Some thoughts on socialization

Heather, the Swiss Army Wife, points out an interesting article in Psychology Today magazine.

Here’s a direct link to the article.

The article is about how, at least here in the United States, we’ve built a cultural and social structure that created this thing known as the teenager. A state where they have a lot of freedoms and abilities, but yet they don’t. Where mentally and physically they are capable of many things, yet we’ve put massive restrictions and burdens upon them. As a result, we’ve created a lot of the “teenager vs. parent” conflicts and generalized teenager angst. It’s an interesting read.

One reason Wife and I choose to homeschool is because of the breadth of people our children are exposed to. Our kids are not locked in school rooms with 25-35 other kids about their same age and development level, day in and day out for the majority of their young lives. In fact, much of the time you go through each grade in school surrounded by the same people. Then many of them are involved in after-school activities, and often those involve the exact same people the kids see during the day with perhaps some specific variance but still generally divided by age/grade. So it’s really just this small slice of folks that the kid interacts with, all around the same age and development. It’s the blind leading the blind with sometimes far too often the only external guideance coming from less desirable sources like TV, movies, and other bits of popular culture. Granted you can expose children to folks of other ages and development levels, but “with our busy lives these days” that doesn’t often happen.

Homeschooling tends to lend itself to children being exposed to a cross-section of people of all ages. My children attend Daily Mass, which is mostly attended by elderly. When doing things in their 4-H program, they’re working with kids from ages 8 to 18. Even just in daily schooling the 3 kiddos are with each other, all of their different ages and development stages. There’s much to be learned from this, especially exposing kids to older folks (role models) and allowing your kids to sometimes be the older folks (role models). From the article:

Teens in America are in touch with their peers on average 65 hours a week, compared to about four hours a week in preindustrial cultures. In this country, teens learn virtually everything they know from other teens, who are in turn highly influenced by certain aggressive industries. This makes no sense. Teens should be learning from the people they are about to become. When young people exit the education system and are dumped into the real world, which is not the world of Britney Spears, they have no idea what’s going on and have to spend considerable time figuring it out.

This isn’t to say that homeschooling is the only way to get kids exposed to the right people, but it does show what homeschooling can offer, especially when the biggest concern folks have about homeschooling is “socialization”. Regardless of how your children are socialized on a daily basis (homeschooling, private school, public school, etc.), don’t worry so much if they are being socialized; if the children interact with other humans on a regular basis, they’re being socialized… even us homeschoolers let our children out of the dungeon once in a while. 🙂 Instead, concern yourself more with the quality of the socialization they are getting.

More iPhone tales

Today we had to travel across town to visit the kids’ dentist. Oldest is going to be getting braces, and this was the consultation… for my cash-ectomy. 😉 It’s going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt him, but thankfully his braces will be “routine” and not any major ordeal. The big hope is improvements in well… attitude and long-term outlooks on the part of Oldest. As you can guess, he’s not thrilled about getting braces, but it’s one of those teenager rites-of-passage so here we are. How long? Dentist said 18-24 months, but ultimately it depends how his body responds to the treatment. Wife did braces a couple years ago and she was over the top with her oral hygiene during the process. As a result, she was able to get hers off a lot sooner because her mouth was in fantastic shape. Oldest has observed this and at least mentally has acknowledged that the ordeal will end sooner if he takes good care of things. Of course, that will still require over a year of dedicated every day work on his part. So, we’ll see what it leads to for him in terms of longer-term goal accomplishment and such. That is, Dad looks at this not just as a way to improve Oldest’s smile, but also a lot of other things for him too. 🙂

But that’s not what this is about. This is about my new iPhone!

I knew I’d use this thing more for data than phone. That I can be just about anywhere and do things I need to do is awesome. I was working on my news feeds while in the waiting room. I’m rather behind on things due to the way the weekend was, so it was great to be able to catch up and not be further behind. I use NetNewsWire for my RSS reading, and they have an iPhone app version of the same. Cool thing? If you sign up for their NewsGator service, it will keep all your subscriptions and read/unread information on their server. So I was reading things while on the road, but didn’t complete all the reading. Get home, get things synced, and I can pick up where I left off using my MacBook Pro and the desktop client. Very nice to have not only the ability to do what I want where I want, but to be able to keep various devices and mechanisms in sync. Cool!

I’m still adjusting to how the iPhone does things. I wish there was a more direct way to flip around between apps than to always have to click the Home button then re-navigate to the app. That is, some apps will launch other apps (e.g. NetNewsWire might let me view a page in Safari), then I can’t just easily switch back to NNW but I have to go back Home, refind NetNewsWire, then get into it. Granted the app doesn’t lose its state, which is nice, but it’s still one of those navigational annoyances.

One thing I really would like is a better way to access Facebook. The Facebook iPhone app is nice, but 1. doesn’t support landscape typing, 2. is really just an accessor for Facebook itself. To play games I found I have to use Safari, ensure I bypass the mobile login for Facebook, then work from there. It’s rather cumbersome, but at least I can toodle around on Facebook games if I want to while on the road. 🙂  Gotta mind the important things in life, right?

And yes… Wife has bigtime envy. I’m sure I’ll be getting her one soon. 🙂

I still got it

Had a nice Independence Day weekend with the in-laws.

Up at the father&mother-in-law abode, they have a “tank” — basically, a pond. When they expanded its size about 4 years ago, they stocked it with some fish. My kids have been on a fishing kick lately, so they wanted to go fishing and fishing they got. Actually, this was more “catching” than it was “fishing”, but still great! Oldest caught a catfish and 2 largemouth bass. Daughter caught a catfish. Youngest caught a catfish and a couple bluegill. All the keepers were about 2-3# in size, bass were 14-16″ and catfish 19-21″. Kept 5 total fish, and some were thrown back. It was a big learning experience for Youngest because he’d get some fight on his line then the fish would throw the hook… Youngest got upset about it, but he has to learn that sometimes that’s what happens. A few minutes later it even happened to me and Youngest saw it (just a few feet from shore, and Youngest even got to see the fish throwing the hook) — see? even happens to Daddy!

Nevertheless, a good time catching fish. Brought them back up to the house and I learned that my fish cleaning skills are still with me. I haven’t cleaned a fish since I was a teenager (either haven’t fished or have only fished catch-and-release), but I still got it. We’re going to have some fried catfish and bass for lunch today.

After that, went to my brother-in-law’s place. Kiddos got to swim. Ate good food. Fireworks too. Since we live in the city (Austin only allows things like sparklers and snakes) and typically have burn bans, we don’t get much for fireworks. But my brother-in-law had no such issues so they bought all sorts of things. Kids got to shoot some stuff off, see some rather big shells going off. It was quite cool for them to finally get to experience fireworks beyond the little dinky things that we might get to do on occasion.

It was a hot, tiring, weekend. But ever such a good one. Family’s important. Spend time with them. I don’t often hear people saying “gosh, I wish I spent more time at work” but often you’ll hear that folks wished they spent more time with their kids and family.

Anyway, I’ve got some fish to fry.

Don’t fear the sun

Linoge made a comment on my  posting “I’m not so sure about that“. As I wrote a reply I realized that what I had to say warranted a full-on blog posting. So here it is.

Wife and I have chosen to homeschool our kids. Why? Numerous reasons, but the key ones are the public school system sucks and we’re not rolling in enough dough to consider private school. I went to public schools all my life, Wife was in private Catholic schools. While I think my public school experience wasn’t too bad, I have heard from old friends with younger siblings how the same top-notch schools we went to have degraded. Due to things like “No Child Left Behind” concerns are less on true education and more on test scores. I know all too well how you can get an “A” on a test and walk out of the classroom knowing nothing (no cheating involved, it’s just about working/gaming the test and not on gaining true education and knowledge). So when Oldest was an infant and we started to think about our schooling choices, homeschooling wasn’t something we had ever thought about but the more we researched the option the more it appealed to us. Every year we reevaluate our options and approach because the bottom line is we want the best for our children and if situations change and there’s a better avenue, we’ll take it. So far no better avenue has surfaced and we continue to homeschool our children.

Of course, whenever you mention the word “homeschooling” to someone, the Pavlovian response is “But what about socialization?”. The “S” word. Socialization takes on a different meaning these days and frankly that’s socialization we can do without. And certainly homeschoolers can be a little bitter about the FAQs we’re constantly hit with. But if there is one thing I’m well aware of it is that my children can be sheltered due to homeschooling. Since they are not surrounded by those of their age group for 8 hours a day every day, there’s no question my children don’t receive the “socialization” that kids attending public or private school receive. In part that is one reason for homeschooling, because we can exert more control and influence over our children, who they are exposed to, what influences them. Remember that not all influences are good ones, and even with our controls our kids still get exposed to bad ones (Oldest had a bully situation at a summer camp last year). But I know that my job with my children is to provide them with the skills and knowledge that enables them to not just survive but thrive in the world. My children are only spending a short time with me; most of their life and time is going to be spent as an adult in the real world, so they need to know how to work with the real world — which includes knowing how the real world is, good and bad and ugly. To truly shelter my children is not doing them any sort of service.

I admit that you shouldn’t expose your children to all things, or at least that you have to be mindful of when and how to expose them. There is something about making things age-appropriate and ensuring the child has the maturity and capability to understand and handle what you’re doing. Let’s take guns as an example. There’s not much reason to introduce an infant to guns, but as soon as infant is able to be mobile (about 6 months, crawling stage), you as a responsible parent and gun owner must take steps to secure your firearms because that infant will get into everything and knows nothing and no amount of attempting to teach them about guns is going to help. As your child gets older and can understand what guns are about, even if they cannot fathom death, it can be reasonable to start to introduce things to them. For instance, if you’re watching cartoons and Bugs Bunny puts his carrot into the muzzle-end of Elmer Fudd’s shotgun and Elmer just gets a blackened face, it’s worthwhile to start explaining to your child the difference between fantasy and reality. Then when you think your child is able to handle more regarding guns, you can expose them as you wish. Look at Kathy Jackson’s articles on Kids and Guns for some excellent writings on the topic. If nothing else, and certainly when kids are at a younger age, you should introduce them to Eddie Eagle. His message of “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” teaches nothing about gun handling, but a lot about keeping kids safe if they encounter a gun.

Do my children know about guns? Certainly. I make guns no mystery to them, and frankly this has caused them to think of guns as rather mundane with little appeal. I think that’s a good thing as there’s no forbidden fruit syndrome to make guns enticing. Do I care about teaching them defensive uses of firearms? No, not at this point. Right now I just teach them safety rules, marksmanship, fundamentals, and most of all to just have fun. Sometimes if something comes up, sure I’ll discuss it, but it’s not hypercritical at this point to give them intensive defensive handgunning 101. But basic ways to stay safe? Sure. Things like the InSights ABC’s (Always Be Cool). To be aware of surroundings and trust your gut. And certainly other more specific things get taught, just not some intensive course like I might enjoy taking. The reality is that shit happens, and if the shit happens to my kids I want to ensure they’re able to return home. The thought of not being able to hold and hug my child is most unappealing to me, and it’s my duty and responsibility as a parent to ensure they have every skill and bit of knowledge possible to ensure their success in life.

I don’t live my life in fear, and I do my best to encourage my children to do the same. Yes they have fears, but I teach them true ways of being empowered to conquer those fears. Allow and accept the fears to happen, face them, let them pass over and through you, learn to control them, and channel them to your advantage. I remember when my kids first climbed a ladder and they’d only go up a few steps, but then the day came when they climbed to the top and gleefully shouted “Dad look! I did it!” Small thing perhaps, but the lesson is they were afraid of the height, of the new experience, but they didn’t let the fear stop them and in the end they conquered their fear. This has enabled Oldest to enjoy having the upper bunk-bed; how life is better when you don’t live in fear, eh?

You only have so much time and so much energy in life, why expend it on fear? How much life can you enjoy? Fear is what leads to sheltering, and while I won’t say it’s not justified, if you’re always stuck in the shelter you never get to see the sun and all the beauty that comes from it.

Morning randomness

Went out this morning for a bit. A bunch of little things came up that aren’t worth a whole blog post, but I wanted to put down somewhere. Make one big post. 🙂

More from the snub-nose files

I opted to do a little snubby shopping this morning. I think I’ve settled on something like a Smith & Wesson 640: J-frame (or the like), all steel, chambered in .357 Magnum, fully enclosed hammer. Note that while I would like it to be chambered in .357, I don’t think I’d ever really want to shoot .357 out of it; probably just shoot .38 Special +P. I just think it’d be ideal to have it chambered in .357 so I could shoot it if that was needed; for instance, I needed that extra oomph, maybe that’s the only ammo I could find and would be better than nothing, etc..  The versatility and options from the chambering would be nice, but not required; I would be happy with just .38 +P.

Went to McBrides to see what they have. They had some stuff, but nothing like I wanted. In fact, on the drive home I also stopped into a pawn shop and a sporting goods store. Basically what seems to be carried has at least some aspect of what I don’t want. First, the predominant models are lightweight models, which I’m not sold on wanting. The all-steel models aren’t much heavier (tho I was amazed at just how lightweight that S&W M&P 340 felt, and I did like that U-ramp rear sight) and will be nicer to shoot. Then if they had a steel model it would have an exposed hammer. Or one third thing might be laser grips, which I don’t want. So, nothing in stock that I’d want, either new or used. But I do think that going used would be a way to go, if I can find it. 

Questionable Fund Raising

At many intersections here in Austin you’ll find people begging for money, food, pot (yes, I’ve seen requests for this on their signs), various other things. Oh yeah, they’re also disabled vets, anything helps, God bless. I’m not insensitive to the plight of the homeless, but the vast majority of the folks I see do this as their chosen way of life. I’ve seen them at various intersections around town over the years. If they’re truly someone in need of help, Austin is loaded with help; instead of walking up and down the intersection for a few hours and spending any money they get on booze, they could walk to the help facilities or buy a bus ticket or any manner of things to help themselves. But they don’t, because they don’t want to; they don’t want help. These folks are just freeloaders and parasites and I refuse to support that with my hard-earned money.

So then I see kids out there with signs saying they’re fund raising for their baseball team’s trip, or to help the basketball team reach the finals. Or some such thing. While that seems a more noble cause — and how can you place kids in the same boat — I have to question the tactics. That some adult leader of that group thought that begging for money would be a good way to raise funds, and that the rest of the adult leaders in the group went along with it and said yeah that’s a good idea. What a wonderful thing to teach the children, eh?

Motorcycle Parking Spaces

Do you know what a motorcycle parking space is? The same spaces that cars park in, unless a specific motorcycle parking space is designated (I’ve seen such things).

What isn’t a motorcycle parking space? Sidewalks, crosswalks, the walkway in front of a business door (that’s under the awning and out of the rain, but certainly isn’t a place for vehicles), handicapped walkways. I’m a motorcycle rider myself, but I just cannot stand when other motorcycle riders think that because they’re on a bike, because they’re afraid of getting their bike tipped over or rained on or merely because they’re small enough to fit in some spot (or maybe they’re just arrogant or lazy riders), that they can park wherever they want to. Sorry, no, you can’t.

At the sporting good store, a Moto Guzzi was parked in the handicapped area. You know how those spaces can be set up in the parking lot, with a wide space then lots of paint bordering things, leading into the middle, then through the median as a “cross-walk” so that people with wheelchairs can safely get around. Well, Mr. Moto Guzzi parked his bike right in the median break; no chance of a wheelchair getting through. Why does this bug me? Because I have a nephew in a wheelchair. I’ve had times when we’ve gone out and his van couldn’t be parked in a handicapped space because of people abusing handicapped parking hang-tags. Or in a case like this, the only way for a wheelchair bound person to get around would be to navigate through the parking lot instead of the designated lane. Not a safe and sound thing.

If you ride a motorcycle, don’t be an asshole. Park your bike in a proper parking spot. If you want special motorcycle-only parking, lobby for it.

Conversation I Overheard When I Returned Home

Wife: (Calls Youngest to come downstairs).

Youngest: (Eventually shows up).

Wife: Where were you?

Youngest: I was in my hamper.

Wife: You mean your clothes hamper? You were inside your hamper?

Youngest: Yes. I was sitting in it, clothes piled on top of me.

Wife:  Why were you doing that?

Youngest: I don’t know. It was comfy.

I’m not even going to try to understand it. I’m just going to chalk it up to some random cuteness. I later found out he decorated his hamper to look like a monster, so when you open the lid to put in your clothes it’s as if the monster is eating your clothing. Fair enough. 🙂

Play date!

I actually dislike the term “play date”, but figure it’s amusing for a title.

TXGunGeek organized a play day. It was him, some of his friends, commenter Chimera was there, doc was there (it was a pleasure to meet you!), Barbie no-showed on us. But to me, the coolest part was TXGunGeek said it was cool if I brought my kids so Daughter came out with me.

Everyone got unpacked and there was just a smorgasbord of guns on the table. Everyone checking everyone else’s gear out, “Hey can I try that?” “Only if I can try that!”. It was quite cool. But, allow me to focus on My Little Girl for a bit, since that was the highlight of my day. 🙂

The main thing she was looking forward to was shooting the Buck Mark. A few days ago at house we did a little dry fire. She’s never fired a handgun before so we went over things like grip and stance, how the Buck Mark operates, etc..  She already knows about things like sight picture and trigger control, but we touched on those again as well. So once we got to the range and we could go hot, we shot steel. At the range there’s a nice set of steel targets, from 6″ and 8″ circles to larger rectangles and pepper poppers. Daughter had a blast. She liked shooting the Buck Mark. She liked the sound of lead hitting steel. She was doing really well. She would shoot a magazine then rest, since the gun would be heavy held out at arms length. As we went along I refined her trigger control so she would ride the trigger and properly reset it. Then working on regaining sight picture and shooting again as soon as she regained the sight picture. I think she really enjoyed that, being able to shoot a bit faster that she was before. I can’t disagree… there’s something satisfying about shooting fast and hearing all that “ping” on the steel.

Daughter also got to shoot a few other things. Chimera had a Henry lever-action .22, which Daughter really got a kick out of. I think she liked the lever-action. TXGunGeek had a .22 conversion kit for his AR and while the rifle was very heavy (you can see my right hand supporting the front), Daughter liked to shoot it.

Daughter was nothing but big smiles all morning long. She was shooting well, got to try some new (to her) and different guns. I’m a proud Daddy. 🙂

As for me, again I gotta say how much I like that Buck Mark. It is so much fun to shoot. 

The big thing of the day was a course TXGunGeek set up. Started off with a long gun (whatever you wanted to shoot, Chimera even tried it with his Henry lever-action), engage cardboard, shoot some clay pigeons, more cardboard, move, transition to side-arm, steel, cardboard, move, more cardboard, various distances, precise shooting. A fun little course.

Here I am, engaging the clays and missing because I was figuring out exactly how much holdover I needed:

And here I am after the transition to the XD.

We wrapped up just as it started to rain on us. Good timing. The weather was very nice: partly cloudy, a cool breeze, moderate temps. Just a great day for shooting.

I asked Daughter what she enjoyed: the Buck Mark. 🙂  I asked her what she learned: how to shoot a handgun, and a bit more about things like sight picture and trigger control.

I asked myself what I learned: it reinforced my need to make an effort to back off on speed and jack up accuracy. Not so slow that it’s akin to bullseye shooting, but well…. after I got home I was thinking that next time I’m shooting the Buck Mark on the steel range the thing to have in my head is “all hits”, that all 10 rounds in the magazine must go “ping”. That will require slowing down a bit, being 100% sure of sight picture before firing, keeping my eyes glued to that front sight.  I also learned I need to spend more time with my AR (and that I want an Aimpoint). What did I enjoy? Having a great time with my Daugther, bonding, teaching her things, creating fond memories. That was my highlight. 🙂

I want to thank TXGunGeek for setting this up and inviting me out to it, and for allowing my daughter to come along as well. Thanx to Chimera for letting us shoot his Henry (man, I want one of those now!). Doc, it was great to meet you! Everyone else, it was good to meet you too and I’m sure we’ll see each other again.

A good day. Now, off to clean some guns.

Updated: Gotta brag on my little girl a bit more. In the classroom at the range there’s a subtle but intentional thing done. I don’t want to say what it is because it’s better when students discover it on their own. It took me a few visits before I noticed it, then it was explained to me. This was daugther’s first time in the classroom and she noticed it immediately. I was tickled. 🙂

Updated 2: TXGunGeek has his write-up on the day.

Updated 3: Docbot finally wrote up!

A positive message for kids and everyone

Kuk Sool Won of St. Paul keeps a blog, and they just posted an entry about “A homeschooling perspective.” The posting, IMHO, doesn’t have much to do with homeschooling or martial arts, but it has a lot to present about life and good things to teach your kids (or even yourself).

Such a simple exchange, but I found it so moving. I’m so glad my son is getting these messages early from strong, compassionate teachers. You can keep going after you make a mistake. You can ask for help. You just have to keep practicing.

It reminds me a little of a story I read once about a famous modern-dance choreographer-I can’t remember which one now. Maybe Martha Graham? One of her dancers fell flat on her butt during a rehearsal and sat there with a stunned expression on her face, not moving, not getting up. The choreographer swooped over to the dancer and exhorted her, “Don’t stop now! Make it into something beautiful!”


Teach your children

how to shoot!

I recently blogged about kids and guns. And if you’re no stranger to my blog, you know that my kids are no strangers to shooting.

Which reminds me… it’s Daughter’s turn to go to the range. I need to schedule that in. I also need to get the scope remounted and re-zeroed on the Ruger 10/22. Furthermore, I need to restart my quest to find a good .22 pistol.

81st Annual Zilker Kite Festival

Today the family went to the 81st Annual Zilker Kite Festival.

I have wanted to attend this for some years and for some reason or other it never happened, so I was determined to attend this year. And attend we did!

We took the shuttle to Austin’s famous Zilker Park, and in a way, the shuttle was an event unto itself. The city provided free shuttles to/from the event, and they used school buses for it. This was the first time my kids got to ride a school bus (I rode them all the time when I was growing up), so now they sorta know what it’s like… minus the loud kids, bullying, and other assorted mayhem that comes with the school bus. 🙂  It brought back memories of being on the bus Safety Patrol!

After arriving at the park we went to the “build-a-kite” workshop. It was a free workshop sponsored by HEB and others and you could build a basic kite. Middle child and Youngest child opted to build a kite, and they flew just fine. The wind today was ample for kite flying, but it would die down at times and many kites would be crashing to the ground. Yesterday the winds in Austin were 25-35 MPH steady and gusty, so that would have been some very interesting kite flying weather.

We walked around, checked out many of the kites. All sorts of kites of all shapes, sizes, designs, colors, and variety. It’s almost impossible to describe or even capture on film just how cool it was to look up in the sky and see hundreds of kites flying together. It’s just something you have to experience.

We ate “fair food”, from corn dogs to sausage on a stick to snow cones to cotton candy to funnel cakes. Yes… I can’t pass up a funnel cake, tho the one we had was very oily (I suspect they didn’t let it drain enough). Oh yes, and roasted corn. Mmm. Everything was rather expensive, but all proceeds after expenses are benefiting charities and worthy causes so it’s all good. I think I’m going to have a very light salad for dinner tho. 😉

After watching many kites, flying our free kites, and walking around and seeing all there was to see, we ended up buying our own kite. A nice nylon “triangle-style” (I don’t know what the proper term is). It flew quite well, and I had a lot of fun flying it. It was tough flying tho, with so many kites in the air, so many people around, you didn’t have the total freedom to roam where and how needed to keep the kite aloft. Thus, the most often heard thing today was: *thud* “Sorry!!” “No problem!” as kites would dive down, hit someone in the head, strings tangle around you, tails whipping in your face. But no one got mad; everyone expected to get hit sooner or later. It was a day filled with laughter, smiles, and fun. Good times.

If you haven’t been to the Kite Festival, you need to try it. And do like we did, go in the morning, leave in the afternoon. The lines for the shuttle were unreal, but since we’re early birds well… we were in and out no problem.

Weird ending to the Apple Shareholders Meeting

I’ve been using Apple computers since I was a kid, so I’ve a bit of a soft spot for the company. I just read about their shareholder meeting and the interesting ending to the meeting.

Ah, the Parent’s Television Council. Y’know, I don’t necessarily have fault with what they do because they’ve got every right to do so — they’re welcome to speak their mind, they’re welcome to busy themselves however they see fit. What gets me about them is if they’re all about helping parents well… why aren’t they helping the parents actually be parents? And can we trust their information is objective?

If you don’t like what you’re kids are watching on TV, be the parent and turn the TV off.

If you don’t know what you’re kids are watching, you should sit down and preview it before you allow them to watch it or at least watch it with them. Discuss it with your kids. If it doesn’t mesh, it’s off limits. If it does mesh, still revisit the program now and again because 1 episode may not be enough to get a proper picture and/or the show can evolve over time.

If you don’t know what your kids are watching, why don’t you get a little more involved in their lives and find out? If it’s because they’ve got a TV in their room, why do they have the TV in their room? Take it out.

Who is in control here? the parents? or the kids? Far too often problems are because the kids are in control and the parent gives up their control. Parents, you are not your child’s friend, you are their parent. Act like it.

Always turning to someone else for opinion about what you should do. Can you not think for yourself? Is your moral compass in lock step with these others? What else can they start to feed you that you’ll blindly accept?

Look… the world is filled with people of all ages, mostly adults. Do I think television (and the world) needs to be sanitized for children? Nope. All the things we’re supposed to be doing for our children is preparing them for “the real world”, for being an adult, for learning how to deal and cope and survive and thrive on their own. To sanitize everything to “keep them safe” does them no long-term good. Better to give them the skills to cope, the morals to know right from wrong, the ability and courage to say “hey, this isn’t the sort of show I should be watching… I’ll change the channel or turn the TV off”. The world is full of ugly things, and while there’s something to be said for trying to rid ugly things from the world, you still need to give your children the skills and ability to deal with those ugly things. I’d say that’s even better, since it not only let’s them deal with the ugly, but is putting some beauty into the world as well because a well-adjusted kid is a beautiful thing.