Irina Gonzalez

Video: Tiger Mom Says She’s a Proud Strict Mom

Written on January 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm , by

Last year Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, ignited a lot of controversy over her strict and extreme parenting style. In this video, she talks about the memoir, the backlash that happened afterward and why she’s a hands off mom now that her child is in college. Watch it below:

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Ask Rosalind: How do I talk to my teen about his cousin smoking pot?

Written on October 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm , by

Smart ways to help your tweens & teens navigate the real world by Rosalind Wiseman

Q: My 16-year-old just showed me a post on the Facebook page of his older cousin—a guy he really looks up to—that says he smoked pot with his college history professor. How should I approach this? And should I tell his parents? He’s 19 but I think they’d want to know.

 

A: Can we just take a moment to point out how pathetic it is that some professors think smoking pot with their students is cool? And safe to say it’s not exactly where parents want their tuition dollars going. But back to your son: The good news is he values your opinion enough to implicitly ask whether this behavior is acceptable. Initiate a dialogue by communicating your thoughts clearly, then listening carefully to his. Say something like, “Thanks for showing me. It seems the professor is trying way too hard to be popular with students. What do you think about that? Why do you think Sam feels the need to post this?” As far as talking to his parents, inform them of what you know so they aren’t in the dark; they can make whatever decision they feel is most appropriate. For example, say, “I saw Sam posted something on his Facebook page about partying with a professor. Not sure if you’ve seen it but you may want to check it out.”

Read more Ask Rosalind.

– ROSALIND WISEMAN

Rosalind Wiseman helps families and schools with bullying prevention and media literacy. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes inspired the hit movie Mean Girls. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com.

dollars going. But back to your
son: The good news is he values
your opinion enough to implicitly
ask whether this behavior is
acceptable. Initiate a dialogue by
communicating your thoughts
clearly, then listening carefully to
his. Say something like, “Thanks
for showing me. It seems the
professor is trying way too hard
to be popular with students.
What do you think about that?
Why do you think Sam feels the
need to post this?” As far as
talking to his parents, inform
them of what you know so they
aren’t in the dark; they can make
whatever decision they feel is
most appropriate. For example,
say, “I saw Sam posted something
on his Facebook page about
partying with a professor. Not
sure if you’ve seen it but you may
want to check it out.”

Ask Rosalind: How can I help my son with Asperger’s who just started high school?

Written on October 17, 2011 at 10:00 am , by

Smart ways to help your tweens & teens navigate the real world by Rosalind Wiseman

Q: I’m worried about my 15-year-old, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and just started high school. He is bright and high functioning but has trouble socially and is very small for his age.

 

A: I totally get your concern. Navigating the complex world of high school social dynamics is hard enough, but kids with Asperger’s have even more difficulty reading others’ social cues. On top of that, they can be so concrete-thinking and honest that they may not pick up on people making fun of them. All this makes them especially vulnerable to being mocked or bullied. On the positive side, a lot of Asperger’s students I know want friends—they’re just not as concerned about fitting in or keeping up with the latest trends. So it’s crucial that your son learn three things: social skills, like not interrupting or constantly sharing stories about himself; communication tools, so he can speak to others about his Asperger’s (being honest and direct works well for my students); and strategic plan development, in case someone is cruel (this will help him reach out to teachers or counselors at school).

Read more Ask Rosalind.

– ROSALIND WISEMAN

Rosalind Wiseman helps families and schools with bullying prevention and media literacy. Her book Queen Bees and Wannabes inspired the hit movie Mean Girls. For more info, go to rosalindwiseman.com.

Trend Alert: Tween Girls Decorating Inside of Lockers

Written on October 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm , by

When I was in middle school our locker decorations were pretty simple and, I now realize, really boring. I put up pictures of my friends, a mirror and maybe a dry-erase board if I was lucky. These days, though, girls can create a miniature room of their own with great new accessories available today.

According to the New York Times, this growing trend includes more than just a photo of the latest heartthrob (Justin Timberlake when I was growing up). Girls across the country are outfitting their school lockers with miniature furry carpets, lamps and chandeliers (like the ones above), mirrors, decorative flowers and magnetic wallpapers in all kinds of fun colors and patterns.

Two moms even started the company LockerLookz, creating some of these fun products for kids, after other moms admired the creative way they helped their daughters decorate. On the site, you can get wallpapers, fashion bins, mirrors, dry-erase boards, flowers, rugs, lamps and those super-adorable chandelier in patterns like zebra or polka dots in bright colors.

But some think the trend goes too far and takes the focus away from books (what should traditionally be kept in your locker).

Tell us, momsters: What do you think? Is this a fun trend you’d let your daughter try out or do you find it kind of ridiculous? Share with us in the comments below!

What if you caught your kid cheating on the SATs?

Written on September 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm , by

A sophomore at Emory University was recently arrested after allegedly accepting a fee of up to $2,500 to take the SATs for 6 high school students in Long Island. And now school officials and prosecutors are saying that there is a continuing investigation focusing on other schools and students.

What’s causing an increase in kids looking to cheat their way to success? Henry Grishman, the superintendent of Jericho Public Schools on Long Island, believes that it’s because competition between kids for scholarships and college entrance has increased.

With tests becoming more higher-stakes, 1,000 scores of the SATs are withdrawn for misbehavior with 99% of those being for copying.

Read the full story from the New York Times here.

We want to hear from you! Head to our Momster Groups to answer the question: What would you do if you caught your teen cheating on the SATs?

Do you teach Civil Rights history in your home?

Written on September 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm , by

A study has found that student’s knowledge of Civil Rights history has deteriorated. And they blame the academic standards for public schools in the states.

“Across the country, state educational standards virtually ignore our civil rights history,” concludes the report.

The report assigned letter grades to each state and 35 states got an F because their standards require little or no mention of the movement. Alabama, Florida and New York were given A grades. The rest received B’s or C’s.

Read the full story here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/education/28civil.html?_r=2&hpw

I grew up with a good knowledge of history that I learned in school, but I admit that it wasn’t something we talked about at home. That always made me uncomfortable and, since I personally enjoy history, I’ve resolved to teach my kids as much as I can. But it saddens me to see that I can’t rely on school to give them the whole story of American History.

In our Discussion, we ask: Do you think it’s important for schools to keep up teaching this part of American History? Do you talk about hero Martin Luther King, Jr, or Rosa Parks in your home? Do you watch Black History Month programming with your kids in February?

How important is teaching your children about American History in YOUR home?

Are Math-Hating Shirts Sending the Wrong Message to Girls?

Written on September 14, 2011 at 1:14 pm , by

Have you noticed the Math-Hating fashion trend hitting stores this Fall?

First it was JCPenney’s “I’m too pretty to do homework” sweater and last week it was their possibly sexist shirt for tweens that declares Boys, Shopping, Dancing and Music as a girl’s best subjects (see our Momster Discussion on the topic). Now it’s Forever 21′s “Allergic to Algebra” tees. Can’t a girl catch a break?

When I saw the first of these shirts, I didn’t think much of it. I shop at both of those stores all the time, so I shrugged it off.

But then there was another. And another. Is this a thing now? Is it OK to make fun of girls for not being great at math?

I’ll admit that I am not the best at math. In fact, I always say I hate math and joke to my friends that there’s a good reason I’m in publishing. When the check comes at the end of the night, it takes the combined power of my iPhone calculator and my fingers to count how much I owe.

Yes, I still count on my fingers and I’m not ashamed that math isn’t one of my strong suits. I have plenty of other skills to make up for it. And yes, I hated algebra. But would I want to wear that on my chest? I don’t think so. Maybe being bad at math is something I should be working on improving instead of making fun.

Are these shirts sending the wrong message?

I know plenty of women who are strong at math. Great at it, even. Both of my paternal grandparents were math professors and my grandma actually wrote a math book that’s still being used in Universities today. She wasn’t allergic to Algebra, for sure. And I’m sure she would appreciate the Math Prize for Girls competition this Saturday, Sept 17th, on the MIT Campus more than she would appreciate this fashion trend.

What about you? Did you have strong women role models growing up? Are you one for your daughter? And what do you think of these tees– are they just annoying, really fashionable or a little bit offensive? Share in the comments below!