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Parenting Bytes

257 EpisodesProduced by Rebecca Levey, Andrea Smith, Amy OztanWebsite

From digital dilemmas like managing screen time and the effects of social media, to new apps and devices that can make parenting easier (or at least more fun), family tech expert Rebecca Levey, along with tech reporter Andrea Smith and blogger Amy Oztan, explore the ups and downs of parenting in the… read more


Encore Episode: Santa in the age of Google

This episode was originally posted on December 8, 2016.

This week we're talking about how to keep your kids believing in Santa (if you do that) when it's so easy for them to find things out with google. Plus, teacher gifts: Yes, no, and what?


Santa. He's basically one big lie, but so many of us do the dance in order to give our kids a magical Christmas. And the new Macy's "Believe" campaign is trying to bring that magic back.

But why do we do it? Andrea thinks we do it for leverage over our kids ("You'd better behave or I'm telling Santa!"). Rebecca thinks that since our kids get stuff all the time, all year, the renewed interest in Santa is an attempt to make Christmas gifts special again. And Amy thinks it's crazy to perpetuate this lie, but she did it with her kids anyway!

And is that kind of deception harmful? Last year we did an episode asking if Elf on the Shelf was teaching kids to live in a surveillance state.

All of that may be beside the point, however. In the age of google, kids can get to the truth themselves. There's no longer a thoughtful editor answering a curious girl's letter. (Although in our on-air demonstration, Siri did a great job.) Kids can just google it and see an answer they might not be ready for. Or worse, ruin it for other kids who still believe!

So what do you do? How did you handle it when your kids asked you if Santa Claus was real? How did you handle it when their friends tried to ruin it for them, or when they tried to tell others the truth?

Teacher Gifts

There are many different policies regarding teacher gifts. Some schools simply don't allow them. Some collect money and divide it equally. Others leave it to the parents, which can create problems inside the classroom, or even between classrooms if things get competitive.

And what kind of gift is appropriate? Are personalized gifts great, or do teachers just get too much crap year after year? Would they prefer a gift card instead, or is that seen as impersonal?

We'd love to hear how you handle this at your kids' schools, and if you're a teacher, we really want to know what you think.

If you do need a teacher gift we've got some great suggestions!

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