This Six-Year-Old Made More Than You Did Last Year. For Real.

I was reading Flipboard the other day when a headline caught my attention. Perhaps you’ve already read about Ryan. If not, let me introduce you. This is Ryan.



Ryan is six. And last year, Ryan made $11 million. Yes, that’s right. He made $11 million. That’s approximately $11 million more than I’ve ever made in my life, much less a year.

Making Millions

Now Ryan isn’t a precocious Disney star and hasn’t appeared in a Hollywood blockbuster. No, Ryan made his millions reviewing toys at Ryan ToysReview. His YouTube videos have racked up millions of views and were enough to land him in the number eight spot on the Forbes highest-paid YouTube stars of 2017.

Ryan may be the youngest on the list but he’s certainly not the highest earner. That accolade goes to Daniel Middleton, who goes by the name DanTDM. Last year, he racked in over $16 million for posting Minecraft streams.

According to Forbes Magazine, the world’s highest YouTube earners brought in about $127 million last year.



I’m not embarrassed to admit it. I’m envious. And more than a little curious about what makes these individuals stand out from the thousands of people posting content on YouTube. Really, what makes Ryan’s toy reviews better than this one?

What started as a platform to upload videos, share content and generate comments has turned into big business. Successful YouTube stars have managers, publicists and agents to help them manage their careers.

Becoming a YouTube Star

So how do you become a big YouTube sensation? The folks at Mashable say it’s no easy task but offer some helpful hints:

  • It’s an Investment. High-quality videos require an investment of time and money.
  • Promote via other networks.
  • Find new audiences with different content.
  • Stop, collaborate and listen

Great advice but I’m not sure that’s all it takes to become a YouTube millionaire. According to the Business Insider, one thing is clear – the money doesn’t come from one set place. YouTubers make appearances, do shows and write books.

Tell that to my son. He had grandiose plans on achieving fame on an oddly named YouTube channel called Chicken Blender. Never heard of it? Didn’t think so. It didn’t quite catch on.

Sadly, I don’t think I’m going to become the mother of a successful YouTube star anytime soon, so I’m going to stick with the lottery.

What do you think of Ryan and his millions? Any interest in becoming the next YouTube sensation?

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OMG, LOL and :)

ICYMI, our lexicon is changing before our eyes. That’s right. Twitter and other social media platforms are changing the way we write. B4 long no one will be spelling out words in full. The change leaves me smh.




There are whole online dictionaries dedicated to the new lingo. Don’t know what YOYO means? (And no, it’s not a beloved childhood toy). No worries. You can find the definition here or here.

My daughter tells me it’s not odd to proofread someone’s writing in class only to find out that the writer substituted bc for because. Here’s a typical exchange with my child:

Me: What time will you be home for dinner?

Child: Wat r we having bc Im out

WTF is happening to our kids?

While I’m concerned that I’m raising illiterate children, apparently the situation isn’t all that dire. According to Karan Chopra the worry about poor grammar and verbal textspeak actually points to a promising reality. Chopra says we’re learning a new language and a whole new way of communicating.

Who knew?

In fact, there’s a name for it. Textese. A recent study of 55 children between the ages of 10 and 13 years showed textese contributed positively to grammar performance. Paul Sawyers agrees. He says, “Shortenings, contractions, acronyms, symbols and unconventional spellings all fall under the broader ‘language’ umbrella. The more exposure children have to the written word, the more literate they become.”



Well, that’s a relief.

This got me thinking. Maybe this is the rock and roll of the new generation. Really, if you think of it, if language didn’t evolve, we would still be speaking Shakespearean English. And I’m not sure that would fit into 140 characters.

TBH, I’m still not sure I completely understand but I’m glad it’s not all bad news. So in the words of my daughter, BFN.

Image result for twitter image  The end of the English language is near. B4 long, spelling could be obsolete or will              it? Find out at #languageisalive

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Blog #2: It’s all about me. No, really. It is.

Our weekday mornings are usually the same at our house. We get up, get ready and eat breakfast. Then head off to work/school. Nothing much to it, right?

That’s why I don’t understand the next part of our regular routine.

The selfie.

Selfie (2)

Every morning, my daughters document each moment of their morning routine. From getting up to eating breakfast. Apparently, these mundane moments must be shared with their hundreds of social media followers.

Because doesn’t everyone want to know that you’re having waffles for breakfast?


And it’s not just them. I watch their friends doing the same thing. While I’m perplexed about the need to share, the whole selfie thing got me thinking.

Has social media created a whole generation of narcissists?


We all know teenagers don’t need any help in feeling like the world revolves around them. They are naturally inclined to feel this way. So what impact has social media had in reinforcing this message?

Social Media

According to Dr Lisa Firestone in Psychology Today, studies show that we are living in an increasingly narcissistic society. In fact, there has been a documented increase in the rise of narcissism since the 1980s.

And social media provides a great platform for narcissists since networking sites encourage self-promotion. This belief that people are interested in what we’re doing and a desire to share every detail about it in order to gain friends and generate likes.


But can we blame social media for the increase in narcissism?

Firestone isn’t so sure and neither is W. Keith Campbell. While it initially looked like narcissism and social media use might be rising together, there are too many influencing factors to definitively state that social media is the cause. As Campbell writes, “It might also be the case that social media inflates the narcissism of those already predisposed, but has no effect on others.”

And the trend isn’t just limited to teenagers and millennials. According to the Associated Press, tech-savvy toddlers are also turning into “selfie-taking narcissists.”

So, in the age of social media, what can we do to protect our children from turning into little egomaniacs? The New York Times offers simple parenting tips:

  • Say No.
  • Teach them basic manners.
  • Teach them how to manage frustration.
  • Be Kind.
  • Travel with them.
  • Love and approval are different.
  • Read to them.
  • Run errands with them.

While we can’t be sure social media is responsible for the rise in narcissism, it’s important to work with our kids before they go online. As Firestone says, “the solution to fostering a less narcissistic generation is to instill a healthy sense of true esteem offline before anyone is old enough to post their first status update.”

And if all else fails? Embarrass them like this Dad who creatively recreated his daughter’s selfies



They may think long and hard before posting again. And you might get a bit closer to having their world expand beyond themselves.

What do you think? Is social media creating a generation of narcissists?

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Burying the Body and Other Tips on Surviving Teens

First, let me start by saying that I love my children. I really do. They have given me a lot of joy over the years. I have tons of happy memories of trips to pumpkin patches, beach days and canoe trips. It was blissful then, almost idyllic. The calm before the storm shall we say?

Canoe Trip Kayak Children

But then something happened.

It was a slow progression. It didn’t take place overnight. No, it was a measured build up and happened so slowly that I didn’t quite know what was taking place. But it did.

They became teens.


And I subsequently found out I hate teenagers. Not all teenagers. More specifically mine. But let me clarify, I don’t hate my kids. I just despise the aliens that they’ve morphed into. I equate it to Bruce Banner and The Hulk. One moment they’re normal, the next you’re dealing with an angry, obstinate beast.


In retrospect, I do think other parents tried to warn me. I have vivid memories of haggard parents looking at my tiny babies and sighing wistfully. And then they would smile smugly and say, “Little kids, little problems.” But I, in my blissful ignorance, would think they were disgruntled parents who had gotten the short end of the stick.

Oh, how the tables have turned.

Now I’ve become that parent – the one who is a little older, a whole lot wiser and just a tad more haggard. And I feel it’s my life’s duty to warn parents of the fate that awaits them.


I’ve scoured the internet and found some great universal tips from Alpha Mom to see you through the dark times of raising teens. Trust me; you’ll thank me for sharing these later.

  • Teenage brains do not work properly. There is scientific evidence to support this, somewhere.
  • You will decide to pick your battles. And trust me, it’s not hair colour. Facial tattoos, maybe. Hair colour, no.
  • There is a reason they have grown bigger and stronger than you. It takes two to bury the body.
  • You will want to turn everything into a life lesson. Resist the urge. They’re not listening anyway.
  • You will question your sanity. It’s there. Nothing a little wine can’t fix.
  • You will hear your own parent’s voice coming out of your mouth. It will scare you but roll with it.
  • They will make you laugh in spite of yourself. You’ve got to laugh. Sometimes that’s all there is!

And finally, a wise woman once told me that teenagers were nature’s way of saying goodbye. I didn’t appreciate the gravity of that statement until we dropped our son off at university.

I did the happy dance all the way home.


But there’s some good news. There is light at the end of the tunnel and they seem to come back to earth. My son’s 21 now and he’s delightful.

Sigh. Only three more to go …

Do you have teenagers? Have you lived to tell the tale? Any words of wisdom for running the gauntlet?

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