Category Archives: Parenting

Parenting Teens Amid Rape Culture

Back before Orlando and Istanbul, when we were still talking about Stanford rapist Brock Turner and the rape culture that he, his parents, and the judge arose from and perpetuate, I remember reading lots of opinions about the fact that alcohol had been involved. The gist was something like this: just because the survivor was drunk doesn’t mean she was to blame. (Example.)

True that. I absolutely agree.

And still, it feels to me like we got hung up on assigning blame, which prevented us from discussing prevention.

I want my kids to understand the perils of getting drunk (or compromised by any means) and the possible scenarios that can unfold when they are unable to make sound decisions for themselves.

Does my wish stem from a blame-the-victim mindset? I think not, and here’s why.

rape cuture and prevention Continue reading Parenting Teens Amid Rape Culture

I Want My Kids to Struggle

That sounds really mean, doesn’t it? Hear me out as I make that case that sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.

“Children Are Anti-Fragile”

In a broader discussion of what he calls the vindictive attack culture on college campuses,  Dr. Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist and professor of business ethics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, says:

A carton of eggs is fragile, if you bang it around it breaks. But bone is anti-fragile. If you bang it around it gets stronger, and if you don’t bang it around it gets weaker. Children are anti-fragile. They have to have many, many experiences of failure, fear, and being challenged. Then they have to figure out ways to get themselves through it. [bold added by me]

I’ve been thinking about this in terms of parenting, adoptive parenting and modern culture. children are anti-fragile

Continue reading I Want My Kids to Struggle

Temper the Selfies!

My kids’ first foray into social media has been via Instagram. Instagram is an easy way for me to keep an eye on Tessa and Reed and watch their tendencies, stepping in only as necessary — which it hasn’t been so far.

(I’m like Jane Goodall. She observed chimps in the wild habitat of Gombe; I observe imps in somewhat less civilized habitat of middle school.)

I watched as Tessa and Reed stepped into their virtual personae. Their virtual personae ended up consisting of…. Continue reading Temper the Selfies!