Saturday reads

When I contemplated NaBloPoMo, there was no way I was going to be posting on the weekends as well. Just 5 days a week. I'm in the zone though and this one is easy enough. I love it when other bloggers do a weekly reading list - things that they've read on the internet that they find worthy and that their readship might not have otherwise found. Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan does That's What She Said regularly, and Liz over at Inventing Liz is also doing somewhat sporadic reading lists.

Having a theme is a good idea, but today is not the day for themes. I'm just going to link to a range of random posts or newspaper articles that I've read and found insightful, uplifting, intriguing etc. Most, if not all, will have something to do with parenting, so I suppoe there's a theme. I will put the link and a paragraph from the story, but obviously it's up to you guys to click through and read the whole thing if takes your fancy.There will be some posts that have been around on the interwebz for a while, but are so amazingly gobsmackingly awesome, I'll link to them anyway because there's just no way you can miss them. It is worth noting though that I'm not posting things that I neccessarily agree with - some are just thought-provoking pieces that have me feeling reflective and thinking about certain things differently.

Protecting kids from pornography: the new responsibility of parents in the internet age from Rage Against the Minivan

I’m gonna lay something down that I want every parent the world over to consider:

There is a lot of pornography on the internet, and your teen will probably try to look at it.

Yes.  Your kid.

Because kids are naturally curious about sex.

Sexual curiosity is completely normal.  It is a part of growing up.  I can remember being very curious about how things worked as a teen.  I can recall looking through our family’s Encyclopedia Britannica looking for answers to what this whole sex thing was about.  Not because I was a troubled kid or because I had a strained relationship with my parents.  But because I was a normal teen.

What’s NOT normal is that today, kids can access video and images that are way beyond what their developing brains can handle.  When I was a kid the most salacious thing I was going to find in my home would be some anatomical drawing or a definition in the dictionary.  Nowadays, when kids go searching for answers, they are likely to stumble upon videos of real people in the act of sex. 

Why parents lie to let kids join Facebook by Peggy Orenstein at Motherlode (NYT)

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was designed to protect children from that kind of exposure. Enacted by Congress in 1998, it limits the amount of information any site can collect from children under 12. Among other things, it requires verifiable parental consent before collecting personal data; mandates the posting of a policy describing how that information will be used; and requires the maintenance of “confidentiality, security and integrity of information they collect from children.”

The parents of 7.5 million children have given that idea a collective shrug.

A letter to grandparents of children with RAD by Welcome to my Brain (which I originally found at Last Mom)

Do not follow T-Shirt psychology. You know those cute T’s that say, “If Mom says NO, ask Grandma!” This is the kiss of death if you want to be a good grandparent to your RADish. RADishes are experts at playing others against Mom. If they can get you to overrule Mom, they have added one more thing to their list of all the reasons Mom cannot be trusted. A RADish’s Mom must always be in charge….not Grandma.

After the Airport by Jen Hatmaker

So today, I'm writing for you who are somewhere "after the airport." The big moment is over and you are living in the aftermath when the collective grief or euphoria has passed. You lost a parent, a sibling, a friend, a child. The experience mobilized every single human being who loves you, and they rallied, gathered, carried you. And now it's three months later on a random Tuesday, and the sting has worn off for everyone else, and you are left in your sorrow.

I'm writing for those of you who had the oh-so-wanted baby after the cheers and showers and Facebook fervor, and now you're struggling with a depression so dark and deep, you are afraid to say it out loud. To you who moved across the country in obedience - you left your family, church, community, your jobs - and now the headline has passed and you are lonely and unanchored. For my friends who've brought their adopted children home and the media frenzy has died down, and you are holding a screaming toddler, a fragile kindergartener, an angry teen, trying to catch your breath and make it through the day without bawling while everyone else has gone back to their regularly scheduled programs...I'm with you today.

Fake Family by Jen Hatmaker

I had these ideas about bringing the kids home to a perfectly run household with impressive structures and systems; our food was all organic obviously, and our kids miraculously stopped fighting. In fact, after Ben and Remy arrived, there would never be another argument in our home. We would be the ideal prototype for responsible child-rearing. Our kids would track with math and science scores reported from Japan. They would certainly not become addicted to Movies on Demand or Angry Birds, because they could only earn a maximum of fifteen minutes of screen time a week after completing their required chores and "bonus exercise points" through the online job chart we complete by 6:30pm each night, after enjoying the traditional Ethiopian meal I made from scratch but before their systematic language instruction (their bedtime ritual), which would really just reinforce the conversational practice they'd enjoy with our Amharic tutor three days a week, refreshing their native tongue and instructing the rest of us as well. We'd all be pretty fluent by Halloween. (It's just because we love them so much. Don't make a big deal out of it.)

Fake Family is impressive. Let me tell you. They would sail through their post-adoption social worker visits. People would talk. You couldn't ignore their awesomeness for long. They would be invited on panels. Dr. Karyn Purvis would comment on their blogs.

I just noticed while linking to Jen's blog (I could link the entire thing - it has blown me away) that she has a NEW post, so I'll wrap this post up so I can sink my teeth into THAT one.

Hope you enjoy the reads as much as I did!

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