Most kids are pretty good. Eventually they'll grow out of their silliness and turn out just fine. But parenting sure isn't easy. Even when we think we have the answers, we often fall short. At the service for one of the kids killed in Littleton, Colorado, the pastor said, "We have failed." Well, I am not ready to admit failure yet.
The BBHQ Boomer Parenting Forum is a place where we can exchange ideas on parenting. You can ask questions, offer your advice, respond to a topic or comment on the forum, or just share your concerns. What works? What doesn't? What would you do different if you had the chance? Is "quality time" enough time? Are you friends with your kids? Should you be?
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|1||Littleton, Co||The impetus for the BBHQ Boomer
Parenting forum comes from two "This Week with the Chicowitz" essays,
"School Violence: Lessons from the Past," and
Twenty Questions." In the first one,
"It is hard for me to think about what happened in Littleton,
Colorado last week without going back to my years in high school and
imagining what our administration would have done. My gentle, "feeling"
friends remind me of what a peaceful, safe and carefree time it was,
while my pragmatic friends tell me you can't go back... those times are
gone forever.... you can't compare them to today. Still..."
"When are we going to learn that there is little if anything the federal government can do about this mess, and the more we concentrate on their role, the less attention we place on the real causes and cures?"
"As sure as the sun will rise out of the East tomorrow morning, it will happen again. It is as if this were some monstrous condition, the likes of which we have never seen before, and don't have the slightest idea how to deal with."
"Well, my friends... we have seen it before. We knew what to do then."
"At the service for one of the students shot last week, Pastor Bruce Porter (himself a boomer) admonished his followers: 'Stop being a victim; be pro-active. Speak to the culture you live in. Declare a cultural revolution. You have the power within your hands, young people. We cannot do it. We have failed.'"
"'We have failed,' he said. 'We have failed.' That infuriates me to the core of my soul.
Personally, I am not ready to admit failure yet. Are you? - hmc
|2||Littleton, Co||In the second essay, Hershel poses
some questions which he hopes will help your come to your own
answers. Here are a few of them:
1. Have you had a conversation (a conversation. . . not just a few words) with your child about the tragedy in Littleton?
3. How much time do you spend each week watching TV? How much time do you spend each week with your child?
5. Does your child have an Internet web site? Have you seen it? Have you seen it recently? Is the computer your child uses at home in an open area of the house, or is it in your child's bedroom where you can't supervise its use?
6. What are your child's favorite television shows? When was the last time you watched them?
8. Do you allow your child to purchase or listen to CD's with "parental warnings" on them? Why or why not?
9. Does your child watch R-rated movies? Why or why not? Would you know if he/she did? Are you sure?
10. Do you allow your child to wear clothing with crude or violent messages on them?
11. What would you do if you saw one of your child's friends wearing clothing with crude or violent messages on them?
12. What is the name of your child's (home room) teacher? What is the name of the principal at your child's school?
13. In what courses in school is your child enrolled? How much homework does your child do every night? Are you sure? When was the last time you looked at your child's homework?
16. What are the names of three of your child's close friends? What are their parents' names? When was the last time you talked to them? What did you talk about? Does your child socialize with kids significantly older (2-3 years) than he/she?
17. Does your child associate with kids who use illegal drugs? Would you know if he/she did? Are you sure? Does your child use illegal drugs? Would you know if he/she did? Are you sure? Exactly what would you do if you found out your child was using illegal drugs? Is your child well aware of exactly what would happen if he/she uses drugs?
19. Who are the five people your child admires most? Why does he/she admire them?
20. And finally, as I asked last week, do you have anything more important to do than nurture, protect, and enhance the welfare of your child? If so, please tell me what is? Tell us all what it is. - hmc
"Boomers and the Gen-X'ers" essay has
generated a lot of response, expecially from kids.
Fourteen year-old Marisa writes, "i think you should sit back and
enjoy life. So the Xer's have no respect? What's the problem? Is respect
an essential part of the world?" How whould you respond to that?
|4||Fix Those Kids!||1. Know your kid's
friends and who they hang out with. 2. Know what's in their room (there
is no such thing as privacy for a 14 year old when Mom helps to keep it
clean). 3. Kids have too much free and idle time. They complain about it
all the time so they are letting us know. 4. Listen to them when they
speak by giving them your full attention. What they have to say is
important to them. 5. Be sure they know the difference between right and
wrong. 6. They need to know that telling could save their life. Let them
know that their life could depend on it......okay....I'm through
preaching. - Cariebmy
|5||A teacher's Viewpoint||I believe the
problem lies squarely in the absence of parental supervision. Boomer
parents have developed this concept of children's right to privacy to a
pinnacle of idiocy. We have rampant drug problems because parents are
afraid to check their children's rooms, books, lockers, etc. We have
gun-toting, bomb-building kids for the same reason. And for the record,
any parent who accepts the explanation from their kid that the bomb he's
building and making potholes with in the backyard is a science project
needs to locked up and retrained. (That was the story of the Keystone
Heights kid in Florida recently--mom believed it was a science project.) -
ke, a teacher in the south.
|6||Another Teacher's Viewpoint||I teach a 6th grade
class. The morning after the shooting I spoke to them, and to 2 other
classes I see, about the tragedy. I kept asking them what they had
learned, and all I heard was that we should all have cell phones, we
should lock the doors, we should get security guards and metal
detectors... What the children had learned, along with their parents and
just about everyone else, it seems, is fear... And I am not ready to
give up either.
School is still among the safest places for a child to be. They are much more likely to be hurt on weekends, anywhere else but school. But there ARE some things parents can do! We DO still have the personal ability AND responsibility to affect our school environments in positive ways:
1. Teach respect for all ethnic groups. Talk with them about the evils of hate groups such as the KKK.
2. Teach respect for everyone! Have your kids be the ones who send valentines to ALL their classmates. Teach them not to make fun of people, and to stand up for those who are picked on. Teach them not to tease other people; it's even better if they can be the ones who try to make it stop.
3. Keep open communication with your children. Don't hesitate to seek help if they seem to be having difficulties. Don't assume that all unusual behavior is just part of phase of growing up. Sometimes a kid needs someone outside the family to talk to...especially if there's a family situation such as divorce, death, illnesses - anything that causes family upheaval.
Teaching respect and kindness just might go a long way to prevent tragedies such as those Columbine experiences...but it would also make the day brighter for lots of kids every day. Kids we see hurting as they become outcasts who are ignored or teased day after day. Or kids who just need more support than they're getting. Long before the violence come the seeds of hate and loneliness. Raising kids to care is one of the most important things we can do to keep our schools safe. Every day... - Beth F
|7||Code of Behavior||I think I liked it better
when we were kids because there was a code of behavior we were expected
to follow. We didn't have to like it, we just had to do it. - M
|8||Something Terribly Wrong||We have done
something terribly wrong with our children. We have placed our values in
our jobs and the materialistic possessions we have come to expect in OUR
lives. Exactly what did we expect to happen? None of us planned on
raising dysfunctional children, but who are we to blame but ourselves.
You can't ignore your children and expect them to grow to be responsible
individuals. It takes our time and devotion. There is nothing more
important than our children. (Or shouldn't be) Let your life be revolved
around your kids lives. We owe that to them and everyone else. We
decided when our children were young that I would quit my job in order to
spend more time with the kids, which was the best decision we ever made.
We did without many material things we didn't really need to begin with,
and have never regretted it. - Tina
|9||What's Wrong?||WHAT'S WRONG WITH OUR KIDS?
What in the world is happening with our kids today? Let's see...I think it started when Madalyn Murray O'Hair complained that she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said "OK."
Then someone said "You had better not read the Bible in school-the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself." And we said, "OK."
Remember Dr. Benjamin Spock, who said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem? And we said, "OK, we won't spank them."
Then someone said that teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And our administrators said "whoa, no one in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued."
Then someone said, "let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and we won't even have to tell their parents." And we said, "that's a grand idea." Then someone else said, "Let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the "fun" they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents." And we said, "that's another great idea."
And then some of our top officials said "It doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs." And we said, "As long as I have a job and the economy is good, it doesn't matter to me what anyone does in private."
So now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "we reap what we sow." - J
|10||Infants/sleep||For putting babies
of the three-month-old variety to sleep,arm yourself with albums like
"Chet Baker:the Complete Milan Sessions" and "Charlie Parker with
Strings". Bang,out like a light!!! This worked with my two..."That is
just so crazy that it just might work"...
|11||Still Blaming The Parent/s||We, as
parents, seem to be kicking ourselves in the derierre over the senselss
violence and rampant use of drugs by our kids. WHY???? Because we as
a collective group have found that the "easy out" is to blame the
parents?? Every childhood friend that I had has been to prison..
Every childhood friend that I had is now a memory. I made the same
stupid mistakes that they did, but I got away with it. My parents
had no way of knowing what was going on in my life. They turned their
back when I came home stoned. They didn't know how bad I was tripping.
They didn't know about the "Need to Speed." Hey I turned out alright.
No time served. My oldest daughter is still working at the same job she
got in High School (8 Years ago) All of my kids know of my sordid past,
thats something that I refuse to hide, and have become better and
stronger because of it. My kids and all children do what they want to
do. There is no secret formula to parenting. Be open to them about your
past as well as be open to their "Whole New World" As long as your
children know that they are loved, and can openly express their love for
you, then they are going to turn out alright. Place the blame
squarely where it belongs..... with the person who made the decission.
(this ought to generate a bit of feedback)
After a long absence from this board, I am
back to catch up on the essays, and see who else is posting. As I read
the essays, this one really touched me...I am married to a teacher who
would be the one shooters would go for...he has the guts to remove the
"self-expressor" from his classroom, to demand that there is some
semblance of respect to each other, and to refuse to allow that student
to take over the situation. Most times he does this by removing the
student from the classroom, either to the hall where he can talk
one-on-one to the student, or to the office, where unfortunately the
administration is not too supportive of the teachers. He is definitely a
"boomer", having been in the profession for 28 years. We are parents of
4 children, 2 still in school, and are the "dinosaurs" of our area...I am
an at-home mom, who KNOWS who my kids' friends are, who invites them into
our home to "hang out", but who converses with them as well. We had the
opportunity to attend CreationFest this summer... if you've never heard
of it, imagine Woodstock without the drugs, and with a religious theme.
One of the most poignant events of the 4day event took place at the
crosses that were brought from Columbine, and set up for all to see. As
we took the youth in our group, we were amazed at the emotions THEY were
feeling, and came home renewed with convictions that WE ADULTS MUST TAKE
CHARGE. Yes, the kids are seeking something, and we must be the ones to
influence WHAT they find!!
I guess I too am not ready to accept defeat. I heard too often the
phrase, "If you are not part of the solution, you must be part of the
problem" to think that I CAN'T make a difference!!!!!
|13||Respect||Our children want
respect. They want to feel important. They want to know why, and
'because I said so' doesn't count anymore.|
|13||Respect||Kids may have a right to know why,
but they do not have to like the answer. But in our attempt to be friends
with our kids, because we want them to like us, we have abrogated our
responsibility. It "doesn't count anymore" because we are unwilling to
say, "Because I said so, that's why." If they do not learn discipline as
a young child, they likely never will.|
|14||Drugs In The Sixties||Do not forget
that the a whole lot of the children of today are the product of a drug
induced decade where it was cool to tune in and drop out. Maybe our laid
back smoke a joint and forget about it attitude that has carried over
these 20 or 30 years is finally taking it's toll on our kids because it
sure is a diffrent world now.|
|15||State Owned|| Babies|There's a new support group for baby boomers whose grandbabies
have been taken into state custody. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GOSOB
Anyone who is a caregiver to your grandchildren, or whose grandchildren
have been taken away, please come share and offer support.
|99||E-book Submissions||Just a
request from all of you... I am putting together an ebook for parents
entitled.. Where Self Esteem Flourishes: A Parent's Role in Cultivating
Visible Self-Confidence in Their Children Thus I was wondering if you
might consider submitting your own experience of something your parent(s)
did to cultivate self esteem, self confidence and self worth in you.
Conversely, if what you got from them was a lack of it, what was the
cause. We will look at all entries and pick out as many as we can. If
you are included it will be by first name only. Please also include your
age, and how you fit in a family... example 1/4 to mean you were
firstborn of 4 siblings. We will do some editing on submissions (if
required) that will be included in ebook and let you know if it gets
included. If your submission is chosen to be included you will receive a
free copy of the ebook.
Submissions can be sent to
Looking forward to your stories.
seeker ~ sharer ~ editor ~ publisher
Flourish Press Inc.
|99||Parenting Intelligence||I am
researching ideas for a new book I am planning to write titled, Parenting
Intelligence: How to Understand and Develop Your PQ. The book is
patterned somewhat after Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.
I would like to ask the forum for their thoughts on what aptitudes are
important to be a good parent and to raise successful, happy, and moral
Thanks in advance.
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