Image Problems for Girls Introduced At A Very Young Age (Great YouTube Video At The End)

Another factoid from the Girls Leadership Institute: Girls are exposed to hundreds of images a day suggesting what they should look like.  These images are impossible to filter out, and girls are inundated by them from every form of media out there (TV, magazines, commercials, toy stores, etc.).

Here are some disturbing examples, and then a list of some tom-boy and girl power movies/shows to watch together to remind girls they don’t have to look perfect or, worse, like a bimbo…

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Now, for some good wholesome suggestions for your girl to remind her that she doesn’t have to be: really skinny, show lots of leg, have lips the size of balloons, wear lots of make up, and have a “come-hither” expression on her face at all times.

  1. Bad News Bears: Jodie Foster kicks butt.
  2. Harry Potter Books & Movies: Hermoine Granger shows girls can be smart and non-conforming to beauty stereotypes.
  3. Malala: MalalaYousafzai’s story is inspirational and focused on the inner person.
  4. Hunger Games: Books more than movies, because Katniss comes off more as a tomboy in the books.

And, check out this incredible video from a would-be beauty queen who choses to be her natural, pretty self.

America the Sexy: A look at beauty standards




Why it’s so hard to raise pre-teens these days? Technology & Standards

Are we busier parents than our parents?  Do we feel guilty because both spouses work?  Is there just more access to ‘bad stuff’ with the fast-paced development of portable technology that allows access to the internet (unsupervised) all day and night?


Although all of these issues are no doubt contributing to your child’s increased exposure to ‘bad stuff,’ I believe the biggest factor is the other parents around you.  I’m not making a weak argurment that everyone else but you is to blame.  I am simply pointing out that the lowest standards required by another parent when filtering out inappropriate material becomes the floor for tolerance, not the ceiling.

Let me put it more simply.  For example, do you let your eleven year-old watch “The Walking Dead” or “Breaking Bad?”  If not, chances are high that another parent in your social and/or school circles does allow it.  Maybe, they sit down as a family to watch “it.”

Every parent has heard the argument from their child, “but, everyone else gets to watch it.”  But, in our fast and loose pop culture, there will inevitably be the parent that allows it, ignores it, or is oblivious to it.  All of a sudden, some of the kids start discussing it at school.  Other kids want to be in the discussion about it.  Other parents, under consensual peer pressure, will allow their kids to watch it.  Now, it has become acceptable viewing material.

About half of the kids in my eleven year-old son’s 5th grade class watch “The Walking Dead,” an incredibly violent, graphic, and disturbing show.  I happen to really like “The Walking Dead,” but I don’t want my pre-teen exposed to decapitations, arrows in eye sockets, and blood everywhere.

I know I sound like a self-righteous, up-tight parent.  But, when did it become ok for a kid to watch a zombie chomping on the throat of a person??  Really?

Like my daddy used to say, “don’t tell me about a problem without giving me some sort of solution.”  Well, I don’t have one here.  I don’t even have any suggestions.

Maybe, if enough parents think about it, parental control of what kids watch (at least at home) might improve a bit.


Doll-faced girls teetering in 8-inch wedges; watch out!!

After attending a couple of  high school graduations this Spring, I’ve now had time to reflect on the popular style sported by many girls.  And, I have to ask the question – what were their parents thinking?

I’m sure we all remember the crushing angst of high school and the burning desire to ‘fit in.’  Fashions change over the year.  Girls will always want to wear an obscene amount of make-up.  I saw girls with enough mascara to even make Ozzy Osbourne feel out-done.

But, the most alarming fashion item this year, aside from the preponderance of skin tight dresses barely covering little bottoms, were the ‘platform wedges.’


These things don’t look like they were designed for walking.  I was on the edge of my seat as I watched girls precariously strutting up to the podium to receive their diplomas.  An apt analogy would be watching NASCAR – you don’t want to see a horrible wreck, but it seems as if one is always on the verge of happening.

So it goes for the teenager with little to no practice walking in high heels.  Yet, it seemed some girls were really trying to out-do each other with the height of their wedges.  I was reminded of the band KISS strutting out in crazy platform boots from outer space.

As parents, we just want our kids to be happy.  We want them to fit in.  Maybe, by the time they’re ready to graduate from high school, we’re just sick and tired of trying to talk sense into them.  Of course, falling flat on your face during a graduation ceremony would be much more traumatic than wearing flats to your graduation and after-parties.

Yes, as I guy, I had it easy – and still do.  Dress shoes with a blazer and khakis is the perennial favorite (thank goodness!).  But, I have a daughter.  As such, I have a vested interest in spotting fashion trends.

However, there were plenty of confident, self-assured and height-challenged girls wearing flats or something with heels 2 inches or less.  They looked lovely – in many ways much more so than the girls trying to be fashionable.  It gave me hope.







The ‘real’ importance of educational growth in this new Age

A quote from Tony Wagner, an educational specialist at Harvard, sums it up perfectly…

“Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate — the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life — and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration are far more important than academic .”

At-home Dad = Ghost…and not the kind Demi Moore was into…

It’s kind of funny.  A mom who would normally talk your ear off pretends you don’t exist if she is in the company of one or more of her friends.  And, when I say talk your ear off, I’m talking about situations where you find yourself feverishly inventing an exit strategy.

Some at-home moms feel awkward when it comes to the idea of a man doing what they do.  One-on-one is cool.  But, you can quickly become the ghost in a group settings.

I think this is a major factor behind the formation of so many at-home dad blogs and groups have formed over the past couple of years.  We all need a support structure, especially when it comes to the challenging and often monotonous role of at-home parenting.

I often compare my at-home dads experiences to the movie “Mr. Mom,” which usually infuriates most serious at-home dads.  But, there is one part of the movie that was progressive – Moms playing poker (using coupons instead of cash) and drinking beer with the lone at-home dad in the neighborhood…


 Now, that’s pretty cool.  I’ve got a big wad of coupons…








Why do parents drive themselves nuts during the early morning routine?

If we just try leaving our kids to their own resources in the morning, what’s the worst that can happen?  If they are late to school or forgot their homework, they will get in trouble with a respected authority figure..their teachers!

angry teacher


Teachers can have a big impact on discipline, so give your kids enough rope to hang themselves.  Well, not literally.

I’m not suggesting that we outsource the discplining of our children to their teachers.  But it doesn’t hurt to let them fail and face the consequences.  Once they incur the wrath of a teacher, It probably won’t happen again.  At least, not for a couple weeks…

angry teachers 2


The decandent, chinese-food eating wonder twins are back…

Moms and dads, do not try this at home…please…
chinese food kidsA previous post about poor eating habits we pass along to our children showed the wonder twins relaxing in between courses, if you recall…

fat kids 4 This has been a public service announcement brought to you by your local Chinese food restaurant.