It’s Gonna Be a Long _____ Year. . .


What word would you use to fill in the blank in the title of today’s post? With two more games to play tonight, week 1 of the new NFL season is almost over. If you’re a college football fan, it’s been two games; either your team is whooping on teams they should beat, or there’s been heartache, or close calls. Many pundits and fans will predict doomsday events for their beloved team today, while others will always remain hopeful that things will turn around.


If you’re a student or a parent of a child in the South, most likely your child has hit the 1/4 way point for the 1st quarter, if one’s in high school, about the 1/8th of the way through the first semester. If your student has only been in school for a day or a week or two, then there’s certainly no need to worry.


While many can try to make predictions for the year (season) based on limited data, we owe it to our children to Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Being Watched


A common thing that I hear from teens is that they hate being watched–when they enter a store at the mall, or by a parent trying to sneak-a-peek when they are on the computer.

The truth is no one likes a micro-manager; everyone would prefer to be trusted to work efficiently in an independent manner.   While traveling in London (many years ago) I was struck with the number of clearly visible security cameras in public places. On any given busy street corner in London, it seems almost every visible angle is covered by a camera mounted on the exterior of a building, the utility pole, a street sign, traffic light pole, etc. I wasn’t sure if I should feel safe or feel so violated that my image was being transmitted and saved to a server somewhere far away. Additionally, no one was asking me whether I cared, and there was no way I could avoid being “watched.”

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Be an Evil Parent


At a recent presentation by psychologist and primary care physician, Dr. Leonard Sax, Sax reminded parents that nothing has changed. That is, Sax said their job in parenting is no different than it was 20 yrs ago, before the internet, cellphones, and status updates. While technology has impacted society, the role of families and parents is still to provide a loving, caring, and nurturing home that guides a child towards adulthood.


Dr. Sax carefully reinforced the authority of parents, which he suggested was something parents have been giving up or losing for the last 20 years. In my work with families I believe this trend is two-fold: there are a lot more fears that parents internalize, and families are simply busier. There are many parents that feel restrictions in setting limits or disciplining their child due to fears that their actions will be discussed and may trigger an adult to file a report with child protective services. It has also been my experience that parents choose not to be strict to avoid alienating their children, or causing harm to the parent child relationship. Perhaps many parents grew up in households where their parent was strict or overbearing with rules and expectations, and now as parents they are trying to over correct for this experience.


Living in the 21st century, in a global economy, and in a sophisticated tech culture, technology has made many things easier, but it has also allowed us to cram a lot more things into a given day at work, school, or home. All the benefits of technology has not led to more leisure and free time to relax in a blissful state of efficiency and productivity. The expectations and fears of students have also increased with greater emphasis on standardized test scores, the need to appeal to admissions committees with one’s wide range of extracurricular activities, not to mention the grooming of athletic champions who will merit impressive scholarships. Read the rest of this entry »