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.

Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour

February 28, 2013

As a published author, of course I know about book tours. Not that I’ve ever actually been on one, but I’ve attended other authors’ events at Book Passage. So, yeah. I understand the concept. What I didn’t get, until recently, is “What’s a blog tour?” Turns out it’s pretty much the same thing as a book tour without the books, the bookstore, or the fans eager to buy an autographed copy.

Not all teachers are parents, but all parents are teachers

Since I’ve got a new book I’m rather proud of and zero publicity budget, starting today,  I’m on the (virtual) road with the Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour (Feels like we need a theme song. I’ll work on it.) At each of the nineteen stops along the tour, there is no stump speech. You, my dear readers, will be treated to totally new and thought provoking content to help us 21st century parents raise nice kids who also do good in the world.

Here’s where you can find me and when:

I know it's a virtual tour, but I want this bus!

Teaching Kids to Be Good People Blog Tour Itinerary

Got the T-shirt:

February 28 – Suzanna Narducci’s blog at

February 28 –  Heather Chauvin’s blog (video interview)

March 5 – Kelly Hirt’s blog My Twice Baked Potato

March 7 – Jean Tracy MSS’ Parenting Skills Blog

March 10 –  Jeanne Demer’s The Ruby Books

March 16 –  Rick Ackerly’s blog at Genius in Children

March 18 – Margit Crane and Barbara Dab’s Good Enough Parenting Radio Show

March 18 –  Sharon Silver ‘s blog at Proactive Parenting

March 19 – Families Magazine Southwest (UK)

March 20 –  Sue McNamara at

March 21 – Kristen Ploetz’ Little Lodestar

March 27 – AK StoutDeb Evans‘ Social Geek Radio 6 pm (PT)

March 28 –  Bruce Sallan’s #DadChat “Doing the right thing is good karma” (on Twitter) 6 PM (PT) Enter TweetChat room

March 29 – Lynnee Jimenez’s

April 1 – Melissa Wardy’s blog at PigtailPals

April 8 – Keith Rispin’s Parenting Old School blog as well as Keith’s Ed Tech blog

April 15 – Carrie Goldman’s blog Portrait of an Adoption

April 19 –  Sarah Newton’s blog at Sarah

April 29 –  Dr. Laura Markham’s blog at Aha Parenting

A big thank you  to all my blog tour hosts. These are top-notch folks. All of them are authors, educators, clinicians, and/or parent coaches who do truly excellent work supporting kids, parents, and families.  I’m honored to be on the same team with each of them and I encourage you to explore their books and services. We’re all here together to help each other as we help our kids.

OK, the blog tour starts now. Wait!! How’s my hair look? Oh, right. It doesn’t matter. :O))

Happy Parenting! (And if you feel the urge, please sign the guest book.)

We're in this together!


Guest blogger: Swiss army knife – Child’s play

May 4, 2011

by Keith Rispin

Keith “Parenting Old School” Rispin is a parent of 12+ years and a 17 year teaching veteran who specializes in working with at risk youth. It is from this unique perspective along with his own no nonsense upbringing that Keith writes. He believes parenting’s become far too permissive and tries to to shed light on the “absurdity of today’s soft and over indulgent” parenting styles. Whether you agree or not, Keith hopes you’ll find something in his writing to either like, love or even absolutely despise. “It is only through dialog about the differences in our perspectives that we can make the world a better place for ourselves and our children.”

A tool? A danger? A learning opportunity? All of the above?

Ah the Swiss army knife. The ultimate utility tool. Knife, bottle opener, corkscrew, tweezers, screwdriver, pry bar, saw, stick sharpener, bug dissection tool… The list of uses is endless.

I have had one close at hand for as long as I can remember. I was given one as a kid and in my list of life’s big events, I think it ranks in the top 10.

That Swiss Army Knife meant a number of things. Most of which I didn’t realize at the time but recently, I was afforded the opportunity to reflect on just how important that knife was in my growth into adulthood. It was the first stepping stone toward independence, feeling trusted and logical consequence.

Let me explain further. I had a very short conversation the other day with a neighbour about my daughter and her pocket knife.

“Hey Keith, do you realize that your daughter has been using your Swiss Army Knife in the forest?”

“Actually it is her Swiss Army Knife and yes I am quite aware”

“Do you think that is safe?”

“Just as safe as it was when I was twelve”

With that, I got a quizzical look but it got me thinking, what are all the good things that came out of having my very own pocket knife at my disposal when I was a kid?

Independence: Owning a Swiss Army Knife of your own, meant that you didn’t have to ask your dad for his or to have to ask permission to use the household one. You had the freedom to take it out and use it whenever necessary. Believe it or not, I even remember using it in class during Chemistry to fix some piece of science apparatus in about grade 11. Can you imagine doing that today?

Trust: It meant that your parents trusted you to responsibly use this sharp object without doing inappropriate damage to people, places or things. They also trusted that you were responsible enough not to impale yourself… too often.

Logical Consequence: Knives can be very unforgiving. Use it inappropriately or incorrectly and chances are you are going to get cut. Flesh wounds  are a great learning experience, especially if they end up with a trip to emergency for stitches.

Nowadays, if you give a kid a knife… It is a cardinal sin. A tool with which a felony is sure to be committed but with that being said, I have given my eldest daughter one anyhow. Actually she has had it for about 2 summers but now she has free reign over its use.

She uses it for everything. It is an essential tool in her outdoor activity and she has been very responsible with it but why do so many parents think that modern day children should hot have access to such benign tools of the childhood experience?

It begs the questions

  1. Since when are kids incapable of being safe with inherently “dangerous” things?
  2. How are kids ever going to learn how to handle “dangerous” items if they never get the opportunity?
  3. If you can’t trust a twelve year old with a pocket knife, at what age can you trust them?
  4. Why wouldn’t you teach a child how to make sure potentially dangerous things, do not become dangerous?

We are raising social eunuchs, incapable of handling any kind of danger or risk. If we continue to “sterilize” our children’s world in the name of keeping them “safe” then what is the point of living? If we deny our children any rights of passage into adulthood which reach beyond the safety bubble we create for them, they will forever live as children in the eyes of society.

Simple risk activities and items can mean so much in the growth of your child, let them live a little. Even if it means a cut a bruise or an abrasion on occasion it is worth it in your child’s growth into an adult.


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