Story: Katherine wants to buy a computer for her
son, David, so she takes an extra job. She is tired and can’t do a good
job at the café. She never sees her children, and things start to fall
apart at home. David resents being responsible for his sister. The
little girl draws a picture that shows how unhappy she is. Katherine
decides she needs to change her priorities.
Television: This episode provides an opportunity to discuss the use of
television in the home. When is it helpful, and when is it harmful for
children? Local public television stations can provide helpful
information on this topic.
Community Resources: What resources are available
in the community and the school to help parents cope? Are there
latchkey, after-school, or mentoring programs, Lunch-Buddy programs,
homework help, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or other
Guest speaker: Invite a counselor or psychologist to give a
presentation on the development of children’s decision-making skills.
Discuss what parents can do to promote good decision-making, even when
adults cannot be present to supervise.
Field trip: Plan a visit to your child’s computer lab to find out how
technology is used in the school? What computer facilities are
available at local schools? What skills are taught and who teaches
them? How often are they updated? How much time do children spend on
computers? How do computers help them learn? What other types of
technology do students have access to? Read the computer use agreement
together and discuss the rules.
Read about how to talk to children about their day
and how to ask open-ended questions. You might use the following web
The Terrible Thing that Happened at Our House, by Marge Blaine
(about working mothers)
A Chair for my Mother, by Vera B. Williams (about making ends meet
in a family)
Just the Two of Us, by Will Smith (about family relations)