Archive for June, 2012

No apology needed if you skip the behavior

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

There were two incidents in the news that should cause us to stop and ask an important question; if we judge the degree of civilization of a society by the way it treats its weakest members, then how do we measure up?  

Those incidents involved the two weakest members in our society; the young and the old. 

The Young -The Sandusky trial ended this week with a conviction on 45 of 48 criminal counts related to the alleged assault of 10 boys over a 15-year period.  In an earlier blog, I wrote, Do We Need Laws to Protect our Children?  Sandusky will get life sentence; just like his victims.

The OldKaren Klein was a bus lady mercilessly taunted by seventh grade boys. 

There was a public outcry on both issues; now come the public apologies.

When are we going to learn that it is better to stop bad behavior in its tracks? Why were there so many Sandusky victims?  What was legally done was not enough.  Were there no students on the bus that could stand up for the bus lady?

Between the young and old are the rest of us, and we are expected to do the right thing, right away.  

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®


If everyone gets trophies then trophies become meaningless

Sunday, June 10th, 2012


This time of year, there are many commencement speeches, in fact no fewer than 37,000 which is the number of high schools alone in the U.S.  

But the speech by Wellesley High English teacher David McCullough Jr. is blunt and honest because he told students they “are not special.”

Here is a brief exerpt from his speech:

“Across the country no fewer than 3.2 million seniors are graduating about now from more than 37,000 high schools. That’s 37,000 valedictorians … 37,000 class presidents … 92,000 harmonizing altos … 340,000 swaggering jocks … 2,185,967 pairs of Uggs,” he said.

He added: “Even if you’re one in a million, on a planet of 6.8 billion that means there are nearly 7,000 people just like you.”

McCullough makes a statement on parents who overdo it in a modern society focused on collecting achievements. “You’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble wrapped … feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie.” But he adds in a video on Wellesley Channel TV YouTube page, “You see, if everyone is special, then no one is. If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless. … We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement.”

The point is that learning is wonderful, mistakes happen and experience makes you stronger.  All time is borrowed so make the most of it.  Work backwards as to how you would want people to talk about you in this short time we call life. 

You Only Live Once, but as the speaker says, that doesn’t mean you have to get YOLO as a tattoo. 

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®



Creatively connecting the dots

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

There were a number of stories in the news recently that although different, connect in the ways they address children and creativity. 

Creativity on whose terms

For an assignment on persuasive speech, 15-year-old Jessica Barba created an anti-bullying YouTube video and Facebook page about a fictitious 12-year-old girl who commits suicide after being bullied at school.  Her assignment was done so well, the Longwood High School Principal suspended her for five days.   Her father, Michael Barba was very proud of her creativity.  The assignment was, after all a persuasive speech.

No texting while parenting

Two words might be the secret to building a relationship with your children – pay attention.  As simple as that sounds, you might notice parents paying less attention to their children on the playground, in the grocery store and in restaurants.    

I was at a farm stand when a dad and his son came in.  A farm stand is an incredible opportunity to talk to children about cultures, food, colors, weights and measuring, smells and senses and the great things you can make together.  Instead, the little boy took out a hand-held game and the father was on his cell phone.  The loss here was a creative moment and great connection with each other.

Tablets on tables?  

Have you noticed that kids are growing up with poor social skills?  Here comes yet another way to hinder their development.  Restaurants are putting tablets on dining tables to help guests choose their selections, get their check faster and calculate tips.  They noticed that people are reading on their phones anyway.  But the tablets will also give parents a way to entertain the kids so the adults can talk. 

Nothing to do

The answer to the question ‘there’s nothing to do’ was answered; monthly deliveries of packages with things to do for kids, for a meager price upwards of $150 per year.  

As far as I know, creativity doesn’t come in a kit and boredom is a good thing, but no one gets that anymore.

We are having a creativity crisis in this country.  If you look at the situations above, only Michael Barba (dad in the first story) believed in his daughter and supported her creativity.   Too many parents are missing the moments in relationship building and encouraging creativity in us and our children.

That means less stuff, paying attention more and having time to daydream and play; best done outdoors.


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®