Tag Archives: children

Parents as…?

Having had fun with the marriage metaphors a few days ago, I thought about a similar question about the best descriptive words about the role of parent. What triggered my thinking was a public radio interview with the authors of Too Close for Comfort, a book about mother/daughter relationships. In the interview they discussed problem parent labels: helicopter parents, parents as personal concierge, as guarantor of happiness for their child, etc.

What words do you think describe a better metaphor as parent and why? Guide? Mentor? Coach? In some ways, parents are more connected to their kids than in past generations. And yet, this connection may cause kids to depend more on their parents rather than getting out there and being responsible for their life. Can you think of ways to describe parenting that allows for emotional closeness without the over-dependency.

Here’s one I would like not to have as a title: Parent as homework tutor.


Filed under Cultural Anthropology, parenting, Relationships

New personality test for kids?

Personality testing for kids used to be based on parent report. Not a particularly valid method in my book. Yes, the PIC and the PIY (youth self report) provide good data, but they are long and highly influenced by adult models of personality.

So, here’s a cheap and quick personality test: your child’s tooth is loose. Does he (a) allow it to stay hanging by a thread for days, or, (b) work incessantly til he rips it out out even when the root is intact (consequently bleeding for an hour when he should have already been in bed?

I have both children. It is highly reliable. Now to just figure out what the test means.


Filed under Psychology

Open letter to NBC and P & G

February 23, 2009

Dear Executives at NBC and P&G (owners of the Gillette Venus Embrace),

I write this letter to express my disappointment regarding your Venus Embrace razor “check please” advertisements during the broadcast of the 2009 Tyson American Cup–a gymnastics meet of the top elite men’s and women’s gymnasts from around the world.

On Saturday afternoon, NBC broadcast live portions of the meet. I watched this meet with great interest with my ten year old son–also an USAG competitive gymnast. We were excited to watch the men’s high-flying tricks and the skills of 13 year old Jordyn Wieber, all around winner. But sadly, we were forced to change the channel solely because of the sexual content of your commercials. These depicted numerous scenes of men caressing women’s legs–even to the point of sliding their hands up under skirts. The final scene of the ad depicts a couple falling in embrace onto a bed in a sexual position.

Your message clearly expresses that men (and therefore boys) can’t resist a woman’s smooth legs. While my son found the ad disgusting, you still “educated” him as to how a man should focus on a woman’s legs.

There is no reasonwhy you cannot successfully promote your product without sexualizing a day-time television audience that includes children. Other advertisers recognized that the audience included teenagers and targeted them with ads (appropriately) for snacks.

I ask you to pull this offensive ad and to cease sexualizing children for your bottom line. If your product is as good as you say, you can sell it without offending your audience.


Phil Monroe


Filed under Commercials, Sports

Thing I have in common with Obama

I listened to parts of Michelle Obama’s speech on Monday night. She told the story of the birth of their first child in 1998 (same year and location (Chicago) we adopted our first son at the tender age of 4 days). She told of how they drove home from the hospital with Michelle in the back and Barack driving ever so slowly in order to make sure not to disturb their new daughter.

I did the same thing. We picked up Sam in Oak Park, IL and drove him back to Wheaton (about a 30 minute drive). Kim sat in the back of our 2 door Honda Civic Hatchback and held his head so it wouldn’t flop and I drove trying to avoid every bump in the road. It didn’t stop there. I then didn’t sleep the next two nights as I stayed with him making sure he was alright. A little crazy but as a first time parent, he seemed so fragile to me.

Anybody else out there willing to admit their anxieties over their firstborn?


Filed under adoption