Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-31-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION | OCTOBER 31-NOVEMBER 6, 2019 ENTERTAINMENT 3 Schools' portals are counterproductive The Portal. It sounds like some- thing out of a science fiction novel, the gateway to an alternative universe that lures, then traps the unwary in its nefarious web of illusion, where things are never what they seem. If the previous sentence sounded to you like Rod Sterling intoning the intro to "The Twilight Zone," then you too are old enough to thank your lucky stars that the portal did not exist when you were in school. The portal, for the blissfully unaware, is a website the techno-hip 21st-century parent visits at least once daily to get the very latest updates on her child's grades, upcoming and incomplete assignments, test results, and anything else the child's teachers deem important, like "Billy seemed distracted today." If you're a parent and you've never visited the portal, I have one word of advice: Don't! One school's portal advertises itself as providing parents with "important, up-to-date information" concerning their children's progress in school. No, the information in question is not important. First, in days gone by, when there were no portals, kids achieved at much higher levels. Second, the best research into parent involvement finds that regardless of demographics or ability, children do best in school when their parents do not monitor and help with homework. But then, America's education establishment pays no atten- tion to research in education. The portal either turns parents into micromanagers or pushes already existing parental micromanagement over the edge. Micromanagement is driven by anxiety, always. Parents who visit the portal on a regular basis are not simply curious. They are anxious control freaks. They are also their kids' (and their own) worst enemies. Micromanagement never improves the performance of the person being micromanaged. It always produces stress, an unwillingness to commu- nicate, and various manifestations of pushback. Sometimes, the pushback is subtle, sly, covert, and sometimes it is blatant, even belligerent, as in, "Leave me alone! I'm sick and tired of having you looking over my shoulder! Get a life why don't you! Yes indeed, the micromanaging parent needs desperately to get a life of her own. There is no emotional boundary, you see, between the portal- obsessive parent and her child. To paraphrase The Beatles, she is him and he is her and they are all entangled. (And yes, I'm using the female pro- noun purposefully because in probably nine of 10 instances – and that may be a conservative estimate – the mother is the micromanaging, anxiety-driven, portal-obsessive in question.) Over the past two generations, co-dependency in the mother-child relationship has become normative, and this is yet another manifestation. Being in a co-dependent relationship has nothing to do with being a woman, however. My mother was not in a co- dependent relationship with me and my peers testify likewise concerning their moms. This is all about the post- 1960s "Good Mommy Club," which demands of its members that they be crazy about their kids (not crazy happy, mind you, but truly crazy) if they want to remain in good standing. Without any evidence that the portal is working to do anything but transport mothers to a "Twilight Zone" where they begin to believe their real name is "Mom," public and private schools nationwide are pushing portal partici- pation like it's the next best thing to tablets (which the research also says are counterproductive). It's as if they say to themselves, "Let's build the por- tal and find out later if it's working!" Come to think of it, I did have a homework portal when I was in school. It was called the "blackboard." Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com. Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Folk singer Annie Guthrie will perform at the Stadium WOONSOCKET – Annie Guthrie, daughter of folk singer Arlo Guthrie, will perform in the Marquee Room of the Stadium Theatre, 28 Monument Square, on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Annie Guthrie made her recording debut on Arlo's "Someday" album at the age of 4. She is a prolific song- writer and versatile folk musi- cian whose songs showcase her gift for directness, often going straight for the listen- er's heart, according to event organizers. "Dragonfly" is Guthrie's solo debut released in July of 2016. This collection of songs penned by Guthrie showcases her gift for directness and going straight for the heart, organizers said. Admission is $26. Tickets are available at the Stadium Theatre Box Office or by calling 401-762-4545 and online at www.stadiumthe- atre.com . GUTHRIE Dining Guide Steak • Seafood • PaSta 74 South Main St., Woonsocket, RI 401-235-9026 Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday Noon-8 p.m. The The The The The Tavern at Open for Lunch Over 20 Craft Beers on Rotating Tap Friday SpecialS Every Friday 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eat-in or Take-Out Fish & Chips $9.99 Baked Haddock Dinner $9.99 Fried Bay Scallop Dinner $10.99 Fried Shrimp Platter $10.99 www.riverfallsri.com 74 South Main St., Woonsocket, RI 401-235-9026 Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Reserve for the Holidays! We can still accommodate table reservations or larger celebrations with family and friends LET uS DO THE COOking! See our catering menu online www.RiverFallsRi.com/catering-menu Gift Certificates Available Daily lunch & Dinner specials

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