Log in

No account? Create an account
10:18am 04/09/2005
mood: distressed
For those of you who have/had toddlers - how the hell do you get time-out to work? She simply isn't responding to it. Seriously. It's having no effect on her behavior. She'll even climb in the chair and strap herself in, and it takes at least five minutes for her to start fussing. Nine times out of ten, she'll go right back to doing what she's not supposed to right after she's released. I'm at the end of my rope with her, but I also know that spanking isn't going to work (certainly didn't with me!).

     Read 3 - Post
03:21pm 26/07/2005
  viggorlijah mentioned something in her journal the other day that started me thinking a bit. As I said in a comment to her, I think that Julia is of average intelligence for her age--obviously, I think she's quite bright and special, but objectively, I think she's about where she should be for 3 1/2. Ella, I think, is slightly above average in her speaking skills, but I wouldn't say that she's exceptional. There was a very good conversation in another journal a few months ago--I can't remember if it was friends-only or not, so I won't use names--about the state of gifted education. One person pointed out, and I think it's quite true, that gifted education in a public school setting often gets muddled because so many parents feel that their children belong in the gifted class, leaving no place for the truly exceptional. Part of me would like my children to be exceptionally intelligent, and part of me really fears the idea--so many exceptionally bright children are very unhappy. Being both above and below average can be very isolating for children. (Luckily for me, my children seem to be in no danger of being super-geniuses.) I guess I'm wondering what everyone else thinks--it seems to me that a lot of parents say that they want their children to be intelligent, but they don't seem to have the understanding that, especially for children, intelligence comes at a cost. Or, when people say that they want their kids to be gifted or smart, do they really mean that they want them to achieve academically? (I don't think that a child necessarily needs to be super-intelligent to gets A's in school, so I tend to view these things as apples and oranges.)  
     Read 7 - Post
11:22am 25/05/2005
  TV makes me think!Collapse )

Also, some questions, if anyone cares to humor me:

Is parenting a component of the parent's life, or a life's calling?

On the same note, is it taken too much for granted to that everyone will at some point have children, to the point that it is no longer really questioned, and people don't really ask if having children is their "calling"?

I would argue that one of the kinks that needs to be worked out of feminism in general is the work=value-in-life connection. More than that, though, did the feminist movement teach women to place a greater value on being selfish? Is being more selfish a necessary component of being what they used to call "liberated"?
     Read 8 - Post
A little book report 
02:42pm 29/03/2005
  Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood by Susan Linn
Read more...Collapse )
And also, a question: should marketing to kids be limited and/or banned? Is all advertising a matter of free speech?
     Read 3 - Post
09:56am 24/03/2005
  Alright, so. Jesse and I have a bit of a problem with his father and stepmother. They are evangelical-style Christians, and although they are aware of our beliefs (Jesse is a raging atheist, philosophically Buddhist type--would you agree with this description, Jesse?--while I am more of an I-don't-know, trying to be open-minded agnostic) they persist in sending stuff of a religious nature to the girls. For Christmas it was a Veggie Tales DVD, featuring a Bible story performed by animated vegetables with a message about Jesus at the end, and just yesterday it was Easter cards, reading "Easter is a time for celebrating Jesus, but also for celebrating our wonderful granddaughter!" and, my favorite, "We love you a whole lot, but Jesus loves you more!".
Read more...Collapse )
Basically what I think I'm asking is: am I making a mountain of a molehill, and is it worthwhile to have a word with them about it before the girls get any older? On the one hand, knowing Jesse's stepmother, asking them to reign it in will ignite World War III, but on the other hand, I'm not going to be bullied, especially where our kids are concerned.
     Read 6 - Post
02:37pm 21/03/2005
  Perhaps this is just my own perspective talking here, but is the childfree community not one of the biggest bunch of whiners you have ever seen? And really unnecessarily hateful? I personally think that it's great to choose to be childfree, and I for one have never urged anyone to procreate. But referring to parents as "moos and duhs" and children as "crotch droppings/dumpings"--terminology seems to have become accepted in other unrelated communities--is not cool. (All of the members, I presume, sprang fully-formed from the seafoam themselves.) The primary purpose of this community seems to be complaining about any and all public encounters with children. And while I am the first to admit that many parents fail to handle their children well in public, what's the deal with the impatience and intolerance so many people seem to have? I'm sorry that it irritates people to see or hear children in public, but frankly I can think of things about parts of the general public that irritate me, yet I understand that I don't have the right to swan through life never being annoyed or irritated. It's especially interesting because I believe that a pretty compelling argument could be made that children--especially younger children--spend more time isolated from the rest of the adult population now than in pretty much any other time in human history.

Right, I had a point here somewhere: what are your perceptions of the divide between parents and non-parents? It's something that I've noticed myself quite a bit because I am the only person in my immediate circle of friends who has kids. Mostly my friends seem to think that I won't want to go out anymore. I get the sense that sometimes people without children feel that parents don't value their opinions on parenty-related matters, or that the parents even feel somehow superior. My potentially unpopular opinion is that it is very difficult to fully understand parenting if you aren't a parent--I know that I didn't. Having children is something that is difficult to experience on an intellectual level, and I thus I think hard to relate to when it hasn't been experienced. Having children of my own has also helped me to understand my own parents better, in ways both good and bad. So I do feel like parents may have a type of understanding that the childfree lack, but then it's a trade-off--I sit at home with my shiny new understanding while my friends go out to see movies and dance on bars.
     Read 4 - Post
Newborn euthanasia 
08:54pm 09/03/2005
mood: contemplative
CNN article here.

I'm mostly interested in what the rest of y'all have to say, but for what it's worth, here's my two cents...

The idea is horrifying, but more because of the thought of having to make that kind of decision than the practice itself. It's my worst nightmare, having to give birth, knowing that the child won't live, or will live in excruciating pain and misery. I actually wish this was an option available here in the US, instead of having to be resigned to simply withholding treatment and watching your baby slowly die. I honestly think that I'd much rather be able to hold my child in my arms, knowing that s/he was finally relieved of its misery, and have the comfort of knowing when death will arrive rather than having time crawl by.

I guess another large part of it is that it is what I would want if it were my life in question. If that was me, lying deformed and in pain with no hope whatsoever of recovery? I most certainly hope that my guardians would end my misery. (In fact, I'm looking into having a DNR specifically put in my will, as well as a clause stating that should euthanasia become legal in whatever place I'm residing, that it be considered an option under set circumstances.)
     Read 4 - Post
06:38pm 27/02/2005
  This is an issue that I would particularly like to get an international perspective on: quite alot has been made lately (at least in Ohio) about parents who buy alcohol for their teenaged children, and allow their kids to have parties in their homes where alcohol is served to their friends as well. (I've actually seen signs in the grocery store here, right by the beer, that say something like "When you allow your kids to drink, we all lose!") What's your take on this? Is there anything to the idea that kids are going to drink anyway, so it's better for them to be home and supervised? At what age? Should the consent of the parents of the other kids attending the party be required? On a similar note, is it better for parents to allow their teenagers to have sex at home?  
     Read 2 - Post
Mozart makes me feel like a failure.... 
02:19pm 20/02/2005
  I was wondering how people feel about things like teaching their kids to read early, or play an instrument or sport. Because I feel like children have the potential to learn and do so many things far earlier than parents and/or adults general start teaching or allowing them to do.

Obviously I would love it if Julia and Ella wanted to and could do anything like that as early as possible. But then I think about whether they would do something because they genuinely want to, or because I want them to do it. Mostly I think a good strategy is to make a particular activity available to the child and to let them take an interest in it on his/her own and if it's something you can do, to let them see you doing it. There's also a concern about being exposed to something too much, too early and getting burnt out on it, even though it's something the child actually really enjoys.

Another issue I've heard mentioned, which I mostly dismiss but am curious to see what others think, is that a child who can do something at an earlier age than most other children will be viewed as a misfit by other children (and even other adults), and that even if the child is not viewed that way by others, may feel that way about him/herself.

Anyway, this is kind of a rambling post, but it's something that interests me so if anyone else has any thoughts, that would be cool!

P.S. This topic leads to another topic that I've been thinking about, which is, "Where is the fine line between being proud of your children's achievements and wanting to share about it and being one of those annoying people who would appear to have the uber-child and never stops bragging about it?" But that's for another post, I think.
     Read 8 - Post
And also... 
11:01pm 18/02/2005
  Interesting side-effect of parenthood: you find yourself uttering words and phrases that you never, in a million years, expected to hear youself say. Just today I was in the waiting room of the doctor's with the girls, and I heard myself saying "Sweetie, I need you to stop licking that chair". Which is something that I didn't have much occasion to say before having children. Other improbable but necessary utterances?  
     Read 5 - Post
10:27pm 18/02/2005
  A bit of a tetchy subject, but: discipline. What methods do you use/plan to use? As far as I can tell, most ways of dealing with naughty children involve some form of either time-out or a loss of priviledges. Oh, and some people also the believe in the idea of natural consequences--if an older child refuses to wear a coat, for example, the child is sent to walk to school sans coat, is very cold, and thus learns his or her lesson.

At what age do you consider it appropriate to introduce the idea of consequences to young children? More tricky: what to do with teenagers, who have figured out just how difficult punishments are to enforce? How important is it to be strict, or not? Does the level of strict-ness (is this a word?) that you grew up with affect how you plan to raise your own children? A lot of questions here, so I will now shut up. (My own answer in the comments below.)
     Read 5 - Post