As I read the NY Times report about Amy Bishop the Harvard PhD accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville,one part of the story stood out. It is the following,” The Boston Globe reported that Dr. Bishop was charged with assault in 2002 after punching a woman in the head at an International House of Pancakes in Peabody, Mass. According to a police report, Dr. Bishop was angry that the woman had taken the last booster seat in the restaurant, which Dr. Bishop wanted for one of her children, The Globe said. It added that Dr. Bishop was sentenced to probation and that prosecutors recommended she take anger management classes, though it is not clear whether she did.” I’m not an authority on these matters, but I feel pretty certain she never made it to anger management class.
So the pendulum has swung according to today’s NY Times magazine, and now new parents are saying enough with over protecting their children. The backlash is against the idea that parents are so involved with their children and putting them on the track to success.
One criticism is against over scheduling your kids for activities. I for one support this. I don’t think a kid needs or wants to be scheduled every minute of the day. From my own observation, kids look forward to some unstructured time to just let their mind wander, play, and be silly. Especially when they are in the early years of school.
As parents, one of the issues we fail to consider is what do the kids actually need or want. For example, we may love soccer, but the kid is more interested in butterfly’s, because the game may not fun for them. On the other hand, our kids may wish to swing on the swing for long stretches of time and be quite content, and then we interrupt it for a chance for them to maybe hit a ball a few times in little league.
If our game is cancelled on the weekend, my kids would go from swinging, to kicking the soccer ball, to playing music, to playing a computer game, to reading with one of us, to having a jumping party with sofa cushions on the couch, to fighting with one another, making up, and running around the house, literally climbing up the door way, playing a board game, to swinging, and running outside in the sprinkler. The point being they would create ways to have fun.
To me, the question is who is all the activity for- the kids or the parents? From what I’ve observed, there are many middle to upper middle class kids that are just hungry for some down time with their parents. In fact, whenever I’m reading to my kids or hanging out with them near a park, kids will flock around us.
Where are there parents, you might ask? They’re usually on their laptops, Blackberry’s, or on the cell phone. I guess spontaneous, unstructured time with kids is not as much fun…for the parents.
Day 20- I’ve got 70 more days to go. I am beginning to wonder why I bothered to do this. Since not to many people seem to be reading it, it has to be for me. So while my wife plays soccer with my oldest son and gramps looks over the gifts my son received for his “half birthday,” I’m trying to write.
What is a half birthday? When I was a kid, there was no such thing as anything but a birthday. It appears there was some concern for those kids who could not celebrate during the year. My son…and I happen to be one of those people. Therefore I am more supportive and empathic about this topic than I might ordinarily be.
In fact, I went to my son’s class for the ceremony. It was really quite impressive. It begins with him wearing a self made crown. He marched to the center of the circle with me at his side. The teacher then brought out the folder with all of his gifts. Remarkably, the gifts included, rainbows, turtles, parts of the world, colorful rain, and many original works of art. I loved it.
The children seemed quite proud of their creations and my son seemed as happy to receive it. If only we as adults could be so happy to receive a rainbow.
The Chicago Tribune reported that this will be the last summer for Kiddie Land. Last summer, my kids had an incredible time there. I had not been there in years. So, great after 81 years, now they’ve got to close it.
Unlike the neighborhood carnivals or the over the top Six Flags, Kiddie land is perfect for the under 10 crowd. The Merry go rounds have this beautifully crafted retro cars, motorcycles and vehicles for the kids to ride on. The wooden roller coasters have all the rumbling and excitement of old school coasters. What I love is you pay one price and then the kids are off: bumper cars, tilt a whirl, log runs, or just riding old cars. I’m not crazy about the free soda, but the kids love it.
The article suggested the owners of the land want to sell it to Costco. Don’t get me wrong, I love Costco. I depend on Costco every month, but it doesn’t seem worth tearing this place down for a giant big box store. When will this country learn to retain something if it has a unique presence or value. Can’t we learn from cities like Rome? Do you really think they are ever going to destroy the Roman Forum for a new Target?
When my kids came home yesterday, they screamed out “mom, took us to old mcDonald’s to eat.” Yikes! And then they showed me the happy meal prize. It was a “Kidz Bop” Cd. I’m not an expert on kids music, but I know that label means any descent song will be completely destroyed. And then to my surprise, I heard the beautiful voice of Cobie Callat, singing the opening to “Bubbly.” I took a sigh of relief until I was assaulted with the sound of a bad childrens choir repeating her words after she sang them. It was so horrible, my sons continued to play it over and over just to see me annoyed.
Trust me, the rest of the CD is not worth listening to. In fact, I would listen to ten repetitions of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Funky Town, before listening to the Kidz Bop version. So imagine my surprise when I heard a lead in for the news, suggesting that parents were not happy with the latest Happy Meal CD.
It appears The Kidz Bop CD No. 6, song 1 is a cover of the song “I Don’t Wanna Be,” originally by Gavin DeGraw. Some jamoks think the guy says “fucking” instead “looking” around. I read this in one of the Hillbilly Newspapers, “When asked if she was concerned about the song being a bad influence, the grandmother said, “If my little grandson is going to go to school and sing it, it’s going to be terrible because if they listen to the CD, they can hear what we hear.”
Let me get this straight, McDonalds is going to put their reputation on the line by having a song for kids with the word, “fucking” on it? You’ve got to be “fucking” Kidzbopping me!
If you’re going to complain about Happy Meal giveaways, check out these:
Many years ago, I remember my wife revealing an inside secret about women and their friendships. She informed me that from a pretty early age, girls can be pretty mean to one another, but it is done in a more indirect way than guys. It made for an interesting dialogue, but I just didn’t get it. And then “Mean Girls” came out and this seemed to validate her observations. But since then, I haven’t run across to many more articles or movies addressing the issue, until yesterday.
In the Sunday NY Times, there was an article entitled, “Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work.” According to this article, “a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.” I guess while our society was obsessed with boys and men, the women were secretly doing some serious smack-down to one another.
Joel H. Neuman, a researcher at the State University of New York at New Paltz, says that “bullying involves verbal or psychological forms of aggressive (hostile) behavior that persists for six months or longer. For instance, over the last 12 months, have you regularly: been glared at in a hostile manner, been given the silent treatment, been treated in a rude or disrespectful manner, or had others fail to deny false rumors about you? If you can actually glare or give the silent treatment for six months or longer, you should also get your props-that is not easy to do.
The Workplace Bullying Institute says that 37 percent of workers have been bullied. If you are like me, at this point, you are just surprised to learn there is actually a place called, ” The Workplace Bullying Institute.” I can’t let a name like that slip by. My mind thinks about the children of parents working there. “hey Joe, where does your dad, work?” “huh?” ” I said where does your dad work, moron?!” “The Workplace Bullying Institute.” “Hey everybody, Joes dad works at the workplace bullying institute-that’s hilarious!”
So while the Bullying Institute may help adults in the work place, it may also be creating a new breed of bully’s and victims in the school yard. Read the whole article, 10women.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=women%20bullies&st=cse&scp=1#
I find it interesting that we can all agree on “mother’s day.” People will protest in the streets and on blogs about the rights of gay people to “marry.” But today, on mothers day, there appears to be no debate.
I wonder why no one is challenging who actually gets to celebrate mothers day. Given all the reasons that have been used to deny gays the right and benefits of getting married; I am surprised no has said only straight women who married straight men, had sex, got pregnant, and had a child could celebrate today.
In fact, how come no one has questioned whether a woman who adopts; has a child out of wedlock; or has a kid through medical interventions is entitled to be called “mom.” I guess I wonder why we’re so comfortable with a woman entering motherhood through any means necessary, but we struggle with a gay couple wanting to be married.