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Showing posts with label Parenting issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting issues. Show all posts

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We Don't Need Feminism?

My daughter goes to a women's college, and I noticed when stalking Pinterest images related to the school, a campaign for feminism.  It looks like this:

and this

and this.

As I matter of fact, I had to work really hard to find some that didn't straight out say "I need feminism because I was raped or molested, or assaulted, and no one cared", but could not. .  If I was to sum up the gist of the majority of the captions, they said: "I need feminism because my rights to my own

Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Modesty and Shaming

I am annoyed by reports of a Utah School doctoring yearbook photos to show less skin.

My reasons:

1. The school district admittedly applied the rule unevenly.
2. The original pictures were fine, for the most part.
3. I dare say not one boy's photo was doctored.
4. Cleavage is one thing, but shoulders?  That is taking it too far.

I realize my stance my be unpopular, but it often is, and I am ok with that. But I feel like we cross the line in asking our girls to be modest... and push the barriers into shaming girls for just being girls.  While I practiced modesty with my daughter from her pre-teen years through now, adulthood (18th birthday coming up), I don't believe in telling girls that some guy seeing a glimpse of an ankle or a (gasp) arm, is going to cause some guy to stumble in his faith. Meanwhile guys get to run around completely shirtless, and girls are expected to have no reaction?  I am sick of the double standard. 

In encouraging (not demanding) my daughter to be modest, we layered whenever an outfit revealed too much.  "Go add your lacy underskirt to outfit". "That skirt or shorts would be OK with leggings". "That top needs a cami".  "For goodness sakes, where is your belt?".  These were common sentences

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Leading a dead horse

For the past few months, I've been trapped somewhere in between leading a horse to water and beating a dead horse.  However, the horse has been neither thirsty, or willing to try something new. I often tell my kids that the meaning of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting different results.  It is of course, not a true definition, but a symptom of insanity in which I have chosen to no longer participate.

It makes me sad that a young, extended family member, with so much promise is dooming himself to not be his best, and to not do his best, but I have to take the onus off of myself, and place it where  it belongs.  Once you have offered opportunity, and resources, and nothing has changed... for months, and months on end, you just have to move on...

And so I am back to working on me, and I am good with that.

Almost done with the real estate course... And need to double up my gym time too, but I was giving that time to someone who did not appreciate it it.

Moving on.

There is a homeschool correlation to this real life story.   I have seen many parents decide they were going to homeschool to fix problems their kids were having in school, such as a bad attitude, or lack of effort. Unfortunately, changing the setting, it not going to make a big change if you don't change the heart... shore up the foundation.  These are often the kids that wind up back in school having made no progress, allowing schools systems and teachers to announce, that homeschooling is a dismal failure.

If your kid is acting up in school, don't expect homeschooling to change that, unless you are going to change the root problem, and maybe even yourself.  In this case, it was just too late, and someone who was already "grown", and who I had no real authority over, wasn't willing to accept what I had to offer.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Weed makes them better moms?

There are a group of moms making the talk show rounds advocating for legalizing marijuana, saying that weed makes them better mothers.

What are they smoking???

Oh... wait.

But seriously, I am watching three women on The View right now who are taking MEDICINAL marijuana.  They have serious diseases and canibus is the only drug that helps them function... and so that does make them better mothers.

But... I think that there is a difference between using medicinal weed and having marijuana themed parties.  I feel that this crosses the line and makes the drug more attractive to those who don't need it.  Who in their right mind throws a party to take their medicine?  Glucophage soirĂ©e anyone?


Saturday, April 20, 2013

I'm not a big fan of kids either, but...

It may seem unsettling to read that a homeschooler is not a big fan of kids, but it is the truth.  They are loud, sticky, selfish, and untrained.  They pretty much drive me crazy.  Fortunately, I adore my own kids in spite of all this, and that I guess, it what love means.  Because I love my own kids, I have made an effort to open my heart to other kids, so that mine would not end up living a solitary existence.  I found it easier to do one child at a time, developing a relationship with each child and their parents that my kids brought onto my radar.  This is because honestly, if I didn't learn to love these kids, I would not like them at all.

So I understand it when a UK mother writes a viral article on how she regrets having children.  Well I understand how she didn't want them at first, but I don't understand why she relented to pressure to have them and then refused to open her heart to them.   Isabella Dutton, wrote things like"

  • I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.
  • Quite simply, I had always hated the idea of motherhood. In that instant, any lingering hope that becoming a mum would cure me of my antipathy was dispelled.
  •  I felt precisely the same indifference towards her (daughter) as I had to Stuart, but I knew I would care for Jo to the best of my ability, and love her as I'd grown to love him.

On top of this she is resentful that her now grown daughter has MS, and is not too happy about being a grandmother either.  Then she has the nerve to go about telling parents how to parent correctly... Can you say narcissism?

This makes me sad... for her kids and for her.

When I was 23 and engaged to be married, I took a part time job at a department store to help pay for the nuptials.  While working there I met a woman in her 60's who had pretty much the same amount of bitterness.  She was upset that her kids, (a grown Doctor and a Teacher) who would visit her at work and seemed perfectly pleasant, had taken away her life.  She was even more resentful that her husband had become ill, and she now had to provide for him.  Her life had  not panned out as she hoped, and she was not shy about talking about how getting married and having kids had taken away her freedom. I vowed then and there, that whatever adult decisions I made about having a family, would not be followed by regret.  I married later that year, and had two kids over time, who, if you follow this blog, you know probably more about than they would like you to know.   I have loved every minute of it (OK... not every minute, but you know what I mean).  Because I have enjoyed parenting them so much, I believe they have enjoyed being parented.  That is why I am sad for Ms. Dutton and her kids.  She was only looking at what she was giving them, and completely missed what the kids have to give back.  She thinks they gave back nothing, but my kids-and their friends too, have brought me so much  joy and happiness, that I feel only the coldest of Grinch hearts could not absorb this wonderful gift.

And so what if she didn't love having little kids around because they can be true energy-suckers... how could she not find joy in the teen years, or the twenties??  I am personally in awe and wonder as I interact with my teen kids and their friends.  Just this week, one of my daughters friends felt he had let me down as he could not complete something (electronic related) he promised he would do for me.  It was a bit disappointing, but his sad face and eyes and wonderful spirit left me consoling him and counseling him to keep trying, and not give up working on the skill he was building, and to try again soon.  I got more joy in making him feel good than I could have gotten in having him being successful.  ... and that is what parenting is about.

If a person like me who sees a little kid coming and wants to run in the opposite direction can connect with my kids and other young people in a meaningful way, then there is hope for Ms. Dutton.  Sure she screwed up with her kids because of her cold and hard heart, but here's to hoping that she finds some joy in her grandchildren.  If she cannot, I would recommend that her son keep her at a distance from his kids.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Re: Crazy Working Mom: Diary of a mother on the brink of snapping!

Crazy Working Mom: Diary of a mother on the brink of snapping!: Lunch Time

This woman's kids are apparently more observant and caring than mine. It only took a week for them to get the message.

 A few years ago I stopped cleaning for an entire winter. It happened because i had been sick for a few days and when I pried my aching body from the bed and went downstairs, I got sick all over again.

 So, I gave the kids chores and held my tongue as they made half hearted attempts at cleaning up behind themselves. When my strike was over the only person cured was me. I had gotten over my need for a pristine home and hubby was pitching in more because he realized that I just did not give a snot anymore.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Academics vs Values

If you follow my blog you know how very important academics are to me.  When I talk about our homeschooling experience with other homeschoolers I often hear "that's nice, but we are not so competitive academically, it is more important to me that my children's values are in order.  I've always felt that such a comment was a slight towards me...  You ask me how my kids are doing in homeschooling, and I rattle off their academic achievements.  Then you make a smart -alecky remark that says what I just told you was unimportant.  Meh.  Whatever.

I used to feel that people were threatened by the impression I gave that book-learnin was the single most important value in homeschooling.  Now I don't really care.  But, with that said, you should know that values are indeed very important in our homeschooling journey.  But if you ask me what my kids are doing homeschooling wise, I am going to talk about math and reading and such.  That's just how I'm wired.  That doesn't mean that my kids' hearts aren't of the utmost importance to me.

This is how I have tackled values with my kids.  Every year, I have spent the summer evaluating them. How they act towards each other.  How they act towards their parents.  How they treat their friends. How they manage their lives.  I pinpoint the thing that I feel needs the most improvement and I choose that as the value of the year for that child.   This year, with my remaining homeschooler, in her last year, I have chosen time management.  I think that is the only thing about her that I feel I can affect at this point.

Things I am doing to help her with time management:
  • Writing a daily checklist with times on it.  If left to her own devices, she will do math all day (or any other subject) and never get to the other subjects... she just sometimes has no idea of how long she's worked on one thing.)
  • Making her responsible to be ready in time to get to things that are important for her.  I will not remind her over and over to be ready for her to stay on her schedule that she set. 
  • Allowing her to drive (reward) if she is ready to go somewhere with a 10-15 minute cushion. 
I pray that that is enough to get her more aware of and respectful of time.  I hate to say it, but she gets it from her dad (yes, I said that)... He's got that laid-back Jamaican vibe and he is only respectful of time when its on his agenda.  That's probably why I haven't tackled this value until now... it has been an uphill battle.

I am sharing this mostly because I have counseled with a couple of homeschoolers lately who have had a laundry list of value-type items they want their homeschooled kids to comply to.  Things like, spend more time in the family room and less in the bedroom, play more outside and less video games, complete assignments on time, and yada-yada.  My advice is always the same thing I have been doing all along.  Pick the one item that is driving you completely up the wall, and work on that.  When that value is tackled and improved, you can move on to the next one.  Pick your battles.  You will all be happier for it.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

A follow up on my conversation about race and Trayvon Martin

I wrote what I wrote last night because it was heavy on my heart and had been itching to get out.  But a good night's sleep always brings perspective.  This does not mean that I am not any less scared, angry, dissappointed, and broken-hearted over the Trayvon Martin case,  because I am.

However, I am also encouraged that so many people have stood up for justice of this young child.  I am not only seeing black teens and their parents mobilizing over this case, but I am also seeing white, Hispanic, Muslim, and all other nationalities pulling together to call for justice.

So while this issue makes it painfully aware that we still have a long way to come in the matter of race relations, I am also happy to notice that we have already come a long way.  The only problem is that half-way is not far enough.


Man, I hate talking about race (Trayvon Martin)

I hate talking about race but sometimes the conversation just can't be avoided.

You would have had to live under a rock this month to not know the Trayvon Martin story.  Now I tried to be quiet about this issue until I had all of the facts.  I wanted to KNOW that this child was innocent BEFORE shooting off at the mouth and making assumptions about things I knew nothing about.  After watching the issue for a full month, I can say this much... I AM SCARED.

Do I have a good reason to be scared?  Probably not.  But here's the thing.  I've got a big strapping dark-skinned, son who's built like a football player.  He could just as easily have been picked out as a thug in his favorite Eddie Bauer hoodie as he decided he wanted to run to the local McDonalds for a burger and walked back home through our gated community.  Should a neighborhood vigilante see his big hulking self, he wouldn't bother getting out of the car, he'd just probably shoot from there, because at 6"2 and well over 200 lbs, my baby is an imposing figure. 

I AM ALSO ANGRY.  I am angry that while my son may NEVER have to experience such an issue (considering that his father has never had to) that I had to have a talk to my son about appearance.  I had to ask him to always wear college gear when he goes off campus next year as he starts college.  I had to ask him to always try to dress professionally, even though his is still a kid. I had to tell him the proper protocol for behavior when being stopped while driving.  You know, hands on wheel, and uber polite... no sudden moves.

I AM DISSAPPOINTED.  I am disappointed that in 2012, I have to worry about my son's safety because some overzealous person my look at him and not see the mountain of handsome that I see.  They don't see a gentle giant.  They don't see a homeschooled kid with a laid back demeanor.  They don't see a protector.  They don't see a multiple scholarship recipient.  They don't see a capable Elections Official.  They wouldn't know that Fencing is his sport of choice.  They wouldn't know he'd been programing and building computers since age 11 and that he is going to college for Graphic Design. They see someone who looks "scary" or like "he does not belong".  What gets me the most is that the entire perception would change if they faced him and said "hi".  He would force a smile, and say "hi" back, and they would instantly know that his is a good kid.

I AM HEARTBROKEN.  I am heartbroken for the parents of Trayvon Martin who instead of people accepting this incident for what it is- a travesty and signal that racial relations have a long way yet to come, they instead try to smear his name and say that race relations are hopeless.  I am heartbroken for mothers of black boys everywhere who know that their child will (or has) outgrown their cute phase and so many segments of society would feel more comfortable if this boy were in jail or worse.  I am heartbroken for an America that won't take a chance to heal this rift between human beings who happen to have different skin colors.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Update on Mystery Illness in Le Roy NY... PANDAS???

The school-contracted illness in LeRoy NY may be coming to light. Dr. Siegel says it could be a chronic strep infection that causes the illness caused PANDAS, but it is being covered up.  Kids and parents are not being given the information on their illness.  This may actually be a public health risk but no one's talking.

There is a serious problem when parents aren't allowed to get information about kids health issues.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Mommas have to socialize too.

I have been making it a point this year to network more with other homeschoolers, writers, and business women.  Today, I did both... in duplicate. 

I had breakfast with a business owner/homeschooling mom and her daughter... my daughter of course was there.  Then in the late afternoon, I met another writer/homeschooling mom on her way through Atlanta from Detroit to Florida.  She took a little detour and we talked, and talked, and talked...  poor thing had to get back on the road...  She's a machine... I don't think I would do it. 

It feels to great to meet with like minded women, who I have soooo much in common with.  Not that I don't have plenty in common with other homeschooling moms, but these two women were particularly  of a similar mindset as me. 

Tomorrow morning I meet with one of my best friends that I hardly ever see.  ... after I drop the kids off for their Arts program.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Kill the Potty Mouth, Build the Vocabulary

Reading the Google News Alerts this morning, I came upon at a couple of blog posts or articles where parents complained about bad words and potty mouths for different reasons.

In one instance the child in public school was tempted by the potty mouths of others and found himself using a few choice words.

Another complainted about the potty mouths on sports teams. I can remember where I found the other... possibly a comment of agreement.

Anyway, dealing with potty mouths is a part of raising kids. Maybe I was lucky, but I have not had to deal with this in a big way.

Now I am not saying my kids have not dropped a bomb or let a word slip. What I am saying is that each time it happens it is a new word... they never repeat the previous word again. With each new explitive that I hear, I stop, find out where the word came from and in a matter-of-fact manner explain exactly what the word means and why it is not appropriate for civilized conversation. I think because I don't make a huge deal of it, that it does not become a problem in my home.

My kids do have friends, or rather have had friends with potty mouths. My son, especially asks the friend to refrain from cursing as it bothers him... if he in turn gets cursed out for making the request, he chooses not to hang out with that person. This is without my prompting. I just noticed a pattern of when I ask what happened to so-and-so, my son says, he curses too much.... end of conversation. I have actually had to ask my son to give his friends another chance.

I think our biggest problem with cursing in our home is curse word substitutes. I do find myself saying that word "shoot" is just a substitute for (insert unexceptible word), or 'when you say 'darn' do you really mean something else? To be perfectly truthful, my kids say the same thing to me.

Anyway, I guess my point is, cursing is a huge part of this world, I think we just need to inform our kids why we don't use them, morally and for reasons of intelligence. Sometimes we have to give ourselves the same reminders.

In short... this is what this word means, but I am sure you can look into your vocabulary and find a much more intelligent word to use. Use potty mouth moments as a chance to build the vocabulary.

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