Posts tagged ‘kids’

September 7, 2012

What measures a man

ImageIt been a couple years that I told a 17 years old kid, “What measures man is his actions, not his thought, not  his beliefs. ”

I believe this to be a true statement for all humans. It is our actions that make us who we are. It is our beliefs, opinions, values, morals that help guide our actions.

My son is 11. He is not yet a man, but still not a child. Life here is that of a vast labyrith. There are many twists and turns that lead to great black holes and dead ends. These children’s minds wonder in all directions, but down no road is there a sign that points, “This is the right way my dear child. Please take my hand and I will guide you.” The voices scream from every direction calling to the innocence of youth, making demands, challenging the very virtue of the child.

If I let my son do as he please eventually these voices screaming become reason, justification.  I see this happen all the time. Kids 15 years old stealing cars, doing drugs, having sex. Even the 17 year old had a child at 18.

My expectations are high, not because I expect them to meet them, but rather reach for them.  Everywhere in society kids are getting participation awards, feel good moments. If that’s the case then why do we even bother to educate when, in fact, all we need is a babysitter. There cheaper. Kids need to be challenged, expected to seek accomplishment.

It dawned on me the other day that my son could not cook a simple egg, because I have always made breakfast; I like cooking. He can now. Now he can make his own breakfast everyday, and he will.

I dawned on me that my son just expects me to do his laundry. Not anymore.
I will not feed or walk the dog. I will not check his math homework. They have an app for that. I will not do his chores because he wants to go play. Today he will become the man I want him to be.

He will make decisions. He will provide intelligent anwsers based on his participation in education. He will use critical thinking, and form opinions. He will change his mind when appropriate and seek truths where falacies lie. he will stand up for what he believes in and fight for beliefs where warrented. He will be kind, and do the right thing. And most of all before he leaves this house he will be judged harshly, and critically by the actions he chooses to make.

I will always be there to watch him stumble, to make mistakes and learn lifes lessons. I will catch him when he falls, and place punishment when needed. I will be firm and leave no rock left unturned.

Every failure, every one will lead him to success in life. Each and every achievement much greater than any feel good moment can provide.

Men are great when life is earned. You don’t get an award because your breathing.

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September 2, 2012

Goggle It

There are 2.5 billion google searches a day. Well that’s what google said. I am sure a few of those are mine, your and theirs. That how we become a number.

For one minute let’s just pretend that there was no Internet. It wasn’t long ago that this was the case. You may not be old enough to remember that, but I grew up without Google, and I’m not that old. Google was invented in 1998. Wow, that wasn’t long ago. 1998 was one year before my oldest child was born. Which brings me to the point.

Google it.

Ask a question. Google has the response. Goggle in and of itself has become a household word. You can even ask if Google is god.

Often times my kids will ask some off the wall question I would only know if I was smarter than a fifth grader. I’m not. In fact I have come to the conclusion I don’t really need to be. What is the molecular structure of a plant cell? It depends on the plant, Goggle it. What is the difference between DNA and genetics? Hair color and disease, Goggle it. What would happen if a meteor crashed into my school? You would be dead, Goggle it. How far is it to Texas? Which part of Texas, Goggle it. You get the idea. It’s just random questions.

Today I got another question entirely. Mom if I Goggle everything I want to know then we would never have a conversation. What would life be like if we never spoke again? I instinctively said as I was paying attention to whatever meaningless thing I was doing, Goggle it. With that she walked out of the room.

What would happen? There is so much information on the Internet today I can homeschool my children without the help of educational books supplied to kids prior to 1998. Khan and other websites provide all the math skills anyone could hope for. Science, Social Studies, English, and all the electives you could ever desire are there. Even social media provides interaction on a certain level.

But what if we never spoke again. We could get around this by texting, and of course the social media I mentioned before. The world would be a uniquely quiet place. Click, click, buzz, buzz, ding, ding.

All I’m saying is think about it for a minute and then, Goggle it.

August 30, 2012

Failure

Is there a point in time where you can see the direction of change, the tides turn, and the whiners win. I’m not sure where it came from but here it is. The losers deserve medals, yeah. Who in the hell came up with that. You lost, and now society thinks you deserve a medal. My kid won and gets the same appreciation and acknowledgement as the losers. Wow, I’m so proud to be part of the system.

I’m not being selfish here. Win or lose, we have all been on both sides of the fence. This is my real bitch. My 8th grader is getting happy face stamps on her homework. She is 13 years old. Im sure somewhere there is a psychologist that believes this helps my child’s self esteem. The teacher believes, as I suspect most do at this point as I haven’t seen red marker in years, that a red marker is damaging psychologically. Are you kidding me. What it means is you got the answer wrong. I love red pens. It puts you life into perspective. It separates those who get it and those who don’t. It’ a matter of right and wrong, accountability for you learning or not learning.

Every society from the beginning of time has winners and losers. Those who succeed and those who fail. We have to fail to succeed. It’s a simple concept that the society around me choses to ignore. Participation Award, that just says it all. Not everyone should be on the team. Not everyone should participate. Let’s just say your child wants to play football. He or she, politically correct here, sucks, but gets on the team anyways, politically correct. Your child gets to play every game and because of your child and every other child like yours on the team loses every game. Yeah we all got to participate. We are winners. NO. Your losers. You lost every game and your kid sucks at football.

Different scenario.

Let’s just say that you child tried out for the team and didn’t make the cut. Yep you guessed it feelings got hurt. Oh I’m sorry but get over it and move on. Let’s say because of this failure you child goes into the band, and he is awesome. Let’s just say because some coach said your child sucked at football he succeed in the band. Failure and success. It’s simple. It we succeeded at everything we would have a unfulfilling life. Just think for a minute about the last thing you really failed at. Just think of the last thing you succeed at. Both were equally amazing. We can not have one without the other and be truly successful.

As a parent I encourage my kids to fail. I encourage my kids to make bad choices. I encourage my kids to speak their mind especially to me. I never demand my kids respect. I earn it and they earn mine. I just figure the best place to make life mistakes is at home. Now, have my kids ever said FU to me. Yep they have. Have my kids ever backed talked. Yep, all the time. Life is a funny situation it’s about give and take, loses and wins, failures and success. With respect we make gains, but we have to learn how to get that and we can’t learn without failing first.

The point. Encourage failure it encourages passion for success.

I am an everything goes type of parent. There are no whiners allowed but you are welcome to fail as much as you like. I will always be there to lend a hand up or just crash with you.

June 9, 2011

You should be superman

When is it our responsibility?

I’m currently watching Waiting for Superman while I run on my treadmill. I haven’t seen the whole movie so my opinion may be bit premature. I doubt it. Realizing that the movie is about our tax dollars, unions, and government. Its failing the people. It’s failing our children. Out of this failure lottery, charter,and private schools have arisen. I send my kids to charter school. The school is currently full. Every year there are more and more charter schools popping up. Two elementary schools in my district have closed. With great hope the union will collapse here.

I am no different than parents that live in poverty, or wealthy areas. I want my kids to have a decent education. I want my kids to have better, be better off. We all do.

The statistics are frightening. http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/09/24/movies/24waiting.html

Consider the following statistics cited in the film: the annual cost of prison for an inmate is more than double what is spent on an individual public school student. Eight years after Congress passed the No Child Left Behind act, with the goal of 100 percent proficiency in math and reading, most states hovered between 20 and 30 percent proficiency, and 70 percent of eighth graders could not read at grade level. By 2020, only an estimated 50 million Americans will be qualified to fill 123 million highly skilled, highly paid jobs. Among 30 developed countries, the United States ranks 25th in math and 21st in science.

Just consider the last sentence. 25th and 21st does not make us pioneers. It makes us lazy, complacent. Every parent no matter how poor or wealthy can afford pen and paper. We have resources: library’s, Internet, Discovery channel. We have the power to educate our kids. We have the power to change. We have the right to expect more, demand it.

Its summer and my kids last day of school is Friday. Their education doesn’t stop there. I provide summer school. They write their times tables, division, and this summer algebra. They read, take comprehension tests, write book reports, write stories, work on computers, take field trips. If money allows work a little magic with Lego mind-storm. They learn what the school has failed to teach. I hope.

Our society is passive. We have let the unions, the government, the powers that be use our tax dollars inappropriately in every possible way. We are being bullied into a socialist system. Dependent on the power. But………

We can make a change. Have your children write, read, do math instead of watch tv. Watch educational programs about science, the universe, cooking, animals. We the people can make the change. Together we can demand accountability. Take your children out of public schools. If there is not room demand more charter.

If second place is the first loser then what is twenty fifth place. This is what I see from where I sit. Mommies coddling their children. Poor Johnny’s work is to hard. Poor Johnny needs a trophy for second place. Teachers expect to much. Mommies don’t expect enough. Dude, man up! This is what I see. I say it over and over. I know to many mom like this. I had a mom once tell me I needed to put my mommy hat on. Are you kidding me. How can you achieve great things if your expectations are so low or swaddled in a baby blanket.

June 3, 2011

Talking on kids.

When my kids were about five years old I stopped buying them toys. They had plenty and I just didn’t see the point of buying they something every time we went to the store because it was shiny and new. One should learn to appreciate what they have. Accept that desire, and wants should have limits. This doesn’t mean my kids have gone with out. They haven’t. They just had to work for it. At five there were simple things like helping pick up, or doing an educational lesson to earn a toy.

Now my kids are ten and eleven. I want them to grow up with a work ethic. Life isn’t free to me so I don’t think it should be free to them. My son rides motocross. There is the fuel for the bike and truck. The maintenance on the bike. The cost of the gear. The price to get into the motocross park. My daughter has a social life, dance and she is into electronics. Every thing costs money. Needless to say it isn’t cheep, and I have to work to pay for it. I think they should to.

I decided the other day that I shouldn’t have to clean house anymore, or at the very least not have to do all of it. Now I’m not a super clean freak so their best effort will be enough. Their chores include sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms, picking up their stuff in the living room, and putting away their laundry. These chores earn them the right to play on the weekend. I don’t often harass them about their rooms, but ask that they take dirty dishes down stairs and clean it on occasion. Any other chores they do can earn the money to spend and I’m pretty generous if they have done their best.

Summer is upon us and lists have been made both for chores and homeschool. Yes, they get home schooled in the summer. A teacher told me once that kids fall back three months over summer break. I would like to deter that and maybe advance them a bit, so getting school work done is mandatory above all else.

It is just my belief that since I brought these children into the world I should make every attempt to teach them morals, ethic and values. I should make sure that they are educated, so they can function at a higher level. They should know how to cook, clean and be able to sustain their life. They should have a sense of duty and responsibility. They should be mentally, and emotionally stable. Very important, they should be able to handle and communicate in any given situation.

My kids play on an average of two to three hours a day after school. They go to bed by eight because studies show that a well rested kid makes better grades, reasons and rationalizes situations better, has a better attitude, and is more likely to be well adjusted to society. I believe this. There are no alarm clocks in my house. Once or twice a year they oversleep. We are late for school, but they have had their rest and that’s important. Waking up naturally means the brain and body have finished all functions and the body is ready to take on the tasks for the day.

As a parent I have chance to make an impression everyday. Time is fleeting.

May 29, 2011

Chaney Ranch

This is an updated post. Jantz sent us a video he made of our son. And quit frankly I am super stoked about it.

May 29, 2011

Funny little things

Years ago long before kids. My husband and I were grocery shopping. As I walked down the isle I said, “I can’t remember that one thing. I know I’m forgetting something.” Just that split second as we came around the isle he says while passing another slightly older couple, ” If we’d had sex last night you could had made a grocery list.” more often than not I just ignore him, but I hear the older gentlemen laughing and whispering to his wife, so my husband gets the glare and the eye roll which makes him proud. That is one of my favorite memories without a doubt.

When my daughter was three we were at Sams club. I told my daughter to wait with nana while I put her brother in the car. She didn’t. She ran into the parking lot. I took here back to nana. She ran into the parking lot again. I was getting irritated at this point. Then she wouldn’t get in her car seat. She made her body stiff as a board. I was seriously irritated. This went on for a few more minutes. I took her out and we were standing at the back of my SUV discussing. Ok, I was talking and she was being a stubborn child. So, I picked up a gallon of water and proceeded to pour some of it over her head. I figured this ought to cool her off. Nope. She said, ” Now I have to change my jammmies!” I love that moment. The look in her eyes. The tone of her voice. Her stubborn attitude. I will never, no not ever forget that day. That is truly my awesome daughter.

My son is funny to. He is very observant. He can turn observation in to a comedy. Just the other day we were at Food for Less. I asked him to bag the groceries and mentioned that my bags were in the cart. I proceeded to finish paying and as I turned around I noticed he didn’t use my bags. “Didn’t you hear me say the bags were in the cart.” “Yep” he says. “Those bags are for Vons. You can’t use them here.” I did not know this. He was quit serious, so I took him for his word. I will know better next time to bring the appropriate store bags. My son is very mechanical and sees the world without shades of gray. Not a day goes by without observational comedy. What’s not to love about this.

May 23, 2011

Driving

Today as I am driving to the gas station after dropping off my kids I notice a man walking across the street before. He was of average height and build. Looked to be normal. Had everyday casual clothes on. Just walking across the street going from point a to b. I wonder where he is going. What he mint be thinking or whom he might be thinking about. Then like poof his whole life story pops in my head. I have made it all up.

He grew up here loving to surf and play guitar. He’s a musician by trade, but work is tough. The pay even tougher. So when he comes to run his errands he parks in a central location and walks. He figures it’s a good way to think and get exercise because he cancelled his gym membership. He needed to money to feed his two kids.

His wife is an RN at the local hospital. She is well educated and loves the sound his guitar makes when he plays. That’s how they fell in love. In a small jazz club. Recently she had to take a pay cut. He finds ways to save money by clipping coupons, walking, and car pooling with other parents.

You know his daughter is quite the budding ballerina. She dreams if being the princess in this falls play. His son is a star football player and practices hard to make it to the draft, although that is years away. Both kids play guitar to humor dad, but neither want to be a musician.

I have named him Joe because it’s an easy name. Joe is rather content walking. A happy man and I smile at the happy life I have given him.

After I get fuel its off to the dance studio to register my daughter for next season. I notice an older women sitting in her SUV just outside. Of course I have a story for her as well.

She’s a grandmother of two rather bouncy young girls. Who she takes care of while their mother is at work. No, she doesn’t live with them, but there’s are plans for that in the future when the housing market gets better and she can sell her house.

In the car she is discussing the dance schedule with her daughter. Who use to love to dance. She has fond memories of that. Now her granddaughters fill that void with twirling bodied, swinging arms, and dancing feet.

This is my usual day. Making up stories about people. Today they were happy. Sometimes they are tragic. But, there is always a story to be told.

May 21, 2011

Failing

I read a featured post yesterday on failing , so here are my thoughts.

My honest emotions are infuriating. Failing is a part of life. In fact it’s how we find what we are good at. Aristotle was probably not good at sports, but rather philosophy. What if we had told Aristotle he was a great soccer player, a winner. What if based on that he became a athlete only to find after years of playing he didn’t make the cut and was told he sucked. Finally, someone was honest, but he had wasted years because of perpetual lying. That’s how I look at it. Why lie. Yes the truth hurts. Why teach your children to lie. A white, small, little lie is still a lie.

My daughter likes to sing, she sucks at it. It doesn’t mean however that she can’t find personal joy in it. My son, terrible at drawing. It doesn’t mean he can’t make a beautiful picture or find joy in the arts. These shouldn’t be career choices.

I am blatantly truthful with my kids, for some that makes me a bad parent. This is a perfect example. When my son started riding motocross tracks (mx) he struggled but loved it. One day the track was dry not up to his liking. He complained incessantly. I got mad and this is what I said, ” You can be a whiney little cry baby girl and we can go home and have a tea party or you can man up and get the job done. I’m done with your whining. Either take off your gear or ride.” I was mean. I could have been nicer for sure, but that was the turning point. He chose to man up. He accepted the conditions of the track and rode. Now he’s a rockstar on 85’s. He’s a great rider that can conquer any condition set before him. This is his passion in life. He lives and breathes it. Mx was his choice. He made it and his is willing to face any necessary consequences. The only rule I have is simple. The day you want to give it up, walk away just say so, and we will be done. I don’t see that day ever coming. He has given up holidays, parties with friends, and all unnecessary luxuries for this. He will make a great man.

Im not a fan of team sports, because there are losers and winners although that’s not how it’s played. Telling a kid he is a winner all the time only leads to a false sense of security and self worth. Have you watched the auditions for American Idol. For some they were told how great they are all of their life. Their self esteem is huge. They have a false sense of awesomeness. Randy says the suck. They go home crying. They have been living under an umbrella of lies because nobody wanted to hurt their feelings. Now what. If someone had just been honest then another greater path could have been taken. Time, life was wasted on lies.

That’s just the way I see it. Lies waste life, talent, and ultimately builds a strong resentment rather than a bond of respect. Sure I hurt my child’s feelings when I tell them they suck at something, but my kids will do great things because I was honest. My daughter is eleven and taking college for kids courses all summer. She is an amazing learner. She wants to do this. My son is at Chaney Ranch riding with pros, because he has passion and commitment. Both of my kids are individuals who make choices, decisions, face consequences, just like I do. Just because they are young doesn’t make them incapable of handling life. They are. They want to.

May 20, 2011

Chaney Ranch

Tomorrow my boy is riding at Chaney ranch. Its invite only and many great riders will be there. I’m always nervous when he goes to a new track, of course, I’m mom. When he was eight or nine he said, “Mom, it’s ok if I die out there.” That’s what every mom wants to hear, but he’s focused and dedicated to his sport. I admire that he is willing to give it his all despite any negative consequences. This is my son.

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