Getting management feedback from your kids

Last night on our drive home from school I started asking my 11 year old about his science fair project. I asked him what it was going to be on, what supplies he needed, what was he going to do if his idea didn’t work, what was he going to draw on his poster board, … and he ended up yelling at me “I’M GOING TO DO IT, OK?!”

Then this morning I had a whole series of 1:1 meetings with folks on my team … and I caught myself asking them questions in much the same way. How many people are coming to the doc sprint? Where will it be? Do you have a theme? Did you email the developer teams?

Now Janet, the one planning the doc sprint, didn’t yell at me. But was she just being nice?

So I have some theories:

  • Maybe it’s ok to ask co-workers those questions and not your kid. (I do really want and need to know that information about the doc sprint …)
  • Maybe my way of asking questions is really abrasive (or giving feedback on what I think needs to be done via questions is abrasive) and my kid just feels more free to tell me so.
  • Maybe my kid feels like he’s behind on his science fair project and was just defensive. I expect my co-workers to have answers to those types of questions (and they do) but perhaps I haven’t taught my kid to think like that yet.

It made me think that I need to make sure I get more feedback from those I work with … especially since most of these conversations happen through a video camera.

Oh, and the science fair project is coming along quite nicely. So’s the doc sprint.

What’s causing our kids to become autistic, fat, near-sighted and sleep deprived?

TV!  This latest study found
that watching TV lowers melatonin levels which can create all sorts of
nasty side effects in children.  This study (as others) linked TV
watching in kids to:

  • autism
  • obesity
  • trouble sleeping
  • eye problems
  • lower melatonin levels
  • early puberty

In adults, "the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
increases with each extra daily hour of television viewing among people
aged 20 to 60."

Watching TV must give people immense pleasure … otherwise I can’t
imagine why they would expose themselves and their kids to so much of
We spend nine months of pregnancy trying to eat right, drink
no alcohol, get all sorts of prenatal tests and then we plop our
toddlers down in front of another round of SpongeBob or Thomas the Tank
Engine without a second thought.

The US is ahead when it comes to working moms

Several of my friends that live in Germany and Spain have told me that I’m very lucky to be able to work.  When they have children it will be very hard for them to go back to work.  Things that are hard to find internationally, that we take for granted here:

  • daycare
  • part time work options
  • a society that accepts working moms

This quote in a New York Times article made me realize that I’ve had this conversation with a number of friends:

when she had a baby 18 months ago she was able to work part time — something she said would not have been possible in Germany

Babies Gagged in Russia

Having just spent three days in the hospital with my own 5 month old son, this article hit a nerve, Russian Shock at Gagged Babies.  The babies were gagged with plaster and tape because their crying was disturbing the nurses.  A woman who happened to be in the hospital with her own children heard the babies and took a video with her cell phone.

All of the gagged children were orphans.  It definitely made me understand why people want to adopt!  Everytime Caleb cried in the hospital I talked to him or held him.  The thought of those babies being gagged instead of comforted just made my heart hurt.