Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Teens and Smoking: Why?

Monday, March 2nd, 2009


On the way back from dropping my son off at school this morning, I pulled up alongside an older Volvo
at a stop light. I smiled when I saw two girls, about 17 years old, in
the car, thinking that the driver's parents had probably made darned
sure she was driving a safe car.

They were so young and beautiful. Smiling, chatting, downing their Starbucks coffee drinks. Then, almost in unison, they both stuck their hands out the car window and flicked ashes from a cigarette.

My heart sank.

My mother in law, Pat, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when my son, Matt, was just in first grade. A lifelong smoker, she tried many times to quit. But the habit, which she picked up in college, was too tough for her to give up. I remember her telling all this to Matt and then telling him to NEVER start smoking. To this day, he still talks about that conversation with his grandmother.

This morning, I wanted to get out of my car and go tell all of this to those girls. Those lovely, healthy young women with beautiful skin, bright eyes and (I hoped) still-healthy lungs and hearts.

I didn't, of course. The light turned green. We went our separate ways. And I don't expect those two girls to be seeking out a parenting blog… Until they are parents themselves, of course. When they're addicted to smoking and worried like hell that the second-hand smoke, and the example they're setting, might be hurting their kids. When they're looking up articles on Google about how to quit smoking or how to make sure their own kids never smoke.

How much easier it would be for today's teens to not pick up that first cigarette. Or to quit now, after a few months of smoking, rather than having to stare down that nicotine beast after a decade or more of damage.

If you're a parent who is smelling cigarette smoke on your kid's clothes when then come home, please show them this post. You may not be the parent of those two particular girls. But then again, there might be an older, gold-colored Volvo sitting in your driveway right now.

Welcome Pot Smokers!

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

You gotta love Google. It always amazes me how people find this blog,
and it's a hoot to see some of the Google searches that result in
people clicking on a parenting blog. How about these:

°    "How to prep and smoke weed" (Sorry, Dude, but you ended up with my article for parents on kids and pot.)

°    "What do you do when your teenager is smoking pot?" (OK, I'm seeing a trend here. Maybe the first one was searched by a teen and the second one by his mom?)

°    "Idea gift teacher child always late pick up" (Always late pickup? So
you need a gift to say I'm sorry for all those late arrivals at
day-care pick-up time? I'm guessing the teacher would prefer you spend
the money on a watch. Teachers need to get home to their OWN families
at the end of the day, right?)

°    "Cell phone in washing machine"
(After I did a post on this when my son left his cell phone in his
pants pocket — and it got drenched — the post became my most-visited
ever. At least our family isn't alone!)

°    "Sick of video games" (Me too.)

°    Can my child get MRSA at school? (The number of searches that hit on the MRSA post here
on the blog is going up, up, up. Remember to tell your kid not to share
gym towels — and not to sit his naked butt on the bench in the locker
room. Now there's a dinner-time conversation starter!)

Keep those Google searches coming! I love having you stop by — however you get here.

#1 Post: Cell Phone In the Washing Machine!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

fisheye washing machineDear readers — I'm re-running this post in honor of the fact that it's the #1 post, in terms of Google hits, since I started this blog a year and a half ago. All I can say is there are a LOT of families out there who accidentally had a cell phone go through the washing machine! Good to know the Sena family isn't alone.

Talk about timing…

So I'm sitting here working on a magazine article on kids and cell
phones, and I decide to take a break from the home office and switch
the laundry from the washer to the dryer. (OK, and maybe grab some
Triscuits and cheese… If there are downsides to working from a home
office, like the constant reminder of dirty laundry, there ought to be
upsides, like snacks. Right?)

Perfect time to discover that my 12-year-old son left his cell phone
in his pants pocket and it went through the wash cycle. &*^())#$#^!

I knew I wasn’t alone with this problem when I Googled “cell phone
in washing machine” and up popped 332,000 results. That seemed a bit
overwhelming, so I decided to go straight to our service provider, who
suggested removing the battery and letting the phone dry out for a few
days. Sometimes that does the trick, they said — but often it doesn’t.

Unfortunately phones that are damaged by liquid aren’t covered by
most manufacturers’ warranties. So this may be an expensive lesson for
one young man regarding always emptying his pockets at night. (But his
dad’s wallet went through the laundry — again — two weeks ago, so this
may be a genetic problem we’re dealing with here!)

Hey, anything for a good article-sidebar idea, right?

Update: Check out my post on a new cell phone that can withstand getting wet, being
dropped and just about anything else kids (or you!) can throw at it. Click below.

So, Just What DO Exhausted Moms Think About During Sex?

Thursday, August 28th, 2008


Oh, geez, I'm still laughing at the guest post, by "Mom De Plume," that I just read over on momlogic.com: "What I Think About During Sex."

"For some inexplicable reason, my husband only gets the idea to have sex
at the end of our respective 16-hour days — after we've both worked,
suffered through our commutes, picked up our child from daycare, made
dinner, gave the kid a bath, read a story, did the bedtime routine and
finished the dishes," says our Ms. De Plume.

"By the time we're both comfortably settled in bed, I'm like a zombie teetering between comatose and dead. THEN, AND ONLY THEN, DOES MY HUSBAND REACH FOR ME ACROSS THE BED…"

I don't know what I enjoyed more, the post or the comments, (particularly one from a woman who said she sometimes thinks about Patrick Dempsey during sex — but often just thinks about how she forgot to pick up the dry cleaning…) Other moms thought about stuff like what they needed to pick up at Target. (Does every mom feel like she spends half her life at Target, or is it just me?)

Thanks for the chuckle, all you folks at MomLogic (and especially, you, Mom De Plume). And thanks for giving me an excuse to put a photo of Patrick Dempsey on Parent Talk Today!

P.S. This will be an interesting experiment. I just looked over at my Google ads in the left-hand column, and they are all about weight loss because I wrote about losing weight in yesterday's post. Heaven only knows what the Google ads will be about when Google scans for key words in THIS post!

Pot Smokers Welcome Here

Monday, August 11th, 2008


You gotta love Google. It always amazes me how people find this blog, and it's a hoot to see some of the Google searches that result in people clicking on a parenting blog. How about these:

°    "How to prep and smoke weed" (Sorry, Dude, but you ended up with my article for parents on kids and pot.)

°    "What do you do when your teenager is smoking pot?" (OK, I'm seeing a trend here. Maybe the first one was searched by a teen and the second one by his mom?)

°    "Idea gift teacher child late pick up" (So you need a gift to say I'm sorry for all those late arrivals at day-care pick-up time? I'm guessing the teacher would prefer you spend the money on a watch. Teachers need to get home to their OWN families at the end of the day, right?)

°    "Cell phone in washing machine" (After I did a post on this when my son left his cell phone in his pants pocket — and it got drenched — the post became my most-visited ever. At least our family isn't alone!)

°    "Sick of video games" (Me too.)

°    Can my child get MRSA at school? (With school starting, the number of searches that hit on the MRSA post here on the blog is going up, up, up. Remember to tell your kid not to share gym towels — and not to sit his naked butt on the bench in the locker room. Now there's a dinner-time conversation starter!)

°    Do you think airline prices will go down between now and Christmas? (Now that they're charging for everything from blankets to Pepsi to peanuts? My crystal ball says…. nope.)

Keep those Google searches coming! I love having you stop by — however you get here.

Parenting: The Same in Any Language

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008


Thank goodness for Google and its ability to "speak" so many languages. In the past week alone, Parent Talk Today has had visitors from Italy, Egypt, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, France, Thailand and Vietnam.

Many simply used their native language in a Google search, and they ended up here. Pretty amazing. (And with today’s website-translation services, they can actually read the blog when they get here. A definite plus.)


While I don’t have any detailed information on individual visitors (nor would I want to invade their privacy that way), I do see the Google searches that brought them to this blog, and I’ve come to a happy conclusion: We parents are pretty much alike around the globe. We all worry about what to feed our kids, how to get them to sleep and what’s normal (and not) with their development. We wonder how to talk with them about sex, and bullying and drugs.

We all love our kids to pieces — and we all have days when we wish we could just take a  break from parenting. We feel guilty for not being perfect and we thrill to first smiles and first steps. We feel like part of a community — and yet we have days when we feel very much alone with a particular parenting challenge.

So it’s good to know we can meet at blogs like this one on the Web, the electronic back fence that’s available to us all, even in the middle of the night when we’re sitting up with a colicky baby or waiting up for a teenager’s car to pull into the driveway.

It’s good to know that parents around the world are alike in so many ways — and that we really are all in this together.