American Girl grows

Once children learn to read independently, they can never have enough books.

That’s why the recently announced partnership between Scholastic and American Girl is such good news.

Starting next month, look for a deluge of new titles including middle grade, chapter books and even novelties.

MOBs (Mothers of boys) long for something similar for their guys.


The stigma associated with being a stay-at-home-dad (SAHD) continues to decline as numbers grow.

Recent stats not only tell that story, but perhaps even more significant, SAHDs are becoming more satisfied with their role.

Dads who are actively engaged with their children at home during the day feel increasingly valued. That’s good news for everyone.

“Bunny hunting”

Our oldest grandchild turns 10 this week. Perhaps that’s the reason “bunny hunting” is so scary to me. “Bunny hunting” is when abusers and online predators send messages or photos to kids they don’t know

Even though tweens like our grandson have grown up with digital tech, they are not aware of the threats that lurk on gaming devices, smartphones or laptops.

To prevent adults from sending messages to children, the geotap phone function needs to be disabled. Experts emphasize the importance of never sharing a password and checking that settings are on “private” not “public.”

The current statistic is that one in five kids will be a victim of unwanted online solicitation before turning 18. That’s downright scary.

Love those Legos

As a mom and grandma, I’ve spent a fortune on Legos, but it’s money well invested.

As an early childhood educator, I know children practice spatial reasoning skills when building. Kids visualize angles and space, notice small details and mentally manipulate those little blocks that are painful when stepped on.

Although our grandsons like watching Lego videos online, there’s no substitute for physically creating with blocks…and that’s why Legos will be under the Christmas tree again this year.


I’m jealous of our grandsons.

I don’t merely envy their level of boundless energy, but their intuitive knowledge of tech.

I’ve watched millennial moms spend a couple hours learning the special features of a new phone.

But these plurals? (Kids born after 1997.) They don’t have a learning curve when it comes to digital. I’m convinced they were born with intuitive navigation skills.

Of course, that also means they have high expectations. They expect to choose, control and consume all the time.

Meeting those expectations gets pricey at this time of year.

New media guidelines

During the past several weeks, there’s been considerable chatter about the amended recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about children’s use of media.

Overall, the guidelines seem realistic, given the fact that media is so immersive in families.

Next, perhaps the AAP could make the car seat recommendations more doable and reasonable.

Check out the AAP Media Tool Kit:

People-free for Black Friday

If your Thanksgiving felt people-heavy, you might head to easta, a California-based eatery.

Customers order without any personal interaction.

“No lines. No cashier. Your made to order bowl shows up in…your own cubby.”

That takes kiosk ordering at McDonald’s to a whole new level…but if this catches on, what happens to teens whose first job is burger flipping?