Bookmarked I’m Author Austin Kleon, and This Is How I Parent  (Offspring)

Austin Kleon doesn’t glamorize creative work. It’s hard. (Hence, the “work.”) But the bestselling author has found ways to stay the course in the face of burnout, self-doubt, and yes, even raising children. He shares his wisdom in his new book Keep Going, which comes out tomorrow. Today, he talks to us about how he parents.

I always like following Kleon’s tips and reflections associated with parenting. I was just wondering about the place of Kleon’s wife in all of this. It reminded me of Douglas Rushkoff’s argument that being human is a team sport, I think the same could be said about parenting.
Bookmarked The Downside of Checking Kids’ Grades Constantly by Jessica Lahey (

Digital grade portals were designed to improve home-school communication by allowing students and parents to monitor grades and attendance throughout the year so there are no surprises at report card time. In theory, a parent who checks the portal has the opportunity to stay on top of a child’s performance and facilitate support for the child if performance slips.

The reality, at least in high-pressure school districts, is that some parents interpret the school’s invitation to constantly monitor grades and scores on the portal not as an option, but as an obligation. This obligation adds to the mounting anxiety students and parents feel in these districts.

Jessica Lahey discusses the other side to anytime, anywhere access. The effort to irresistably engage parents can lead to an increase in anxiety and a devaluing of student-teacher relationships, relevance and student engagement. It is also interesting to consider where SeeSaw and danger of the digital dump.
Liked Is Your Child An Orchid Or A Dandelion? Unlocking The Science Of Sensitive Kids by Sam Briger, Seth Kelley (KQED)

I think that this is probably the most difficult parenting task in raising an orchid child. The parent of an orchid child needs to walk this very fine line between, on the one hand, not pushing them into circumstances that are really going to overwhelm them and make them greatly fearful, but, on the other hand, not protecting them so much that they don’t have experiences of mastery of these kinds of fearful situations.

via Ian O’Byrne
Bookmarked When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online (The Atlantic)

Googling yourself has become a rite of passage.

Taylor Lorenz discusses the ways in which children are having profiles developed before they are even aware. Although the focus is on ‘sharingting’, Lorenz also touches on schools and the part that they play. It is interesting to consider this post alongside Clive Thompson’s piece ‘Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter‘. I am also left wondering about what all this might mean in a world of ‘bring your own data‘?
Liked Love what you do in front of the kids in your life by Austin Kleon (

Want your kids to read more? Let them see you reading every day.

Want your kids to practice an instrument? Let them see you practicing an instrument.

Want your kids to spend more time outside? Let them see you without your phone.

There’s no guarantee that your kids will copy your modeling, but they’ll get a glimpse of an engaged human.

Liked Supporting your child online – pointers for parents (Parenting for a Digital Future)
  • Start young
  • Model appropriate use of digital technology
  • Agree family rules about digital technology use
  • Provide your child with access to digital technology, ideally that they have ownership of
  • Talk openly with your child about using digital technology
  • Help your child link up with trusted others who have shared interests (e.g. other Minecrafters)
  • Recognise and value the learning that will inevitably happen as your child engages with digital technology
Bookmarked What the Times got wrong about kids and phones by Anya Kamenetz (Columbia Journalism Review)

Journalism can hand-wring, divide parents from each other, and cast technology as the heart of darkness. Or it can help shed light on a serious issue that I know lots of families are struggling to get right.

Anya Kamenetz pushes back on the digital ‘addiction’ perpetuated by the New York Times. Firstly, it is hyperbole that no one would give their child small doses of crack cocaine:

The parent who compares digital media to “crack cocaine” allows his kids to use it regularly, which is probably not what he would do with crack cocaine. (He also uses software to track his children online.)

Also, it is not productive to perpetuate extremes as they are not sustainable. For more on Kamenetz work watch her conversation with Mimi Ito.

Bookmarked Six myths about children in the digital age (Parenting for a Digital Future)

Today Sonia Livingstone is presenting on the panel at the Digital Families 2018 conference discussing the future for young people online – risks, opportunities and resilience. In this post Sonia ta…

Sonia Livingstone outlines six myths associated with children and their:

  1. Children are ‘digital natives’ and know it all.
  2. Parents are ‘digital immigrants’ and don’t know anything.
  3. Time with media is time wasted compared with ‘real’ conversation or playing outside.
  4. Parents’ role is to monitor, restrict and ban because digital risks greatly outweigh digital opportunities.
  5. Children don’t care about their privacy online.
  6. Media literacy is THE answer to the problems of the digital age.

She then highlights many of the contradictions associated with these beliefs. Along with the work of Alexander Samuel, Anya Kamenetz, Erika Christakis, danah boyd and Doug Belshaw, they provide a useful point of conversation and reflection.

via Doug Belshaw

Replied to A Note to My Child’s Teacher by Bill Ferriter (Tempered Radical)

I guess what I am saying is that I want my kid — a kid who has never really felt appreciated by a teacher — to walk away from your room each day convinced that you care about her as a person.  If you can pull that off, you will change her life for the better — and in the end, that’s our primary responsibility as classroom teachers.

I love this post Bill. It has me thinking about my own daughter’s teachers. I was wondering though about a different response, celebrating the successes or strengths of the teachers?

When I think about the teachers my daughter has had, there are a number of things that have stood out? For me, it has been relationships and a focus on strengths.

Originally posted at Read Write Collect

Liked selfishness or survival by Anne Helen Petersen (TinyLetter)

People make parenthood and full-time employment work all the time, I realize that. My friends in Seattle make it work. But it’s not a coincidence that I’m the only one of those friends who incurred substantial debt from post-grad education, and I don’t mean that as a commentary on intelligence. Like many late-mid-and-young millenials, my decisions about having children are the result of many factors — the (very slowly) growing acceptance of non-parenthood as a viable lifestyle choice, observation of the ways in which parenthood stunted my own mothers’ professional life and fulfillment, but, above all else, a clear-eyed look at the costs of parenthood. To suggest that it’s just a matter of wanting more leisure time — laying by the pool! watching ESPN! — is to fundamentally misunderstand the ways in which millenials have come to conceive of labor.

Bookmarked The Dangers of Distracted Parenting by Erika Christakis (The Atlantic)

When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time—and more about their own.

Erika Christakis discusses the challenges of parenting in a digital age. This all comes down to distractions and as I have touched on before, this is not always digital. I really like danah boyd’s strategy for dealing with this, that is to say why you are using a device. This openness offers a useful point of reflection. I think that the conclusion to this article says it all though:

Parents should give themselves permission to back off from the suffocating pressure to be all things to all people. Put your kid in a playpen, already! Ditch that soccer-game appearance if you feel like it. Your kid will be fine. But when you are with your child, put down your damned phone.

via Doug Belshaw

Replied to A portrait of the artist as a young father (

Here are a handful of things I think I know about being a dad:

The one point that really struck me as I type this with the rest of the family fast asleep was the point about balance:

Work, children, or a social life. You may pick two at a time. (Nobody wants to hear this.)

That is a good point.

Listened Perfect prams for perfect parents: the rise of the bougie buggy – podcast from the Guardian

How the rise of the luxury pram capitalised on the status anxiety of a new generation of parents

This is a fascinating insight into the Bugaboo. This includes a background to the development of the first Bugaboo prams, the role of Sex in the City and the way that it has changed peoples decisions.
Along with Alexandra Samuel’s work and Doug Belshaw’s reflection. this webinar featuring Anya Kamenetz poses a number of considerations in regards to parenting in a digital age.

Move No. 1: “Here are some scary things that can happen with too much screen time — obesity sleep issues…behavioral issues, issues around the kid’s relationship to the media that they’re using … If you’re seeing any of that, then whatever you’re doing, you should do less,” she said.

Move No. 2: “You do need a system for what the rules are going to be that is clear and communicated to your kid. And, you can do it based on time, but you can also do it based on occasion, and/or priority. … Cut back if you need to cut back, make a system, and then, think about shifting toward the positive. What is it that our kids love about the time they’re spending online. How can you build on that? How can you stretch it toward other interesting uses? So that’s the enjoy part. I think it’s fairly simple. It’s a formula for making decisions. It’s a rubric. It’s not a rule,” Kamenetz added.

Liked Parent Responsibility for Learning with the Digital by mallee (

The ability of schools, even the most visionary, to match the learning with the digital provided outside the school walls, is impossible. Schools as public institutions controlled by government, bureaucrats, resourcing, working conditions, legislation, law, accountability requirements, inflexible organizational structures and history can never respond to the accelerating digital evolution and transformation in the same way as the highly agile digitally connected families of the world. Even if governments wanted its schools to change, or indeed to collaborate with the families.

Bookmarked Panicked about Kids’ Addiction to Tech? by danah boyd (NewCoShift)

Many people have unhealthy habits and dynamics in their life. Some are rooted in physical addiction. Others are habitual or psychological crutches. But across that spectrum, most people are aware of when something that they’re doing isn’t healthy. They may not be able to stop. Or they may not want to stop. Untangling that is part of the challenge. When you feel as though your child has an unhealthy relationship with technology (or anything else in their life), you need to start by asking if they see this the same way you do. When parents feel as though what their child is doing is unhealthy for them, but the child does not, the intervention has to be quite different than when the child is also concerned about the issue.

danah boyd suggests that there is a lot of hype associated with kids addiction and suggests that some of the problems may be associated with the parents themselves:

Parents don’t like to see that they’re part of the problem or that their efforts to protect and help their children might backfire.

In response, she suggests two things for parents to do:

  1. Verbalize what you’re doing with your phone’
  2. Create a household contract

After reading this, I tried verbalising my actions and it soon becomes apparent when maybe the phone could go away.