Archive for April, 2008

Tweetgeist

April 25, 2008

FIRST

Tweetgeist (n) [from “zeitgeist”, german, the intellectual and cultural climate of an era; and “tweet”, to post a message on twitter.com]: The collected and distilled wisdom of one’s circle of advisors, as compiled via the “twitter” internet application.

Example: I’m not sure if that restaurant is any good; let me check the tweetgeist.

As of the time of this post, Google returns 0 hits for tweetgeist. Let’s see what happens…

[update 11:15am]: 1 hour later, there is 1 hit (this page).

[update 11:18am]: Tweetgeist.com was taken back in January. Hmph.

Trust and Failure

April 13, 2008

Earlier this month, the NY Sun published an article by Lenore Skenazy, a woman who let her nine-year-old son ride the bus home from Manhattan, unaccompanied, as an exercise in building confidence and independence. She was subsequently labeled the worst mom in the world.

I’m totally in support of her goal to break us out of the deer-in-headlights state of fear that so many parents fall into: “Children are precious. The world is scary. We must protect them at all costs…”

Except, of course, that we shouldn’t protect them at all costs. That’s a conscious choice I made when Ruby was born: that I would not do everything in my power to make her happy, comfortable, and safe. She will, for the most part, be given a relatively luxurious life (globally and historically speaking) but she’ll also be given the opportunity to fall off the monkey bars, trip on the sidewalk, embarrass herself, fail, and have her heart broken a few times.

I don’t wish these on her, and my heart will be broken every time hers is. But I also understand the importance of letting her choose and take her own risks so that she can truly appreciate the consequences of her failure and her successes. When she wants to, and when we think she’s ready, we’ll let her take the bus home too. And of course we’ll sit anxiously on the porch awaiting her arrival. But that anxiousness is the price we pay for the joy of parenting the best way we can.

[Ms. Skenazy now has a blog devoted to this subject: Free Range Kids]