Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Emma and the dinosaurs

September 23, 2014

La-Brea-Tar-Pits

Noooooo!

UPDATE: September 24, 2014 – Thankfully, the website that viciously threatened Emma Watson turned out to be a hoax. Read more here. But the sexist attitudes behind this “joke” are very real.

In the tar pits, the dinosaurs thrash about wildly. You can always count on their deafening howls and teeth-gnashing when people dare to stand up to them and say, “Enough. We’re taking back the power you’ve had over us. We’ve got the right to sit in the front of the bus, to use this restroom, to vote, to go to school, to express our most vulnerable human emotions without fear of ridicule, to decide if we want to marry, and if we choose to do so, we decide to whom and when. And just so you know, we also have the right to earn exactly what the rest of you earns when we do the same work as you.”

Sounds reasonable. Not at all threatening. Yet the dinosaurs heard it and started pooping their pants. Now they’re gunning for Emma Watson. Why sweet Emma? Because she had the gaul to stand up at the UN and proclaim that “Men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” She called for political, economic and social equality of the sexes and invited men to join a solidarity movement for gender equality (#HeForShe) so that the guys can work together with their mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and friends and re-make a world where we’re all free to become our best, most human and humane self.

I stand with you, Emma. Bring on the dinosaurs. Let them gnash their terrible teeth and blow smoke out of their websites. We’ve had enough.

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: , , — Annie @ 11:02 am
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10 Tips for after school fun

September 8, 2014

Yes! Now we're cooking'

Yes! Now we’re cooking’

It’s Monday… again, back on the hamster wheel. Wasn’t it just Friday afternoon? What happened to those weekend plans to relax? Maybe go for a family bike ride? Or out for some food and a movie? And then, on late Sunday afternoon, you planned to tune into Spa Radio and fall asleep on the couch. But someone took your nap, didn’t they?  ‘Cause you sure never got it. None of the rest of those plans materialized either.

And what the hell was going on this morning? Why were the kids so slow you had to threaten them with “Do you wanna walk to school?!” three times? On top of that, the international news is… scareee.

21st century. Not easy. You’ve got stress and so do your kids.  So how about when you and the kids reconnect later today, you have some serious fun together?

First, when you lay eyes on them, make sure you avoid these joy-busters:

1. “How was school?”

2. “Did you remember to bring home your jacket?”

3. “Did you tell the teacher that you need to sit closer to the board?”

4. “Did you finish your lunch?”

5.  “How did you do on your _____ test?”

6. “Did people like your _________?”

7. “Who did you play with at recess?”

8. “Do you have a lot of homework?”

 

Instead, cheerfully announce that homework will be delayed today (Fun first – Work later.)

Then try some of these together

1. Take a neighborhood walk searching for “wildlife” (Yes, caterpillars count.)

2. Take photos of those critters and post them on FB with silly captions.

3. Find a shedding tree, then stomp on, kick, toss or roll around in its leaves.

4. Bring home some red, yellow, orange leaves and tape them to a window. (Instant stained-glass!)

5. Make popcorn. (For extra fun, try it without a lid. Go on, live a little.)

6. Tell each other something funny, surprising, or lucky that happened today.

7. Make/bake something for tonight’s dessert. (Leave some for tonight’s dessert.)

8. Read a story, then re-write the ending. Wacky is good!

9. Plan Halloween costumes. (Search for images or better yet, draw what you’re imagining.)

10. Make fun plans for next weekend. (And make them happen!)

__________

Love to hear some fun ways you reconnect with your kids after school.

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New school year, new school… new friends (please!!)

August 29, 2014

When you’re all cozy in a friendship you can totally relax. Even going to school is more fun because your friend is there. But when you move to a school where you know no one, and your bff friend from your old school stops acting like a friend, then nothing feels right.

I recently got this email from a girl who is in that sad place:

Girls' Friendship Q&A Book, iIllustration by Erica DeChavez

Where do I fit it?!  (from The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship, by Annie Fox, illustrated by Erica De Chavez, © 2014 by Annie Fox and Erica De Chavez. Now available)

Hey Terra,

Last year I moved to a new place. Later I heard that my best friend was best friends with some new girl. That girl is apparently really popular and cool (and also kinda mean) and in one year’s time my bff has become friends with all the poplar kids at school. I know it’s wrong of me, but  I feel really sad and envious. I have seen posts of both of them saying how much fun they have together and how they love each other. (Come on! I knew her much longer than this new girl!) And the sucky part is that at my new school, my new friends keep ditching me. I feel so depressed. :(
–Sad and Jealous

Dear Sad and Jealous,

When you moved, what did you expect your best friend to do? Spend all day in her room feeling sad and lonely? Of course she missed you. She also wanted and needed new friends. I’m guessing that you are feeling “sad and envious” because you haven’t yet connected with real friends at your new school. HINT: Real friends do not “keep ditching” you.

A new school year just started. My best advice: stop checking your old friend’s FB page. It’s bringing you down! Don’t do it any more. Instead create a new goal for yourself… “I’m going to find a new best friend.”
Here’s how:

  • Grab a piece of paper and make a list (I love lists!)
  • Think long and deep about what’s really important to you in a friendship.
  • Write down all the traits you are looking for in a best friend. For example, you might write: Loyal, a sense of humor, intelligent, shares my interests… etc etc etc.
  • Use that list and go “shopping” for a new best friend. (Be on the lookout for the kind of people at school who’ve got what you want in a friend.)
  • When you find one, smile, say, “Hi,” and see what happens.

Go for it! Good luck! And please let me know how it goes.

Three weeks later…

Hey Terra,

I’M DOING GREAT :D I made a few more new friends who wont ditch me? and I think I have gotten over my old best friend. Though I think it would still take some time before I make a best friend.

Thank you so much, Terra!

I love happy beginnings. ;O)

If you could use some new friends this year (you can never have too many of the real kind) make a list and go shopping. It could work for you, too.

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