Friday, May 7, 2010

For Mother's Day: Junior - Mama Used To Say

(Even though I've enjoyed this song by Junior Giscombe for many years, seeing him on this YouTube video was the first time I've had a visual reference.)

My mother die a few years ago, and I often I think about lessons she provided through her sayings. One of her expressions seems like a translation from one of Shakespeare's characters. Mom often said "have your own" meaning don't borrow from other people. These words were as sicinnct as Polonius's "neither a borrower or lender be." As a result her children have a streak of independence. Another of mom's expressions, "treat other people's things better than you treat your own" is unique, I think.

Perhaps, most important was Mom's advice: "Know when to come home." The point was for her children to recognize when trouble was brewing and to come home before trouble started. Countless times as a youngster I had to tell friends that I had to go home when my I thought things were getting out of hand.

So, on this Mother's Day, I smile and remember some of the lessons from my first teacher, my mother.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

An Interesting Quote

I was reading the book Freefall by Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner in Economics)and came across the following words:

"Quite often in science certain assumptions we so strongly hold or are so ingrained in the thinking that no one realize they are only assumptions." (p. 242)

I've been thinking of that idea more broadly for quite a while. In fact, I'm becoming more and more very suspicious of "conventional wisdom" because the foundation for that "wisdom" many times is nothing but assumptions.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What Parents Can Do About Bullying

I finally found an article that provides ideas about parental roles in addressing bullying.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where Are June and Ward Cleaver When We Need Them?

This morning I listened to a discussion about the Massachusetts bullying case that is in the news. The cable news commentator and the child psychology expert from Harvard had an interchange for about ten minutes wherein they mentioned school responsibilities and on-line social communities. I waited and listened carefully and was disappointed because at no time did either person mention parental responsibility.

As I mentioned before on this blog several times, I believe there shouldn't be any discussion about children without highlighting parental involvement. Yet it seems a rare occasion that parents are acknowledge as part of children's environmental system. Schools seem to be the scapegoat for everything while parents have decreasing responsibility. Gone are the days when a teacher/principal would call a parent and the parent would work out a problem with another parent. I simply don't understand why parents are no longer responsible for the behavior of their children.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Protecting Children from Abuse (Part 1)

Currently, the Vatican is being asked to explain why the Pope didn't weed out a child predator from the priesthood when the Pope was a bishop. I wasn't surprised to learn of this situation since I read Marci A. Hamilton's book, pictured above, last year. Prior to reading the book I was totally unaware how different systems dealt with child abusers. Now I interpret news of child abuse from a new light.

For example, here are a few revelations for me from Hamilton's book:

A key part of processing child sex abuse cases is the statues of limitation (SOL) to file a case; however, "the SOLs are arbitrary rules, and they stop litigants even when survivors have strong and just claims." (p. 3)

"Child sex abuse is a massive national problem; at least 25 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys are sexually abused." (p. 4)

"There was a time when child abusers were referred to as 'Stranger Danger.' Most of use lived in an unfortunately mytical world where 'incest' was only a word in the dictionary, and sexual perverts were just rumors: lurking strangers in trench coats, but not 'nice' dads, teachers, or priests. To stay safe, [a child] simply had to refuse candy or car rides from 'Mr. Stranger Danger.' In reality, though [a child] is most at risk from those who care for her and make friends with her, from parents to chatroom buddy who is in fact a predator." (p. 5)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Toy Story

This story might cause you to chuckle. The BBC on line has a story about a California couple who boasted about selling stolen toys and ended up in jail.