Maturity: Have We Ever Been Guilty Of It

Maturity: Have We Ever Been Guilty Of It (Written On 7-4-15)

 

Today Our Nation turns 239 years of age. I am of the generations of Americans who in 1976 on this date was 19 years old. 1976 Was Our Nations 200th birthday. Now, in this time era I am 58 years old. All of you folks who are of an age where you can remember 1976, do the memories of how you were raised back then ever haunt you? The maturity as you see maturity today, how were the adults in your life toward you? I am speaking of at home, in the neighborhoods, churches, schools? Just something I would like you to chew on while you hopefully continue reading the article.

 

1976, I was married with one child and another in the oven getting ready to say howdy, I was 19 and immature and ignorant as a young man could be. Maturity, I sure do wish I and my Bride at the time could have had more of it. That alone would not have been able to save that marriage, but it sure wouldn’t have hurt matters any. When your parents, guardians, and adults at your schools fail to have the young people ready for the real world they are getting ready to step into, they/we have failed those young people. Is this a lack of maturity, morality, caring, or love, on the adults part? When the parents, teachers, administrators, churches, and neighborhoods fail to train and care for the little eyes watching us, our lack of maturity and caring is plainly on display. When you are 18 and have your fresh new Diploma in your hand, now what? It is difficult to survive in the real world with little or no education, technical training, or preparedness training by the ones who are supposed to be the grownups.

 

39 Years ago today I still had good health, but really no dreams. Everyday was about getting enough hours on my near minimum wage jobs to buy the grocery’s and pay the rent. Today at 58 my health has been better and I have been blessed with a life time of memories, good and bad. But I do know this, the immaturity of a parental figure, of teachers, coaches, and many other adults involved with the lives of a child, stays with the child for life.

 

I look back at the good memories and I try to forget the bad ones of the things done to me by supposed caring adults. Do you know the feeling of how you don’t want to be like your father figure when you grow up, then have to face the facts, in many ways you were worse? My dad died in December of 93, I was 37. Twenty plus years have passed now, his immaturity, his hate, the hurts are all written in stone now, yet the memories still invade my thoughts sometimes. My own mistakes though, my own lack of maturity, of grownup actions, at times these haunt me day and night.

 

Maturity matters so very much in each and every one of us. Teaching maturity, respect and kindness to our children and our grandchildren through our examples is the least we can do for them. Teachers, now there is a tough job for any poor Soul to try. There are many good teachers and most of the ones in my life I had to give a C too. There are three or four that stand out in my memories as adults who actually cared and tried to help kids at lest learn the class material well enough to be passed onto the next grade or level. Most you could tell were just putting in their shift, any job can get old but around kids though they absorb the caring or lack there of from these adults. So yes there were some A Teachers and I still remember their names and their faces. Unfortunately it seems that every school is just like every other business, there are some employees/teachers that should be arrested, not awarded with a pay check and then a pension. Dang, that sounds like Wall Street some doesn’t it?

 

I have a question for you, when you finished high school were you ready/prepared to step into the adult world? Did you really have a clue about real life? If you were ready, if you really did have a clue about survival, congratulations, I didn’t. Maturity is a huge part of society. Our children will find it difficult to grow and prosper as a civilized society if our children are not treated fairly by us now. In trying to always be honest with you I had a parent who really needed to work on his caring skills but I was blessed with one great parent. My opinion of some of the teachers I had as well as a few principles and administrators who were a pathetic joke as far as even being decent a human beings toward me. It’s difficult to understand how some people came up with the idea that they should go into the education field is beyond me. Then again how many young folks top concern when they spread their legs is how ready they are to lovingly raise little Jack and little Jill?

 

Teaching maturity to our children by our examples helps give them a huge crucial building block toward having a happy productive life. When we and the school systems fail to act like intelligent adults we condemn our own children to ignorance, depression, poverty, and broken homes. Maturity, morality and kindness are things that all decent human beings need to have nurtured into them as children.  Instead we use, abuse, discard and treat them like computerized toilet paper. Many children grow up to be abusers, that is all they know, so with each generation many people commit even greater sins than their fathers. Maturity matters, caring matters, love matters, do the children matter?

 

 

America In Our Rear View Mirror

America In Our Rear View Mirror

Good afternoon everyone, I would like to take this moment to welcome you to “The Good Ole Days”.  For those of us who are lets say forty years or older you are probably thinking that I have fallen off of my rocker and cracked my head again. By the way, if I believed that this current time is my Good Ole Day’s then I must have had a more difficult youth than I had realized, and thanks mostly to my Dad most of the things about my early years really sucked, please pardon my language. But you know something, even with the weight of a less than okay parent, I did have some good times when he was not around. Most of the time when I do look backwards in time into my memory I usually focuses on the few good times of those years. When you are a teenager when you get married and you have two kids by the age of nineteen and a busted marriage at twenty and you are in the Service (because you can’t just get up and leave and go after them), this is not a very good start into adulthood. Yet still I look back at spots within these times and choose to pull out the good and try to keep the bad stuck in a closet. Within this title I am trying to show the reality that I find to be so sad for them. If you are a person that has a little age on  you most likely you know that the times we are living in now is a lot harder for people to survive in.

I am over sixty years old now, when I look back on my life and on the historical events in our country and events that have happened in our world I cringe when I see the events our children are facing. I was born into a very poor but hard-working family in south-west Virginia, even though we moved a bit during my childhood the poor always stuck with us. Each part of the country we lived in most everything stayed the same. Most times were negative because of how my Dad was yet each place had its good moments, good memories. The first outside event in my life was when I was seven when President Kennedy was murdered, that was the first awakening to me that there was life outside the Blue Ridge mountains. I think that most people have that  A-Haw moment when we were young, what was yours, do you remember? Now, try to look back into your memories, try to separate the good ones and the bad ones. Do you remember the negative ones, things like the Vietnam War, political riots, Kent State, Nixon, Woodstock, the Beatles and Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show? You see, good markers, bad markers, and horrible ones. In our lives we all have these markers, of course people have some that are the same as yours, but most people will have varying ones sometimes even when we are looking at the same event we can easily have different concepts about that event. I am going to use Kent State as an example, I think that most of us who witnessed this on our evening news programs was appalled at these shootings of these unarmed kids by the Ohio National Guard members. But there were those who felt that it was about time the Government stood up to these damn hippie commies.

When you look back into not just your own personal past but also the events you lived through, what do you see in your own personal rear view mirror? If life is set up via a generation ruler mine would start is the mid 50’s, so my good ole days were probably the early 70’s, and that is about all for me. After this time, life got real, trying to be an adult, a Dad, a husband, difficult task when you never had a good example to learn from. Now I would like to move up to the next generation where I would like to move twenty years to pick up those people who were born in the 70’s. Everyone like I said before will have their own markers and unfortunately each generation had their heart aches and of course their own wars. This generation had the Desert Shield and Desert Storm within their young lives to contend with. When we try to look back into someone else’s life it is a very difficult thing to do. We can’t perceive how people handle their own personal affairs whether when they were children, young adults, or adults with a little bit of age upon them, we’re all different. For the kids born in the 80’s or the early 90’s there was 911 and the  following wars for their generation to contend with. They as well as the rest of our country and the world had to see events like Katrina and Sandy which showed the total uncaring, crooked, lying politicians from both parties. We have witnessed Government shutdowns and constant tit for tat politics which shows us all very plainly that these politicians do not care about our Country at all, just themselves and their political Parties.

What kind of a world are we dumping on to our Kids and our Grand Kids? What kind of a world are they looking through their windshield at, will there be a civil world left for them to live in to raise their Children in? Will our Kids and Grand Kids even have a world to look into their rear view mirror at? I am emotionally sick when I stop and get upon my knees and talk with our Creator about those loved ones that we leave behind us. Look at the stupidity going on right now between Russia, the U.S. and NATO over the situation in Crimea. Why cant the worlds politicians just agree with letting the people of that peninsula go back to their real homeland. That is what these people want, there was no violence when the Russian troops came in and took this piece of land. As long as President Putin stops there and doesn’t try to go further into the country of Ukraine and is only taking back what is rightfully part of Russia all these NATO and American politicians need to just shut up and let the people have their right to vote welcomed as the will of the people. There is absolutely no excuse for our country or any other country to go to war over this as long as Russian troops stop where they are at. I totally do not believe that President Putin wants war but he absolutely can not back down from this current situation or he is finished as the leader of Russia. He can’t and won’t lose face like that and our so-called leaders need to recognize this fact.

So, what kind of world indeed will our younger loved ones be left with? Will there be a world of peace and prosperity left for our children or are we going to totally pollute it in every possible way before our generation goes to sleep with our ancestors? It is well-known by now that everything that any of us do is being monitored, it is just about to a level now even before our own personal chip are installed that if we fart in the middle of the desert someone in DC will smell it. I can only hope that our kids and grand kids can have many happy moments spent out in the open countryside without having to be scanned and approved before they leave their cubical. What will our kids say about the world we dumped in their laps? Will our kids and grand kids use our graves for a latrine?  What indeed will our kids have for happy memories that they can look back into their rear view mirror and smile about, anything?

More Blessed Than Deserved

More Blessed Than Deserved

 

It’s about 1410 Est on Supper Bowl Sunday. It has been a very boring day, have been on the computer since I got up bout nine. I have been aiming to put some other things into the blog other than just the poems I have been putting in. I still have a lot of poems I have written but I have been wanting to give some of my thoughts and presentations on life and the world we are all living in. So, I m not saying that I am special or smarter than anyone else, I am just going to put some thoughts out to you folks to see if you think or feel the same way about life and world issues. So, if you would, after you read my posts, comment, let me know what you think okay? I am not just trying to get folks to agree with me like some blinded herd of cattle, if you don’t agree with me on an issue, that’s cool, tell me why you either do or don’t. You know, a lot of time the most learning that one can obtain is when one disagrees within an orderly discussion.

Lately I have been occasionally thinking about my age (61). I have been thinking about different times in my life when I was at one of those “decision moments”. You know what I’m talking about, moments like I had in April of 1977. I was in the Air Force in Biloxi Mississippi when my wife up and left with my two young babies. She left to go back up to northern Illinois to move in with an x-best friend. Well it became one of those decision times, no, I wasn’t thinking about killing either of them, neither one was worth it. My decision was about whether to take an Honorable Discharge and go back to Illinois to see if I could get my family back, or just stay in the Service and continue trying to continue my life without them. I chose the discharge and went back to northern Illinois pretty much knowing she wasn’t going to get back with me. But I guess in my head I had hoped we could get back together because I wanted my kids. But after I had gone back to Illinois I began to realize that I didn’t want my now ex-wife back. Right there, this was one of those life decision moments. I should have stood up right there and gone back into the Air Force. I could have been a more respectable ex-husband and dad than the process I chose of bouncing around the country. I had many jobs and knew many different ladies and friends but I should have been more stable and stayed in one place longer. I don’t know what I was running from most, my recent failures or was it because of being afraid of success.

The Lord has blessed me all of my life. I seldom if ever have been deserving of how kindly the Lord has treated me throughout these years I have been given. In my life I have always been blessed with someplace to lay my head and though I have never died from starvation (obviously), I have been blessed to know what hunger feels like.

I have never been one to run from work. That is probably one of my biggest faults, I worked my body into an early grave. When for decades in your life you have worked a normal work week of 100 plus hours per week this will destroy the chemistry of ones body, and of their mind. A body and a mind, even if they are not doing hard physical labor cannot work twelve to twenty hours a day seven days a week forever. Even if you are fortunate enough to never sustain a serious injury when you work yourself about 360 days a year. This is depression, you think sometimes that you don’t deserve a real life. This is what I felt I deserved, nothing. Depression, I think I grew up with it because of how my dad always chose to behave. The next biggest kick in the teeth is when I lost my two babies. But she and I neither one was anything but ignorant teenagers when she got pregnant and we got married.

Parents aren’t the end all of how a person grows up though. I was blessed with a fantastic mom, but dad not so good. I guess I got strike one from him, 21 and divorced, both kids taken away, strike two. Then through ignorance not going back into the Air Force, strike three. I let myself strike out, I gave up on life at 21 I guess.

When people think of “what if”, we must always remember the other side of a change. If I/we were able to change our direction at any point in our life the good things we have experienced in our lives and the path that we did choose, would have never happened.

There is also another unknown issue to be considered. Two years into my second marriage in July of 83 I went into the Army. This marriage was one of those loveless marriages in that she had absolutely zero love for me. I had decided that being that I really had no real marriage and that I still felt guilty for not having completed my previous military agreement, this is why I went in the Army. I felt I should serve at least one four-year hitch, this was the patriotic side of my brain talking. I figured we would probably stay married, mostly just in name only. This would keep her on the military insurance and I figured I would make the house payment for her but I wasn’t planning on doing anything else to help her hate-filled ass.

She was a non-practicing Jehovah’s Witness so she did not believe in military service. She told me just before I left for boot camp at Ft. Dix, NJ she said that “God will get you for this.” I started boot camp 7-18-83. At eighteen hundred on 8-11-83 while on a bivouac I was struck by lightning. Maybe she was right or maybe God just has a sense of humor but that did hurt a lot. After I cleared medical I was discharged in February 1984. I have a 40% service connected disability but in reality it physically destroyed my physical life.

The (other side) of the decisions of which I spoke earlier is simple. I could say if I hadn’t gone back into the military I wouldn’t have been hit by the lightning and I would have had a healthy adult life. Or if I had stayed in the Air Force when I was younger I would not have been at Ft. Dix that evening. But now think, I would have been in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. If what happened to me had not happened only God knows the results. I could have found the wrong end of a Republican Guards little grey pill.

Life is filled with what ifs, you know, none of it really matters. And really, it’s not worth wasting grey matter on. We are where we are, the things we did or did not do either good or bad we all have our own personal history. We all will one day answer for all these things at our own allotted time at the Lord’s Judgement Seat.

Do you remember the title of this post, more blessed than deserved? I have tried to be a good person almost all of my life and I have never been one to try to hurt people on purpose. Yet it seems to me that there aren’t all that many sins that I have not committed at one time or another. By no means have I ever been perfect, yet look at how kind the Lord has been to me. I have been married three times. The first was for two years, this is where I was blessed with my blood children, one boy and one girl. The second marriage was for eighteen horrible years! She had a son who was eleven when I married his mom. He is almost 48 now and I have always called him my son to this day and he knows that I love him. I am still married to my third wife for a little over 18 years now. She had a six-year-old son when we wed. He is 24 now and living on his own here in the town his mom and I live in.

So, the Lord has blessed me with four kids and also seven grand kids. I have a woman in my life now who actually loves me and treats me great. In March of 99, I had open heart surgery, that is where I learned that the lightning had literally fried all of my innards. At this time, March 99, the heart doctors told me that if I really behaved and if I was lucky that I might live for another three or four years. Friends, if I am granted seeing next month, that will be nineteen years ago.

So, blessed more than I deserved, yes I think so. Though I have known many types of pain I have lived through them, just like we all have. You here now, have your thoughts fluttered into your past as you have been reading this post? Friends we are all still here in this puzzle that is our lives. Let’s try to make the best of the position in life that we are at. Let us all try to look toward the blue sky moments and to shed the hailstones.

Just remember we are blessed just by being alive at this very moment in time. If at some point in our lives, if we have been able to go back and change it to avoid a painful event you know you and I are only humans, we do not always know what is best. Who knows if changing a point in time in our past in our new reality we could have ended up being one of Jeffery Dommer’s former ex-neighbors.

Scientists getting closer to developing blood and urine tests for autism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

UK and Italian scientists are getting closer to developing blood and urine tests for autism, which could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of the condition, a new study suggests.

The tests look for damage to certain proteins, shown to be higher in children with autism spectrum disorders.
The team from the University of Warwick and the University of Bologna tested 38 children with autism and 31 children without, ages 5 to 12.
They looked for differences in samples of blood and urine between the two groups. When looking at plasma in the blood, the children with autism had greater protein damage, resulting in higher levels of an oxidation marker known as ditryosine and sugar-modified compounds called advanced glycation end-products.
But experts caution that the tests are far from becoming available clinically and that more research needs to be done.
“We have found that the power of measuring damaged proteins to the brain may be a cause for a development of autism,” said Paul Thornalley, a professor in systems biology at the University of Warwick, who co-led the study.
Previous studies have made a connection to autism from proteins that were not damaged, unlike this study, which looks at damaged proteins in the brain, Thornalley added.
The study, published Monday in the journal Molecular Autism, was small and requires further research on a larger number of children to determine whether the results are conclusive.
“This (study) is weakened by a small sample size, possible overfitting of data and a lack of comparison groups,” said James Cusack, director of science at Austistica, a UK research charity that aims to understand the causes of autism and improve diagnosis. “This study does not tell us how effectively this measure can differentiate between autism and other neurodevelopmental or mental health conditions such as ADHD and anxiety.”
Autism is a developmental disorder that mainly affects social interaction, causing a wide spectrum of behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, anxiety or speech disturbances.
An estimated 30% of cases have been found to have genetic causes. The remaining 70% are thought to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, mutations and genetics, according to the study.
Currently, if a child is suspected of having autism, doctors carry out a series of behavioral tests, which take time and may not not give an accurate diagnosis. A biological test, like a blood test, would provide a faster and more definitive diagnosis.
In the US, more than 3.5 million people live with autism spectrum disorders, according to the Autism Society, and this limits 35% of young adults with the disorder from having a job or continuing their education after high school.
In the UK, there are 700,000 children and adults on the autism spectrum, according to the National Austistic Society.
A blood test for the disorder has been much sought-after by researchers around the world but has remained elusive.
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Thornalley explained future research would be looking to identify autism spectrum disorders in children from as young as 2.
Naila Rabbaini, researcher of experimental systems biology and co-lead on the study, said that with further testing of larger number of children at younger ages, the team may be able to find new causes of autism and assess whether treatments are working.
“This is a promising area; however, this is a very long way indeed from a ‘test for autism,’ ” said Dr. Max Davie, spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. “It is important that it is not adopted with too much enthusiasm. If applied to a large population, it will produce large number of false positives, causing huge worry and potential harm to children and families.”

(Humor Poem) The Apple (Granny’s Dark Side)

THE APPLE (GRANNY’S DARK SIDE)

 

 

Was it given by Eve

Did it make us all die

Is it now baked in Hell’s ovens

Do the Demons enjoy a tart pie

Are you really the apple of your Granny’s eye

 

Thanksgiving meal or 4th of July pie

Tempered with arsenic or cyanide dye

Grandma Eve, your Grandpa long ago died

Little children be careful what you eat

If Granny’s got burning embers in her eyes

 

Will an apple a day really keep evil away

Depends on the cook and if today is your day

Little green apples turn the bowels into knots

Red rotten baked with dead worms in the crust

Granny turned all the little monsters back into dust!

Autism Rates Have Stabilized in U.S. Children

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

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By AMANDA MACMILLAN

January 2, 2018
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

Rates of autism spectrum disorder among children in the U.S. remained stable from 2014 to 2016, according to new research—a change from previous studies that found steady increases over the past two decades.

The new research letter, published in JAMA, looked at survey responses from a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 children, ages 3 to 17, and their families. From 2014 to 2016, adults in each household were asked if a doctor had ever told them that their child had autism, Asperger’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder or autism spectrum disorder. Data from the study was then adjusted to account for differences in people’s age, gender and ethnicity.

The researchers found that in 2014, 2.24% of participating children were reported to have an autism spectrum disorder. That number rose only slightly in 2015 and 2016, to 2.41% and 2.58%, respectively—an increase that was not statistically significant.

Autism rates did vary by sub-group. Over the three-year period, 3.54% of boys were reported to have an autism spectrum disorder, compared to 1.22% of girls. Prevalence was 1.78% in Hispanic children, 2.36% in black children and 2.71% in white children.

The overall estimate for autism prevalence among children in the analysis—2.4%—is higher than another recent estimate, from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, of 1.46%. The discrepancy may be explained by differences in study design, the authors note in their report. For example, the new study asked parents if their child has received a diagnosis, while the previous study looked at education and health-care evaluations.

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The current study did not gather information about possible causes for autism and how those factors may (or may not) have changed over time. And, although the survey the researchers used has been going on since the 1960s, the question about autism was changed in 2014—so it cannot be used to estimate change in autism prevalence rates during earlier years.

Several large studies have suggested that autism rates have risen steadily in the last 20 years, but this new report suggests that rates may be leveling off. The ADDM Network’s estimated rates also plateaued between 2010 and 2012 (after increasing roughly 123% between 2002 and 2010), but then jumped 30% from 2012 to 2014.

Changes in diagnostic criteria, an increase in public awareness and more children being referred to physicians have all been suggested as possible causes for the previously documented rise in autism rates, the authors wrote in their report. So have potential changes in genetic and environmental risk factors. “Continued monitoring of the prevalence and investigation of changes in risk factors are warranted,” they concluded.

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Woman Calls Cops on Mom Hitting Screaming Son in Car

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FAITH-IT) (THIS ARTICLE WAS SENT TO ME ON FACEBOOK BY A CLOSE FRIEND OF OURS)

 

PARENTING

Woman Calls Cops on Mom Hitting Screaming Son in Car—3 Yrs Later, Her Big Mistake Comes Full Circle

Once upon a time, parenting meant letting your kids play hide-and-seek outside with the neighbors while you did the dishes in the kitchen. Do that in front of the wrong set of eyes today, and you best prepare yourself for a full-blown police investigation and visit from DCFS.

One thing’s for sure, today’s society is full of first-class parent shamers—professional mommy watchdogs ready to pounce on the first sign of a stranger’s neglect. As the decades pass, it seems we’ve all become experts on how to raise other people’s children.

Nobody could be more familiar with this tendency than Megan Orr Burnside, a sweet mama who learned the hard way that what our world needs is a little more compassion, not judgment.

While witnessing what she perceived to be a physically abusive situation at a Tennessee gas station, she instinctually called police to report the mother’s violence. What she quickly learned from authorities was that this mom had really struggled with her autistic son in the past and had even called the cops many times on her own, asking for help to deal with his violence.

That apparently ‘violent’ mother was actually a loving parent doing the very best that she could. And instead of helping, she turned her in.

Megan’s foot was lodged firmly in her mouth.

The “overwhelming realization of [her] mistake” sat with her for years—but little did she know, it was a life lesson that would come full circle in cultivating just the compassion she needed to help another struggling mother, at a time when she needed it most.

And it left her with an essential takeaway message that every parent in America needs to hear.

Read Megan’s powerful story in her viral Facebook post that has since been shared over 20,000 times on her personal page and Love What Matters:

“I have something weighing on my heart this morning.

A few years ago I was in Tennessee with my husband at a training event. We were at a gas station when we saw a woman with a boy of about 10 years old, struggling to get him in the car. He was screaming and she was so angry and frustrated. We watched her get him in the car and there was a lot of physical fighting in the car. It looked like she was hitting him as well, so we called the police. They came and we left. We then got a call and they told us that the boy was autistic and she really struggled with him, and she had even asked for the police’s help in the past to deal with him because he was very violent. They said they have been helping her and she’s doing the best she can.


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I had the most overwhelming realization of my mistake. In my eagerness to protect the child, I neglected to offer help to the mother. Instead I “turned her in” to the authorities. We sat and watched her struggle and called her in. I have felt guilt even years later that I didn’t get out of my car and offer her some help. If I had helped in that moment, it may not have led to more violence.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was at a thrift store and a woman with two kids were in line to pay. One toddler boy was fussing and the other boy was asking his mother to buy things. She was so angry and explosive at both of them, the whole store was aware of them. People stood there and watched them struggle in the line. I remembered the experience I had in Tennessee and walked over to talk to the little boy and put my hand on his foot. He calmed down. The mother was so frazzled and apologized. She told me she worked nights and she couldn’t even think in the day. I know there were other things going on, but in that moment I told her I understood what it’s like to be overwhelmed. I told her she was a good mom. I told her everything was going to be okay. She cried, guys. She CRIED as everyone else watched her struggle with her burden. Years earlier I would have been holding my cell phone ready, watching to see if she did anything that I should report.

I know there’s a place for the authorities to step in, but I feel like we have become a culture who watches for faults instead of opportunities to help. We have become more separated and condemning, instead of compassionate and loving and serving. If we helped more, we would have to call the authorities less.

This has come up for me today because someone called DCFS on my dear friend. I have spent many hours in her home and she is the kind of mother I want to be like. I have observed the love and patience with which she helps her children do their chores and the way she listens to them tell their stories. I seriously aspire to be like her. When authorities were called by someone no doubt thinking they were “helping,” she was very sick in bed with a respiratory infection. I don’t know what this person observed that they thought was a problem. Maybe her kids were running around without parental supervision? Maybe a parent wasn’t feeding them so they were foraging for themselves? I am sad that the person who called her in didn’t ask how they could HELP HER.

It’s time to stop judging each other and start helping each other, or we will only perpetuate isolation, depression, addictions, violence, and suicide. When people are overwhelmed they need help, not condemnation. I know I have been guilty for doing this very thing and I see clearly how I probably perpetuated the problem instead of helping to uplift and assist others.

I am grateful for reminders (even painful reminders) that we are not that separate. We are not that different. True change comes when we are given love and help, not condemnation.”

Megan’s humble teaching moment at that Tennessee gas station was a painful memory to relive, but she couldn’t be more grateful for the blessing of parenting perspective it gave her to share with the world.

The next time we think about slamming down the Judge-Judy gavel on a parent who appears to be in the wrong, I pray we take a moment to first offer a helping hand…because maybe—just maybe—that ‘horrible mother’ is simply a struggling mommy doing the best she can to raise her baby in a broken world, just like you.

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

Give up the bad habits that rob your kids of mental strength.

by

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn’t mean he won’t cry when he’s sad or that he won’t fail sometimes. Mental strength doesn’t make you immune to hardship and it’s not about suppressing your emotions.In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks and it gives them the strength to keep going, even when they’re plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common–yet unhealthy–parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid who is equipped to tackle life’s toughest challenges.

1. Condoning a Victim Mentality

Striking out at the baseball game or failing a science test doesn’t make a child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are a part of life.

Refuse to attend your kids’ pity parties. Teach them that no matter how tough or unjust their circumstances, they can always take positive action.

2. Parenting Out of Guilt

Giving into guilty feelings teaches your child that guilt is intolerable. And kids who think guilt is horrible won’t be able to say no to someone who says, “Be a friend and let me copy your paper,” or, “If you loved me, you’d do this for me.”

Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes–and all good parents do–you’re not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions to get in the way of making wise decisions.

3. Making Their Kids the Center of the Universe

If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they’ll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren’t likely to get very far in life.

Teach your kids to focus on what they have to offer the world, rather than what they can gain from it.

4. Allowing Fear to Dictate Their Choices

Although keeping your kids inside a protective bubble will spare you a lot of anxiety–playing it too safe teaches your child that fear must be avoided at all times.

Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face those fears head-on and you’ll raise courageous kids who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.

5. Giving Their Kids Power Over Them

Letting kids dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner or where the family is going on vacation gives kids more power than they are developmentally ready to handle. Treating kids like an equal–or the boss–actually robs them of mental strength.

Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders, listening to things they don’t want to hear, and doing things they don’t want to do. Let your kids make simple choices while maintaining a clear family hierarchy.

6. Expecting Perfection

Expecting your kids to perform well is healthy. But expecting them to be perfect will backfire. Teach your kids that it’s OK to fail and it’s OK not to be great at everything they do.

Kids who strive to become the best version of themselves, rather than the best at everything they do, won’t make their self-worth dependent upon how they measure up to others.

7. Letting Their Kids Avoid Responsibility

Letting kids skip out on chores or avoid getting an after-school job can be tempting. Afer all, you likely want your kids to have a carefree childhood.

But, kids who perform age-appropriate duties aren’t overburdened. Instead, they’re gaining the mental strength they need to become responsible citizens.

8. Shielding Their Kids From Pain

Hurt feelings, sadness, and anxiety are part of life. And letting kids experience those painful feelings gives them opportunities to practice tolerating discomfort.

Provide your kids with the guidance and support they need to deal with pain so they can gain confidence in their ability to handle life’s inevitable hardships.

9. Feeling Responsible For Their Kids’ Emotions

Cheering your kids up when they’re sad and calming them down when they’re upset means you take responsibility for regulating their emotions. Kids need to gain emotional competence so they can learn to manage their own feelings.

Proactively teach your child healthy ways to cope with their emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. Preventing Their Kids From Making Mistakes

Correcting your kids’ math homework, double checking to make sure they’ve packed their lunch, and constantly reminding them to do their chores won’t do them any favors. Natural consequences can be some of life’s greatest teachers.

Let your kids mess up sometimes and show them how to learn from their mistakes so they can grow wiser and become stronger.

11. Confusing Discipline With Punishment

Punishment involves making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline, however, is about teaching them how to do better in the future.

Raising a child who fears “getting in trouble” isn’t the same as raising a child who wants to make good choices. Use consequences that help your kids develop the self-discipline they need to make better choices.

12. Taking Shortcuts to Avoid Discomfort

Although giving in to a whining child or doing your kids’ chores for them will make your life a little easier right now, those shortcuts instill unhealthy habits in your kids.

Role model delayed gratification and show your kids that you can resist tempting shortcuts. You’ll teach them that they’re strong enough to persevere and even when they want to give up.

13. Losing Sight of Their Values

Many parents aren’t instilling the values they hold dear in their children. Instead, they’re so wrapped up in the day-to-day chaos of life that they forget to look at the bigger picture.

Make sure your priorities accurately reflect the things you value most in life and you’ll give your children the strength to live a meaningful life.

Originally published at www.inc.com

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‘Please stop having children you aren’t willing to raise’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Sen. John Kennedy: 

Imagine that you’re the parents of four children under the age of eight. Your home is strewn with stuffed animals and sippy cups. And, if you’re a couple named Colby and Lacey (a real couple from Utah), you keep drug paraphernalia next to the bassinet and smoke heroin in front of your children.For the life of me, I don’t know why anyone who is an addict would decide to become a parent and bring an innocent child into his or her sick drug den. My only conclusion is that some parents figure someone else will raise their children while they do drugs, drink, party, commit crimes, Snapchat, plant fake crops on FarmVille, and do anything but parent. They’d rather have the latest and greatest iPhone than help their children figure out eighth-grade algebra.

Thankfully, that’s not most parents in Louisiana, but it describes too many.

Life is precious. Anyone who’s looked into a newborn’s innocent eyes should realize how incredible it is to be blessed with a new life. That couple named Colby and Lacey allegedly gazed into their newborn’s eyes and then rubbed drugs into the child’s gums to hide the fact that she had been born addicted to heroin. Nurses say some parents do this all the time to hide their infant’s withdrawal symptoms.

Here’s my advice to couples like Colby and Lacey: Stop having children if you don’t plan to raise them.

A lack of good parenting sense isn’t just a problem for Colby and Lacey. Last month, an eight-year-old girl tested positive for cocaine in Baton Rouge, La., after a relative brought her to the hospital because her mother refused to do so. When authorities located the mother, she had cocaine and drug paraphernalia in her possession.

My heart aches for that child. At eight years old, you should be playing games, painting your fingernails purple, getting glitter on everything, and learning how to bake cookies. The last thing you should be doing at that age is testing positive for cocaine.

I don’t know that mother’s story, but I do know that she failed her child.

Too many parents are failing their children these days in Louisiana. Thousands of children are in the state’s foster care system. A woman in West Monroe was just honored for mothering 100 foster children over the years. Think about that: That one woman had to do the parenting for countless parents.

Too many people treat parenting like it’s the 20th item on their to-do list. Their social life, drug habit, and sleep schedule matter more to them than their children do. Talk to teachers and they’ll tell you: Children show up unbathed, unfed, and unprepared at school when they show up at all. Sometimes the system catches them and shuffles them into a foster home. Tragically, sometimes the system fails them like their parents did.

It’s not fair to those children, and it’s certainly not fair to our communities. Those children grow up broken. They don’t glue themselves together and get a scholarship to Louisiana State University. They often drop out of school, do drugs, commit crimes, and hold down minimum-wage jobs. They’re flushed down the toilet before they’re potty trained, and then taxpayers are left to take care of them.

Studies of high-performing schools tend to find a common thread: parental involvement. Those same studies show that the more interest you have in your children’s education, the better they do in school. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory found that a family’s income does not determine how well kids score on tests or how often they show up for school. The determining factor is parental involvement.

Abraham Lincoln is a good example of the benefits of parental involvement. Lincoln easily could have died an illiterate farmer. He grew up on the frontier, where schoolteachers made sporadic appearances and lost his mother at a young age. An uneducated woman named Sarah Bush turned the tide for him. Sarah married Lincoln’s father and encouraged a rather feral Lincoln to nurture his love of reading. She thrust books in front of him. She ensured that he had a comfortable home and treated him like he was her natural child. That’s good parenting, and it helped shape Lincoln into one of this country’s greatest presidents.

But you don’t have to raise a future president. You just have to raise a child who has a little common sense, graduates from high school and stays off the road that leads straight to prison and drug addiction.

We launch public awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle their soft drink cans, stop smoking and wear seat belts. Maybe we need to launch campaigns to encourage people to raise their children. Most Louisiana parents don’t need that encouragement. But if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that some do.

Having children is a blessing. Treat your children like the blessings they are or don’t have them at all. Our foster care system and jails already are at capacity. There’s no more room at the inn.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was elected to the Senate in 2016. You can follow him on Twitter: @SenJohnKennedy

Damian Daily

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