Posts Tagged Parent

Parenting Stories For Other Parents Who Are Parenting

A Recent Picture of Me Along With My Wife And Two Children

Being a parent of young children can be a frightening experience.  You love them with all of your heart, but you eventually have to send them out into a challenging, scary world in which you are not always around.  As a service to my readers, I’ve been collecting stories mailed in by parents who have had to deal with difficult parenting situations as their children first start school.  Here are some powerful tales of parents who have looked difficult situations in the eye and said “Go away, Difficult Situation.  I don’t like you. You are a jerk.  I hate you, Difficult Situation, and I hope a plague descends on you and your family.”  Hope these stories touch you as deeply as they have me….

My son’s first run in with a bully

 The other day Bernie came home with a sad, scared look on his face.  When I asked him why, he told me that another boy at the school named Jimmy was making fun of him.  I felt so angry at Jimmy!  How dare he do that to my boy!  However, I am a parent now and sometimes it is important to be a rational adult.  After all, I am a role model to Bernie and I want him to understand that simply responding emotionally to every challenge isn’t the right approach.

The next day as I was dropping him off, I had Bernie point the bully out to me.  I made a note of what he looked like then drove home quickly.  I got dressed up in a vampire costume that I had picked up at the local thrift store.  Very frightening outfit!  I covered my face in white paint and smeared fake blood on to my  fake fangs.  Then, I went to the school and hid behind a tree.  When the Pre-K class came out for recess I leaped out from behind the tree and started running right after Jimmy.  He began running away with tears streaming down his face.  I chased him around for a while until I finally cornered him.  As I looked into his terrified face, I said “Nobody messes with Bernie!  No one!!!!”  I think he got the message.  My son has had several kids give him their cookies during snack time and has gotten to get on the swings first everyday since.

-Anna in Cell Block A 

My daughter came home from school wanting a bizarre tattoo

Sure, young children pick up a lot of strange ideas from their friends.  Peer pressure is a major issue that affects all kids, even the youngest among them.  That being said, I was stunned when our 5 year-old daughter Bunny came home last Friday begging to get an inverted cross tattooed into her forehead.  Personally, I’m very open-minded, but this simply was too much for me to handle.  I immediately regretted letting my wife talk me into letting her join the afterschool satanic cult that was being offered at the school from 3 to 4 on Wednesdays.  Clearly, young children should not be exposed to this sort of thing, whether it be at school or in some bizarre 16th Century French dungeon. 

I knew that this was a trouble sign and I responded immediately.  I went up stairs to her room and cast her copy of The Necronomicon into the fire.  I took all of her Anton Lavey posters off the wall and made her put the heads back on her dolls.  Then, I told her she was going to have to listen to records forwards from now on.  Sometimes, being a good parent means having to put your foot down.

-Not Satanic in New Hampshire 

Living With Flippers One Day at a Time

At age 2, my son Barbara began to grow flippers in place of his hands.  Flipperitis is a rare but common disease among young children who have eaten large amounts of tin foil from an early age.  When Barbara was ready to start school, we were concerned the other students would make fun of him.  In order to make sure that he was not teased, we spent several thousands of dollars to train him in several of the martial arts and get him certified in the use of firearms and small explosives.  These weren’t easily skills to learn for a young man with flippers, but through dedication and the use of massive amounts of body altering steroids, Barbara became a threat to the lives of nearly anyone who came within 100 feet of him. 

From Day One, Barbara was the most popular boy in his class.  He is currently captain of the high school swim team and he is only six years old.  Even when he sprouted horns over the Christmas break this year, we barely broke a sweat.  Kids would have to be crazy to mess with him.

-Won’t Be Messed With In Winnepeg

  

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Six Important Lessons You Should Be Teaching Your Children

We, at The Tyranny of Tradition, are proud to present today’s guest writer, Jonathan Winthrop.  Winthrop is a conservative columnist, syndicated talk radio host, all-around great American and a proud parent of four boys (McCarthy 12, Reagan 8, Goldwater 6, and Huckabee 2).   He is the President and co-founder of Americans for Progressive Corporal Punishment, a group committed to teaching family values to bad parents.  He is the author of several New York Times best-sellers including “12 Easy Steps to Teaching Your Child To Fear and Respect Authority Figures” “Attila The Huns’ Strategies To Being a Better Parent”, and “Look Mom, No Values:  A Parents Guide To Living In A Fallen World”.

Good American Children At Play

I know, I know, your young children are learning lots of bad habits from television and from that Odd Future Wolfgang Kill’em All rap album you just bought them. Parenting can be a tough job.  But, parenting is the most important job in the entire world. After all, without children there wouldn’t be adults.  If there weren’t adults, who would be there to produce a lasting supply of inexpensive consumer goods.  Without inexpensive consumer goods, what would drive our economy?  As you can see, without children, our world would quickly turn into a communistic hell on earth.  I’ve put together a list of six really important lessons that you should be teaching your children so that they don’t end up hooked on crack-cocaine or becoming a “community organizer”.

Don’t Talk To Strangers

It’s the oldest piece of advice in the book.  Strangers are a threat under all circumstances, particularly when they dress like they are in 1970s cop films or have foreign accents.  If your child doesn’t know a person, chances are that person is looking to cause them terrible harm.  Strangers have done terrible things throughout history.  John Hinkley was a stranger to Ronald Reagan when he tried to assassinate him back in 1981.  Had Reagan died there is no doubt that an Iron Curtain would have descended on the United States stifling freedom for the next thousand years.  Be a good role model for your children by ignoring anyone who asks you for help and not saying hello to anyone unless you have known them for at least three years.

Don’t Be A Sucker

Lots of people are trying to take your money from you all the time.  Sometimes, they want to give you valuable things in return like toaster ovens or televisions with picture-in-picture capability.  Sometimes, they are looking to take your money and use it on drugs or food.  Most people on the street simply can’t be trusted.  If they are behind the counter at a reputable store in a good part of town, that’s one thing, but according to a study done by the Heritage Corporation 97 percent of people who are who live in bad parts of town are either “highly dangerous”, “just can’t be trusted” or are “too lazy to go out and earn a living.”  Do not give them money under any circumstances.  It will contribute to a vicious cycle of poverty and Islamic radicalism.

Don’t Let Other People Blame You For Their Problems

Just because you were born in the greatest country in the history of the human race doesn’t mean you should feel bad about it.  Most people are looking to blame you for their problems when their suffering is actually caused by the fact that they have made bad decisions.  Everyone starts equal in this life.  Don’t let their statistics about people being “born in poverty” confuse you.  According to a study done by the American Freedom and Values Council For A Freer America, 96 percent of Americans who are wealthy have better morals and make better decisions than those who make less than 50,000 dollars a year.  You are where you are because you worked harder than anyone making less than you.  Teach your children to be proud of what they have achieved and scornful of those who haven’t achieved as much.

You’d Be Better Off If It Weren’t For Them

Social programs like affirmative action and gun restriction laws have weakened most Americans’ ability to live a happy, free and safe life.  Teach your children to be active participants in government by stopping the government from taking your money and giving it to other people just because they are “hungry” or unable to provide themselves with adequate shelter.  Thomas Jefferson once said something like “Government is the enemy of free people everywhere, particularly when it gives the money of hard working people to undeserving losers.”  He was right.  Teach your children that government and special interest groups like illegal aliens are responsible for most, if not all, of their problems.  That way, when they become adults they will have absolutely no problem getting rid of government organizations that are slowly rotting America away like the Food and Drug Administration.

Without Math We Would No Longer Be Free

America has fallen behind in math test scores around the world.  According to a study done by the Americans For a Freer Society With Better Test Scores, 103 percent of American 8th graders can barely count up to five.  If this trend continues our children are going to become adults who are unable to figure out how much of their weekly check goes to building important tools of peace like stealth bombers and aircraft carriers.  They will never be able to experience the joy and pride one feels when counting how many more nuclear missiles we have compared to the rest of the world.  Then, they will never know how truly lucky they are.

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If You Don’t Believe There is a Meaning to Life, Why Don’t You Just Go Around Killing Other People?

I was asked this question recently during a discussion about morality with a friend of mine.  I do not believe that there is an objective meaning to life and this was his way of countering my argument.  At first, I didn’t really take the question seriously and I laughed it off as a weird reductio ad absurdum argument meant to link my lack of belief to the worst possible outcomes. It is not the first time I have been asked this question in this context and I began to wonder why I felt the question was ridiculous. For the purposes of this article, I really don’t want to debate my feelings on objective meaning. It is a much larger topic that I feel deserves considerably more explanation than I am ready to give. However, I feel there is a basic misunderstanding in this question that is worth addressing on it’s own.

The questions strikes me as a silly one because I don’t see what one thing has to do with the other.  I am not clear about how Proposition A (There is no meaning in life) leads one to Proposition B (I should go around killing people).  The argument makes about as much sense as saying “If you don’t believe there is any ice cream, why don’t you just go around killing people?” Why does the lack of basic meaning imply that people would commit violent acts towards one another? Where is the causal link between violence and the lack of meaning?  Proposition A is a stand alone idea.  It doesn’t lead to anything. It simply is.

The implication at the center of this idea is that the only thing that keeps human beings from running around causing severe harm to one another is the belief that there is some reason for everything.  The deeper idea in the point my friend made was that without meaning, humans are nothing more than bloodthirsty animals that will do whatever they want, whenever they want.  This is an extremely Hobbsean conception of what people are.  I have a hard time believing that humans without meaning would find nothing better to do with their time then kill other humans.  This view of humans, when held up to the light, seems quite vacant of truth.  There are many secular humanists, atheists and nihilists who live their lives not believing in objective meaning without causing significant harm to others around them.  Violence is something used by people of many different belief systems.  There have been Christian murderers, Muslim murderers, Atheist murderers and so on.

I think part of the problem with the question is the assumption of direct correlation between belief and action.  A person’s beliefs may help to define their actions, but we are never sure how.  A person may believe strongly in a universe with objective meaning and choose to manifest that belief in the form of violence against people who think differently (The Spanish Inquisition is a good example of this) or they may choose to take that belief and manifest it in the form of non-violent protest (Martin Luther King would be a good representative of this). I don’t think we know what drove these people to act as they did.  There is often an assumption that humans are basically machines.  If you input this belief into the machine a specific set of actions will be waiting on the other end of the conveyor belt.  The truth is that we have no idea what believing in certain things leads to.  We know that we believe them, that’s all.

A good lens to see this question through is David Hume’s Problem of Induction argument.  Hume argued that we can never convincingly prove that A will lead to B.  We may assume that every time we flip the light switch on the room will light up, but on some occasions (power outages, blown fuses, unexplained failure) the room will not become illuminated.  We may think that if a person has a certain set of values and beliefs they will turn out a certain way, but there are nearly limitless examples throughout history of times when that hasn’t happened.  There is no such thing as a sure thing. We never know in advance how a set of beliefs is going to effect a person’s actions.  We cannot accurately predict the future thus we never know what believing in certain things is going to lead to.

There is a troubling dynamic in this answer for those who are raising children.  If we can’t convincingly know what the beliefs we are teaching our children are going to lead to, how are we supposed to raise them?  My wife and I are currently raising two young children, so this question is a very serious one for me.  As a parent, one of the most difficult realities that you are faced with is the understanding that you may do a great job teaching your children to love and respect the people around them and they still may turn out to be humans who take actions that appear angry, violent and anti-social.  Humans are filled with complexities are impossible to completely understand.  We can read the all of the “right” books, make the “correct” sacrifices and do what we think are the right things and we are still given no assurances.  All we as parents can do is love our children no matter who they become.  I don’t want my children to learn right and wrong, I want them to learn that we live in a world that has extreme shades of grey.  I want them to learn to cause as little harm to others as possible (be it real harm or perceived harm).  We do what we can and we hope for the best whatever that may be.

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An Open Letter to the Beatles

Crossing the street…or CROSSING THE LINE?!?!

Dear Paul, Ringo, John and The Other Guy,

I was driving my children to swimming lessons yesterday and your song “All You Need Is Love” came on the radio.  I had never really listened to the words in this song, but as a concerned parent, I decided to try to listen to the words that my children were hearing.  What I heard was truly shocking!  I find the message in this song to be deeply troubling and, as a concerned parent, I beg you to do what you can to stop radio stations from playing this song.

I’m sure that you thought that you were just writing another silly love song and, I mean, what’s wrong with that?  But, if you really think about the message in the song, I think you’ll come to understand why it disturbed me so much.  Imagine for a second, that an impressionable child heard this song and took it seriously.  Clearly, human beings need a good deal more than love to survive.  They need food, shelter, clothes (preferably from a decent designer), and air.  What if an impressionable child heard this song and decided to stop eating completely?  His concerned parents would beg him to eat but he would not.  What if, as he widdled away to the size of a twig, slowly starving to death and his concerned parents, now grief-stricken, asked him why he was doing this and he replied “Because the Beatles told me all I need is love”?  Could you live with your selves?

What if, even worse, he just decided to stop breathing? He could die within a moment or two giving the concerned parents only a few seconds to react.  What if his friends saw him stop breathing and thought that it was the “cool” thing to do?  What if hundreds, thousands of children stopped breathing just to not be “square”?  It could be an epidemic of epidemic proportions! Children, falling over dead in classrooms across America, with the words “All You Need Is Love” passing though their blue lips as they meet their maker.  Is that what you want?

Music has a major effect on the ideas of young people.  Do you know what Jeffrey Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, and Ted Bundy have in common?  As young men, they all listened to music.  And look what suffering they caused!

I demand that you stop allowing this song to be played on radio stations everywhere.  I also ask that you never fill our children’s souls with such blasphemous, anti-social ideas by playing this live.  Until you agree to stop this madness, I and a group of like-minded concerned parents, plan to boycott love.  We will not express love in words or actions.  We even plan on starting all tennis games at 15 so that no person ever has love.

Yours truly,

 

A Concerned Parent

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