Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Facebook Betrayal

There seems to be a Facebook group for everyone about everything. I belong to several local mom Facebook groups, a school moms group and a few others based on my interests. For the most part, these groups are a fabulous resource – somewhere to go to get information from like-minded people, share stories and even get support.

Recently, there have been a few incidents in my mama world that have made me think we should all put a little more thought into what our Facebook “relationships” really are. Over the last couple of weeks, in my groups alone, I’ve observed the following somewhat disturbing situations:

1)      A mom posted on a small community group that her kid had something contagious over the holiday season. She wanted to give all the mamas a “heads up” in case their kids showed symptoms. When her kid went back to school after the holidays, some other children ridiculed the child for having the contagious condition. Yep, clearly a mom in the Facebook group told her children the info the other mom had considerately shared. The result was a child being made fun of and a mother feeling like she betrayed the trust of her child.

2)      A woman had a little rant on a community Facebook group about her husband. Someone on the group notified the husband and shared the content of the rant.

3)      A woman was concerned about how her child’s school was handling a situation and looked to the Facebook group for support and ideas. Someone in the group forwarded her post to the school principal.

People use these groups as a resource, thinking they’re sharing with trusted friends who will keep their confidence. Apparently, this is not the case. It seems you are not chatting or venting to girlfriends. It is important to remember that in social media, anything you post can potentially become public. Even in a private group, you can’t be sure who the other members are.

Let this serve as a warning. You may be sharing with trusted friends, along with friends who have poor judgment. You may actually be sharing with nameless, faceless strangers. While I am a big believer in online communities and participate in many, like any relationships, we must go into them with our eyes wide open.


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

My Great Parenting Mistakes of 2013

As a general rule, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The last thing I really need is to put extra pressure on myself.

But with a new year upon us, I know we all look for a fresh start – and often in the “how to be a better parent” department. We want to yell less, be more patient, feed the kids healthier meals, spend less time on our tech gadgets, read to them more… the list goes on and on and on.

That’s why I’ve taken a look back at 2013 and reflected on my biggest parenting fails, to help me decide what I can do to do better next year.

1)      The time I forgot a kid somewhere. Oh, and I mean FORGOT. It was actually so traumatizing for me that I’m even getting a little twitchy as I’m writing this. Sharing details would be impossible. But, out of that I learned a big lesson about forgiveness. Forgiving myself is still a work in progress.

2)      The time I picked up my kid’s birthday cake from the bakery in the middle of the party. You got it – I didn’t bake AND I didn’t remember to get a birthday cake before the party.

3)      The usual every day fails: delinquent tooth fairy, lazy Elf on the Shelf, the time they had sandwiches for dinner three nights in a row, those days I don’t check the weather forecast and send them to school dressed inappropriately for the weather – just to name a few.

That nonsense aside, 2013 saw a lot of parenting wins. I made a great decision regarding my daughter’s schooling, I had meaningful conversations with my kids, shared loads of love and laughs, taught them lessons and dealt with issues that came up in a way that makes me proud.

So how about we all take it easy on ourselves in the parenting department this year? Let’s learn from our mistakes but celebrate our wins.

Have you set any “parenting goals” for 2014? What have you learned in the last year?


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Cracking the Code: Computer Programming For Kids & Learning Code

I own a web-based business and I’m an avid blogger/social media type. One would assume that I would be quite the tech savvy mama. The truth is… I’m not. Luckily when I’m hanging around the office, there are a plethora of smarty-pant nerd types who can help me out. When I’m at home, I have to pull in the big guns for tech support help. And when I say big guns, I mean my tweens.

Let’s face it, it makes sense that they’re my tech support – kids are on gadgets from a pretty young age. They’re exposed to everything – from iPads to gaming gadgets. And while they indulge in all of these digital pleasures, what do they actually know about building technology?

My best guess is not much. Schools are doing their best, but unless your child’s school has a teacher with a coding background to champion an initiative, they’re not likely to ever see a computer literacy & coding program. Although the job market is desperate for folks trained in computer science, it’s not part of the standard curriculum and continues to be marginalized in the school system.

But not all is lost. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the Case Foundation are amongst the founding funders of – a non-profit organization dedicated to growing computer science education degrees by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. And learning to code using is 100% free and available to anyone.

Mabel’s Labels recently met another advocate, Gillian Gutenberg. Gillian is a software consultant concerned with the lack of programming and coding education for kids in schools. She started to offer kids of all ages the opportunity to learn the basics of coding, how to build robots and the chance to take field trips to tech companies – all in the spirit of striking an interest and appreciation for what goes into the apps and programs we take for granted.

Camps and programs such as exist in many cities. A few great organizations you can check out include:

And now, Mabel’s Labels is helping bring programming to more children by purchasing Robot Kits that can be used in summer camps and PA Day Camps.  The number of children that can participate is limited to the resources available. So, our hope is that Gillian can expand her business to more cities to inspire more children.

We recently hosted a “Learn to Code a Robot” day at Mabel HQ. Staffers and their kiddos had a fabulous day of learning with Gillian. My kids wouldn’t stop talking about it and have been re-thinking their original career plans.

You never know… My tween tech support may one day become the Bill Gates’ of the future!


About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

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