Do your kids have Mentor Moms?

Tech Talk Tuesday #66: Do your kids have Mentor Moms?

This Mother’s Day I am going to ask for my family’s undivided ATTENTION. We will put all screens away and have some fun-focused family time. I was reminded of the power of undivided attention when I spoke with a mom in Florida last week. She was running the community center that was hosting Screenagers, and out of the blue, she mentioned a Mother’s Day she had five years ago that was particularly memorable. She had asked each of her adult kids to leave all cell phones in the car for the evening, “We went for a walk then out to dinner and after we enjoyed some frozen yogurt, it was a fabulous Mother’s Day.” I am looking forward to a device-free Mother's Day.

As Mother’s Day approaches I have been thinking about my mom and her support over the years, and I am also thinking of non-family important women who have also helped me when I was growing up. I call these women Mentor Moms. When I was a teen I loved my jobs in part because of the many bosses that became mentors to me. At 15 I started working at a clothing store, Yarmo in Berkeley, California, where the manager, Kathleen Chesnick, was one of my first Mentor Moms.  I loved how she trusted me and gave me more and more responsibilities. I knew I could always talk to her about things going on in my life.

Do your kids have any Mentor Moms? Perhaps a teacher, a friend’s mom, a boss? My daughter, Tessa, said that one of her Mentor Moms is her friend Cedar’s mother, Lisa Cox. My son Chase says that Mrs. Magidman, his former history teacher, is such a person to him. When he visits Seattle he always goes to see her.

As a mother, I welcome these extra eyes, ears, and hearts for my children to go to with good news, or heartbreaks or worries. I let them know that it is so important to build a community of caring people around them—there may be times that they don't want to talk with an adult in the family. Perhaps they don't know if or how they want to tell us things. For Mother’s Day this week I asked my kids to think of a Mentor Mom and make a card for them. Not only does this small action instill the importance of taking the time to thank people—but it gets them to become creative offline. SO COOL. 

For this week's Tech Talk Tuesday, here are some questions to spark a conversation about Mentor Moms:

1. For everyone in the family, who are some women, outside of the family, who are Mentor Moms?
2. Is a screen-free Mother’s Day possible for your family?