Archive for May, 2010

Momania makes Mashable: Tips for social media parenting!

We talk a lot on our blog about the social media and how you and your kids are using it.

These are conversations our parenting community has on a regular basis and – the web site about social media — wanted our expertise on the topic. wanted to know how parents can help their kids use social media while avoiding pitfalls. The overall feeling by the sources interviewed is you can’t keep your kids from engaging in social media so you need to help them learn how to intelligently navigate it.

You can check the article out here. (You may recognize the Phineas and Ferb PSA – I sent that along too!)

What would your tips be to help parents keep their kids safe on social media?

(Be sure to check out our Fun Friday post below — photos of things your kids have ruined!)

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Fun Friday: A web site about things your kids ruin!

I’m going to post a couple of things today but since it’s Fun Friday I thought I would start with a funny Web site I found on The Huffington Post the other day. It’s called “S#@$ My Kids Ruined” and it’s a web site of photos of things children have destroyed in their parents’ houses.  The tagline on the site is “The Strongest Visual Birth Control on the Market.” (Here is a link to the archive. The site was kind of hard to navigate.)

I was cracking up at the photos because we have all been shocked by the damage they could inflict in such a short period of time. I also like the explanatory notes that some parents give with their photos.

So check out the photos and see what you think.

The discussion question is this: What would the punishment be for some of the damage done in the photos – particularly the smashed flat-screen TV (one of my biggest fears!)?

(I have another topic up — Momania has been asked for advice about social media parenting by a major social media web site,

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Babies in bikinis; sexy 7-year-olds dancing to ‘Single Ladies’: Which of these is age-appropriate or neither?

Yesterday morning I ran across a blog asking if babies in bikinis were cute or icky? Strollerderby found the original conversation on Café Mom where the moms were pretty evenly divided on the topic. Here’s a sample of the conversation.

From Strollerderby:

“What’s interesting to me is how the debate is framed from such vastly different perspectives. For some moms, it’s an issue of modesty and for others, it’s a question of the sexualization of girls. A few moms expressed concern about sexual predators, and others said that bikinis should be reserved for grown-up women.”

“The majority of moms who weighed in seemed to think it was “no big deal,” but several voiced strong opposition.

“ ‘The point of the bikini being created was to show off as much body as possible including boobs and butt, hips, etc… the parts men find sexy. Bikinis are lingerie that have been accepted to be worn in public. Why would anyone put publicly accepted sex attire on a child?’ wrote one mom.”

I sort of …

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Reporter seeking parents with drop-sided cribs

AJC reporter Nedra Rhone is looking for parents who have drop-sided cribs, have returned the cribs or have retrofitted them. If you would be interested in sharing your concerns or stories about your drop-sided crib with the newspaper, please email Nedra at Please leave your name and a number where you can be reached.

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New cost-cutting plan for Gwinnett County: No more personal fridges for teachers!

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and we were so proud that our class collected enough money to buy our teacher a mini-fridge for her classroom next year.

I bought the fridge last Thursday with the plan to give our teacher the present Friday afternoon. I stopped by the school Friday morning around 9 a.m. to ask our head custodian for help lifting the fridge that afternoon. She said I don’t think you want to give it to her. She won’t be allowed to use it next year.

Jaw drops! Mouth agape! What!! But this is our class present! What do you mean she can’t use it next year.

The county sent out a memo earlier that week announcing to help save money it will not allow teachers to have personal refrigerators in their rooms next year.

How much money could that possibly save you might ask?

Well actually quite a bit according to Jorge Quintana, director of media relations for Gwinnett County.

The county estimates it can save $698,000 a year by eliminating the personal fridges and …

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Should public schools force parents to volunteer?

Some schools in the San Francisco area are creating mandatory volunteer hours that parents must fulfill in their schools. In some cases the parents receive a grade based on how involved they are and in another school, they literally have a set numbers of hours they must meet.

From The New York Times:

“Inspired by Adelante, now San Jose’s Alum Rock Union Elementary School District is at work on a proposal to require the families of all its 13,000 students to do 30 hours of volunteering per school year. Many of the schools in the district, where 88 percent of the students are poor, do not even have a Parent-Teachers Association.

“We are trying to create a culture of strong parent-guardian-family participation,” trustee Gustavo Gonzalez, whose children attend Adelante, told The San Jose Mercury News….”

“ ‘It’s really simplifying what we know about what really helps children learn,’ said Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School …

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RECALL: ‘Best Friend’ charm bracelets recalled for cadmium

Parents need to check their daughters’ jewelry boxes for a new potential threat: “Best Friend” charm bracelets made in China and sold at Claire’s Boutiques had high levels of cadmium. I remember having these charms when I was in elementary school and we loved them. It’s terrible that now parents have to worry about these charms causing harm to their children’s kidneys and bones! Here’s the full report:

From The Associated Press:

“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tells The Associated Press its inspectors at the nation’s ports are now screening imported children’s jewelry for cadmium.”

“On Monday, the agency announced the recall of about 19,000 “Best Friends” charm bracelets made in China and sold at the Claire’s chain because of high levels of cadmium, which can harm the kidneys and bones and is a known carcinogen.”

“Agency scientists confirmed test results that AP reported in January, showing high levels of cadmium in the “Best Friends” bracelets sold at …

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Tell-All Generation finally figuring out privacy online?

(Clearly this “Phineas and Ferb” internet safety video is meant for a younger audience than the Tell-All Generation, but I think it’s an effective way for my elementary kids to start understanding the threats of social media. This is a correlating video and tips for parents in the digital age.)

A new survey finds that some 20-somethings who grew up sharing everything – compromising photos, rants and raves – on Facebook are finally learning to keep some things offline.

The New York Times headline calls them the “Tell-All Generation” and they spend their high-school and college years sharing liberally on social media – every party photo, every funny prank and every questionable comment. But a new survey from the University of California, Berkeley, finds that this generation is figuring out that oversharing may not be the best idea.

From The New York Times:

“While participation in social networks is still strong, a survey released last month by the University of California, …

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10 things parents should know about ‘Iron Man 2′

If you have a boy and he’s over the age of 8, you’re going to be asked if he can see “Iron Man 2.” So to save you some fret or maybe even having to see the movie beforehand, here is GeekDad’s descriptive review for parents. He tells you exactly what you need to know when deciding if it is appropriate for your child.

And let me just add that there’s no way in heck any of my kids will be going – but Michael and I will be! (By the way, “Iron Man 2″ rocketed past the first movie it’s opening weekend. Here’s the full story.)

So to make your life easier: 10 Things Parents Should Know about “Iron Man 2.”

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Are you ready for summer camp?

Overnight camps are a summer tradition. For some people, summer camps are a way for generations of the same family to share similar memories of canoeing, “mystery meat” in the mess hall and cabin wars. For others, camps are a chance for kids to trade over-packed schedules of modern life for a few weeks of good old-fashioned fun. Thanks to Hollywood, even those who have never set foot on the hallowed grounds of Camp Whatsitsname have vivid images of what summer camp is like – food fights, campfires, homesick campers, counselors canoodling in the cabins…well, you get the picture.

I did not go away to summer camp until I was nine years old. Even though I didn’t go every year like some people used to do, I always had a great time. I can still remember canoeing, swimming, being “forced” to write postcards home to my parents, making new friends and having to wear flip-flops in the shower. By the time I went off to camp, I was too old to feel really homesick, too young to canoodle, …

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