Archive for the ‘family’ 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’m not a fan of Kmart. I couldn’t tell you in 100 words or less why that is. But I feel really sorry for them right now, and just might go shop there to show some solidarity against the absolutely insane American consumer.
Suddenly, shopping on Thanksgiving is something bad. Since Kmart answered the cry of the consumer and decided to stay open 41 hours straight on Thanksgiving, the consumer has turned around and called the retailer out on being “unfamily.” But isn’t that exactly what consumers want? Don’t you want to shop on Thanksgiving?
Or is it more joyful to shop at midnight when retail employees should be snug in their beds but you want to be snagging the latest and greatest Mickey Mouse waffle maker? You need one of the four available $20 DVD players so you’ll stand in line until the store opens at three in the morning?
Does the American consumer not understand that there are employees working all these insane hours? Suddenly some hours are more insane than others?!
I’ve never understood middle of the night shopping. Thanksgiving is usually cold here in the Midwest. So who wants to go out in the cold and the dark to shop?! There is nothing out there that I want or need so badly that I need to warm up the car and dress to trek to a store to get.
Plus, shopping on Thanksgiving has not always been taboo. That’s what we did on Thanksgiving when I grew up in Kansas. Dad and Grandpa would watch football. I’d go shopping with the other women in the family. We weren’t looking for bargains. We were passing time. But we went during regular store hours, not when people should be sleeping.
Americans are a corporate retailers wet dream. We are like lemmings running for bargains that aren’t really bargains. We actually believe that things will be the cheapest they will ever be on Black Friday (aka the day after Thanksgiving). We have bought into the mantra, “more, I need more” and chant it as we grab Made-In-Some-Foreign-Country-By-Tiny-Children-For-Pennies schlock piled high in the aisles of the local mall’s anchor stores.
There’s got to be better ways to celebrate the holidays…
Last week I addressed a letter that may or may not have been intended for the neighborhood children. I’ve heard rumors that the letter was done as a “joke” by a radio station. Yeah. Real Funny.
Honestly, I thought calling the neighborhood kids moderately obese was dastardly. I mean, who does something like that on a holiday that is built on consuming treats? No one’s advertising bananas and apples as the ideal Halloween treat! Kit Kats. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Candy, candy, candy!
How would you feel if your kid came home with candy, but attached to a graphic anti-abortion pamphlet? That happened in New Mexico. I would be furious if this happened in my neighborhood. Halloween is not the time to share your beliefs about reproductive rights. Do that with your adult peers. Kids want treats, not political rantings.
(Although if this did happen in my neighborhood I might be forced to counter it with condoms and the morning after pill going out with the candy.)
What if you attended the Halloween costume parade and saw a child from the school dressed as a klansman? Yes, as a member of the KKK. It happened in Virginia. Lordy, kids at the neighborhood school nearby aren’t even allowed to wear masks, much less hoods. Klansman hoods.
Originally I was hoping the child had no idea why he was dressing up as a white witch. But after reading quotes made by his mother, I’m sure he’s aware of what his costume represents. I imagine he’s a bully. Here’s what Mom has to say, according to the referenced article:
Jessica Black of Craigsville told WHSV in Virginia that there’s nothing wrong with the costume or the Ku Klux Klan. “It’s suppose to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that.”
That’s one little boy I don’t want coming over for a play date!
I say it over and over again that adults are ruining childhood for our kids. These things just further fuel my argument.
Instead, I laid on a metal table, while they moved an xray machine around trying to find the perfect opening to do the puncture. This is called a lumbar puncture (LP) with fluoroscopy. And it sounds so much better than a blind lumbar puncture where they just poke the needle around until they found an opening.
I was lucky because everything went well. I didn’t even get the headache everyone told me I would have. I did have to lie around on my back all day. And as fun as that might sound, it was tedious!
Why did I have this done? Because I’ve had endless headaches all summer long. Giant, killer, annoying headaches. And vision changes. And hearing changes.
Which lead to a doctor visit which led to an MRI and an ophthalmologist visit which led to a neurologist visit which led to the LP. You know how these things spin out of control.
I have no idea what’s wrong with me. Probably another genetic thing. The women in my family are genetically weak for some reason. We have been gifted with all sorts of issues–some quite rare. I should find out more information by the end of the week.
Since I’ve been playing Dr. Google (that’s what the doctor who did the procedure yesterday called it) I have a list of things that this can be. Some are mild. Some are serious. Some I’m not even sure exist but I’ve convinced myself they do. I haven’t been all that far off on my self-diagnosis attempts in the past; I usually get something in the ball park when I do it on my own. It’s a game I play with my internist.
I’m waffling between joy because the headaches have gotten better with the cooler weather to pure terror at dying soon. Yeah, that’s how my mind works.
Of course, this is all wasted energy because I have no idea what is wrong with me! Luckily I am aware of that and can rein myself in pretty quickly when I go down the wrong path.
Hopefully I’ll get an answer soon and life will go on. After multiple surgeries (Aaron and Jim) this is just an extra thing I don’t need or want. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep on blogging.
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.
There’s a new television show coming to TVLand in December called Kirstie, starring Kirstie Alley. They are showing trailers repeatedly now, trying to pull in viewers. In it a young man approaches Alley’s character on the street and says he thinks he might be the son she gave up for adoption 26 years earlier. Her response? To pepper spray him.
The people at TVLand and those associated with this show–which I refuse to link to because it offends me that much–think pepper spraying an adoptee is high comedy.
You can’t fault TVLand for thinking adoption is some fun game. Adoption has been comedy fodder for ages. Of course, all birth mothers are portrayed as slutty idiots who pee in sinks, clearly incapable of caring for a house plant, much less a child. And adoptees are presented as bungling fools who barely existed before discovering their birth mother.
This is a cop out. It’s easy to make a joke out of something that is hard and heart-wrenching for people.
Birth moms are women just like you. Or like your mother, sister, aunt… They struggle with the idea of giving up a child. And once they do, they never stop thinking about them. Wondering if their child is well-loved, taken care of, adored. Of course there are birth moms who don’t want to be reunited with their child, but I highly doubt many are carrying mace in their purses in case their child shows up.
Adoptees also struggle with the idea of reuniting. Will it be a good idea? Will I be rejected? Who will I look like? This is something an adoptee has struggled with since they day they learned they were adopted. Being pepper sprayed by a diva would be a crushing blow.
I watch TVLand a lot because of reruns of shows I do like. But I’ve gotten leery of the shows they are creating. Last season I was appalled during an episode of The Soul Man (another original show) when they used every ethnic stereotype in a show dealing with a family’s Asian foster child. I guess I expected a show about black preachers to be less offensive.
I know I can’t change the entertainment world. But I can control what is viewed in my home. Right now Kirstie is off the air.
Except this time I am so skeeved out by this ad that I cannot contain myself. I’m not even embedding this in the post because it has made me so furious.
Backtracking here, I am normally not a thin-skinned person. I don’t see Halloween costumes called “Naughty Kitty” and immediately think “sex.” I don’t see little girls licking lollipops as being sexual. I don’t look at Kodak print ads of tree branches and think sex.
But this pap smear being administered by Creepy Uncle Sam (aka CUS) gave me nightmares. I resisted watching for so long. I think my brain was trying to tell me something. But I watched…and am completely perplexed by the message being sent.
As most women will tell you, being spread-legged in your doctor’s office with your feet in stirrups is not a pleasant thing. I’ve never been a woman who enjoys her pelvic exams. I’m not saying those women don’t exist, but I don’t know any of them. Which is why seeing this young woman wondering where the hell her doctor went and then seeing this caricature of Uncle Sam appear between her knees is awful.
Whoever created this ad is a demented, woman-hating, sadistic bastard. And they were hired by the Republican party to create this ad as a way to encourage young people to forego health coverage. Because we know young people are never in accidents and never get sick. Not!
When CUS pinches the forceps at the end, I wanted to punch him in the puppet face and kick him in the balls. That’s how much he pushed all my buttons. I cannot be the only one.
Moving past all the woman-hating that went on to create this piece of dreck, I am going to point out the outright absolute hypocritical message of this ad.
The Republicans don’t want anyone to have health care. They can’t even pass a budget bill without attaching pieces about birth control and abortion. They are morally and politically against the vagina.
Except when it comes to probing our uteruses (or is it uteri?!) with ultrasound wands if we want abortions. Then it’s okay. Because women need to be punished for having sex and wasting the almighty man’s sperm. That’s what it boils down to. You know it. I know it. They know it.
But the hypocritical buffoonery doesn’t stop there. Because Republicans want babies born something terrible, they are willing to cut off all aid to women and children in need. Because once a baby is born, they want nothing to do with it. They think fairies morph out of the landscape and provide food, shelter, day care…it certainly doesn’t take money! Or government assistance!
Here’s their train of thought: abortion is bad, birth control is bad, sex is bad, women are bad, abortion is bad, children are bad. There’s no making these people happy.
I wish I could say these were only men doing this. But there are Republican women who believe these things also. Apparently, they nor anyone they know has ever enjoyed sex. I almost feel kind of bad for them. Not! I’m guessing the Republican men they are sleeping with have strange pap smear fetishes that make sex an uncomfortable subject…