parenting

When Did We Forget?

I’m not endorsing it, neither am I condemning it, but I simply write this to ask this question. When did we forget that these are actors, playing a role? We must enjoy it, because we pay for it, not only with our money, but with our time and attention. If we think this is a true representation of who they are, then we must be living in more a fantasy world than the role they are portraying.

There has been a lot of backlash about the new Miley Cyrus video. I know this, because I am a parent, and this is one of the artists my child listens to. And as a parent, it is my responsibility to keep up with what is influencing her. I don’t read every magazine she reads, nor do I listen to every song she listens to, but I do monitor the news and other sites that pertain to her generation.

In all honesty, I have not seen the video the entire way through. I have seen enough of it, and I leave it at that. I will not pass a judgment one way or the other. The only reason being, I don’t feel a need to spend the time watching when I could be doing something else. I’m this way with most videos on line. Unless it relates specifically to the task at hand at that moment or is something that really grabs my attention, I’m not going to watch.

But it brings me back to the point, she is an actor, she is being paid to make music and portray a role. She is not being paid to raise our kids, and she certainly should not be held to such a high, unattainable standard, as some may think she should. It is the parents (or other responsible adult in the child’s life) to be the role model, to set the standard of what is right and wrong.  It is also the parents responsibility to talk with their child, to communicate, and to listen. And make informed decisions, not off the cuff, emotional reactions to something, when you don’t have all the facts.

I don’t write this to start any sort of wars, and quite frankly I’ll be surprised if it receives much traffic at all. I simply write it as a reminder to all, including myself, think and have your facts before you judge. Better yet, don’t judge at all. That’s not our calling. But do what is right for you (and yours) and let the rest take care of themselves.

 

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What’s In A Name

A lot of ideas for this blog come from questions asked by my daughter. Here’s one she asked today – what does my name mean? So using Google (gotta love Google for being able to find all the information you ever need) this is what I found.

Amy – The name Amy (Ay-mee) is a popular name which literally means beloved. It is of Old French and Latin origin, the Latin word amare meaning to love. The name like most others seems to have started out as a vernacular expression which later developed into a name. The variants of the name are Aimee, Amada, Amelia and Amita. It was made popular after the American novelist Louisa May Alcott’s (1832-1888) World famous novel Little Women which depicted the life of four sisters in Civil War times, the youngest among whom was called Amy.

And here I just thought it was a pretty name that my husband and I could agree on when we were picking girls names. Who knew that it would be so representative of who she really is.

Michelle – The name Michelle is Hebrew in origin, and means who is like God.
The name rose to popularity again in the 1970s and became a very common girls name. Then in the 1980s the popularity of the names peaked again. For the last five years this popular name has declined from its peak, and has been replaced by modern trendy names like apple and peaches.
The name has been used for both male and female babies.
As Mi(ch)elle, being the Italian form of Michael and very popular for boys in Italy (pronounced Mik kay le) In French it is generally pronounced Michelle for boys, and not used for girls, except in its diminutive form Micheline.

Well that’s a little intimidating. I don’t know that I live up to that. It’s an interesting thing to consider though if you are thinking of naming your child. What does their name say about them?

Because I Said So!

Did I really say that? I vowed as a kid to never say that to my kids. Famous last words. Now I’ve said it. Just yesterday in fact was the first time. In the 7 1/2 years we’ve had Amy, (she was one year old when we adopted her) I have managed to come up with a different answer, usually an explanation of some sorts. But yesterday, it finally came out.

Ack! I’ve become my parents.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. They are wonderful people, they have taught me a lot over the years, and I know I gave them a lot of grief over the years too. But when you are a kid you always think I’m going to be different than my parents were. I’m not going to have those same battles, I’m not going to say the same things.

But now it’s out there. Will I say it again? Probably.

Pick your battles

When did kids stop being kids? In the past two days I have seen news stories involving kids, and their over achieving parents. In Japan 25 kids had to give the lead part in a school play. There was only one lead part, but these 25 kids had to share the part. Just because all of the parents wanted their child to be the star. Then another story was about kids having business cards. A 2 year old with a stack of business cards in his bag? How ridiculous is that!!! The mothers explanation for it was “it makes him feel important, and helps his build his network of friends.” And to make it even worse, the price for these cards is $50 for 50 cards. I didn’t even spend that much on my own business cards (which are now sitting on a shelf gathering dust).

It seems like kids are being scheduled and forced to do things they don’t want to, have no interest in, or just aren’t ready for. Every night of the week it’s off to practice here, a recital there, grab dinner on the run, squeeze in homework somewhere, and don’t stop to rest.

I also had a more personal experience with parent pressure – it was at a pool. A bunch of kids were taking turns jumping off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. One of the kids didn’t want to do it, maybe they weren’t comfortable with their swimming skills, I don’t know. But they didn’t want to, and that was what mattered. Well the parents decided that it was more important for the child to be jumping off the diving board, so they kept pressuring until finally the deed was done. Afterward the tears started. When asked why they were crying, the answer was they felt pressured by the parents to do it even though they didn’t want to.

Maybe it’s a difference in parenting styles, but to me that was not something that the child needed to be pressured to do. I have an 8 year old and she has decided this year to try that and has found she likes doing that, but she made the decision to try, not me. She’s also become a stronger swimmer because of it.

And I will be the first to admit, I have made my share of mistakes parenting too. I’m not perfect and I don’t know any parents out there that are.

I think back on my childhood and my most fond memories of being a kid were playing with my friends, the spontaneous games played outside, swimming at the community pool, or just hanging out. We didn’t have to be somewhere all the time or constantly entertained and occupied. We used our imaginations to create forts out of refrigerator boxes, picked honeysuckles and tried to harvest the honey to sell to the neighbors, or rode our bikes up and down the street for hours on end.

Hopefully I will be able to convey some of that to my daughter and allow her to be a kid just a little longer. Because they certainly grow up fast enough without us pushing an adult agenda on them.