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My children are no longer young. My younger daughter is now a teenager, so between her friends and social media, she's bombarded with different messages and information. Luckily, ever since she was young, I made sure she felt comfortable coming to me with questions or even just her thoughts. (She still does.) So, I think besides making sure your explanations are age-appropriate (I used to have a tendency to provide way more information than necessary), I think it's critical that your child knows not to bottle up any emotions or confusion about information they're seeing. I usually could tell when there was something bothering them, and if they didn't say anything, I'd gently try to start a conversation. The most important thing you can do is let them know they have a "safe space" with you to discuss what they're feeling and thinking.


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First, to address the elephant in the room, we fully appreciate the topics of discussion will be different for people of different races, but that does not change the fact … Communication is absolutely essential.

Although I do not have children, I believe that children are born as "clean slates" with no preconceived beliefs or opinions. However, I also believe that children are sponges and "learn" from everyone around them. Especially people they look up to and trust. That means you need to be very careful of what they may hear you say – not only when you talk with them, but also out loud to yourself (if you are like me, and sometimes talk back to the computer screen) or to another person. Children will parrot their parents and others they see as role models, in both words and actions.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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In a word, yes, but we know I can't stop at just one word (that reminds me of the old-time Lays Potato Chip ad). Given what has been going on in Washington, it feels like even politicians within a party are polarized. I've been following what's been happening with Representative Cheney, and regardless of whether you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, it's hard to believe they're turning on their own. Everyone seems so focused on what they don't agree on vs. trying to find common ground on which to build. And the media only seems to fuel the fire. What's really sad is I can remember when political parties were about policy, not personalities, and I'm concerned we'll never get back to those "good old days".


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I agree it "seems" like we have become very polarized, but without boring you with links to statistics and polls, I will just venture a guess. If we all were asked to describe our views on key issues, there would be people who are extremely conservative and others who are extremely liberal, but that it would look like a bell curve with the mid-point being where most people fell. The key is learning how to have civil conversations and seeking out common ground – whether you are a politician or just someone talking with family and friends. I appreciate that Red feels those days may be long gone, but only if we allow them to become memories – versus priorities.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington


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When I got the "Breaking News" email from The New York Times about the divorce, I was shocked as I never thought about the Gates being a couple that would have marital troubles (I'm sure Black's rolling her eyes). But then I realized that no one really knows what goes on in anyone else's marriage, not even the marriages of high-profile people. In fact, they might be better positioned – and motivated – to control what others see. Not that I blame them, as it's no one else's business. Of course, as a "mere mortal" I also couldn't help but think about all that money, and can only imagine how complicated and potentially challenging it's going to be to reach a divorce settlement. But I'll also say that whether you have billions or you have very little, divorce is never easy. So although it's hard to relate to billionaires, I'm sure it's a very emotional and trying time for them. And their kids.



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From what I have read about them as a couple over the years and watching how they run one of the world's greatest fortunes and philanthropies, coupled with the Axios announcement of their breakup (which contained an assortment of great links), I bet they have already worked out much, if not all, of the divorce settlement, including who will get the $43 million California house they bought last April. But, I am also confident there will be countless lifestyle articles about relationships that will analyze the divorce, and other articles that will examine the impact, if any, it will have on the Gates Foundation. Bottom line: they have been an amazing couple, and I expect we will continue to see great things come from them … just now as individuals.
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Several years ago, before COVID-19, I added a telemedicine option to my medical insurance. (I'll admit reviewing health insurance options and benefits is tedious but necessary.) My reasoning? As a mom, I often know what the "common" ailments are, like the flu or pink eye, but need a prescription. Telemedicine visits are not only less expensive than office visits, but eliminates the travel time and sitting in a waiting room full of sick people. And although I haven't had to use it, once the pandemic hit, I was glad I had it available. And when I was renewing my insurance, decided I wanted to continue to have access to it. I even added the option to my iPad, which was really easy, even though I'm not exactly a technical person.


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The concept of telemedicine goes as far back as 1879 when it was speculated that the then-new telephone could reduce unnecessary visits to doctors' offices. So, I have been following (and fascinated by) how telemedicine has become much more widely used since the pandemic. It is more convenient and efficient, but I can understand having reservations about using it as a substitute for in-person care. Obviously, it is a function of the specific situation, so you might want to start by calling your healthcare provider, explain the situation, and ask if they think a telemedicine visit is appropriate. And who knows, there may come a day when "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is referring to Apple products.