Peppermist: I LOVE SESAME STREET! Appeals to kids and… uh.. BIGGER KIDS!
I am what I am - and make no apologies for it. Enjoy your stay.
Peppermist: I LOVE SESAME STREET! Appeals to kids and… uh.. BIGGER KIDS!
Hi! I know, I know, it’s been pretty silent around here, and I am totally 100% to blame. You see, after I pulled my hermit bit, I then did something silly, and got myself a day job. In doing so, I went from spending every waking moment sitting on my (considerable)ass in front of the Computer Screen like a NORMAL person, and instead spend 9 hours a day on my feet in the Digital Photo Lab at our brand new Walmart. It’s been quite the switch, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I’ve been missing my daily games, and doing the unthinkable and actually going to bed at decent hours. Sometimes even before the teenagers.
But, today? I had to write, because I just got a few text messages from Peppermist that made me so INCREDIBLY PROUD of that girl of mine. She is AMAZING in every sense of the word, and some days, I wonder how she’s managed to grow up so perfectly. And then I take all the credit. Because I’m her mom. And I can. Even if I’m a bad blogger and should have known about this already.
You see, today is apparently a National Day of Silence, to protest against Gay Bashing in schools. Today, across the nation, hundreds of thousands of students took a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in their schools.
And my daughter? was one of them.
If you only knew how that girl LOVES to talk, you’d know what strength she possesses to take such a vow! She and Micki wore signs all day today, and though she’s going to the movies after school with the Twins, who would like her to talk after school, she has decided to continue on because according to her text to me: “That’s not the point, to just do it during school. I’m not going to stop until tonight.”
Damn, but that girl makes me proud to be her mom! So tell me, what will YOU do to end the silence?
Now that Christmas is over, many of us are fearing opening our credit card bills as they come due this month – making smart money choices isn’t something many of us grew up with – or if we did, sometimes it’s simply hard to remember when it comes time for the holidays. And when your teenager asks for $10 bucks for this, for that, and it adds up… suddenly the thought of teaching them to make smart money choices might be a good idea!
And you’re not alone. Experts agree that starting early is a major key to later financial successes – and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has recently announced their 2010 Poster contest to get kids involved and give them a head start toward a smart financial future.
The ever lovely Julie dropped me a note not long ago to make sure I knew about the contest, and now I’m passing that information on to you. This years theme is “$mart Money Choices = A Brighter Future” and in an effort to increase interest in financial literacy in our nation’s youth, they NFCC is sponsoring the Be Money Wi$e National Financial Literacy Poster Contest. Here are some of the details:
The contest is designed to get young students thinking about how to manage money efficiently and offers them a creative outlet to demonstrate their knowledge. It also provides the opportunity for local and national recognition for student artwork. All finalists will receive a commemorative t-shirt, and each national grade category winner will receive an award plaque and a $100 savings bond. In addition, the National Winner will be given an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., with a parent or guardian and will be given official recognition in April as part of the Financial Literacy Month on Capitol Hill!
Who can enter? All school-aged children grades 3-12 are eligible, and there will be local and national winners chosen from three grade categories. The entries will be judged by expression of the theme, artistic style, creativity and need to be submitted through an NFCC Member Agency for judging. The deadlines are all in February 2010, so be sure to check out MoneyWisePOsterContest.org to get more detailed information, rules, entry forms, and find out where to submit!
So what are you waiting for? Get your kiddo creating and learning today!
You’ll notice that on here, I rarely use my kids real names, though I do use actual pictures now and again. At most an initial, a nickname, something that makes it a little more difficult to trace. I do this out of respect for my teenagers – and their privacy.
But that’s a tenuous thing – teenage privacy. Lindsay, over at Suburban Turmoil at the Nashville Scene broached the subject a couple days ago. When her girls mention a new member of their group, she dives into facebook profiles and makes sure they’re the type of kid her girls should hang out with. She even uses Google Earth, to find their home when there’s parties.
I’m sure Lindsay isn’t alone in this – many parents take advantage of their friends facebook and social networking skills to keep an eye on their kids. Lindsay limits her stalking to what’s publicly available on the ‘Net for the most part, as they are her step-daughters, but admits that with her own kids, all bets are off if she suspects something is wrong. I’m going to ignore the difference there – as I’d treat them all the same, myself, but that’s how it works for her family, so that’s good for them. However – how deep should a parent go when it comes to their teenagers privacy?
I know most teens want parents to butt out – and I know most parents won’t. And I don’t think they should. As I told my kids, all along – no matter where you are, imagine me RIGHT BEHIND YOU, watching. I have spies EVERYWHERE, and I WILL find out. They only pushed against it a couple times, then discovered that indeed, mom DID have friends everywhere, and even something so simple as walking across the highway to a different store was noted and reported back to mom. Can’t get away with NUTHIN in this small town, GOSH.
If you’ve taught your teens to be aware that you WILL be randomly checking in on them – chances are they won’t misbehave. Too much. Sure they’ll push, it’s what they DO. It’s our job to find a happy medium.
Would I search my kids rooms randomly for no reason? No. If I suspected there was something really wrong? Absolutely. Once, I was talking to my son in his room, and was leaning against the fridge, and randomly popped it open. His jaw DROPPED because he knew what I’d find in there – and INSTANTLY confessed that it was there, it wasn’t his, it was unopened, he was just holding it for someone. He was telling the truth – about it being unopened, at least, which lead me to believe the rest. I didn’t demand that he nark o his friend, whichever one it was that had put the bottle in there. I simply demanded it be removed, and it not happen again, and why. The bottle disappeared, the situation has never happened re-occurred, and they know I’m prone to randomly opening their fridge. Or cupboard. Or lifting a stack of books I happen to be standing next to at the time while we talk. I fidget – and I use it to my advantage.
I think the bottom line is this: if you suspect something is actively WRONG, then do some snooping. Otherwise, find a comfortable medium for you and your teens. Which means – and you know exactly what I’m going to say here, right? Here we go, let’s say it together, ok? 1. 2. 3.
TALK TO YOUR KIDS.
Sometimes, it’s really that simple.
[There are a wealth of things available to help keep track of your teens - we'll get to them tomorrow...]
It’s D.A.R.E time for our fifth graders, and the Pup is taking part. Of course, it’s mandatory, so she HAS to take a part, but I’m ok with that.
There are ups and downs to the program, of course, depending on your child.
Upside to all kids: education on drugs and the harm they cause.
Downside to many kids: Sudden superiority and ‘I know everything and will TELL you things that are bad for you ALL THE TIME’ syndrome that ends up with Mama/Auntie strangling 5th graders.
(No, I wouldn’t ACTUALLY strangle them! I’d have to put down my bong.)
(..totally kidding. They’re little still, I only need one hand.)
(..really, I’m kidding. It’s ok.)
DARE education covers all the basics, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes. But there’s one thing they don’t cover in much depth – and since DARE can be used as a springboard for you to (here it comes) TALK TO YOUR KIDS, be sure to bring it up: huffing.
Check out the Today Show’s investigative report on Huffing that aired yesterday:
It’s a growing problem with our tweens – completely legal, and also, deadly. We’ve always been open about drug talks here in the house – what we’ve done, what we haven’t, what we want for our kids, everything – and we talked about huffing too. It’s a growing trend – so please, TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Remember that YOU are their biggest champion, their biggest hero, even when they’re screaming they hate you, and slamming doors.
Talk to them.