On The Internet

As a parent, I struggle with the internet and the safety of my child. I walk a very fine line between paranoia and caution. As a blogger, it’s always there in my mind. 

I write about my life and Kiddo is practically the center of everything.  Most of the noteworthy events in our lives occur on some level because of his very existence. 

Back to privacy: I worry about it while understanding the generational impact of the use of the internet. It’s so totally normal for Kiddo in ways that it wasn’t for me at his age. Honestly, using the internet regularly didn’t happen until I was nearly in my 20s. I didn’t get into social media until maybe 10 years ago.  I’m of the first generation to (gasp!) meet people from the internet in person. 

I talked with my best friend not too long ago about social media since her oldest turned 13 and asked to get Facebook. I like the privacy controls that are in place there – I keep my profile fairly locked down.  No public location, all private photos and the like.  I don’t allow Kiddo’s picture to be posted on his daycare’s social media. 

I’ve realized that I am less censored here.  This is my little space on the web; I don’t reach a big audience. I take for granted that my voice is mostly unnoticed in the greater world of blogs. 

Privacy doesn’t really ‘ping’ my radar until I start writing about Kiddo and go to find a picture.  Then, I pause. Who else is in the picture? Where was it taken? Would the posting of it be an issue for me if I found it on a blog that wasn’t mine?

How much privacy should our children have in our social media?  Does the idea of protecting them still extend out into the internet the way it used to? 

Unsettled

Tonight, I am feeling unsettled. It’s not quite anxiety but I suppose this general sense of unease would be a close cousin. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what the cause is and the best I can come up with is that it’s the summer change of schedule.

Kiddo is home for the summer as of tomorrow.  Paying summer rates for daycare when we have the ability to keep him home does not make sense. Plus, all the summer travel! Plans for a week away are settled for the end of June in Oklahoma (just Kiddo) and then California (all of us) in July. We are also spending the weekend of July 4th in Iowa. 

I have outlined activities two days a week at the library. Every day he must complete two pages from his school workbooks.  There will be pool time and bike riding practice at the park. We are working on getting time set up with his friends for play dates.

Tonight, Kiddo got upset at the realization that he won’t be at school or daycare for the next two months. He’s back into this world full of adults and it surprised me that this was potentially an issue for him. I still don’t know what the best answer for his concern is. He does his best but I can’t expect him to realize how much work it can be just to arrange a play date sometimes. 

Sometimes I wish he wasn’t so much like me in regards to change.  I like routine and find comfort in the familiar. Change is always at least a little scary for me. It sets off my control issues and anxiety. Once I am in the midst of it, I know I can handle it…but I am not a go with the flow type.

I don’t want him to think the worst when there is change. It’s a necessary part of life – we need it to learn and grow.  

I wonder what I can do to help him? 

Teachable Moments

Having just written a blog about my mental health, I was not prepared to delve into the topic of my hearing loss, but that just not how it has ended up.

Last night, right in the middle of a conversation with kiddo, my left hearing aid chimed its low battery noise. It startled me so much that I completely stopped talking. That hasn’t happened in a few months.

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Boundaries

Fairly consistently, I have to remind myself of things. These vary in importance; from my work schedule to watering the plants to checking if kiddo has brushed his teeth before bed. I’m the Mom and I feel like all of it is my responsibility. Especially if it relates specifically to my child.

Tonight, I had to remind myself that no matter how old I get, I am still my mother’s child.

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Parenting & Public Safety

Note: I wanted to title this post To Pee Or Not To Pee, but I just couldn’t do it.

In September of 2015, Target’s corporate website was updated to show their support of the Equality Act.  Today, a further statement was made in regards to the topic of the use of public restrooms by Target staff and guests.

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Building A (Book Loving) Boy

So I came across this amazing article that I really like on two topics very dear to my heart!

Why Boys Should Read Girl Books by Caroline Paul

I put very few limitations on what kiddo reads. I’ve always encouraged him to read and it has been my greatest accomplishment so far that he has a strong love for reading.

He reads above his grade level.  That did cause some issues early in the school year in the “read and test” setup that is supposed to help a teacher determine a student’s reading level.  It took awhile to get everything squared away so that his reading assignments are both interesting and at his level.  We utilize our public library often, since he goes through books so quickly – I cannot tell you how relieved I was to see their very large Hank the Cowdog section!

I started thinking back, trying to remember if I had ever seen him express any interest in a book featuring a female lead or a series focused more on female characters.  I couldn’t think of one.  I talked with my boyfriend about this on the way to pick kiddo up from daycare and he was stumped as well.

But the real question is have I ever steered him away from those books? Or actively encouraged him to look for them?

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I checked his bookcase and was (relieved) happy to find that there was, at least one book featuring a female protagonist.  We have a few of the Ramona series as well as a Junie B Jones book.  He just finished the first of a new series called The Genius Factor: How to Catch An Invisible Cat, which has a female lead also.  I’ve been trying for several years to get him to read Harriet the Spy but it hasn’t ever caught his interest.

I know, a few books isn’t exactly groundbreaking in terms of impact.  To the very best of my knowledge, I’ve never deterred him from any book that was age appropriate.  As soon as he took an interest in choosing his own reading material, I let him loose in the stacks, so to speak!  I do a quick once over before we check out.  His interests these days seem to rotate around sports and cars.

Pretty standard “boy” stuff.

I absolutely stand in agreement with the author’s stance that we need to not only advocate for more diversity in children/young reader books.  As the mother of a young (white, middle class) male child – I need to perhaps push even harder for my son to be encouraged to read about perspectives other than his own.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him to read The Babysitters Club.  But I can look for more books like The Genius Factor series he started that feature girls in central roles.  I wonder if my library will have The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure available for loan?

Miles To Go

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Kiddo has been travelling since a very young age. For the first three years of his life, we lived in North Carolina. About six weeks after he was born, we flew back to my hometown in north Texas for my grandfather’s funeral. He was so tiny that it was an easy flight – I was able to hold/carry him for the entire experience.

The second flight home about 6 months later was a mess; I’m not going to lie to you.

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