New cowboy boot and a day at the park with their bikes.
Monthly Archives: June 2012
I just read Love and Logic and have to say I was wholely unimpressed. I started out with a fundamental difference of opinion with the authors with in the first few pages, and that – at the very root – maybe part of my thoughts on the entire book.
The authors begin their discussion of “the grand responsibility of parenthood’ by stating that kids today, post 9/11 and Katrina, are “growing up faster than we did” (32). First of all, how trite can you be? Every generation since Cain and Able has said that. More importantly however is my founding belief that children and teens are growing up faster today simply because parents do not want to parent and want to be absolved of their responsibility as soon as they can be. It is my view, our view here in this home, that children need to be children (yes even at 10 and 14 and so on) and that it is a basic parent duty to make sure they not only get to be kids, but that they stay kids even as they strain to grow up. Ten year olds today are still ten year old and need to be damming creeks and catching frog, no ogling adult websites. That falls to the parents and what they allow and facilitate; that is no different in 2012 then 1950 or 1912. Thus I began the book with a solid difference of opinion with the authors.
I found the book an easy read, and even a timely reminder about picking my battles and using cooperative language rather than confrontive language (“should you can play outside, right after you pick up the books” rather than “no you are not going outside till every book is put up”). But that is really where my appreciation for the book ends. I think we can all agree that the role as parents is to allow children to learn to make choices and decisions for themselves; but the key, to me, is that they have to be age appropriate choices. I am the parent, I can see around the corner my kids can’t, I have to make some choices for them. The authors pay lip service to keeping the choices the child get to make realistic then give example after example that are anything but realistic.
The examples used in the book were at best laughable and more realistically just plan dim-witted. I’ll share my three favorite examples. One: the two year old making a mess and disrupting dinner (first of all, what do you expect Martha Stewart?) is told “you can eat nice or you can play on the floor”. The idea being the child learns he or she can not disrupt the adult dinner (again, why did this couple have a child if they do not want their adult habits disrupted). The authors state this child, hungry till breakfast; will soon learn to eat nicely at the table. Secondly a six year old who doesn’t like to go to bed is given the “choice” of when to go to sleep and is still up playing in his room when the adults go to bed at mid-night. The child is then awaken at 6 am (still in his clothing from yesterday) and told to get ready for school. I have a six year old, and I know how plain ridicules this example is. Finally an other school age child (say ten) is late getting ready for school, misses the bus and the parent tell him “I am not taking you spend the day in your room just like you are at school and do not bother me” and then the next morning sends the child off to school (assumablely on time) with no excuse note. I am certainly not one to scoff at limits and consequences (see my post Obedience is Not a bad Word). Nevertheless the examples are foolish and ill-advised to the point of being insulting to the reading parent; a parent trying to parent a real child not a fictional ‘parenting manual child’.
Here in the real world we do not have perfect ‘parenting book children” that walk away quietly when told “if you can’t talk nice to me, I won’t listen” and return 20 minutes later cheerful and never sass us again. Here in the real world we are striving to raise real kids; and too many parenting books fail when the rubber meets the road. There are good ideas in the book, but the authors make the same fundamental mistake most parenting authors do, they take their ideas too far. There is very little good about going to extremes no matter what parenting style you are talking about.
Ok so I have plowed though the food pantries; not as hard as i expected. i did it while the kids werew outside and ended up with 4.5 boxes of food to share with another family. Less “from the box” food for us. (see here, if you wonder what is going on). here are a few photos of my “finished work”. Now the challenge to keep them neat and clean and junk free.
First a glimpse of what all the pantries looks like before i got started this morning.
and…what they look like now..
This week I will be gutting the kitchen. Two fold process. First of all to get the “stuff” dealt with: at least 1/3 to give away, at least 1/3 to store and less than 1/3 back into freshly washed cabinets. Neat and cleanly and orderly. Secondly to go through all the food and cull out a lot of it.
The first task is simply enough and obvious; we are moving before the end of 2012 and stuff simply needs to get gotten rid of, or packed up. We need the house less cluttered and face it, it is all gonna have to be packed at some point, why not now rather than more work later? We are also starting the process of getting rid of all plastic for food and drink (I will, for now, be keeping it for in fridge storage, but not for heating food or eating food out of). So there are some things that I will simply be getting rid of. Things not gotten rid of need to be organized and packed.
With regard to the food. We are knuckling down and getting rid of all the “cheats” that have wormed their way back in to acceptable food. Momma has gotten tired of the fights, she has been choosing to fight other battles and we have not been as dedicated to our family eating plan as we need to be. Food, and keeping to the diet Daddy and I want the family on, means a lot of constant battles. It is time to get back to fighting them. It is my fault and I know it, but we have got to boost ourselves (and drag the boys screaming along) on to the wagon. The big three (artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives) and being re-brandish; and with much gusto this time. I am determined to make this STICK, somehow, not sure how, but I am going to have to find a way. I know it all hinges on me not allowing us to cheat, and me not being lazy. Now we are also going a further step to seriously cut back our processed / boxed / ready made foods. This time HFCS is getting the ax. This is going to be hard. Even after all this time the boys have no learned to “choose for themselves” not to have the artificial stuff. They hear it over and over (and over and over) again “that has artificial colors, no” but they never stop asking. This cracks down, and removal of more ‘easy to eat’ / ‘fun’ food is going to be a trial. For a while I am going to have to accept food as one of the battles I choose to fight constantly with the boys; this needs to be done.
Stay tuned as the kitchen gets cleaned out…
we got in our first really
good hike of the summer.
We were happy to get back there, we had not been there in 2 years due to flooding then due to the clean up of damage. the Park is amazing, and reminds me of being back home; cliffs, creeks and trees. We hiked up a bluff and then back down; about a mile all together and i was very proud of how the boys did.
I take a strange pride in the fact I do not only blog our successful art but also our “less than successful art”. This is only of the ‘not so perfect’ ones. I set out for us to make coffee filter flowers. I have seen several places where the child colors on the coffee filter then the child sprays water and the colors melt together and run and blend.
This was my starting point. My mistake, I think, using washable markers. When we sprayed them with water the color dripped out of the coffee filters, mostly anyway, and did not spray though the filter and did not blend – like tie-dye or something.
We persevered to the end, coloring one day,
spraying the next, and are drying our filters; the boys still want to try to make them into flowers with pipe cleaners. Lesson learned, I think I may get ONE box of non-washable to keep put up and we can try again with them.
It was not actually that warm, you think “ah it is summer, nice and warm, off to the pool we go” then the water is cool, and the sun goes behind a cloud and you are actually chilly. A number of the kids at the pool actually were complaining, or going to mom to be wrapped in towles. Little did not seem to care — he played the whole time; he must have down the slide 50 times. Big Brother was less impressed and spent a lot of time laying in the sun on the edge of the pool; he actually fell asleep there.