May 20th, 2013
A new celebrity backed prepaid debit card, called SpendSmart,recently launched and is aimed to attract tweens, teens and their parents. I wrote a column critical of the bank card because it had penalty fees and it was endorsed by teen idol, Justin Bieber. The CEO of SpendSmart asked me to take a second look, which revealed how the penalty fees could be avoided, and clarified that Justin Bieber is the ambassador, and that SpendSmart was not a “celebrity card” like the scorned Kardashian card of 2010. I will be publishing the second look in the Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column later this week after a conversation with a Sacramento-based banking professional who is also a parent of teenagers.
Nevertheless there remain concerns about children being targeted for commercial exploitation in the network. Below is a preview of the second look and my thoughts about the importance of helping children recognize personal motivation to purchase products or services, especially financial instruments.
May 13th, 2013
…My faith informs me that God’s promises are true, that parenting is a divine appointment and that He never gives us more than we can handle. God doesn’t make mistakes. Whatever was happening with my son I knew would be used to the good.
So in my mind, I heaped the mountains of fear and anxiety crowding my heart aching for my son’s suffering into a wheel barrow and walked it to the foot of the Cross. I thanked God for my son in all of his suffering, I prayed for revelation about what was wrong and what could be done to restore his health. I declared God’s grace over his entire situation.
And then my son’s heart opened to hear God’s promises from me. And it was revealed to me that the root of my son’s condition was an alignment issue.
Yes. Alignment. What a powerful, healing concept.
May 10th, 2013
…According to Lee, the purpose of communication is so we can be seen, heard, loved and valued. Yelling, as a strategy, conveys the opposite. It doesn’t serve any real purpose and it does not signal that you treasure or respect your children either.
May 6th, 2013
The most important lessons about citizenship kids learn first at home. If we are critical and not supportive of one another as parents then how can we expect our own children to be considerate of one another on or off line? At the end of the day, forgiveness and individual accountability are the formula for a peaceful society. (Thank you for demonstrating this Jesus). And we do not have peace in our society when we are judging others and excusing ourselves. If we are seeking control of others, but not leading with self-control, we are disturbing the peace.
April 26th, 2013
For digital natives, children born after 1990 who cannot imagine the world without WWW connectivity, authority is a relational experience. In previous generations, authority was ascribed to structure, such as a title like parent, teacher or president.
April 26th, 2013
It is true that under the right circumstances and the wrong thinking, we are any of us capable of anything. In the network, this couldn’t be truer. As one teenager put it, “Everything is situational.”
April 22nd, 2013
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month and a couple of weeks ago Allstate and the National Safety Council sponsored an event at the Jean Runyon Theater in Sacramento to help parents understand their pivotal role in teaching teens to be safe drivers. The event featured Second City comedy skits and helpful insights from John Ulczycki, Vice President of Strategies for The National Safety Council…
…The anticipation of Google Glass inspired preemptive legislation in West Virginia to make it illegal to wear the Google fashionable mobile device while driving, as reported in Hands Free Info a few days ago.
April 16th, 2013
God bless MSNBC news anchor, Melissa Harris-Perry, for speaking her mind declaring children as belonging, not parents and families, but to the collective who should also educate them. I do respect her point of view, and I am grateful that she put her belief out there so that what she really meant cannot be mistaken.
This statement and her attempts to recast it can serve as a rally point for truth and healing the American parenting culture which suffers from surrendering our inherent God-given authority to be the parent.
April 8th, 2013
Blind spots are the stuff about our children’s lives that we cannot experience or know unless we are open to receiving data about our children, from sources other than our own children that in most cases does not conform to our expectations.
There always have been blind spots in parenting.
However, the advent of the Internet and the mobile phone transformed the dynamics for communications with societal implications that leveled hierarchies at work and home; the model for formal authority that was once tied to social structure (position) carries less significance than it did for previous generations. Titles like “president”, “teacher” or “parent” carry less inherent authority. In a flat world, where hierarchies are traded for networks, authority is more related than ascribed.
April 5th, 2013
Blind Spots are the aspects of our children’s and students’ lives that we cannot see. We are not present 24X7 and we don’t see all aspects of our children’s lives and how they behave in all circumstances. The popular culture, especially cyber communications via texting and social media, cultivate and inspire ideas and behavior that suggest to children there are “no limits”. All the while we parents & teachers may be operating on beliefs, assumptions and anxieties that engage our blind spots rather than helping our child to become a better learner.
This talk explores how parents and teachers can partner to overcome blind spots.