Monday, December 1, 2008

Twitter used to help parents keep up with their kids

Kids use technology like Facebook and texting to keep one step ahead of parents. What are parents doing to keep up? Not much. Most parents only use the phone, a one-to-one medium, so it takes a long time to get the word out. Twitter changes all that, and levels the playing field, so parents can all see what is happening as it is happening.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fellow Friends on the Journey of Parenthood

I am passing this along as another reason why we have to be diligent and work together to keep our kids safe. Who knows what could have happened at this party, although the mess and violation were certainly enough!
BTW The original email is getting responses from all over the country! Some are posted here as replies.
Frank Paolino

Dear fellow friends on the journey of parenthood,

Rob and I are writing to let you know about a party that happened at our house on Friday night, October 24th (the night the LHS party was canceled). Neither Rob nor I were home that night and we had no knowledge of the party. I went to a conference in New Bedford for the weekend, and Rob took our two daughters to Vermont to visit his mother for one night. Our son Noah asked if he could stay at the home of a friend for Friday night. I spoke with the mom and everything was all set. Noah and this friend then hoodwinked the mom and told her they were going to another friend's house to spend the night there instead. They invited a few friends over to our empty house for a party. Word of the party spread like wild fire and before long there were over 60 LHS teens (including seniors and some graduates) at our house.

When my husband got home Saturday afternoon he found the house a mess, despite their best efforts to clean. The floors were covered with dirt, grime, beer, and other substances. People had been throwing eggs, and there was egg goo all over the place. Our beds had all been slept in; one of the smoke detectors had been ripped out of the ceiling, and a thermostat had been destroyed. Two fire extinguishers had been discharged and thrown away. A nice BOSE radio/CD player and our 13 year-old daughter's womens black "Specialized" mountain bike had been stolen. My camera was found in a neighbor's yard. Our 9 year-old found a black bra in her bed. Other smaller things had been destroyed or stolen as well. The damages so far add up to well over $1,200, and Noah will be paying for everything.

Noah was charged with cleaning the entire house in a fashion that would please a USMC drill instructor. Cigarettes, pot, and beer cans were found in some amazing places. The word amongst his friends seems to be that Noah is not in trouble; this is not true. In addition to being grounded indefinitely, he'll be handing all of his job earnings over to us until all expenses have been paid off, and obviously Noah won't be having a social life for a long time. The good news is that our pet fish is still alive, and they ate all of our leftovers so at least they ate well!

Our reason for writing is that we believe that we parents are as much of a community as our kids are, hopefully even more so. The African saying "It takes a village to raise a child" is very appropriate here. We hope that we are teaching our children the meaning of community by our example, and that as a community of parents we want to send the loud and clear message that this type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable, no matter whose home it is. We're sending this email to any LHS parents who's email we happen to have. We would also like help in finding the black Specialized mountain bike and the Bose radio/CD player.

Please pass this along to other LHS parents who you think may want to know.

Thanks & Blessings,


Thursday, November 13, 2008

With a Little Help from my Friends!

Here is a blog on a little positive community activism. In Acton, MA, where I live and work, two of the Mobil stations were selling an energy drink called "Cocaine". Besides 3 1/2 times the caffeine of Red Bull (=3 shots of espresso), its name bothers some of us. In particular, Chris Tejeda, a father of 4 in Acton did not like it. It is available in 2 Mobil stations near his home. So he started a small movement, simply by standing up to be counted, that resulted, in less than one week's time, in Mobil corporate pulling the products from stores nationwide!

Below is his original email, and my follow up to the owner of one of the stores, who replied immediately, and removed the product.
Well done, Chris!

(Email from Chris Tejeda Subject: "A little help from my friends")

Hello everyone; You will, no doubt, be surprised to find that this Email does not come from my wife. I am writing this email to ask for your support with a minor issue that I have not been able to solve by "nicely asking".Here is the problem: Both the West Acton Mobil and the RT 2A Mobil sell an energy drink called "Cocaine". Many of you might have seen it because they are prominently displayed on the fridge doors. I have asked both locations twice to remove that product. The last time I advised them that they had lost me as a customer. As of this weekend, the product was still being sold at both Mobil stores. The states of Connecticut and Texas have banned the product, 7/11 stores have banned the drink and the company that manufactures the product promised to rename it last year, but never did.
Because of their convenience these Mobil stores are a place that many of our children go often, either with their parents or in a group. Do I think that if they buy this drink they will go out and do cocaine next? No.Do I think that Mobil has every right to sell whatever it wants? Yes. But I will not be a customer.

In any case, if you agree, walk into these stores and complain.
Thank you.
(Email from Frank Paolino to Mobil station owner)
Edward,This email below was sent to about 100 people in Acton, MA. We respect your decision to sell whatever you like, but we also have the option of buying gas and sundries wherever we like.
As a good community member. I respectfully request you to remove these products.
Frank Paolino
(Immediate Reply from Mobil station owner)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I was not approached by anyone about the product. I am not in the business of offending customers. I will gladly remove this product from my store. I was informed by the vendor that whatever the original problem was that caused the product to be banned was corrected. Would you please let Chris know that I will be removing it from my store and to please feel free to give me a call anytime. I am curious who he spoke to and why they didn’t bring it to my attention. My cell phone number is 978-265-xxxx.
Thank you again.
Ed Booth

(Email from Frank Paolino to 100 concerned citizens)
Ed Booth from East Acton Mobil gave a very good reply, and I think it was the correct and responsible one. He is removing the product from his store.
Thanks to Chris Tejeda for standing up on this issue.
Frank Paolino

(Email from Acton Mobil station owner)
Hi Frank,
Just wanted to drop you one more note. I spoke with Paul over at West Acton Mobil. He is removing the product from his store as well. As I mentioned before, we did not intend to offend anyone. We both attended a trade show together and were informed by the vendor that it was ok to sell the product now. Thanks one more time for your feedback.
Ed Booth

(Email from Chris Tejeda with incredible news... note the understatement)
Thank you very much, Frank. I also received a phone call from Exxon/Mobil Corporate that they will be removing this product from all stores nationwide. Chris Tejeda

Parties - How to Monitor that they will be safe?

Do you call parents before allowing kids to go to parties? List other ways you know you they are safe - and how you have been fooled.

How do you get your kid to do homework?

Post replies here to discuss techniques (any techniques) that work to get your kids to do homework.

Suggest a Topic

Put any topics that you want as a separate blog here.

- Focus on Real Techniques that Work
- There is a "New Topics" blog to start new threads
- Post any of your kid's techniques to "teach" other parents