Middle School Survival Kit: The Role of Technology in Parenting a Middle Schooler

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During some interviews with grandparents, I found the
universal sentiment that raising children “is harder today” for
their children than it had been for the grandparents. Asked
why, most of them commented on the role of technology,
and when I interviewed current middle school parents, the
majority of their worries were in some way related to just that. Read more…

Coming Soon, the iPad3: Effects of New Technology on Education and the Digital Divide

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Is it just me, or does the continued hyper-focus on technology in the classroom leave anyone else just a little bit cold? While it has long been said that academic institutions change more slowly than any others, and for good reason, this is perhaps no longer the case. When I was a school administrator, the joke was always that the kids could keep ahead of the technology, while the adults were forever chasing both. Read more…

Biting Among Toddlers and Preschoolers

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The memory is still fresh: I take my daughter to her pediatrician for her 18-month-old checkup and he asks me, “Any hitting, kicking or biting?”  Just like that!  I thought, this man is a genius! A mind reader! How did he know I was about to bring that up?? What followed was a discussion about how toddlers her age, up through preschoolers, frequently talk not through words, but through physicality. If another child grabs your child’s toy, he or she is just as likely to reach out and hit, slap, bite, kick or scratch as to say, “Excuse me? I was using that. May I please have it back?” Read more…

Middle School Survival Kit: Which is harder, being a middle schooler or being the parent of one?

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Sometimes I don’t know what is harder—being a middle
schooler, or being the parent of one. I’ve always felt that the
wounds your child receives cut you more deeply than those
received personally. I often say that seventh grade was the
worst year of my life. Many of my friends echo that sentiment.
But when my daughter was in seventh grade, that was a
brand new exercise in vicarious misery; and while it would be
hyperbolic to say that my child’s seventh grade year was the
worst year of my life, it was certainly wounding to both of us. Read more…