blowing Holes in My Anti-Gun Policy The hypocrisy of my life is corroding my insides, and confession is…
  • Theater Kids Save the World
    April 7, 2018
    Drama Class Prepares Students to Lead a Revolution Everyone who’s been to high school knows it: Jocks top the student hierarchy.…
  • Rooting Against Your Kids
    March 10, 2018
    Yes, Sometimes We Do Want Them to Fail There’s tough-love parenting, and then there’s just “tough luck, kid!” Wisconsin GOPSenate candidate Kevin…


  • High Sobriety
    October 22, 2017
    Memories of a Drunk Dad, Gone Dry When I was a little girl, my dad was more fun than anyone I knew.…
  • Exes Co-Parenting in Peace?
    October 22, 2017
    Starshine Surveys the Pros and Cons of Sharing Kids I like to think of myself as fairly magnanimous. Generous of spirit.…
  • What Makes Dads So … Non-Mom?
    June 23, 2017
    A group of young dudes in Spokane, Washington, recently put an ad on Craigslist for a “BBQ Dad” who’d be…
  • 13 Reasons Why Parenting Is Frightening
    June 4, 2017
    With Wisdom Comes Age ... And Fear Last month saw the launch of two unrelated cultural phenomena that enchanted teens…
  • TTYL, College Kid o’ Mine
    June 3, 2017
    The Joys of Keeping in Touch, via Text, With Your Out-of-State Son Right now, high school seniors throughout the country…
  • Parenting Under a Toddler-in-Chief
    February 12, 2017
    When you’re a kid, they tell you the greatest thing about this country is that absolutely anyone can grow up…





  • Best Part of Parenting: The Music
    November 7, 2013
    When my kids queue up my jams - The Pixies or Sam Cooke or Blondie, say - all is right…
  • Trashing Junior High
    August 29, 2013
    Young adult author Teddy Steinkellner joins me this week in bashing the miseries of middle school—an experience he calls 'a…
  • Manhattan Made
    April 11, 2013
    Where do you vacation when you live in paradise? To the urban jungle so your 7-year-old can learn to hail…
  • Benefits of the Boob Tube
    March 14, 2013
    We lazy parents are vindicated: Turns out kids can learn life-saving skills from staring slack-jawed at TV.
  • No Children, No Comment
    February 28, 2013
    Is 'I don't like children' a reasonable thing to say?
  • Paranoid or Preventative?
    February 14, 2013
    The Lockdown Lowdown: Our kids are practicing cowering in corners. And I don't like it.
  • No to Botox
    January 17, 2013
    I need my furrowed brow ... so I can strike terror into my children.
  • Tracking Your Teen
    January 3, 2013
    Our parents never knew where we were. But parents today can monitor our kids' locations, connections -- even their speed.…


  • Parental Kissing: Ewww
    November 22, 2012
    Must we hear 'yuck' and 'nasty' when we plant one on our partners?
  • May I Have This Dance?
    October 11, 2012
    Teens making over-the-top overtures to invite dates to homecoming.
  • Kid Herding
    September 13, 2012
    What every parent should know about pedicures, pizza and peeing in bushes.
  • Family Car Decals
    August 16, 2012
    Why tally your clan in stick-figures on the back of your Yukon?
  • Dog Hair: The New Superfood
    July 19, 2012
    Thank dog. Turns out great hygiene does not a good mother make.
  • Cool or Not Cool?
    June 21, 2012
    Sometimes my kids ask me questions that rattle my mind like a cold, brass church bell, like when my teenager…
  • Fatherly Lessons
    May 28, 2012
    Cannibals, Harleys, and Other Things My Daddy Taught Me
  • One Tyke, One Teen
    May 10, 2012
    The ups and downs of having seven years between sibs.
  • Indecent Exposure
    April 26, 2012
    Today's teens are born to porn. Need we worry?
  • Your Child, Your Mouthpiece
    January 5, 2012
    Don't turn your kid into your personal picket sign. It's creepy.



  • Fame and (Mis)Fortune
    November 25, 2010
    Are All Child Stars Doomed?
  • Happy Meals lose weight
    November 11, 2010
    I've been waiting decades for someone to make my parenting job easier. And you've just done that.
  • Scouting for Some Sense
    October 28, 2010
    Starshine talks to a gay dad who was booted from his son's Boy Scouts troop. So much for 'loyal, friendly,…
  • Insanity by Baby Book
    September 30, 2010
    The sole purpose of baby books is to make moms more deranged than we already are. There, I said it.
  • Take My Kids … Please
    September 16, 2010
    Have you named a guardian for your kids? YOU HAVEN'T?! Yeah, me, neither.
  • Life is Laundry
    September 2, 2010
    Does your kid know how to clean a toilet? Hang a picture?
  • Our Kids are Snitches
    August 19, 2010
    AACK! Why teach our children to be honest if they'll just turn it against us?!
  • Family Travels
    August 5, 2010
    You've got a lot of nerve calling this a vacation. Where's my flip-flopping cabana boy?!
  • Why Have Kids? No, Really.
    July 8, 2010
    Starshine contemplates the joy — and the horror — of having offspring.
  • I Ain’t No Supermodel
    June 24, 2010
    Sloth, baked goods, monkey sex and other reasons I shouldn't be a role model to children.
  • Forced Friends
    June 10, 2010
    What if you don't WANT to be friends with your kids' friends' parents? Do you HAVE to? REALLY??
  • Little League Lunatics
    May 27, 2010
    Parents going gonzo on the sidelines?
  • Tweens ‘Dating’ Tweens
    May 13, 2010
    Sixth-graders? 'Going out'?!!
  • Enough for Two
    April 29, 2010
    Only child ponders the Math of Love: How do you divide affection between 2 kids?!
  • Home School
    April 15, 2010
    Teaching college students has made me a meaner instructor -- but a better parent.
  • Sex Talk
    April 8, 2010
    Where's the stinkin' stork when you need him?
  • Fall From Cool
    February 25, 2010
    Starshine is suddenly humiliating to her children. And doesn't much care.
  • Trickle-Down Trepidation
    February 18, 2010
    How I officially freaked out my kids. Sigh. Again.
  • View from the Control Tower
    February 11, 2010
    Control freak? Yeah, maybe. But isn't that my job?
  • The Getting from Giving
    January 7, 2010
    Slop-slinging can be glee-inducing.


  • Parents’ wise words seldom build vocabularies
    December 31, 2009
    'Don't let the dog lick your privates' and other things no one should have to say.
  • Scarred by Santa?
    December 10, 2009
    Will decades of December deceit land our kids in therapy?
  • Parenting by Committee
    November 26, 2009
    How Facebookers helped me survive the Tween TV Tantrum Trauma!
  • Baby Einstein Refunds
    November 12, 2009
    Did 'Baby Mozart' fail to make your child a genius? Join the 'I couldn't care less' club.
  • The Playdate Secret
    October 29, 2009
    The crazy thing about having other children over to your house is, it's actually easier than not having them.
  • Infernal Artwork
    October 15, 2009
    The saddest eight words in the English language are 'Mommy, why is my drawing in the trash?'
  • Gloss of Innocence
    October 1, 2009
    How do moms decide when it's okay for their tween girls to wear makeup?
  • Begging for Tuition
    September 17, 2009
    Single mom Shelle Curley has taken to begging for cash at a freeway off-ramp to raise tuition money for her…
  • The All-Nugget Diet
    September 3, 2009
    The experts say I'm doing it all wrong. And by the way you bellow 'that's YUCK!' at the sight of…
  • Little Drummer Boy
    August 20, 2009
    My son is a drummer. An enthusiastic one. With beefy forearms and a double bass pedal. The kid, I'm just…
  • Whose Getaway Is It?
    August 6, 2009
    Who Needs a Break More, Starshine or Her Kids?
  • Rated PG for Parental Gaffe
    July 23, 2009
    I realize memory fizzles as you age, but I don't recall my favorite flicks containing so much sex, violence, drugs,…
  • Kids and Marijuana
    July 16, 2009
    Keep Your Offspring from Smoking by Being a Pothead Yourself
  • The Nip/Tuck Talk
    July 9, 2009
    What Parents Tell Their Kids About Plastic Surgery
  • Off-Leash Kids
    June 25, 2009
    Have Americans become unnecessarily fearful for our children's safety?
  • Fathering Females
    June 18, 2009
    For Father's Day, Starshine gives the dads-of-daughters a good grilling.
  • End-of-the-Year-Gifts for Teachers
    May 28, 2009
    No coffee mugs. No cheap candy. Starshine asks teachers what they really want for end-of-the-year gifts.
  • Motherhood
    May 21, 2009
    Starshine chats with the stars of a startlingly honest new film about mom-bonding.
  • Pool Spawn
    May 14, 2009
    Loathing floaties: Swim lessons make Starshine want to beat someone with a pool noodle.
  • My Son’s Peaceful Defiance
    April 30, 2009
    Fed up with life's bossy mandates, Starshine finds freedom in a toddler's two-word cue: 'I won't.'
  • Sin City
    April 16, 2009
    Of schlepping the kids to smut-soaked Sin City, Starshine has this to say: OOPS.
  • Bag o’ Tricks
    April 2, 2009
    In the event of a nuclear disaster, you'd better hope you're sitting next to Starshine.
  • The Sob Squawk Screech of Siblings
    March 19, 2009
    Who's got it better, only children or siblings? As an only herself, Starshine has no clue how to parent the…
  • Rent’s Price of Admission
    March 5, 2009
    Rebellion for 'Rent': Should high-schoolers play smack-addicted, cross-dressing pole dancers?
  • The Post-Baby Bop
    February 19, 2009
    Hop on Pop? Starshine chats with a sexpert who swears that new parents can have a rockin' boudoir.
  • The Dirty Truth
    February 5, 2009
    Dirty talk: Starshine finally gets a leg up on all you Lysol-huffing scrub nuts.
  • The Family That Rocks Together…
    January 29, 2009
    Crank it up, son! Starshine finds out what happens when parents rock out with their kids.


  • Pop Goes the Kids’ Bop
    December 25, 2008
    Wiggle me this: Why does kids' music have to suck so badly?
  • Trophy Atrophy
    December 11, 2008
    Starshine finds out why all kids -- even the sucky ones -- get trophies these days.
  • Projectile Homework
    November 27, 2008
    The two words that most set my family moaning are these: class project.
  • Preschool Lock-Down
    November 13, 2008
    PTA meetings aren't boring when a gunman's on the loose.
  • The Handoff
    October 30, 2008
    There are good reasons why kids shouldn't play tackle football. Starshine offers five: Smack. Crack. Thud. Grunt. Oof.
  • The Best Toy Ever
    October 16, 2008
    Beanie Babies? Ha. Wii? Puh-lease. Starshine reveals the best toys EVER.
  • A Formula for Guilt
    October 2, 2008
    China's formula fiasco feeds Starshine's (gulp) guilt about not breast-feeding.
  • The Stuff Slough
    September 18, 2008
    Life doesn't live in the things that we have. It takes place in the things that we do.
  • Party Favors
    September 4, 2008
    Remember when you didn't have to hire an elephant to fete a birthday?
  • Me Time
    August 21, 2008
    It's impossible to feel lonely, Starshine discovers, when you're high on acetone.
  • Starshine Roshell, Meet Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii
    August 7, 2008
    Few people know what it's like to have a name as odd as Starshine's. But Talula Does the Hula from…
  • Growing by Bleeps and Bounds
    July 24, 2008
    Through some terrible mutation of natural law, a four-letter word has become my young son's all-time favorite utterance.
  • Look Alike
    July 10, 2008
    Despite what it looks like, Starshine swears she did NOT give birth to two Sarah Brightman-loving 68-year olds.
  • Next Stop: Freedom
    June 26, 2008
    Powerless at the pump, the bus may be the exact change you need.
  • Phantom Tiara Syndrome
    June 12, 2008
    Lamenting that boys prefer guns to glitter.
  • Do You Have to Like Your Kids?
    May 29, 2008
    Parents aren't supposed to say this out loud, but... we don't always like our kids.
  • Mothering the Mothers
    May 15, 2008
    Fifty mothers bask in a kindness that has become all but foreign to them.
  • How to Handle the Brave New World of i, X, IM, and Wii
    April 24, 2008
    iPods and YouTube and Twitter, oh, my! An unnerving but enlightening teens-and-the-media summit.
  • Spring Cleaning
    April 17, 2008
    Deconstructing Spring Cleaning and other lies meant to torture us.
  • Spork It Over
    March 20, 2008
    Starshine submits to a cafeteria lunch at a local elementary school and lives to tell the tale.
  • The Game of LIFE
    March 6, 2008
    Starshine skipped college, avoided kids and shacked up with a woman, but -- thank you, Milton Bradley! -- she still…
  • The Swing of Things
    February 21, 2008
    Don't flirt with hunky dads, and other playground rules by Starshine.
  • Hang the Potty
    February 7, 2008
    Kick the can: Starshine is happy to leave her youngest in diapers forever.
  • Mom Envy
    January 24, 2008
    Starshine has been on both sides of the schoolyard tension between working moms and stay-at-homes. And she thinks it's stupid.
  • Mommy’s a Liar
    January 10, 2008
    Starshine tells the truth about fibbing, cheating -- and swindling for Hannah Montana tickets.


  • Where Are the Homeless When You Need ‘Em?
    December 20, 2007
    Hell-bent on benevolence, Starshine ponders: Where are the homeless when you need 'em?
  • The Nana-Fest Manifesto
    December 6, 2007
    The Nana Manifesto: Starshine begs grandparents not to turn their grandchildren into unbearable brats this season. But really ... what's…
  • Innocence Glossed
    November 22, 2007
    The birds and the bees and the mom behind bars: Starshine pits information against innocence -- and finds that it's…
  • Old Wives vs. New Science
    November 8, 2007
    Remember when Pop Rocks were lethal? Starshine hates how science takes all the fun out of ignorance.
  • Once Upon a Cool Mom
    October 25, 2007
    From belches and butt-heads to limits and let-downs -- how Starshine was stripped of her coveted Cool Mom title.
  • I Killed the Tooth Fairy
    October 4, 2007
    After a celebrated and centuries-old career in the dental detritus trade, the Tooth Fairy, sadly, is dead. Because Starshine killed…
  • Powerless Steering
    September 27, 2007
    A close encounter with a pick-up truck reminds Starshine that control is nothing more than a lame Janet Jackson song.
  • Warning: Children in Charge
    September 6, 2007
    Is CBS' controversial Kid Nation really the devil's work, or are parents just kidding themselves? Only Starshine knows for sure…
  • The Great Disney Smoke-Out
    August 16, 2007
    Starshine doesn't just analyze Disney's decision to ban tobacco from its films. She puts it in her pipe and smokes…
  • You Camp Be Serious!
    August 9, 2007
    Stuntman camp. Heavy metal guitar camp. Jedi camp. Now that summer nears a close, Starshine and other parents ask: What…
  • Love Bites
    July 19, 2007
    Starshine dishes on the curious kitchen phenomenon that happens when the man of the house skips out for supper.
  • Down With Uptalk
    July 5, 2007
    I owe you all a big apology. Because when I was a kid? Growing up in the San Fernando Valley?…
  • My Father’s Gift
    June 14, 2007
    Starshine's Father's Day gift: What do you get the Dad who betrays everyone?
  • Who Wants to Be a Cotillionaire?
    May 31, 2007
    Don't mind her manners: Starshine learns that a trip around the cotillion ballroom is a lesson in balancing party punch…
  • I Now Pronounce You SISSY and WIFE
    May 17, 2007
    Hyphenates are for sissies. As California men demand the right to adopt their wives' last names, Starshine confesses her surname…
  • Only Pinocchio Nose for Sure
    May 10, 2007
    Fibbing in Frontierland? Starshine encounters deceit, perjury and a whole lot of hooey at The Magic Kingdom.
  • Road Trip, a.k.a Chaos in a Box
    April 19, 2007
    On the highway of life, nothing forces an appreciation of the here and now like the crowded, noisy chaos of…
  • Babies vs. Puppies: Who’s More Trouble?
    April 5, 2007
    Whiny, drooly and prone to mess themselves just as you're headed out the door, puppies and newborn babies have a…
  • Turning the Other Cheek on Spanking
    March 8, 2007
    Starshine reveals the bare-bottom truths about spanking.
  • The Third-Grader’s Guide to Girls
    February 7, 2007
    Starshine answers for her puzzling, pony-tailed gender in The Third-Grader's Guide to Girls.
  • The Business Trip
    January 4, 2007
    Business trips sound enticing to this work-at-home mom, but kidlessness - it turns out - has its price.


  • Season’s Bleatings
    December 20, 2006
    Dearest Friends and Family, We hope this holiday letter finds you merry, gay, and all the other pleasant emotions the…
  • Confessions of a Mall Santa
    December 14, 2006
    Starshine gets to the bottom of what makes all those mall Santas tick. She finds that there are three types…
  • Barbie Schmarbie
    November 16, 2006
    As a little girl, I lived vicariously through my Barbie. When she wore her Bob Mackie halter gown, I was…
  • Protect your children! Eat their candy
    October 10, 2006
    I think we can all agree that candy is the devil's work. That's why we, in order to be good…
  • What’s next… toddler cell phones?
    September 12, 2006
    As the first school bell signals the end of summer, you may think your children have everything they need to…

To publish one of my columns in your magazine or website, contact me.

My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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