Posts Tagged ‘teenagers’

So, we are learning a lot this week.  We are learning that we love our kids, but we don’t necessarily love being with our kids.  We are learning that our K-12 teachers are severely underrated.  We are learning that despite the fact that our teenagers spend an enormous amount of time on their phones, and as adults we have accused them of not knowing how to be social; kids are missing their social peers.

I was eating lunch at our school’s cafeteria.  I noticed a round table with six male college students.  All of them were staring at their phones.  For at least 30 minutes, I don’t think a single person looked another in the eye.  As a matter of fact, the few times that hey di engage in “face to face” interaction, it was to show their friend something on the phone.  I could not stop watching this interaction and marvel at what I considered the lack of social interaction.  However, during this time of Covid-19, I would have assumed that this generation would be just fine.  Why wouldn’t they be, they don’t interact with their friends anyway.  Guess what?  They are hurting.  They miss their friends.  I find it shocking.  Students everywhere are longing for the days when they can sit next to someone, not talk, and look at their respective phones together.  If they were five years old, you know what we would call this?  Parallel play (roll credits).

So, part of the crazy young spring breakers is stupidity.  The glorious stupid youth, that most of us in a moment of honesty, would love to have back in our lives.  However, the other side of the coin that I would have you consider is the need for social interaction.  The idea of, let me have this last hurrah before you force me to shelter in place.  I kind of get it.  Don’t get me wrong.  It is the absolutely wrong thing to do in this unprecedent time.  But ye who have never wanted to do the absolutely wrong thing at he absolutely wrong time, throw the first shot (tequila shot that is).

So, if you are reading this blog and are under Covid-19 house arrest, remember, this too shall pass.  Enjoy your family.  If you are alone, Facetime someone.  Use all of that technology for good.  And here are my current Netflix recommendations:

  1.  Lost in Space – My kids and I love this series.  I would say it is OK for kids 9 and up.  Second season is a little more serious, so you might want to only consider season one for the younger crowd. Image result for voltron netflix
  2. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts – Good post apocalyptic animation.  Perfect for these times.  I liked it more than my 9 year old daughter, but she liked it as well.  It might take an episode or two to get hooked.
  3. All Hail King Julien – Hilarious.  Season 1 and 2 will have adults and kids cracking up.  It starts to go down hill after season 3.
  4. 100 Humans – This is an acquired taste.  I have no idea if you will like this show, but I loved it.
  5. Voltron – You might be surprised by this one, but I loved it as a kid and I love the Netflix version.  My 9-year-old watched the entire series and I am trying to catch up.




Anyway, I hope you are surviving this social distancing.  Get outside if you can.  Enjoy your time with your kids, if you can.  Find ways to make it fun.  Until next time, wash your hands, keep your distance, don’t hoard, and positive attitude.

As I write this, we are parallel working.  Daughter next to me on laptop.  Nephew on desktop in family room.  Youngest son in room on Chromebook.  Oldest son in his room on his laptop.  What kind of generation will this time create?  Think about it.  With everyone stuck in their houses with the families, it will either create stronger family bonds or weaker ones.  Increased divorce rate?  Increased birth rate?  Time will tell.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, my son and I have completed our first leg towards Colorado. On Facebook I posted my idea of how to have conversations with my son on the 16-hour drive. The plan was simple: He would write down seven subjects and I would write down seven subjects and we would select a subject every hour to discuss for ten minutes. I modified the plan a little by adding a rule that if the card selected is a subject that you wrote, than you had to introduce the topic for the first minute.

This might sound like a weird idea to you, but my son is 13 years old and like many 13-year-olds, he does not talk much. Honestly, I don’t talk much either, but when you are in the car for 16 hours with another person, not talking at all gets old fast. When he was seven, I did not mind his silence so much, but now that he is older, I have higher expectations.

Believe it or not, it went great. The first subject selected: What do you want to be best at? This was my subject. I told him of my aspirations to be a great teacher and how hard I have worked towards being a great professor. My son wants to be best at football and plans to be in the NFL one day. We talked about what he will have to do to make his dream come true. The conversation went well.

The second card selected: Who is the best superhero and why? Also my subject. How do you NOT select Superman? He can fly, he is super strong, and only one thing can hurt him, kryptonite. What are the chances you can find kryptonite? So, easy choice right? Well, according to my son, Batman is the greatest, because he would outsmart Superman and if anyone can get kryptonite, Batman can get it. My only problem with my son’s argument is that you know what can defeat Batman? A rifle. How can you be the greatest superhero and be killed by a gun? We had to agree to disagree.

Rich, Gadgets and Smart

Rich, Gadgets and Smart

Flight, Strength, Almost Invincible and best alter ego disguise EVER!

Flight, Strength, Almost Invincible and best alter ego disguise EVER!

The last card selected on our first leg to Colorado: Food and Drinks. This was Brett’s subject. We talked about favorite foods, drinks and how junk food and certain sodas can be addictions. In case you are wondering, my son called them addictions and not me. We had a very deep conversation on food and trying to make smart decisions, and the difficulty of not eating too much of certain foods. The conversation was very cool.

Now, you may be wondering why we only discussed three subjects in an eight-hour drive. It turns out, I don’t need a lot of conversation in eight hours. We had our discussions, and it was nice and made the drive much more pleasant. I got to learn a little more about my son, and when we stopped for dinner, he actually talked more than I did.

We have another day of driving and a stack of cards with various subjects. Today was a nice start as all the subjects were relatively low-key. I have a couple of serious subjects in the stack and we will see how that goes, but for now, it was a surprisingly great idea. I highly recommend it.

I learned something today. You know who advertising works really well on? 13-year-olds. I learned today that my son wants new headphones for his birthday. He wants Dr. Dre Headphones. While writing this blog, I looked them up. They range from $200 – $400. Are you freakin’ kidding me?!? Why does he want them? He says they look cool. I may be getting old, but they look like regular headphones to me. I’m just sayin’ …

$400. Really??? Come on man!

$400. Really??? Come on man!

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So, today is Halloween.  I can’t overstate this enough, I hate Halloween.  If you were to ask me which day out of the 365 or 366 days of the year I hate the most, the answer would be quick and easy, Halloween.  I realize that I am in the clear minority with this, but I don’t care, I could do without the day.  Here is the run down of why:

I hate makeup.  Not the makeup a woman wears to make herself pretty, or the even the makeup an actor might wear on stage.  I hate the caked on obvious kind of makeup.  This includes Mary Kay old women, transvestites, and clowns, especially clowns.  Why do people like clowns?  They are very disturbing, not funny, not funny at all.

I hate strangers at my house.  It is the one day of the year where it is not only acceptable to knock on a stranger’s house, but actually encouraged.  I don’t know these people.  Then on top of that, they show up at my door with their greedy hands out wanting something from me.  this is MY candy.  I bought it with my hard-earned money.  Who do you think you are?

I have a bad childhood experience with Halloween.  First off, I still have a vivid memory of being told to stick my head down in the back of the car that my brother was driving because of some crazy people in chase.  It was in the parking lot of Ganesha High School in California.  Very traumatizing.  Secondly, my oldest brother, Thomas, made it his personal goal to scare me as much as humanly possible.  This was never more true than on Halloween.  Just a day to encourage bad behavior.

I am not a huge fan of candy.  Probably from my childhood days of being denied candy on a regular basis, but nonetheless, I can do without it.  As a matter of fact, I don’t like candy in my house, because if it there, I will eat it.  So, as a general rule, I do not buy the stuff.

I hate glorifying evil.  Once again, this is the only day of the year where it is encouraged to dress up like the dead, ghosts, goblins, murderers, death, etc.  It’s gross.  I don’t care what your beliefs are, but to actively invite evil into your life disturbs me.

I hate strangers.  I realize this is similar to my previous point of strangers at my house, but this point can’t be stressed enough.  I hate strangers.  Strangers in costume, even worse.

And finally, here as some rules that I think should be followed on this horrid day:

If you are 13 or older, no trick or treating.  A city banned this in Illinois and I completely support the move (http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13413268).

If you have a baby in a costume, or a child that can not speak or go up to the door on their own, but you are collecting candy on their behalf, you need serious help.  I realize that the food stamps may not be sufficient, but using Halloween to go shopping is just wrong.  And they always look like they have just got out of a stereotype movie.  One couple I saw was literally barefoot, dressed like hillbillies.  Costumes? I don’t think so.

If you are a teenager, which you shouldn’t be (see above) you should have an excellent costume.  A wife beater t-shirt and ripped dreams (criminal on Cops) does not count.

No reaching or grabbing for candy.  You will be SHOT!

So, that is how I feel.  I am sure you disagree, but I am clearly right on this one.


Is it me or are Halloween costumes geared towards women? I took my son to Halloween Express to get him a Superman costume.  I felt like I needed to blindfold him as we walked the aisles.  Sexy cop, sexy prisoner, sexy football player, sexy hooker. OK, I made up that last one, or did I?  I talked to my students about this and we determined that there are levels.  Skank is the worst, followed by Whoorish, and then Trashy, followed by Revealing, and then Sexy.  Just in case you were wondering.  I’m just sayin’ …

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