Today’s Lesson: Minding Your Own Business

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I’ve been talking about the qualities of leaders – specifically leaders of families, parents. We are a large majority and I think it’s about time that we all, as a group, start taking care of business and popping these heathen kids back into shape.

Call me old fashioned but when I’m having dinner in a restaurant trying to have a nice time, I don’t wanna hear YOUR kid screaming and see you ignoring him. Take him outta the restaurant, have some damn respect and take care of YOUR business. Stop worrying about what someone is going to say and handle it, don’t make me listen to that.

For those of you church goers in the business of recruiting…I had a neighbor once ask me if she could take my child to church (I’m sure this hasn’t only happened to me). I handled that situation quickly, I don’t take my kid to church and there’s a reason for it, don’t take it upon yourself to worry over mine or any other child’s moral upbringing, being religious does not mean a person is moral. Example? The molestations in the Catholic church. Next question?

Honestly. Aren’t you all just a little bit tired of watching the circus and not getting to tell it what you would really like to see? I think it’s time the majority was allowed to speak, and I think we’d all agree that there is a difference between child abuse, neglect and successful parenting.

The majority of us know the difference and though it’s never easy to see a child being punished – you really do know the difference so when it’s just a parent handling THEIR business, STFU! You nosy nillies out there don’t need speak up and say something just because it’s not what you do, just turn your head because it’s not polite to stare and let that parent do their job, you know that’s what they’re doing.

For those of you out there that haul off and punch your kids, you need someone to smack you around a bit. You control your household yes, but you don’t treat your kids like grown ups and get in fist fights with them, that’s craziness and you’re stupid for thinking it’s okay. If you know someone that does it, its your duty to speak up and tell them what an asshole they are.

For those of you needing a book to read or some parenting advice, I have a suggestion that has helped me immensely:

I’m stepping off my soapbox now for a while because I’m late for getting ready for work. Don’t let that stop you from continuing this conversation in the comments, I’d like to hear your thoughts, I welcome them all, be nice everybody.


Must Be Consistent

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This post is more to convince myself than you, so just humor me ok?

My son has been consistently slacking off this year at school, making sure his grades are barely passing, if we’re lucky enough for that at all. Since March the boy has only been allowed outside sparingly on the rare instance that all his grades are passing or a milestone was accomplished. When we found out he passed the TAKS test was one such occasion.

However, despite the rule in our house being “Failing grades = no outside/freedom/tv/fun” this child is unfazed. I vowed to him over a week ago that if he didn’t pass all of his classes at the end of the year he would be grounded the entire summer and have to do manual labor around the house, such as scrubbing baseboards, cleaning cabinet doors, and other tasks I can think of that are completely unnecessary and totally obnoxious so maybe we won’t repeat this lazy attitude towards school next year. He’s on track to fail one class for the entire year I’m sure of, but Social Studies, Science and Language Arts are all failing grades for the final six weeks of this school year. But as the summer for him draws closer (next week) the more I feel bad about having to take away his summer in this way.

I always keep my promises though and that is something I’ve been very diligent about throughout my son’s life so the poor child is going to find out what life is like for those that don’t try hard enough to succeed. Manual labor, doing a job he does not like or want to do.

It’s so hard to be consistent when you really don’t want to exact the punishment you promised in anger.

Any suggestions?


Kids These Days

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I read an article on MSNBC about children called, Today’s tykes: Secure kids or rudest in history? a very interesting read.

The article discusses Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1977) and Generation Y (those born between 1980 and 1996) and how our lifestyles, parenting styles and children themselves have changed over time.

I know as a parent it’s hard to decide which ideology to subscribe to, whether to spank or to put your child in time out, whether to have your kids calendar filled with activities or let them play outside with neighborhood kids, to allow them to have a cell phone or not to, it’s inevitable that there’s gonna be a misstep or two.

This article takes a closer look, a psychological one to try to explain what’s set this change in motion:

“Many researchers consider members of Generation X to have been among the least nurtured children in American history with half coming from split families, 40 percent raised as latchkey kids — literally, home alone.

‘They are trying to heal the wounds from their own childhoods through their children,’ says Dr. Michael Brody, a child psychiatrist and chair of the Television and Media Committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

In indulging their children’s moods, Brody argues, some parents may be trying to protect their children from experiencing the kind of anxiety and neglect that they themselves suffered as youngsters.”

They’re talking about the shift in discipline, the fact that children are often not held accountable for their behavior, regardless of how appalling.

As I grew up and as an adult now, I’ve seen this gradual change, of course there’s the usual scapegoats, video games and television, but I’ll tell you something. Your children should know the difference between television and real life.

Our children are seeing things in their childhood that we never saw in ours, the news showers us with bad news and horrific tales of crime constantly, this is all true. But it is our job as parents not to let television and popular culture teach our children about the world and how to behave in it, it’s our job. OURS.

Your children need more education than they get at school, they get educated intellectually there, but it’s your job as a parent to teach them about the real world and how they’re expected to behave in it, you know “street smarts”. Or have we forgotten that term?

If you don’t teach them and you fail to bring the real world to their doorstep, it is you that will pay the price. When your child can’t keep a job, won’t keep a job or worse, has no intention of ever working because he has parents that pay his way – you will understand far too late the consequences of not providing them with consequences for bad behavior.

The article goes on to describe the future..

What does this mean for their future as adults? We may be starting to see some of the effects in Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1996, whose self-centered — if not downright arrogant — workplace behavior has been well-documented in the popular press since the mid-2000s.

“They’ve grown up questioning their parents, and now they’re questioning their employers. They don’t know how to shut up, which is great, but that’s aggravating to the 50-year-old manager who says, ‘Do it and do it now,’ ” says Jordan Kaplan, an associate managerial science professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn in New York, in a USA Today article.

As for today’s little kids? “No one will want to hire them,” says Brody. That’s not an encouraging thought, especially in these economic times.

Generation Y has already been in the workforce for 10+ years, while I have seen the bad attitudes and refusal to accept work life for what it is, necessary and not fun. To those parents still struggling with what to do, I recommend “The New Dare to Discipline”. I read the original Dare to Discipline in paperback when my son was about 4 or 5, and another book, “The New Strong-Willed Child“, I read “Parenting the Strong Willed Child” at the same time I read “Dare to Discipline” and it gave me new tools to use, which I desperately needed. At the time I was a single mom, overcompensating for what I felt I lacked with my son, which was leading me straight down the path to having a child that had absolutely no respect for himself or anyone else and I had to do something.

These books were in perfect time for me, I felt they both gave reasonable tools for discipline, made a lot of good common sense, and worked in practice with my son very well. At 11, he’s a good kid and aside from little things here and there that truly can be attributed to boys being boys (window broken and occasional bad grades) all his friends’ parents like him. For my son, the rules are simple and few, but they must be followed.

No rules is a bad thing, too many rules is a bad thing, but rules that make sense for your child and lead them down the path to productive adulthood are necessary. Kids need consistency and accountability, it’s what shapes their drive and self discipline later in life. It is your job to turn your child into a productive citizen of the world.

There is a little hope though…

Economic climate does seem to have an effect on manners. Indeed, some experts believe that trend of rudeness among kids first emerged with the rise of Wall Street and its culture of entitlement in the mid-1980s, which is when Generation X began having children. It has been building since then, they say. But today’s downturn may inspire renewed prudence.

“I think that people who lose their wealth, their jobs, and other emblems of success that gave them a mindless assurance about their social status — plus with the new standards in the White House — may examine their values more seriously,” predicts pediatrician Gordon. “It will be less easy to fob off your inner questions by purchasing an expensive education, summer camp or horseback riding classes.”

It may also be easier if Gen X parents start implementing the popular campaign that they grew up with themselves: “Just say ‘No.’ ”

What do you think?


Design, ha!

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I’ve mentioned before I’m in school again. We have yet to see how successful I am this semester. Seems everytime I try to go back to school and enroll and all that, I get halfway into the semester doing well and something always happens that puts me behind.

It’s me I know, my discipline is out of whack. Yeah I know, it’s because when things change and I have a new project I go 120% at it and I forget everything else. In this case, that included school work. I’m such a damn slacker.

On Sunday, while I was trying to get at least something done that was worth a grade in web design I started playing photoshop designing would be logos for my site for school. Of course I played with a logo for MouthyGirl but it’s nothing worth looking at. Truth is when it comes to design, fashion, shopping, which bag I should be carrying, how I should wear my hair, how the forks are laid at the table, all that style shit – I’m clueless.

The hubby has more style than me, by a lot!

So yeah, the logo looks terrible I mean my son could prolly do better. Thinking I might start a chipin page or something so that for those of you that hate the design, you can send me a buck to go towards a new custom design, lol.

Screw that, I’ll just install the buy me a beer plugin. You’d buy me a beer wouldn’t you?