it took cojones to parent in the old days

Sure, some might say we grew up roughing it by today’s standards…but maybe we were the ones who actually gained in the end.  Is it possible, as the author says, that “we just don’t have the cojones our parents had”? 

“If you haven’t noticed, we’re getting a raw deal where this parenting gig is concerned.  When did adults start caring whether or not their kids were safe, happy or popular?  I can assure you that Ginny and Big Jerry were not wiling away the hours wondering if my brother and I were fulfilled.

Big Jerry was stoking the fires of his retirement savings and working, and working some more.  Ginny was double bolting the door in order to keep us out of the house, and talking on the phone while she smoked a Kent.  Meanwhile, we were three neighborhoods away, playing with some kids we’d never met, and we had crossed two major highways on bicycles with semi-flat tires to get there.  Odds are, one of us had crashed at some point and was bleeding pretty impressively.  No one cared.  We were kids and if we weren’t acting as free labor, we were supposed to be out of the house and out of the way.”

Are Today’s Parents Getting a Raw Deal? | The Huffington Post

Forever Family: adoptees’ voices

I’ve tried to approach Forever Family posts from different viewpoints, to make them a diverse look at adoption issues overall.  But in the end they’ve naturally been written from an adoptive parent’s perspective (aka mine).  Even my posts discussing things the kids struggle with are still second hand – my interpretation of their experience. 

I thought I might look for some firsthand resources to explore today.

Continue reading

parenting in the digital world

As we inch closer and closer to T-man’s 13th birthday – and since he’s begun to dip his toe into the Instagram world – I’ve been grateful to find resources with some parenting advice.  Something a little more concrete than buckle up and hold on tight.

“[After studying social media posts what] these researchers found was largely consistent with recent reports from the Pew Foundation, which suggested that most teenagers 13 to 17 were generally happy with their connected lives online, and believed that hanging out virtually strengthened their offline relationships.

‘Being 13’ provides an asterisk of sorts to that rosy outlook: These teenagers, at the youngest end of the spectrum, valued their online connectedness but also described in more detail the ways the specific online interactions affected them…social media had great power to affect their day-to-day emotions in ways a parent might regard with suspicion.  One child said she took 100 to 200 pictures of herself to get a good selfie; another regularly posted images on Instagram seeking specific forms of approval only to receive silence in return.  Many spent hours scrolling through the images of their peers’ lives online…

Here’s how to guide, help and monitor your child as she joins social media.”

Seven Ways Parents Can Help 13-Year-Olds Start Their Social Media Lives Right – The New York Times

when the neighbors don’t even stop for a gushing head wound

Let’s just say finding out I’m the neighborhood freak around here wouldn’t exactly be the shock of the decade.

“Once in a while, a thought occurs to me.  It’s not always a good one, but at least it is a thought.

I once saw an episode of ‘The King of Queens’ where Carrie turns to Doug with the revelation, ‘WE’RE he neighborhood freaks!!’  Of course, they were outside their house, having a shouting match regarding some outlandish predicament while the neighbors were hiding behind their curtains.

It hasn’t quite come to that, but I fear it’s only a matter of time.”

We’re The Neighborhood Freaks! | The Snark And I

Adulting is hard. CliffsNotes help.

We are not born with the genetic makeup containing life skills needed for success.  Humans require a decent amount of knowledge acquisition.  Here are just a few of the skills required for successful adulting.

“People think of learning as something that happens primarily in the classroom but our children learn how to “adult” by watching us, by being with us while we do our errands and by taking note of how we behave in any given situation.  When they go off to live their lives we wonder how they will figure everything out.  The following are thirty-three basic life skills that hundreds of parents agree young adults should have mastered by the time they leave us to lead their own lives.

1) They should know how to craft a handwritten note, place it in an envelope, address said envelope, stamp it and mail it.  And, while we are on the topic of mail, they should be able to pick up a package from the post office.  Tip: If you are mailing something oversized or heavy, it may need extra postage (let the nice mailperson at the post office weigh it).”

Here Are the 33 Life Skills Your Kid Needs to Know to “Adult” – Grown & Flown

living a guide to a life worth losing

Everyone has a story.  Everyone has a past.  We just need to listen.

“Growing up in foster care is like having all the innate childhood enchantment stripped from you.  It is being punished because adults could not love you enough.  It is being eleven and scared.  It is the first night you’re removed from your home and meagerly clicking your heels three times, whispering “I wish I was home”.  This too-optimistic endeavor is not enough to disengage you from the spell that ripped you from the siblings you’d spent your childhood raising.  You never get them back.  Growing up in foster care is rejecting any idea of God because you cannot fathom how this oh-so-powerful entity could watch you crush up crayons in your own spit and feed it to your siblings, convincing them that it tastes just like mac and cheese and not intervene.”

Rage Against the Minivan: What I want you to know about growing up in foster care and subsequently aging out

today’s Minion mini rant

Somebody who doesn’t like Minions?!  Say what?!?  As someone who lives with young(ish) kids I figured this would be enough to get someone deported.

“As someone who normally routes for the underdog, it isn’t without regret that I confess after trying to give them a chance and pretending to tolerate them for entirely too long, I’m ready to admit that Minions are without exception the most grating, insipid characters ever brought to life in a kid’s movie…

Let me begin with the appearance of Minions.

Bright yellow in color with a body that looks like an antibiotic that’s sure to make you reconsider the importance of health, Minions are the first answer that comes to mind if one were to answer the question, ‘What does it look like when Homer Simpson takes a dump?’ “

I Can’t Pretend Anymore: Minions Are The Absolute Worst — Sass and Balderdash

Bella’s 6 step campaign for a TV

The never ending balancing act that comes with having more than one kid.

“Thus began Bella’s campaign for her own TV.  She started off slowly, asking Phaedra to turn up the volume on her TV so she could hear it from across the hall in her bed.  But when she started to disagree with Phaedra’s DVD choices, she started to get real.

I wish I had a TV in my room like Phaedra.”

The TV – 649.133: Girls, the Care and Maintenance Of.