Archive for the ‘advice’ Category
Possibly the worst parenting book ever written, To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl, might also be the easiest way for unsuspecting Christian parents to find themselves facing prison time. That is what is happening in Washington state to Larry and Carri Williams who were sentenced to maximum sentences for murder after being found guilty of starving and beating their adopted daughter.
Ignore the happy child smiling and playing carefree on that cover of To Train Up A Child. Contained within the covers of that horrific tome are the following parenting tips like these (taken from the article quoted above):
- Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it is “too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone”
- Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
- “Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
- “Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
- Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
- “Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
- Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
- Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
- Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain
I’m not going to tell you whether you should spank your child or not. But I am going to strongly suggest that sitting your six-month old baby on a blanket and smacking him if he moves off it is a big red sign of a sadistic and abusive personality. That is not normal parenting. That is abnormal control.
Parenting means we get our children to behave well at home and in public and come into adulthood as reasonably well-functioning adults. It is not to create meek and submissive creatures who respond to our every command and bidding. How would they exist? How would they leave? How would they function on their own?
Baths with cold water on purpose, withholding food, and putting kids outside in the cold are methods of torture, not parenting. If you find yourself doing any of these things, seek help immediately. There are people and places who will help you.
The sad thing is that the Pearls are making millions of dollars selling this “Christian” parenting book that advocates child abuse. If we’ve learned nothing of late, it is that “Christian” is often just another adjective meant to deceive us into believing that something bad is really good. Maybe true and good Christians should put an end to this book once and for all, just to save their good name.
What can you do right now? Sign this petition, asking Amazon to stop carrying books of this type, cutting out one source of income for the Pearls. Maybe other sales venues will follow!
It’s hard being a fat parent. Because people automatically assume you have no idea how to feed your kid a healthy diet. They assume you’re constantly getting dinner at the drive thrus of the local fast food restaurants and tossing candy bars into the back seat while driving for ice cream. Of course, the food at home is no better with chips and soda being the norm, natch. I know, it’s happened to me. More than once.
Which has turned me into The Good Fatty. The Good Fatty is the fat person who does her best to let everyone around her know that while she might be fat, she does her best to be healthy. Very few processed foods in my house! Chips and soda are rare treats! Vegetables at every meal! Nothing deep fried ever!
It’s exhausting. That’s why I was so relieved to read the Fat Nutritionist’s post about Real Food. We sure can be judgy about food. And we need to stop. Because there are very real reasons why people choose the foods they choose and it’s none of our business. It’s really not.
Every day I have a McDonald’s iced tea. I love their iced tea. Another confession: I love egg McMuffins too. But every day I carry that McDonald’s cup into my house, I imagine the neighbors are looking out their windows wondering why the fat lady is eating at McDonald’s so much. Even though, logically, I know they are worried about a million other things than me.
We’ve just gone a little crazy in this country about our food judgments. Friends, family, strangers, restaurant personnel…no one feels exempt from commenting on another person’s food choices. It’s got to stop. Food has become a moral barometer and it shouldn’t be.
Our lives are stressful enough. We don’t need to add another facet with food stress. Food should be enjoyed. It should be easy when we need it to be and complicated when we have the time. We should have what we want to eat when we want it. Yup, even McDonald’s.
Let’s all take a vow, especially with the holidays coming: we’ll worry about the things on our own plates and the plates of our kids without passing judgement on anyone else. And we won’t stress if we need to take a short cut. Frozen pizzas and boxed macaroni and cheese are just the antidote to life’s stress, right?!
I went to a baby shower for a soon-to-be-mother of twin girls this weekend. I oohed and aahed myself into a cute coma because she got some incredibly cute clothes. Seriously, girl children are way better dressed than boy children. There, I’ve said it. Now we can move on.
The parents-to-be also got some practical gifts. But I noticed that no one got them The One Gift That They Really Need For Their Entire Parental Career: A Tape Recorder.
While the babies are still babies they can record themselves making soothing sounds, maybe singing a few lullabies. This will help when they are to damn exhausted to speak a single word more. How convenient it would be to just press a button and let the tape recorder do the talking.
But the baby years are the easy years. When the terrible twos, threes, fours, sixes, tens, and twelves come into play, the parents can just create an endless loop of “no.” A ninety-minute recording of “no” should suffice, with a few rewinds morning, afternoon, and night.
“Can I go outside?” “No.”
“Can I cut my hair?” “No.”
“Can I cut my sister’s hair?” “No.”
“Can I get a tattoo?” “No.”
“Can I eat this bug?” “No.”
Of course, some children will repeat each question an infinite amount of times, making the “no” recordings even more appreciated!
Teenagers might require multiple recording devices. Perhaps one hidden in the car and activated by bad driving, texting while driving, or other dangerous activities. The parents can choose their own message, I suggest something like, “Get your damn hands back on the wheel!”
A hidden recording device in a purse or backpack for dates can keep amorous young men from getting…well, to amorous! “Get your hands off my daughter!” screamed in the father’s voice needs no further explanation!
I’m sure your heads are now swimming with ideas now also! Isn’t this a great idea! Babies R Us will be stocking these soon!
I grabbed this image from the new tumbler, We Don’t Need An Excuse. Read this. Process this.
Do you know what a total and complete asshat douche canoe someone has to be to pass this out at Halloween?!
For god’s sake, turn off your porch light and hide in the dark. But don’t be a jerk to the neighbor kids. Yeah, you’re probably the one who keeps the balls when they roll into your yard and yells when someone steps on your grass. So it’s not like you’ll be missed or anything at the block party.
If you are someone who feels that this is the right thing to do I have a few questions:
1) What, exactly, is moderate obesity? Do you have a scale hidden under the welcome mat? Is this something that can be seen with the naked eye?
2) When did sugar and treats become completely off limits? Are you so sure that I, as a parent, need your input into my child’s diet?
3) Who appointed you king or queen of this neighborhood?
4) What happens if my kid is fat? Maybe it’s not as terrible as you’ve been led to believe.
I’m not linking to the links that answer some of these questions. Check out these bloggers, who do some great work with the science behind the madness instead.
And eat a Snickers…you’re not acting right!
I am so excited! You know how things just happen in this inter-connected world? That happened for me and I am pumped!
On Facebook, I have created a group called Body Positive Parenting, combining two of my passions: parenting and practicing Health At Every Size. It’s hard to raise our kids in this appearance/thin obsessed world. In this day and age when eating disorders among children are on the rise, we need all the resources we can get to help out kids survive childhood.
I’ll be doing research. We’ll be having conversations. Hopefully the end result will be raising healthy, happy young people with a greater appreciation for themselves.
Many of us grew up with negative messages about appearance, weight, and popularity. It’s hard not to repeat the patterns we learned from that. But we will work together to re-learn ways to talk to our kids about being healthy, without dragging a number (aka weight) into the mix.
I’d love your thoughts, ideas, suggestions about this! Feel free to contact me!
And don’t forget to join the group! It’s closed to keep out spammers and trolls, but I’m checking it often.
To many advertisers have jumped on the pink wagon to sell as many products as possible on the coat tails of the pink ribbon. Yogurt. Energy drinks. Makeup. Oh so many more.
After watching Pink Ribbons, Inc. my eyes have been opened to the ways marketing companies are using cancer as a selling tool. They’ve learned that packaging something in pink will help sell a product. But where is the real benefit for breast cancer research and support?
Of the millions of dollars these products rake in in October, a very small percentage will actually find its way to helping breast cancer in any way. Most will end up in the pockets of the corporations. In some cases the products, such as some cosmetics, actually contain carcinogens while blowing the pink ribbon horn.
Football players are sporting pink shoes and pink towels this month. Maybe the National Football Association should have just donated all the money it cost to purchase these pink items. Because a hulking football player running through the mud in pink shoes isn’t curing cancer. But money will help.
If you really want to donate money to breast cancer research, just write a check. Find an honorable and responsible research facility that is truly looking for a cure. They need your money. Just don’t expect to get some cute pink thing in return.
Here’s an excellent blog post on other events in October that are offensive.
I’m suddenly getting into makeup. Not long ago I was a beauty consultant for a makeup company. I wore some of their makeup. Then I joined a Facebook group full of women who know a lot about makeup and now I’ve got the bug.
But let me tell you, it’s one thing to pass some internet “classes” to become a certified beauty consultant and quite another to know what to actually do. There are all these mystery potions and creams. BB. CC. Eye shadow. Eye liner. Brow makeup.
No wonder a girl is so confused.
My previous makeup routine was pretty lame. Most days = wear nothing. Special days = wear eye makeup. That’s the easy stuff right?
The women in the group started talking about brushes. The right tools, blah blah blah.
Monday, in preparation for lunch with my mother in law, I broke out the brushes. They’re not the best. I got them in a freebie bag from Ulta. But they’re so cute! And lethal as hell!
First, I used an eye primer. This stuff is supposed to help your eye shadow look freshly applied all day.* I got a sample of some and applied it to my eye lids. I had seen a video where the girl applied it to the lid and the under eye area. Suddenly, I had these bumps under my eyes I had never seen before. I had reptile skin! The eye primer revealed that I have reptile skin. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the eye primer, kids.
I pull out my new Urban Decay eye shadow kit. Yes, right off the bat I’m jumping into Urban Decay. It’s all because of the lip stick…but that’s another post. Anyway, I got out the eye shadow of bright wonderful colors, grabbed what I assume is an eye shadow brush, and…
Poked myself right in the frikkin eye. Poke. Jab. Jam. Now my eye lid is blotched with teal green. My eye ball is leaking copious amounts of fluid (which is a miracle since I have dry eye and rarely have decent tears). And it hurts!
I do my best to clean everything up. I get the leaking under control. Good thing I wasn’t wearing foundation or anything because it would have been trashed.
I get the color spread on the lids. Deciding that it’s getting a little complicated, I limit myself to one color even though I am looking at six colors. Why tempt fate and add another color to the mix? One color nearly blinded me.
Once my eyes are colored and lined, I add the finishing touch: mascara. What happens? I jam that mascara wand right into the same eye. Bop! Those little metal brushes hurt. Now I have blue eye lids smudged with black goo and more black goo running down my cheeks. Once again, the wisdom of avoiding foundation does not elude me. My eyes are also, miraculously, watering again.
I don’t know why I decided to go with brushes. I’m a novice! I’m not ready for the big time. Brushes are for people who know what they are doing.
Luckily I pulled myself together enough that I looked good enough for lunch. I just pretended I was going with a day time smokey eye. Yeah, that’s the story… If anyone noticed the one blood shot eye, they didn’t mention it. That’s manners, people!
*The eye primer did it’s job. That eye shadow didn’t budge until I took it off. If only there was something to do about the reptilian bumps…
Moms are under a lot of pressure. I imagine it’s always been like that, but it seems like moms are especially judgy and catty today. Add the internet and the inundation of faux-experts on any and all subjects, and it’s no wonder most moms feel they are lacking in the parenting realm.
If you ever wonder if you might be a bad parent, you are a good parent. It’s the parents who know everything and will let you know how good they are that suck at parenting. Watch and learn. While they tell you the right things to do, their child is the one terrorizing the sand box or jacking your kid’s hot wheels.
Every parents takes the easy way out sometimes. Do you cook a gourmet meal every night? Of course not! That’s what boxes of macaroni and cheese are for. Some days, the television is the mac and cheese of parenting. When you’re feeling sick, have a headache, are tired, or just need a moment of quiet time, the television is perfect. Assuming you haven’t turned on the Playboy channel, you’re doing alright.
Every parents lets their kids eat crap food. It happens. We can’t be the food police every minute of every day. Plus, your kids are going to grow older and have access to food on their own. In re-thinking my food handling, I wish I had kept pop and chips on hand so the kids didn’t end up thinking they were such forbidden treats. There’s something about learning moderation at a young age.
Every parent yells at their child. I think we all start out with good intentions. But there comes a day when you hear yourself yelling and wonder, “when did I become my mother?!” For me, it was a half-hour car ride with Aaron and the worm he took for show and tell. Question after question about worms drove me to finally beg for silence. In the form of a yelled, “shut up!” It happens. The same way you snap at your husband. The same way you snap at a friend or a sister or a mother. If you’re spending every day with your child, you will snap. Better to yell than do something worse.
You’ll know you’re a bad mom when you’re neglecting your child. You’ll know you’re a bad mom if you look for ways to hurt your child. You’ll know you’re a bad mom when you enjoy yelling at your child and making him cry.
Other than that, you’re a good mom. Full of doubts and angst, but also full of love and great intentions.
I did it! Yay, me! I am so excited. I wrote 50,000+ words in this summer’s Camp National Novel Writing Month. This is my second time being successful.
Here are a few things I’ve learned from the experience:
1. You really do need to just sit down and write. Nothing like a 50,000 word goal to make the words flow!
2. You can change course at any time. It’s your story, tell it like you want to.
3. It’s hard not to edit as you go with the automatic spell check I have on my computer.
4. Music is a writer’s best friend. At least this writer.
5. Goals are good.
6. You need writerly friends to commiserate with.
7. No one but you will be really excited when you finish writing unless it gets published.
8. Look everywhere for inspiration.
9. If a piece of the story isn’t working out, fake it. You can make changes later.
10. You’ve got to keep going after you write 50,000 words to write an actual novel.