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Posts Tagged ‘children’

It may seem as though, with cell phones, CNN, FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter that we are more connected than we ever were.  But, we are really just more connected with a small group of people and less connected with our own world.

It always makes me feel sad to be in a restaurant and see a parent spending quality time with their child by spending the whole meal, talking on the cell phone while their child sits there alone, eating their own lunch with no one to talk to. 

People, if you are going to take your child to lunch, I do not care if they are five or twenty-five, turn the phone off and get to know them.  You can return the call when the meal is over, but you only have a short time to connect with your child.  You cannot go home and yell at them for something you feel they should not have done, if you cannot take time to get to know who they are.

I shall step down off my soapbox now and get back to updating my website. 

Thank you!

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I think I presumed too much with yesterday’s post. Like, the fact that not everyone has had the experience of taking three poorly home schooled children into their home and trying to get them up-to-date with the real world.

Now, let me say this before I get home schooler’s hate mail. I have seen parents who did an EXCELLENT job home schooling. It can be the best thing in the world for some kids. I would have probably thrived with it, myself.

However, that is the best of home schooling and what my three guys had was, well, NOT the best of home schooling. It started out fine. I think it is much easier to home school a third grader than it is a thirteen year old. By the end, with ten (at the time they left) children in the home, schooling became a three month out of the year project.

It is not just the home schooling, it is the isolation of the life they lead and when they hit that age, where they should have had a friend nudge them and say, “You stink, go use deodorant.” or even when they should have had a friend to ride their bike round and round the block with, there was no one there.

What they had was work, and chores, and work. That is not to say work is wrong for a kid. Far from it. I think kids need chores and to learn responsibility and to do things for others. BUT, kids also need fun and they need friends. They need to talk to kids their own age without mom listening into every conversation or picking and choosing those friends.

These guys have had a real hard time telling the good guys from the bad guys in town and they have never ridden their bikes around and around the block with their twelve year old friends. But, the youngest guy is putting a lot of miles on driving his car up and down the drive.

I guess it is something he needs to get out of his system. So, we try not to say too much about it but do tell him when to stop.

All three of these boys have a Clinical Psychologist to talk through their problems and when you have been locked in a closet for a month, with a five gallon bucket for a toilet, there is a lot of talking going on there. Hopefully!

And, to further clarify, when you have grown up like that, isolated from a range of other kids your age, except for the occasional other home schoolers, you can be a bit behind in maturity and drive your car up and down the drive instead of driving your bike around the block.

Now, in fairness to him, he is really excited to have a job and now a car he has purchased with his own money. He will be getting his permit soon and he will be in heaven, because, in Brown County, “a man ain’t a man without a truck.”

Go figure!

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We have taken on a roll that many adults now hold, and that is grandparents who become parents to their grandchildren, as well as taking care of their own parent.  It is one thing to raise a child from birth, or a young age, and it is another thing to take on a teenager.  I mean, come on guys, the world is WAY different now than it was when I was a teen. 

 

The deal with these guys is their previous upbringing, or lack thereof.  There was a big focus on being obedient and saying “Yes, Sir” and “No, Ma’am.”   While, we feel it is more important to have respect and give respect than it is to say meaningless words that you are beat for, if you do not say them. 

 

The boys did have varying degrees of influence from us.  They were with us, for their first: nine years, six years, and three years respectively.  The youngest does not remember living with us at all.  The oldest made a fluid transition to our home.  He did not make a fluid transition to school.  He once did a whole semester of homework, without ever turning it in to the teacher.  This is something only a homeschooled boy would do; or an idiot.  And, he is not an idiot.  We found out about it because we had four teachers tell us, at his first public school conference, that he was a genius.  I could only look down at the F’s across the page and ask “Why this, then?”  Not turning in homework will make even a genius fail. 

 

What worries me is the lack of “love of knowledge and education.”   It was more important in their stepfather’s home, to fear than to love.  Fear Stepfather’s belt and retribution, fear (for girls) of not wearing prairie dresses and head coverings.  Fear of the word “Foolishness.”  That last one is because it means the “rod of correction” is going to beat it out of you when your grandparent’s leave. 

 

These three are safe now and have varying degrees of success.  They do not know how to judge people, as their past experiences consisted only in friends like themselves.  Which consisted of other ultra conservative Christian home schooled children who are protected from the world out there by paranoid parents.  So, we are now locking our doors and covering our windows so the Bi-Polar ex-girlfriend of EMT will leave us alone, perhaps proving that it is not so bad to be paranoid.  But, it is not a good way to live.  He trusts everyone and is friends to everyone, even someone who is in need of commitment (even her mother says so at this point). 

 

I do not understand why these parents, who isolate their children from modern society, do not realize that their children must go out and live in the world we all live in and if you do not provide a child with the tools to recognize and understand that world, that they will have a hard time getting along in it.

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XUP Bedtime Stories for the Stout-Hearted « XUP tells the best stories.  I have heard of Rasputin before but this is a great retelling. 

What this has to do with today’s post, you ask?  I am not sure, but I will try to find a way to bring it in.  I just read XUP’s post and had to pass it on.

I am sitting here thinking about fish and guests.  You know that saying about a fish and guests after three days.  I have a guest who is going on fifteen days now.   Today, I sit and think of ways to get her to leave.  Perhaps just, “EMT said you were leaving today, don’t forget the children’s toys.”

Yes, she has children, at her mother’s home and she has gone there and gotten all  three of them once, so I had a Saturday of children and then one of them once, so I babysat for that one.  I’m thinking she is just too comfortable here and it’s time to stop feeding her.

EMT has stated that she is not the person he thought she was.  I pointed out that living with someone can sometimes show that up, and that no one said she would be living here.  He had said, and I quote, “you’ll be seeing a lot of X .”  And that is not X as in XUP.  Her I could put up with for fourteen days.  She, I told you I could find a way. 

Anyway, this girl has got to go.  Fifteen straight days is WAY MORE than a lot of someone.  And, with her, I think three days might be more than enough.

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I came from a television family, my dad had the first television on our rural block and then studied, evenings, to become the local repairman. TV has been the background of my life.

 

Mom has a debilitating heart condition now and spends a ton of her day in front of the television. She cannot walk very far on her own and that has, needless to say, slowed her down considerably.  She has an electric buggy but does not use it much unless I am around, because mom never learned to drive. GASP!

 

Yes, children, there are people in the world who have never learned to drive.

 

When she was sixteen, her brother took her out in the farm yard to teach her. He later declared she had sideswiped a cow and was hopeless and never took her out again.

 

My dad acted like he was teaching her to drive, but only actually offered to teach her when she 1. Had a cake in the oven and couldn’t leave or 2. It was Christmas Eve and snowing; thus making sure she never learned. 

 

NO ONE drove my dad’s car (my brother and I were both taught to drive by our mates) and he was not going to make an exception for her. Beside, dad was rather of the belief that women are to be taken care of and not allowed to learn to think for their selves. Yes, a chauvinist extreme.

 

What does all this have to do with TV, you ask? Well, if mom was comfortable driving, she would be tooling all over Martinsville, Indiana in her scooter. She wouldn’t be afraid to enter the elevator with it. Getting in and out of the elevator is kind of scary yet and we work on that every time I am over. It is a tight turn.

 

But, for now, she sits and watches tv. She likes to watch “Little People, Big World” and “Some obnoxious woman and her beaten husband and their twin daughters, one of whom is an obnoxious child and the other who is ignored, and their sextuplets, many of which are brats.”  And, apparently, the whole family likes to hit each other on the head. I do not watch it, so I’m not as up on it as she is.

 

Secretly, I think mom likes it because the children are so out of control, and maybe the families are dysfunctional. The husband on “Little People…” overextends and leaves projects unfinished; thus reminding mom of my father, who measured shelves every year for twenty years and never did get the shelves put in until they were ready to sell the house.

 

I’m not sure why she enjoys bratty children? I plead the fifth.

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In the last couple of weeks, I have felt well enough again to start cleaning the house. You know that television show where they show you just how bad of pigs some people can be? Well, I have entered the room of the “child” and realized, that’s my home.

 

It has been a long recovery and with too many people, in too small a house, and the rest of them being men, who think cleaning is to use the sprayer, at full throttle, to rinse dishes, thus ensuring that that area of the kitchen also receives a shower —- well, you see my life.

 

Since the last two years of my life has consisted of me going from the treadmill to the couch, I have not traveled the vast wastelands referred to as:

 

BOYS ROOMS!

OR

DID YOU KNOW?

 

1. That JRockGuitarMan (youngest boy) is able to now provide homework from six months ago? Mind you, it’s too late!

  

2. That, while EMT (middle boy) keeps his room clean, he will manage to leave his stuff in every single other room of the house?

 

3. That a three month visit can turn your screened-in porch into a rabbit warren store room?

 

4. Did you know that Gaffer and girlfriend are able to amass more plastic drink cups, from fast food restaurants, than McDonald’s buys in one year? 

 

5. That one carefully emptied lower shelf, in the bathroom, is not enough for a college girl’s makeup and that the teeny tiny counter in the bathroom will be unable to hold the extra roll of toilet paper because it too is covered with makeup?

 

6. That just one day before Gaffer and Girlfriend are to leave, (The flight is scheduled for 8:45 am tomorrow, meaning they have to drive off just after 5am) and they are off on a stay at the State Park and this is what their room looks like?

 

7. And, that this is the sum total of dirty laundry and garbage (including those drinking cups) from the cleaning they HAVE done? 

 

GOSH, I WILL miss them.

I really will!

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I have just read an incredible book. It is The Butterfly Garden, a Memoir by Chip St. Clair.

As a child, Chip was raised by abusive parents. I am not going to give any of the stories away, but it is abuse by a man who was evil and sadistic and, in my opinion, a mentally ill mother.

That he survived at all, is a miracle, and he has shared his story with the world, as well as his break-through recovery.

This is a special cause for me, as I find abuse in my own family. I am now raising, well they are almost raised at 21, 19 and 16, three abused boys. I see, on a daily basis, how this background haunts them. They struggle with many things the rest of us take for granted. They are seeing a clinical psychologist, and have all had flashbacks from Post Traumatic Stress.

They were robbed of their childhood and education, and they hold a constant fear as to what is happening to their siblings. They sit and reminisce about being locked in closets and beaten with horse cinches. I am hoping that, Mr. St. Clair’s book can help them learn how to recover and I recommend it as a must read by everyone.

How many times have you said to yourself, “I wonder what goes on in that home?” Don’t just say it. Become informed. Go to some of the websites Chip lists as resources. Get involved. Do not sit back and wait for someone else to report it. It’s hard enough to get anything done about it; believe me, I know.

Children are too precious to ignore.

P.S. I want to thank http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/ for the give-away I won this book on. It will mean a lot to my family

 

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