Feb 29, 2016

Book Review: "Why Gender Matters" by Dr. Leonard Sax

A few weeks ago I listened to "Your Friend, Your Kid" on the "Think with Krys Boyd" podcast. It was an interview with the family physician and Phd, Dr. Leonard Sax. I enjoyed it so much I asked Doug to get me the book they were discussing: "The Collapse of Parenting". Unfortunately, the library doesn't have it yet, so he brought home "Why Gender Matters".

As the mother of five boys, I found this book incredibly fascinating and have been discussing it with every person I've talked to all week.

Now, I already KNEW, that boys and girls were different. Here's how I knew: I have a bunch of boys, whereas I am a girl. Not only am I a girl, but I have sisters, a mother, lots of female friends, and lots of female friends with female daughters. And we hang out. A lot.  So I'm not clueless about girls.

Watching boys and girls interact makes it obvious incredibly quickly that they are DIFFERENT and they do things DIFFERENTLY.  The question, for many years has been, are they different by nature or through nurture?

When Max (my oldest) was a baby, I read a book making the case that boys were aggressive and violent because their parents and society make them that way. If we want sensitive, empathetic boys, it said, and courageous assertive girls, we must raise our kids in an androgynous environment. I decided to follow the advice in the book. I determined that in MY home, we would NOT give our son weapons of any kind EVER! (You are laughing really hard right now if you've been in my house and have tripped over our arsenal of lightsabers, swords, nun-chucks, and Nerf guns.)  I also followed the instructions in the book to be sure to give my son sympathy when he got hurt (instead of expecting him to "buck up")

In other words, I followed the directions and waited for Maxwell to manifest himself as a gentleman and a scholar, strong and courageous, but also empathetic and sweet and nurturing. Imagine my surprise when my toddler son started sword fighting with the vacuum wand and making toy guns with Duplos. Imagine my dismay when the baby doll I gave him (in preparation for his baby brother to be born) was held around the ankles and smacked in to any hard noisy surface Max could find. (Did I mention we didn't let him watch tv in our home until he was over 2.5 years? Did I mention the friends he played with were almost all girls?)

Eventually, I realized that it was not my fault he had no patience for art projects or crafts. Eventually I figured out that he was not going to act/play/or fight like his female friends. That he wanted to play with cars and trucks and swords and save the day and not color pretty pictures.

Luckily, I finally figured out that nature, and gender, matter.

In his book, Dr. Sax dispels myths about gender differences by citing study after study (after study) that confirm differences in female and male brains. He strongly emphasizes that--for example--while you can teach both genders complex math equations, a boy and a girl will learn better if taught using different approaches. Because they are different. And their brains are different.

Conclusion: I thought it was a great read, with some great food for thought and definitely recommend it. One caveat though; The chapter about sex has a very graphic example of teens engaging in o*** sex. I think he includes that particular story to shock parents into realizing teen sex habits are different than they believe. But if I had it to do over again, I would have skimmed that part. ;)

P.S. I have since read "The Collapse of Parenting" and give it two thumbs up, five stars, and an unequivocal recommendation!!! No caveat necessary!! READ IT!!!

Feb 28, 2016

Dub Family Tech Rules

Doug gets e-mails from a website called "ProtectYoungMinds.org" and recently came home with a fill-in-the-blank Tech Etiquette worksheet. It's something we've talked a lot about and something I've been thinking a lot about and the worksheet proved to be a perfect spring board for a "Family Night" lesson on our family tech rules. After filling in the worksheet as a family, I sat down and typed this up. I posted the rough draft on Instagram and after some feed-back, added a few things.

A few people thought it was a little too strict, but a few days after writing it, I read the book "The Collapse of Parenting" and knew I was on the right track.

The next step will be reviewing this frequently with the boys so these switch from being "restrictions" to just being the normal way the W's do things.

Tell me what you think!
Dub Family Technology Guide

Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.  
3 Ne. 27:27
Squad goals: To show love and respect for ourselves, and those around us. To spend the precious days, hours and minutes of our lives on things of worth. To use technology to enhance our family life, not detract from it.

*People are more important than i-Phones. And i-Pads, video games, TV, and computers.

*Stay off your device during dinner, when friends are over, during homework, at restaurants, on Sunday, during FHE, at church activities, at school activities and during family time. In other words, BE PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE!!!    
{Practice your conversation skills, eye contact, and active listening!} {Leave phone home on Sundays and during church activities.)

*No devices in children's bedrooms or bathrooms. Period.
{Applies to visiting friends and cousins too.}

*Devices are docked on charger every night.

*Dubs don’t do selfies! Focus your camera, and your thoughts, outward.
{See Greek myth of Narcissus} {See “The Collapse of Parenting” for danger of selfies}

*Keep your device put away when you are watching TV or a movie.  Turn off your music while doing school work (unless it’s Classical or the James Taylor Pandora Station.)
{Techno-multi-tasking is bad for your brain!}

*Make eye-contact with the person talking to you.
{Never interrupt the person in front of you to answer the person texting you. Never look at a device when you should be looking at a person.}

*We don’t mock, tease, prank, embarrass or bully people digitally. We also remember that everything we do on-line leaves a footprint that lasts FOREVER!
{Remember who you are and what you stand for!}

*You know not to look at porn, but if you see ANYTHING inappropriate by accident, turn off device and/or walk away. Tell mom immediately. (Includes inappropriate words/texts/instant messages.)

*No TV or video games Mon-Thurs. Two hours per day on Friday and Saturday.  Go outside and PLAY if you have free time on a school day!

*Parents have all passwords and will check history, contacts, photos, texts, emails and whereabouts. DO NOT delete text messages/conversations. (You can thank Aunt Laura for this one.)

*Date night etiquette for Mom and Dad: We will only look at our phones when we are looking at something together. We will keep our phones put away as much as possible.

*Mom etiquette: I want my kids to remember my face and not the back of my phone. I will keep my phone put away when my kids are around when it is reasonable. Facebook and Instagram can wait. I will not post photos of Max or Sam without permission. The rest of you are fair game.

To help me out, my sister sent me the tech contract she uses for her family. Her kids are older so she has some guidelines I hadn't thought of. I'm sure I'll be adding more of her guidelines as the boys grow up...


·      I will always answer texts and calls from my parents. If I miss a call, I will call them back right away and will always have my phone turned on when I’m not home.

·      I will be honest and open with my parents about my cell phone usage. They will always know my password and are allowed to check my history, contacts, photos, texts, emails and whereabouts. I will not delete text messages/conversations.

·      I will not use my cell phone during meals, at restaurants, during FHE or other family time.

·      I will remember that everything I do on my phone leaves a digital footprint…FOREVER. *Remember who you are and what you stand for.*

·      When someone is talking to me, I will look at and listen to them. I know that relationships are more important than my phone.

·      I won’t use my cell phone while doing homework or while at church or church activities.

·      I won’t take or send inappropriate pictures, texts or emails.

·      If I receive something inappropriate on my phone, I will tell Mom and Dad immediately.

·      I will not say or text anything on my phone that I wouldn’t say in person with my parents listening.

·      Devices are only to be used in family areas and are not allowed in bedrooms/bathrooms. No exceptions.

·      Devices are checked into kitchen charger during homework time. No texting during homework time.

·      Devices are checked into Mom and Dad’s room charger at 9:00 p.m.

·      Devices are put away during dinner, FHE, movies and family time. Family first!!





Feb 7, 2016

Adorable Baby Number Five

Just found this blank post full of pictures in my drafts file. I'm assuming I had planned to write something to mark Linky Pie's first birthday. Since he is now 2 years and 4 months old, I guess I should hit "Publish".

We sure love our little Linky Pie!!!