Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What does it take to become important?

It used to amaze me over the years that when asking students ( I usually taught grade 7 and or 8), what they wanted to be when they grew up, their answer often was "a famous fill-in-the-blank". By extension then, if I am not famous, I am a failure.
 I puzzled about this over the years. Why did they want to be a famous hockey player, artist, writer, movie star, etc.? Why not a successful one? Why not a talented one? Why not a respected one? Was fame the god they were chasing and not the role itself?
 In our western culture, where its not what you know, but who you know, where its better to be popular than to be right, where there's no such thing as bad publicity, how do we protect our kids from chasing fame, at the expense of a worthwhile trait?
 How do you promote celebrity in your home?
 How do you talk about celebrities?
 How do you talk about yourself and fame?
 How can we promote effort over results?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Willingness Skills

Rather than just repeating the same thing to your child over and over regarding conflict resolution:
     "Stop that!",      "Be nice to him/her",   "How would you like it?", etc..., how about trying out teaching them these important skills (tips picked up from the excellent workbook on bullying, No Kidding Abour Bullying by Naomi Drew.? She calls them "willingness skills", as they are skills that must be learned if you are really willing to resolve conflicts. They are:
       Hear out the other person
       Be patient

         Why is it so important to be willing to work out conflicts?
         Which willingness skill is most challenging for you?
         How can you work on that?

I know its complex and this is not the answer to all our bullying/conflict problems. But there is certainly something to this. I am determined to give it a shot this week. Who's in?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Greed is getting me down

Greed is good. Or so, it’s been said. It’s been proven wrong. Sadly, Gordon Gekko has been copied, emulated, dreamed up and re-incarnated a million times since (and a billion times before) he first walked across the silver screen. Where were the warnings before it all fell apart back in ’08?

The warnings were there and it didn’t fall apart in ’08. The Fall came long, long ago. Now money has become one of our most revered gods. Even as we struggle to get our governments, businesses and banks in line with regard to money, what are we doing to start at home? Canadian consumer debt is not getting better in fact it is getting worse. We are not taking warnings, we are losing the greed battle. Is it any better anywhere else?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes: Drive, by Alan Jackson

It's painted red, the stripe was white
It was eighteen feet from the bow to the stern light
Second hand from a dealer in Atlanta
I rode up with Daddy when he went there to get her
Put on a shine, put on a motor
Built out of love, made for the water
Ran her for years, till the transom got rotten
A piece of my childhood will never be forgotten

It was just an old plywood boat
A '75 Johnson with electric choke
A young boy two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it make me feel
And I would turn her sharp
And I would make her whine
He'd say, you can't beat the way an old wood boat rides
Just a little lake across the Alabama line
But I was king of the ocean
When Daddy let me drive

Just an old half-ton shortbed Ford
My uncle bought new in '64
Daddy got it right 'cause the engine was smoking
Couple of burned valves and he had it going
He let me drive here when we'd haul off a load
Down a dirt strip where we'd dump trash off of Thigpen Road
Sit up in the seat and stretch my feet out to the pedals
Smiling like a hero that just received his medal

It was just an old hand-me-down Ford
With three-speed on the column and a dent in the door
A young boy two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel
And I would press that clutch
And I would keep it right
And he'd say, a little slower son you're doing just fine
Just a dirt road with trash on each side
But I was Mario Andretti
When Daddy let me drive

I'm grown up now three daughters of my own
To let them drive my old Jeep across a pasture in our home
Maybe one day they'll reach back in their file
And pull out that old memory
And think of me and smile, and say

Just an old worn-out Jeep
Rusty old floorboard, hot on my feet
A young girl two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel
And he'd say, turn it left and steer it right
Straighten up girl now you're doing just fine
Just a little valley by the river where we'd ride
But I was high on a mountain
When Daddy let me drive

When Daddy let me drive
Oh he let me drive
Daddy let me drive

It's just an old plywood boat
With a '75 Johnson with electric choke

Monday, May 07, 2012

Make 'em work for it.

I read two very interesting books last week. Not blogging frees up several minutes for other valuable things like reading. Both books were by Donald Miller, best known for his best selling Blue Like Jazz memoir. The two I read were Father Fiction and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years .

The salient point to this blog that Miller makes in the first book is that we too often look at work as a curse and pass that idea along to our children. This brings about a sense of wanting things for nothing, but also of viewing work itself as a negative thing. Effort is required, Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tuesday's Tunes - Wide Eyed Wonder Girl- The Choir

This week, its "the choir" and their gentle salute to a daughter. This one was always a favorite of mine, even
 before I had a daughter.

Wide-eyed wonder girl
Starin' into the sky, wonderin' why
It's a good, great world
But it turns around
Never mind the ground

Look up high, stars above
Please don't cry, Father's love
Hold on tight to His hand
Dream tonight, understand


Look up high, dancing bear
Please don't cry, daddy's prayer
Hold on tight to my hand
Dream tonight, wonderland

Wide-eyed wonder girl
Starin' into the sky, wonderin' why
It's a good, great world
But it turns you'll see
Hold on tight to I had a daughter.