Can a parent force his teenager to have fun if she doesn't want to? I'm asking for a friend. As in, you go upstairs to your daughter's room on a calm, quiet Saturday morning, and you knock on her door in a way that's totally casual -- not at all aggressive or mean or in a way that would provoke the following response from the other side of the door: "WHAT?!?!?!?" Imagine you answer such a vitriolic outburst with a suggestion, presented in a meek, tentative tone like if one of those kind-faced, adorable ring-tailed lemurs could talk. Imagine your voice is that of a sweet lemur, … [Read more...]
I received a new friend request on Facebook the other day, which, in and of itself, is not exactly newsworthy. However, the request was not from a freshly acquired acquaintance or forgotten childhood chum, as is usually the case, but from my 13-year-old son. His appearance in my inbox gave me pause. Technically, he is officially allowed to use Facebook, and we have had the discussions that all parents and children should have before signing one’s life away to the internet. He knows about boundaries, privacy and bullies. Yet, I was suddenly unsure that he understood exactly what it means to … [Read more...]
The Tampa Tribune, a newspaper that long reflected and enhanced the lives of hundreds of thousands of Central Floridians, landed in driveways for the final time May 3, victim of a competitor buyout. That day also happened to be World Press Freedom Day. In the wake of that depressing news, I asked myself a question I never expected to ask when I became a parent in 2005: What will our children do without newspapers? For 300 years, newspapers informed and connected members of the community. Reporters and editors held civic leaders accountable. They shared stories that made home, home. … [Read more...]
I’ll admit it: Yes, I started an Instagram account for my 5-year-old son.
I’ve been trying to find digital-age bonding methods for my son and I. Sure, we do all that old world stuff – play catch, cook together, read together, play with Legos. But we also bond over photography – and when my son started to commission me to take photos of things to post to my own account, I thought “why can’t he do this, too?”
I must admit – I’m also interested in the things he wants to present to the world. So starting … [Read more...]