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.

Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship Blog Tour

October 13, 2014

It’s Monday. Let’s talk about reality. What is real?

Girls’ friendship issues are real. So is the damage they can cause.

The Girls' Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship. Up with compassion and social courage. Down with social garbage.

The Girls’ Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friends without the DRAMA is also real. I wrote it. Erica De Chavez illustrated it, brilliantly. And it’s now available in print and on Kindle. No Kindle? No problem. It can be downloaded and read beautifully on anything, except maybe a microwave. If you’re not in the US, you can get the book on whatever Amazon site you usually shop on.

My desire to criss-cross the world helping girls with their friendship challenges is real.  So is the need to reduce the social garbage kids slog through daily, online and off.

My book can make things better for tweens and the adults who care about them. But alas, I had no budget for plane fares, hotels, food (and I do like to eat).

Life is not virtual, but book tours can be.

So… I got a virtual bus…

Girls' Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good will and good friendship strategies. Zero carbon emissions.

Girls’ Q&A Book Blog Tour Bus. Fueled by good  friendship strategies. Zero social garbage emissions.

Last week I hit the virtual road answering real friendship questions and letting girls and parents and teachers know that when it comes to curtailing the spread of Mean Girl Disease, we can do better.

Here’s my itinerary… Pop in any time. I hope to see you and your girls. And don’t worry about expired dates. I’m still there. Ah… the beauty of virtual existence.

October 6th> Dr. Kimberly Palmiotto’s blog at Coastal Education Services

October 10th> Dr. Amy Alamar’s blog at Parenting for the Genius

October 10th> Sarah Newton’s blog at SarahNewton.com

October 13th> Erin Harris’ blog at CrisisPrevention.com

October 13th> Wendy Young’s blog  at Kidlutions.com

October 13th> Carl Grody’s blog at GrodyFamilyCounseling.com

October 15th> Beth Onufrak’s blog at DrBethKids.com

October 16th> Louise Masin Sattler’s blog at LouiseSattler.me

October 17th> Drawp blog at Drawp.it

October 20th>Jean Tracy’s blog at ParentingSkillsBlog.com

October 23rd>Beth Engleman’s blog at MommyOnAShoestring.com

October 24th>Deborah McNelis’s blog at BrainInsights.blogspot.com

October 27th>Janine Hallorin’s blog at EncouragePlay.com

October 29th>Wendy Morelli’s blog at Tweenhood.ca

************

Coming soon… I’ll also be stopping the bus to guest post for these awesome bloggers:

Vicky Thornton and Jen Rehberger of VickyAndJen.blogspot.com

Megan Hunter of UnhookedMedia.com

Nuala O’Hanlon of KeystoneCreations.com.au

Amy Fortney Parks of Wise-EdServices.com

Sarah Newton (Part 2) of SarahNewton.com

Dr. Deborah Gilboa of AskDrG.com

Julie Brower of JulieBrower.com

Stay tuned. And if you have friendship questions, post them to COMMENTS and I’ll answer them here. No reason my own blog shouldn’t be part of the blog tour too!

---------

Eye and mind-opening event at the Microsoft Store

October 6, 2014

Let's learn about this together, kid!

Let’s learn about this together, kid!

Last Thursday’s Talk n Tech event at the MicrosoftStore in The Village (Corte Madera, CA) was a real eye-opener for me. And judging by the expressions and comments of the parents who came by to meet me and see what’s going, the same was true for them. I love technology. Especially for the ease with which it connects us and equalizes our access to information.

That said, I’m not a techie. I’m a people person. And visiting the tech stores I’ve been to in the past hasn’t been all that much fun.  But I’ve got to say that it felt really good to be in the Microsoft Store, and it wasn’t because I received compensation related to the event and to this post. Nope. I felt comfortable in the space because the folks who work at the store were so welcoming. Tea was offered! Along with nice wooden stools to sit on. One of my biggest surprises was learning how a Microsoft Store can be used by community groups for meetings and presentations at no charge! More than a store this felt like a 21st century community learning environment.

Beyond the latest in technology, what else could be learned in this space? After a tour of the store and an impressive demo of Surface Pro 3, five people and I were treated to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, and we tackled that question. The conversation around the table was so dynamic and insightful, I wish we had recorded it for posterity!  We parents talked openly about the benefits of technology in the lives of our kids and families. We also shared our genuine concerns about content, access, balance, and guidelines for helping kids develop personal standards for their online behavior.

Big questions came up around the table, without concrete answers… yet. But the questions themselves are instructive, and they spotlight areas that most parents can relate to. For example:

1. How do I keep my kid safe(r) online? Kids are wired to push boundaries and take risks. Parents are wired to keep kids safe and to help them learn to keep themselves safe. “Spyware” doesn’t help kids develop good judgement. And “just say no” isn’t effective parenting. Our job must include helping them identify what it means to be a responsible digital citizen and why their choices matter, online and off.

2. How do I teach my kids to self-monitor and self-regulate without my having to play “Computer Cop” 24/7? Social media is the vortex where Character Development battles with Peer Approval Addiction. Social media is often a highly emotionally charged environment with no boundaries. What’s a parent’s role in preparing our kids to inhabit this digital landscape?

3. How do I personally fight my own connection addiction so I can model what I preach and my family can establish a healthier balance between screen-time and unplugged time? What do I do when my kids push back… hard?

4. After I’ve ’snooped’ and discovered my child has crossed the line… how do I have conversations that will help him/her a) manage those knee-jerk destructive emotional responses and b) get my voice inside his/her head to help my child to think more clearly when I’m not around.

Hopefully, what was begun will spark more discussion. The Microsoft Store and the technology there will definitely make having those conversation a lot easier.

---------

Talk n Tech at The Microsoft Store

September 29, 2014

Kids, Tech... a natural paring. What's a parent's role?

Kids and Tech… a natural paring. What’s a parent’s role?

I’ve got something really special going on this week. Something I’ve never done before, but I know it’ll be cool and you can be part of it. (Yes, I received compensation from Microsoft related to this post, but that doesn’t make it any less cool!)

On  Thursday (October 2nd) at 11 AM I’m joining forces with @MicrosoftStore for a special Talk n Tech event at the Microsoft Store in The Village in Corte Madera, CA.

You know how committed I am to helping 21st century kids make good choices, online and off. That’s why the Microsoft Store is such an ideal venue for a community Talk n Tech event.

So c’mon down. Bring a friend. I’d love to meet you. We’ll tour the store together, get a demo of Surface Pro 3, ask tough questions, and discuss the unique benefits and challenges of raising and educating kids in the digital age.

Oh, and there’s going to be a RAFFLE! At noon, immediately after the store event, five lucky fans will win a delicious free lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (compliments of Microsoft). So we’ll be having lunch together this Thursday. Seated around a cozy table, we’ll continue a private parenting Q&A session where you can ask me anything. Can’t wait!

Hope to see you Thursday at 11 AM in Corte Madera.

---------

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
---------
« Newer PostsOlder Posts »
Find Annie Fox: Find Annie on Facebook Find Annie on Twitter Find Annie on Pinterest Find Annie on YouTube Find Annie on Google+ Find Annie on LinkedIn Find Annie on Goodreads Find Annie on Quora