May 142014
Hatched Egg

Hatched Egg (Photo credit: Mathew Knott)


Our children are now protected from papers marked with red pens,  other people’s food,  germs on the counter,  dirt at the playground and a whole lot of other things I just can’t think of at the moment.  While I appreciate the evolution of laws about seat belts and smoking I have to wonder whether we have distorted parental love and concern into something that is just not helpful to our children.  The desire to protect our children is normal and natural.  I just wonder if it has gone too far…. if perhaps we are creating more problems than we avoid.

If you don’t believe in the value of the struggle, then just ask your mother…. Mother Nature, that is!

Think about it:  little birds and chickens working hard to break out of their shells, salmon struggling upstream to spawn and helpless baby turtles inching toward the surf…Nature clearly favors those who struggle and adapt. Is that true of the rest of us?



Apr 292013

What If The World Is Made Of Cotton Candy, Rai...


Lots of us come to parenting with a rosy picture:  OUR kids will never be unhappy, never feel misunderstood, never have to struggle in school or in sports or socially.  We will meet their needs and most of their wants and they will excel because… oh… because all this love and fulfillment will inspire and propel them on to great things, right?

That rosy picture is a wonderful thing. That optimism represents something very special:  the deep and sometimes overpowering unconditional love that parents feel.  It makes us want to make the world worthy of our precious babies.  Sometimes that picture doesn’t leave much room for reality. And it can make us a little nuts.

Take a moment to think about the things you know for sure.  Did they come easily?  Do you look back and recognize times your parents pushed you to do something a little bit (or a lot) beyond your reach? And you fell on your face before standing on your feet?  Unfortunately lots of life’s great lessons come to us the hard way.

Face it: too many parents are afraid.  And we’re passing that on to our kids.  It’s almost as if we have come to  believe that discomfort is disability, and that letting our little ones stew a bit  will create some sort of irreparable harm.

Of course it can hurt to watch a child struggle, but let’s be realistic.  All struggle is not created equal and it’s important that we provide our children with perspective.  Let’s not place ‘homelessness’ and ‘hurt feelings’ on the same scale.

We’ll never get back to balance if we do.

Jan 182013

If you think that the TV ads your children are seeing is “age appropriate” read on.

Parents who are concerned about underage drinking might be interested to discover that youth exposure to alcohol advertising on TV has risen by more than a third (!) since the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth began monitoring this it in 2001.

Why should parents care about this? In 2007 (the last complete data) about 20% of TV ads for alcohol were placed on programming more likely to be viewed by 12- 20 years olds than by people of legal drinking age.

According to a recent Surgeon General’s report underage drinking is responsible for about 5,000 deaths per year. In addition, that office tells us that people who start drinking before the age of 15 (vs. those who wait until they are 21) are 5 times more likely to experience alcohol-related problems later in life.

And advertising works.

Want to find out more about the specifics of this advertising in your TV-viewing ‘market’. Click here and scroll down to the big town closest to you.