Sunday, January 31, 2010
split right down the middle
hating that cut-open feeling
I'm alone again, hollow
and achingly empty.
I wish I could be
swallowed up in
whipped cream yumminess
as be as happy
as the cherry on top
*I know I know. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride...*
Friday, January 29, 2010
It's never easy
going back into your past
picking up those
tossed away pieces
of youth and folly.
of pain-filled experiences
will leave you breathless
filling up pot-holes with a
quick drying cement
made of forgiveness
and maturity takes effort
and a dignity I'm not sure
I possess anymore...
Say “I don't care what they think'
like you mean it
and walk away with
your back straight
even though you might feel
bent and broken
by their imaginings
and twisted ideals-
it's your life after all
you have to make
it fit yourself
and no-one else.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Onto another topic of discussion: child-rearing.
My husband and I have raised three (3) children to adulthood, one of whom is moderately disabled. All of our children are happy, healthy, contributing members of society, and our greatest joy and blessings. Let me explain a little...
I come from a background of terrible physical, emotional and sexual abuse. My parents sold my sister and I to a child pornography ring, starting from the age of 3. No one can tell me that they suffered worse than we did during the next 10 years of our lives. Still, I managed to educate myself, and went on to marry a good man, and raise those children with him. I think we did ok. Better than ok, actually. None of them were ever involved with drugs or alcohol- none of them went to jail. All three graduated from high school with honors, and all three have gone on to higher education/technical schools. Our eldest is married with children of her own now, and she is an exemplary parent. So, what is this leading too? I feel my opinions re child-rearing are as good as, or better than, someone who is still in the early process of it. That's what.
Children need 3 things, beyond their physical needs being taken care of, to be happy and healthy. They are, (in this order) unconditional love, consistent discipline and boundaries, and the ability/permission of their parents to be children. All the rest is filler.
Children should be given unconditional love from the day they are born. Earlier, even, if you can manage it. That means literally - No Conditions are placed on the love they are given. There are no expectations attached to it. There can't be. Otherwise it isn't unconditional, is it? *wry smile* Even when you feel like pulling out your hair, ( or when they pull out your hair), you love them anyway. Totally and completely. Every child should be cherished. And they should know they are. 'Home' (whatever that means to you), should be a safe place to be, not another place to have to perform in.
At the same time, children need to know what the rules are, and where the boundaries are, to keep them safe. This can and should be handled with tenderness and love. Sometimes tough love. (I don't believe you should ever spank a baby/young toddler. It is pointless, as their brains are not developed enough for them to grasp anything but fear from the experience. Yes, you will have to get up over and over and move them from that light socket. Or, you can always do yourself a favor, and make your home baby-safe!) What happens when you hit a small child enough times for touching? That's right, you've 'trained' them to be afraid to touch (Pavlov's Toddler). You haven't 'taught' them anything. Teaching implies understanding. The frontal lobe isn't fully developed until around the age of 2-1/2 years. So sorry. No developed frontal lobe=no understanding.
Ok- enough tangents...*stepping off soap-box* Where was I? Oh yes- Discipline and Boundaries. Everyone needs to know where the floor is to stand up, right? Discipline is no different. A child will feel more secure if he/she knows what the rules and limitations are. Where 'the floor is' if you get my drift. They also need to have the consequences, or the 'boundaries' clearly defined as well. Ambiguity equals confusion equals unhappiness equals tantrums. Keep the rules clear and simple, and make sure the 'punishment fits the crime'. It's important to remember this statement as you face discipline- " An under- or over-reaction to any given situation is directly related to an unresolved issue from your past.'
Let's discuss letting our children be children. There are so many pressures that our children are facing today that many of us did not have to deal with.
The breakdown of the family unit- divorce is more prevalent than ever; violence in their homes, on their televisions, in their games; fear of global warming, the End Days (for certain groups), of being alone or abandoned; sophisticated child-targeted marketing campaigns...the list could go on and on. Then add to that the way we as parents are trying to cope with the guilt we feel for leaving our children in daycares - instant gratification and an endless array of 'things to keep them busy'. Dance class, music lessons, sports and every other kind of extra-curricular activity we can come up with! Our children spend almost every waking hour 'doing' something that is scheduled. Where is their downtime? When are they allowed to pretend? Where are those magical moments of imagination and flights of fancy that all of us need to deal with reality and it's ugly manifestations? Where are the bucolic days of innocence and wonder? And why have we taken them from our children? What has possessed us to insist children become 'miniature adults'? And why are we surprised by the way children are responding? *shaking my head* They lack the life-experience and brain development to deal with the adult world.
Children need down-time. They crave it like women crave chocolate. Let's turn off the tv's and the video games. Let's put away the the cell-phones and turn off the computers and blackberries for awhile. Let's schedule some "unscheduled time" for our children.
A few quick points -
- TV is not healthy for the developing brains of toddlers under the age of 3, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- For those who question the effects of exposure to violence, and the resulting desensitization, I recommend the books of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman - On Killing, On Combat, and Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill.
- A benefit for children in learning to use their imaginations (i.e., having to create their own play, rather than what happens in TV and video games and the like, where the child's brainwaves are similar to those of people in comas) is that it lays the foundation for sound problem-solving ability and critical thinking skills. Play also teaches appropriate social skills.
- The brain isn't fully developed, on average, until people reach their early 20's. There is a physiological reason that contributes to teenagers having more automobile accidents than adults. Its more than just "lack of experience". Yet another reason children get into trouble trying to live in the adult world too soon.
In conclusion, we need to step up and be parents. Not their "best friends". There'll be time for that after they are grown. Nor to make them believe they are the center of the Universe. They aren't. No one is. Our job is to do what we believe is right for that child, to give them as safe as possible an environment (without going overboard and trying to bubble-wrap the world) in which to become happy, well-adjusted young adults with healthy coping skills, ready to find their way in the world.
And that's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. hmmmph! :O)
Monday, January 25, 2010
wind-swept melodies of passing youth
lips and hands filled with quiet song
gentle and warming as mulled wine-
I find myself longing
for those crescendos of not-so-long-ago
days and nights filled with electricity
a need so overpowering
burning heat and fiery tempest
trumpeting through the nights
we battled and loved
removing every obstacle
with no thoughts of the future...
kiss me again like you
will drown in my love
or perish in the trying...
just for tonight.