Saturday, July 12, 2008

Reality Television

Ever since we were all fooled into watching the first season of "Survivor" and thinking it was great we have been inundated with reality television. I can't quite understand what the appeal is and I am as guilty as the next person of watching some of these shows. I think it's the train wreck appeal... you know it's just so awful that you can't look away as much as your brain screams for you to save yourself!!

Now I find Kimora Simmons as entertaining as the next person... her kids are so cute it makes your teeth hurt... and Kimora is so gorgeous you would be crazy not to enjoy just looking at her for 30 minutes. It's nice also to see someone in the television industry that seems to really love their kids and want to be involved with them. Still why are we so intrigued by her that we want to watch her shop for a new house, car, clothing, have a green audit (ok seeing her squeeze her 6ft frame into a smart car was worth watching!) and so on. Aren't our own lives entertaining enough?? I mean heck I live with one of the greatest entertainers of his generation, my son Jack!! Ask him about some time... the mere mention makes my brother fall into hysterics. My all time favorite reality show is "Family Jewels" which features Gene Simmons (of KISS for those that have been dwelling under rocks!) his kids are a hoot and he and his partner Shannon Tweed are awesome parents!

Now lest you think I am trying to sell you on the idea that reality television is a wonderful thing let me tell you why this whole topic has crossed my mind. Recently I stumbled upon a show called "The Baby Borrowers" ... the premise of the show is to prove to teenagers they aren't ready for adulthood or raising children. WHOA!!! Do we really think teens are going to learn anything from such a pompous premise to PROVE they are irresponsible?? How respectful is that?? I know I wouldn't appreciate it if someone took it upon themselves to prove I couldn't do something rather than offering to help me through it or trusting if I wanted to take something on that I could educate myself or find someone to help me.

This show has a bunch of teen couples who think they are old enough, mature etc to get married and begin having families (and some are proving they may just be)... the worst part is a bunch of parents willing to loan their babies and toddlers to this social experiment. I could go on and on but please can't we agree that if you are willing to give your baby to inexperienced strangers for 3 days as part of an experiment you MAY not have much to offer in the way of responsible parenting yourself! Not to mention the parents sit across the street and watch on television as these teens try to cope with babies and toddlers while nannies stand by in case of "emergency". One woman watched her toddler cry for 3 hours at bedtime and never intervened and had the nerve to grade the teens poorly in their readiness to parent!!

What are people thinking?? What are the networks thinking when they put things on the air that have the potential to damage children?? In the United Kingdom the BBC originally put this series on the air... there was an outcry and demand for Child protective services to intervene because of the potential for harm to the children involved.

We live in a society that grooves on the train wreck mentality... I get that... I don't think that Kimora harms anyone ... you could argue that her children may have ill effects from being exposed to the media but their parents are famous so that is going to happen anyway. I hope that other people will join me in NOT watching programs like "Wife Swap", "Baby Borrowers", "Big Brother" , "Bachelor" and all the ones that cause psychological harm to people. Yeah lots of those folks are adults but I maintain they have some sort of disorder to think making money that way is ok. So next time you are flipping channels and a super shopper shallow mom is swapping places with a crunchy granola organic mamma JUST SAY NO!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ten Minutes to a Happy Child

Today as I was setting up this blog my almost 7 yr old son came in with what is typically 1 of thousands of "Mom will you... can you.... " requests he makes each day. There are days when sadly I am so wrapped up in what I think is important that it's easy to forget that he is six years old and he NEEDS me for many things. The time will come all too soon when he won't need or want Mom for many things.

Today's request was "Hey mom can we make a ball with this bouncy ball kit I have?" I constantly renew my commitment to trying to find ways to say yes so I paused for a moment and thought about it. He handed me the carefully gathered contents of the kit and waited for my response. Yes Jack... we CAN make a bouncy ball ! The kit required the pouring of some dry granules into a mold (1 minute), the soaking of the filled mold in water (1 minute) the waiting for the ball to harden enough to be removed from the mold (3 minutes) ... repeat for the second ball... a total of 10 minutes and I have a happy child! How hard was that?

So my challenge to you is ... take 10 minutes and do something that your child wants you to do. Find a way to make your child happy... find ways to say yes. I don't think you will ever regret taking a few minutes away from your computer, cell phone, television to make your child smile.

Wow ! Watch me blog!!

So, many will say I have plenty to say on a variety of subjects... some might even say some of what I have to say might be worth reading! At the very least I will feel lightened by writing down my thoughts rather than snapping and venting on some poor unsuspecting store clerk who had the misfortune to ask "How are you today?" and have me actually answer truthfully!

I am a mother of four kids ages 7, 13, 15 and 18... 1 boy and 3 girls respectively. Our family does not fit any particular mold... even within the parameters of what typical describes a family there is no standard answer for us. We are homeschoolers who subscribe mostly to the unschooling lifestyle.

We have homeschooled long enough that we no longer feel compelled to justify to the public that we don't isolate our children and no, actually teaching physics doesn't intimidate me! I believe that children learn best when they are allowed to have the reigns in their educational process. I also believe that children grow up into good humans if they are expected to be good humans and treated as such.

I have a tattered soapbox that I often pull out (now that I am blogging I can keep it out and give it a place of honor!!) when people begin to talk about parenting children. Children are human beings people! They aren't some mini me version of the parent!! Just because you give birth doesn't mean you get another chance at living... you had your chance LET THE KID BE! So what you didn't get to take dance lessons... maybe YOUR kid doesn't WANT dance lessons! Don't assume what you like or don't like will be the same for your child. It's your JOB to help your child find their way not STAND IN THEIR WAY!

So anyway welcome to my blog! I promise every day won't be a vent... somedays I can be downright funny!