Words Can Still Win on the Wild West Web

dad2summitFatherhood on Friday

It’s time to reassess “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” because the sticks and stones are getting larger and pointier, and the words wielded on the Wild West Web are leaving worsening welts. While the platforms drag their heels toward self-regulation and grass-roots organizations lobby more aggressively for government oversight, parents remain the first line of defense. And this week, we saw a lot of us using the power of words to shore up our kids’ defenses.

In her Today piece, Kristin Shaw writes about talking to your kids about the world around them as often as you can. Socialization is as complicated as ever (for all of us, frankly), so it’s as vital as ever to talk it all through; otherwise, your kids can feel unequipped or unsupported and start acting antisocially.

Almost 30% of kids admit to having bullied someone else, and up to 60% (!) of kids who are bullied don’t report it. But if kids are tight-lipped about abuse, Catherine Pearson offers some helpful techniques to loosen them up.

Perhaps you’re hesitant to have discussions with your kids that seem too mature or difficult, which is fair. However, more often than not we’re the ones, the parents, that are overthinking it. Kids are smart. They get it. And sure, maybe the conversation is awkward or uncomfortable, but so is parenting. It’s part of the deal.

If you’re still unsure how to talk to your kid, consider this tip from Phyllis Fagell at The Washington Post: “Before engaging in conversation, assess whether you’re able to approach your child from a stance of curiosity, not criticism.

We’re a conference that’s all about inclusion, and we’re focused on helping our children become as empathetic, compassionate, and open to differentness as possible. Others will take the low road and use words as weapons, but if you’ve helped your kids build their own strength and convictions, those words will bounce right off.


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Sandwich parents: What are your prospects for elder care? Considering the expanding challenges, it’s time to be sure you have a plan. (And then hope that plan works out.)

When it comes to parenting, sometimes kids don’t do as you say or as you do. And vice versa.

“Whether a child is explosive—acting out, having temper tantrums or public meltdowns—or implosive—becoming withdrawn, moody, and shut-down—living with unpredictability is hard.”

“The rules have nothing to do with learning; they have to do with keeping peace and order.”

“When I leave early, I don’t sneak out—I practically announce it, saying goodbye to the office. I add every school and child related event during working hours to my calendar, so all can see.”

Sending kid(s) to college? Tuition is only the first financial obstacle.

Turns out, when it comes to climate change affecting our children, the future is now.

Wondering if it’s time for your kids to start doing chores? The answer is “yes.”



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Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash