Army Of Tots Apparel

10% off during the month of February

We are excited to launch our new apparel! $2 from every item sold go directly to charity, this year proceeds will go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of American.

Don’t see the color you want? Let us know and we can add it!

 

Tired of BS Stereotypes

Being a minority in America is difficult and while I won’t pretend to know even half of the struggles they face I do know that overcoming stereotypes is one of them.

This is why I was incredibly surprised the hear Michelle Obama compare Donald Trump to Divorced Dads. Specifically, she made the following comment:

“We come from a broken family, we are a little unsettled. Sometimes you spend the weekend with divorced dad. That feels like fun but then you get sick. That is what America is going through. We are living with divorced dad.”

I repeat the sentiment from my Pete Davidson SNL post, this is not the 1980’s and over 16% of men are raising children alone and over 40% of men have 50/50 or more custody. What is my point? We, men, raise babies and we do a damn fine job at it. In the past week, two of my three kids had the flu; they ran fevers of 104! My co-parent has been super busy at work and I have the ability to work remotely so I cared for my babies myself, nursing them back to health.

I am not special, millions of fathers divorced and not do this every day.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/16/politics/michelle-obama-donald-trump/index.html?fbclid=IwAR0YyljeQA2mUuPEn6UCaBzzRTZg6aryF-B1XPZprGa-mM_V9jzy8SQ1toE

Are Algorithms the Key to Internet Safety?

There are thousands if not millions of algorithms constantly in play as we search the web. Algorithms are how search engines decide what is relevant to our search, how our social media feeds to determine what we will find interesting, they are also how companies collect data on us and deliver personalized ad content.

Is it possible that the same technology currently under scrutiny for tracking and analyzing our internet usage holds the key to protecting our children from inappropriate content?

Much of the content our children consumed is, in fact, promotional content. With the rapid growth of YouTubers such as Hobby Kids TV, Markiplier, and PewDiePie it is no wonder brands are beginning to look at sponsorship. Even if we take major companies out of the mix, these YouTubers themselves are brands and living off of product endorsements.

The included link takes a look at A proposed bill that aims to restrict the amount of promotional material served up to children through the use of algorithms.

https://www.wired.com/story/optimize-algorithms-support-kids-online-not-exploit-them/

Active Shooter School Drills

Being a kid tornado, fire, and even earthquake drills were a common occurrence. Today’s children are practicing Active Shooter Drills, but this isnt a new thing by any means.

Any adult that attended high school in the 90’s, especially the year 1999 remembers April 20th; the day of the Columbine shooting spree. Almost instantly schools across the nation received bomb threats, shooting threats, etc. The superintendent of my school district at the time said if he closed down the school every day they had received a threat we would not be returning for another year.

And so the drills began. If like me you are old enough to remember, the first few ideas to combat such an occurrence were beyond idiotic. The first drill we were told specifically we were not to head to the cars because of the possibility a bomb was placed on one. We were to make our way in an orderly fashion to the bleachers on the football field were, of course, we would be nice targets for any rifle in a wide open area. Upon hearing this my mother told me to grab my sister and get to my car, she would deal with the school.

The second attempt to organize a drill remained roughly the same; no cars but instead of the football field we were to make our way to the auditorium which was located in the center of the school. Theoretically, we could be locked into the auditorium protecting us until police arrived. The issue with this is that all of the doors to the auditorium are easily covered from a single vantage point making us easy targets as we funneled in. My mother’s instructions dod not change.

Today’s drills have taken a much more appropriate approach; stay put and lock the classroom doors. But by teaching our children how to respond in an active shooting are we protecting them or scaring them? I have included two articles: one on the likelihood of your child actually being in a school shooting and a second discussing the debate about having such drills.

https://medium.com/@hellodonavon/what-are-the-chances-of-your-child-being-in-a-school-shooting-df2073f8b86b

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/active-shooter-drills-are-scaring-kids-may-not-protect-them-n992941

Phew, that panic moment all parents have

That pure dread every parent has experienced when they have their tots out in public and suddenly they don’t see them!

We all know that insta-angst, gut tightening feeling. First glance you don’t see them, ok no big deal. But as you continue to search without finding them your gut starts to ache a little.

Today was like any other normal trip to the playground. LtP and Swinging and laughing, the BG and CPT playing nicely together, a rare occurrence.

Upon first glance I can’t see BG and CPT anywhere in site….ok. I start to look around and realizing there aren’t that many kids here I begin to feel a bit panicky.

LtP and I run around frantically and just before we leave the park to check the lake I hear a giggle.

My terror tots had found a nice nook in a spiral slide to hide in.

Joint custody is becoming more common

If you follow The Tot Army you see our continued observation of the equal parenting rights war. It’s true that while Joint custody still isn’t the standard, it is, in fact, more common than it used to be. However, I still find myself surprised that in a time when equality is a major talking about among the female, black, transgender, and gay communities fathers are still an afterthought.

I personally cannot have a conversation about women’s rights while fathers still fight to have even the most basic of rights when it comes to their children.

 

Joint Custody Isn’t the Norm, But it’s More Likely Than it Used to Be

When should you be putting your child to bed?

I came across this chart and thought you all might find it interesting. To be completely upfront, LtP wakes up around 6:30 and goes to bed at 7, The CPT also wakes up at 6:30 but he goes down at 8, and The BG wakes up around 7 and goes to bed at 8:15.  It would appear I am at least not completely screwing one of them up!

 

(Photo: Wilson Elementary)

Are you a Lawnmower Parent? STOP

What is a Lawnmower Parent? Also referred to as a Snowplow Parent or Bulldozer Parent, Lawnmower PArent simply refers to those parents that remove obstacles for their kids in hope of ushering success.  For instance, a parent that pays off college university staff in order to assure their child gets accepted would be considered a Lawnmower Parent. This also includes the parents constantly following their tots around removing anything in their path.

Jenny Grant Rankin, PhD, an educator, author, lecturer and writer for “Psychology Today” describes a far more subtle example of lawnmower parenting.

“For example, if a boy forgets his violin at home, his mom races to drop it at school before band practice so the boy doesn’t have to weather the consequences [that’s a variation of lawnmower parenting],” she says. “If a girl gets in a fight, her dad yells at the principal that it was the other child’s fault and refuses to hand out consequences at home.”

In essence, we are stripping away our children’s future ability to overcome challenges by denying them the opportunities to face them early on. If you want to read more on lawnmower parenting I recommend the following article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/why-lawnmower-parenting-robbing-your-kids-how-actually-help-them-ncna987526