Tag Archives: parenting

Something I Missed While On Vacation: 31 Million Ashley Madison Users Have Explaining To Do…


I have not paid that much attention to the goings-on over the hack of Ashley Madison – I tried to explain the fuss to my kids and I said to them that it was a dating site for married people to meet other married people for… ummm… naked twister.  No, I didn’t say that.  I said it was a site for married people to meet other married people so they could become friends and go out sometimes.

While we were on vacation, there was a list released by the hacking group which put some or all of the information of the 31 million users out for public consumption.

I was a bit surprised that of that 31 million, 26 million were men, and 5 million women which means that either the data is skewed, that the 5 million women were very much in demand and quite busy or that 10’s of millions of men never found a twister partner.

My interest in Ashley Madison and parent company Avid Life Media (ALM) only lies in the fact that they are a Canadian company and that the site was created, born and raised here in Toronto.  I might one day look to see if I recognize any of the names, but to be honest, I don’t care.  I, like you, am busy with real things, like family, work, and other activities, and what other people do with their time and in their relationships is 100% their own business and no one else’s.

I think I have always taken this standpoint even from way back in the day when I was The Urban (Not Yet A) Daddy, and I want my kids to look at the world the same way if at all possible.  Marriage, relationships, friends, religion… None of this is my business unless you are forcing your views on me, and those views oppress, harm or place others in a lower standing than the rest of us.  Then I have a problem with it.

At the end of the day, strip away everything and you have a planet with land, and humans.  We are all the same.

I hope the Ashley Madison scandal blows over.

I feel bad for the people involved – I hope they choose to continue life as they know it, or that they get help and work out their issues.  I also don’t like to see personal data hacked, stolen, and made public, but I also admire the work of these hackers for taking a stand (if it turns out to be that and not a bitter former employee) and with all of the secrecy in the world it’s nice to know the truth every now and then.  It’s how we can hold people accountable.

What is your take on this?

How would you explain this to your children?

 

Here is the article that I read which helped bring me up to speed;

http://qz.com/482875/whats-in-the-ashley-madison-database-that-hackers-released-online/

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I think the couple behind me are breaking up… Or trying to hook up… I can’t tell anymore…


I’m working in the Starbucks this morning and I cannot help but overhear the discussion behind me because the couple are really loud and seem to forget that they are sitting in a Starbucks.  At first, I thought they were breaking up, then I thought they were hooking up, but now I really have no idea what is going on and, to be honest, neither do they!

Here are some highlights of this loud and public conversation;

Him:

  • Oh, you’re taking advice from him?  Of all the guys I’ve wanted to beat up for looking at you, he is at the top of my list.
  • You’re dressed like you run drugs
  • Look at yourself… Don’t you have any shame?
  • I’ve gotten over you twice.
  • I’m going up north for a week of total partying.  Nothing else.  You’re not invited.
  • Between last week and this week I made a lot of plans with people and they all fell through so I need to make plans about how to make better plans so they won’t fall through.

Then his side gets kind of weird and awkward…

  • These plans that fell through messed up my son, because, he needs to nap and stuff… He overheated, had sand in his ass and stuff
  • My son hates water ever since I pulled his feet out from under him and he went under the water… He hated that.
  • He won’t even bathe.
  • He must have a red ass, or stuff that he doesn’t want cleaned.
  • He’s cried in the bath every time for months…

Yikes!

 

Since he did most of the talking…

Her:

  • We should go dancing!
  • Why?
  • Oh, I hope he’s okay.
  • You’re not supposed to do that to kids
  • You have to clean him up
  • Where will he be while you are partying?
  • Can I come with instead?
  • I’m not running drugs.  I’m not a whore.  I like the way I look.  Look at you?  You’re in a Starbucks looking like that… Eww.
  • Oh yeah?
  • Can we get out of here?

And off they went… Together.

The guys at the table beside me started to clap and said that would make for a great soap opera.

I’m more concerned that this father thought it was a good idea to pull out his kids feet from him while the kid was standing in the bathtub.  He was trying to explain to the girl that he tried pushing the kid down to the seating position but the kid is really strong.  He wanted him to sit and this was the only way… Sure, he could have smashed the kids face into the side of the tub, or worse give the kid a complex / fear of the water having almost drown.  But this kid is dirty, red and smelly and the dad needs to start again and get this kid into the tub before the kid grows up afraid of the water because his dad is a partying moron…

What have you guys overheard in public space before?

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There is a Fine Line Between Smart and Smart-ass…


I’ve always said there is a fine line between being smart and being a smart-ass, and as parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our kids stay on the smart side as much as possible because children usually do not have capability to determine if their smart-ass comment was actually funny, or if it is offensive.

Case in point:TUD Header

Grandfather to child who has just returned from 2 weeks away at sleepover camp: “How was camp?”

Child: “Good”.

Grandfather: “Did you have a good time?”

Child: “Yes”.

Grandfather: “Will you go back next year?”

Child: “Yes.”

Grandfather: “How was bus ride home?”

Child: “Long”

Grandfather: “How long?”

Child: “4-hours.”

Grandfather: “Oh, did you make any stops along the way?”

Child: “Yes. At stop signs and all red traffic lights…”

BAM!

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Resiliance! A Great Trait For a Child To Have, and Also a Concern…


My oldest child has become VERY resilient!  This is a good trait to develop, but also has a pretty huge downside.  Can I explain how we’ve come to figure this out…

  • Kids can be mean.
  • Kids can also interpret the words and actions of others in a completely different way then it is intended.
  • Kids also don’t always fit in to their surroundings, we all know that, especially at school because who can predict what the best school is for a child before having an opportunity to learn about how your child learns and what they need.
  • How kids handle themselves – the only thing they can (presumably) control – can make the difference between them having a great time at school, or them being miserable every day.

After that, you either wind up with a resilient child who can take it and move forward, or it breaks your child and they either fade away or strike back.

Take, for example, this scenario:  My oldest son really wanted a pair or wrist bands.  Badly.  So when we found a pair at Dick’s Sporting Goods in NY, he was over the moon and he wore them to school every day… Every day until someone commented on the fact he wears them every day – and that comment might have been just a comment, or a judgement – but my son has not worn them every single day since.  In fact, he went a while without wearing them, but has slowly started to wear them where appropriate again.

He knows he has to be his individual and generally he does what he wants, but he felt they were poking fun at him, and he dealt with it by not wearing them at school.

Resilient?  Nope.

But it made him very aware of what others felt about him and he has always been quite very aware of his own self, so he adjusted his actions and his behaviour to fall in line with his peers as best as he could in order to stay under the radar.

Quite un-sporty, he even started playing sports with the sporty kids so that he could fit in better and while below the experience and skill of his classmates, they mostly tolerated his presence but he played anyways because he knew the only way he could improve was to play and get better.

From that came the courage to try out for the soccer team.  We were thrilled.  He didn’t make the team, but he tried and we were very supportive and encouraging, as were his friends.  Then they added him as a call-up and eventhough he played less that the other kids and the kids bugged him about that (“you really didn’t make the team”) – he went out, tried, and had fun.  By the last game of the season, ignoring all the comments from the other kids, he improved a lot and was on the top line with his best friend and the team’s best player.  They played a lot, and he got to show his skills.

I helped to coach by coming to the games and encouraging the kids, supporting the team and cheering them on.  I heard the comments and I felt bad for him, but he didn’t care.  It was less important than his opportunity to play in a team environment, learn the game and be one of the boys.

My oldest boy also swims… Well.   He has been in a pre-competitive program where he became the dark horse according to the program’s director.  He spent the first 4-6 weeks cruising along the side wall where he could, but by the end of the program, he was the top swimmer, and his breast stroke and back stroke were referred to as “a thing of beauty” and that he was “graceful” and “surprisingly strong”.

His first crack at competitive swimming saw him win his first 2 races by a substantial margin, and a second place finish in his third race because he stopped to see where the end of the pool was.  He cheers on his teammates, and in competitions, he cheers on everyone in the water.  He’s that kind of kid.

Just the other day was his year-end swim competition and again came 2 first place finishes, and then with a race right after his previous race, and double the distance, he swallowed some water and came in 3rd.

Incredible.

He’ll be joining a swim team next year!  He wants to go to the Olympics.  He gives partial credit to @HarveysCanada (more in a future post).

He had an opportunity to swim for his school and he was really excited about it, until a kids in his class told him that “swimming was stupid, you get a better workout playing hockey”.  It crushed him… For a day or two, but instead of arguing and debating the issue, he recognized it was factually incorrect and he chose to leave it alone and move on.

He went to the school swim meet as one of only 2 boys there and he swam against kids much bigger and stronger than him, and he came in 3rd in the races he competed in.  He was thrilled, he were proud of him and the swim teacher saw this bright, sporty kid, step up and support his school.  Even the older girls at the meet cheered him on and supported him because he was an unknown to them and here he was at one point moving from last in a race to 2nd.  #Guts.

Now, he has found a love for baseball.

I love baseball.  LOVE it!  I never played but I should have!  I’m a pitcher to the core and I wanted to play but according to my parents, I never asked to play, so I did not.  Obviously, those days are behind me but I can live through my son, right?  :)

My son tried out for the school softball team and didn’t make the starting squad – there were kids from both grades who has played in leagues in previous years which he did not, but he was added as a call-up.  He cannot go to any of those games because they conflict with his hardball baseball season which he just stated and his swimming program.

I was concerned that being left off the school team might hurt his confidence more than it would fire him up, but I was wrong.  He has started this season – his first – on fire and he is tearing things up.  His first game he went 2 for 3 and stole a base.  His second game 2 for 4 with 2 stolen bases and his third game he got to pitch and in the 2 innings he pitched, he struck out 4 and got the save as his team won the game.  He followed that up by going 1 for 3 and by throwing out a running at home from right field.

His baseball coach loves him!  With a little more practice, his coach figures he might be the team’s best pitcher.  He already throws hard and is very accurate.  In his eagerness to put the ball in play, he struck out twice last game watching the ball sail out of the strike zone but called a strike by the umpire.  By not watching baseball, he doesn’t know things like that can happen.  He’ll learn.

He doesn’t tell the kids on his school team, nor does he mention it to his gym teacher, but he humbly accepts that he’s good at baseball and he loves being part of the team.  He’s been a great teammate, and he’s been a cheerleader on the bench in between innings.  He has showed his empathetic-side when one of his teammates got hit by the ball and was hurt, by going over to check on him right away.

He has turned negative situation after negative situation into positive ones and I tip my hat to him.

But with the good comes the bad, and the biggest concern with a resilient kids, is the internalizing.

The appearance that he’s okay with all of the negatives, and the accepting of being treated this way can have serious long-term ramifications as he learns to ignore poor treatment and convince himself that that it’s okay.  It absolutely bothers him, and he absolutely keeps it all in at that moment.

One day he’ll need to speak to a professional or I worry that he will snap.

I’m glad that most of this revolves around physical activity and I hope he will be able to channel this frustration into energy to perform better at whatever sport he is playing, but until that happens I worry that these disappointments will impact his ability to enjoy sports and he’ll be too worried worrying about what others will say if he does not succeed to play well and enjoy the game.

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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Daily Questions!


Ahhh, kids!

My kids went through a phase where they would yell, “DAILY QUESTION!” and then ask a question out loud and if it was guessed correctly, they would offer a sum of money.  It’s pretty much the same premise and Stu Jeffries Thousand Dollar Minute from Boom 97.3FM, which we listen to each and every morning and the kids have tried calling in to.

In honour of my kids constant quest for knowledge, I had them help me compile their own Thursday Thirteen version of “Daily Question” with 13 questions they thought would challenge anyone who dared to take on the quiz!

See how you do!

 

  1. Name one of NASA’s Space Shuttles

  2. What City is the Eiffel Tower in?

11.  What is another way to write half-past ten

10.  What is the longest river in the world?

9.   What did Alexander Graham Bell invent?

8.   What is the square root of 121?

7.   What was the name of the show featuring Jessie, DJ, Joey and an annoying neighbour named Kimmy Gibbler?

6.   Name the 2 hockey teams which failed in Atlanta, Georgia?

5.   What is older?  Betty White or the invention of the refrigerator?

4.  5 multiplied by 3, take away 7, all squared equals?

3.   What is the name of the character in the cartoon “Peanuts” who carries a blanket, sucks his thumb and is really smart?

2.   What does “M.A.S.H” stand for from the classic TV show of the same name?

1.   The Toronto Raptors are in the NBA playoffs again this year (YAY!).  Their slogan is “We The North”.  Which other US cities which have basketball teams are further north than Toronto?

Hint: There are 3

How did you do?

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