Thoughts of a Toronto-based PR consultant. A focus on the PR profession and the charitable sector, with forays into arts, society and politics.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Greetings

This year instead of buying tons of gifts, our family paid for oral rehydration treatments for over 1,450 children through UNICEF, and contributed to community programs at Casey House. Feels great, shopping was WAAAY easier, and our friends and family seem to feel relief as well.

Happy holidays to all, and may there be joy and peace in 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A modern parenting dilemma

As the mother of a six-year-old boy who is (verging on) obsessed with computers, I followed Brandon Crisp's story with dread and grief, my heart aching for his parents. So I was particularly glad when I got to the end of Katarina Onstad's column in Chatelaine this month, for the grace she bestowed upon worried parents everywhere with her thoughts. I was particularly struck by her insight that perhaps Brandon climbed that tree and suffered that terrible fall because he was looking for the way home. I dearly hope so, for all our sakes.

I agree with Onstad's opinion that not all online play is necessarily bad. Largely creative, many of these games allow him to build upon his skills and reason, and over time have given him the opportunity to feel fluent and capable in this incomprehensible world. He works so hard at learning--all the time, ceaselessly-- his immature handwriting improving day-by-day, while the erasers on our household pencils are rubbed to nothingness. So creating an imaginary world, a refuge in which he is master, whether racing onscreen cars really really fast or bouncing on jungle flowers with Diego... I see the value in that, and I watch my son play with my heart in my throat, loving him desperately and hoping it will all turn out okay for us all.

That being said, he is NOT getting a DS for Christmas, no matter how hard he lobbies. I'm not ready to relinquish control over screentime, not yet.

Brandon Crisp's parents have set up a memorial trust in his name. Read about it here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Payback's a byatch

I always enjoy the Massey Lectures. And I always enjoy Margaret Atwood. So it's a given that this book is on my Christmas book wishlist. (After I finish listening to it here of course.)