Being a Better Parent

Potty (Mouth) Training Revisited

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I watched with interest all the hoopla last week about the little girl on the ABC-TV show “Modern Family”, who was depicted as cursing on last week’s episode (or is it “cussing”?). See, “using swear words” had already been a “hot topic” around our house this month. In the wake of the episode, which was entitled “Little Bo Bleep”, I found lots of online psycho-babble by professors and other experts chiming in about how swearing is, among other things, a natural part of early language development, cathartic, and helps people tolerate pain. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think most people already know that. And we also know something else the experts were saying, that, just like in the Modern Family episode, little kids use swear words without really knowing what they mean, and get a kick out of adults’ reactions when they use them, and so they’ll say them again. “Modern Family” was just art imitating real life. (Does that mean the Parents Television Council, the group who first caused a stink about the show, is not made up of real parents? Sometimes I wonder…) But what I really wanted to know amidst last week’s jaw flapping was how real parents deal with swearing by children and teens.

Random Thoughts

Shared passwords: the new “friendship ring” among kids?

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Just when you thought you knew everything you needed to know on what to warn/teach your kids about using Facebook and the Internet…have you
heard that kids/teens/20-somethings share their passwords with each other, for everything from email accounts, Facebook and other services? According to a recent New York Times
article, it’s a widespread practice among young Internet users, even among young couples who are dating. Apparently, it’s a sign of trust– i.e. “if I’m your only love, prove it with
an all-access pass to your Internet accounts.”  Gee, nothing says “love” quite like mistrusting someone, huh? And I guess nothing says “I’m a stupid risk taker” quite like
that either, since of course breakups can be messy, and BFF’s can become BFN’s (Best Friends Never) faster than Justin Bieber can swoosh his hair. Who wants to risk being kicked off a sports

Appreciating Mommy

The Circle of Pride and Embarrassment

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While I generally have an “I don’t worry about what people think about me” attitude, it’s funny that when you have kids, you do care about how they “show” in public, in part because you feel like their actions are a reflection of your parenting skills. You wince when they’re young and throw tantrums in Target, pick their nose while walking down the aisle during a wedding ceremony or point a finger at a stranger in a parade and yell out something brutally honest (“That man is HUGE!!”). And you rejoice when they remember to say “Thank you” to Grandma, sing a song perfectly at a recital or run to greet you in front of school with a big hug. I hope I never forget the time when Emmie and I were sitting in a bookstore coffee shop– I was looking through a stack of cookbooks and she was engrossed in one of her Rick Riordan novels, when all of a sudden she looked at me and my books and said, “I am so glad I have a Mom that cooks, and plans out all of our meals, because a lot of people don’t do that very much anymore.” Yes, I about fell off my chair at that sign of appreciation, and yes, the elderly couple walking past our table right at that moment almost dropped their lattes in astonishment, then offered some words of praise to both Emmie and me. It was a proud moment and I think it made that elderly couple happy, too…

Blog Nuts 'n Bolts

Updates

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Time for a few updates, for all of you Uncool Mom readers who are dying to know the answers to such burning
questions as: Did my now-17-year-old ever get her driver’s license? Did she ever get a job? How is the exchange student doing now that she’s gone back to France? What was the outcome of the CBS
DFW Most Valuable Blogger contest? Read on to find out the answers, and other things I promised to “keep you posted” about in 2011:

The Diet— In August, I posted
about
spending the summer doing the Atkins Diet with Allison and how we were both having success with it. She stuck with it until
about a month after school started (it’s a really hard diet for a carb-loving teenager to do, especially when everyone around them is eating chips and pizza). I’m still at it, …