Author Topic: What Happened???  (Read 20235 times)

Offline milomorris

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What Happened???
« on: February 08, 2012, 01:56:55 am »

"Remember when brothas had class!! What happened?!!"
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 03:49:26 am »
So I was sitting with my young cousin gettin my hairs did and came up with the idea of sewing the droopy jeans to the underwear so I didn't have to watch those young bucks trying to run across the street while holding their pants up. Turns out someone else already came up with the idea...

My cousin and his friends wore three piece suits when they were in high school.

My mother would not allow us to wear shorts in winter

Society becomes more and more casual over time and parents allow more and more bad behavior.

Heathen

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 05:40:16 am »
Remember these guys?






Or these, from the eighties?






In the fifties, when my mother was a young woman, women in trousers still created discomposure. Even with me, my parents tried to force me into dresses on Sundays. ::) :P

In the late sixties and seventies, there were the hippies; in the 80ies we had the punks; ravers in the 90ies, and so on.

Youth has always, and will always, create their own subculture. Outfits are an important part of it. And of course the outfits are meant to create discomfort, aversion and irritation among the older generation. That's the whole purpose of it, distancing themselves from their elders.

If the young wore outfits that were different, but acceptable to the older generation, it wouldn't make much sense, now would it?


Personally, I'm not keen on the low hanging pants and übercool attitude of the guys in the right picture. But this too shall pass.
Not everybody in the fifties had "class". There were 'outsiders/misfits' too. Rock 'n Roll and everything it stands for had the potential to shock the older generation back then. Or women in pants, like I already said.
And not every young person nowadays goes with their pants in their knees.

Once a trend reaches a certain mass of followers, it changes from 'cool outsider' status to mainstream, gets dampened down by fashion industry and in the end the tamed version of it gets broadly accepted in societey. Which of course makes it then useless for provocation, and the young will find another trend. ;D


Low, baggy pants, heavy tattoos and huge chains will not be the end of civilization as we know it. ;)

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 10:03:11 am »

"Remember when brothas had class!! What happened?!!"

It wasn't just "brothas" who used to have class.  :( I remember when my mother used to dress up to go shopping. Who does that anymore?  :(

Possibly the first step on the slippery slope came when JFK made it unfashionable for men to wear hats.  ;)

Those young guys on the right have nice bodies. ...
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 12:22:47 pm »
If these young men only knew what that look symbolized (some may know and don't care) I'm sure most would rethink their decision to wear their pants on the ground. 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 12:34:44 pm »
If these young men only knew what that look symbolized (some may know and don't care) I'm sure most would rethink their decision to wear their pants on the ground. 

 ???

I don't understand how they keep them from falling all the way down. Or walk in them.  :-\
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Monika

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 12:36:49 pm »
I gotta say that I don´t care one bit. Times change, fashions come and go. Sometimes it might be hard to understand dress codes in certain groups, but that´s because we´re not part of it. Within the group itself, it probably makes perfect sense. Clothes can mean so many different things.

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 12:38:18 pm »
I gotta say that I don´t care one bit. Times change, fashions come and go. Sometimes it might be hard to understand dress codes in certain groups, but that´s because we´re not part of it. Within the group itself, it probably makes perfect sense.

It only bothers me to a certain point.  I guess someone from my generation can be a bit old fashioned.

Offline Penthesilea

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 12:57:03 pm »
It only bothers me to a certain point.  I guess someone from my generation can be a bit old fashioned.


I'd say someone from your generation, or mine, or Milo's, Jeff's is supposed to be bothered by it. ;D :laugh:

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 01:26:06 pm »
With all due respect, I have to tell those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto culture that what we see in the "Today" picture is FAR more than just a fashion statement, or generational rebellion. The guys are consciously emulating criminals. They are embracing criminal behavior, and a criminal mind-set. They hold the values of criminals up as ideals. They have lost touch with legitimate masculine culture, and instead have connected with the worst masculinity has to offer.

This is not just kids being kids. It is contributing to the destruction of the black community, and it should not be take lightly.

The Dream has turned into a nightmare.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 01:28:29 pm »

I'd say someone from your generation, or mine, or Milo's, Jeff's is supposed to be bothered by it. ;D :laugh:


I guess I'm not especially bothered by a little glimpse of boxer above the trouser waistband--though I think the fashion is silly.

When the trousers hang so low they look as if they're about to fall down--that's just stupid.

I suppose it's supposed to mean, "Kiss my *ss," or, perhaps, "F*ck my *ss," as in "F*ck my *ss if you can," but either way, it's all dumb.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Monika

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 01:35:06 pm »
With all due respect, I have to tell those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto culture that what we see in the "Today" picture is FAR more than just a fashion statement, or generational rebellion. The guys are consciously emulating criminals. They are embracing criminal behavior, and a criminal mind-set. They hold the values of criminals up as ideals. They have lost touch with legitimate masculine culture, and instead have connected with the worst masculinity has to offer.

This is not just kids being kids. It is contributing to the destruction of the black community, and it should not be take lightly.

The Dream has turned into a nightmare.


I have no idea if these guys belong to the ghetto culture (whatever that is) or not. I can tell you though that pants are hanging low on kids in Sweden too.

this reminds me of when people critizised Elvis for shaking his hips too much, or when people thought that The Beatle´s long hair meant that armageddon was near.

The dream is dead? I´m not sure when the first pic was taken, but it might have been at a point when blacks couldn´t even sit in the front of the buss. The kids in the latter on the other hand, have equal rights.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 01:55:28 pm »
  Well I don't know how much my own opinion would be accepted.  However I have lived longer than most of you.  I have seen all the phases of fashion, decorum, dance, and music.  Behavior, both sexual, and social, come and go.  All I can say is, they are always new to the generation at hand, and irritating to most of the generations that have gone before.
  I don't know how much you know about the fifties, when I was growing up.  However as has been mentioned here, Rock, "and Roll," was just emerging.  There were lots and lots of older people who thought it was going to be the downfall of the entire culture.  Specially when Elvis came along and gyrated his hips in such a suggestive fashion.  He was photographed from the waist up in most of his appearances, and given a very large birth by the established radio and music industry.  I look back on it now and want to cry foul to those people that now call him  "The King."  I wonder how many of those folks are some of the converts, that first deplored him.   Next big jump was the Beatles of the 60s, with their horrendous long hair.  lol.  People were outraged by that hairstyle, and the Stones, welll don't get me started.  People thought that they were devils.  May I regress a bit, the fifties were the place where low riding pants became fashion.  Not to the degree that they are nowdays, but no one back then were skate boarders, "boarders," either.  There was no such thing.  But I myself wore the Levis, which were the mainstay for jeans. " Lowered," to much the same level as low rise jeans now come.  Back then it was totally scandalous to most older folks too.  But then the level was not the reason that it became popular now.  It had nothing to do with sport, and by association juvenile gangs, etc.  it was just cool.   So to speak.   
   I have to say, having children who were the first group to wear long hair,,(which drove my husband up the tree.)  I didn't mind it myself.  Then the pants thing, because they too were the first to have skateboards as well.  It is just much easier to manuver on one of those things with baggy pants.  Then there was the striped, and patterned pants of that time, with the huge bell bottoms, as you can find on many of the singing groups back then.  That was very odd.  But hugely popular.  The bigger the bell the cooler the outfit.  Of course like all things, it was finally tempered to the now very acceptable "boot cut jeans." 
  I know that I am not covering all the ups and downs, and in and out of fashion, of accepted behavior, or music.  However I can say this much.  It has one thing in common.  Change!  It is keeping the generations separated, and unique for the time they are pre pubescent, and teenage.  Usually moderating in the twenties to thirties.  Of course as I mentioned there are certain aspects of each thing that is "changed to fit."  Then forever becoming a part of the general use and vernacular.
I personally think it is heathy.  It allows for each succeeding generation to establish its own identity.  While at the same time keeping them for the most part just a tad off of the center, allowing them to fall back in line with the general accepted behavior.  Not leaving too much of themselves out in the cold.  Sooner or later as I say, usually in the twenties at the latest, they realize it is not a thing that they have further need of.  They are independent, proud, and ready to make their generations next mark on the world.   In short its a harmless way for all concerned to come to terms with the way the different generations will fit into the whole.  A bit old, a bit new, a bit weird, but a cohesive thing.  It only makes a richer soup.  If you will.



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Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 02:55:19 pm »
If the Dream is broken, can it be fixed? Or can it be stood?

If I were the king of the world I would decree that the world be fixed, but I am not the king.

I am willing to work to make the world a better place, but in most instances am at a total loss as to how to go about it. Say I addressed these two young men, I could tell them I understand this look comes from imprisoned men advertizing they are available for sex. I could ask them if that is the message they are sending. I would probably be in a lot of trouble if I did.

So I wish them a nice day and go on.

I think there is a lot of standing things in life.
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 05:23:56 pm »
As a child, I remember dressing up in a shirt, tie, dress pants and suit jacket when going out to eat, going to Sunday Mass, etc...

And I remember dressing up to board an airplane. Everyone dressed up back then. Mom would put on a nice dress when simply going to the grocery.

It's interesting how things change over time, and the evolving clothing styles from one generation to the next. Janice, I remember the bell bottom jeans and the silk screen shirts. And the denim vests. And even the scarves we wore around our necks with the little silver or wooden ring to hold it in place. Mom and Dad were shocked and disgusted with me.

I am not necessarily offended with the fashion styles of today's youth. I just don't understand it. I suppose that is the whole point of it though.  :)
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Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 06:36:13 pm »
What happens in popular culture, and the meaning of it, for one community of people does not have the same meaning in another.
I know where Milo is coming from-my feelings are pretty similar. When you have the memory of struggle of the civil rights movement and you see kids today with no knowledge of or respect for that struggle it just maikes you want to stab yourself in the forehead. It demoralizes me when my people play into the stereotypes that keep us chained. And I know that much of that is my issue but it is how I feel.

Pants hanging low on kids in Sweden does not come near having the same meaning as pants hanging low on black kids in south central Los Angeles...

Heathen

Offline Sason

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 07:10:56 pm »
Excuse me for being ignorant, I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about American black culture. Of course I know about the civil rights movement, but that's about it.

What I do understand though, is the despair in realizing that young people's memory is so short they don't know what happened only one or two generations back, and that they lose the connection with their own roots and history of their people.

Back to my ignorance: in what way do those outfits show lack of knowledge of black history? What do they symbolize?
It's a bit embarrassing, but I have to ask.

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 07:37:25 pm »
Eh, let them wear their pants low when they're doing their shopping or whatever in their private lives.  When they fall down - and they will - we can all laugh.  ;D

Seen too many "Worlds' Dumbest Criminals" where the perps, wearing their pants too low - and not thinking they needed to change them when committing a crime - either trip or have their pants fall down when running from the man.  It's hysterical and on national TV for everyone to point and laugh.

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 08:59:25 pm »
I know where Milo is coming from-my feelings are pretty similar. When you have the memory of struggle of the civil rights movement and you see kids today with no knowledge of or respect for that struggle it just makes you want to stab yourself in the forehead. It demoralizes me when my people play into the stereotypes that keep us chained. And I know that much of that is my issue but it is how I feel.

I would think it would make you want to smack them in the head.  :-\

Quote
What happens in popular culture, and the meaning of it, for one community of people does not have the same meaning in another.
Pants hanging low on kids in Sweden does not come near having the same meaning as pants hanging low on black kids in south central Los Angeles...

I guess it's just my American cultural imperialism showing itself, but I was kind of wondering how much this is Swedish kids imitating an American style just because it is an American style.  :-\
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 09:02:13 pm »
Excuse me for being ignorant, I'm afraid I don't know a whole lot about American black culture. Of course I know about the civil rights movement, but that's about it.

What I do understand though, is the despair in realizing that young people's memory is so short they don't know what happened only one or two generations back, and that they lose the connection with their own roots and history of their people.

Back to my ignorance: in what way do those outfits show lack of knowledge of black history? What do they symbolize?
It's a bit embarrassing, but I have to ask.

It is in Milo's post-embracing a "gangsta" culture is both dangerous-there are plenty of people out there ready to disregard the youth rebellion argument and just take things at face value-and a bit of a slap in the face IMO to my aunts and uncles who put themselves in harms way in Birmingham AL fighting for our civil rights.
Baggy pants in and of themselves is not the issue-it is the rest of what goes into "the look"

Heathen

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2012, 10:09:08 pm »
This isn't about fashion, rebellion, or generational differences. This is about a criminal culture. I think it sucks that some white people are so disconnected that they think its "cute."

It isn't. Its destroying neighborhoods.  

Just because "Swedish kids do it too" doesn't make it OK. Glorification of criminality is only the tip of the iceberg. We're talking about children who want to become criminals. They see it as a positive character trait, a position of power, and a worthy lifestyle.

What would you think if your daughter came home and said "I'm the cutest ho in Houston." Or your son declared "Dem Colombians ain't got nuffin' on me."  

Yes, ladies & gentlemen, these are direct quotes from my family members.

Do y'all get it now? Or do I need to go into more detail?  
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2012, 10:23:34 pm »
Just because "Swedish kids do it too" doesn't make it OK. Glorification of criminality is only the tip of the iceberg. We're talking about children who want to become criminals. They see it as a positive character trait, a position of power, and a worthy lifestyle.

Do y'all get it now?? Or do I need to go into more detail? 

I think parental failure has a lot to do with these kids' attitudes.  If more of them had father figures to teach them what it means to be a responsible black man, we wouldn't have kids embracing such a dangerous lifestyle.  My father raised my brother to be a good husband and father.  It worked, of course.  My brother was named City of Oakland's Father of the Year twice in a row.  His 3 boys are all in college and would never be allowed out of the house with their pants on the ground.  My nephews are amazing young men who are respectful (one is a bit high strung  ;D) and they have a great fashion sense.   ;)

I don't place all the blame on these kids.  They're the products of those who raised them, in most cases.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2012, 10:31:04 pm »
I think parental failure has a lot to do with these kids' attitudes.  If more of them had father figures to teach them what it means to be a responsible black man, we wouldn't have kids embracing such a dangerous lifestyle.  My father raised my brother to be a good husband and father.  It worked, of course.  My brother was named City of Oakland's Father of the Year twice in a row.  His 3 boys are all in college and would never be allowed out of the house with their pants on the ground.  My nephews are amazing young men who are respectful (one is a bit high strung  ;D) and they have a great fashion sense.   ;)

I don't place all the blame on these kids.  They're the products of those who raised them, in most cases.

Amen. And good for your brother. Sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to meet. You know what I'm talking about. You've seen it go both ways.

It ain't about the pants.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2012, 10:34:29 pm »
Amen. And good for your brother. Sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to meet. You know what I'm talking about. You've seen it go both ways.

It ain't about the pants.

Thanks!  Yes, he is a good man, although he tortured my sister and I, being the oldest and all!  :laugh: 

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2012, 10:42:25 pm »
My father would have shot my brother himself if he ever saw him trying to be a thug-pants included. My brother is not perfect but he turned out to be a decent man.
My parents were pretty no nonsense people and I guess I'm ok with that-especially after hearing my neighbors 16 year daughter repeatedly tell her to f-off and shut the f-up and get out of her f*ing face. I would be dead. D.E.A.D.

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Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2012, 10:50:45 pm »
My father would have shot my brother himself if he ever saw him trying to be a thug-pants included. My brother is not perfect but he turned out to be a decent man.
My parents were pretty no nonsense people and I guess I'm ok with that-especially after hearing my neighbors 16 year daughter repeatedly tell her to f-off and shut the f-up and get out of her f*ing face. I would be dead. D.E.A.D.

I hear ya!  My brother would still have our fathers' hands around his neck if he pulled such a stunt!  Our dad has been dead for 30 years, but if my brother went out with his pants on the ground, or sassed him, or any adult for that matter,  we would still be trying to pry those bony hands from beyond the grave away from his neck!

That neighbor girl sounds like a real prize.  And sadly, there are a lot of girls like her out there.  I'll say it again: parental failure.  I wouldn't even open my mouth to say that to my mom.  Actually, I would have come away with little in my mouth but bloody gums if I addressed my mother in that fashion!

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2012, 12:36:35 am »
Did we have the same mother?

Heathen

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2012, 01:15:04 am »
Did we have the same mother?

 :laugh: They may be distant cousins! 

Offline Monika

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2012, 01:33:13 am »
This isn't about fashion, rebellion, or generational differences. This is about a criminal culture. I think it sucks that some white people are so disconnected that they think its "cute."

It isn't. Its destroying neighborhoods.  

Just because "Swedish kids do it too" doesn't make it OK. Glorification of criminality is only the tip of the iceberg. We're talking about children who want to become criminals. They see it as a positive character trait, a position of power, and a worthy lifestyle.

What would you think if your daughter came home and said "I'm the cutest ho in Houston." Or your son declared "Dem Colombians ain't got nuffin' on me."  

Yes, ladies & gentlemen, these are direct quotes from my family members.

Do y'all get it now? Or do I need to go into more detail?  
It´s not low-hanging pants that are "destroying your neighborhood", Milo.

My point with pointing out that Swedish kids wear low-riding pants too, is that low-riding pants by themselves don´t mean anything. To go after a specific item of clothes, is rather pointless and does nothing to address any real issues.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 02:09:28 am »
    I do get it.  In spite of what you may think.  However, I don't think that the gangsta attitude is because of the clothing.  I think that has
more to do with the drug use and sales.  Those kinds of things are immigrating from one city to another.  They were in Los Angeles, in the seventies.  Just starting to become a force that had to be reckoned with.  Now Portland is having close to one killing a day, that is suspected to be gang related.  I was living there at the time, and worked with a woman at the phone company whose cousin was one of the first that were shot by the gangs.  She was a beautiful black woman, and we were very good friends at work.  However as we left work one evening, her husband was picking her up.  He looked at me for a very long time, and frowned, and I saw him saying something obviously angry to her, as she got into the car.  From then on we were only casual, and she only spoke to me when it was almost compulsory.  He had obviously been very angry to see her associating with a white woman.  I didn't even ask her the problem, it was more or less, just accepted that we both understood the problem, and let it be..

    I think now back on that happening, and am sorry that I was not informed enough to say something to her.  It was not too long after that, the Watts Riots happened.  I was suitably appauled, but at the same time, I did understand the reasons that brought that neighborhood to that end.  I rode the red car through that neighborhood every day, back and forth to work.  I saw the terrible poverty, and the obvious alcoholism, the whole run of problems that existed there.  It was horrid.  Yet the people I also noticed that rode the cars with me were a great mix.  Some were well off, some were bedraggled, and some were drunk.  Most were just like me.  Just going back and forth to work.  I am just saying what I saw.  I am sure it was not the entire picture that existed there.  It was just my observation from the view of a 16 yr old girl basically nieve and uneducated to those terribe issues.  i had had practically no connection to black people.  Never seen an alcoholic, or people standing on the street outside a liquor store, drinking in public.  A few, but not many.  I just saw them as people.  Beautiful babies, beautiful young women, and men.  Then others that were a bit scary to be around.  I can't apologize for the view that I had.  It was what it was.  Only uneducated.  I must say that I saw a large group of people overall.  Some were very handsomly dressed as you spoke about, but also others that were totally not.  So maybe I am admitting that I did seem to be saying it is cute to dress like hoodlums.  However I think anything but that.  I just don't think that the clothes people wear, make them criminals or non criminals.  Mob members, and dope dealers are both able to dress in the nicest of clothes.  On the other hand, the most modest of homes, without all the fancy dress, have as high a moral rate and kind wonderful people as can be found.  I can say that one of my closest  friends while living in Sacramento was the very
proof of that.  She was on welfare, dressed ok, but far from nice, like the examples in the pictures,  but she was as fine a woman, as I have ever known.  In other words, i do not believe, contrary to the addage, "clothes, make the man/woman."  Its his/her heart, thoughts, and behaviors that do that.
   In my mind, prejudice in whatever form it takes.  Anti black, anti gay, anti semite, anti hispanic or any other type, is the cause for gang behavior, or dress.  Also carrying guns, and knives to places in anticipation of using them.  That is a problem that should be checked.  It really does hurt and maim or kill.  Clothes, no matter how repugnant they may be to us in one way or another, are not really dangerous.  Simply distasteful. 



     Beautiful mind

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2012, 02:50:15 am »
I think we were pretty clear that it isn't the pants themselves but the attitude that goes along with a certain style of dress. None of us are stupid enough to believe that pants are bringing down the neighborhood  ::) Criminal culture is what is bringing down the many of these communities and that was pretty clearly expressed.

And don't think for a second that low riding pants "don't mean anything". Maybe they don't where you live. Your experience is only your experience.

Heathen

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2012, 09:42:56 am »
Did we have the same mother?

My mother must have been distantly in that family tree, too. You should have seen the whuppin' I got, aged about 5 or 6, when she caught me swearing. After that a four-letter word did not cross my lips until I was in college!  ;)  :laugh:
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2012, 10:40:17 am »
I think we were pretty clear that it isn't the pants themselves but the attitude that goes along with a certain style of dress. None of us are stupid enough to believe that pants are bringing down the neighborhood  ::) Criminal culture is what is bringing down the many of these communities and that was pretty clearly expressed.

And don't think for a second that low riding pants "don't mean anything". Maybe they don't where you live. Your experience is only your experience.

Exactly. The clothes are an expression of the mind set. So it does mean something.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2012, 12:23:56 pm »
So how about the media, the system that promotes a "Thug Culture" for lack of a better description? The ones who promote an attitude to facilitate sales of their fashion wear, the bling that goes with it?

What is a community to do? What is a larger world to do?
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline Monika

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2012, 12:46:51 pm »
I think we were pretty clear that it isn't the pants themselves but the attitude that goes along with a certain style of dress. None of us are stupid enough to believe that pants are bringing down the neighborhood  ::) Criminal culture is what is bringing down the many of these communities and that was pretty clearly expressed.

And don't think for a second that low riding pants "don't mean anything". Maybe they don't where you live.

I´m sure low riding pants mean something to some of the people where I live, but I´m not sure what. Some people I´m sure wear them as a fashion statement, others might wear it for other reasons. But what is clear is that all people wearing low riding pants don´t do it for the same reasons. Judging people by the way they dress might be very misleading.

But if we agree that the pants themselves ain´t the problem, then why not focus on the real issues. Powerty, unemployment etc etc. These are of course very hard to solve issues, but the whole pants thing seems to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors to me.
Quote
Your experience is only your experience.
I´m not sure what you mean by that. Of course my experience is...well...mine. But it´s not anymore "only" than anyone else´s, I imagine.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2012, 12:56:43 pm »
So how about the media, the system that promotes a "Thug Culture" for lack of a better description? The ones who promote an attitude to facilitate sales of their fashion wear, the bling that goes with it?

What is a community to do? What is a larger world to do?

And don't forget the music industry.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2012, 12:58:52 pm »
So how about the media, the system that promotes a "Thug Culture" for lack of a better description? The ones who promote an attitude to facilitate sales of their fashion wear, the bling that goes with it?

What is a community to do? What is a larger world to do?

Back in 1982, I went through a punk fashion phase. It lasted about 1 year. My folks stayed on my back about it until I stopped. I remember bumping into my grandmother on the train one morning. At the next stop, she stood up, told me she didn't want to be seen with me dressed that way, and got into the next car.

It is the responsibility of adults to teach children what is appropriate, and what is not. Back in the day, it didn't matter if the adult in question was family or not. Any adult had the right to criticize a child. The words "I'm going to tell your mother" would strike terror in us. The result was that we tried not to do anything that anyone would want to tell our mothers about. Or at least not get caught.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2012, 01:04:26 pm »
But if we agree that the pants themselves ain´t the problem, then why not focus on the real issues. Powerty, unemployment etc etc. These are of course very hard to solve issues, but the whole pants thing seems to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors to me.

Maybe, but maybe not.

Just a thought--and it's only a thought, sort of wondering, with nothing whatsoever to back it up--but I do wonder whether there might not be something here comparable to how when police and government focus on so-called "quality of life" issues, like graffiti and broken windows and so forth, more serious crime also seems to decrease.

Maybe if parents absolutely refused to let their kids go out with their pants around their knees--made them dress respectably--an attitude change would follow?

I don't know. As I said, just wondering. ...
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2012, 01:31:14 pm »
Maybe, but maybe not.

Just a thought--and it's only a thought, sort of wondering, with nothing whatsoever to back it up--but I do wonder whether there might not be something here comparable to how when police and government focus on so-called "quality of life" issues, like graffiti and broken windows and so forth, more serious crime also seems to decrease.

Maybe if parents absolutely refused to let their kids go out with their pants around their knees--made them dress respectably--an attitude change would follow?

I don't know. As I said, just wondering. ...

I agree. My experience has been that neighborhoods where the residents maintain their homes, yards, and the street in general experience lower crime rates. Criminals are less likely to "crim" in a place where people care. They might just pick up the phone and dial 911, or testify against them in court.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Sason

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2012, 02:22:59 pm »
It is in Milo's post-embracing a "gangsta" culture is both dangerous-there are plenty of people out there ready to disregard the youth rebellion argument and just take things at face value-and a bit of a slap in the face IMO to my aunts and uncles who put themselves in harms way in Birmingham AL fighting for our civil rights.
Baggy pants in and of themselves is not the issue-it is the rest of what goes into "the look"

Ok, so that's why the clothes are offending; because they represent a criminal lifestyle.
That's the part I didn't get, because I didn't know what those clothes symbolize in the black community.

The rest of what you're saying I totally get.

Düva pööp is a förce of natüre

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2012, 03:53:00 pm »
My mother must have been distantly in that family tree, too. You should have seen the whuppin' I got, aged about 5 or 6, when she caught me swearing. After that a four-letter word did not cross my lips until I was in college!  ;)  :laugh:

Yep, same mom. I still don't swear in front of my parents. When we were teens, my sister got yelled at by my father (he was not a spanker) and when he walked out the front door she let out a string of profanity directed at him. The door opened and he walked back in and asked "what did you say?" I think she nearly pooped her pants. There was never a repeat of that behavior  ;D

Heathen

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2012, 04:17:10 pm »
I´m sure low riding pants mean something to some of the people where I live, but I´m not sure what. Some people I´m sure wear them as a fashion statement, others might wear it for other reasons. But what is clear is that all people wearing low riding pants don´t do it for the same reasons. Judging people by the way they dress might be very misleading.

But if we agree that the pants themselves ain´t the problem, then why not focus on the real issues. Powerty, unemployment etc etc. These are of course very hard to solve issues, but the whole pants thing seems to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors to me. I´m not sure what you mean by that. Of course my experience is...well...mine. But it´s not anymore "only" than anyone else´s, I imagine

I don't think anyone is "focusing" on the pants in attempting to address the issues of poverty/ lack of opportunity/detrimental media inf.luence-lifestyle is just a touch point for the bigger issue. Smoke and mirrors to you, something totally different to those of us most impacted by the problems in our community. When black men are constantly fighting the stereotype of being criminals, what do you think immature young men immulating that lifestyle does?? Not to mention that it sets them up as targets for those who are easily "mislead" by the way they dress. They way you dress can get you killed.

 Which is what I mean by "your experience is only yours". It is helpful to have some experience in order to gain some insight. Hang out in Compton or Inglewood or Watts for a couple of years. Spend time with multiple generations of black families. I guarantee you will have a different idea of what constitutes smoke and mirrors.

Heathen

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2012, 09:58:56 pm »
Back in 1982, I went through a punk fashion phase. It lasted about 1 year. My folks stayed on my back about it until I stopped. I remember bumping into my grandmother on the train one morning. At the next stop, she stood up, told me she didn't want to be seen with me dressed that way, and got into the next car.

It is the responsibility of adults to teach children what is appropriate, and what is not. Back in the day, it didn't matter if the adult in question was family or not. Any adult had the right to criticize a child. The words "I'm going to tell your mother" would strike terror in us. The result was that we tried not to do anything that anyone would want to tell our mothers about. Or at least not get caught.

  The truth is now agreed upon.  The parenting and fostering of the children, is the real problem.  So many of these children are themselves, products of gang members, drug addicts, alcoholic parents.  Absentee parents.  So many of the issues that have developed in these neighborhoods.  They are craving a place to belong.  A person who they can identify with.  They find a group, usually of their own age group, that accepts them, calls them family ie (gangs, or drug sales.  Pimps) etc.  They finally find that connection that they have so craved.  Throughout their life.  It is negative, but cohesive, it has rules, which they have had little of in life.  In short it is a defacto family.  That is the place they go.  That is the people they identify with.  Therefor they then dress in the manner of those persons.  They will by joining these groups become an integral part of it.  It will help them defend their life, and territory.  Natural tendancies are to join these gangs.  It is the first step in a line of death.  They accept the chance at a death.  They themselves participate in causing them as well.  If you live in that kind of neighborhood, you are almost forced to become one of them.  In order to survive.  No matter, that it is a one way cycle, leading to imprisonment, or death.  I have even heard them say, very casually.  How they understand that it is probably going to be their fate.  It is in their mind a fact of life.  It is sad but absolutely true.
  Therefor the thing that really needs to be done, is to focus on the other end of the problem.  Focusing on the dress, is trying to correct the problem, inside out.  It is a symptom, not a cause.



     Beautiful mind

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2012, 11:32:49 pm »
It is a symptom, not a cause.

Coughing is a symptom of a cold. Robitussin is a remedy that many choose in order to stop the cough, and hopefully break the cold. So if pants on the ground are a symptom, we should find something to stop that "cough" too.

  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2012, 12:22:30 am »
   Therefor the thing that really needs to be done, is to focus on the other end of the problem.  Focusing on the dress, is trying to correct the problem, inside out.  It is a symptom, not a cause.

And in medicine isn't the symptom treated as well as the cause?

Heathen

Offline Monika

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2012, 01:50:45 am »
First time I ever saw Bill O`Reilly on TV, he was blaming rap music for the situation in some areas.
This discussion reminds of his kind of logic.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #46 on: February 10, 2012, 02:16:52 am »
First time I ever saw Bill O`Reilly on TV, he was blaming rap music for the situation in some areas.
This discussion reminds of his kind of logic.

Then he's looking at it backwards. The situation created the music, not the other way around.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #47 on: February 10, 2012, 02:36:24 am »
First time I ever saw Bill O`Reilly on TV, he was blaming rap music for the situation in some areas.
This discussion reminds of his kind of logic.

Which discussion are you following?

Heathen

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2012, 06:45:20 pm »
I think you all are putting a lot of responsibility on parents to fight a pervasive culture that is far more interested in making money than in producing model citizens. This is a very, very complex issue. Parents might have some effect if they would all act en masse, but it cannot be solved by individual parents or even all parents as long as everything from our TV commercials to our popular music constantly drills into kids' heads the messages that adults are idiots, that crime and rebellion are cool, that insolence and profanity and misogyny are acceptable, that the most important things in life are making money and owning luxury items, etc.

My parents weren't particularly strict and I wasn't particularly rule-abiding as a kid. But it wouldn't have occurred to me to swear at my parents because nobody I knew -- nobody on TV, nobody in real life, nobody anywhere, as far as I knew -- ever did that. Simple as that.

Even the most extreme forms of youthful rebellion in the media when I was a teenager -- say, the veiled references to sex and drugs in rock music -- seem like Disney lullabies compared to the what my kids listen to these days.

 

Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #49 on: February 13, 2012, 08:11:46 pm »
But yes, it falls back into the issue of parents continuing the cycle of behavior and attitude.

These kids obviously did not have parents who were strict with them or focused on imbuing in them a sense of self-responsibility and the importance of education.  My house, what music we listened to was strictly regulated.  If my parents didn't like it, we didn't listen to it.  We didn't like that rule, our ability to listen to the music at home was taken away.  Same for TV.  Those pants?  Who bought them for the kids?  Parents did.  Again, my parents also had a say in our wardrobes.  They didn't like it, we didn't get it.  That only changed when I started working and making my own money, then my parents helped me along with money management by no longer providing me with day to day essentials.  They didn't keep feeding me for free or doing my laundry for free, or paying for gas for the car or insurance.  That stopped and I had to pay for it myself, so my funds were always limited and thus I had to make hard decisions on what I wanted to spend my money on.

Obviously these parents are falling down in the raising of their children, but perhaps only because they were the same way.

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #50 on: February 13, 2012, 08:52:14 pm »
But yes, it falls back into the issue of parents continuing the cycle of behavior and attitude.

These kids obviously did not have parents who were strict with them or focused on imbuing in them a sense of self-responsibility and the importance of education.  My house, what music we listened to was strictly regulated.  If my parents didn't like it, we didn't listen to it.  We didn't like that rule, our ability to listen to the music at home was taken away.  Same for TV.  Those pants?  Who bought them for the kids?  Parents did.  Again, my parents also had a say in our wardrobes.  They didn't like it, we didn't get it.  That only changed when I started working and making my own money, then my parents helped me along with money management by no longer providing me with day to day essentials.  They didn't keep feeding me for free or doing my laundry for free, or paying for gas for the car or insurance.  That stopped and I had to pay for it myself, so my funds were always limited and thus I had to make hard decisions on what I wanted to spend my money on.

Obviously these parents are falling down in the raising of their children, but perhaps only because they were the same way.

I agree Del. Things get out of hand-got out of hand- because parents loosen control. I talk to friends who have pre-teen and teen daughters and they have a totally different (from me) idea of what is appropriate dress for their girls. Primarily because all the other girls are wearing the same thing. Never would have happened in my house.

I was a pretty quiet kid, not rebellious at all because I didn't feel rebellious and because I was pretty sure my mother was not gonna tolerate any kind of behavior. I went away to college at age 17 having been very sheltered, and I still didn't go buck wild because it just was not, has never been, my personality. No sex, no  drugs, a whole lot of rock and roll. I have always felt this responsibility to "represent" and making a fool of myself was not going to get that done.


Heathen

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #51 on: February 13, 2012, 09:59:37 pm »
But yes, it falls back into the issue of parents continuing the cycle of behavior and attitude.

These kids obviously did not have parents who were strict with them or focused on imbuing in them a sense of self-responsibility and the importance of education.  My house, what music we listened to was strictly regulated.  If my parents didn't like it, we didn't listen to it.  We didn't like that rule, our ability to listen to the music at home was taken away.  Same for TV.  Those pants?  Who bought them for the kids?  Parents did.  Again, my parents also had a say in our wardrobes.  They didn't like it, we didn't get it.  That only changed when I started working and making my own money, then my parents helped me along with money management by no longer providing me with day to day essentials.  They didn't keep feeding me for free or doing my laundry for free, or paying for gas for the car or insurance.  That stopped and I had to pay for it myself, so my funds were always limited and thus I had to make hard decisions on what I wanted to spend my money on.

Obviously these parents are falling down in the raising of their children, but perhaps only because they were the same way.

First, I should clarify that I myself am actually talking about all of kids these days, not just the kids in the photos early on in the thread. So that includes kids like mine, who live in a middle-class neighborhood and go to school with mostly middle-class kids (though also some very rich kids and some poor kids). So the following is going to be from a white, middle-class POV. I realize that many of my problems are different from and milder than those of parents in poorer communities. But there may be some commonalities.

My own kids do some of those things you all don't approve of. For example, they sag their pants and they listen to music I don't like. I suppose it is technically possible for me to try to stop it -- although keep in mind that there's no way for me to control the music they listen to when I'm not there, or for that matter on their iPods. As a single mom with two teenage sons, one of whom has behavioral issues, my life is already full of constant conflict over all kinds of different things. Do I want to add several other sources of conflict to my life in order to police what our culture doesn't bother policing? No, I don't. So I pick my battles. Sagging pants are not my favorite look, but they're the least of my problems.

Parents when we were young simply did not have as many challenges as parents today. Here are just a few of the ways that our culture has changed since you and I grew up:

-- When I was a kid, there was nothing on TV that wouldn't have been perfectly appropriate for a seven-year-old to watch. Now there are things I don't even want myself to see.

-- When I was a kid, we did not own a box in the study through which one could view any imaginable form of pornographic imagery, buy illegal and synthetic drugs (some of which can kill you), have conversations with strangers, and get into who knows what other kinds of trouble.

-- As I said before, the most shocking music ever got in my youth was very veiled references to sex and drugs. Now well-known, popular musical artists in average pop songs brag about crime and drugs and describe sex acts with no holds barred. And not only does nobody bat an eye, but those artists are hugely successful and critically celebrated. For example, here is a sample of the song "Bitch Suck Dick" by Tyler the Creator of Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All, who has been admiringly profiled in, among other places, the New York Times and the New Yorker, whose concerts are well-reviewed by mainstream publications. Tyler is 17 years old. This song is not at all unusual for Odd Future -- it's quite typical of their lyrical stylings:

Quote
[Intro: Jasper]
Aww shit
Three icy ass niggas from Odd Future doin' some crazy shit
By the way, we do punch bitches

[Verse 1: Jasper]
I'm swagging bitch, I'm iced out
Oh you mad bitch cause I'm laying on the couch
Smoke a blunt, fuck a bitch, in the butt, I'm bossing
Don't give a fuck, I never roll Slauson
I'm fly bitch, I should poke you in your eyelids
Got the burner bitch, bow, bow
You dead bitch, I'm hot as fuck
I ain't never cold, but I'm icy bitch

[Hook]
My bitch suck dick like she suck dick

[Verse 2: Tyler]
Got the bops in the house, socking bitches in they mouth
See my neck iced the fuck out (I'm getting money nigga)
At the fucking mall, 40 bitches on my nutsack
I pulled up on a mothafuckin' unicorn (I'm getting ponies nigga)
Wolf Gang nigga scream that 'till they mothafuckin' show me death
Golf Wang nigga, Free Earl better show some motherfuckin' respect
All this ice around my neck, all this ice around my dick
Gun to her head make your bitch massage my shoulders

[Hook]

[Verse 3: Taco]
Shut up bitch, suck my dick (Suck my nuts)
You fuckin' bop, you better swallow it
I got a chain with a fuckin' platinum plaque on it
Is that a hundred dollar bill? I'll shit on it
I bought a fuckin' whale, cause I'm ballin'
Your bitch work for me, she my dish washer
Swag on my dick, 30 thousand million, nigga

[Hook]

[Verse 4: Jasper]
You boppin' bitch (Question mark) You like this dick?
We all know why, cause you's a boppin' bitch
I got the burner, I pop you in your lip
Zoom-zoom, yeah, I'm going fast bitch
I'm loud as fuck, I'm ignorant
Punch a bitch in her mouth just for talkin' shit
You lurkin' bitch? Well, I see that shit
Once again I gotta punch a bitch in her shit
I'm icy bitch, don't look at my wrist
Because if you do, I might blind you bitch
Mount Everest ain't fuckin' with my fuckin' wrist
Fuck global warming, this the Ice Age bitch

[Outro]
Swag, swag, punch a bitch


http://rapgenius.com/Tyler-the-creator-bitch-suck-dick-lyrics


Parents of teenagers these days are already dealing -- to one degree or another -- with alcohol and drug use, pregnancy, STDs, cutting, eating disorders, truancy, trying to prepare their kids for colleges that are increasingly expensive and exclusive (the university in my state used to admit literally almost anybody -- now the average GPA is 3.72; it used to cost a couple thousand a year, now it's about 12 times that). Not to mention whatever problems the parents themselves may have with unemployment, health insurance, etc. Now, I realize that few of these problems are brand new, but some of them are worse now than they were in our youth.

When people say some variation of "it's up to the parents," what they're doing is pointing the finger somewhere else so they can let themselves and society off the hook. What they're doing is increasing the stress in the already stressed-out average family exponentially.

I'm not advocating censorship or laws against this stuff. What I'm saying is that the problem is far more complex than just overly permissive parents. What I'm saying is that it takes a village, and in our era the village has stopped taking any responsibility and has instead become part of the problem.


 

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2012, 10:23:15 pm »
My best friend growing up had a very religious, but very fun and spontaneous, mother. We had the best time growing up together as we both had some challenges-she with an alcoholic father and we with the only divorced parents in our circle of friends. As my friend aged she became more bound by her religious beliefs but remained a joy to be around. She had one of the best parenting styles of any one I have ever seen. Her girls are now 20 and 24. She was loving and affectionate but also very clear in her expectations. Well, her youngest decided in her second year of college to shack up with her boyfriend. This did not go over well with her parents. They cut her off financially. Told her if she was adult enough to live under a man's roof then she was adult enough to figure out her own way. My friend hadn't seen her child in a year and was heart broken but refused to back down. I totally admire her for this because she set up some rules and expectations that were very clear. The problem with many parents today is that they are unwilling to take the hard line.

Remove the cell phones, the mp3 players, the TVs the cash.

Maybe I watch too much Dr. Phil and Supernanny...

Heathen

Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #53 on: February 13, 2012, 10:26:02 pm »
K, I know I said that parental failure is to blame for the way some of these kids are turning out, but I'm talking about something else, entirely.  I'm looking at Oakland and some of the neighborhoods therein, and I see parents who are absentee, drug addicted, abusive.  This is the kind of parental failure I'm talking about, not responsible parents like you who are doing their level best to raise their kids.  I know full well the challenges of today's parents, because I am a single mom.  I've felt so overwhelmed at times, but I've managed to put my daughter first, and I believe I've raised a pretty awesome young lady.  If I was strung out on drugs, out with a different guy every night getting high while my daughter raised herself, well, then, I'm a failure as a parent, IMHO.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #54 on: February 13, 2012, 10:48:08 pm »
Obviously these parents are falling down in the raising of their children, but perhaps only because they were the same way.

I think this is an important point. I think we're now into at least the second generation of people who themselves "had no raising" failing at raising kids.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #55 on: February 13, 2012, 10:58:30 pm »
Well, her youngest decided in her second year of college to shack up with her boyfriend. This did not go over well with her parents. They cut her off financially. Told her if she was adult enough to live under a man's roof then she was adult enough to figure out her own way. My friend hadn't seen her child in a year and was heart broken but refused to back down. I totally admire her for this because she set up some rules and expectations that were very clear. The problem with many parents today is that they are unwilling to take the hard line.

You're right about that. Personally, I would be unwilling to cut my child out of my life for choosing a lifestyle that conflicted with my own beliefs.

From what you say, though, it doesn't sound like your friend's rules actually kept her daughter from living with her boyfriend.

I myself have a friend whose parents took the hard line when she was a teenager. They forbid her to see her boyfriend, because he did drugs, among other things. They attempted to enforce this rule as best they could -- followed her out at night in the car with the lights off, called the cops at least once or twice.

My friend got pregnant and had an abortion at 14. She also used all manner of drugs and alcohol. So much, in her case, for the effects of strict parenting.

Today, she is doing great. Just finished hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by herself -- a five-month endeavor -- at 52. Has two adult sons who are doing well. She and I are also still friends with the boyfriend, who is also a successful, great guy.

Quote
Maybe I watch too much Dr. Phil and Supernanny...

Possibly. I've never watched Dr. Phil, but I'm familiar with his style. I have watched Supernanny, and those cases are impressive, but it's amazing what you can do when you're a TV crew who can cut and edit and be selective about what stories to show or not show.

I also have a foot-high pile of books by parenting experts on my shelf, so I'm pretty familiar with all the things they say to do. Saying them and doing them are two different things.


K, I know I said that parental failure is to blame for the way some of these kids are turning out, but I'm talking about something else, entirely.  I'm looking at Oakland and some of the neighborhoods therein, and I see parents who are absentee, drug addicted, abusive.  This is the kind of parental failure I'm talking about, not responsible parents like you who are doing their level best to raise their kids.  I know full well the challenges of today's parents, because I am a single mom.  I've felt so overwhelmed at times, but I've managed to put my daughter first, and I believe I've raised a pretty awesome young lady.  If I was strung out on drugs, out with a different guy every night getting high while my daughter raised herself, well, then, I'm a failure as a parent, IMHO.

True, M, and good point. We were talking about different things.

 


Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #56 on: February 14, 2012, 12:30:31 am »


Parents when we were young simply did not have as many challenges as parents today. Here are just a few of the ways that our culture has changed since you and I grew up:

-- When I was a kid, there was nothing on TV that wouldn't have been perfectly appropriate for a seven-year-old to watch. Now there are things I don't even want myself to see.

-- When I was a kid, we did not own a box in the study through which one could view any imaginable form of pornographic imagery, buy illegal and synthetic drugs (some of which can kill you), have conversations with strangers, and get into who knows what other kinds of trouble.

-- As I said before, the most shocking music ever got in my youth was very veiled references to sex and drugs. Now well-known, popular musical artists in average pop songs brag about crime and drugs and describe sex acts with no holds barred. And not only does nobody bat an eye, but those artists are hugely successful and critically celebrated. For example, here is a sample of the song "Bitch Suck Dick" by Tyler the Creator of Odd Future Wolfgang Kill Them All, who has been admiringly profiled in, among other places, the New York Times and the New Yorker, whose concerts are well-reviewed by mainstream publications. Tyler is 17 years old. This song is not at all unusual for Odd Future -- it's quite typical of their lyrical stylings:


Parents of teenagers these days are already dealing -- to one degree or another -- with alcohol and drug use, pregnancy, STDs, cutting, eating disorders, truancy, trying to prepare their kids for colleges that are increasingly expensive and exclusive (the university in my state used to admit literally almost anybody -- now the average GPA is 3.72; it used to cost a couple thousand a year, now it's about 12 times that). Not to mention whatever problems the parents themselves may have with unemployment, health insurance, etc. Now, I realize that few of these problems are brand new, but some of them are worse now than they were in our youth.

When people say some variation of "it's up to the parents," what they're doing is pointing the finger somewhere else so they can let themselves and society off the hook. What they're doing is increasing the stress in the already stressed-out average family exponentially.

I'm not advocating censorship or laws against this stuff. What I'm saying is that the problem is far more complex than just overly permissive parents. What I'm saying is that it takes a village, and in our era the village has stopped taking any responsibility and has instead become part of the problem.

But see, yes, this is true, but do you HAVE to HAVE these things?  You have cable?  Stop it.  Don't want to stop it?  Put parental blocks on it.  Pretty easy solution. 

Don't want your kids surfing the net for porn or what not?  Don't have a computer.  If YOU need one, then buy one for yourself and don't let your child use it.  They need it for school?  Take them to the library.

The phone thing really annoys me.  Young teens are e-mailing each other naked pictures of themselves.  Was buying them a phone with that much capability necessary?  If they were my kids, I'd buy them a 'pay as you go' phone at the grocery story and put $20 on it.  All they can do is use it as a phone.  Problem solved.  They can't get invovled in cyberbullying or fall prey to such things because they are not connected.

Parents really have a lot more control than they think they do.

I remember a co-worker who was complaining about her life was so stressful - she had to work, and pick up the kids and take them to soccer practice and hockey and ballet, blah blah blah, and she just didn't have enough time, etc., etc.

I looked at her and said, "So take them out."

She just looked at me.

"You are obviously too busy for all these extra curricular activities, so take them out.  Let them play in the back yard with each other and the dog and neighborhood kids.  It'll make your life a lot easier and you know where your kids are."

She looked at me like I'd grown a 3rd arm.  Like I'd suggested she pack up the kids and go to the moon.

Her situation really was that easy to resolve,  she had that much control over her life, but she chose not to do it.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #57 on: February 14, 2012, 01:00:31 am »
Her situation really was that easy to resolve,

Yes, it's quite amazing how easy it can be to solve other people's parenting problems. Heck, before I had kids of my own I could have solved just about everybody's.



Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #58 on: February 14, 2012, 01:40:08 am »
Quote
You're right about that. Personally, I would be unwilling to cut my child out of my life for choosing a lifestyle that conflicted with my own beliefs.

I didn't say she cut her daughter out of her life, she just refused to support her financially for a choice she knew would have huge consequences. Her daughter was pissed and wouldn't talk to her. That's just kid blackmail and too many parents fall for it. There were no rules about what she could and couldn't do as an adult, just consequences. They didn't forbid her from living with her boyfriend. Her children grew up knowing there were consequences to their behavior. They made some  bad choices, as most of us do, but weren't surprised when thoses choices came with repercussions.

When kids know that there won't be consequences for their behavior- both good and bad- there is no incentive to change or continue it.

Quote
Yes, it's quite amazing how easy it can be to solve other people's parenting problems. Heck, before I had kids of my own I could have solved just about everybody's.

I think it takes raising a child to appreciate how difficult it is but it doesn't take being a parent to see poor parenting decisions.

I think Del is absolutely correct-kids have such a sense of entitlement these days. They don't have to have all these things and if they can't behave in a responsible manner and follow some basic rules then their toys supplied by the parents get repo'd. Strict parenting and effective, consistent parenting are not the same thing. I don't know anything about your friend so I can't say a thing about the effectiveness of the parenting. Good parents have kids that make poor choices but I think wimpy parenting is becoming too much of the norm.

Heathen

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2012, 01:56:36 am »
http://rapgenius.com/Tyler-the-creator-bitch-suck-dick-lyrics

Yeah. I was sitting in my after-work watering hole back in the fall, and someone played this on the jukebox.

You're right, Katherine. There are so many elements, and sources that have contributed to "what happened" that its a sociologist's dream come true.

It not just parents. It never has been. You're correct that in past generations the problems were less complex, and therefore parents were more easily able to control, monitor, filter, and explain the greater world to their children. For example, when I was young, the only TV in the house was in the living room. If a man on a prime time drama (think Dallas) was cheating on his wife, my grand father would make a disapproving grunt, and shake his head, whenever there was a scene between the man and his mistress. Whether he knew it or not, he was sending me a message that cheating was wrong, and fidelity was right.

Back in the day, the media would police itself to far greater extent than they do today. A magazine ad showing a woman (or man) who was too scantily clad would be rejected by the editor. A news story that was too graphic in its description of a rape, murder,or car accident would be sent back to the reporter for a re-write. Hollywood had its famous Production Code.

Politics can also contribute to "what happened." When boys see some of the the wealthiest, most powerful men on the earth committing crimes, getting minimal sentences, then making even more money on books and TV appearances when they get out, that makes it all seem not so bad. Desirable even. When girls see what they can get from these men if they possess the right "qualities," that provides an incentive for them to be that way, and look at men as little more than profit centers. Politics has taught our society that if you don't like something, you should form a protest against it. The targets used to be governments and specific officials, or a corporation being protested by a union. The idea of protest devolved to the point where it was OK to vandalize the clothing of a private citizen if s/he walked down the street wearing fur. People even feel they have to right to publicly humiliate me if I light a cigarette on the street (they never try that again). Yet I have seen people walk down the street smoking a joint, and even one who took a hit from a crack pipe on the subway with not a word uttered by the surrounding citizens.  

One major element that has all but disappeared from the social landscape is vigilance. As I said earlier, the last thing we wanted to hear when we were young was , "I'm gonna tell your mother..." Nowadays people seem afraid to criticize. We have created a culture where you're not allowed to say anything negative to anybody else. I was talking to a public school teacher who was blamed for a student's bad grades by the child's parents. Somehow, they made it her fault. David and I were Christmas shopping in a suburban Strawbridge and Clothier years ago. The store had a toy train set up on the ground floor in front of the escalator. The display had a short, plexiglass barrier running around it. There was a little boy reaching over the barrier, and every time the train ran past him, he would knock the last car off the tracks. David told the little boy not to do that. The child's mother--who was preoccupied with something else--turned to David and started spouting obscenities at him. Lucky for her, I was already half way up the escalator. We used to have villagers who were interested in helping to raise its children. Not so much any more.

So no. Its not just parents.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2012, 10:34:04 am »
So no. Its not just parents.

Thank you, Milo. All of those other situations you described are part of the problem, too. There's a complex web of influences on children these days, and rather than look in the mirror and deal with it, what society essentially does is shrug and say it's the parents responsibility to keep their kids from being exposed to it. The solution, I guess, is to hold your children in a tower until they're 18.

I think it takes raising a child to appreciate how difficult it is but it doesn't take being a parent to see poor parenting decisions.

The things Marie mentioned -- being abusive or strung out on drugs, letting your kid raise him/herself while you're out with a different guy every night -- those are poor parenting decisions, unquestionably.

But the things delalluvia mentioned? Subscribing to cable TV? Owning a computer? Signing your kid up for organized sports? Those aren't poor parenting decisions. Those are lifestyle choices that come with many upsides as well as downsides, and that everyone else in the culture is entitled to make. In the the case of organized sports, they're decisions that were actually made, presumably, to benefit the kids: to keep them physically fit and occupied with something healthy, to cultivate their skills and interests.

The reason it takes being in these situations to fully appreciate them is the same reason the phrase "walk a mile in my moccasins" came about. It's very easy to see what you would do as a parent when the children themselves are abstractions, when you haven't experienced the pressures and stresses that come from knowing the actual kids and trying to raise them, not in an empty room or an ivory tower, but in a complex society. In this abstract world, an acquaintance can spend two minutes thinking about what a parent has spent five or ten or fifteen years struggling with and instantly see a simple solution that would solve everything that somehow the parent is too idiotic (or wimpy) to discern. In this abstract world, children are who they are because of your parenting actions, never the other way around. I know, because I used to live in a world like that myself. And BTW, it's not only non-parents who live in that abstract world; it's also parents who did such and such with their kids and assume anybody else can do the same thing with any other kids under any other circumstances and achieve the same results.

When you're deciding whether to have computers and cell phones and cable TV, should it matter that the kid will be surrounded by other kids who have all of those things and will be talking about them constantly? Not if the kid is an abstraction. An abstract world is one where your word is law, you say no, your abstract kid will frown and maybe even quietly grumble a bit but that's the end of it and you go blithely on about your business.

When the kids are an abstraction, it's easy to decide that instead of signing them up for soccer and ballet you will "let them play in the back yard with each other and the dog and neighborhood kids." You can safely assume that they aren't particularly talented at soccer and ballet and aren't longing to do those things, that they don't have close friends who do those things, that your back yard is safe and pleasant, that the kids will play obediently in it even if you leave them unsupervised, that there are other kids in the neighborhood who aren't in programs themselves who will join them, that the back yard is big enough that they can actually get exercise in it and stay fit, that they can do the same thing in the back yard day after day and stay stimulated and entertained, that the back yard will still be all they need year after year as they become older and have no experience with any other sport or activity. Heck, when it's all an abstraction you can imagine that even if they get sick of playing on the same swingset or throwing the dog the same stick after a couple of weeks they can just study grass or clouds or ants or the dog's fur or something -- the whole world is like a science lesson and by gosh, they're kids, they should appreciate it. Simple!

Now, I'm not saying that you have to cave to every whim or request. Obviously you don't. And you're absolutely right, Roux, your friend should not bankroll her child's lifestyle if she doesn't approve of it.
 
Judging from the posts here, I am probably somewhat wimpy, probably let my kids do things others would think I should refuse -- especially if, to those people, the kids and the situation are abstractions. But the reality is that I've got the various pressures I've got and the time constraints I've got and the environment I've got and the personality I've got and, most important, the kids I've got. And there's only so much stress I'm willing to take on. I would go into more detail but it still probably wouldn't be sufficient to convince anyone and anyway I'm not here to defend my life choices.

Though I'm sure if I did, delalluvia would immediately spot all kinds of simple, easy things I could do differently that would solve my problems. Just as it's easy for me to see all kinds of simple things she could do to resolve conflicts with her sister.

Anyway, I pick my battles, and when I don't expend the energy to prevent their exposure to something -- inappropriate song lyrics, for example -- I make clear, like Milo's grandfather watching Dallas except even more overtly, what I think of them. I know my kids may not agree with me now,  because I didn't agree with my parents when I was 16, either. I hope that someday they will see things differently, just as I do now.

In the meantime, though, I think it's important that people recognize that kids do not grow up in a vacuum, and that even the strictest, most limit-setting parents are not able to create one. Roux, I'm sure your friend did everything she could to impart her values on her daughter, and yet the daughter chose to live with her boyfriend anyway. Would the daughter have made that same choice in 1950? No way. The mother could have been the world's wimpiest parent and it still wouldn't have happened, because it was a different culture.

When people say "it takes a village," they don't just mean that the neighbor should watch the kids sometimes so the mother can run to the grocery store, or the old lady down the street should yell at them if she sees them misbehaving (although those things would be good, too). It also means that the village has to create a culture -- schools, institutions, public behavior, entertainment, etc. -- that will send the kinds of messages and instill the kinds of values we want kids to have.

In our culture, the values we apparently want our kids to have is an appreciation for material things and an eagerness to buy them.

So as a culture, we tell kids at every turn -- not just on cable, but on regular TV -- that adults are square and stupid, that kids are smart and cool, that brands are extremely important, and that -- most importantly -- they should spend their money on this junk food, on this music, on this movie, on this whatever they're trying to sell. And we have another layer of support -- the respected music writers, for example, who celebrate 17-year-old Tyler the Creator and his violent, misogynistic lyrics -- who refuse to criticize because that would be uncool.

And then we complain about how the kids turn out.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 12:24:20 pm by serious crayons »

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2012, 11:45:26 am »
The solution, I guess, is to hold your children in a tower until they're 18.

Believe me, if my mother could have figured it out, she would have. You know what people say about parents with 3 boys...

It also means that the village has to create a culture -- schools, institutions, public behavior, entertainment, etc. -- that will send the kinds of messages and instill the kinds of values we want kids to have.

In our culture, the values we apparently want our kids to have is an appreciation for material things and an eagerness to buy them.

So as a culture, we tell kids at every turn -- not just on cable, but on regular TV -- that adults are square and stupid, that kids are smart and cool, that brands are extremely important, and that -- most importantly -- they should spend their money on this junk food, on this music, on this movie, on this whatever they're trying to sell. And we have another layer of support -- the respected music writers, for example, who celebrate 17-year-old Tyler the Creator and his violent, misogynistic lyrics -- who refuse to criticize because that would be uncool.

And then we complain about how the kids turn out.

Rather just crow my agreement, let me offer something a bit more substantive.

So far, everyone in this thread has offered solutions, anecdotes from our past experiences, and suggestions on how to fix things. I am also aware of an attitude among many--mostly liberal-thinking individuals--that when talk of "family values," or "restoring America," surfaces, it causes them to bristle and become suspicious. But here I go. I don't think its "turning back the clock" to take a look at our past, and pull some successful methods and best practices off the shelf. There has to be a way to turn the tide. I'm sure there is some combination of parental, educational, governmental, corporate, and civic re-directions that could create an environment where children have greater incentives to achieve than consume. There must be a way to bring back common courtesy, mutual respect, and pride in one's community. There must be a way to spark in our young people the desire to do better than we did.

There are many efforts out there that attack an element here, or address an issue there. I applaud Michelle Obama's childhood obesity campaign, as well as Verizon Reads. They are both useful programs. But each has limitations. There's got to be a way to stitch things together, and repair our moral fabric. 
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #62 on: February 14, 2012, 12:05:15 pm »
Rather just crow my agreement, let me offer something a bit more substantive.

So far, everyone in this thread has offered solutions, anecdotes from our past experiences, and suggestions on how to fix things. I am also aware of an attitude among many--mostly liberal-thinking individuals--that when talk of "family values," or "restoring America," surfaces, it causes them to bristle and become suspicious. But here I go. I don't think its "turning back the clock" to take a look at our past, and pull some successful methods and best practices off the shelf. There has to be a way to turn the tide. I'm sure there is some combination of parental, educational, governmental, corporate, and civic re-directions that could create an environment where children have greater incentives to achieve than consume. There must be a way to bring back common courtesy, mutual respect, and pride in one's community. There must be a way to spark in our young people the desire to do better than we did.

There are many efforts out there that attack an element here, or address an issue there. I applaud Michelle Obama's childhood obesity campaign, as well as Verizon Reads. They are both useful programs. But each has limitations. There's got to be a way to stitch things together, and repair our moral fabric. 

I agree with some of this, even though I'm probably often on the other side than you in the so-called "culture wars." I wish there were a way that we could change our culture's values.

On the other hand, we shouldn't romanticize the past. In the past, kids didn't swear at their parents or live with their boyfriends or sag their pants or listen to music with awful lyrics. But, as you know, they had other moral failings.


Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #63 on: February 14, 2012, 12:22:49 pm »
On the other hand, we shouldn't romanticize the past. In the past, kids didn't swear at their parents or live with their boyfriends or sag their pants or listen to music with awful lyrics. But, as you know, they had other moral failings.

Oh, I remember my those failings all too well. I'm just interested in looking at what worked back then.

  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #64 on: February 14, 2012, 12:42:36 pm »
Oh, I remember my those failings all too well. I'm just interested in looking at what worked back then.

Actually, though, what I meant was something broader, more cultural. In 1915, for example, the culture didn't accept offensive song lyrics. On the other hand, it did accept Jim Crow law.

I don't mean to emphasize race, particularly -- that's just an easy example, and you could find examples in all kinds of other realms. My point is that, to some degree, it's not that our culture's moral fabric has shredded, it's that our moral values have shifted. Swearing is more OK, slurs less so. Explicit sex is more OK, repression less so.

The question is how to respect and support the freedoms we have achieved, while restoring some of those other solid values you mentioned.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #65 on: February 14, 2012, 01:04:03 pm »
Related to this discussion is this essay I have always loved by the late Michael Kelly, a conservative and one-time editor of The Atlantic, who was killed in Iraq. I don't completely agree with everything in it, as evidenced by my last post, but it makes some good points about some traditional values vis-a-vis "cool."

Getting Hip to Squareness
We want our virginity back
 by Michael Kelly
 

.....
 
Can we be square again? We were last square half a century ago. Then we were, more or less successively, hep, hip, cool, wild, beat, alienated, mod, groovy, radical, turned on, dropped out, camp, self-actualizing, meaningful, punk, greedy, ironic, Clintonian, and, finally, postmodern, which is to say exhausted—and who can blame us? In all these states we were, first and above all, not-square. Everything was a variation on that; to be seen as clever and even profound you had to be not much more than not square.

Now we are supposed to be square again. No one puts it that bluntly, because square remains the condition that dare not speak its name. Even country music gave up on square, Merle Haggard's 1969 great anthem of square, "Okie From Muskogee," being more on the order of a last defiant gasp than a call to arms. Nevertheless, post-September 11 we are, the surveys say, patriotic, prayerful, serious, and determined. We love our country. We support our President and our armed forces. Our heroes are police officers and firefighters. Our first official war hero was a CIA agent. Well, beat me, Daddy, eight to the bar, as Mamie Eisenhower used to say, this is squaresville.

But is it sustainable? Returning to square seems like re-virginizing. The problem is knowingness. All anti-square postures stand on a base of superior knowingness: Suburban life may look wholesome and sweet, but it is really one vast snake pit tarted up as a gunite swimming pool. George Washington may look like the star of Founding Father Knows Best, but really he was a false-toothed real-estate speculator. Woody Guthrie carries a nice tune, but this land is not your land, unless you are a Trump or a Tisch.

Knowingness, of course, is not knowledge—indeed, is the rebuttal of knowledge. Knowledge was what squares had, or thought they had, and they thought that it was the secret of life. Knowingness is a celebration of the conceit that what the squares knew, or thought they knew, was worthless. In The Graduate the career advice ("Plastics") of a family friend, Mr. McGuire, to Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is classic square knowledge. Benjamin's mute disdain toward that advice—and his elaborately played out disdain for all that McGuire and the Robinsons represent—is classic anti-square knowingness.

You can see in this example the problem that a return to square poses: anti-square is so much easier and more fun. Knowledge, even on McGuire's level, is notoriously difficult to acquire. Sixteen years of hard, slogging schoolwork, and what do you know? Not enough to carry on ten minutes of intelligent conversation on any subject in the world with any person who actually knows something about the subject. Knowingness, though—a child can master that. (Can and does: there is an obvious inverse relationship between age and knowingness; the absolute life peak of knowingness generally arrives between the ages of twelve and sixteen for females, fourteen and eighteen for males—whereas, as these cohorts can attest, grown-ups don't know anything.)

This is why Benjamin Braddock had to ignore, with prejudice, Mr. McGuire. McGuire may have been a fool, but he was, in the limited area of business and economic trends, probably a knowledgeable fool. Had Benjamin been obliged to respond to McGuire's advice in terms of knowledge, he would have been utterly lost—he would have been the one exposed as a fool. But for Ben—and more to the point, for the movie's audience—knowingness offered a lovely way to not only counter McGuire's knowledge but also trump it. Ben didn't have to know anything about McGuire to show himself intellectually (and aesthetically, and even morally) superior to McGuire. He only had to know that what McGuire thought he knew was a joke and McGuire was a joke because—because the McGuires of the world are definitionally jokes, and if you don't understand that, I can't explain it to you, because you are a McGuire. That's knowingness, and for no-sweat self-satisfaction you can't beat it.

The hard-easy dynamic that obtains with knowledge and knowingness covers other aspects of square and anti-square. Square: virtuous, chaste, modest, honest, brave, industrious, tough, kind to children and waiters. Anti-square: vice-tolerant, promiscuous, boastful, honest when it suits, don't-get-mad-get-even, sharp, retains a tough attorney, kind to Kennedy children and waitresses who look like supermodels. Square: proper dress required, also proper manners, proper morals, and proper language. Anti-square: Jack Kerouac. Square is not overly concerned with comfort. My father, who is seventy-eight, will sartorially relax to the point of allowing, on occasion, corduroy trousers and a tweed jacket instead of a suit, but he doesn't venture much beyond that. His father's idea of unbending was to appear on his front stoop of a Saturday without coat and tie and stiff detachable collar, and with the sleeves of his washed, bleached, starched, ironed white shirt rolled up nearly to his elbows. And this, mind, was the relatively relaxed standard of the working classes.

When America was square, even being anti-square was hard. Take, for example, the issue of courage. A man could be manifestly courageous or not, but if he was not courageous, he was well advised to hide that fact. In square America other men and even women made life hard for men who clearly failed the minimal (and, it should be noted, they always were minimal) requirements of manliness. Likewise with other social conventions. In square America you could choose to be a seducer of women, a drunk, a gambler, a layabout, a sartorial disgrace. But this would not be a respectable life; indeed, it would be, to a degree now hard to imagine, a harried life. The Beats were the first figures to rebel openly against the social conventions of post-World War II America pretty much across the board. Reading what they wrote in the late 1950s and early 1960s, you are struck (apart from the generally third-rate quality of their thoughts and words) by the rigor it took to lead the anti-square life then.

After all that went away, we ended up with a culture in which the anti-square values achieved their natural status as the default positions of life. Not terribly inclined to painful honesty? Not to worry: learn from Seinfeld that honesty is for people who live in Duluth. Inclined to sharp practices in your business dealings? Relax: nobody pays retail anymore, why should you? Not terribly brave? Oh, well, who truly is?

It is some distance from this territory to Mayberry, RFD. But you never could get there from here anyway. The idea of America described in The Andy Griffith Show and other programs of the fifties and sixties that have come to stand for the collective cultural sense of square was never intended to be taken as real. These shows were a camp take on a cartoon fantasy of American life and values, and they amounted to a running inside (and fairly cynical) joke on the part of the un-square people who made and marketed television. Their America never did exist, and that America is not what returning to square means.

What did exist, and what perhaps could be returned to, is the modern, hip urban America of the thirties and the forties. This is the America fictionalized and idealized in Hollywood's Humphrey Bogart and Rex Stout's Archie Goodwin and Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers, but it was not at root a fiction. It was real, and it was a time and a place that no one could ever mistake for square. Indeed, this was the America that defined American style so absolutely that every evocation of cool since has been in imitation of it or in reaction to it.

Yet the values of this America were values that came to be associated with square: courage, bravery, strength, honesty, love of country, sense of duty. Then, though, these values were not seen as square. Nor were they seen as square's political analogue, conservative. There was then no necessary disjunction between cool and patriotic, or cool and strong, or cool and conservative, and no understood conjunction between square and patriotic or strong and liberal. (See Bogart in Casablanca for the ultimate expression of all of this.) This seems to me a cultural state that might again, finally, be attainable. And I think people might like it, too—especially if we got to wear fedoras again.



Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2012, 03:51:56 pm »
Yes, it's quite amazing how easy it can be to solve other people's parenting problems. Heck, before I had kids of my own I could have solved just about everybody's.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

   This is a credo, that I first noticed when my first child was born.  Many years ago.  It is still quite the same.  It tends to be people that do not have children, that do the most criticizing and denigrating of others.  I experienced it, on many occasions, because she was the first child born in the family.  THEN;  when they started having children of their own.. Coincidentally all the criticism vanished.  The difference is very profound, when you have a child, you find out that they are not little automatons that are so easily turned off and on at your will.  They have minds of their own.  The truth is, I believe, you train them in all the ways that you know to be correct, and upright.  This you do at least until they reach the age of majority, or in most cases 18 years of age.  After that, you simply have to let them make their own way in life.  Be there for them, when they need you, and ask for help. You can never prevent them from being what they decide to become in most cases.  Hopefully they choose the good way. 
   In this day and age, there seem to be so many more health issues also.  Things we seldom ever saw when my kids were small.  Things like Autism, Asperbergers disease, and a host of other issues.  Those in conjunction with the normal (normal, as defined by accepted mores.)  These issues are causing parents a host of more difficult problems.  Then you have the medical societies in and out opinions, then the new and changing treatments from year to year.  It is so so difficult for parents to raise a fine upstanding member of society.  I truly feel sympathy and empathy with the people trying to do so these days.
   I had a child born with dyslexia, that took until he was in the fourth grade to be diagnosed.  I and he struggled with trying to find the answers that he needed in order to be an achiever in school.  That was in the beginning of the time, that they even gave it a name, and they still had no real answers as to combat the problem.  It was still in the trial and error stage, in public schools at the time.  He truly struggled in school because of it.  I had a girlfriend that had it when I was in school, and they simply thought that she was "retarded."  That is how things change in so short a time.  She never finished school. My son didn't either.  However, we and his wife struggled to help him learn the things necessary to be a fully functional adult man.  Able to earn a good living for his family.  He now owns his own business, as a mechanic.  He is as good a father as there is.  He is a man that knows more than many of the so called students that he went to school with. It was however a long and difficult road for him.  He was full of self doubt, and even may I say some shame.  Not that we ever said a word to him, about it.  He had so many other natural athletic talents, that he never really got teased, as is often the case in these circumstances.  But he was small in stature, but highly as I said athletic.  He was always the strongest member of any physical activity that he took part in.  But my point is.  There are so many differing issues involved in raising a child.  That my first thought, when hearing people that have no children.  Try and tell those that do have them.  How to do it.  It actually pisses me off.  It would be better, if the people would try and show them encouragement, and say what a beautiful job, that you think they are doing.  In most cases that is the case.  Some kids are not going to be the perfect little Lord Fauntleroy, or Princess.  I know that that reference dates me, but if you don't know the term, maybe you could research it.  In other words, there is much more to raising a child, much much more, than simply to be sure that they obey, direction, at a moments notice.  They may wear clothing, that you do not approve of.  Or any other, of many issues that people tend to criticize parenting for.  I say before you become a critic, "walk a mile in their shoes."  Maybe then you may have more sympathy and even pity for them.   If they are trying their best, they still may have children, that are difficult to deal with. 

    I have a grandchild that was born with ADHD.  He has absolutely no short term memory.  It has been a source of frustration and failure for all of us that have been raising him.  He is very very bright.  He simply has issues with memory, in the short term.  We could get him medicated to the gills, which most teachers have wanted done to these children.  But it didn't seem to do much for him.  It was tried for a few weeks, with no noticable difference.  So, his mom just said it is going to turn him into an addict, with little to no help..  Many children are greatly helped with that application.. But not all.  As, in all other ways of raising children, there is not always a quick fix.  No thing that is obvious and final.  It is like all other things in life.  An ongoing, and continuous work in progress.  You just hope and pray, that it will come out well. 

   If however the child has broken parenting.  Ie, drug addicted, alcoholic, gang membership, homeless, absentee, or what have you.  They then face many many other issues in their unprepared and struggling life.  Therefor, I just say, before poking and denigrating, or any of the other ways of saying a child is unworthy.  Try and see it from the inside out.. not from the outside in..
   Yes you can threaten them, chastise, and punish them, in any of the accepted or unaccepted ways that there are to do that.  But.. you cannot "make" them do anything.  You can not put them under house arrest.  They can escape.  Probably with very bad results.  You can banish them from your life. If that is your choice.   Most of these choices, end up punishing you, more than them.  While not repairing the major issue that you are fighting.



     Beautiful mind

Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2012, 04:19:36 pm »
Yes, it's quite amazing how easy it can be to solve other people's parenting problems. Heck, before I had kids of my own I could have solved just about everybody's.


I feel I have a lot of reponsibility ahead... and I'm not going to realise how hard the parenting malarky is until I'm in it..  :)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2012, 04:24:57 pm »
I feel I have a lot of reponsibility ahead... and I'm not going to realise how hard the parenting malarky is until I'm in it..  :)

Well, I sure didn't. But everyone has a different experience, because everybody has different kids and different other circumstances. For some parents it really is much easier than it has been for me. And for some parents it's much harder.

But it's also really rewarding, too. I've never met anyone who regrets it.



Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2012, 04:59:41 pm »
   

   Something I failed to put in my rant.  I have seen very few parents, that regret becoming one.  Most think it is the greatest thing that they have ever done.  Bar none.  Besides, you may have a child that is very very easy to raise.  The one I spoke of, is the youngest, in a family of three children.  The older two, are and were, a piece of cake.  Beautiful, as he is, and very accomplished.  My sweet Kelsey, is his older sister.  It is the case in that parenting issue.  My daughter had two, "perfect" children.  She as most parents do, considered themself a "perfect" parent.  Then when the younger one came along, she realized, that it was the children, that were perfect, not her parenting.  lol..

  Perhaps you will get lucky too.  My grandsons, son.  He is two years old now.  The nephew of the boy with ADHD, is one of those perfect children also.  One of these days, I will post his picture here probably.  I am quite reluctant anymore to post small childrens photos, because of all the wierdos out there.  But he is beautiful, both physically and mentally, plus as well behaved and wonderful to be around, as you could ever hope to see.  i think for a two year old, he is perfection...no tantrums or fits, or any of the difficulties that many are to deal with.  Hopefully you will have the same experience.  I am hoping and praying for you..  It probably will be that.  If not, then just remember, you don't have to do it, in the way that others think you should.  Do it in the way that you think you should.  Do not let others make you feel guilty or sad about any of it.  Simply try, and if necessary, try again.  It will most likely work out very easily.  But if it doesn't simply think of it as a work in progress.  Because after all.  Aren't we all that?



     Beautiful mind

Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2012, 05:14:29 pm »
Well, I sure didn't. But everyone has a different experience, because everybody has different kids and different other circumstances. For some parents it really is much easier than it has been for me. And for some parents it's much harder.

But it's also really rewarding, too. I've never met anyone who regrets it.


   

But if it doesn't simply think of it as a work in progress.  Because after all.  Aren't we all that?

 :D
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2012, 05:57:02 pm »
She as most parents do, considered themself a "perfect" parent.  Then when the younger one came along, she realized, that it was the children, that were perfect, not her parenting.  lol..

So true! I have two sons. They are both energetic and strong-willed. But they are also very different, and one is far more challenging than the other. I sometimes think of how much easier my life would be if both of my sons were like my younger one. And yes, knowing me -- and knowing human nature -- I would probably take all of the credit for that, and I would give other parents lectures on how easy it would be to fix their problems by simply doing things differently.

If I had two sons exactly like my older one, I would have long ago faked my own death and moved to Tahiti.   :laugh:





Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2012, 08:10:50 pm »


But the things delalluvia mentioned? Subscribing to cable TV? Owning a computer? Signing your kid up for organized sports? Those aren't poor parenting decisions. Those are lifestyle choices that come with many upsides as well as downsides, and that everyone else in the culture is entitled to make. In the the case of organized sports, they're decisions that were actually made, presumably, to benefit the kids: to keep them physically fit and occupied with something healthy, to cultivate their skills and interests.

But do they?  If the child isn't going to be professional soccer player or ballet dancer, why in the world do they need to start these classes at the age of 4?  Keep them home.  There's absolutely no reason to start them so young.  You want your kids to be healthy?  How about the PARENTS play with them and take them out on bicycle trips or play ball with them and do their jobs to keep them occupied?  Don't know about you, but between school, homework and chores, I barely had time to play when I got home.  

But they want to play soccer, but it's inconvenient for the parent's life?  

Guess what?  Kids need to learn that they don't get everything they want in life.    

It's really just that easy.

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The reason it takes being in these situations to fully appreciate them is the same reason the phrase "walk a mile in my moccasins" came about. It's very easy to see what you would do as a parent when the children themselves are abstractions, when you haven't experienced the pressures and stresses that come from knowing the actual kids and trying to raise them, not in an empty room or an ivory tower, but in a complex society. In this abstract world, an acquaintance can spend two minutes thinking about what a parent has spent five or ten or fifteen years struggling with and instantly see a simple solution that would solve everything that somehow the parent is too idiotic (or wimpy) to discern. In this abstract world, children are who they are because of your parenting actions, never the other way around. I know, because I used to live in a world like that myself. And BTW, it's not only non-parents who live in that abstract world; it's also parents who did such and such with their kids and assume anybody else can do the same thing with any other kids under any other circumstances and achieve the same results.

And there is the saying, "it's easier to see a burning building from the outside than the inside."  Parents all too often make their own problems.  Especially when dealing with their kids.  They cannot set aside their love and emotional worries to actually be firm and disciplined when they need to be.   You see this all the time.  How many child-care providers tell you that they know the kids who are spoiled because their parents feel guilty about putting them in childcare?  Or they spoil their kids because their parents feel guilty about their divorce?  You think it would be the most commonsensical thing in the world for parents NOT TO DO THAT to their kids to compensate, but even the smartest parent can and do do this because they cannot discipline themselves when it comes to their kids.  

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When you're deciding whether to have computers and cell phones and cable TV, should it matter that the kid will be surrounded by other kids who have all of those things and will be talking about them constantly? Not if the kid is an abstraction. An abstract world is one where your word is law, you say no, your abstract kid will frown and maybe even quietly grumble a bit but that's the end of it and you go blithely on about your business.

Sounds like rationalization to me crayons.  Poor kids don't have this option of having to choose between cable and fancy phones and internet connections, they can't afford it, period.   And they get along and cope just fine.


Quote
When the kids are an abstraction, it's easy to decide that instead of signing them up for soccer and ballet you will "let them play in the back yard with each other and the dog and neighborhood kids." You can safely assume that they aren't particularly talented at soccer and ballet and aren't longing to do those things, that they don't have close friends who do those things, that your back yard is safe and pleasant, that the kids will play obediently in it even if you leave them unsupervised, that there are other kids in the neighborhood who aren't in programs themselves who will join them, that the back yard is big enough that they can actually get exercise in it and stay fit, that they can do the same thing in the back yard day after day and stay stimulated and entertained, that the back yard will still be all they need year after year as they become older and have no experience with any other sport or activity. Heck, when it's all an abstraction you can imagine that even if they get sick of playing on the same swingset or throwing the dog the same stick after a couple of weeks they can just study grass or clouds or ants or the dog's fur or something -- the whole world is like a science lesson and by gosh, they're kids, they should appreciate it. Simple!

Who's the parent?  You or them?

Kids will adapt.  They may complain, but they adapt.  And why?  They don't have a chioice.  They're not in charge and this needs to be made plain to them.  I have to keep reminding my sister of this because I can tell whenever I have to babysit.

Her to her daughter:  "Honey, are you ready for bed?"

What a loaded question.  What do you think the kid is going to say?  And she does, so they end up in a back and forth 'discussion'.

When I babysit I say, "Time for bed, go get ready."

Period.  No discussion.

Again, how about poor kids?  They don't even have a house that has a yard and they're just going to have to not exercise unless it's at school during PE.  They still do have PE, don't they?

If not, guess they're just going to have to be out of shape.  Oh, the humanities.  ::)  C'mon crayons, this is all more rationalization.


Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2012, 09:11:45 pm »
 How about the PARENTS play with them and take them out on bicycle trips or play ball with them and do their jobs to keep them occupied?

Oh yeah. Because THAT'S not at all time consuming for your coworker. And keep in mind that I'm a parent who actually did all of those things. But it came with a price, one that I'm still paying today.

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It's really just that easy.

Nope. Believe it or not, it's really not nearly as easy as it might seem to you.

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Poor kids ... get along and cope just fine.

Nope. They don't.  They take drugs and sell drugs and get pregnant and wind up in prison in vastly larger proportions than middle-class and rich kids. I'm not saying it's because they were denied computers, although believe me, nobody who knows anything about education thinks that the computer gap between rich and poor kids is a good thing. But don't ever romanticize poor kids' childhoods.

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C'mon crayons, this is all more rationalization.

Delalluvia, you honestly have some good points. I'm sure there are cases where parents could be firmer with their kids. But most of those points, you should know, are completely familiar to any parent. You are not saying anything that every parent in the country hasn't heard a million times, from their in-laws and other parents and parenting gurus and people who don't have kids but who love to say simplistic things like "Who's the parent -- you or them?"

The larger fact is, you simply don't know what it's like to raise kids. You just don't. That fact is glaringly obvious from your posts -- not just because you keep saying that this or that simplistic idea is "just that easy" but because you only see one side of things and overlook others that you aren't aware of and consequently get all kinds of things wrong. So although I know we could go back and forth ad infinitum about this, for page after page of thread, I'm not going to do that. It's not worth my time, and I honestly think it's not worth yours, either. To be honest, I have no interest in arguing about the best way to do something that I have done for 17 years -- actually pretty successfully, if I do say so myself; my kids are bright and healthy and popular and personable and successful in school -- and that as a professional writer I have also read about and talked to "experts" about and written about ... with somebody who's never done it at all and yet thinks she knows everything there is to know about it.



Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #74 on: February 14, 2012, 09:26:55 pm »
Just stumbled across this on a parenting blog and thought it seemed germane, especially Nos. 6 and 7.



http://thestir.cafemom.com/pregnancy/132996/10_questions_you_should_ask

10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Having Kids

There is plenty of sunshine and roses that comes with parenthood, but as any parent with an ounce of honesty will tell you, it's also the toughest gig you'll ever have. Sure, all of those family pictures your friends post on Facebook look like the stuff of fairy tales, but behind every shining little face is the truth: They will change your lives in ways you could never imagine, and not all of those ways are good.

So while clocks may be ticking and ovaries are aching for a little babe, it's best that people go into parenthood with their eyes wide open. Because the fact is not everyone can handle it nor should they attempt to do so. For some, it's just not the right time in their life, and waiting is a better option. For others, it should probably just be a big permanent never. To determine how prepared you are to become a parent, here are 10 very important questions you should ask yourself before becoming one:

1.  Do you like to sleep in?

If your answer is yes, consider getting a gerbil. If no, continue to the next question.

2. Are you totally cool with someone throwing up all over you? Repeatedly?

If yes, then I question your sanity for the job. If no, don't worry, you'll get used to it.

3.  Can you go three days without sleep and still drive a car?

If you answered no, make sure you live by a reliable means of public transportation before getting pregnant. If yes, I want whatever it is you've got.

4.  Do you require privacy to do your business in the bathroom?

If yes, prepare for problems, and invest in a good laxative.

5. Are you prepared to say goodbye to the sound of yourself thinking for at least the next 18 years?

If no, don't worry, you will quickly forget that such a sound even existed. There are plenty of new and unusual sounds that will take its place (Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!).

6. Do you have a whole list of things you'll NEVER do as a parent? Do you hate to be wrong?

If yes to both, start by ripping that list up right now. 

7. Do you love input from strangers on things that are none of their business and adore being judged for pretty much every move you make?

If no, proceed with caution and start practicing deep breathing techniques.


8. Can you clean up puke, change 10 crib sheets, make dinner, and help someone do homework while running a fever of 103?

Okay, no one thinks they can.

9. Do you like to fly on airplanes and eat in restaurants without the burning eyes of hatred from hundreds of glaring strangers searing into your skin?

If yes, think of adopting a 17-year-old. People usually start to be kinder to kids in public around that age.

10.  Are you good at scraping things off of floors -- like oh, say ... your PRIDE?

This is pretty much the biggest deal breaker. Your personal pride all but evaporates it comes to leaking breasts, public potty accidents, and children who blurt out exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. The best you can do is scrape up the scraps and carry on.

Bonus question: Are you prepared for the most rewarding and amazing roller coaster ride of your life that's worth any of the hard stuff?

If yes, then get to procreating, because the rest of it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things.


Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #75 on: February 14, 2012, 09:33:34 pm »
Oh yeah. Because THAT'S not at all time consuming for your coworker. And keep in mind that I'm a parent who actually did all of those things. But it came with a price, one that I'm still paying today.

Nope. Believe it or not, it's really not nearly as easy as it might seem to you.

If parents don't have the time to play with their kids even a bit, then people need to question why parents even bothered to have them in the first place?  Just so they could say that they have but ship them off to soccer practice or whatever at every opportunity?

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Nope. They don't.  They take drugs and sell drugs and get pregnant and wind up in prison in vastly larger proportions than middle-class and rich kids. I'm not saying it's because they were denied computers, although believe me, nobody who knows anything about education thinks that the computer gap between rich and poor kids is a good thing. But don't ever romanticize poor kids' childhoods.

And this is because mommy and daddy were big meanies who didn't buy their kids electronics?

Um, yeah, whatever.  Most everyone I grew up with were poor crayons or blue collar working class.  They were the working poor.  Their parents made enough money to keep roofs over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their kids's back. Cable TV?  What a laugh.  Who could afford that?  Soccer practices?  Uniforms?  Ballet class?  Yeah, right.  As my mother used to say, "We're not rich" and we went to play with our cousins in the empty lots in the neighborhood.  


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Delalluvia, you honestly have some good points. I'm sure there are cases where parents could be firmer with their kids. But most of those points, you should know, are completely familiar to any parent. You are not saying anything that every parent in the country hasn't heard a million times, from their in-laws and other parents and parenting gurus and people who don't have kids but who love to say simplistic things like "Who's the parent -- you or them?"

The fact that you admit there are parents who aren't firm with their kids makes my case.

My best friend is currently dating one.  Her boyfriend is a divorced father of one.  He and his ex-wife are educated professionals and right now, their only son is ready to go to a regular high school from Montessori.  My friend the teacher thinks this is a great idea since in her professional opinion, it's only hurting their son to continue at Montessori.  He will be behind the other students academically and will have to learn to discipline himself to catch up.  

The kid knows this and doesn't want to go.  He'd rather stay the Big Fish in his small pond than actually have to work hard at his education.

Should be a no-brainer, right?  Parents should do what's best for the kid in the long run and send him to a regular high school, right?

NOPE.  Both parents are feeling guilty about the divorce and are currently talking themselves into letting him stay where he is.

My best friend keeps her opinion to herself as she bites her tongue listening to her BF convince himself so he will believe it was his own decision and not his kid calling the shots - as he makes his son a sandwich using the only bread his son will eat - an artisan bread from a local gourmet store.  :P ::)

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The larger fact is, you simply don't know what it's like to raise kids. You just don't. That fact is glaringly obvious from your posts -- not just because you keep saying that this or that simplistic idea is "just that easy" but because you only see one side of things and overlook others that you aren't aware of and consequently get all kinds of things wrong. So although I know we could go back and forth ad infinitum about this, for page after page of thread, I'm not going to do that. It's not worth my time, and I honestly think it's not worth yours, either. To be honest, I have no interest in arguing about the best way to do something that I have done for 17 years -- actually pretty successfully, if I do say so myself; my kids are bright and healthy and popular and personable and successful in school -- and that as a professional writer I have also read about and talked to "experts" about and written about ... with somebody who's never done it at all and yet thinks she knows everything there is to know about it.

I lived with my sister for two years in college.  She wasn't there a lot with going to school and work full time.  I was there most of the time.  Guess who was helping raise her daughter?  Yep, me.  

It is that easy, to be disciplined with your kids.  I was raised in that sort of environment, so I DO know what it's like.   And guess what?  Yes, my parents raised successful happy kids.  I know many parents like to imagine that their jobs are horribly difficult and no one else who isn't a parent can understand, etc., etc., but honestly, quite a few single people do it because they're around kids quite a bit - whether because they're family or they belong to their SOs.

Look at the Duggars.  They hand over the raising of their younger kids to their older kids.  A 13 year old is currently helping raise kids.  Tell me again, how difficult the job is?      

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #76 on: February 14, 2012, 09:58:06 pm »
It is that easy, to be disciplined with your kids.  I was raised in that sort of environment, so I DO know what it's like.   And guess what?  Yes, my parents raised successful happy kids.  I know many parents like to imagine that their jobs are horribly difficult and no one else who isn't a parent can understand, etc., etc., but honestly, quite a few single people do it because they're around kids quite a bit - whether because they're family or they belong to their SOs.


  With the greatest respect my dear, this is highly pompous sounding and self aggrandizing.  To say that you are as experienced, and able to raise children, because "you have been around them quite a bit."  Is is simply delusional.  You can "be around them," then send them home to mama, or papa, or both.  They don't have that option.  There is no sending them, anywhere, except for the few occasions that someone other than the parent agrees to give them a respite.  If it is an hour, or a day, or a week, or a month.  It is still a respite.  Raising a child, is a 24 hour a day, and night job.  For the minimum of 18 yrs.  No vacations, or quitting involved.  That child is your primary duty, for the next 18 years of your life.  When they are ill, when they are tired, when they are just frustrated.  Not to mention all of the other issues that I made in my earlier post, as to the differing kinds of special issues they may have.  It is a CONSTANT... so before you give someone a speech about how you know all the simple answers to it.  I think you might, want to consider how dedicated that responsible parents are.   How unappreciated they are by other people with these kinds of attitudes.  It is hard work, and takes every fiber of your being sometimes.  Not only  because they are spoiled brats, or little annoying demons.  It takes love, it takes patience, it takes above all dedication.  Personally I tend to never criticize other folks parenting skills, unless they are annoying me.  I never say it to them.  I know personally what they are going through.  The amount of rolled eyes, or frowns that they receive. 
   We have overall raised a large population that think that they know best how others should do many things.  Not simply how to raise children, but how to vote, how to handle their birth control, how to dress or do all the other things in life. Many of the others in our population deem themselves more qualified to tell them how to do these things..    i think we would be better advised to handle our own situation, and have others do the same.  Then when other peoples children's behaviors annoy us, we will realize, it is their problem to fix not ours  If I don't approve of it.  then I should remove myself from the situation.  I am usually in an airplane, restaurant or a movie, when that kind of happening occurs.  I think it is unfortunate that some people don't have someone to help them, during the chiild rearing years. They, then must take the children with them, and risk the wrath of the onlookers when those kinds of incidents happen.  I am more than willing to admit it is (my problem,) that I am so judgmental and  that it annoys me.  They can't help the melt down that their child is experiencing.  Then I check myself, and think,,, "aw I feel bad for them. " Hope it doesn't last too long.  Which by the way, it has been my experience to say, it usually doesn't. 

   



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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2012, 09:59:31 pm »
It is that easy, to be disciplined with your kids.  I was raised in that sort of environment, so I DO know what it's like.   And guess what?  Yes, my parents raised successful happy kids.

With all the bitching you've done about your sister on this site? Hmmm.

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Look at the Duggars.  They hand over the raising of their younger kids to their older kids.  A 13 year old is currently helping raise kids.  Tell me again, how difficult the job is?      

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a parent, because if I were, I'd find that remark smart-alecky and insulting. What's next, "It's so easy a caveman can do it"?

And you do say that 13-year-old is helping, not doing it herself.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #78 on: February 14, 2012, 10:04:26 pm »
If parents don't have the time to play with their kids even a bit,

You misread my post. I didn't say anything about not "even a bit."

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And this is because mommy and daddy were big meanies who didn't buy their kids electronics?

You might want to go back and reread my post.

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Um, yeah, whatever.  Most everyone I grew up with were poor crayons or blue collar working class.  They were the working poor.  Their parents made enough money to keep roofs over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their kids's back. Cable TV?  What a laugh.  Who could afford that?  Soccer practices?  Uniforms?  Ballet class?  Yeah, right.  As my mother used to say, "We're not rich" and we went to play with our cousins in the empty lots in the neighborhood.  

Uh-huh. And think back ... what did I say about the importance of community?

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The fact that you admit there are parents who aren't firm with their kids makes my case.

Nope. You missed my point.

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quite a few single people do it because they're around kids quite a bit - whether because they're family or they belong to their SOs.

Look at the Duggars.  They hand over the raising of their younger kids to their older kids.  A 13 year old is currently helping raise kids.  Tell me again, how difficult the job is?

Um, delalluvia? Babysitting and "being around kids" is not parenting. Not for sooooo many reasons. To take just one, the way kids behave around their babysitters and others is very very different than the way they do around their parents.

Sorry, delalluvia, but the more you post, the more you sound like you don't know what you're talking about.
 



With all the bitching you've done about your sister on this site? Hmmm.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not a parent, because if I were, I'd find that remark smart-alecky and insulting. What's next, "It's so easy a caveman can do it"?

And you do say that 13-year-old is helping, not doing it herself.


Thank. You. Jeff.  :) :-*


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #79 on: February 14, 2012, 10:09:26 pm »
Thank. You. Jeff.  :) :-*

You're welcome, Katharine.  :)

"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #80 on: February 14, 2012, 10:20:42 pm »
With the greatest respect my dear, this is highly pompous sounding and self aggrandizing.  To say that you are as experienced, and able to raise children, because "you have been around them quite a bit."  Is simply dillusional.  You can "be around them," then send them home to mama, or dad, or both.  They don't have that option.  There is no sending them, anywhere, except for the few occasions that someone other than the parent agrees to give them a respite.  If it is an hour, or a day, or a week, or a month.  It is still a respite.  Raising a child, is a 24 hour a day, and night job.  For the minimum of 18 yrs.  No vacations, or quitting involved.  That child is your primary duty, for the next years of your life.  When they are ill.  When they are tired, when they are just frustrated.  All of the other issues that I made in my earlier post, as to the differing kinds of special issues they may have.  It is a CONSTANT... so before you give someone a speech about how you know all the simple answers to it.  I think you might, want to consider how dedicated that true parents are. 

Very well put, Janice.  :)


Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #81 on: February 14, 2012, 11:25:53 pm »
It is that easy, to be disciplined with your kids.  I was raised in that sort of environment, so I DO know what it's like.   And guess what?  Yes, my parents raised successful happy kids.  I know many parents like to imagine that their jobs are horribly difficult and no one else who isn't a parent can understand, etc., etc., but honestly, quite a few single people do it because they're around kids quite a bit - whether because they're family or they belong to their SOs.


  With the greatest respect my dear, this is highly pompous sounding and self aggrandizing.  To say that you are as experienced, and able to raise children, because "you have been around them quite a bit."  Is is simply delusional.  You can "be around them," then send them home to mama, or papa, or both.  They don't have that option.

Uh, read my post again.  I was LIVING there.  There was nowhere to go and nowhere to send them.  Same with the Duggars.

And I'm sorry, if I sound pompous but I'm not the only one doing it what with the

"Oh you have no idea what's its like and only those who have experienced it blah blah blah" that some people put on.

Seriously?

I mean really?

Being a neurosurgeon is difficult.

And you know why?  There aren't that many around.

How many people are there, right now, raising kids?  Being parents?

The numbers are in the billions.

If someone is self-aggrandizing, it's not me.

Obviously, the job isn't that hard because billions do it and the vast majority of kids do not all turn out to be criminals and murderers.

So perhaps your definition of 'hard' and mine are different.

So, yes, as you can tell from public experience with people and bratty kids, parents are not often very good at their jobs.  Mostly, because as some people on this thread have admitted, they're not very disciplined when it comes to raising their kids.

It's called tough love.  Try it sometime, it might make a difference.

And sorry, I was a kid also, and I also appreciated how my parents were raising me once I was old enough to understand.  I guess actually BEING a kid and understanding how I was being raised doesn't count?  Whatever.

We were not wealthy.  Things like electronics and trips and cable TV and fancy gadgets were not part of my reality.  And no, we didn't grow up to be thieves and criminals (BTW, that was extremely offensive to suggest that poor kids deprived of things grow up resentful and headed toward criminal lives.)

My sister and I did grow up happy.  That she's a self-absorbed adult was not learned at home.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2012, 12:31:14 am »
as some people on this thread have admitted, they're not very disciplined when it comes to raising their kids.

Damned if I wouldn't think you were talking about me, since I'm one of the few people on this thread who has kids and who has talked about how I raise them. And yet, it's not even remotely close to anything I said. Ma'am, you need to start reading people's posts a lot more carefully.

Meanwhile, let's review what you just said in yours.

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billions do it and the vast majority of kids do not all turn out to be criminals and murderers.

And yet, all around you, you see people doing it wrong. Maybe, just maybe, they're doing a better job than you think.

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I guess actually BEING a kid and understanding how I was being raised doesn't count?

After seeing a movie, do you know everything there is to know about directing one?

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(BTW, that was extremely offensive to suggest that poor kids deprived of things grow up resentful and headed toward criminal lives.)

Again, not what I said at all. In fact, I explicitly said the opposite of that. However, it is true that poor people statistically commit more crimes. You do know that, right?


« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 08:56:01 am by serious crayons »

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #83 on: February 15, 2012, 12:44:17 am »



   I think that you just made my point...The wonderful parents that you had, evidently raised two very different children.  One, is wonderful and generous, healthy and happy.  The other, your sister, is very hard to deal with, self centered, and very difficult.  That is the very essence of what I am saying.  The people are who they are, and are going to be pretty much that, even with the greatest parenting in the world.  You can't, or at least you shouldn't browbeat, (tough love,) them into compliance.  They have their own psyche, and temperament.  You can mold it, but not change it to suit yourself. 



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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #84 on: February 15, 2012, 01:36:36 am »


   I think that you just made my point...The wonderful parents that you had, evidently raised two very different children.  One, is wonderful and generous, healthy and happy.  The other, your sister, is very hard to deal with, self centered, and very difficult.  That is the very essence of what I am saying.  The people are who they are, and are going to be pretty much that, even with the greatest parenting in the world.  You can't, or at least you shouldn't browbeat, (tough love,) them into compliance.  They have their own psyche, and temperament.  You can mold it, but not change it to suit yourself. 

Another very sensitive, tactful and insightful post, Janice. I completely agree.


Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #85 on: February 15, 2012, 01:38:27 am »
We were not wealthy.  Things like electronics and trips and cable TV and fancy gadgets were not part of my reality.  And no, we didn't grow up to be thieves and criminals (BTW, that was extremely offensive to suggest that poor kids deprived of things grow up resentful and headed toward criminal lives.)

You'll have to take that up with the social services professionals that define such children as "at risk." Income and access are two major contributing factors.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #86 on: February 15, 2012, 01:41:59 am »
Again, how about poor kids?  They don't even have a house that has a yard and they're just going to have to not exercise unless it's at school during PE.  They still do have PE, don't they?

Not everywhere. In Massachusetts, PE is (or at least was) mandated by the Commonwealth. Here in Pennsylvania, there is no such mandate. So schools can decide whether or not it fits their budget, or their curriculum. There are many schools here in Philadelphia that have no PE.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #87 on: February 15, 2012, 01:46:32 am »
If the child isn't going to be professional soccer player or ballet dancer, why in the world do they need to start these classes at the age of 4?  Keep them home.  There's absolutely no reason to start them so young.

Think of all the money taxpayers will save when we finally cut Head Start programs.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #88 on: February 15, 2012, 05:54:00 am »
Well, Del, I'm hoping my parenting life is as easy as you make out.. I'll let you know how its going and you can give me some tips along the way... See you at 2am in the morning from June onwards!  ;)

It seems like you see everything in black or white. No shades of yellow there - why is that?

I'd personally say though, that living with your sister and her daughter for 2 years, does not a parent you make.

There has been things that my sister has done in her parenting life - she has 3 girls (14,10 & 8) - which I think is ridiculous or bad or not *really* in their best interests, and there has been times I have said as much to her. Or when I have reprimanded the kids without asking her permission beforehand. However, most of the time I keep my mouth buttoned because at the end of the day I'm not yet a parent and not in her situation.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #89 on: February 15, 2012, 10:16:55 am »

I'd personally say though, that living with your sister and her daughter for 2 years, does not a parent you make.


Right. Its like being a music critic. No matter how many operas the critic sees, he's still not a singer. He doesn't sing, and doesn't really know what its like to sing.

- Being the oldest of 3 boys, I had experience helping my folks raise my 2 younger brothers. Making their lunches, helping them get dressed in the morning, supervising chores around the house, etc.

- When I was in my teens, my aunt was a nurse who worked the night shift. I spent a summer baby-sitting my 2 first cousins one year. I changed diapers, I made formula, I put them down for the night, I gave them baths, etc.

- When I first sang an opera in Houston, I lived with my sister, and 3 of her 5 teenage children. I helped with homework, I threw friends out of the house who weren't allowed to be there after school (my favorite!!), did laundry, cooked meals, talked about relationships, took one of them with me to the gym and showed him how to develop a training regimen, etc.

That makes me a good brother, a good cousin, and a good uncle. It does not make me a parent. If anything, it showed me that I don't want to be a parent.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #90 on: February 15, 2012, 10:52:54 am »
That makes me a good brother, a good cousin, and a good uncle. It does not make me a parent. If anything, it showed me that I don't want to be a parent.

 :)  That's a good lesson to learn!

The other thing I'd like to emphasize is that it's not just people who have no kids -- even those of us who ARE parents really only knows our own experience as parents. I know what it's like for a person like me to parent children like mine in a community like mine under circumstances like mine.

But I don't know what it's like to be a parent in Malibu or the South Bronx or Guatamala or Afghanistan. I don't know what it's like to be a parent of a kid who is disabled or bullied. I don't even know what it's like to be a parent of a child who is extremely timid or who has trouble keeping up in school, because those aren't part of my experiences. All I really know is my own experience as a parent. There are some universal truths, probably, but not many.

If I were dealing with any of those other circumstances, I obviously would try to figure it out as I go along, as all parents must. It's trial and error, with plenty of the latter.

My kids are atypical in their own ways, and one big lesson I've learned from raising them is that anyone claims to have easy solutions that fit all circumstances simply doesn't know what they're talking about. That's why I long ago stopped paying attention to parenting "experts" or, really, anyone who thinks they have answers for me but hasn't spent any time being me. And in turn, one big rule I try to hold for myself is to never, ever give any other parent unsolicited advice or criticism.

Even if it's solicited, I tread very carefully. I can ask questions or make suggestions ("Do you think it might work to do blah blah blah?"), but there's no way I can provide solutions with any certainty.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2012, 11:08:29 am »
Think of all the money taxpayers will save when we finally cut Head Start programs.

Seriously, are they still around? I thought those programs got done away with years ago.  ???

I'm glad if they are still around.  :)
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #92 on: February 15, 2012, 04:56:21 pm »
Here's a blog post I just came across, written in response to a new book that argues that French parents are superior to American parents.

http://www.blogher.com/french-parents-are-superior-fact-most-other-parents-are-better-you-are?page=full

Quote
French Parents Are Superior -- Just Like All Other Parents
February 07, 2012 7:41 am by Josette at Halushki in Family

Dear New Parents,

Hi!

How's it going?

Feeling a bit tired? Maybe a little less spry these days what with the 2AM feedings or trying to keep up with a toddler whose main occupation is trying to find new ways to turn your hair gray -- licking outlets, hurtling themselves down stairs, not eating antioxidant rich foods?

Maybe you're feeling a bit overwhelmed. Out of your league. Like you'll never get the hang of this parenting thing and the guilt is starting to seep in with more and more "Oh, what have I done?" moments.

How can this be? You aced Calculus, run your own successful business, maybe you even know how to drive a stick.

And yet you can't quite get over the feeling that if there were a parenting pop quiz tomorrow during Gymboree class, the best you'd get might be a C+. B- if you had a venti cafe mocha and a Red Bull.

All other parents seem like they have it under control. Know what they are doing. Are even -- dare you say it -- better at this parenting thing than you are.

I'm going to save you some wondering:

They are.

Other parents are better.

They are better than you in all ways.

They are better at disciplining their kids, motivating their kids, and keeping their kids out of harm's way.

Their children will have more friends in school, lead more fulfilling lives, and never need therapy.

Their kids will rule. And it will all be because other parents were much better parents than you can ever hope to be.

Sorry.

It's a truth I learned too late to save my own kids. It took me 13 years -- on the Internet reading parenting message boards, reading parenting books and magazine articles, then reading parenting blogs, and finally downloading the "Why Other Parents Are Better Than You" app -- to understand completely all the ways I would never measure up.

It's been disheartening.

But more upsetting was the sheer length of the process of fully coming to terms with the fact that, well, I kinda suck.

I mean, compared to other parents.

Most recently, The French.

So, to spare you my time and effort in learning all the ways I could change (but probably won't) in order to be more awesome (but probably can't), here is the definitive list of all the parents who are better than I am.

In no particular order.

•Strict Parents
•Laid Back Parents
•Urban Parents who give their kids access to lots of Culture and Street Smarts
•Suburban Parents who have Backyards, Good Schools, and Soccer Coaches From Brazil
•Country Parents whose kids Learn Responsibility by Running Large Farm Equipment and Who Know Exactly What To Call The Chicken Hole That Eggs Come From
•Parents who vaccinate
•Parents who don't vaccinate
•Parents who keep a clean house and who carry hand sanitizer in order to keep their kids healthy
•Parents who allow their kids as much contact with germs as possible in order to build up their immune system and keep their kids healthy
•Breastfeeding Parents
•Bottlefeeding Parents
•Religious Parents
•Atheist Parents
•Parents who don't know whether or not God can help them be better parents
•Conservative Parents
•Liberal Parents
•Anarchist Parents
•Noam Chomsky
•Free Range Parents
•Kiddie Leash Parents
•Natural Parents
•Hi-Tech Parents
•Unplugged Parents
•Parents who don't allow cell phones at the age you gave your kid a cell phone
•Authoritarian Parents
•Authoritative Parents
•Positive Parents
•Permissive Parents
•Persuasive Parents
•Mary Poppins Parents
•Dr. Sears
•Dr. Brazelton
•Dr. Laura
•James Dobson
•"I Love Ezzo" Parents
•"I Hate Ezzo" Parents
•Younger Parents
•Older Parents
•Parents of only children
•Parents of two children
•Parents of many children
•The Cosbys
•The Brady Bunch
•The Waltons
•The Duggars Kramer (The Dad, not Kramer The Mother)
•Parents who pick up crying kids
•Parents who don't pick up crying kids
•Parents who co-sleep
•Parents who don't co-sleep
•Parents who spank
•Parents who don't spank
•Parents who care enough about their kids to send them to public school
•Parents who care enough about their kids to send them to private school
•Parents who care enough about their kids to send them to homeschool
•Parents who birthed their kids vaginally
•Parents who birthed their kids vaginally at home with help
•Parents who birthed their kids vaginally at home with no help
•Parents who birthed their kids vaginally with no help in a rain forest on the summer solstice
•Parents who didn't birth kids vaginally just because they like fancy groin scars
•Parents who didn't birth kids vaginally because they are men
•Parents-to-be who will never make any of the parenting mistakes you made
•Madonna and Angelina Jolie
•Straight Parents
•Gay Parents
•Married Parents
•Single Parents
•Sister-wife Parents
•Parents with a high school diploma
•Parents with a college degree
•Parents with a graduate degree
•Parents with no fancy book learning
•Parents who read parenting books
•Tiger Moms
•Russian Moms
•Scandinavian Moms
•Southern Moms
•Your Mother-In-Law
•Mother Teresa
•Martha Stewart
•Crafty Moms
•Parents who blog about their kids
•Parents who don't blog about their kids
•Parents who update all their kids' baby books
•Parents too busy parenting to update all their kids' baby books
•Uber Moms
•Type A Moms
•Good Enough Moms
•Slacker Moms
•Parents who take time for themselves
•Parents who get down on the floor and play with their kids
•Parents who get down on the floor and teach their kids
•Parents who teach their kids to put in flooring
•Parents who stay at home
•Parents who work at home
•Parents who work outside the home
•Parents who are at home outside
•Parents who let their kids drink from the garden hose outside
•Parents who let their kids eat Chicken McNuggets from the garden hose
•Parents who let their free range chickens hose down the home as one of their chores
•Parents who pay their free range chickens an allowance to hose down the home as one of their chores
•Parents of chickens
•Parents of Chuck Norris
•My Mom
I may have missed a few.

I'm kinda subpar at blogging definitive parenting lists.

But surely, that's enough to convince you that you'll never measure up, either.

So, you know...carry on.

Chances are that unless you are just really a complete jerk across several categories on a Venn diagram of types of jerks, your messed-up type of parenting is mediocre enough for your messed-up type of kid.

Even messed-up, you know more than you think you do. Maybe.

Still, you'll never be as good as Dr. Spock.


Offline Luvlylittlewing

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #93 on: February 15, 2012, 05:14:53 pm »
I'm loving this -- especially the 'free range' parents.  Seems like whatever our parenting style, it will never be good enough.  Well, I am good enough as a parent, and so are 90% of the parents I know!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #94 on: February 15, 2012, 05:27:17 pm »
I love it when something written about parenting rings true and says something smart -- it happens so rarely. But this was the second case of it today!

The other time was when, in a David Brooks column, I ran across a mention of the book Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by Annette Lareau. I had added that book to my reading list months ago but had forgotten about it. Now it's back at the top of the list. It's a fascinating sociological study comparing typical middle-class parenting approaches to typical approaches in working-class and poor families, based on the author's observations of families in those groups. (Note the key word "typical" -- obviously there's a lot of variation from one family to the next.)

The book's observations are fascinating, given the discussion we've had here over the past couple of days -- the attitudes here more or less mirror the patterns the author describes. Delalluvia, the ideas in this book could help explain why you, coming from the background you've described, would think an authoritarian and unstructured approach to parenting is obviously and unquestionably superior. And it would explain why I, coming from a middle-class background, would take a different approach -- mine is a fairly close approximation of the one she describes. (It also helps explain my differences with my ex-in-laws who, though nominally middle-class, both came from very working-class backgrounds.)

Delalluvia, if you mingle with a lot of middle-class people today (such as, perhaps, your former coworker), this may even explain why it appears so obvious to you that so many of them are doing it "wrong." And also wh,y when you suggested something that seemed so simple to you, your friend looked at you like you'd grown a third arm.

From Wikipedia's entry about the book:

Quote
Annette Lareau distinguishes between two different parenting styles: Concerted Cultivation and the Achievement of Natural Growth.

Concerted Cultivation: The parenting style, favored by middle-class families, in which parents encourage negotiation and discussion and the questioning of authority, and enroll their children in extensive organized activity participation. This style helps children in middle-class careers, teaches them to question people in authority, develops a large vocabulary, and makes them comfortable in discussions with people of authority. However, it gives the children a sense of entitlement.

Accomplishment of Natural Growth: The parenting style, favored by working-class and lower-class families, in which parents issue directives to their children rather than negotiations, encourage the following and trusting of people in authority positions, and do not structure their children's daily activities, but rather let the children play on their own. This method has benefits that prepare the children for a job in the "working" or "poor-class" jobs, teaches the children to respect and take the advice of people in authority, and allows the children to become independent at a younger age.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #95 on: February 15, 2012, 07:37:55 pm »
I'm loving this -- especially the 'free range' parents.

Me, too! I'm sure I know what that phrase is supposed to mean, but, frankly, the image that came to mind when I read the phrase was kids letting their parents off the leash.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2012, 07:47:48 pm »
Quote
Accomplishment of Natural Growth: The parenting style, favored by working-class and lower-class families, in which parents issue directives to their children rather than negotiations, encourage the following and trusting of people in authority positions, and do not structure their children's daily activities, but rather let the children play on their own. This method has benefits that prepare the children for a job in the "working" or "poor-class" jobs, teaches the children to respect and take the advice of people in authority, and allows the children to become independent at a younger age.

Hmm.

That sounds benign, but I wonder does the author discuss what may be called the "dark side" of this style--or, for that matter, the "dark side" of the other style as well?

Obviously I have little contact with families with children, and the contact that I do have is usually as a witness to behaviors in public, but it troubles me when I think of all the times I've witnessed "directives" in the form of profanity-laced yells directed at kids who are hardly more than toddlers. I'm not sure I buy the part about teaching children to "respect and take the advice of people in authority." Maybe back in the mythical 1950s, but today? Independence is a good thing, but what about when that independence results in gangs of adolescents beating up people in the subway?

"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2012, 08:11:35 pm »
Seriously, are they still around? I thought those programs got done away with years ago.  ???

I'm glad if they are still around.  :)

Oh yes. they're still alive and well. I'll withhold my commentary so this thread doesn't go off-topic.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #98 on: February 15, 2012, 08:22:42 pm »
Me, too! I'm sure I know what that phrase is supposed to mean, but, frankly, the image that came to mind when I read the phrase was kids letting their parents off the leash.  ;D

It alludes to the title of a book called Free Range Kids, written by a woman who caused a big uproar when she wrote about letting her 9-year-old ride the subway alone. Her point is that we should trust kids to be safe on their own in public, without constant adult supervision.

I interviewed the author, Lenore Skenazy, last fall when writing about that Brooklyn 8-year-old who was abducted and killed while walking home six blocks from school. Her take was that while stories like that strike fear into parents' hearts, they extremely rare, and if parents are scared of anything they should be scared of letting their kids ride in cars, where they're much more likely to be killed.



Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2012, 08:32:02 pm »


    Just an iinteresting aside.  We were at a restaurant the other day.  A mother, her two children, and her (obviously) parents came in and

sat next to us.  The oldest child was a girl.  I guessed about 6 or 7 yrs of age.  She had her on a harness, and leash.  The boy, who was obviously

younger than his sister by about three or four years.  He was not on a leash.  He was allowed to walk and sit by himself.  He tried to climb up

into a regular adult chair, and had difficulty, because it was a bit too high.  In the mean time, they brought him a high chair to sit in.  He happily

raised his arms, and allowed his grandfather to seat him.  The daughter was helped into her seat, and the mom removed the leash and harness.

The mom, then went and filled the plates for the children.  We were at a buffet meal.  While she was filling the childrens plates, and the

grandparents were aiding her, by staying at the table, until her return.  The grandmother got crayons and paper and entertaining items out of

her purse to keep the young lady occupied.  The grandfather just talked to the little boy, just by telling him that the meal was going to be

exciting and wonderful.  The boy smiled and waited for the food, with no problem.  Meanwhile the young girl was trying to get out of her seat.

Trying to grab all the provided things that were on the table.  The grandmother just patiently kept the things from her, and asked her to sit

in her seat and wait for the food.

  Before long the mom was back.  She sat the appropriate plates in front of the two kids.  Then the boy started immediately to eat.  The girl

had to be reseated in a forward facing position, and helped to learn to get the fork and spoons availability.  She finally started to eat.  The

whole group gave an obvious sigh of relief, at the now ability to find their own food, and to eat their own meals.

   I was totally intrigued by this action.  The mother, and the grandparents were so calm, so efficient, so prepared (the items in the purse.)

I was very impressed with the way they handled the episode.  No tantrums, no crying, no problems.  They were obviously very dutiful people.

Most people, (me included,) would see a child in a harness, and right away think "what a tyrant, how lazy."  Any parent that would place their

child in that kind of an imprisonment must be very lax or lazy.  I saw as I watched, it was a thing to keep the child from just simply wandering off

or running into traffic, or any of the other harms that might have insued.  They were prepared, they knew the problems that the child had

and were willing to deal with it in the least dramatic way.  No screaming, after the runaway child, no chasing them down the isles, no disruption

of the other diners.  I just wanted to applaud them..  They were a very effective cohesive, and loving bunch.  I was reluctant to leave, for

fear that I could have learned more, by observing them...  I have raised four grown children of my own.  I have had a large or a partial part in

raising many of my grandchildren.  I still have the priviledge of being a go to counselor of my own children, even though they are grown, with

grown children of their own.  I am a counselor to my grandchildren as well.  It is a job, I love, and would not change for anything in the world.

My family is my life.  My proudest achievement.  I relish every second of the whole thing.  From the first birth of my oldest daughter, until now,

when I am helping and enjoying great grandchildren. 

   I guess the whole point of this story, is to say, that with all of this history of raising and helping to raise children.  I can still learn from others. 

Someone that is dealing with an issue that I have not come in contact with..

   This young mother, was raising two children, one a boy, and one a girl.  You would automatically think that the older (girl,)  and the youngest

a (boy,)  were being handled in totally different ways.  They were being treated according to the needs of the individual child.  Not a one

size fits all approach..  Raising children, is both the most difficult job, and the most satisfying one ever attempted...



     Beautiful mind

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #100 on: February 15, 2012, 08:44:31 pm »
Obviously I have little contact with families with children, and the contact that I do have is usually as a witness to behaviors in public, but it troubles me when I think of all the times I've witnessed "directives" in the form of profanity-laced yells directed at kids who are hardly more than toddlers.

I suppose that's an extreme on one side, just like the extreme on the other side would be helicopter parents who control every aspect of their kids' lives. I read somewhere lately that there are even parents who call their kids' employers to negotiate on their behalf!

Quote
I'm not sure I buy the part about teaching children to "respect and take the advice of people in authority." Maybe back in the mythical 1950s, but today? Independence is a good thing, but what about when that independence results in gangs of adolescents beating up people in the subway?

I've read about this book in a number of different places, and I think that actually her point is a bit more complex (I quoted the Wikipedia excerpt because it succinctly covered the major points). I think that stye of parenting emphasizes a more "you" (children) vs. "them" (parents, teachers, employers, cops) attitude toward authority. That is, they focus on having children follow parents' directives, as well as those of school officials and later bosses. One of the primary goals is to keep the child from getting in trouble. But of course, that can backfire if the child decides to reject, rather than obey, that authority (by breaking the law, for example). So the result is far from guaranteed.

The more typical middle-class style, according to her theory, would be parents teaching children that they're equal to authority figures. Of course, most middle-class parents don't want their children to get in trouble, either, and basically they do want them to follow the teachers' rules so they can succeed in school. But the children are more likely to be encouraged to negotiate with or question authority, because it's assumed that one day the kids will grow up to BE those authority figures. Again, it doesn't always work out that way, but that's the idea.

Here's an example. A friend of mine said the first time she saw my son (at school; her son was a classmate of his), he was correcting his 5th-grade teacher's pronunciation of some word. And my son's pronunciation was correct. I later mentioned the anecdote to my son. "I'll bet the teacher loved being corrected like that," I said. "He encourages it," my son said. That seems like a very middle-class situation, according to this author's analysis. And, in fact, it was in a school that served mostly middle- and upper-middle-class families.




Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #101 on: February 15, 2012, 08:46:24 pm »
Quote
Concerted Cultivation: The parenting style, favored by middle-class families, in which parents encourage negotiation and discussion and the questioning of authority, and enroll their children in extensive organized activity participation. This style helps children in middle-class careers, teaches them to question people in authority, develops a large vocabulary, and makes them comfortable in discussions with people of authority. However, it gives the children a sense of entitlement.

Accomplishment of Natural Growth: The parenting style, favored by working-class and lower-class families, in which parents issue directives to their children rather than negotiations, encourage the following and trusting of people in authority positions, and do not structure their children's daily activities, but rather let the children play on their own. This method has benefits that prepare the children for a job in the "working" or "poor-class" jobs, teaches the children to respect and take the advice of people in authority, and allows the children to become independent at a younger age.

Fascinating!!

I can most definitely attest to the veracity of these observations. They basically describe what I learned growing up about myself and my suburban buddies. I am most definitely a product of the Accomplishment of Natural Growth (ANG) model. While my most of peers at summer camp and at school (not to mention the performing arts programs & ensembles) were the product of the Concerted Cultivation (CC) model.

Whereas I met and played with other children in my community by playing with them in the streets, my CC peers did so at church/synagogue, Boy/Girl Scouts, ballet class, soccer practice, etc. My CC peers were directed to participate in a range of activities such as music by their parents--usually, whether they liked it or not. Conversely, I discovered my musical talent on my own with neither any guidance nor any hindrance from my folks. As an adult, I noticed that my CC peers meandered from job to job until they found something they liked and/or were good at. I didn’t think I could afford such a luxury, so I had a fairly singular approach to the job market.

The good news is that both approaches alternately work and fail equally, from what I have seen.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #102 on: February 15, 2012, 08:50:05 pm »
Quote
•Parents of Chuck Norris



BWAAHAAHAAHAAHA!!
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #103 on: February 15, 2012, 09:55:01 pm »
So, yes, as you can tell from public experience with people and bratty kids, parents are not often very good at their jobs.  Mostly, because as some people on this thread have admitted, they're not very disciplined when it comes to raising their kids.


  I do not think that all children that are crying or throwing a tantrum, are brats, or a result of a undisciplined parent.  I have never said that.  I said, that it is how some people see them..  There are many many explanations for why a child is acting in this fashion..  Most of them, (not all,) out of the control of the parents..  It is simply a sad situation for both, the children and the parents.  We that observe it, should try to show more sympathy for the both of them.  Not simply look at it, as an annoyance to US>  throwing up either a silent, or voice formed chastizement, or epithet.




     Beautiful mind

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #104 on: February 16, 2012, 11:42:56 am »
Quote
•The Duggars Kramer (The Dad, not Kramer The Mother)

This one confuses me. I know who the Duggars are--we've talked about them and their "quiverful" enough, and they were just on Today again recently--but I don't understand the "Kramer" part. What's that mean? The only Kramer I know is on Seinfeld reruns.  ???
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #105 on: February 16, 2012, 11:58:29 am »
This one confuses me. I know who the Duggars are--we've talked about them and their "quiverful" enough, and they were just on Today again recently--but I don't understand the "Kramer" part. What's that mean? The only Kramer I know is on Seinfeld reruns.  ???


Yeah, I don't get that one, either. I googled Duggar and Kramer, and about the only thing that came up was a picture of the Duggars credited to someone named Jim Kramer. But that can't be it.

A mystery.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #106 on: February 16, 2012, 12:30:07 pm »
Yeah, I don't get that one, either. I googled Duggar and Kramer, and about the only thing that came up was a picture of the Duggars credited to someone named Jim Kramer. But that can't be it.

A mystery.

Here's a thought just popped into my head: Do you suppose there's a chance that it's a formatting error in the list, and that it's supposed to be a separate entry referring to the Dad (was it Dustin Hoffman?) in Kramer vs. Kramer?  ???
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #107 on: February 16, 2012, 01:11:45 pm »



BWAAHAAHAAHAAHA!!


I agree.. that's brilliant.. I hadn't noticed the Chuck norris reference before!

Here's a thought just popped into my head: Do you suppose there's a chance that it's a formatting error in the list, and that it's supposed to be a separate entry referring to the Dad (was it Dustin Hoffman?) in Kramer vs. Kramer?  ???


I immediately thought of that..
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #108 on: February 16, 2012, 04:33:27 pm »
Here's a thought just popped into my head: Do you suppose there's a chance that it's a formatting error in the list, and that it's supposed to be a separate entry referring to the Dad (was it Dustin Hoffman?) in Kramer vs. Kramer?  ???

I immediately thought of that..

Good call, you two. I went back to the original to see if I'd made the mistake, but no, it's there. But especially with the "the dad, not Kramer the mother," your theory makes perfect sense.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #109 on: February 16, 2012, 10:50:39 pm »
Good call, you two. I went back to the original to see if I'd made the mistake, but no, it's there. But especially with the "the dad, not Kramer the mother," your theory makes perfect sense.

And, believe it or not, I've never seen Kramer vs. Kramer, but I have a memory of hearing some place that the dad was the "good parent" in that film.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #110 on: February 17, 2012, 01:02:23 am »
And, believe it or not, I've never seen Kramer vs. Kramer, but I have a memory of hearing some place that the dad was the "good parent" in that film.

Well the way I remember it (I saw the movie when I was 14 or 15) was that Dustin Hoffman's character came across as the more emotionally attached parent, and Meryl Streep's character seemed to treat the boy more like a trophy.

Just my recollection as an adult.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #111 on: February 17, 2012, 09:49:54 am »
Well the way I remember it (I saw the movie when I was 14 or 15) was that Dustin Hoffman's character came across as the more emotionally attached parent, and Meryl Streep's character seemed to treat the boy more like a trophy.

Just my recollection as an adult.

That would make sense of that list entry, I think, if the dad was the more emotionally attached parent.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #112 on: February 17, 2012, 11:47:08 am »
As I recall, the dad begins the movie as the typical ambitious, workaholic dad. Then the wife abruptly leaves to "find herself." The dad is forced to take over and become a more engaged parent, resentfully and clumsily at first, but with increasing sensitivity and involvement and appreciation for the role. Eventually there's some sort of showdown where he has to choose between work and family. He chooses family. In the end, the wife returns and, I think, wants the kid back. The dad argues that he should retain custody and in the end he does.

In other words, it's basically the story of the struggle that most mothers with careers are familiar with in real life (whether the dad remains in the picture or not). But in this case, hey --- it's a dad deciding that his kid's important! Let's all celebrate! Wow, he's such a great father!!!!  ::) ::) ::)



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #113 on: February 17, 2012, 12:04:36 pm »
As I recall, the dad begins the movie as the typical ambitious, workaholic dad. Then the wife abruptly leaves to "find herself." The dad is forced to take over and become a more engaged parent, resentfully and clumsily at first, but with increasing sensitivity and involvement and appreciation for the role. Eventually there's some sort of showdown where he has to choose between work and family. He chooses family. In the end, the wife returns and, I think, wants the kid back. The dad argues that he should retain custody and in the end he does.

Oi. Who dreamed up that fantasy?  8)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #114 on: February 17, 2012, 12:16:44 pm »
Here's another update on the Unequal Childhoods/parenting styles issue:

So I posted that list of "parents who are superior to you" on Facebook. A bunch of people commented, and I found one friend's comment particularly interesting: She said that when her (now adult) kids were younger she didn't pay much attention to parenting advice, or feel pressure to do things one way or another, just sort of did whatever seemed best at the time. She seemed pretty satisfied with that.

That's an admirable attitude, actually. But when I read it, I thought, "Yeah, and your daughter had a baby at 16 and your 22-year-old son works in a fast-food restaurant."

My point is NOT that my friend's cavalier attitude toward parenting advice "caused" her kids to turn out the way they did. It may have been a factor, but there were other factors involved -- the kids' personalities, their community (rural), their socioeconomic status, etc.

What is interesting is that my friend, who is low-income, does not draw a line between her attitude toward parenting and the way her kids turned out. Most middle-class parents I know feel a huge sense of personal responsibility for shaping kids to turn out a certain way, including making the right "life choices" (i.e., don't have a baby at 16) and achieving a certain degree of career success --- if they don't, they'll feel they "failed" as parents. That's part of the reason they obsess over their activities and classes and schoolwork and so many other aspects of parenting. My friend, I think, places more emphasis on her relationship with her kids, which as far as I can tell is pretty good. And that's important, too (to middle-class parents, too, of course) -- it's just a different focus.
 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #115 on: February 17, 2012, 12:37:05 pm »
My point is NOT that my friend's cavalier attitude toward parenting advice "caused" her kids to turn out the way they did. It may have been a factor, but there were other factors involved -- the kids' personalities, their community (rural), their socioeconomic status, etc.

What is interesting is that my friend, who is low-income, does not draw a line between her attitude toward parenting and the way her kids turned out. Most middle-class parents I know feel a huge sense of personal responsibility for shaping kids to turn out a certain way, including making the right "life choices" (i.e., don't have a baby at 16) and achieving a certain degree of career success --- if they don't, they'll feel they "failed" as parents. That's part of the reason they obsess over their activities and classes and schoolwork and so many other aspects of parenting. My friend, I think, places more emphasis on her relationship with her kids, which as far as I can tell is pretty good. And that's important, too (to middle-class parents, too, of course) -- it's just a different focus.

That's very interesting. And I wonder how much that difference in focus is class-related, or related to socioeconomic status? Reading the part about middle-class parents obsessing over their kids--and it seems to me the writer does link this obsessing to class--reminded me of a scene in My Fair Lady, which I recently saw again on TCM. I'm sure everybody knows the basic plot: Speech Professor Henry Higgins takes the Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into his home to teach her how to speak "proper English" and thereby change her into a "lady." Early in the experiment, Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle, "common dustman," shows up and puts the touch on Prof. Higgins for money. At one point in their conversation, Alfred P. Doolittle remarks to Prof. Higgins that he "can't afford" "middle-class morality." I'm wondering if some (many?) lower-income parents simply "can't afford" to obsess over their kids?

Of course this isn't the only factor, as the writer says, and I'm sure there still are lower-income parents "out there" who do obsess over their kids' schoolwork, and so forth, so that their kids can "have a better life." I'd also be interested in knowing the age of the writer's friend when she had her children--because somewhere I've picked up the notion that some behaviors like having a baby at age 16 can get passed along from generation to generation, and that certainly must have an effect on the outcome of child-raising.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #116 on: February 17, 2012, 01:21:18 pm »
That's very interesting. And I wonder how much that difference in focus is class-related, or related to socioeconomic status? Reading the part about middle-class parents obsessing over their kids--and it seems to me the writer does link this obsessing to class--reminded me of a scene in My Fair Lady, which I recently saw again on TCM. I'm sure everybody knows the basic plot: Speech Professor Henry Higgins takes the Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into his home to teach her how to speak "proper English" and thereby change her into a "lady." Early in the experiment, Eliza's father, Alfred P. Doolittle, "common dustman," shows up and puts the touch on Prof. Higgins for money. At one point in their conversation, Alfred P. Doolittle remarks to Prof. Higgins that he "can't afford" "middle-class morality." I'm wondering if some (many?) lower-income parents simply "can't afford" to obsess over their kids?

I'm sure that's part of it -- lack of time and money. Another part, according to the book, is that poor parents see teachers as "professionals" who know more about education than they do, so they leave it up to them to handle it, whereas middle-class parents see teachers as equals (or even, in some cases, "subordinates") so they feel more comfortable getting involved or even meddling.

I think another big part of it is what the people experienced growing up. You often hear people say, and I've seen it on this thread, that a certain kind of parenting worked for them, so that's what they firmly believe is the "right" kind of parenting now. Of course, even middle-class parents are more active in their kids lives these days (many childhoods, mine included, were the classic "leave the house in the morning and don't come back tiil dinner" style). But I do remember my parents getting involved in school activities, buying me books and art supplies and a typewriter, encouraging me to write and draw and paint, signing me up for things, helping me with homework and creative projects, and so on. (Not that lower-income families never do those things, of course.) It was taken for granted that I would go to college, and that they would pay for it, as was also the case with most of my middle-class and upper-middle-class friends. The parents of my working-class friends (our high school was not class-divided) did not particularly expect them to go to college and wouldn't have dreamed of paying for it.

Another interesting facet of all this is that some child-development experts these days worry that kids don't have enough unstructured time away from adults. They say kids need that free-play time to develop their imaginations and autonomy. (I've interviewed some of these people.) From that perspective, the hands-off lower-class approach is, to some extent, superior to the overcontrolling, overscheduling middle-class approach.

Quote
Of course this isn't the only factor, as the writer says, and I'm sure there still are lower-income parents "out there" who do obsess over their kids' schoolwork, and so forth, so that their kids can "have a better life." I'd also be interested in knowing the age of the writer's friend when she had her children--because somewhere I've picked up the notion that some behaviors like having a baby at age 16 can get passed along from generation to generation, and that certainly must have an effect on the outcome of child-raising.

By "the writer" do you mean me? That previous post was me talking.

Anyway, my friend had her children in her 20s, after she was married. She's actually kind of downwardly mobile, herself. Her parents owned a small-town store and her then-husband worked as a mechanic in his father's shop. Neither went to college, but both earned a lower-middle-class income. After the divorce, my friend has been working at a newspaper, but it's a very small one that pays a low salary. So it's possible to see her children as having grown up in (and now occupy) a lower class than she herself did.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #117 on: February 17, 2012, 03:45:26 pm »
By "the writer" do you mean me? That previous post was me talking.

Oops. My mistake. All I've got time for at the moment--got to catch a train to go visit my dad--is to apologize. Your post didn't have a quote in it, but my mistake was to assume you forgot the quote, and the whole thing, including the part about the woman whose daughter had a kid at 16, was more quoting from the source of the list of parent types.

Sorry about that!
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #118 on: February 17, 2012, 03:50:52 pm »
Oops. My mistake. All I've got time for at the moment--got to catch a train to go visit my dad--is to apologize. Your post didn't have a quote in it, but my mistake was to assume you forgot the quote, and the whole thing, including the part about the woman whose daughter had a kid at 16, was more quoting from the source of the list of parent types.

Sorry about that!

No prob, Jeff! Have a nice time at your dad's.  :)



Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #119 on: February 17, 2012, 09:11:40 pm »
Well, Del, I'm hoping my parenting life is as easy as you make out.. I'll let you know how its going and you can give me some tips along the way... See you at 2am in the morning from June onwards!  ;)

It seems like you see everything in black or white. No shades of yellow there - why is that?

I'd personally say though, that living with your sister and her daughter for 2 years, does not a parent you make.

There has been things that my sister has done in her parenting life - she has 3 girls (14,10 & 8) - which I think is ridiculous or bad or not *really* in their best interests, and there has been times I have said as much to her. Or when I have reprimanded the kids without asking her permission beforehand. However, most of the time I keep my mouth buttoned because at the end of the day I'm not yet a parent and not in her situation.

Ah, so you're saying that people out there with 2 year olds are not parents?

That's what you're saying, right?

Two years I lived with my sister and did the bulk of the childcare mean nothing?

So two years doesn't count, right?

OK, tell that to all the people out there who have recently adopted, fostered or have two year old children.

HEY YOU OUT THERE, KELDA AND MILO SAY YOU'RE NOT "REAL" PARENTS.

True, right?

If your answer is yes, then I'll buy your statement and we can spread the word that REAL parents have a probationary period that they have to pass before being 'accepted' as a 'real' parent.  What is it, 3 years?  10?   35?  What do you suggest?

If you answer no, then I was a parent.  For only two years, but I was.  My niece certainly thought I was because within a few weeks, SHE was calling me 'mom'.  

And I guess what she thought is what really counts.

As for child care, who knows, maybe I was a natural and I just didn't get to practice much.  Some people are better at adapting than others.  My niece was hyperactive.  She wasn't by any means a nice, quiet child.  So she was difficult, comparatively speaking, yet I had no problems with her.

ETA:  I know you didn't mean it that way Kelda, but it is extremely offensive to suggest that there is some sort of probationary period before someone is considered a 'true' parent.  Like our definition of families has expanded greatly, so must our definition of parents.  It's not a sacred cow and there is no one real way to be a parent.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 10:55:15 pm by delalluvia »

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #120 on: February 17, 2012, 10:06:12 pm »
As I recall, the dad begins the movie as the typical ambitious, workaholic dad. Then the wife abruptly leaves to "find herself." The dad is forced to take over and become a more engaged parent, resentfully and clumsily at first, but with increasing sensitivity and involvement and appreciation for the role. Eventually there's some sort of showdown where he has to choose between work and family. He chooses family. In the end, the wife returns and, I think, wants the kid back. The dad argues that he should retain custody and in the end he does.

In other words, it's basically the story of the struggle that most mothers with careers are familiar with in real life (whether the dad remains in the picture or not). But in this case, hey --- it's a dad deciding that his kid's important! Let's all celebrate! Wow, he's such a great father!!!!  ::) ::) ::)

He takes over the single parent role and eventually he and the kid fall into a great relationship. Wife  and wantsreturns and wants custody back. Right before they go to court he looses his job and knows he has no chance of getting custody with no job. He pounds the pavement Christmas eve and gets a job for which he is way over qualified. He looses the custody case and he and the kid are completely wreaked about it. The day he is to turn the kid back over to the mom she decides the kid is better off with him and lets him keep him.

They part as friends.




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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #121 on: February 17, 2012, 10:24:51 pm »
Oh, that's right -- I'd forgotten about the Christmas Eve job hunt. When I was unemployed, I never bothered applying for jobs over the holidays because I know nobody would be thinking about hiring. I now realize it's because, subconsciously, I remember this scene.



Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #122 on: February 18, 2012, 02:29:31 am »
If you answer no, then I was a parent.  For only two years, but I was.  My niece certainly thought I was because within a few weeks, SHE was calling me 'mom'.  

No. You were not a parent. You were an aunt. Aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, etc. can all take care of children, and contribute to their upbringing. That happens every day. It happened in my childhood. Yet none of those other family members were parents.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #123 on: February 18, 2012, 03:03:59 pm »
Del, my opinion is that just because you did the bulk of childcare, that still doesn't make you a parent.

If that was the case, you could say that the workers in a day care centre are parents to children that are in their care for the majority of each working day.

Whether your niece called you Mum, is irrelevant. You did not have overall responsibilty for her. You could not make medical decisions for her, or schooling or nursery care decisions for her. You weren't her legal guardian. And you didn't have to think long term about her future.

I'm not saying you weren't good at caring for her or fabulous at it for that matter. I'm not saying you weren't a doting aunt. But you weren't a parent.

Ah, so you're saying that people out there with 2 year olds are not parents?

That's what you're saying, right?

Two years I lived with my sister and did the bulk of the childcare mean nothing?

So two years doesn't count, right?

OK, tell that to all the people out there who have recently adopted, fostered or have two year old children.

HEY YOU OUT THERE, KELDA AND MILO SAY YOU'RE NOT "REAL" PARENTS.

True, right?

If your answer is yes, then I'll buy your statement and we can spread the word that REAL parents have a probationary period that they have to pass before being 'accepted' as a 'real' parent.  What is it, 3 years?  10?   35?  What do you suggest?

If you answer no, then I was a parent.  For only two years, but I was.  My niece certainly thought I was because within a few weeks, SHE was calling me 'mom'.  

And I guess what she thought is what really counts.

As for child care, who knows, maybe I was a natural and I just didn't get to practice much.  Some people are better at adapting than others.  My niece was hyperactive.  She wasn't by any means a nice, quiet child.  So she was difficult, comparatively speaking, yet I had no problems with her.

ETA:  I know you didn't mean it that way Kelda, but it is extremely offensive to suggest that there is some sort of probationary period before someone is considered a 'true' parent.  Like our definition of families has expanded greatly, so must our definition of parents.  It's not a sacred cow and there is no one real way to be a parent.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2012, 08:12:10 pm »
If that was the case, you could say that the workers in a day care centre are parents to children that are in their care for the majority of each working day.


Good point, Kelda. Even full-time nannies are rarely confused with parents.

But also, I'd like to emphasize that even an actual parent can only speak from the experience of that parent, with that child.

So while it's true that someone who hasn't been a parent really has no authority to say what all parents in general should or shouldn't do, even someone who has his or her own children does not hold that authority. It's the purest arrogance for anyone to claim to know how other people should live their lives.



Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2012, 10:56:51 pm »


  As a point of information.  My grandson and his son, live with my daughter, and my husband, and I.  We have four generations living in the same house.  (It works well for us.) for different reasons.  My grandsons, do not call me mom.  The greatgrandson, calls myself, and his grandmom, mom, or mom, mom.  That is because he has
not graduated to the ability to differentiate his names for us.  We always remind him who we really are.  He will get the hang of it eventually, I am sure.  All of us adults, are the ones that counsel, and tell the kids, when we think they are doing something wrong.  Even though, I am not a parent to them.  They respect me and listen, with no animosity.  That is because I have always been a component in their life.



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Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #126 on: February 19, 2012, 12:59:22 am »
Good point, Kelda. Even full-time nannies are rarely confused with parents.

But also, I'd like to emphasize that even an actual parent can only speak from the experience of that parent, with that child.

So while it's true that someone who hasn't been a parent really has no authority to say what all parents in general should or shouldn't do, even someone who has his or her own children does not hold that authority. It's the purest arrogance for anyone to claim to know how other people should live their lives.


That's pretty absolute...

And I can, absolultely, say that I can come up with a few things that ALL parents shouldn't do in raising their children-I'm sure you can too.
Being able to look at a situation and see potential outcomes is not telling others how they should live their lives. I am not a parent and will never have the perpective of one. I can't fully appreciate on all the levels the difficulties of raising a child and would never claim to know them. But I know enough about child development and have enough common sense to have a valid opinion about what may not be an optimal  choice in a given situation.

Case in point-bedtimes. My brother and sister-in-law are very busy people. Very. Busy. People. My 9 year niece runs track and plays soccer and she is very good at both so ends up on too many teams they end up practicing at night. Plus they are heavily involved in the kids'school and homework is pretty intense. LSS, bedtimes and bedtime routine are difficult to maintain. I know that the things that they do are, in large part, an effort to provide opportunity for the kids-good parenting. But I also know that the kids don't get enough sleep and I see the outcome of that in their behavior. My 4 year nephew is a terror when he is tired and he is often tired. My niece has a hard time getting up in the morning wihich makes them late (and makes mom ugly and cranky) and makes it hard for her to concentrate in school-which impacts her grades which impacts moms behavior. I don't need to be a parent to see that some things need to change with their schedules as they are having a detrimental effect on the kids. I don't voice my opinion about this to anyone but my own parents but if I were, is that really arrogance??  One minute we are lamenting that the village is not there to raise the kids and in the next breath we are telling the village to butt out-or at least the childless members. You can't have it both ways. Being the parent that thinks s/he has nothing to learn from anyone other than another parent seems pretty arrogant to me.

People don't like to be criticized for their parenting. I does't matter where it's coming from-another parent or a childless person. I think this "you aren't a parent so you don't know" is just a lot of talk and badge.
 
That arrogance is not sitting on just one side of the fence.

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #127 on: February 19, 2012, 04:14:51 am »
One minute we are lamenting that the village is not there to raise the kids and in the next breath we are telling the village to butt out-or at least the childless members. You can't have it both ways. Being the parent that thinks s/he has nothing to learn from anyone other than another parent seems pretty arrogant to me.

Well, then I'm glad I didn't say that, and in fact said something pretty close to the opposite of that, in fact twice. I said it's not just a matter of not being a parent, it's a matter of not being that specific parent, having that specific kid, living in that specific community, etc. Other parents can be arrogant, too -- often more so. Thinking you know how somebody else should fix their problems is a stretch whether you are a parent or not. Or for that matter, whether the subject is parenting or not. Somebody else may think it's "just that easy" to see how I could lose 20 pounds or get a better job or keep a cleaner house or what have you. Oh yeah? Well, I'm not perfect but it's just possible that, not being me, you don't fully understand all the factors and that it's really not as "easy" as it appears from the outside.

God knows I don't have enough information to judge your brother and sister-in-law, and maybe they are total idiots and don't know the first thing about running a household, but from what you said it seems to me at least possible that they are intelligent, responsible people who have their reasons for making the choices they make, even if they have downsides and seem like the wrong choices to you. One rule I have made for myself since becoming a parent -- and only since becoming a parent; I didn't use to be this way -- is to withhold judgement of loving parents who appear to be doing the best they can. In the vast majority of cases, believe it or not, even outright parenting mistakes will not leave long-term scars.

Does that mean nobody has any business judging an abusive parent or a parent who leaves the four-year-old alone in the house while she's out dong meth? Of course not. We're talking about caring, responsible, if imperfect, people.

So yeah, it does particularly raise my hackles when someone who does not have kids looks around and declares that most of the people she sees who DO have kids are doing it wrong. Um, maybe you need to be in their shoes before you can really judge a whole population for screwing up something you haven't even tried.

(I can never resist a food analogy. If I am trying to lose 20 pounds, who am I going to pay more attention to, someone else who has successfully lost 20 pounds, or someone who has always been thin? I have heard thin people imply that it's "easy" to stay slim: you just exercise and don't eat too much. Wow, if only I'd known that earlier!)

And actually, this isn't at all inconsistent to my comments about the village, which it seems you might have taken too literally, though that was the distinction I was trying to make. Again, I wasn't complaining that the village doesn't live with its sister and help care for her 2-year-old, although that's a perfectly nice thing to do. Nor was I saying the village needs to step in and give parents more constructive criticism.

My whole point was that what I see happening is a village/culture laying the entire responsibility on parents to control everything children are exposed to, and then going blithely along supporting the very aspects of the village that makes parents' jobs more difficult than they used to be. (One of the people commenting here who seemed to understand this and agree, BTW, does not have kids.) But I'm not talking about people this thread, necessarily -- I'm talking about what I said that triggered this whole debate, the idea that our pop culture constantly tells kids that adults (and parents, and just about all grownup values) are idiotic, and that it's smart and cool to be a kid and call everything bullshit, not to mention take drugs and have irresponsible sex and be violent and blah blah blah ... and then when the kids do those things, who's to blame? Yeah, you guessed it. And the village does this for the perfectly cynical reason of making money. I don't idealize the 1950s, not by a long shot, but one thing they did do right back then, it seems to me, was to have a dominant pop culture that portrayed maturity and responsibility as having value.

But when I expressed that thought before, I was told condescendingly that "it's easy" -- just put the genie back in the bottle, get rid of your computer and TV, keep your kids from having any exposure to pop culture, lock them in a tower, that's all there is to it, what's  your problem, why are you so undisciplined? My answer to that is, yeah, tell me that when you have a houseful of kids.

Quote
People don't like to be criticized for their parenting. I does't matter where it's coming from-another parent or a childless person. I think this "you aren't a parent so you don't know" is just a lot of talk and badge.
 
That arrogance is not sitting on just one side of the fence.


I may very well be arrogant, but not, I would argue, for this particular thing. I don't care if you have no kids or four kids or you're the f'ing Duggars, if someone looks at my life based on what little I've said on this board and decides on that basis that I'm "undisciplined" and am screwing up as a parent and that it would be "easy" to fix everything, I'm not going to take them very seriously.

Yet what's interesting is that, with all my faults -- including being a journalist who surely must occasionally portray people in ways they don't like-- I almost never get criticized by people I barely know. Except when it comes to parenting stuff. That's where the village really does seem to take its stand. The village may not be particularly helpful, but one thing it does not hesitate to do is criticize parents.




Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #128 on: February 19, 2012, 06:40:49 am »
Well, then I'm glad I didn't say that, and in fact said something pretty close to the opposite of that, in fact twice. I said it's not just a matter of not being a parent, it's a matter of not being that specific parent, having that specific kid, living in that specific community, etc. Other parents can be arrogant, too -- often more so. Thinking you know how somebody else should fix their problems is a stretch whether you are a parent or not. Or for that matter, whether the subject is parenting or not. Somebody else may think it's "just that easy" to see how I could lose 20 pounds or get a better job or keep a cleaner house or what have you. Oh yeah? Well, I'm not perfect but it's just possible that, not being me, you don't fully understand all the factors and that it's really not as "easy" as it appears from the outside.
Sometimes it doesn't matter if it is specific or general.  What if sometimes it isthat easy?? What if sometimes it takes someone from outside of the situation to see it clearly? If we were all able to clearly see our own paths there would be no need for therapists! I think we get so mired in our own goo sometimes that not only can't we see beyond that but we also get so defensive about it that we refuse to accept the very things that might be in our best interest. What if sometimes we are what is standing in our own way?

The point I am trying to make is that you don't know where your next inspiration or light bulb moment is going to come from so why close the door? Sure, peoples lives are complicated and we can't know all the factors that impact a behavior but that doesn't mean we can't have some insight into a path that might result in a different outcome. I might not understand the whys and wherefores or the factors that dictate your choices but that doesn't mean I can't see that changing the behaviors will get you a different outcome.  Using your example-if I want to lose 20lbs and you know I want to lose 20lbs and I lament the fact that I just can't seem to loose no matter what I do and we are having lunch and I have a salad with a cup of full fat salad dressing on it you are going to have some insight into why I can't loose weight. You may not know the thought process behind why I am making the choices that I am but you know the behavior is impacting the problem.

Quote
God knows I don't have enough information to judge your brother and sister-in-law, and maybe they are total idiots and don't know the first thing about running a household, but from what you said it seems to me at least possible that they are intelligent, responsible people who have their reasons for making the choices they make, even if they have downsides and seem like the wrong choices to you. One rule I have made for myself since becoming a parent -- and only since becoming a parent; I didn't use to be this way -- is to withhold judgement of loving parents who appear to be doing the best they can. In the vast majority of cases, believe it or not, even outright parenting mistakes will not leave long-term scars.

This illustrates the point I am trying to make. Many of the problems that they have with the kids are due to the kids' sleep deprivation. Using this example, kids need sufficient sleep in order for their brains to develop and function properly. That isn't my judgement, that's fact. So what in their lives can be more important than their kids' health and development? They would, of course, say nothing is. But when you break down the behavior into its component parts, that is not what you get. Parenthood is one big giant sacrifice and this is just one more. They have to make choices-difficult choices affect a different outcome. The lifestyle changes may not be easy but the reason for them are pretty simple and straight forward.
But they are in the thick of it and just trying to get through each demanding day and aren't necessarily looking beyond that.

They are loving parents and trying to do the best that they can and I am a loving aunt who sees how the choices they make impact their kids. So what I do is step in to help them whenever they need extra hands. I try to show them a different way by doing. How differently the kids behave when they get sufficient sleep. How having a bedtime routine makes it so much easier to get them to bed. How I can get them to do things without yelling at them. My sister-in-law then adopts some of those behaviors and things change. I don't tell her how she should be raising her kids but I do show her how a different approach might get her what she wants.

[quote(I can never resist a food analogy. If I am trying to lose 20 pounds, who am I going to pay more attention to, someone else who has successfully lost 20 pounds, or someone who has always been thin? I have heard many thin people imply that it's "easy" to stay slim: you just exercise and don't eat too much. Wow, if only I'd known that earlier!)
][/quote]

And I am going to pay more attention to the person who has a lifestyle and attitude towards food that I know will benefit me in the long run. I may be inspired by someone who has lost weight but I am going to try to follow the path of a person who has a lifestyle that is, and always has been, consistent with what I want. If the question is "how do you stay slim" the answer is easy. I'm certainly needing to lose those 20 lbs. and, for me, that would be easy if only I were willing to make the sacrifices I need to make to do it. There is nothing complicated about that and I am not going to make any excuses about it. If 20lbs is all that needs to be lost and it isn't happening that is due to a lack of commitment. You can make every excuse under the sun but the bottom line is those 20 lbs are there because you don't make the changes you need to make to get rid of them. I am a chub and I have been rocking slim so I can speak from both perspectives.

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My whole point was that what I see happening is a village/culture laying the entire responsibility on parents to control everything children are exposed to, and then going blithely along supporting the very aspects of the village that makes parents' jobs more difficult than they used to be. (One of the people commenting here who seemed to understand this and agree, BTW, does not have kids.) But I'm not talking about people this thread, necessarily -- I'm talking about what I said that triggered this whole debate, the idea that our pop culture constantly tells kids that adults (and parents, and just about all grownup values) are idiotic, and that it's smart and cool to be a kid and call everything bullshit, not to mention take drugs and have irresponsible sex and be violent and blah blah blah ... and then when the kids do those things, who's to blame? Yeah, you guessed it. And the village does this for the perfectly cynical reason of making money. I don't idealize the 1950s, not by a long shot, but one thing they did do right back then, it seems to me, was to have a dominant pop culture that portrayed maturity and responsibility as having value.

But when I expressed that thought before, I was told condescendingly that "it's easy" -- just put the genie back in the bottle, get rid of your computer and TV, keep your kids from having any exposure to pop culture, lock them in a tower, that's all there is to it, what's  your problem, why are you so undisciplined? My answer to that is, yeah, tell me that when you have a houseful of kids.

I don't disagree with your basic premise. Much of the village is shite and can't be relied on to do much of anything good. But I disagree with the "its easy" interpretation. What I got out of that and what I agree with is that many kids today are so incredibly entitled and parents both create and facilitate that. Kids don't have to have all the crap that is available for them to have, or to keep all the crap that they do have when they don't follow the rules. I don't have kids but I know for damn sure that rewarding kids for bad behavior will continue the bad behavior and rewarding them for good behavior will result in continued good behavior. In the same way that one can't lay all the fault on the parents' doorstep, one also can't blame the outside influences when one refuses to do whatever it takes to keep ones kids on as good (I was gonna say straight but I'm not about that ;D) a path as possible. I talk to plenty of parents who complain about their kids but won't take a stand for fear the kid "won't like me" or other but but but.

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I may very well be arrogant, but not, I would argue, for this particular thing. I don't care if you have no kids or four kids or you're the f'ing Duggars, if someone looks at my life based on what little I've said on this board and decides on that basis that I'm "undisciplined" and am screwing up as a parent and that it would be "easy" to fix everything, I'm not going to take them very seriously.

Nor should you, and that isn't about arrogance. And it isn't even about you. I don't know anything about kids or your struggles or much of anything about you really. I only know what you tell us. Maybe the feedback that we get/give is shit, maybe it's gold. You won't know unless you let it into your world of possibilities.

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Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2012, 01:33:16 pm »
If we were all able to clearly see our own paths there would be no need for therapists!

Therapists are people who go through years of special training. And they're people whose advice is explicitly requested. And who tend to reserve judgement until they've spent hours listening to various facets of the situation. And, as someone who has seen therapists for both myself and for my son, I can tell you that even then they often are not particularly helpful.

The most helpful child therapist I ever talked to, BTW, the one who most fully and clearly understood my son's situation, in the end did not have any "easy" advice. He didn't even think therapy would work, particularly. What he did suggest is that I learn to ignore other people's criticism because they often won't know what they're talking about, that I proceed by trial and error keeping in mind that what works one week might not work the next, and that it might be helpful to join a support group of parents who actually have experienced similar situations, to commiserate if nothing else.

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The point I am trying to make is that you don't know where your next inspiration or light bulb moment is going to come from so why close the door? Sure, peoples lives are complicated and we can't know all the factors that impact a behavior but that doesn't mean we can't have some insight into a path that might result in a different outcome. I might not understand the whys and wherefores or the factors that dictate your choices but that doesn't mean I can't see that changing the behaviors will get you a different outcome.

I agree with this. It's possible that I can hear something helpful from you, or a magazine article or TV show, or an advertisement on the subway, or an overheard snippet of conversation -- something that I can put into practice in my own life and will make a difference. But it's difficult for an outsider to know for sure that piece of advice is workable and useful because, as you say, you may not understand all the factors that dictate my choices.

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Using your example-if I want to lose 20lbs and you know I want to lose 20lbs and I lament the fact that I just can't seem to loose no matter what I do and we are having lunch and I have a salad with a cup of full fat salad dressing on it you are going to have some insight into why I can't loose weight. You may not know the thought process behind why I am making the choices that I am but you know the behavior is impacting the problem.

This may be straying a little OT, but it's a good illustration of why what appears to be an obvious and "simple" answer is not always so simple. There are numerous rational reasons why a person trying to lose 20 pounds would opt for full-fat dressing. Maybe she's following a low-carb diet, most of which caution against low-fat dressings because they contain added sugar. Maybe she can't abide low-fat salad dressing, and knows that if she gets it she won't enjoy her salad, so what's the point of eating out and getting a salad. Maybe she knows that the difference between low-fat and full-fat dressing is only about 75 calories (on WW, it's a couple of points), and has already factored that into her daily allowances. I myself pretty much always eat full-fat dressing, even when I'm dieting, because I hate low-fat dressing. (And no, that's not the reason I need to lose 20 pounds. I have managed to lose weight in the past while continuing to eat full-fat dressing -- maybe I'm more likely to succeed if I can enjoy my salads and am not trying to choke down food that I hate.) Heck, maybe your friend is just opting to go off her diet, for reasons you aren't privy to or couldn't fully understand because you don't occupy her body. In any case, your friend probably already knows damn well that full-fat dressing has more calories than low-fat, don't you think? That's not exactly arcane information in this culture.

Now, I'm not saying no information is ever helpful. As we know from the Eat This, Not That books and others, sometimes a food that appears to be healthy and low-calorie is surprisingly not, and vise versa. So if you've got special information to share, I'm all ears! But if you're going to solve my 20-pound problem on the basis of what salad dressing I choose during the one meal that you witness, maybe not.

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This illustrates the point I am trying to make. Many of the problems that they have with the kids are due to the kids' sleep deprivation. Using this example, kids need sufficient sleep in order for their brains to develop and function properly. That isn't my judgement, that's fact. So what in their lives can be more important than their kids' health and development? They would, of course, say nothing is. But when you break down the behavior into its component parts, that is not what you get. Parenthood is one big giant sacrifice and this is just one more. They have to make choices-difficult choices affect a different outcome. The lifestyle changes may not be easy but the reason for them are pretty simple and straight forward.
But they are in the thick of it and just trying to get through each demanding day and aren't necessarily looking beyond that.

They are loving parents and trying to do the best that they can and I am a loving aunt who sees how the choices they make impact their kids. So what I do is step in to help them whenever they need extra hands. I try to show them a different way by doing. How differently the kids behave when they get sufficient sleep. How having a bedtime routine makes it so much easier to get them to bed. How I can get them to do things without yelling at them. My sister-in-law then adopts some of those behaviors and things change. I don't tell her how she should be raising her kids but I do show her how a different approach might get her what she wants.

Well, that's great then, a happy ending. I'm not really in a position to analyze their situation any further, although I WAS wondering why, if you felt you could make a helpful suggestion, you didn't just tactfully make it.

BTW, on the subject of relatives helping out, my kids were always much better behaved when staying with their grandparents. Amazingly, all they had to do was tell them to do something, and they'd do it! For a long time, my in-laws assumed it was because they were more effective at dealing with kids. Eventually they did realize that it wasn't that simple.

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And I am going to pay more attention to the person who has a lifestyle and attitude towards food that I know will benefit me in the long run. I may be inspired by someone who has lost weight but I am going to try to follow the path of a person who has a lifestyle that is, and always has been, consistent with what I want.

In my experience, someone who has struggled for a long time with their weight usually knows more about food and exercise and what it takes to diet than someone who has always been thin. And among people who have always been thin, there are those who exercise and eat healthy, and there are those who wouldn't walk around the block and spend every night eating chips in front of the TV. Lifetime thinness often has more to do with genes than lifestyle. Even for thin people who DO all the right things, there is generally much less "sacrifice" involved -- those choices often just come more naturally. My ex-husband genuinely LOVES to exercise -- he doesn't have to force himself into the gym. I've known people who might have a plate of homemade cookies on the counter and not even think about them, whereas I would be constantly aware they are there and eventually devour six of them. The thin people are not consciously sacrificing, or exercising all their willpower, as I would have to -- cookies just aren't important to them. (BTW, if we both lived 500,000 years ago, or maybe even 500, I would likely be flourishing and the thin person who doesn't really love fattening foods would be dead.)

So no, if a thin person says to me, "Just don't eat the cookies! It's really that easy!" I'm not going to take it as seriously as someone who has lost 20 pounds and gives me advice based on having struggled with a similar situation and found a solution (make a kind of cookies you dislike, allow yourself one as a treat but write down the calories, or whatever -- not saying these are necessarily magic solutions, either, but they're more constructive).

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If the question is "how do you stay slim" the answer is easy. I'm certainly needing to lose those 20 lbs. and, for me, that would be easy if only I were willing to make the sacrifices I need to make to do it. There is nothing complicated about that and I am not going to make any excuses about it. If 20lbs is all that needs to be lost and it isn't happening that is due to a lack of commitment. You can make every excuse under the sun but the bottom line is those 20 lbs are there because you don't make the changes you need to make to get rid of them. I am a chub and I have been rocking slim so I can speak from both perspectives.

I am a chub and have been rocking slim, too, and I see it as far more difficult than that. Losing weight involves sacrifices, yes, but sometimes those sacrifices are relatively easy and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes I can eat nothing but healthy stuff for a week or two with very little effort, maybe lose a few pounds, and think, "Wow, I could go on like this forever!" And then -- BAM. Suddenly, I can't. I can't fully explain the reasons, but I suspect they have to do with biological and/or psychological processes that are far more complicated than simple matters of discipline or willpower.

If the answer to weight loss were "easy," weight loss wouldn't be a $75 trillion (or whatever) industry of books and programs and foods and whatnot. And you wouldn't have scientists starting to admit outright (as they did in a NYT Magazine article a couple of weeks ago) that successful permanent weight loss is so rare that they're beginning to consider it not really possible, at least not for most of the population. Is it possible to lose weight? Sure, I've lost 20 pounds probably six or seven times in my adult life. And I do know a few people who've lost weight and kept it off for, say, 10 years or more. I myself have never made it more than about three.

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I know for damn sure that rewarding kids for bad behavior will continue the bad behavior and rewarding them for good behavior will result in continued good behavior.

You would think so, wouldn't you? It certainly makes logical sense. Sadly, it's not always that simple. For example, I have two sons. One of them has probably spent more time confined to his room in a given week than the other has spent cumulatively in his entire life. Which do you think is the better behaved?

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In the same way that one can't lay all the fault on the parents' doorstep, one also can't blame the outside influences when one refuses to do whatever it takes to keep ones kids on as good (I was gonna say straight but I'm not about that ;D) a path as possible. I talk to plenty of parents who complain about their kids but won't take a stand for fear the kid "won't like me" or other but but but.

I can think of buts, there are plenty of buts. I guess "the kid won't like me" would not be one I've heard much, myself, though.

Could some parents improve their parenting? Sure. My point here was not that every parent is already doing everything perfectly. My point is that their situations are often more complicated than they appear to a casual observer.,

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Nor should you, and that isn't about arrogance. And it isn't even about you. I don't know anything about kids or your struggles or much of anything about you really. I only know what you tell us. Maybe the feedback that we get/give is shit, maybe it's gold. You won't know unless you let it into your world of possibilities.

Oh, I let it into my world of possibilities. All I'm saying is that you should understand that my world of possibilities also include a three-foot-tall stack of books, four or five therapists, advice from who knows how many teachers, endless hours reading papers and articles by prominent cutting-edge researchers, a handful of phone interviews with some of these same researchers and other child-development experts -- including one child psychologist who quoted me in his book -- a handful of articles I've written myself, and 17 years of thought. Parenting challenges have been not only a personal thing for me, but a good part of my professional career. I have written articles debunking much of the well-known research on parenting -- it's mostly seriously flawed, because it's based on studies of biologically related families, but that's not surprising because parenting advice itself has always been something of a snake-oil business, much like the weight-loss business.

So yeah, if you're going to say, "Here's some feedback for what it's worth, maybe it's shit, maybe it's gold," I'm fine with that. I'm not covering my ears and singing "Lalalalala." But if someone spends five minutes hearing my situation and thinks she can immediately provide an "easy" answer that will solve the entire problem based on what her parents did when she was a kid, I'm probably just going to find it annoying.

BTW, here's one interesting thing that many people don't know or remember. In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan goes off on all the lax, overindulgent parenting she sees around her and how those parents are raising lazy, helpless kids. That book came out in 1963, and those kids would be us.


« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 03:09:50 pm by serious crayons »

Offline RouxB

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #130 on: February 19, 2012, 06:14:54 pm »
Therapists are people who go through years of special training. And they're people whose advice is explicitly requested. And who tend to reserve judgement until they've spent hours listening to various facets of the situation. And, as someone who has seen therapists for both myself and for my son, I can tell you that even then they often are not particularly helpful.

The point is not about the therapist or the training or the solicitation, it's about the iindividual. Sometimes an outside pair of eyes can see a clear path.
I agree with this. It's possible that I can hear something helpful from you, or a magazine article or TV show, or an advertisement on the subway, or an overheard snippet of conversation -- something that I can put into practice in my own life and will make a difference.

That is all I am saying

But it's difficult for an outsider to know for sure that piece of advice is workable and useful because, as you say, you may not understand all the factors that dictate my choices.

And maybe that outsider can see-and this isn't directed at you, I just am out of pronouns-that a person is so wrapped up in their own tangled mess of excuses and rationalizations and justifications and defensiveness and "I am so complicated that no one can possibly understand what I am going through" mentality that they are completely closed off to what could be useful. And I am speaking situationally, not globally.

I used to think that I was so "tortured" and difficult to understand and "different". I'm not. Sure, I am unique superficially but in the big, giant picture I am just another body. I think we tend to think that we are so unique that it takes some deep knowledge of us to "understand" us when in fact our behaviors speak volumes about who we are. That is just my opinion from my own experience. I think there is quite a bit of truth sometimes in "I know you better than you know yourself". It took me until this past year to really understand and accept there is something in that.

This may be straying a little OT, but it's a good illustration of why what appears to be an obvious and "simple" answer is not always so simple. There are numerous rational reasons why a person trying to lose 20 pounds would opt for full-fat dressing. Maybe she's following a low-carb diet, most of which caution against low-fat dressings because they contain added sugar. Maybe she can't abide low-fat salad dressing, and knows that if she gets it she won't enjoy her salad, so what's the point of eating out and getting a salad. Maybe she knows that the difference between low-fat and full-fat dressing is only about 75 calories (on WW, it's a couple of points), and has already factored that into her daily allowances. I myself pretty much always eat full-fat dressing, even when I'm dieting, because I hate low-fat dressing. (And no, that's not the reason I need to lose 20 pounds. I have managed to lose weight in the past while continuing to eat full-fat dressing -- maybe I'm more likely to succeed if I can enjoy my salads and am not trying to choke down food that I hate.) Heck, maybe your friend is just opting to go off her diet, for reasons you aren't privy to or couldn't fully understand because you don't occupy her body. In any case, your friend probably already knows damn well that full-fat dressing has more calories than low-fat, don't you think? That's not exactly arcane information in this culture.

Excuses.  It isn't about  full fat dressing vs. low or non-fat dressing! It's about making choices that aren't getting you where you want to be! A cup of full fat dressing has half a day's worth of calories which isn't in this situation getting me where I want to be. So I need to make different choices, fat free dressing is only one available option. I can use far less dressing, I can use lemon juice, I can use seasoned rice vinegar, I can order something else. You don't need to know my life story to know that my counterproductive food choices might  be the reason I am not losing the weight that I am trying to lose.

This so gels and illustrates what I think that I have been trying to get at that I won't even bother to reply to the rest of what I had planned. For me it all boils down to personal responsibility. We can make excuses and justifications and long drawn out rationalizations about why we do the things we do but the bottom line is we are responsible for the choices that we make. Sometimes the choices are relatively easy and straight forward, most times they are not. But I believe that there is a choice that will always get us closer to where we want to be-we just can't always see that path because it is sometimes so difficult to see outside of our own patterns of behavior. Sometimes someone who just has the benefit of seeing our repeated behavior without the baggage that comes along with it can give us some insight.

I think the biggest gift you can give yourself, and those that look to you for guidance, is the knowledge of self-responsibility, which includes "when you chose the behavior you choose the consequences. There will always be outside forces trying to influence you to make choices that are not in your best interest, and this is especially true for kids, but bottom line, the option to swim against that tide always exists.

With that, I am checking out of this discussion because it is becoming circuitous.  :-X
 


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Offline delalluvia

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #131 on: February 19, 2012, 08:54:33 pm »
No, I'm going to have to disagree with most all of you.

Who considered me their mother?

The child.

Why are YOU guys saying that what the child thinks doesn't count?

SHE most certainly thought I did enough to be her parent.

And I don't recall that a single one of you addressed the fact that you are going to have to call parents who don't care for their children all the time - can we say "daycare"  - real parents.

I did MORE childcare than a current parent who puts their child in daycare for an 9 hour workday.

Would any of you like to address that?

You are going to have to claim then, that these parents aren't parents either.

What did you say Milo?  Oh, that they're just aunts/uncles.

Do you think THEY will agree with you?

You guys are SO way off target on this.

And really, do you want to claim that just because someone doesn't have their own children they can't speak to it?

Do you really want to go there?

OK, if you're not gay, you can't speak to gay issues, if you're not ethnic, you can't speak to ethnic issues, if you're not poor, you can't speak to poverty issues, etc., etc.

Yes, and some things ARE easier than others make it out to be or that they want it to be.  Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.  Sometimes people are better at some things than others.  

It happens for every occupation and skill out there.  Some people find a particular job or skill difficult and hard and others don't.  Why should parenthood be any different?

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #132 on: February 20, 2012, 01:27:48 am »
The point is not about the therapist or the training or the solicitation, it's about the iindividual. Sometimes an outside pair of eyes can see a clear path.
That is all I am saying

And maybe that outsider can see-and this isn't directed at you, I just am out of pronouns-that a person is so wrapped up in their own tangled mess of excuses and rationalizations and justifications and defensiveness and "I am so complicated that no one can possibly understand what I am going through" mentality that they are completely closed off to what could be useful. And I am speaking situationally, not globally.

I used to think that I was so "tortured" and difficult to understand and "different". I'm not. Sure, I am unique superficially but in the big, giant picture I am just another body. I think we tend to think that we are so unique that it takes some deep knowledge of us to "understand" us when in fact our behaviors speak volumes about who we are. That is just my opinion from my own experience. I think there is quite a bit of truth sometimes in "I know you better than you know yourself". It took me until this past year to really understand and accept there is something in that.

Excuses.  It isn't about  full fat dressing vs. low or non-fat dressing! It's about making choices that aren't getting you where you want to be! A cup of full fat dressing has half a day's worth of calories which isn't in this situation getting me where I want to be. So I need to make different choices, fat free dressing is only one available option. I can use far less dressing, I can use lemon juice, I can use seasoned rice vinegar, I can order something else. You don't need to know my life story to know that my counterproductive food choices might  be the reason I am not losing the weight that I am trying to lose.

This so gels and illustrates what I think that I have been trying to get at that I won't even bother to reply to the rest of what I had planned. For me it all boils down to personal responsibility. We can make excuses and justifications and long drawn out rationalizations about why we do the things we do but the bottom line is we are responsible for the choices that we make. Sometimes the choices are relatively easy and straight forward, most times they are not. But I believe that there is a choice that will always get us closer to where we want to be-we just can't always see that path because it is sometimes so difficult to see outside of our own patterns of behavior. Sometimes someone who just has the benefit of seeing our repeated behavior without the baggage that comes along with it can give us some insight.

I think the biggest gift you can give yourself, and those that look to you for guidance, is the knowledge of self-responsibility, which includes "when you chose the behavior you choose the consequences. There will always be outside forces trying to influence you to make choices that are not in your best interest, and this is especially true for kids, but bottom line, the option to swim against that tide always exists.

With that, I am checking out of this discussion because it is becoming circuitous.  :-X
 

OK!  :)  If what you're saying is that some other person may have an idea that might somehow be useful to me, or that I might not make all the perfect choices all of the time, I can't disagree with either of those.  :)



Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #133 on: February 20, 2012, 01:37:54 am »
OK, if you're not gay, you can't speak to gay issues, if you're not ethnic, you can't speak to ethnic issues, if you're not poor, you can't speak to poverty issues, etc., etc.



I have plenty to say about gay issues, believe me, but in six years on this board (and, of course, in my real life before and during that) I don't believe I've ever told a gay person that I know more about how to be gay than they do.

Same with ethnic issues, same with socioeconomic issues. As a sentient observer of people around me, it's inevitable that I'll have an opinion. Most people do, and in my mind they should feel free to express it. But if I ever tell someone that I know more about how to be them than they do -- huh, let alone that "it's just that easy" ... well, let's just hope that never happens.



Offline Kelda

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #134 on: February 20, 2012, 05:27:11 am »
No, I'm going to have to disagree with most all of you.

Who considered me their mother?

The child.

Why are YOU guys saying that what the child thinks doesn't count?

SHE most certainly thought I did enough to be her parent.

And I don't recall that a single one of you addressed the fact that you are going to have to call parents who don't care for their children all the time - can we say "daycare"  - real parents.

I did MORE childcare than a current parent who puts their child in daycare for an 9 hour workday.

Would any of you like to address that?

You are going to have to claim then, that these parents aren't parents either.

What did you say Milo?  Oh, that they're just aunts/uncles.

Do you think THEY will agree with you?

You guys are SO way off target on this.

And really, do you want to claim that just because someone doesn't have their own children they can't speak to it?

Do you really want to go there?

OK, if you're not gay, you can't speak to gay issues, if you're not ethnic, you can't speak to ethnic issues, if you're not poor, you can't speak to poverty issues, etc., etc.

Yes, and some things ARE easier than others make it out to be or that they want it to be.  Sometimes they are, sometimes they're not.  Sometimes people are better at some things than others.  

It happens for every occupation and skill out there.  Some people find a particular job or skill difficult and hard and others don't.  Why should parenthood be any different?

No, I didn't say you couldn't speak about it. I said you weren't a parent.

You're niece would have had no knowledge of the other things involved in being a parent when she called you Mum.

As I said before, you cared for her but you didn't have overall responsibilty for her. I used the same sceanario you have, re daycare. People in daycare are also not parents.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #135 on: February 20, 2012, 11:06:44 am »
What did you say Milo?  Oh, that they're just aunts/uncles.

That's correct. And my position has not changed. Many family members contribute to the upbringing of a child. They cannot all claim to be parents.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Shakesthecoffecan

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #136 on: February 20, 2012, 01:21:58 pm »
That's correct. And my position has not changed. Many family members contribute to the upbringing of a child. They cannot all claim to be parents.

Have a nice day!  ;D
"It was only you in my life, and it will always be only you, Jack, I swear."

Offline serious crayons

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #137 on: February 20, 2012, 04:24:38 pm »
Excuses.  It isn't about  full fat dressing vs. low or non-fat dressing! It's about making choices that aren't getting you where you want to be! A cup of full fat dressing has half a day's worth of calories which isn't in this situation getting me where I want to be. So I need to make different choices, fat free dressing is only one available option. I can use far less dressing, I can use lemon juice, I can use seasoned rice vinegar, I can order something else. You don't need to know my life story to know that my counterproductive food choices might  be the reason I am not losing the weight that I am trying to lose.

And by the way, my reaction to your salad dressing illustration was not "excuses." (I'm sorry, but I hate having what I consider reasonable and carefully worded counterarguments dismissively waved off as "excuses.")  It was my attempt, which evidently didn't impress you, to show that watching someone eat one meal may not give you sufficient insight over her entire dietary habits to diagnose her weight-loss obstacles. Which, after all, is really what we're talking about here: does a casual observer see enough in a brief glimpse to successfully fix someone's life? Not "do they know enough to make a possibly helpful suggestion" -- of course they can do that. But do they know enough to get a few rough facts, tell the person they've immediately spotted the entire underlying problem, and present it with an added little "It's really that easy!"

I can assure you, full-fat dressing is not what stands between me and losing 20 pounds. That problem has much more to do with beer and cookies, but you haven't seen me consume those. If you had, and you pointed out that drinking too much beer and eating too many cookies might be detrimental to my weight-loss efforts, I would probably politely thank you. But my tone would be rather flat because, guess what, I already knew that.

If someone has genuinely little-known information to impart, it's helpful. If the tone is polite and not overbearing, it's usually welcome. But if someone points out the stunningly obvious as the solution to someone else's problem, or presents him/herself as an authority on an endeavor that s/he has never actually attempted, it's irritating. Most people know that salad dressing can be fattening when they're basically eating salad-dressing soup with specks of lettuce floating in it.

And this is an excellent analogy for the child-rearing issue.




« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 06:26:15 pm by serious crayons »

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: What Happened???
« Reply #138 on: February 20, 2012, 04:55:48 pm »



  This whole issue to me is getting tiresome.  We are all going to have to agree, to disagree.  We are never going to convince some of the people here, that they are wrong.  They are never going to agree that we are correct.  I think that what must be done from here on out.  Is to just say to a person, that ~thinks~ that they know how to raise a child better than an actual parent.  As has been intimated to from some of the people in this discussion.  We will just have to say.  Think what you want to think.  You are going to do so anyway.  Just keep your opinions of those parents to yourself, unless you are asked for advice.  Otherwise you are just going to alienate people that don't care to hear your opinions.



     Beautiful mind