The blog of a 21st century, 37 year old father
of a 13 year old girl and a 6 year old boy

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hot Topic vs. Old Navy

I've told my daughter to stay away from the band HIM. She's telling people online that that's one of her favorite bands along with My Chemical Romance.

She believes these bands are important to the punk/goth creed. I write punk/goth because that's how she describes herself online.

I'm thinking about taking her Adio shoes away from her. I told her more than once that just because her Adio shoes have this heartagram symbol on them that doesn't mean she could listen to the band HIM or buy into everything else that's part of the punk/goth package.

The real issue is that she desperately wants to be accepted. She says she hates the "preps" who put her down for her fashion mistakes. She says they wear Hollister and Old Navy brands.

I need to help her find a way to meet kids whom she can view as peers. But right now she can't see past the brands they wear.

If you've got any thoughts or comments on what I should do I'd REALLY like to hear them

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

All about the brand?

Last night my daughter created a crossword puzzle of what looked like her favorite things. There was bands like Fall Out Boy, Green Day, Simple Plan, etc.. bands I knew she liked. But then there was Korn and The Cure.

Just earlier in the evening she had asked me, while browsing the internet, "Who is The Cure? Did you like them?" My answer was a tentative "Yes, they were one of my favorite bands" ... I didn't explain well that this was when I was 17/18. I didn't explain well why I don't listen to The Cure anymore because I wasn't sure myself.

So The Cure winds up on my daughters list of favorite things. I'm not sure where Korn came from on her list.

I've seen this kind of list in the form of a word game before. With the recent shoes thing. There's a page floating around the house here (literally) with Adio, Etnies and other skater shoe brand logos on it.

What concerns me is that she's not thinking for herself. Maybe she's not capable at this age, I don't know. Maybe if she gave The Cure a listen then decided she liked the band that would be better. Maybe it wouldn't. Maybe I don't want her listening to Korn and deciding she likes the band. Maybe this is all about the look or the brand and not really about the substance. This is what scares me as a parent. This sort of automatic buy-in.

I'm not sure how to teach my daughter to think, act, feel for herself. The paradox is that my wife and I have taught her to think, act and feel what we want her to. We've been surplanted with the world at large.

How can I teach my daughter to think, act and feel for herself or maybe I'm taking this sort of brand experimentation too seriously. Any ideas?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Michigan Mom Demand District Review Parental Opt-Out Policies

Amazing in a Yahoo! search for "teenage daughter says she's depressed" this "News from Agape Press" is the first result:

"A woman in Michigan has asked the district where her teenage daughter attends school to exempt the child from all reading assignments that contain obscenity, immorality, and other troubling themes. Now the Christian mom is upset because she feels her teenager is being made to suffer academically and emotionally for a decision that every parent is legally entitled to make."

Interestingly, the mother's last name is "Thrasher". No joke.Read more at headlines.agapepress.or...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

School ...

Today anything good that I could have experienced with my daughter was overshadowed by a magazine she brought home from school and a report card with two F's.

The magazine was Thrasher. I have two problems with this magazine at our middle school library 1) If any student were to read from that magazine aloud they would be sent to the office 2) If this same content were on tv it would be considered inappropriate, perhaps even for high school.

So tomorrow I get to go talk to someone, maybe the vice principal or the media coordinator to understand why this magazine is in the school library.

Now I'm all for freedom of speech. Don't get me wrong. At our library a tattoo book was taken out because of the pictures but i thought t needed to stay. Then again, I was 19.

So I didn't even get to the two F's.

Right now I'm thinking about how some kind of virtual middle school could work.

Have mercy!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Viva La Bam

Regarding the whole Adio heartagram shoe conundrum you may have read about. I decided to do more research and watched two episodes of Viva La Bam last night.

I enjoyed the episodes. Bam and his crew seem like good kids essentially. He's always disturbing his parents but the parents are obviously getting something out of it.

The show is rated PG with an "L" for language. However, I think I wouldn't mind my 12 year old daughter to watch it though. A part of me thinks, "I don't want my daughter to be like this." But then I thought, maybe she wouldn't start food fights at the dinner table anymore than I would. Hey, how many Disney movies have a food fight in them? Maybe a food fight would be good for us as a family!

For a girl, that is, my daughter, who's stressed ... maybe Viva La Bam would help her relax a little bit. Then again, perhaps there are other more healthy ways to relax ... like yoga.

Friday, December 23, 2005

12 year old daughter going Goth!

How do you let your kids express themselves with their attire and clothing? Where do you draw the line?

At age 12, I wasn't wearing all black with skull imprints! Well, to be fair, what she picked out was a black tee that said something about penguins and insanity. Kind of silly. Not offensive. No graphics with disturbing images. She picked out another black tee that had a bar code on it and a skull logo on the back.

She informed her mother and I today that her "signature" colors were purple and black. This was confirmed after she took her $84 for Christmas and bought a $75 pair of Adio shoes with a purple HIM symbol on it. I'm not sure, but she may be thinking of look like this.

What is she getting into?

I asked the people in Hot Topic and in Journeys what the HIM heartagram symbol meant and they all said "it's just their band logo". The Journeys gal said "Adio asks these skaters like Bam to design skater shoes. Bam put the heartagram symbol on the shoes because he likes HIM so much."

Turns out I've seen the Viva La Bam episode where he turned his house into a skate board park while his parents were away. I remember thinking that I didn't want my kids to watch this. I did enjoy the show, however.

"What kind of music do they play?" I asked.

"Heavy. Very heavy."

My daughter, overhearing this said, "You know Slipknot? Kind of like that."

I said, "You know I don't let you listen to Slipknot. And just because you have their symbol on your show don't think you can listen to HIM."

Writing this know I imagine some of you are thinking I'm too strict. What are you thinking? Post a comment! They are moderated by me, of course.


I'm guessing that my daughter is trying to fit in to a crowd or connect with some of her peers. Clothing and attire tend to define socially what the kid thinks and feels.

So I'm looking around the net trying to learn about this heartagram and HIM; these things that are suddenly so important to my daughter.

The symbol

I found this interpretation: "The Heartagram is indeed associated with the awesome ... band HIM. It is a pentagram and a heart. The pentagram is commonly associated with evil and the heart for love. Thats the and despair, the balance of good and evil, life and death."

Well. The wife doesn't have a problem with the HIM band symbol on the shoes. She says it doesn't look like a pentagram.

Ain't skeered

Let me get something straight. Its not that I'm saying this symbol has any power, per se, it's the message. Its all the auxiliary, peripheral implications that go along with it.

Regardless of the symbols' possible meanings. Check out the HIM lyrics. Final analysis: I don't think I want my daughter advertising for this band.

Well. Thanks for letting me work this out here. Come back to see how it goes!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

How to keep your kids from fighting with each other

I've not really thought this through thoroughly but for future reference:

"Fighting among siblings is as natural as the changing of the seasons. All parents will have to deal with it. There are some simple things we can do to limit fighting and make it tolerable."

Read more at www.naturalfamilyonline...