We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, July 23. 2007
It's worth thinking about, but I do not regret one minute of playing Chutes and Ladders, Milles Bournes, Monopoly, Checkers, Chess or tennis with my kids. From the article:
Trust me - no psychologist or social worker in the world is an expert on how to raise a smart, well-adjusted kid. Read the whole thing.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:00 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
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I didn't see anything but opinions on whether poor people "do it right" or enough or what ever. This article sounds like elitists who thinks that because people are poor they can't do anything right.
The library is free. We spend hours reading to all three of our kids (3,8,13). They really like the fables folk stories and tall tales from around the world. Chock full of lessons on life.
Hot summer days are for sticking your feet in the kiddie pool ($10) while they play.
And yes board games galore, puzzles,etc. We are not rich by any means but we share play time as best we can. They don't need or like it when we interrupt their hours long plays and stuffed animal antics in the play room. Although, the puppet shows are a hoot.
My guess is that "rich" kids miss out on most of this stuff because the parents try and buy quality time or just are too busy. Poor people too.
It's the time that people should make, not the toys or activities, or social status, or getting down on all fours. Our kids know good manners from participating in "family" activites such as good old Sorry, where all of us are on equal footing. (okay, the 3 year old doesn't get this one yet)
I am just saying it's not "their space"(all fours) its stuff we all can do together that counts.
OMG does this Habu thing ever just take a rest ...geeeze.
OK, read the entire article.
The challenge I see is that the well meaning social workers and others who are going into low income areas to "teach" play skills to the parents are nice people who like their jobs, feel they are making a difference and may or may not be.
However there is a reason there are "low income areas". A huge part of it involves the gene pool and natural selection.
The average IQ on the street is close to 100. Genius is measured at 140 and above, but the scale is not arithmetic it is geometric. My point. The money being spent to raise low income parenting skills with regard to playing with their children is, well, silly.
Hey the worlds gotta have those who can pick lettuce and oranges too. We don't need to have the illegals, we'd be better off teaching the low income segment of society how to use a wheel barrow instead. It did after all teach an entire culture how to walk upright..........ah ha....you're now thinking, why that Habu is a bigot and an N-word hater and he should be drawn a quartered.........well the culture that the wheelbarrow was addressing was the Irish. Please consult Dr. Thomas Sowells books for confirmation should you have any doubt. It was a widely told joke about the Irish when they began arriving en mass and taking all the low level jobs away from other individuals in the low income segment of society...also see the history of South Boston and race relations.
Excuse me there was a question in the back of the room.
Yes, that's right madame. The lady believes the greatest area to be addressed in almost all segments of our society vis a vis our children is the lack of discipline schools,parents , and our society in general demand of them. Thank you for the question.....any others? Well thank you all for coming.\
Oh yes, and please tell your friends about Maggies Farm..
Here at the Maggies Farm you'll find some wonderful people, many of whom were let out early for good behavior
I play with my kids a hell of a lot more than I read the Boston Globe, that's for sure. They can go shove a snake up a drainpipe.
I don't play games with my kids. I have preferred books and writing and always hated games (cards, board games, even sport)s. The latter build character, but I have no depth perception so was never much wanted on any team.
Our family took croquet too seriously for it to be any fun. Tears, arguments, tantrums, thrown mallets over CHEATING WACKS. Monopoly elicited similar storms--all of us too determined to win, and resorting to treachery, guile, secret alliances to do so....
Marathon running was my play for years (escape intrusive family) until the knees got too sore.
Hubby and the kids play Dungeons and Dragons now, board games when they were younger, and they all do their parallel play on fantasy role playing games side by side on their computers. My role is to cook and teach them to cook .. Also to garden and teach them to. I show them how to make bread, can pickles, train rose bushes, catch slugs, make interesting dishes out of leftovers (no slugs allowed), how to annoy the neighbors by saving energy and hanging out the white laundry to sunbleach and dry, etc. I teach them how to shop economically, and take them to the library and second hand bookshops and artmuseums and flower shows, and we play games that supposedly have some didactic purpose, but that are just fun, with the Sunday School kids we teach every week.
When they were younger, I read aloud 3-4 hours a day to them (no television was allowed in the house). We walked the mile to the library and back every afternoon to resupply ourselves with picture books and fairy tales, until they graduated to reading their own chapter books.
Now that they are all old enough to read several hours a day on their own, we allow an occasional documentary or thriller on the idiot box. Anything military or historical or a scientific theory is usually so ferociously debated by this opinionated family that it is hard to hear the droning PBS or Military Channel or other ponderous narrator. We occasionally get hooked on soap operas like Stargate or The Unit, and geeks all, adore James Bond, the Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and discuss plot twists endlessly...
I did play in the playground with them when they were little. Walked there every day with them until they graduated middle school. Their favorite game was Small Mammals in the Forest when Great Big Tyrannosaurus (Mama) arrives hungry. Small mammals outwit and trip up and ambush large predator.
They beg me now to teach them to dance (I used to be a dancer, and am the only one in the family who can move), but I do not make myself ridiculous pretending to understand or appreciate popular culture. Mercifully, they like music from my youth (Sting, Dylan, the Rolling Stones, etc.) and hate rap and most pop.
I am old enough to be a grandmother (tho I am not yet, so far as I know), so believe in being a warm and comforting presence, not a sexy competitor or friend to my teenagers.
We do play pranks on my Very Serioius Minded Husband. We also act out silly Monty Pythonesque skits that make him doubt our sanity.
I put merciless pressure on all my kids to work hard at their schoolwork and their writing, and I am lucky that they have good friends and like church, volunteering, and hanging out at home with us and the animals. I have no illusions: the dog and the cats are more of a draw than Mom the Nag.
Our family's main play is discussion, puns, plays on words, ferocious literary analysis, mercilessly critiquing each other's stories and poems, political debate, and deciding the fate of the Known Universe over family dinner. An idea is like a soccer ball to us: someone kicks it off, someone runs up and redirects it, gets cornered, etc.
We are a very dull family, I think, but for some reason all the kids love being at home. Their friends seem to like our eccentricity, that we all say exactly what we think, mock everyone, and always have good homemade food in the works.
We have horrible "issues" to put it mildly (see that other blog post) but we do play with the ordinary aspects of daily life and we manage to laugh a lot, so I guess we are playful...
The children come home appalled from their parttime jobs telling me about the mutton dressed as lamb mothers they see, saying seriously (not intending to insult) "Not like you, Mom, I mean they don't look their age and they act like bimbos not Mommies..."
I was a serious, depressed, overworked and earnest person in my youth. I am still all those, but have had a lot more fun since having my kids. When they have left the nest, I think I will either adopt a family of abused kids, or move to the country and keep many animals, so as to still have somebody to look after and cosset and joke around with and train and watch grow up. It's a lot more fun being around young people than old fuddie-duddies like myself.
I would recommend the move to the country with raising mushrooms in mind. They don't require much. You can read to them, dance for them, and them eat them. It's all very fundamental yet fulfilling.
You can read Carlos Castenada, grow 'shrooms and read and dance for no reason at all. If you do the latter stay away from croquet mallets, horseshoes or lawn darts.....go totally nerf.
retriever,Has anyone ever told you that you have just defined sucess. Nice job!!!!
Not interested in hallucinogenic shrooms, but I have always wanted to get one of those Portabello mushroom growing kits. A bit daunted by the temperature requirements, tho, as I don't have a root cellar. I think they need dark and temps of 40-50 degrees. Maybe the garage in winter? I am somewhat nervous about growing toadstools by mistake....remember what happend to the King of the Elephants in Babar...
Just saw a new use for nerf balls on the Discovery Channel. On a construction site, cleaning out a three hundred foot pipe for pouring concrete onto the floors of a new skyscraper: They shoot a nerf ball thro the pipe with air and water, and it gets the pipe perfectly clean...Same flimsy foam as we play with. Comes out a tad the worse for wear...
If I move to the country, I have a silly notion of keeping TOggenburg goats. Really pretty, and delicious cheese you can make from them..very naughty, destructive and escape artists, so it would keep me alert looking after them, and keeping them safe from the bears, coyotes, etc. Would probably get some kind of sheepdog to guard them. Then again, maybe just one female and get her bred once a year. That would keep us in goat cheese, and I would raise her with whichever large family dog we have by then so she would not get lonely. I would also like one of those small Highland cows or that miniature cow that people used to keep in Ireland. Just enough milk for a small family. Don't like drinking goat's milk, and want fresh butter. Chickens are too vulnerable to the coyotes, foxes, hawks, lynxes, etc. Not very interested in keeping meat animals as I am very sentimental about critters I look after. Not righteous, just squeamish.
Met someone who decided to raise a steer and butcher him, named him Sir Loin. After a few months, they were so fond of him they renamed him Beauregard and he is now a glossy, very expensive pet, incredibly friendly, and still alive...
Buddy and Jappy, you are too kind. Home, absolutely knackered after another day at the office. Dropping off the older ones at driver's ed (YIPES, my insurance will go up 2000 even with the rebate for good grades, and more grey hairs) and taking the younger one for a walk to the grocery store while he loudly declaims on how selfish and unpatriotic most people he meets are ("SSssh, you have to be polite...} "But, Mom, what do you think of Roman techniques of occupying and subduing a country versus America in Iraq?""Sssh, we're walking by the house of a pacifist guy who earns his living doing psych testing for the BOard of Ed..."
Actually having to take Lamaze style breaths (which will likely be just as useless as those that deluded first time parents are taught in late pregnancy) as I cope with two oldest looking at colleges and proposing one flakey course of study after another. One has a strong interest in one school and program I highly approve of, but when I express enthusiasm, it puts her off....and sets her to maundering on about self-directed majors...ICK!
Best thing someone said to me lately about the snits and attitude of even the dearest good kids attempting to define themselves separate from the family, was this "They're trying to get permission to leave" (after the ungrateful narcissism of teenager annoyed at not getting the sun, moon and stars, had made me vent "Why is it that they become most difficult right when you are about to have to spend half a million sending the pack of them thru college?"