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Archive for January, 2010

Sorry, if you were maybe expecting this to be about sex. Hate to disappoint you folks! What I’m talking about is a bargain! No matter our financial situation in life, I think most people will agree with me, that finding a bargain ranks right up there with winning the lottery. It is a real andrenaline rush for most of us.

So, Hubby and I quite often take little road trips, on weekends, to different places and different States. As I mentioned before, we are well located. Don’t let the older people fool you. Marriages that last can still be exciting, well maybe not in the way your thinking, but there is a lot of life left yet, after the kids leave home. There definitely, is a life after 40, 50, 60, whatever age you are when they do leave. If you had a good marriage before the kids, and didn’t treat each other, like they were your worse enemy, or go into a thirty year pout, life is never better!

In a lot of ways I was lucky for having crippling arthritis in my late twenties to early thirties, as there is nothing like young children to keep us on our toes and jumping through the hoops. Now that everyone else is reaching the age, of physical health loss, that I was 30 years ago, I am an old pro.

No time here, for that bitching and moaning that drives us all nuts. We grow old as we grew young, and life is nothing more than an attitude, so if you know now that you are responsible for your own happiness, it can’t help but get better. However, if you get some kind of high out of playing the victim role, then I’m sorry, you need help. People SHOULD NOT crave sympathy!

There I go digressing, again. We picked Pierre, S.D. to explore today. Hubby was looking for a double pump action rifle. NO not to use on me. He is a life long hunter. I have collected antiques for 40 years and where ever we go, I check out antique shops, or thrift stores or pawn shops. Today I found a lovely, large size coral and detailed gold ring. At the time, I wasn’t too certain of the coral and neither was he but it definitely is marked 14 carart gold.

I brought it home and took a look at it under my special light, after cleaning it of course, and sure enough it is the REAL thing. Probably a $1800.00 ring, because of the size of the coral, as well as all the detail in the generous amount of gold, all for the grand price of $40.00! It made my day, to say the least! Have a nice night everybody!

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Yes, as hard as it is for me to admit, I have watched both these shows a few times. I think, my main interests in them, is a curiousity of human nature. To think that people like this even exist on our planet, and yet there seems to be no shortage of them, “blows me away.” Sure, as a woman, I have known one or two, but that many!

I will begin with the “Bridezillas”. How in the world can anyone be so selfish, mean and nasty? Why do the men go ahead and marry them? Yes, weddings are stressful and more times, than not, there is always at least one person that will show up and ruin the best of our plans. Don’t men know that, everytime these women are denied something, they want or they forget a birthday or anniversary, they are getting a preview, of what they can expect, once they marry them?

They scream, call names and just in general behave worse than 3 year old children. I am amazed that they have any friends left or a husband to walk down the aisle with them. Yet, unless, the bride, herself, gets rid of a couple bridesmaids because they do not bow deep enough to her highness, they ALL show up to do the honors.

Now about the “Platinum Weddings. A person really has to be full of themselves, to spend a half of a million or $800,000. or even a million dollars on a wedding. I know they ALL say they want their guests to have a good time, but that is simply, “baloney” in my book. People everywhere, can have a good time on a $25,000 or at most a $100,000., wedding. It may not be as grand, but isn’t that the REAL point of spending so much money? The truth is they are out to impress, unless any of you can come up with a different,explanation.

I’m not going to take that old tried and tired trip and talk about how many people that go hungry, that they could be feeding with the money. If their parents have the money to spend and want to spend it in that way, because they think it will be the last gift that they can give their children, I have no problem with that. I think they might be a little naive, in thinking their children won’t be back, with their hands out but, hey, they had to have worked very hard in their lives, or were lucky, or inherited well, in order to afford it. More power to them. Only the jealous would deny them their right.

My problem is with the bride and groom, who feel such entitlement. Why in the world would they acccept it? Their parents have old age ahead, that can drain the richest of bank accounts, if health problems occur and they always do. They will not be able to count on the government, like so many others can. Often they are old enough to be paying for their own weddings, and even then, is there no embarrassment or humility, to feel so entitled and arrogant as to try that hard, to impress someone. It certainly does not make or keep friends. The best way to lose friends is to put them in a position that makes them feel like they have to or can not compete. Unless, of course, they have friends with no qualms toward mooching or choose to live the same shallow lifestyle.

The weddings are beautiful and the bride and groom are on their best of behavior, but in my opinion, it would definitely give me an ulcer, to know that I would be throwing out a half of a million dollars spent on flowers, candles, and decor, the next day, even if I could afford it.

When my daughters married, even though we could afford to put on a lavish wedding for them, they were told we would buy the wedding dresses and pick up the bar bill. They were to plan and pay for the rest. It worked out great, no arguments, and they had their wedding of choice. I recommend that parents pay for college and let the bride and groom pay for the wedding.

It totally eliminates mother and daughter arguments and the children have a wedding within the life style that they can afford to live and will be living, instead the wedding Mom and Dad wants. They also get to invite their guests and limit Dad’s and Mom’s, thereby getting rid of those awkward moments, in the reception line, where neither the bride or groom know the people. Afterall, isn’t it really their day?

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When Banks Fail, We Fail

This certainly is not intended to praise the banks as it was their greed that contributed to the failure of our current economy. That combined with a Republican administration, that removed all restrictions on the banks to loan money.

There has been many complaints about the OBama administration being concerned about Wall Street because they bailed out the lending institutions that created the problems in the first place. I understand that anger. What do you do, though, when you did not create the problem and now must fix it?

As much as we like to hate the banks, the unfortunate truth is, without them being solvent, we cannot be solvent. They hold the keys to our cars, homes and jobs. Businesses often run on credit granted by banks, as does the agricultural sector of our Country. The intra-structure of our Country is dependent on the solvency of our banks. Factories, department stores, Mom and Pop businesses, Corporations, at some point or time, will almost always need to borrow money, in order to continue operating and provide us with our jobs,and the means to provide a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs.

This is being simplified in the simplest of terms and I am deliberately not getting into the BIG problems that led to the failure of our economy,as I am not sure myself to how deep the problems do run. I do know, though, to get to where we have gotten, we all understand, or should, understand that greed had a great deal to do with it, and that there was a plenty of blame to pass around.

The greed does not belong on Wall Street, alone and I think most of us understand that. The people that knew they could not own a home but somehow felt co-erced into buying one anyway, like we all don’t know what we can afford, regardless of who is telling us differently, allowed greed to over-ride common sense.

I must point out here, though, my amazement, that people that own homes, that do not know when they take out a equity loan or a home improvement loan, that they are actually taking out a second mortgage. Regardless of what the loan is called, DO NOT EVER borrow money on your homes EVER. To do so, we only make ourselves more vulnerable for foreclosure. If we miss a house payment or two, even for health reasons, we are ten times more likely to face forclosure with a second or third mortgage, on our homes than we are if we leave the equity in our homes. I do believe these people, in most cases, were ignorant of the facts, even though they played a large role in the failure of our economy. Banks do sometimes, encourage these loans. It is still our responsibility to be aware of the problems, that can and do lead to the loss of our homes.

The people that failed to make the house payments, in lieu of doing or buying something that they would rather have or go someplace they would rather go, the people that filed bankruptsy for the same reasons, the people that said, “If the credit card Company is stupid enough to send me a credit card, I’d be stupid not to take it, the people that cashed in 401k’s knowing full well that they would have a tax liability and spent the money, before paying the taxes, people that ran debt so high.” shopping until they dropped”, only to go to debt consolidators to help pass on their extravagance to the rest of us consummers, also must take part of the blame for their greed.

Simply put people that ignored the amount or lack of cash they had, and spent according to their wants, strictly on credit and then passed their own greed on to the rest of us that are fiscally responsible, are as much to blame for their greed as Wall Street is for theirs. It is just on a smaller scale, individually, but when grouped together it makes a BIG difference in the interest rates we all pay, as well as the consumer goods we buy, since many stores have their own charge cards.

Getting back to where I started then, where would your common sense, tell you that in order to make the Country solvent again, where would you start? As a new President , that did not create the problem, I am afraid if it was me, I could only think as Obama did and say the obvious, as well as do the obvious.

Regardless of how we got here, if we do not help make the banks solvent again, we cannot stay off the bleed of job lost and the further falling of our economy. We do not need Economy 101 to understand, that has to be the first step, no matter how much it sickens us, to do so.

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Since I praised CNN in my last blog, I would like to point out an example of bad coverage, on their part, in regards to the 7 million dollar railroad bridge, near Thedford, Nebraska. The money is coming from the stimulus package.

They interviewed the residents of the town, which may have a 100 people, if that, who complained about not needing the railroad bridge and it being a waste of money. There are huge ranches in the area and true, not many people. No one asked the roads department, apparently, about the amount of traffic on the road, but they did say that the road department was in favor of the bridge for safety reasons. The locals said it didn’t do them any good because they only hired a couple of people part time, and otherwise, they hired 20 workers out of ,Colorado.

Years ago, I use to travel on that road, on my way to Wyoming from the South, and the amount of traffic on the highway is huge in the summer and winter months. Why CNN did not mention this, I’m not sure, but it was clearly slanted to appear to be a waste of tax payer money. Let me start with the truth on the local situation,and that is the ambulance for the entire County must travel that road to the hospital in North Platte on a regular basis.

That road also is used by people, from Colorado and West of there, and people from Illinois and Iowa and East of there, probably as much or more than by Nebraskans. It is almost impossible to get around the combines as they leave the pan handle of the State, to harvest wheat in the southern part of Nebraska and Kansas. Large numbers of people, traveling to the Dakotas and East from Colorado and Wyoming, and States East traveling west, use the road.

Nearby there is a man made National forest that attracks people from all over the United States, that again causes traffic on that road, from the inter-state, west. Also the smallest fastest running river in the United States, the Niobrara, draws a great number of canoers from the west using the road. Nebraskans from all over the State cross there to go skiing, As do people traveling through Nebraska from Illinois and Iowa and the East and from Dakota to go skiing.

If that is not enough, scientist have always taken an interest in the area near the Niobrara, because there is an area near there, where every plant from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere is indigenous to the area. They can only reach the area from the West by using the road. People use that road, as near,Valentine, there is a Casino that draws people from North Platte. It is in the, Sandhills, and the hills have always held an interest to the,public in general, as it was once known as “The Great American Desert”. Pioneers tell stories of pulling cockle burrs and sunflowers in groups of 80 men, women and children, that sowed the grass seed, by hand, that turned the area from desert to prairie. It is common to find prehistoric animals in the area and again people leave the inter-state, and use the road, often to reach a dig that has been reported.

Anyway, the point I’m making is just because there are very little people in the area, it doesn’t mean the road with the railroad crossing, over which the railroad bridge, is being built isn’t heavilly used.To be able to connect with the inter-state going West with the interstate going East headed to and from Denver and Cheyenne Wyoming, it is the only road anyone will use as one would have to travel miles toward Dakota or miles South to connect ,elsewhere. There is no interstate running East and West through Nebraska unless one travels about 5 hours South from the location of the Thedford road, and that only runs East and west through Omaha and Lincoln and then turns North and runs up through Kearney to North Platte and not remotely close to the area.

Just as people take a sharp turn off highway #2, no more than 35 feet, sits the crossing, where the bridge is being built. The real miracle is that more people; unfamiliar with the location, traveling at night, with approximatey 60 freight trains a day usually going at high speeds due to the lack of populace, using those tracks, (usually full of coal out of Wyoming) that there hasn’t been more accidents in the location. If it was any of our family members that got hurt, none of us would feel the expense to be too great. Unfortunately, none of this got reported. It is true that there are seasons when the road is less used than at other times.

During the Great Depression, Roosevelt, sent men from everywhere but the area, out to make the man-made Halsey National Forest in the area, (it is reported to be the largest man made forest in the United States) in order to put people to work. If it had not have been for Roosevelt’s work program, in that area, there would be no park or Forest. Since it is Federal dollars, does it matter to the tax payers, if the people, that would not be available or experienced are from the area?

The fact that the North east and North west part of the Nation uses that road and the bridge is being built to safeguard the travelers safety, seems to me, should justify building a railroad bridge. CNN did not report this except to say the local people were not in favor of it, and to hint at the ‘oracle of Omaha, Buffet’ having stock in the railroad. I’m sure he wasn’t tied to building the forest in the 1930’s, just 10 miles down the road,either

Nebraska, in it’s entire history has voted for a Democrat candidate for President once, and that was for Lyndon Baines Johnson. To get a fair report, one must first be familiar with the politics of the State and also at least get the number of traffic, history of traffic, and the fact that it sets so close to the corner, where people need to turn off a sharp turn, correct, Also the number of serious accidents reported there, might have been of interest. None of this was done or if it was, it was not reported.

Shame on you CNN, for claiming to tell the people that you are reporting the truth on the spending, about the stimulous dollars, and then not doing much, if any, investigation, out of the location itself. If we were talking about locals only, using the highway, your report may of had some merit in reporting. Such a sloppy job of reporting should be an embarrassment to the Station!

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HUH???

Where do people get their news anyway? Prior to the State of the Union address last night, 2/3 of the people in the latest poll, voted that Barack OBama was more concerned about big business, than he was about the middle class. I don’t pretend to know everything, but one thing, that I have NEVER doubted was that OBama hit the ground running, for the interest of both the poor and middle class.

Isn’t anyone paying attention to the REAl news as reported on CNN? Is it about the McComb/McCain report? Or do you all read internet,with the right wing slant or listen to the Christian Broadcasting networks? Or do you all really believe Bill O’Riley and Fox news?

For some reason, I’m guessing that these same 2/3 of the population, did not watch the State of the Union address last night either. I accept the fact, that there will always be people who would rather bitch about the lies than feel better about the truth. Because they still haven’t gotten a job,then OBama isn’t keeping his promises, is that it?

You know that depression ,they were predicting, that we were going to have, that was to be worse than the Great Depression? Do you really want to know why it didn’t happen? It was because the banks were bailed out, for one reason. Yes, AIG has been a real pain in the butt, refusing to give disclosure, but even if they had not been bailed out, our Country would have lost thousands and thousands of factories and the jobs it would have entailed, that didn’t happen, home foreclosures would have tripled and even greater job loss would have occurred. Now that OBama wants to take the 30 Billion that has already been paid back by the Banks, and put it into funding more small banks, jobs or healthcare, for the middle class, he is being threatened to have it fought, “tooth and nail” by the Republicans in office.

Anyway, if you did not watch, the State of the Union address, let me inform you, incase that you have forgotten, that George W. Bush and the Republicans inherited a surplus of $285 Billion from the Clinton administration and left behind a deficit of $8 trillion before OBama even was sworn into office. They sent our young men and women to two wars and failed to pay for a dime of it.

I’m not sure, our deficit isn’t already so great that we will be facing bankruptsy ,even if another dime is never spent are you? Do you have any idea, at all, how much a trillion dollars is times 8? OBama, also reached out to all Republicans and told them if they had a better idea for health care, please be in his office to discuss it with him this morning. The Republicans have made it clear that health care reform is dead in the water but OBama made it clear that he is not giving up! It not only pays for pre-existing conditions but keeps down premiums and gives fuller coverage for all of us that need it, regardless of what has been reported.

CNN, has been disclosing all week, where the money borrowed by OBama and the Democrats has been spent on the job stimulation packages, and I have watched a great deal of it. To date, it has been spent entirely on blue collar/middle class jobs repairing our intra-structure,to build a bridge and repair roads,to build energy efficient malls/buildings/small businesses dealing in energy efficiency, they definitely will attract both business because of the low cost of heating, as well as middle class people to work in these stores, and on homeland security projects. I did see one that was a tennis Court in Montana, that I would question, other than that, I have yet to see one job, that if I lived in the area, I could not have justified and I seriously doubt that any of you could either. The person over-seeing the money spent, is highly regarded by both parties. It may be the only thing that they have agreed on.

The McComb/McCain report is nothing more than sour grapes, in my opinion. Apparently, no one has ever talked to McCain on how to lose gracefully. This really saddens me, as at one time I saw him as a Republican, I could vote for, and I had a great deal of admiration for him. Something happened, while running for election, in my opinion, that changed him.

There is no way government can create a job market entirely. It can only create a stimulus until the jobs do come available again. For people that are hanging around for the steel jobs to come back, I can only tell you, it is in your best interest, to train in a new area of work, because they probably are amongst the jobs that will never be coming back. No fault of either party but instead the changing of times.

Because I believe in being honest and fair, (I have offered my opinion on democrat Ben Nelson,of Nebraska, in past blogs) WE ALL have a right to be “mad as Hell” at Nancy Pelosi, democrat,Majority Speaker of California, if the report I heard is true. Supposedly, she took Government planes, two to be exact, and flew her cronies to Copenhagen, over Christmas, to the tune of $400,000 plus charged to the tax payers.

I feel that we all need to contact our representives, and demand that she should be fined the same amount, and made to put back the money that she spent or hear an explanation that could possibly justify her spending the money. In my estimation, it is time we give OBama a chance and go after the individuals responsible for the corruption.

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As I’ve written previously, during the pre-teen and teen years all the imprints of childhood will come out in full force. All the behavior in ourselves,that, we thought little of, when we were trying to figure out our own behavior, does come out in form of accusation from our children, in their adolescent and teenager years. Especially in homes, where children are disciplined, but allowed self expression.

Why then, in the name of God, would they be anyone’s favorite years of parenting? I guess it was because, it wasn’t until then, that I could actually see the value of raising my daughters to be independent. Although a good many days were spent “biting my tongue” and “turning the other cheek”. it was during these years, that I knew, that if they could challenge me, they could challenge the World.

I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that these years are all spent in disharmony, as they were/are not. It definitely is a time of parenting, when all things are challenged, but it is also an opportunity to give us the last few years to reach out and show them unconditional love. To take their judgements with a “grain of salt” is as big of a mistake as to take them personally, and retire into our bedrooms in tears.

Next to the new born years, their will never be a time in our lives, that our children need our guidance more or reject it more. It is a perfect opportunity in our lives, to “get over ourselves.” Their emotions are going all directions, they may indeed feel close to us, but if that isn’t sancro-sanct with their friends, then they will rebell as well. Yes, even with independent children, and I might add, especially with independent children. After all, these are the children that will spread their wings and leave the nest with ambition enough to prove to us that they can do a better job, than we did. It is our job as parents to prepare them to do just that. As much as we want them to feel as we do, they have their own futures, to make the difference in. They will have challenges that we don’t even know exist. The same way my grandparents were introduced to television, and our parents were introduced to tech. They better be prepared to compete with the NEEDS of their generations.

I was fortunate in that our basement became, home central, as that way, I always knew where they were. They also were with children that they helped bring up the moral code on, or were of similiar moral values. Again as a parent, it is naive, however, to think that all their friends will be of the same value system. Afterall, it is the time, that most will at least think of exploring the wild side. If they do not do it during this time, they will definitely do it later. I always felt it better to explore, while under my watchful eyes, than after they left home.

I patted myself on the back for thinking I was on my toes enough to catch them before they had a chance to explore too far, but they assured me, that I didn’t catch them in all things. Yes I was Blessed as being able to be home and be a full time parent during this dramatic time in their lives, so they could use me to make statements like”my Mom is home she will kill me if I’m not home” worked in their favors, if they found themselves being pressured, but I knew with years ahead to make their own mistakes, these were the only years I would have, as well as they would have, to avoid peer pressure.

Again, these were my favorite years because they did test my resolve for undconditional love, I shared in a time of their lives where they were really just opening their eyes to view the world on what would be their terms, not mind, and I enjoyed a pride and joy, under neath it all, that I had never felt more, at any other time of my life.

If you are yet to experiene these years, then just keep in mind, these years are meant to be, between you and your childrens’ struggles, to be the people they were meant to be, and not a blue print of us. It all works out, as long as we stay on our toes, and let them know that , “Sorry YOU still have parents!” I only warn you that they are also meant to be the years that we parents did everything wrong and thereby our humbling years. It’s always good for the soul to be humbled as it opens our eyes to the fact that we all need to work on ourselves more, while judging others less. Good Luck!

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WORK–love it–hate it!

My previous blog is on how the small things that most people do in their lifetime, that we do not give much thought to, imprints itself on the minds of our children.

Why is it that they do not ever notice then all the hours that we put into making their lives work? to that question I answer, “They do and they will repeat it, when they get older, but adolescents and teenagers are our harshest judges, and I’m sure put on the earth to humble us all.”

The truth is that we all have a hate/love relationship with work. It is the one thing that,if we stay busy, will get us through and over the worse crisis of our lives. It waits for us rather impatiently. The dust builds in our homes, the papers build in our offices, the production line gets behind in the factories, if we don’t perform up to quota, the customers grumble and complain in customer service, if we don’t wait on them, and the deadlines must be reached.

We all have that friend that brings in the cinnamon rolls, serves on soup kitchen lines, coaches little league, works in the Church, has the immaculate yards and gardens and they talk continously about the work that they do. We all stand around and say, “Oh Tom, or Oh Nancy, HOW do you find the time to do ALL that you do?”, while we degrade ourselves, abit, for not accomplishing more.

However the same people, that feed on the compliments from us, quite often are neglecting areas within their home and family, that we all do without thought or comment. People that work pretty much are on equal levels—some need their egoes stroked and others go about it because work for most of us is our salvation.

Just ask the disabled people in your life or the un-employed that can’t find work, how important it is that we human beings work. They will tell you how big of a hole it creates in one’s life when it is no longer possible to maintain normalcy, by working. That is the reason that we all know people that will put a pencil in their mouth, if necessary, to type or figure out how to do the same thing, a different way, once they can no longer do it the way ,everyone else does.

However, every office, family, factory line, customer service, and restaurant has that family member/employee who simply shows up to put in their time, and do not come close to holding up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, most times it is this person, that convinces the rest of us that we hate our jobs! That if we just didn’t have to work, if we could stay home,etc., that work sucks! Most of us are surprised after going on vacation, for two weeks , how eager we often are to get back to work, and if not after two weeks, then certainly a couple of months.

Work in many cases is our identity, its how most people discribe themselves, by their work title, when meeting someone new for the first time. Without staying busy, we must deal with our personal thoughts, and a few people would rather run from them. The majority of people that work, have difficulty with knowing how to play, so they go shopping, and then end up with buyers remorse, others hang out and drink coffee and come away feeling bad about the time wasted on gossip. Hobbies then, are usually the things that people with time on their hands, take up, out of boredom or the lack of work in their lives, when they are retired or have health problems, or unemployed, so that it will allow them to maintain some kind of a work schedule.

Since the beginning of time work has been allowed to control some peoples lives, been put into proper perspective in others, and treated like a disease by the lazy. It gets blamed, many times, for everything that is wrong in our lives, it gets used by some to set themselves apart from others, as a reason to convince others that somehow that person is superior as they convince us they out work us, often we hear “work sucks”, and Thank God! it’s friday! In short work gets a bum rap!.

Ask the disabled, ask the laid off, ask the sick, ask the imprisoned, ask the stay at home Mom. Work is what relieves the grieving, heals the hurt, and pays for our salvation.

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As children if we dare asked WHY?, we were told,”Because I told you so?” That worked then, because we knew the punishment would be worse than the enjoyment we received. I certainly will never condone the style of punishment we received, as many times it would end up being abusive.Children that are shown respect, by parents today, do not hear anything that we say, but they definitely do watch our behavior. This is never so evident as during the adolescent and teen years.

Parents that lie, may have children that lie, parents that sleep around, may have children that sleep around, parents that shop until they drop, may have children that shop until they drop, parents that live beyond their means, may have children that live beyond their means, and parents that are alcoholics, may have children that are alcoholics, and so on and so forth.

let me explain: If you tell your children. “It is our secret, don’t tell Dad or Mom,” because you just bought something that you don’t want your mate to know about; If you tell the neighbors that “you’ve worked like a dog all day” when you have really done next to nothing; If you tell your child when someone calls, “to tell them I’m not home” it won’t be long and you will find that your child lies too, and if they think that you have worked like a dog doing very little, then expect them to be lazy as well. Also if they see you sneaking money to buy what your Mate would be upset about, then do not be surprised, if they do the same with Daddy’s/Mommy’s credit card down the road.

If as a divorced person, you bring your dates home, instead of going to a motel, on a regular schedule and the faces change regularly, then you may see your children repeating your behavior, when they are adolescents and teens, as well. If Fathers are promiscuous, daughters often follow their Fathers’ foot steps, when there is a marriage.

If you take your children shopping and buy them everything that they want then expect them to have a direct shopping addiction by the time they are adults, with messed up credit, and living a lifestyle that they can’t afford. Also expect them to have a total lack of respect for work and the difficulty of earning money, with a sense of entitlement. The likely-hood is great, that their finances will be in a real mess.

Children of alcoholics can become an alcoholic by the time they are 12 if their parents are alcoholic. It only takes a few drinks for children of alcoholics to become addicted.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules. Some children actually can learn by seeing and feeling the disgust that they felt living this way. Incases where parents have displayed poor behavior and stop it, and then explain their regrets, sometimes children will learn from our mistakes.But please do not think they will not repeat it just because we tell them that we regret our own mistakes, as long as we continue the behavior.

We parents like to fool ourselves into believing that the kids don’t know, because they are asleep, or I only drink when I am out, or I never discuss finances with the kids, etc. but you can bet by the age of 3 or 4, kids are watching us and picking everything up, to the point it is all ingrained in their memories, before we even have a chance to open our mouths, to explain or tell the truth. Nothing misses the vision or the mind of 3 and 4 year olds, nor imprints it better. It is only when they get older and deal with their own life stresses that they may forget it.

Children that are counting to 20 and can read by the time they are 4, which is just about everyone that attends pre-school, are not just learning, reading and writing. Also the other children are listening to the local gossip and repeating, whichever way they think they heard it, and there is nothing quite so nasty with a longer memory as what our darling little children can be and possess, when passing on and reviving gossip, overheard between the walls, as other adults gossip.

Teenagers are totally deaf so if you are hanging on to the ideal that, “I will explain then”, GOOD LUCK! When it comes to our children, it is the example we sit, that plays an important role, in their futures. Most will forgive, when they mature and understand better, but expect a rough ride, especially with daughters that choose to live a different lifestyle. However,if you are still living a lifestyle that you regret, the pain maybe too great to overlook, as long as the behavior on your part continues. “Sometimes, what goes around comes around” as the pain is theirs’ as much as ours’. No one that allows their children, self expression, will avoid the judgements during the adolescent and teen years.

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The title of this may come as a surprise to many who see it but the truth is that the”Nerd” in, kid parlance, is the child that takes his/her studies seriously. Marches to the tune of their own drummer and has a sense of self. I am not talking about the far off the wall type, that are not dealing in realty, there is another personality character under the title of “Weirdo” or “Druggies” for that child, and as a rule they need counseling. Do not mistake the two terms.

Parents and children waste and shed entirely too many tears, time and income in the pursuit of popularity. It is understandable that all children want to be popular. That has been an age old cry since the time of civilization in, the immature. What is wrong with the parent that encourages popularity and promotes it, I ask?

Certainly by the time parents are ready to take responsibility for parenting, they are aware of the dangers and pressures, of their children being popular, aren’t they? These are usually the kids that do not have the possibility to step outside of themselves, long enough, to determine what their own beliefs or moral values are.

Their days, sometimes, become occupied with agreeing with everyone else’s ideas of morality. To be popular often times, means having the latest of styles and toys and planning one’s time putting on the best parties and in some instances scoring the best drugs because they are the first to find a buyer. To be popular today, in kids’ parlance, more times than not can be risky behavior as well as a VERY shallow life style. Parents should be charged a fine, to promote such dangerous/childish endeavors.

The child that has been taught that toys are to be earned and not owed to them, that people like and admire them for their stand on life and their ability to speak up on controversial subjects, and doesn’t always have the latest of styles or is part of the, “wannabe group” nor the “popular group” is the child that parents should be raising and encouranging. Many times the “nerd” fits into this same character trait but also has the ability to get the academic scholarships as well.

Instead, parents keep buying, and buying, and buying in an effort to make little Johnny or little Mary popular. When their sons become the star quarterback or their daughters the Homecoming queen they brag in a sense of true accomplishment. Sports use to be a place of character building, but it is not always ,anymore. If your child attends a school that is ALL about the Sports, ask about and check carefully, on all matters to do with the training programs.

Sometimes, the job and honor is earned, but the time and rituals that go into popularity and sports have reached new lows. When schools become all about football and cheerleading and it also takes up all the time in your home, be very concern as parents. This does not always appear to be true in schools, however, that do keep sports in a proper perspective. It is just difficult to find one that does.

Do not be surprised if, the people that were the nerds and the kids that were admired but not part of any label will leave home and excel; If the quarterback peaks in high school and spends the rest of their life talking about that one BIG play; and the popular girl/boy, when left to stand on her/his own, seperate from their group, developes emotional problems later in life, as they never learned what it meant to be, herself/himself. Since they had spent their younger years, being the person. everyone else wanted them to be.

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Coming from a generation past, where all marriages tended to be that of a co-dependent type, and living in an area where, “If it was good enough for Grand Daddy, good enough for Daddy, then it’s good enough for me” I’ve come to accept that some people do not have a clue, the importance, of raising independent children.

This certainly does not just happen in the area that I live but tends to be fairly universal in rural areas, as well as cosmopolitan areas. Although rural children take responsibility, at a much younger age, with the needs of the ranches and farms and all the jobs that maintaining them requires, it does not necessarily interpret to independence. Repeating jobs, that require instruction of 3 generations past, does not teach independence.

Independence is taught, when at an early age, children learn that they can make their lunch, clean their rooms, bathe themselves, do their laundry, and that their studies are their main job in life. In short, take care of their own personal needs and responsibilities, as well as if Mom and Dad are there or absent. By doing so, they also learn to make it habit and set goals to be better organized so that they judge, their free time, rather than an adult doing so.

The same parents that haul their children to all kinds of activities or put them to work earning money for school clothes are many times, surprised to find that their children are afraid to leave home, and left on their own, unmotivated,when they do, need to stay in college or often times to hold a job.

I see mothers of 14 year old children complaining because they are doing great loads of laundry, for instance, and I ask myself why wasn’t he or she doing their own laundry by the age of 10? I hear 13 year olds complaining about being bored, and I wonder why they don’t mow the lawn, do their laundry, read a book, or babysit for the neighbors?

Unless it is a family of extreme hardship, I do not believe that we teach our children responsibility, when we ask them to pay for their own clothing, as to feed and clothe our children, is our responsibility, and when we ask them to do so, we are only showing them that WE are not taking care of our own responsibilty. But Mom, please ask your sons, just like your daughters, to choose their own clothes and to pick out their own underwear.

What I am talking about, takes total conscentration and not backing down and away from it because it is easier to do it ourselves, than teach them,on the part of the parent; of getting a child in the habit of sitting their own alarm, taking their shower without our combing their hair, getting dress and fixing breakfast, and getting out of the door; without a parent waking up the teenager, doling out the amount of shampoo they can use, combing hair that needs to be better dealt with, in our opinion, feeding them breakfast of their choice, and then yelling at them to get off the wii or nintendo and get out the door. I totally recommend that parents are up ahead of time, so that children know if they don’t get up, there will be a penalty to pay. Not to do so, on the parents part, can teach children to be lazy, as then the parent appears to be shirking their responsibility.

When parents wait until children are 15 to 17 to start training children to be totally independent in taking care of their own personal responsibility, instead of starting them at 10, so that it becomes a habit, they then say, “What can we do, you can’t live their lives for them.” I’m sorry, Folks, but that is exactly what parents are doing!

Independent children can stand up to say, “NO” to drugs, capable of inventive ideas, are better motivated towards sitting goals, have quick start up since employers do not take the time to explain the job as they once did, and schedule life in general, more efectively. All things, that are necessary for leadership roles, in the future.

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