But, Dad, Everyone Else Has One…

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have been debating this for some time but have yet to agree: When should we let our 10-year old daughter have a cell phone? She says all of her friends have one and, as far as I can tell, she’s right. I don’t feel that she needs one, nor do I think she’s old enough for a $400 piece of equipment. My wife disagrees and says our daughter needs a phone for safety. I’ve been holding my ground, but the pressure from wife and daughter is getting unbearable. What do we do?

A: Let’s start with a reality check. I’m betting that, despite what you’ve seen, not all of your daughter’s friends actually do have a phone. According to a recent study by the National Consumers League, only 56% of 8-12-year olds (“only” is a relative term).That said, as the dad of a 10-year old daughter, I feel you. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all, black-and-white solution. Cost definitely figures in somewhere, but it’s mostly about maturity. Some 9-year olds might be able to handle the responsibilities of having a phone while some 14-year olds might not be.
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How Toddlers Thrive


Tovah Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive.
Topic: What parents can do for kids ages 2-5 to plant the seeds of lifelong success.
Issues: Who are toddlers? why they do the things they do; teaching self-regulation; why they pull you close, then push you away; the importance of learning to think like a toddler; solutions for common toddler issues like tantrums, toilet training; sleep; sharing, and playing.

Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World + Who Are Toddlers, Anyway


Tsh Oxenreider, author of Notes from a Blue Bike.
Topic: The art of living intentionally in a chaotic world.
Issues: The story of one family’s quest to live more simply, fully, and intentionally.


Tovah Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive.
Topic: What parents can do for kids ages 2-5 to plant the seeds of lifelong success.
Issues: Who are toddlers? why they do the things they do; teaching self-regulation; why they pull you close, then push you away; the importance of learning to think like a toddler; solutions for common toddler issues like tantrums, toilet training; sleep; sharing, and playing.

You Forgot to Do Your Chores? Again? Really?

Dear Mr. Dad, My wife and I are extremely frustrated that we are always seem to be reminding our children, ages 10 and 14, to do their chores. They know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, but they’re constantly “forgetting”—even if it’s something they’ve done three times a week for the last six months. We’ve discussed this with some of our friends who have kids about the same age, and they all have the same problem. Is there some way to get kids to do their chores without having to nag them over and over?

A: Kids have been “forgetting” to do their chores since the beginning of time—and parents have been nagging just as long. I’m sure Ma and Pa Cro-Magnon got sick and tired of reminding their cubs to put their spears away or take the sabertooth out for a walk. No question, kids sometimes “forget” their chores as a way of getting out of doing them (an approach that’s often successful). But sometimes they really do forget—even after being reminded 174 times. Unfortunately, there’s no sure-fire cure for this kind of selective memory loss, but there are a few strategies that may help.
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Words that Wound


Justin Patchin, co-author of Words Wound.
Topic:
Delete cyberbullying and make kindness go viral.
Issues: What is cyberbullying and how common is it? bullying in person vs. online? the consequences of cyberbullying; what to do if you’re being cyberbullied; how to start standing up instead of standing by; building a culture of kindness.