Have you seen the Disney “I am a Princess” video? [Read more...]
Have you seen the Disney “I am a Princess” video? [Read more...]
Life is tough. [Read more...]
Earlier, I wrote about how the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends IUDs and hormonal implants as the most effective method of pregnancy prevention for teens. [Read more...]
When we lived in Philadelphia, one of my daughter’s acquaintances was being raised by two women in a lesbian relationship. My friend explained the girl had two mothers and – essentially – two fathers, due to the circumstances surrounding the insemination. It was a bit much for my kindergartner to properly process, so I didn’t address the issue with my daughter. After all, I wasn’t going to tell her that “all families are the same” which was the message the public schools in Philadelphia were pushing. Instead my family’s Christian faith informs how we view sex, marriage, and parenthood, so I figured I’d answer questions only as they came up. At the time, I wasn’t ready to talk to her about heterosexual romance and definitely wasn’t ready to explain our position on homosexual relationships. [Read more...]
One afternoon in Ithaca, N.Y., my kids were playing on the swing sets in the park when a little tike wearing a football jersey ran into my daughter’s path. I lunged for the swing — I jerked the chain so abruptly that I feared whiplash — and shared a “wow, that was close” exchange with the kid’s mom.
“How old is he?” I asked. The lady looked at me as she placed her kid on the swing and said with no trace of irony, “His name is Jill, and she’s three.” [Read more...]
Elmo is an international hero to millions of children. But the story of the soft-spoken man who gave him life really inspires. [Read more...]
A new article in the Wall Street Journal says that some therapists are changing their tactics regarding their clients. They’re trying “tough love:”
Whining, as defined by experts—the therapists, spouses, co-workers and others who have to listen to it—is chronic complaining, a pattern of negative communication. It brings down the mood of everyone within earshot. It can hold whiners back at work and keep them stuck in a problem, rather than working to identify a solution. It can be toxic to relationships. How do you get someone to stop the constant griping? The answer is simple, but not always easy: Don’t listen to it.
Moms, and bosses, are good at this. Some therapists are refusing to let clients complain endlessly, as well—offering up Tough Love in place of the nurturing gaze and the question “How does that make you feel?”
A friend quipped, “If therapists are going to start getting paid for ignoring people and telling them to quit whining, then I’ve got some hope for a second career.”
I’m not sure if this is a good development or not, but it all reminds me of this wonderful Bob Newhart clip from MadTV. I’ve shown the kids this clip, which means that it frequently comes up in conversation. I’ll say, “Stop it!” and they’ll laugh… usually as they continue doing whatever it is they should stop:
As I mentioned, on Friday I was doing some pre-Mother’s Day shopping with the kids when I noticed a graphic photo of people having sex on the cover of a book. Yes, the book was about various sexual positions, but it was right out there for the entire world to see. The photo wasn’t suggestive, it was completely showing two naked people having sex. I promptly turned over the book and told the staff that someone had apparently played a prank on them near the military history.
“The books in that section are exactly as we arranged them,” they explained to me.
After I called the corporate headquarters — right there in the store — I came home and did what any concerned parent in the modern age might do. I blogged.
When the post went live, it immediately began getting traction in the blogosphere. Then, I suggested to my Twitter followers to Tweet the corporate headquarters to raise awareness. You guys did just that! Thank you!
News of the public outcry reached The Tennessean.
When they reported on the blog – which had gotten a few thousand hits – it put even more pressure on the store. But the store still refused to remove or camouflage the offensive book covers. Today, Channel Two News called for an interview, so I met them at the store. When I arrived, I checked my e-mail and found a note from corporate headquarters. It read:
We appreciate your input on this matter and that you took the time to contact us with your concerns. It is not our intent to offend any of our customers with any product that is sold in the store. Books A Million offers a large selection of titles on various topics so that we may provide selections of interest to all ages. We value our customers and consider it a privilege to serve our stores communities. We wanted to let you know that we have taken action to respond positively to your concerns. We are removing the top shelf presentation and ensuring that no graphic covers are front-faced within the Personal Growth section.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. Best regards,
I was elated at the news. After my interview with Channel 2 News (which will air tonight at 10:00), we walked through the “Sexuality” aisle and found that they had, in fact, kept their word and removed the books from the sight of shoppers.
Thank you, Books-a-Million corporate headquarters and Books-a-Million Spring Hill for helping parents protect themselves – and their children – from seeing these inappropriate images.
We appreciate your concern for your shoppers and for the community!
What’s more fun that taking the kids for a leisurely day at the bookstore?
That’s what I was thinking when I went to Books-a-Million in Spring Hill, Tennessee – a great store, and I’m not just saying that because they’ve helped me hold nice book signing events (for this, this, and this). We arrived in the wonderful brick-and-mortar store, ready for a day of walking down aisles and finding new reads. However, I came across something pretty shocking.
Someone had pulled a prank.
There, right next to the nice Civil War section (this is Tennessee, after all) is apparently a “sexuality” section, showing various sexual positions in plain view. And when I showing, I mean showing.
One book promised to make this the most erotic year of your life with 365 sexual positions – one of which was shown in plain, naked view on its cover. Another was about the art of erotic massage, and had a naked woman’s torso with a man’s hand – barely – covering her. (And no, I’m not being a prude. I’ve blocked out the image of the book shelf above, but here are two of the images in case you are wondering what kids walk by in Books-a-Million stores all across the nation – warning, obviously — here and here.)
Thankfully, no damage had been done. I have a four, an eleven, and a thirteen year old, but they hadn’t seen the display. I promptly, turned the books face down, figuring some teenage kids had come in and thought it would be funny to put pornographic images out in plain view.
Discreetly, I went to talk to a worker at the store.
“I think someone’s played a prank in the ‘sexuality’ section,” I said. “It’s probably just some kids, but there are very sexual images that wouldn’t leave much to kids’ imaginations over there.”
The cashier shook her head and said, “Those books on the top shelf are exactly as they are supposed to be.”
“You mean the one that literally shows two people having sex is supposed to be out in plain view?”
She pointed at a poster on the customer service desk. “You can call corporate if you like.”
A little flummoxed, I did just that. Instead of shopping for mother’s day, I dialed the number right there in the store. While I was on hold, another worker explained that these were paid positions on the shelf and that they weren’t allowed to deviate from what corporate dictates.
“But my kids would learn exactly how to have sex simply from the cover,” I explained.
“Well, we have it tucked away next to the military history section,” she said. “Most kids don’t walk down that aisle. Just men.”
“Tucked away” is not what I’d call the second aisle of a store, in plain view, on the top shelf. Plus, are we okay sending men over to read about the Civil War, only to have them see pornographic images? This is what I explained to headquarters, which listened politely and supposedly took down the book title information.
Anyway, I assume that every store is laid out with the same books on full display, so be warned. Before you attempt to support your brick and mortar book store, realize that you might get your kids hooked on more than just reading.
If you’d like to contact Books-a-Million, please feel free to e-mail them email@example.com or call them at 1-800-201-3550.