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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Soccer Parents Please Take Note: After Heads Bang, Interests Collide for FIFA

From The New York Times
"On Soccer"

By Jere Longman
July 1, 2015

Hope Solo, right, tends to her teammate Morgan Brian, who collided with
Alexandra Popp of Germany during the Women's World Cup semifinal
on Tuesday. Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

MONTREAL — Morgan Brian turned onto her stomach and kicked the turf in pain. Red bloomed in Alexandra Popp’s blond hair like an excruciating carnation.

As happened last year at the men’s World Cup in Brazil, FIFA was confronted on Tuesday with head injuries at its signature tournament. And yet again, the response from soccer’s governing body was inadequate.

For four minutes, the Women’s World Cup semifinal between the United States and Germany was halted as Brian and Popp lay on the field at Olympic Stadium.

On a free kick by Germany in the 28th minute, both players jumped for the ball at the far post. Brian did her job expertly, heading the ball away, only to be struck from behind by Popp’s head, which landed like a punch.

Brian colliding with Popp, who was left bleeding.
Eric Bolte / USA TODAY Sports, via Reuters

The collision was inadvertent — part of the game — but the threat of concussion was real, and FIFA’s procedures were deficient.

The teams said that neither player had displayed symptoms of a concussion. Still, neutral doctors should have joined or supplanted team doctors in examining Brian and Popp.

And an extra substitution should have been available to each team, beyond the three allowed per match, so that Brian and Popp could have been observed more thoroughly.

Brian kept putting her hand to her face as she walked slowly toward the sideline. Popp’s head kept bleeding, and her hair was doused with a water bottle, as if to rinse out red dye.

Popp, left, sustained a cut and was tended to by Simone Laudehr.
Minas Panagiotakis / GETTY IMAGES

Both players quickly returned to the game. Brian played 89 minutes and Popp the full 90, though her head appeared to continue to bleed after it was wrapped with medical tape.

Already, FIFA had forced the women to play this World Cup in less than optimal conditions, on synthetic turf. The surface at Olympic Stadium was “a lot harder than any field we’ve played on,” said midfielder Carli Lloyd, who converted a penalty kick and added an assist to Kelley O’Hara in leading the United States to a 2-0 victory.

“I think there’s cement basically laid underneath it,” Lloyd said of the turf. “When you stepped on it, you could feel how hard it is.”

The reaction to the collision between Brian and Popp further raised questions about whether FIFA, engulfed in a racketeering scandal, was more concerned about the players’ interest than its own.

“If #FIFA has learned anything ... both players should be taken off immediately,” Taylor Twellman, a former most valuable player in Major League Soccer whose career was curtailed by concussions, wrote on Twitter.

“Amateur hour #FIFA,” Twellman added in a separate post on Twitter. “All show, no substance with player safety, particularly head injuries.”

Briana Scurry, the American goalkeeper whose save during a penalty shootout made the difference in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final against China, and who has also sustained concussions, expressed similar concerns about Tuesday’s collision.

“This is why we need a head injury substitution that doesn’t count towards the 3” already permitted, Scurry wrote on Twitter.

After multiple head injuries at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA’s medical committee proposed new regulations for managing concussions. The proposals were approved, a FIFA spokeswoman said Tuesday night.

Referees can stop a match for three minutes, allowing a team doctor to examine an injured player for signs of concussion. And the doctor, not the player, decides whether the player can remain in the game.

These changes, however, do not eliminate the conflict of interest in having an employee decide if a player should stay on the field. That determination should rest with an unbiased observer, not with someone paid by a team.

In a World Cup semifinal, in a sport with limited substitutions, there can be enormous pressure for a player to remain in the game and for a physician to assent. A player’s health could be put at risk. But international soccer appears resistant to the necessary independence of medical experts.

“I have absolute faith and trust in our medical team to do the right thing,” said Jill Ellis, coach of the United States team. “I would never question our doctors.”

Silvia Neid, Germany’s coach, said, “If the player says to our doctor she is well, and the doctor can look in her eyes and can verify that, then I don’t know why we need a neutral physician.”

Dr. Bojan B. Zoric, an orthopedic surgeon who is the team doctor for the United States, was not made available to reporters after the match. Neil Buethe, a team spokesman, said that Brian was checked again at halftime and did not exhibit any symptoms of a concussion. The monitoring would continue, Buethe said, for as long as necessary.

Brian, who at 22 is the youngest American player, said that the collision “hurt really bad” at first but that she never lost consciousness. The team medical staff put her through a series of tests, Brian said, asking her to quickly touch her finger to her nose, to follow a moving finger with her eyes, and to repeat the words “car,” “apple,” “house,” “elbow” and “ball” three times.

She seemed buoyant and said that she felt “great.”

Asked if an extra substitution should be permitted for head injuries, Brian said: “I think, obviously, each case is different. In my case, there was nothing too terribly wrong. Sometimes when head injuries happen that are worse, or more severe, yeah, I think that would be a good idea.”

Brandi Chastain, who scored the winning penalty kick for the United States at the 1999 World Cup, now seeks to minimize the risk of concussions by urging, through a campaign called Safer Soccer, that children not head the ball until age 14. She said in an email Tuesday night that FIFA should more thoroughly explain its concussion protocol.

“I thought from the up-close video of Morgan Brian, she didn’t look good, whereas per my eye Popp did,” Chastain wrote. “But that is not how to judge that either was. It definitely needs to be discussed and understood.”

Sunday, July 5, 2015

7 Things Parents and Teachers Should Know About Teens

From Edutopia

By Maurice Elias
June 7, 2015

Summer is approaching, and many teenagers will be freed up from the structures and restrictions of school. What will now come to the forefront for them? What's at the core of their lives? Reality TV? The summer concert scene? Life at the malls? Sun and sand at the beach? Chatting and texting? Sports?

Some may think this covers the list. But those that do are giving teenagers far too little credit.

The late Rachael Kessler spent a great deal of time talking to and working with adolescents. Her special interest was how deal with what she referred to as life transitions and "passages." Some are large, like leaving high school, starting a job or starting college, leaving college, living on one's own, and coping with the impact of family trauma such as severe illness, death, or divorce. Some are linked with religion, such as Bar or Bat Mitzvah or Confirmation.

Rachael found that these passages are pivotal moments in the lives of both teens and their families. How are they handled?

What Teens Think About

Generally speaking, Rachael believed we give adolescents far too little credit. The passages in their lives are moments when they ask themselves important questions, such as these:
  • How does my life have meaning and purpose?
  • What gifts do I have that the world wants and needs?
  • To what or whom do I feel most deeply connected?
  • How can I rise above my fears and doubts?
  • What or who awakens or touches the spirit within me?

Those of you who live with teens might be wondering if Rachael had been working with teens from this planet. Indeed, she had. What she found is that adolescents are lacking in forums for exploring and expressing many of these questions and the deep feelings that they invoke.

Many teens do get caught up in the media- and video-generated culture of glitz, personality, entertainment, and consumption. It's hard for them not to. Advertisers spend tens of millions of dollars to put images in front of teens (and their parents) that will lead them to think first, "What do I want?" and not, "How can I help?" or "Where am I headed?" or even, "Where are my family, peers, or community headed?"

Rachael asks us to think about how we organize events to commemorate passages, fully aware of the way that popular culture pushes teens, parents, and educators to create spectacles or high-energy blowout events. Indeed, the kinds of "passage" events that Rachael designed were meant to create a process of reflection and, often, redirection of activities, away from the concerns of "childhood" and toward the "deeper" questions surrounding transition to adulthood.

But in our current culture, the connection between these celebrations and the passages they commemorate is not clear, nor are they a bridge to greater reflection and adult responsibility and capability.

What Can Parents and Educators Do?

While parents and educators may have a hard time addressing issues of soul and spirit with their teens, it can help to be aware of some ways into the hearts and minds of young people that can make a difference. Here is what Rachael Kessler suggests in her landmark book, The Soul of Education.

1.) Positive Belonging: Teens' memberships can be a source of rich, deep connections for them. They need this kind of influence in their lives. Organized youth activities are an important forum for teens to explore these deeper questions.

Parents need to look out for camps, religious and non-religious youth groups, teen tours, and local youth centers and recreational programs that provide time for teens to come together with sensitive leaders to talk about questions generated by their life passages.

2.) Silence and Solitude: For some teens, this is an important way in which they take a break from the pressures of everyday life.

3.) Reflections on Life: Questions that they ask about life and their futures are best treated emotionally, not through information. In addition to talking with you, see if there is an older sibling, grandparent, member of the clergy, or respected educator that they might talk with as well. Educators can design writing projects around these questions, with peer sharing.

4.) Joy and Play: Teens need to have fun, and certainly not alcohol- or drug-induced fun, but genuine fun with other peers that they will remember and be proud to talk about the next day. Fun is not frivolous.

5.) Creativity: Encourage creative exploration even if it does not seem "practical" or "career oriented." Creativity develops the soul.

6.) Linking to the Large: Help teens identify with greatness and see greatness within themselves. Focus them on their potential, not their limitations. Expose them to truly inspiring figures in history and in various fields of endeavor.

7.) Shape the Passages: Work with teens to prepare for their passages and focus on the meaningfulness of it, at least as much as the celebration. Start to prepare in advance, and look at how the positive aspects can be continued well after the event.

Parents, educators, and teens can think about what the passage is a passage to, what the meaning and implications of the passage are, and what new expectations this might create for the teen and how others treat him or her.


You can learn more about Rachael's approach at the website where her cherished colleagues continue her inspiring work, Passageworks.org.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Autistic and Gifted: Supporting the Twice-Exceptional Child

From PsychCentral

About Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. She writes regularly for Psych Central as well as Psych Central's Ask the Therapist feature. She is author of the insightful parenting e-book, Tending the Family Heart. Check out her new book, Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem, in early 2015!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Free EdTech Workshops at NESCA Starting 7/15 for Students with Learning Disabilities


July 2, 2015

NESCA Intern Courtney Rose Dykeman-Bermingham, a rising senior majoring in Neuroscience at Mount Holyoke College and volunteer at their AccessAbility Services (AAS) office, discusses top tech tools students with learning disabilities and executive function challenges to use to optimize educational experiences.

Program Schedule

July 15: Executive Functioning, Time Management & Organization — Learn about apps and web-based programs to help in these areas.

July 22: LiveScribe Smart Pens — Learn about this new format of note taking, where recordings and notes are synced.

July 29: Kurzweil 3000 Firefly — This is more than a screen reader; it can help your child organize their notes and makes finding specific passages easier.

August 5: Evernote — An innovative way to organize materials, it can create compilations of notes, images recordings and more.

Each sessions will include a seminar, relevant demonstrations and a Q&A period.

The use of these technologies would be most beneficial for high school and college aged students, but parents of younger students could also benefit from the knowledge.

When:   9:30 - 10:30am; four successive Wednesdays
                    starting July 15th

Where: NESCA (Lower Lobby Meeting Space)
                   55 Chapel Street Suite 202, Newton, MA

Who:     Students, and parents or guardians of students with
                   language-based learning disabilities, attentional
                   and/or executive function issues.

Cost:      FREE!

To register, please email info@nesca-newton.com, and include the student’s age or grade. Seating is now very limited; advance registration is required.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Overparenting Looks Like from a Stanford Dean’s Perspective

From KQED's Blog "Mind/Shift"
How we will learn.

June 9, 2015

Excerpted from HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims, published June 9, 2015 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Copyright © 2015 by Julie Lythcott-Haims 

To What End?

A heightened level of parental involvement in the lives of kids obviously stems from love—unquestionably a good thing. But by the time I stepped down as dean at Stanford in 2012, I had interacted not only with a tremendous number of parents but with students who seemed increasingly reliant upon their parents in ways that felt, simply, off.

I began to worry that college “kids” (as college students had become known) were somehow not quite formed fully as humans. They seemed to be scanning the sidelines for Mom or Dad. Under-constructed. Existentially impotent.

Tremendous good can be said about the baby boomers—they were drafted into and questioned the Vietnam War, lay their bodies on the line in the monumental civil rights and civil liberties struggles of their day, and fueled the greatest economic growth our nation has ever seen. But did Boomers’ egos become interlaced with the accomplishments of their children to such an extent that they felt their own success was compromised if their children fell short of expectations?

And did some of these parents go so far in the direction of their own wants and needs that they eclipsed their own kids’ chances to develop a critical psychological trait called “self-efficacy”—that is, what eminent psychologist Albert Bandura identifies as “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations”?

There’s a deeply embedded irony here: Maybe those champions of self-actualization, the Boomers, did so much for their kids that their kids have been robbed of a chance to develop a belief in their own selves.

Author Julie Lythcott-Haims
(Kristina Vetter)
Did the safety-conscious, academic achievement-focused, self-esteem-promoting, checklisted childhood that has been commonplace since the mid-1980s and in many communities has become the norm, rob kids of the chance to develop into healthy adults?

What will become of young adults who look accomplished on paper but seem to have a hard time making their way in the world without the constant involvement of their parents? How will the real world feel to a young person who is used to problems being solved for them and accustomed to praise at every turn? Is it too late for them to develop a hunger to be in charge of their own lives?

Will they at some point stop referring to themselves as kids and dare to claim the “adult” label for themselves? If not, then what will become of a society populated by such “adults”?

These were the questions that began to gnaw at me and that prompted me to write this book.

These questions were on my mind not just at work but as I made my way in my community of Palo Alto, where the evidence of over-parenting was all around me—even in my own home. Many of us do some combination of over-directing, overprotecting, or over-involving ourselves in our kids’ lives.

We treat our kids like rare and precious botanical specimens, and provide a deliberate, measured amount of care and feeding, running interference on all that might toughen and weather them.

But humans need some degree of weathering in order to survive the larger challenges life will throw our way. Without experiencing the rougher spots of life, our kids become exquisite, like orchids, yet are incapable, sometimes terribly incapable, of thriving in the real world on their own. Why did parenting change from preparing our kids for life to protecting them from life, which means they’re not prepared to live life on their own?

And, why do these problems I’m writing about seem rooted in the middle and upper middle classes? After all, parents care deeply about doing a good job and if we’re fortunate enough to be middle- or upper-middle-class, we have the means—the time and disposable income—on our side to help us parent well. So, have we lost our sense of what parenting well actually entails?

And what of our own lives as parents? (“What life?” is a reasonable response.) We’re frazzled. Worried. Empty. Our neighborhoods are photo-worthy, our food and wine are carefully paired, but with childhood feeling more and more like an achievement arms race, can we call what we and our children are living a “good life”? I think not.

Our job is to monitor our kids’ academic tasks and progress, schedule and supervise their activities, shuttle them everywhere, and offer an outpouring of praise along the way. Our kids’ accomplishments are the measure of our own success and worth; that college bumper sticker on the rear of our car can be as much about our own sense of accomplishment as our kids’.

In the spring of 2013 I attended a board meeting for an organization that provides financial support to Palo Alto’s public schools. In casual conversation afterward as the parents were taking one last piece of coffee cake and heading out into their day, a woman who knows of my work pulled me aside. “When did childhood get so stressful?” she pleaded with a faraway look. I put my hand on her shoulder as tears slowly filled her eyes.

Another mother overheard and came toward us, nodding her head. Then she leaned in, asking me, “Do you know how many moms in our community are medicated for anxiety?” I didn’t know the answer to either question. But a growing number of conversations like this with moms like these became another reason to write this book.

The dean in me may have been concerned about the development and prospects of young adults who had been over-parented—and I think I’ve made better choices as a parent thanks to spending so much time with other people’s young adults. But the parent in me has struggled with the same fears and pressures every other parent faces, and, again, I understand that the systemic problem of over-parenting is rooted in our worries about the world and about how our children will be successful in it without us.

Still, we’re doing harm. For our kids’ sakes, and also for our own, we need to stop parenting from fear and bring a more healthy—a more wisely loving—approach back into our communities, schools, and homes.

Through research woven together with real-life observations and commonsense advice, this book will show us how to raise our kids to become adults—and how to gather the courage to do so.


Julie Lythcott-Haims served as Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising for over a decade at Stanford University, where she received the Dinkelspiel Award for her contributions to the undergraduate experience. A mother of two teenagers, she has spoken and written widely on the phenomenon of helicopter parenting, and her work has appeared on TEDx talks and in Forbes and the Chicago Tribune. She is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Monday, June 29, 2015

For a Child With Learning Differences, Making Home a Safe Harbor

From The New York Times Parenting Blog "Motherlode"

By Jessica Lahey 
April 29, 2015

Recently, a mother approached me for advice about how to support her daughter, who has learning differences. In a large family of children for whom most of school comes easily, with parents who could say the same about their own pasts, the little girl is often frustrated by comparing herself.

Worse, the mother says, both the siblings and, sometimes, the parents, can (unintentionally) reveal their own frustration when the child can’t solve a problem or perform a task. Those moments threaten to erode her belief in herself and her abilities.

My first email was to Mona Delahooke, a psychologist who specializes in guiding families through the challenges of raising a neurologically atypical child. She replied:

“I get this question a lot from parents of kids who have differences. The key is to help parents shift their mindset from a natural, yet pervasive, notion that their child is being purposefully difficult, or that if the child just tried harder, they could do better. Their child doesn’t choose to have a hard time with homework or learning, it’s just that her learning style is different.”

Dr. Delahooke counsels families to acknowledge the elephant in the room, that a learning difference exists, and the challenges that learning difference creates — both for the child and her family — can be frustrating. Dr. Delahooke helps parents and siblings remember that when they do become frustrated, however, it’s important that everyone communicate from a place of empathy and compassion.

Even young siblings can learn to validate their sister or brother with supportive sentiments such as, “That must be frustrating for you,” or “I get frustrated when I can’t remember a word, too.”

I also spoke with Katie Hurley, child and adolescent psychotherapist and author of “The Happy Kid Handbook.” Ms. Hurley wrote in an email that the best gift this mom can give all of her children is information.

“If the other kids are rolling their eyes and becoming impatient, then that’s an issue of empathy, but knowledge helps,” she said. “If possible, find out what the ‘glitch’ is, and use that language; explain to her siblings what it means. When we are honest with kids, and say, ‘This is how your brain works, and this is how you learn best,’ we put kids back in the driver’s seat. We empower them to take an active role in their learning instead of feeling like a failure and an outcast.”

Ms. Hurley is backed up by the research of the Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. In her research and in her book Mindset she has shown that when we maintain what she calls a “growth mindset” (the belief that learning and challenge change the brain by forming additional neural pathways, and that we are all in control of this process through our own efforts) we have a stronger belief in the power of our own efforts, exhibit fewer behaviors of helplessness, and make more constructive, positive choices in response to failure.

An entire family can benefit from adopting a growth mindset, and it can help everyone shift their thinking about the challenges one of them faces every day. We all have our own glitches and cognitive differences, after all, and benefit from empathy and compassion when we run up against a task that tests our patience or makes us doubt our abilities. It can be hard to cut ourselves slack when we get caught up in an endless loop of try, fail, repeat.

Our family should be our allies in that struggle. Kids with learning differences are bombarded with subtle and overt messages of difference and shortcomings all day long, so home needs to be a safe harbor from that barrage.

In order to best support one child, the entire family needs to shift its focus away from her failings and toward her potential. Her differences are viewed all too often as negative, something that threatens her normalcy, but she likely possesses unique strengths as a result of those cognitive differences.

As the authors of The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain point out in the book’s opening pages, what some label as disability can also be viewed as advantage, given opportunity and context. We all possess disability and ability, and the difference between the two is often a matter of perspective.


Jessica Lahey is an educator, writer and speaker. She writes about parenting and education for The New York Times, The Atlantic and Vermont Public Radio Her book, “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed,” will be published by HarperCollins in 2015. Find her at JessicaLahey.com.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Kill the Motor, Dude. Find Out What Your Kids Can Do on Their Own

From Great Schools

By Christina Tynan-Wood
June 14, 2015
Curious how you can raise independent kids without putting them at risk? See what the experts have to say.

My favorite scene in Finding Nemo is when Marlin (Nemo’s dad) encounters the wise, ancient turtles and their adorable offspring. One of those turtles — Crush, age 150 — has lived long enough to know a few things about being a dad. When his son Squirt, playing, gets accidentally shot out of the current they’re riding, Marlin rushes to rescue him. But Crush holds up a fin to stop him.

“Kill the motor, dude. Let us see what Squirt does, flying solo.”

Sure enough, Squirt has fun, finds his way back to safety and revels in his own sense of accomplishment. Crush is proud. And Marlin, watching, learns something: his intentions for Nemo are to protect him but his fear is teaching Nemo that he isn’t capable.

“How do you know when they’re ready?” Marlin asks Crush, contemplating his own parenting skills. “You never really know,” Crush answers, appropriately cryptic. “But when they know, you’ll know. You know?” Because, in this, you have to learn to pay attention and trust your judgment. We all have questions we’d like to ask Crush. But because he’s an animated character in a children’s movie, I asked some of the experts who offered me advice for Is that Love or Fear?

Be an Island

The first step, says Dr. Robert Epstein, senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, “is to fight against this trend.”

Like Marlin, many parents don’t let their kids play outside, walk to school, ride their bikes in their own neighborhood, go the playground alone, or do many things that made most of us adults confident and capable. Not letting kids do anything on their own sends the message that we think they can’t do it, even if we are just trying to protect them. This is dangerous for their mental health.

“There are things you can do,” he says. Create a culture within your own family that sends the message that whatever the rest of the world may say or do, you believe your kids are competent. “Even if you have to think in terms of your family as a desert island, where you live by your own rules.”

Ask the Children

In fact, why not start by letting the kids decide how to get this going? “Let your children tell you one thing they think they are ready to do,” suggests Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry). “Walk to school, ride their bike to the library, or make dinner — something they think they can do. Then, think about whether you might be willing to let them try it just once.”

This is exactly what schools doing the “Free-Range Kids Project” propose to parents, she explains. And the results are fantastic. Skenazy says that parents who filled out pre-project surveys admit they are “very anxious” about doing it. But they overcome their anxiety and let the kids do the project and end up thrilled when their kids — like Squirt — come home happy and proud.

“That’s because when parents see their kids as blossoming young men and women, instead of needy bundles of vulnerability, it changes them. Both generations are thrilled."

Teach Independence

“It makes no sense to say a kid is ready to perform some independence skill by a certain age,” says Mike Lanza, author of Playborhood. It all depends on the kid and if you are teaching them to be independent. Lanza let his son start small — with just a three-block range at age 5 — and work up to being able to ride his bike to local stores, make purchases, meet up with his friends, handle his own transportation to friends’ houses, organize his own play dates, and get himself home in time for dinner by age ten.

“Parents should be teaching kids independence skills all along, not just wait for some magic age before they can walk across the street or walk to school alone.”

Change the World

But the decision is not just up to you, points out Peter Gray, Ph.D., developmental psychologist and research professor at Boston College and the author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. The world you live in affects your options and will react to your choices. And telling kids to go outside and play is not as simple as it once was. “There are no children out there to play with,” he says. “It was a child’s world in the ’50s.” But that has changed since.

When our parents said to go out and play, there was likely a child’s world to play in. “That’s because there were playground supervisors and other services. So kids could go to the park alone. They could get equipment from that adult, ask questions. But towns don’t do that anymore.”

You can change that though. Make an effort to create a neighborhood that encourages independence. Get together with other parents to pool funds to pay a retired person to supervise the playground after school, or open the school up for free play. “You could just have one teacher and a couple of teenagers after school,” says Gray. “It would solve a lot of problems.”

Want more? Read Is that Love or Fear?


Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column in Family Circle magazine, the Family Tech blog at FamilyCircle.com, the Spark! Blog at ITworld.com and has written about technology for dozens of national magazines.