November 13, 2014

More evidence that men are from mars




I don’t know about you but I text my friends all the time.  I remember receiving and sending my very first text a few years ago. I was hiking up Torrey Pines when my phone starting beeping.  I think I had the Palm Treo; I wasn’t even using an iPhone yet.  I had no idea what the beeping noise was indicating, but as soon as I figured it out, I was addicted.  My brain went a million different directions and I just remember thinking that if we had known about “texting” when I was working and sitting through all day meetings, I would have been on my phone the entire time!  And then, a few years after that, I discovered the “emoji”.  It was another “Wow” moment for me.  Now, not only do I not have to talk on the phone when I’m in a rush, but I don’t have to type a lot. The emoji takes the place of all my emotions.  What could be better? 


My favorite one has the one eye closed and the tongue sticking out.  I also love the face that’s sending a kiss, it just makes “the receiver” feel good.  In the morning, I’ll ask my daughter to text for me.  I’m great at dictating entire texts for her to send out and she’s so fast that it’s a win/win situation.  When I’m done, I’ll ask her to add an emoji and she rolls her eyes because she thinks that I over use them.

I asked my son and my husband if they use emoji’s when they text, and their answer was the same – no. I’m pretty sure I’ve never sent a text when I haven’t used an emoji.  It’s just so much easier to portray how you feel and it takes the “guessing” out of what the received thinks you are trying to say.  I’ve certainly misinterpreted many a text and I’ve sent many that could be misinterpreted, if I didn’t add a smiley face at the end.  Sometimes my entire text is nothing but emoji’s.  An emoji just gives you a good feeling and makes you smile.  Here is an example of a text that can get you in trouble:

Sender - “You look great today.  Did you blow out your hair”?  Receiver interpretation- “What is she saying, that I look crappy every other day?  If she thinks my hair looks so bad all the time, why doesn’t she just come out and say it”?  In comes the emoji to save the day!  If you send that same text with an emoji at the end of it, maybe use a “purple party girl”, then it takes all the interpretation out of the message and makes the receiver feel good and not pissed.  I love it when my friends and I are trying to eat healthy and stick to a plan, and let’s just say we aren’t having the best day – we send all sorts of funny emoji’s including: a gun, a pig, a piece of cake, fries, wine, more wine, a few red x’s and then a crying face.  If nothing else, we get each other.  We laugh, we continue to indulge in our eating and drinking, but now we know that our friend on the other end of the phone “feels us”.  It’s almost like the mom’s secret language; I’m fairly certain that if my husband read one of those texts, he’d be scratching his head wondering what the hell it said!

I started asking a lot of friends about their texting habits.  It turns out that women use emoji’s all the time when texting, and men don’t.  One friend told me that she was typing a text for her husband, to a large client, and she added an emoji.  When he saw the text that she sent on his behalf, he flipped out.  He told her that men do NOT send emoji’s to men, especially clients. Today I wished there was a barf emoji – I could use that one a lot! I’m still unclear about the poop with the eyeballs emoji and what it means, but I do have a friend who sends it to me all the time – hmmm?

Do you send emoji’s when you text?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.

October 27, 2014

Apparently parenting does need a license




You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt reaming a*hole be a father”.  That quote (from the movie Parenthood), comes back to me on a daily basis – who knew how dialed in it would be in the year 2014.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep up with all the outrageous parenting stories I’ve been reading about lately.  There’s Adrian Peterson and the “corporal punishment” debate, the shaming your kid method and making your kid drink until they are hospitalized.

I’m not sure what’s going on with parents and their abusive parenting methods, but they are just plain creepy and yes, I’m judging.  I grew up in Texas, and the HS that I attended used “licks” as punishment, with a wooden paddle.  Can you imagine that today?  Your child comes home and tells you that the principle “hit” them?  When I saw the Charles Barkley interview on CBS about Adrian Peterson, when he said, "I'm from the South, Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances." I agreed.  It is a Southern thing but that doesn’t make it right.  Sexual abuse happens too, doesn’t make it okay.  There’s much debate about whether or not this is a racial thing– a geography thing, or just plain child abuse?  I never think it’s okay to hit a child because it’s a form of torture and humiliation.  What do we think is going to happen if we “hit” a child in order to get them to behave the way we want them to?  Violence begets violence.  I was never a fan of time-outs, in fact they are just stupid, but you have to find a way to reach your kid, without inflicting physical harm.  It’s why the men that beat women (Ray Rice) do what they do.  It’s how they were raised and it’s how they are going to raise their own kids.  I don’t think Adrian Peterson thought he did anything wrong when he beat his son, because that’s what he knows.  At what point does Adrian see that causing your child to have open wounds on his little body, isn’t right?  If you grow up with limousines and caviar everyday, that’s how you think the rest of the world lives.  If you grow up and your father beats you everyday, that’s how you think rest the world lives.  You know what you grow up with.

How about when parents want to demonstrate their point, so they make their child stand at school, holding a sign with their punishment saying things like: “I hit my sister and I like hitting girls, or I’m a bully”.  While some parents agree that this type of punishment is effective, I think it’s disgusting.  What’s the goal?  If you shame a child, how is that helping them? Some will argue that it’s the only way to get through to your kid when nothing else works, but I don’t believe they’ve tried everything else.  Those parents should have to stand there with a sign saying, “I’m a bad parent and I like to shame my child”.  Let’s see how they like it.

Did you read about the dad from Mississippi that caught his 15 year-old son drinking alcohol?  He thought it would be a good idea to make him drink until he passed out.   Apparently the boy wound up unconscious and in the emergency room.  I just want to get in that dad’s head and understand what possessed him to practically kill his own kid in order to teach him a lesson.  Does that make sense to you?

Unfortunately, we can’t hand out common sense when someone becomes a parent.  Hopefully these incidents will gain enough attention that we start educating people on how far is too far.  All these disciplinary measures are taken to excess.  I might get my psychology license because there’s going to be a lot of kids on someone’s couch dealing with all their issues later in life. What say you?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.

October 14, 2014

Cyber Safety - the "Talk"




I don’t know how many of you have been to a talk on cyber safety, but they are definitely worth your time.  I attended one recently and found myself feeling very nostalgic and sad for my kids.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t grow up in this digital world that is so vast and so “public”.  Our kids will never know privacy, ever.  And worse, anything they put out there in cyber space, is permanent.  We constantly hear that their “frontal lobes” aren’t fully formed until they are 25, so how are they supposed to make decisions that we tell them can impact their future and the rest of their life?  We try to teach them that their words and pictures do not go away, but that’s an impossible concept to get across to a kid.  I can’t believe I’m doing this, but do you remember the good old-fashioned telephone and if a boy wanted to call you, he had to get through your parents first?  That awful moment when you call, hear a parent on the other end of the line, and quickly hang up.  That was before caller-id when they could bust you on the spot.  That’s such a huge part of the process of growing up and experiencing awkward moments that shape who we become. Unfortunately, with cell phones and technology, that will never happen to our kids.  Parents are bypassed all day long.  I just read a great article and the author asked the question, “Would the movie The Breakfast Club even exist today”?  Think about it, those kids would all be on their phones, taking selfies and telling everyone on the outside how lame their day in detention was.  They wouldn’t be interacting and actually talking with one another.  They wouldn’t be asking Carl to talk to them about a career in the janitorial arts.  It’s so sad.  I don’t know if this generation has a name but I call them iKids.

One thing this woman spoke about that really caught my attention was family values.  My thoughts immediately went to honesty and integrity.  But the more she spoke, I found myself sinking in my chair.  To be on any type of social media you need to be 13 years old.  And for some reason, I was pretty head strong about that with my daughter and Facebook.  She got her account the day she turned 13 – but here’s what gets me.  For some unknown reason, we let both our kids have an Instagram account, a few years ago (way before they were 13).  I don’t know if subconsciously we had no idea the legal age was 13, or maybe we didn’t want to know?  But her talk made me realize that our kids had to lie in order to get their accounts, which is painful considering the fact that we teach them to never lie.  The direction of this conversation made me very uncomfortable, because it pointed out how easily we can slip, even if we are incredibly head strong parents.

When I got home, I did exactly what this speaker said not to do.  I had a major download with my son right after the talk, because that’s just who I am, sorry. I asked him how he felt about lying about his age to get his Instagram account – to which he replied, “Mom, it’s not like I’m killing anyone, or hurting anyone, I just want an Instagram, and you said it was okay.  What’s the big deal”?  So I told him that the big deal is that it compromises our family values, and if we compromise on some things, how and where do we draw the line.   We ended up having a very good conversation.

She taught us that even if we can’t keep on top of all the trends, we could control behavior.  In other words, we shouldn’t be scared of Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Wanelo, Pheed or Kik, but we need to establish guidelines.  Face it, the hot “App” trends are going to change constantly, depending on what kids think is cool.  We will never be in front of that, but at least we can “Get on the bus”. Don’t even get me started on R-rated movies.
Have you bent any family rules, in order to let your kids have Apps, play video games or watch movies that they shouldn’t be allowed to?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com. 

October 9, 2014

Criminalizing Parenting



In case you were wondering, it turns out you can’t parent however you want in 2014.  A 46 year-old woman was recently jailed for letting her 9 year-old daughter play in the park, unsupervised, while she was working. This story comes on the heels of the homeless woman who was arrested for leaving her kids in the car during a job interview. (Sort of ironic since her home was her car). The 46 year-olds’ daughter had been accompanying her to work for most of the summer, bringing her laptop and keeping herself entertained.  Then her home was robbed and the computer was stolen. The daughter asked if she could go to a local park to play while her mom worked.  The park was a 6-minute walk from her house, so her mother agreed.  She gave her daughter a cell phone in case of an emergency, and her daughter was fine for two days.  On the third day, a stranger questioned the girl about her mother’s whereabouts, and then called the police when they realized that she was alone.  The mother was arrested on “abandonment charges”. This woman was arrested, and her daughter was taken away from her, because her daughter was playing in a crowded park while she worked?  First of all, if this “stranger” was so concerned, why didn’t they call the girl’s mother?  What made them call the police?  This morning they reported that a mom in Florida was arrested after her 7 year-old son was found walking to a park alone.  The park was a 15 -minute walk from his home and he also had a cell phone.  A stranger called the police when they saw the boy unsupervised and the police escorted him home where they arrested his mother for child neglect.

What is going on here?  Since when did an unsupervised child playing or walking to a park become against the law?  Is that even a law?  How are kids supposed to learn to take care of themselves and have any independence?  100 years ago these kids would be working on a farm from sun up to sun down, and today they can’t play without a helicopter parent lurking over them?  I used to ride my bike to the lake; 2 miles away, swim all day, and then ride my bike home when it was dinnertime.  I don’t recall anyone ever calling the cops and arresting my mom because she wasn’t with me.  We all did.  I’m truly at a loss as to what law is being broken and how these kids are in such grave danger. 

We expect people to support themselves, but when single mothers do whatever they have to in order to survive, they are criminals?  Look, would I send my 9 year-old to the park all day by herself, probably not.  But I have family, friends, and money to pay a babysitter or an X-box so my kids can stay at home and be entertained.  I have options.  These moms don’t have options.   They are limited in terms of what they can do with their kids, especially during summer.  Summer is supposed to be fun and means no homework and freedom from getting up early, making lunches and having to be at school all day.  But for single working parents who have minimum wage jobs, summer isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.  What kid wants to sit in McDonalds all day while their mom works?

Seriously, when did we start criminalizing parenting?  This mom isn’t giving her 3 year-old beers in a sippy cup.  She isn’t sexually abusing her child or using him/her as a punching bag.   This is a mom, doing her best to support her family on the money she earns, and giving her child a little freedom along the way.  Why aren’t the cops spending their time going after the real scumbags?  Lord knows we have enough of them. When did we become the “Nanny state”?  And why do strangers immediately want to dial the police rather than help?  Why do we jump to demonize someone before knowing any of the facts? 

I’m outraged and I hope you are too.  Do you think these moms should be arrested for abandonment?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.