A new iPhone/iPad game called Letterpress is apparently all set to become the latest fad in a slew of word games. It was downloaded 60,000 times on its first day out, according to a recent article by The New YorkTimes. But as the article’s writer was extolling the virtues of this nifty little game, he described the game’s genesis – the creator, Loren Brichter, was waiting for a table at a restaurant with his wife. During the lull, they both took out their smart phones to play word games. WHY AREN’T THESE PEOPLE SIMPLY TALKING TO EACH OTHER? Not to be a luddite, I continue to worry that the more clever we become with technology, inventing a billion little ways to pass the time by teasing the brain (or worse, numbing the mind with drivel), we also are creating not only monumental time sucks and a dependence on technological diversion, but socially acceptable ways to avoid conversation and relating to one another face to face. And when grown-ups repeatedly exhibit this anti-social behavior, what does it say to kids?
If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
With elections looming just around the corner, the issue of medical marijuana is heating up big time in Massachusetts. Ballet Question 3 offers voters the opportunity to legalize medical marijuana in the state. If it passes, it validates the substance as a credible form of compassionate care. However, it also may open a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences, especially regarding youth access to marijuana, and as a parent, that’s a big if. I'm still sitting on the fence...
In theory, medical marijuana seems a worthy addition to a select arsenal of pain relief.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Did you know that today is the first annual national “ABOVE THE INFLUENCE” Day? The program is a laudable effort by the White House office of National Drug Control Policy, and while the special day may come and go without major note in many parts of the country, the ongoing message is one as parents we should embrace – that instead of always focusing on the problem of teen substance abuse, we should also find time to celebrate the adolescents who buck the trends and choose to live “above the influence” of alcohol and other drugs. It reminds me to find a moment to validate good choices.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
I interviewed multiple intelligences theorist Howard Gardner recently for The Boston Globe, prior to joining him for a forum about the impact of digital media on the lives of our kids (“Shaping Our Digital World: You Have the Power” sponsored by Common Sense Media and the GoodPlay Project at Harvard Project Zero). A renowned professor of cognition and education at Harvard, he contends that the transformation of our world by digital media is as radical as the invention of the printing press was in its day, representing a fundamental shift in the way we acquire and process information, as well as impacting how we form and maintain personal relationships. It has had an extraordinary impact on our children, offering tremendous empowerment and access to knowledge as well, unfortunately, as unparalleled
Monday, October 8, 2012
If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?”
But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. Though no one can push your buttons like your kids, no one needs you more and tethers you more firmly to the world, to the here and now. It is an intensely visceral connection to another human being that is forged through primal, unconditional love. And it’s a lifetime commitment. No matter how many first children ask, “Can we take ‘em back?” when the second baby arrives, we parents are in it for the long haul, and it’s a wild, wooly and wonderful journey, perhaps life’s grandest adventure.
The good news is that we’re all in this together. I do believe the adage “It takes a village to raise a child.” As a parent, my greatest sources of insight, guidance and comfort are usually other parents. So I hope this blog can feed into the mix. Please feel free to comment on an issue, ask a question, pose a problem, or share a strategy as we strive to be
informed involved connected