Social Media

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The City of East Liverpool, Ohio was in the spotlight this week after its police department made the controversial decision to post a photo of an overdosed couple in the front seat of a van with a four-year old child in the backseat.

The photo garnered international attention because pictures of minors are normally blurred out in such instances to protect their identities, but the police department chose to make an exception in this case to drive home a point on the perils of drug abuse.

“We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis” the city’s Facebook post read.

The heartbreaking photos, which were posted with a ‘graphic content’ warning, were taken during a traffic stop earlier in the week and show two incapacitated adults in the front seat with the young child sitting behind them.

“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess,” the post continued. “This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”

According to reports, the male driver pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle and endangering a child.  The woman in the photo – the child’s mother – reportedly pleaded not guilty to endangering a child, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.  She is expected to appear in a pre-trial hearing on September 15.

What do you think of the police department’s decision to release the un-doctored photos on social media? Were they warranted in their decision?

JetBlue/FlyBabies Ad

A new ad by U.S. airline JetBlue is putting a positive spin on flying with babies, a scenario often dreaded by fellow passengers.

The campaign titled “Fly Babies” was released just ahead of Mother’s Day and features a handful of moms discussing their pre-flight apprehensions about traveling with a young child.

“I don’t want to be that lady with the baby who’s screaming for four hours,” said one woman.

“I think the worst thing that could happen on this flight is that he’ll get overtired which causes a lot of screaming and people definitely give you some dirty looks,” added another.

In an innovative and unexpected twist later in the video, a flight attendant takes the microphone to announce that for the first time, a crying baby on-board an airplane will actually be a “good thing.”

She then announces that for each infant outburst, passengers will be awarded 25% off their next flight, meaning four consecutive cries will yield a free trip.

It is a weird and wonderful sight from that point on to see the plane full of passengers cheer every time they hear a tiny tantrum.

The video then ends with a nudge to future passengers,  “Next time, smile at a baby for crying out loud.”

See the emotional ad here:



Photo Courtesy/

An advocacy group representing fathers who are their family’s primary caregivers is in the spotlight this week for its “Dads Don’t Babysit” campaign.

The grassroots project went viral on social media after a Reddit user wearing a “Dads Don’t Babysit (It’s Called “Parenting”)” t-shirt posted his picture on the site under the heading “Important Message From a Dad to Society.”

Since being posted, the photo has generated more than 3000 comments, including from men who say they can identify with the stereotype often imposed on them when they look after their kids.

“It hurt really bad when I was a new, stay-at-home, dad and people would say or ask about me babysitting,” one user wrote. “My wife’s job had 70% travel and she’s going back to school for her masters, and we were in a new city with no family and only a couple friends, so I was “on” 24/7.

The organization behind the t-shirt is the National At-Home Dad Network, a non-profit group that seeks to “empower fathers and champion a culture that recognizes them as capable and competent parents.”

You can see the photo of the t-shirt below:

Photo Courtesy/
Photo Courtesy/


CBC Host Mark Kelley Talks About Fatherhood

Keeping Up in the in Era of Social Media

No App for That! A Parent’s Guide to Explaining Simpler Times







Meanest Mom Ever - Jaime Primak Sullivan
Jaime Primak Sullivan/Facebook Profile Picture

A U.S. reality TV star is garnering online attention and praise for her tough-love approach to parenting.

Jaime Primak Sullivan, star of Bravo’s Jersey Belle, was appalled by her kids’ dismissive treatment of a Dairy Queen employee when the family was out for ice-cream this past weekend.   Not one of them said “thank you” to the young lady behind the counter or to their mom for purchasing the treat.

Meanest Mom Ever

In an online post that has since gone viral, Sullivan explained how she calmly counted to 10, gave herself a silent pep-talk, then collected each of the desserts and threw them in the garbage while her children  looked on in confusion and horror.

Once everyone settled down, Sullivan says she explained to them the importance of treating people with respect and to really “look them in the eye and say thank you.”  At ages eight, seven and five, she says her kids are too old to overlook the importance of basic manners in everyday life.

Jaime Primak Sullivan's Facebook post that has since gone viral.
Jaime Primak Sullivan’s Facebook post that has since gone viral.

The reaction to Sullivan’s post has been overwhelmingly positive with many posters praising her tough-love approach to parenting and sharing similar experiences from their own lives.  The post has been shared 44, 000 times on Facebook and has drawn more than 350,000 ‘likes’ in just four days.

In a subsequent video blog on her Facebook page, Sullivan says she viewed the Dairy Queen experience as a “teachable moment” and that a more measured response would not have yielded the kind of long-term impact she’s was looking for.

“I would like them to treat people with basic human decency, perhaps more than basic – forever,” Sullivan said. “Because if I die tomorrow, I’m leaving you with my three children, so I would like for the world to be better because they’re in it.”


Are Manners Passe?

Teaching Civility & Manners

Service with a Smile

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No App for That! A Parent’s Guide to Explaining Simpler Times



Watching American politics has become a spectator sport of late. Billionaire real estate mogul and wannabe ruler-of-the-free-world Donald Trump makes the presidential race virtually impossible to ignore with his provocative proposals to ‘Make America Great Again.”

But it’s not his platform or policy ideas that have garnered all the attention over the last eight months; Trump’s behaviour – both online and on the stump – has grabbed its fair share of headlines too.

He repeatedly belittles his fellow candidates, often denigrating them as “losers” and “liars” if they dare challenge him. His most consistent target of the race has been Jeb Bush, who Trump often mocks as being “low energy” on the campaign trail.

Trump’s wrath, while largely directed at his opponents, isn’t limited to politicians. Media personalities and Hollywood types have also been dragged into the mud as the subject of Trump’s now infamous and incoherent Twitter rants. He’s elevated the 140-character insult to an art form, targeting anyone who isn’t a sycophant or supporter of his brash and impetuous style.

Trump’s boorish behavior could be dismissed as a sideshow if he wasn’t currently on track to win the Republican nomination for President of the United States – AKA leader of the free world, AKA most powerful person on the planet.

What does it say to our kids when a man of his stature, demeans his way to the top? How do we tell them that bullying gets you nowhere when the U.S. is poised to elect a master intimidator to the nation’s highest office?

Regardless of their political stripe, democratic heads-of-state should represent a certain set of ideals to the electorate, including: strength, seriousness, humility and self-control. Policies and agendas change with the tide, but no voting public should ever have to question their leader’s ability to treat others with dignity and respect.

I am not excusing every other candidate on the campaign trail as being a model citizen, but Trump operates on a different level. Electing him would signal to our kids – many too young to notice now – that the best way to succeed in life is not through diplomatic means, but through insults directed at anyone who stands in your way. Any recent efforts aimed at counteracting cyberbullying could be undone nine-months from now if the U.S. validates Trump – the ultimate cyberbully – with a win this November.

Impressionable minds the world over will live with the consequences of this upcoming election; my hope is there will be someone in the White House that the next generation can look up to as an example of the kind of person we want them to be.


Politics and Parenting

A Person of Principle

From online shopping to on-demand video, our lifestyles have evolved drastically over the last couple decades from simple pleasures to instant gratification and handheld convenience. As a new mom, I often find myself wondering how I’ll ever explain life pre-iPhone to my children; it sounds borderline unconscionable even as I type!

I rely on technology as much as the next person, but I’m still nostalgic for a simpler time before social media governed our lives and things weren’t handed to us on a smartphone silver platter.

Below are just some examples of the bygone era we adults once enjoyed, I wish you luck as you try and describe them to your kids!


Who remembers the Dewey Decimal System? If you answered yes – congratulations! You’re old.

Believe it or not, kids, there was a time when ‘Googling It’ wasn’t an option and these ancient edifices known as Libraries housed all the available research on a particular subject. Mind-blowing, I know!

Video Rental

Just for the fun of it, try explaining to your child how you once left the comfort of your couch to rent a movie, only to realize that your first choice was out of stock and you had to settle for second best.

Report back on their dumbfounded look as they come to terms with a world before Netflix.

Home Phones

What do you mean there was only one phone line for the entire house and everyone shared it?” I can practically hear the horror in your teenager’s voice as you explain this wildly outrageous concept.

Snail Mail

Back in the day, people used actual paper to send notes back and forth in a process that also involved walking to a mailbox. Mail that was sent it off on a Wednesday usually arrived circa the following Friday.

Your kids are probably Snapchatting their friends right now about how prehistoric and strange you are.

Milk Delivery

They’ll flip out when they hear there was such a thing as home delivery by someone other than!


Once upon a time, there was completely separate device used to take photos that you couldn’t also use to call your best friend and play Angry Birds. Inside this gadget was something called film, a sheet of plastic with a finite number of images that had to be developed and printed in a process that took about a week; is their mind blown yet? Wait until they find out there was no Instagram!

For all the conveniences of technology, I’m grateful to have been raised in an era before anyone uttered the phrase “there’s an app for that.” I maintain there’s nothing more gratifying than getting a piece of handwritten mail and no replacement for a photo you can put in a frame. We can’t stop the world from moving forward, but every so often we can take a (humorous) look back on what once was and bring our kids in on the far-fetched tale of a much simpler time.


Keeping Up in the Era of Social Media

Study: Parents Use Facebook More than Non-Parents


How to Protect Kids Online

Parents access Facebook on their mobile devices 1.3 times more often than their childless counterparts, according to a recent multinational study.

Facebook IQ, the social network’s consumer research arm, surveyed more than 8000 parents aged 25 to 65 across eight international markets to gather its findings.

“Having a child changes everything, including parents’ relationship with their mobile phone,” wrote Facebook IQ in an online post. “Moms’ and dads’ mobile phones have become their lifeline to managing schedules, keeping tabs on teens and sharing their kids’ key milestones.”

The research also found that parents are using Facebook mobile to become better consumers, leveraging the site to gather opinions and reviews before making new purchases. That trend is particularly true for parents aged 18-34 who, according the study, are 30% more likely than older parents to consult their mobile devices before buying something new.

“With their attachment to mobile and to technology in general, parents today have greater access to more information and opinions on everything from breastfeeding to education, allowing them to validate, reinforce or question their perspectives and actions,” the post reads, adding that 83% of those surveyed said they have greater access to information than their parents did.

The study also reveals that as parents become increasingly informed, so do their kids. More than half of those surveyed say their children have more influence on household purchases than they did growing up.