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.

App Friday: Be Confident sale – $.99 May 6th only

May 6, 2011

"Be Confident" on sale for $.99 (May 6, 2011 only)

Fridays are inherently cool. App Fridays are especially welcome because that’s when Moms With Apps* features their weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. And guess who’s featured today? That would be me and David (aka Electric Eggplant). Which is why,  for today, Friday, May 6th 2011, our Middle School Confidential app (aka Be Confident) is on sale for 99 cents. Got a 4th-8th grader? Got access to an iPad. For $.99 you can give that kid you love something (s)he wants more than anything… the gift of confidence to be who they really are.

MWA: seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families

*Never heard of Moms With Apps!? Let me tell you, for newbie app developers like me and David, this wonderfully supportive consortium that’s committed to quality kid and family content, has been the difference between stumbling and bumbling on all-fours vs. having a lighted path to walk on. We’re grateful for their friendship and ongoing support, so here’s a plug for them. They’ve launched their own app the Moms With Apps App Catalogue (of apps, of course!) Check ’em out.

Update (May 7th, 2011): Our app has now returned to its normal price of $3.99. Download our Be Confident iPad app.



Be Confident iPad app give away

April 12, 2011

Our iPad app, "Be Confident in Who You Are: A Middle School Confidential™ Graphic Novel"

UPDATE: 4/13 Thank you to all who entered the Be Confident app Give-Away! Congratulations to our 2 winners: Himabindu Tummuru and Jeanne Demers!


For today only, in honor of my birthday and my 10,000th tweet I’m giving away 2 FREE copies of our new iPad app for 4th-8th graders: Be Confident in Who You Are: A Middle School Confidential™ Graphic Novel.

NOTE: This give-away is for iPad only. If you’ve got an iPhone (but no iPad) and long for the Be Confident app, hold that thought! In a few weeks we’ll be releasing a universal version that will work on iPad and iPhone/iPod.

SIMPLE CONTEST RULES: Recall a time when you crossed over from self-doubt to CONFIDENT. Use 140 characters or less to describe when you became AWESOME even if only for a moment. Tweet* it to @Annie_Fox Contest ends at 10 AM PDT on April 13th.

*If you don’t have a twitter account send your 140 character (or less) entry to me

Thanks and good luck!


What other people think

April 5, 2011

That doesn't bother me... much

Tweens and teens are famously self-conscious around their peers. The risk of falling short of what’s “cool” can be so intimidating it’s a wonder they crawl out of the sack and get themselves to school. Each day 160,000 American kids don’t bother. They can’t deal with the judgement, put-downs and out-and-out cruelty from other students so they stay home.

I know at least one adult who also wrestles with self-doubts. Before I leave the house for a speaking gig,  I stress over my hair and what I’m wearing, especially when I’m presenting to middle schoolers. I try on a half dozen different tops, pants, earrings in an attempt to look cooler. I know it’s a total crap shoot and I’m sure I often fail miserably, but I make the effort because I want the kids to accept me. Kinda sweet and kinda pathetic too.

Why does it matter so much what other people think? Well, as a species we’re programed to try to get other folks to like us. We’re not the fiercest beasts in the jungle so we need to team up to survive. A team works for the mutual benefit of all members only if those members are on good terms.

And so, throughout the millennia, we’ve become skilled at decoding each other’s micro-expressions – fleeting facial indications of fear, disgust, surprise, approval, etc. When we see disapproval, it’s time to back-pedal… quick!

For example, suppose we’re chatting and I say, “Wow! Last night for dinner we had the best steamed okra.” I’m about to add, “You’ve gotta try this recipe!” But before I do, I detect a Yuck expression flit across your face. Uh-oh…  I offended you. I’m in trouble! If you vote to kick me off the team my survival’s at stake. I’ve gotta figure a fast, face-saving move. I’ve got it! “Of course, not everyone likes okra…” I say with a charming smile. You nod and smile back. Phew! That was close!

I created this quiz to help kids start thinking about all this. Share it with your child. Take it yourself. Food for thought. Tastier than okra.


  1. If my friends think something is funny, I’ll laugh even if I don’t get the joke. True/False
  2. The worst thing is to do something embarrassing in front of people. T/F
  3. If everyone’s seen a movie but me, I’ll say I saw it. T/F
  4. If my parents think something’s a “good” idea, I’m suspicious. T/F
  5. I hate making decisions cause it sucks to be wrong. T/F
  6. I’m never the first person to give my opinion. T/F
  7. I’ve dropped out of an activity I liked because none of my friends were into it. T/F
  8. It’s risky to say how you really feel. T/F
  9. If someone makes fun of what I’m wearing, I won’t wear it again. T/F
  10. If my friends think something’s cool, I’ll try it even if I’m not sure I’ll like it. T/F

7-10 Trues: You worry what others think and it brings you down.With a boost in self-confidence and support from family and friends, you’ll trust yourself more and enjoy being you.

3-6 Trues: Sometimes it’s hard for you to stand up for yourself, but when you do it feels good. You’re getting better all the time at being your own person.

0-2 Trues: You hardly ever worry what others think because you’re self-confident and have a lot of self-respect. You may not know it, but people respect you for who you are.

*Excerpted from Be Confident in Who You Are, Book 1 of my Middle School Confidential series. Just released as a graphic novel iPad app (for ages 8-14) and now available from iTunes.

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