March 15, 2017

life

Posted in human nature, parenting, philosophy, stuff I think about at 8:45 am by weiszguy

Life: the slow process of realizing your parents were right about most things.

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January 2, 2011

fathers deserve more credit than they get

Posted in gender differences, marriage, parenting tagged , , at 8:16 pm by weiszguy

Fathers deserve more credit than they get.

Fathers are usually raked over the coals for not being better fathers. Fathers are no good at being involved in their children’s lives, no good at probing for deeply held feelings, no good at comforting broken hearts. Fathers are no good at dishes, laundry, and shuttling kids to soccer practice.  In short, fathers are not very good mothers.

Nobody ever mentions the paychecks, or bailing out the basement during a flood, of forbidding the wearing of mini-skirts by daughters. If fact, people usually look down on fathers for being workaholics  and for preventing their offspring from having any fun. Nobody considers that most fathers, at one point in their lives, were 17-year old boys.

Don’t make a father be a mother. Don’t make a father be a teenager. Let a father be a man.

February 9, 2009

what is it with Sundays?

Posted in parenting, pets tagged at 1:53 pm by weiszguy

Yesterday, Sunday, we were sledding down by the lake.  My eight year old son ran into a tree, head first.  He was going full speed, hit the tree with his head, and he and the sled recoiled a good two feet or so.  He was able to wiggle his fingers and toes when we asked him to, but he didn’t move of his own will, he just laid there.  To make a long story short, we took him to the ER, they did x-rays and CT scans, but found nothing wrong with him.  Whew!  There’s nothing scarier to a parent.

The Sunday before last we were having a Super Bowl party at our house.  It was a great game.  A friend of mine was driving home afterward and got pulled over, ostensibly for not stopping at a stop sign.  He was discovered to be driving with a suspended license, and now he has some ‘splaining to do before a judge.  And no, he wasn’t drinking.  There is never any alcohol at my parties.

The Sunday before that, as I’ve already explained, was a bad day for my dog.

So the last three Sunday’s have been less than ideal.  Mr. Suspended License and I decided to see if we can continue the streak.  We’re going to take next Sunday off and just drive around until something happens.

January 27, 2009

I killed my dog

Posted in money, parenting, pets tagged at 10:52 am by weiszguy

Sunday was a horrible, no good, very bad day.

I was driving away from my house about 8:30 in the morning when my dog, my stupid dog, ran in front of the car and I ran over him.  He limped back to the house, we canceled all our plans and took him to the animal emergency room an hour and a half away.

To make a long story short, it would have cost a couple thousand dollars to patch him up.

I had my wife and all four kids with me (11, 10, 8, 6) and we had to decide whether to go ahead or to put him down.  Again, to make a long story short, there was no way I could pay that kind of money, so we had a long, long, session of trying to figure out where to get the money, and ended up deciding to put him down.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

The kids were hysterical – I can’t think of a better word.  Screaming, bawling, sobbing – for a long time.  The exam room we were in had a box of Kleenex – we used the whole box.  I would try to offer a word of comfort or encouragement, only to have the screaming start up again.

I had to get the kids out of there.  We gave the vet our decision and went out for lunch (because we were 1½ hours away from home).  When we came back, they had a clay impression of his paw for us.

The kids bawled the entire rest of the day.  I tucked them into bed sobbing.

I never ever want to go through that again.

Sunday was a horrible, no good, very bad day.

January 20, 2009

mcdonalds

Posted in addiction, parenting, spending, weird tagged at 7:45 pm by weiszguy

I hate McDonald’s.  I like McDonald’s.  I hate myself for liking McDonald’s.

McDonald’s food is bested by just about every fast food joint out there.  You name it, they have better food than McDonald’s.  Plus, the food is bad for your body.  And the expense is bad for your wallet.  Yet, every time I drive by one, I think, “Ooh, there’s a McDonald’s.  Maybe I should just grab Big Mac.”

Why do I do this?  Is it because they put addictive drugs in their food?  Is it because my mother ate too many Big Macs while I was in the womb?  Is it because they have a team of crack marketers who are actually really, really good at what they do?  Whatever the reason, I hope it isn’t my fault.

June 6, 2008

what is a dollar worth?

Posted in money, parenting tagged , at 6:34 pm by weiszguy

A very interesting article on MSN today.  Apparently, a dollar looks different to children in poor families than it does to children in wealthy families.

To the scions of the überwealthy, a dollar will look like a fraction of a down payment on a zippy new Alfa Romeo. To those on the other end of the spectrum, it’s a defense against an avalanche of bills.

They also have different ideas about how much money you should have, or how much you can have.

There’s already a belief system in place from kids who are poor or middle class that they feel like you shouldn’t have more money than you need, whereas the wealthier kids are saying you can make as much money as you want: ‘Look at my dad.’

March 26, 2008

do parents need to be ‘certified’?

Posted in education, parenting tagged , at 3:38 pm by weiszguy

This editorial from the Wall Street Journal addresses the recent debacle out of California: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120614130694756089.html

Do parents really need to be certified to teach their children?  What would a parent need to do to get certified?  Show mastery of educational history?  Understand classroom management techniques?  Attend seminars designed to show teachers how to teach homosexuality?

I’m not a certified teacher, but I can read, which means I don’t have any trouble following any of the thousands of pre-planned lessons available to anyone who wants them.  I also love my children, which means I care enough to make sure they know how to be respectful, how to be honest, and how to stand up for what is right, in addition to the 3 Rs.

The California case involves a couple who allegedly abused their children.  If true, that is a shame.  There are laws against child abuse, and when abuse occurs the children ought to be helped and the parents dealt with.  But remind me what this has to do with homeschooling?

There is no cause and effect relationship between school and child abuse. Any parent, regardless of the educational status of their children, can abuse their children.  Using the logic of the California court, we could just as easily pull all abused children out of public school, because, who knows, maybe the school is causing the parents to abuse the children?  And let us not forget, many, many children are abused by their public school teachers.  Why don’t we require those children to be removed from the schools?

Like the writer of the WSJ editorial, I would like to know where the presidential candidates stand on homeschooling.  Specifically, do they believe parents need to be certified in order to teach their children?  The answer to that one question would go a long way toward helping me make up my mind in November.

June 18, 2007

video game addiction

Posted in addiction, courage, gender differences, parenting, technology, video games at 9:55 am by weiszguy

We did the nasty.  We pulled the plug on ALL video games in our house.  We did some research and discovered that video games are addictive.  No, I’m serious.  They’re addictive in the physical sense.  Video game playing causes the same chemical reaction in the brain that amphetamines cause.  The brain likes this reaction and soon – very soon – begins craving more of it.  In no time at all the body is physically addicted, and more and more playing time is required to meet the body’s desire.

We dropped this bomb on our kids last night – probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a parent.  Our boys (ages 10 and 6) began crying – really crying, not just watery-eyed.  It hit them the hardest because they’re the biggest players in our house.  Our daughter (9), while not crying, got real quiet and started saying things like, “Well, I guess I could start reading more…,” as if reading more was a punishment.  Our youngest daughter (4), has only just begun to play video games and wasn’t really affected by our pronouncement, but she was crying because her brothers were crying.

My hope is to get them through the teen years without developing a physical craving for anything (video games, cigarettes, beer, etc).  Once they have adult brains this will all make sense to them, but right now it’s tough.

May 21, 2007

The Way I See It #253

Posted in parenting, Starbucks at 8:27 pm by weiszguy

I’ve discovered it’s pretty easy (and fun) to argue with the people whose quotes are on Starbucks cups.  I realize, of course, these people are probably much deeper than their quotes appear, but when I read stuff like this, I simply cannot resist.  Here’s one I read today:

A mature person is one who can say: My parents may have made some mistakes raising me, but they did the best they could: now it’s up to me.

— Shannon Fry – Starbucks customer from Ann Arbor, MI

I guess my main beef with Ms. Fry is her definition of ‘mature’.  Is she really saying that a person who can say this about their parents is mature?  It seems to me the revelation about being responsible for yourself is just the very beginning of maturity.  A person can’t even begin to start to think about maturing until they realize their behaviors, thoughts, and actions are their own, not their parents.