The parental ‘marketing mix’…

The Charlotte Observer ran an editorial suggesting parents cut the cord quickly once their kids are in college. I disagreed - and sent an op-ed piece to the editor. Who knows if the paper will run it. If it does, it will appear here.

Don’t read into this that I’ve caved to the siren call of technology but I do fold like a cheap suit when it comes to frequent use of what I’ve lambasted – texting – with Ellen and Reid.  Instead, consider this my admission of guilt.  To mix metaphors, I talk a good game but don’t walk the walk.

By my count Ellen and I text a leisurely 3-4 times per week.  The frequency is much less with Reid but when we do text the messages go in back-and-forth, rapid fire flurries.  We did just that yesterday; we traded eight or so texts in a matter of minutes.

There’s no denying texting has utility value.  It has horned its way into how you, me, and every warm-blooded person in the universe chooses to contact each other.  Sure, texting has its limitations; word count, breadth, personality, inflection, lack of spell check and iffy punctuation, et al.  Text messages are way too rampant but it is a ready answer to our predilection with speed and yet more speed.  Sometimes I wish it were not so.  Texting is, and should be, part of how parents should keep tabs on their kids.  Think of texting as one portion of your parental marketing mix (as are phone calls and infernal emails).

For me there is a limited time and place for texting.  That place is the back burner.


Mom gets a letter mailed to her every week at her care facility.  Here’s this week’s installment.

August 27, 2010

Mom: We’ve had a break in the heat, if you call upper 80s or 90 a break in the heat.  It was about to break me, that’s for sure.  I’ve had enough humidity to last me a lifetime, and then some.

Not much new to report these days.  These are, however, the dog days of summer.  We went fishing last week on the western end of North Carolina and nothing was biting except the mosquitoes.  It’s quite pretty out that way, with the rolling hills and the trees.  Lots of people but it was the tail end of the vacation season before kids went back to school.  The school year started this week and the traffic has just become bonkers.  It’s added a smooth 10-15 minutes to my morning commute.  Yuck.

Ellen called last night and she’s ramping up for her new classroom and new students.  She is somewhat overwhelmed by all the preparation but she will get through it.  She likes the school but the facility is under some pressure to improve test scores or some such thing for students.  The school is lucky to have her because she will lift those results in a jiffy.  She’s a good teacher and loves it.

Looks like there are some changes ahead for Reid.  He’s had an inquiry at work about looking at a new position (nice to be wanted) in some part of the business that analyzes research results or web pages or something like that.  I don’t pretend to understand much of it.  I hope he gets the new job because change is good in the advertising business.  He’s also looking for a new pad.  Seems like he has his eye on a studio apartment.  The longer he stays in Chicago, the deeper his stake in the ground becomes.  I fear he will become a Chicagoan.  I don’t know if he likes the Bears as much as you do.  He goes to Cubs games now and again.

The battery on the Harley went South.  Have to get a new one today.  In 9 years its only the second battery the bike has had so that’s not too bad.  Tomorrow we are slated to ride the back roads to Greeneville, SC to visit the local Harley dealer there.  I’ve shelved the temptation to sell the bike for the time being as it is one of the few free-time joys that I have.  I just like the riding.  Cousin Richard would be proud.  Now, if I could just get his Hell’s Angels gear…

I’m looking for a new job here in Charlotte that will let me get closer to my writing roots.  I’ve got a friend in California who has nosed around about me writing for he and his wife who is a Realtor.  We’ll see.  Speaking of writing, I will teach a three part class on writing letters at my church.  I’ve closed the registrations at 25 because of the room size but if I get 10 to 12 people that will be fine with me.  Each week I’ll read to them the most current letters to you and the kids.  I’ll try to watch my language although a bad word might slip out now and then.  Be good mom.  I love you.

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Filed under Adult Children, Archiving, Contact, Correspondence, Family, Parenting, Writing to adult children

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