Back in 2009 I was an aspiring author trying to establish a reader base. I looked into several opportunities, but the Los Angeles Examiner offered the most attractive home for my writing. They accepted my “Dear LA Teacher” premise where parents, teachers, and students wrote in asking important and not so important questions about Education, Parenting, and LA area activities for kids. Below was a typical post published March 11, 2010:
Helicopter moms: beware of the hot dot
Helicopter moms, like choppers; hover closely overhead, rarely out of reach of their children.
Dear LA Teacher,
I’m really worried about my little Jimmy. He loves hot dogs, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recently called for warning labels and new hot dog designs. Should I let him eat hot dogs this barbeque season? If I don’t, I’m afraid he’ll get upset. What should I do?
Dear Helicopter Mom,
Alarmists are ringing their bells again. You see the hot dog is the perfect size and shape to block little Jimmy’s windpipe. That is why frankfurters account for one in six of all child deaths due to choking. Keep this in mind. Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year. The chance of Jimmy dying by frank-icide is highly remote. Despite this fact, thousands of helicopter parents are calling for the redesign of an American icon.
Here’s what I suggest you do. Sit down with Jimmy and teach him to chew his food. If he takes small bites of a wiener, chews fifteen times, nothing will block his windpipe. If you persist on being paranoid, cut up his food before he eats.
I offer this caution. Continued hovering over your child may cause more damage than any innocent frankfurter. Let Jimmy learn from his mistakes and develop a personality. Keep up the hovering, and when he turns 18, don’t be surprised if he runs off and doesn’t look back.
P.S. I highly recommend you get a life.
For the last seven years I enjoyed being one of the Examiner’s top contributors garnishing a wide audience not only in Los Angeles but throughout the world. I had loyal readers from Hartford to Atlanta, Miami to Minnesota, and on the West Coast. People from Israel, South Africa, Great Britain, and Australia downloaded my articles.
I had formed a base and my first book, published in 2012, Goodbye Tchaikovsky, the story of a deaf teen, sold nicely. As the years passed, my Koolura Series had an audience as well as The Abduction of Joshua Bloom. My books were being gobbled up worldwide.
My dad used to say, “All good things come to an end.” Unfortunately, he was right. On July 18, 2016 the Examiner dropped off the Internet. Along with it went 449 articles I wrote covering topics like children in solitary confinement, imaginary friends, teen drinking, managing bullies, and more.
Now I’m in a pickle. My base is gone. Well not exactly. I have an active blog attracting readers throughout the world. What I’d like to do is turn this blog, focused on YA books, and broaden it to include parenting issues, teen problems, and taking on issues that affect teens and kids like STEM, hearing loss, child rearing practices, high school dropouts, etc. YA book reviews and author interviews will definitely stay.
What I ask of you is to leave a comment and let Pop know what you think.