Posts Tagged ‘kids’

I Think We May Be Missing Something Very Important

In all too many cases, I think she’s right.

hat tip: @sarahmae on Twitter

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1. I had this plan to set up a 7 Quick Takes Friday draft post every week, probably starting on Saturday, into which I would pile links and short observations. That way, I could just pick the seven best ones come Friday, and wouldn’t that be sweet? I still think it’s a good plan. But nothing even remotely like that has happened this week. Sigh.

What I’ve done instead is redo every ebook cover on every book over which I have the control of the cover and content. I also pulled a couple of the really short children’s books, to rewrite. And I edited a new novel, that should be out soon. And mowed the lawn, and watered the lawn, and chased kids around. It’s been a busy week.

2. For a while, we had a cow that routinely jumped over the neighbor’s fence and ate in our front pasture. Our front pasture is new, and not fenced yet, which made it handy for the cow. When he felt like it, he just hopped back in with the other cows, so I stopped worrying about him.

I haven’t seen him in days. I’m a bit afraid of asking the neighbors how they solved that problem. He was a bit young yet to take to the slaughterhouse, but sometimes it’s better to cut your losses if you have a cow that will not stay home. I think I won’t ask.

3. I usually take a five year old grandniece with me to a couple of weekly ‘Bible studies’ at assisted living centers. I put ‘Bible studies’ in quotes, because it’s not quite the right designation. It’s more like a short rendezvous of Christians in the facility, with a couple or three of us outsiders leading singing, reading a short Bible passage, leading corporate prayer, and leading singing again, for a total of a half hour at each place. (No, I can’t sing. Yes, they forgive me for that.) This week, the five year old was having a very busy day, with her first day of pre-kindergarten, plus birthday celebrations, so I took her three-year-old sister. She did really, really well at being my helper in handing out songbooks, and collecting songbooks, and she sang along nicely as well as she could, and she tried really, really hard to sit still the rest of the time. That’s not to say she sat still. She was, however, praised by numerous people for being such a cheerful, detail-oriented helper. That was fun.

Please, if you have kids under your wing, consider getting involved in visits to assisted living centers or nursing homes. I hate age ghettos, and those set up for old people are some of the most heartbreaking, because most of the people there dreadfully miss being around children. Some don’t, of course, but most do. You should see them light up when they’ve got a child to chat with. It’s also been fun watching the kids learn to deal with old people with various disabilities. Kids are naturals at adapting to stuff like that, in my experience, and I doubt it hurts them any to see people loving people who may not be able to do much.

4. Here’s some perspective from an immigrant who grew up where there was a national curriculum: A Tale of a Common Core. (hat tip: The Common Room)

5. Speaking of national education programs that don’t like to have people deviate from the state indoctrination project, this is scary. I can’t say it makes me want to visit Germany any time soon, either.

6. On a more cheerful note, I discovered a wonderful little book that would be good for read-aloud, or bedtime stories. I got the Kindle edition while it was on sale: In Grandma’s Attic. As of post time, it’s still on sale, at 99 cents.

7. Back to a less cheerful note, another book I’d recommend is Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956. I don’t believe history ever repeats itself, per se, but it sure does rhyme frequently, and all too much of what Eastern Europe went through as it fell into totalitarian ruthlessness is all too similar to trends today. Not encouraging, that. But forewarned is forearmed, if you’ve got the stomach for it. It’s not as brutal a read as The Gulag Archipelago. But it’s scary enough, and I doubt our schools are likely to provide the info. On the contrary, they seem to be in a ‘oh, communism would be wonderful if only we ran it’ propaganda mode. Again. Or do I mean still? On the upside, the Iron Curtain didn’t stay up the way the central planners wanted it to, now did it?

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, please visit Conversion Diary.

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… both arms at once.

This is how some parents teach their toddlers to put on jackets by themselves. If you work with young people, you probably know how much time and hassle this could save, especially if you’ve got several kids to get ready to go outside at the same time.

Besides, kids like doing things by themselves.

Besides, it’s fun.

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From the mouths of babes…

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Michael Catt has a guest post by Stephanie Bennett, called Silence. Tucked in, near the end, is this:

…But I believe we can carve silence into our day. It is said that Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, spent one hour each day in prayer. She gave birth to 19 children, and ten of them lived past the age of two. If she couldn’t find a quiet spot in her home to pray, she would pull her apron over her head as a sign that the children should not disturb her.

If we can teach our children to eat solid foods and tie their shoes and even surf the web on our smart phones, then we can certainly teach them to observe periods of silence each day. Whether it’s putting your infant or toddler in their crib or playpen with some toys or teaching your children to play alone in their rooms, I believe we’re capable of instilling this type of discipline in our children. We expect other things from them, many of which won’t matter in eternity. So why not teach them now the priceless beauty of silence?

Read the whole thing.

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… often come to wish they’d learned more about being a wife and mother. Like this lady.

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Via Lutherans for Life, I’ve just heard about new ways you might help older adoptable Russian children. Camp Hope is based in Iowa, and arranges one-week summer visits with host families, as well as attempting to find forever families for older kids. They have a matching fund drive going on through May 30.

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think outside the bowl.

Ah, yes. Victory via technicality. (Kids can be so good at this sort of thing.)

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Just for fun. (Via Rachel Balducci, who wonders if this is what she sometimes sounds like to her boys…)

Personal note: The first kids I babysat were twin boys. They developed a language of their own, with which they plotted all sorts of things, openly. They knew English, and used it when it suited them. But they were the only persons on the planet (as far as I know) who spoke DaveAndDoug-lish. I have to wonder if the above brothers are well on their way to something like that.


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I am convinced that one of the worst things we have done to ourselves as a country is to have made it harder for kids to go out and get a job. Many of the most interesting and contented people I know had paying jobs in their teens, or even earlier. They had the drive to learn, to serve, to participate, to earn their own money, or even to help support the family. Or they had parents that knew that this particular child needed the extra challenge or structure in their life.

But these days, the nanny state yells no, no, no, you mustn’t hire children, and has minefields of regulations to navigate if you dare give such a project a shot. That should change, I think. For those who are ready for it, the experience – and the mentoring – that they get, in suitable jobs under suitable bosses, is invaluable. (This is not to mention that it can be fun for adults to work with kids.) In the meantime (until we restore sanity to our work laws, and get the government moved back within its proper boundaries), Jim Daly has some suggestions: How to Find a Great Summer Job. Hint: it might help to think outside the box.


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