We thought a lot about what we – as parents who want to raise good global citizens – are interested in ourselves. We care about the world and want our kids to, too, in everything from the way they treat each other, us, and the larger society they live in, to the ways they use technology, from video games and social media to Internet research for homework.
We have been as fascinated by the Tiger Mother as we were her ideological mothering opposite, the francophile Bébé mom. We have pondered David Brooks’ “The Social Animal,” an amazing psychological odyssey through the behaviorial DNA of a hypothetical family’s successes and failures, morals and motives. We follow educational debates (the merits of testing, homework, and teacher performance), we think a lot about about the coarsening of our world, from the media’s sexualization of children to real and portrayed violence. We think about technology and want to co-opt its better nature for the benefit of our kids and find ways to solve its worst problems.
We also had to admit, we’re sometimes fascinated by the popular stories about how high-profile families – from the Brangelinas to the Obamas – live their lives; after all, for better or worse, the ravenous media make them influential.
Our aim is to bring light and leaven to family stories that would interest our thoughtful readers, no matter what role they hold – mom, dad, kid, aunt, uncle, grandparent.
Our growing roster of guest bloggers is full of big thinkers, great writers, and funny observers who will translate news and trends through a parenting filter. Our lead blogger, Stephanie Hanes – a Yale grad, who spent some intense years reporting for the Monitor from Africa, and returned as a mother to the States to report magazine cover stories on family trends for us – will set the tone for much of our family focus. And we have many regular Monitor news contributors who will occasionally pitch in their own blogs on family matters – whether it’s their own experiences, observations of news trends, or snippets from their reporter’s notebooks from far away places (wait till you read our Mexico City bureau chief Sara Miller Llana’s blog on a Mexican mom’s tortilla-making expertise). All of them are the kind of people who’d pique your interest if you fell into conversation with them at the playground, Starbucks, or a PTA meeting.
Whether you have toddlers or teens or an empty nest, we want our family lens to magnify topics important to you – and we hope you’ll communicate regularly with us – privately at by e-mail, or publicly on the Monitor Facebook page – to let us know if we are.