Cheers to the divorced parents who put their children first!

Divorce is a very difficult process to endure.  Not many people get it right when it comes to children.  I want to highlight the good parents who get it right.

Cheers to the non custodial parents who see their child(ren) more often than every other weekend.  Believe it or not there are parents who see their kids multiple days a week in addition to every other weekend.  This is an option in every divorce so if you don't exercise this option, then shame on you.

Two cheers to the parents who make sure that their kids give their ex birthday and holiday gifts.  Its better for your children when you put your issues aside to help your children celebrate their other parent.

Three cheers to the parents who manage to agree on important child rearing issues such as cell phones, bed times, discipline and dating.  Its important that parents are on the same page because kids will try to take advantage of having two households with different rule options.

Four cheers to the parents who don't make negative comments about their ex in the presence of their kids.  Kids love both of their parents and they don't want to hear anyone talk bad about their parents.

Five cheers to the parents who resist spoiling their kids out of guilt.  I know its hard but its necessary.  No good can come from this.

Six cheers to the parents who put their selfishness aside and share their child(ren) during the holidays.  Every good parent wants to spend the holidays with their kids.  If you and your ex can't manage to share the day, then you should alternate holidays every year.  Your child(ren) need to have found memories of the holidays with both parents even when they are not together.

I am happily married but I have seen how divorce has affected my friends.  Some of them have gotten it right and unfortunately, some have gotten it wrong. 

Why do children have a sense of entitlement?

A lot of young people today have a sense of entitlement. No one I talk to seems to know why. I have a few ideas.

It starts when children are toddlers. Parents take their kids to restaurants and they let the kids run around and cry without doing anything. This creates a sense of entitlement. My child is entitled to do what he/she wants without any regard to anyone else who is trying to enjoy a meal.

It continues when they enter elementary school. Most after school activities are age appropriate. Parents don't care about the age range for an activity if their child wants to participate. They sign them up for the activity even though it is for older children. My child wants to do this, therefore I will make it happen! Parents don't care how having a younger kid in a class will affect the instructor and the other kids. My child is entitled to participate in whatever activities that he/she is interested in.

Parents don't seem to have a problem telling their child that they have too much homework. They also don't mind telling the child that they can turn in the work late because it was too much homework. That same parent will call the teacher and expect the late work to be accepted and without points being deducted. Children are entitled to have only enough homework that is convenient for them and their lifestyle.

High school is when the excuses for bad behavior kick in. My daughter is entitled to be mean to her friends and teachers because it's that time of the month. If this is true, then your daughter is going to be a lonely single woman until menopause.
My son is entitled to punch his classmate because he has ADD. Bad behavior is unacceptable and there should be consequences, not excuses because your child has ADD.

Parents with children at every age level have demanded playing time for their child in various sports. Just because your child makes the team, that doesn't me that he/she gets to play the entire game or even play in every game. When your child is playing on a team he/she is not entitled to the amount of playing time that you deem appropriate.

Parents, when you allow your children to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without any consequences or boundaries, you are creating a sense of entitlement.

The Season Of Giving

Did you ever hear the term "Give until it hurts"? It seems as if a lot of people take that term literally around the holidays. How many people do you know who spend so much money holiday shopping that they spend the next year paying for the holiday gifts. Some people spend money that is supposed to be used for household expenses to buy holiday gifts.  It's okay to tell your love ones that you can't afford to buy a gift or you can only afford to buy a small gift.  If you are someone who believes in giving until it hurts, you should try living with only a debit card or your checkbook.

Parents, listen up!! You are doing a great disservice to your children by buying them things that you cannot afford. You need to be honest with your children about money.  When you live above your means, you are living a lie.  Your children are given a false sense of security.  If you can't afford it, it's okay to tell your children that you can't afford it. By being honest with your kids about what you can and cannot afford it helps them learn about money.

There have been several articles about great people going into Kmart and Walmart and paying off customers layaway balances. I think these people are very special people and they should be commended for their actions. Here's my problem........Why do you have hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of stuff on layaway when you don't have any money? We need to stop creating a sense of entitlement for our children. By purchasing things for children that we cannot afford people have the mentality that their children deserve and are entitled to nice things. The bottom line is that they deserve to have what you can truthfully afford and it's okay that they know that.

At my children's school we purchase Christmas gifts for needy families. Call me cynical and a Scrooge but I was a little taken aback with the requests of items from these families.  If you are poor, do you have the right to ask for expensive gifts from people who want to help you during the holidays?  Ummmm, no!  There were requests for video game systems, itunes gift cards, make-up, high heel shoes, etc.  These are luxury items!  When you are asking for help, you take whatever people are willing to give you.  You and your children are not entitled to anything! When people help the needy, their goal is to satisfy some of their basic needs plus maybe a little extra but not to provide the needy with nonessentials.  There should not be a nasty taste in your mouth after giving to the needy.  When people ask you to give them something that they can't afford themselves, the nasty taste has arrived.  I don't mind giving people things that they need but when you put your wants before your needs, I have a problem with that.

In addition to buying gifts for needy families, my family donated groceries to needy families.  I think giving food to needy people will continue to sit well with me in the future. 


Parents Need To Make Education A Priority

I think that we can all agree that children in the United States are not being properly educated.  Why?  People say that we need better teachers, better administrators and better unions or maybe no unions at all.  When are we going to take a good look at the parents?  You can have a great teacher in the classroom but if there is no one at the child's home to help with homework or even just to tell the child to complete it, that child will have a hard time succeeding in school.

Parents are not making their child's education a priority. Making your child's education a priority is an option for all parents.  You don't need to have money to make education a priority.  There are numerous examples of successful people who grew up in poor neighborhoods and who lived in public housing.  Parents need to take time to promote the importance of education to their children.  Education needs to come before sports or any other enrichment activities.  I know plenty of parents who make sports a higher priority than school.  They want their children to do well in sports so that they can get a college scholarship.  How about we tell our children that they should strive to get an academic scholarship.

Parents need to stop relying on the school for every aspect of educating your children.  Children need to learn the value of education from their parents.  If you don't teach them to value education, they won't understand the importance of school.  There are so many kids in school right now who don't understand why they need to learn math, science, social studies or various other subjects.

There was a study by the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education referenced in the New York Times(see link below).  Their study revealed that simple things lead to higher achievement in children.  Simple things like, monitoring homework, making sure children get to school, rewarding efforts and talking about college.  These simple acts were linked to better attendance, test scores and preparation for college.  The study also revealed that parents getting involved with their children's learning at home had a greater impact on achievement than attending PTA meetings, volunteering in the classroom or chairing fundraisers. 

So parents, lets make our children's education a priority.  Start by hugging and or kissing your child before school and telling him/her to have a good day in school.  Ask your child how their day went.  If they say "good", then ask what made it good.  Ask to see their homework assignments and offer to help.  If someone else is taking your child to school or picking them up, then write your child a note and ask the caregiver to inquire about their day and help with homework.  When your child has a test, slip a note in their book bag, wishing them good luck.  Let them know that you care about their education.  When you make education a priority your child will have a greater interest in school.  Non of these things require money or a college education.

These simple things are just the beginning.

People Who Should Not Be Parents

I think that we can all agree that there are some people who should not be parents.  Today I will talk about people who should not be parents.  There are some extraordinary people who have been able to take a bad situation and really turned their lives around.  If you are one of those few extraordinary people, don't be offended by my comments because I am talking about the non-extraordinary people who could not get it together.

There was a couple who had a live-in nanny and a night nurse to care for their children.  This couple should not be parents.  They have clearly taken every step necessary to make sure that they are not inconvenienced by their children.  When you have to hire someone to feed and change your baby's diaper in the middle of the night, you don't really want to be a parent.  They would let their 5 year old watch the tonight show which aired at 10:30pm because they got home late and wanted to spend time with him.  What were they doing for their kids other than making the money to pay the hired help?

Several months ago, there was a 17 year old pregnant girl who was shot to death while out with a male friend.  Her baby was delivered and survived.  She also had an 18 month old son at home.  To date, I have not read anything about the father(s) coming forward for custody of either child.  Her friends and family were quoted in the newspaper as saying that she was a great mother.  I don't mean to speak ill of the dead but...............That statement can never be true for several reasons.  1) How can any 17 year old be a great parent when they don't even know who they are and can't take care of themselves?  2) How are you a great parent at 17 when you are on child number 2?  3) She was out at 10:30 on a school night with another child at home being watched by someone else.  4) She was attending an alternative school for troubled youth.  I could go on, but this one is too easy.

There are a lot people who claim to be caught off guard by a pregnancy.  In 2011, should that still be occurring?  I can't keep track of all of the birth control methods that are available today.  Why are so many people caught off guard?  They shouldn't be, if they didn't use any method.  Newsflash.... "If You Don't Use Birth Control When You Have Sexual Intercourse, You Can Get Pregnant"!  I know someone who didn't use birth control because she ran out of her birth control pills and her mother didn't refill her prescription.  Anybody that stupid should not be a parent.  And to prove my point, she has had the baby and continues down the path of stupidity with the child.  These things are too easy to predict.

I think that there should be an age limit for being a parent.  Teenagers as well as anyone under twenty one should not be parents.  They don't know enough about themselves or life in general.  Most people in this age range are too immature to handle parenting.  They are not willing to put their needs aside to provide for the child's needs.  This group is typically not financially secure to handle the financial aspects of providing for a child.  Just because you become pregnant, doesn't mean that you must become a parent.  You can choose abortion or adoption.  There are too many married couples who are unable to have children of their own who would love to adopt a baby.  As a young parent who is not mentally, emotionally or financially able to provide for a child, adoption is a good way to give your child a great life.  You could choose an open adoption and this will allow you to see your child and watch him/her grow up.

There was couple on the TV show Teen Mom who gave their baby up for adoption.  That was the best decision they could have made.  Both of them come from dysfunctional families.  They had an open adoption and they are allowed to visit their child.  They both struggled to finish high school and find jobs.  Its nice to hear them admit that they made the right decision for their child.  If more young people made this grown up choice, our schools would be better.  I would be willing to bet that if you surveyed all of the bad kids in school, you would discover that more than half of them are children of single mothers who have never been married.

Did I mention that December is AIDS Awareness month?  There are a large number of people who think that they have been injected with a vaccine that protects them against AIDS and all other STDs.  Always, always use a condom if you choose to have sex with anyone who is not your spouse.  If you have a cheating spouse, you might want to use a condom with your spouse. 

A Shout Out To The Good Parents

My husband reminded me that the title of my blog is Good and Bad Parents.  So today, I'm giving a shout out  to the good parents by sharing their acts of good parenting.

A shout out to:
The mom who cancelled the birthday sleepover because she discovered that her daughter had a bad grade.

The mom who asked to spend the day sitting in on all of her daughter's high school classes to embarrass her for misbehaving.

The parents who took away a cell phone after their daughter ran up a $400 phone bill due to texting.

The mom who decided that since her son was not doing the basic things expected of him (making an effort in school, being respectful, cleaning his room) that she was not going to do the basic things expected of her like cooking and cleaning his clothes.

The mom who cancelled a playdate because her daughter was misbehaving.

The mom who cut her daughter's hair for continuing to be disrespectful.

The mom who made her children write letters to each other listing all of the other person's good qualities because they wouldn't stop fighting.

The mom who asked her 19 year old son to leave her home because he refused to stop hanging out with the wrong crowd.

The parents who made their daughter throw her favorite doll in the garbage because she continued to lie about doing her homework.

The parents who issued a moratorium on sleepovers because their daughter was always out of control from lack of sleep the next day. 

The parents who took away their son's designer clothes and replaced them with store brand clothes because he was disrespectful.

Having children is very easy.  Parenting is the hard part!

Please share your acts of good parenting in the comments.  You can post your comment anonymously.

Should Mother's Be Held Responsible When Their Boyfriends Harm Their Children

Mothers need to be careful when choosing a mate after parting from their childrens' father.  A little boy was killed by his mother's live-in boyfriend on his 4th birthday.  Her family was on the news publicly condemning the boyfriend.  They are totally correct.  Does she bear some responsibility for her son's death?  Are mother's responsible for choosing a mate that will love and care for their child?  Her family said that he was an evil person and anti-social.  If the family knew he was a bad person before today, why didn't she know what kind of person he was?

Several years ago the police superintendent of Chicago publicly criticized a mother whose child was shot in a van because someone was aiming at her boyfriend, who is a known drug dealer.  He said that she was responsible for her child being shot.  She demanded an apology and I believe he refused.  I think that he was correct. She endangered her child by not only associating with a known drug dealer but she was dating him.  I think she bore some responsibility.

My mother always told me to be weary of the company you keep.  She told me to surround myself with nice, kind and loving people who don't get into trouble.  You can pick up the newspaper on any given day and read stories about boyfriends abusing their girlfriends' children.  Ladies, lets do a better job choosing a man.  Our children deserve it!

I think that she should be charged with child endangerment.  She choose this man as her boyfriend and she choose to live with him.  She has to bear some responsibility.  As a mother, she has to keep her children safe.  If your child gets hurt in your home and you don't know exactly how it happened, you may be investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services.  Parents know that children may get hurt playing with siblings or may take a tumble down the stairs and these things are unavoidable.  Getting beat to death on your 4th birthday by your mother's boyfriend is avoidable! I don't believe that the boyfriend has never demonstrated violent behavior before beating the boy.  If the mother claims to not have seen this side of him, then she needs to be banned from dating until her children are grown because she does not know how to choose a man.

Even though I am expressing my strong opinions about this issue, my heart truly goes out to the family of this child.  May God bless this family!

Happy Thanksgiving

I was unable to write my blog due to a bad case of "The Itis".  Below is a link to a video explaining the meaning of "The Itis".  I will post my blog for this week tomorrow.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

The Homework Debate

The great homework debate is something that all parents with school aged children have experienced. How much is too much? How much is not enough? What is the purpose of homework? Is it to reinforce what was learned in school? Is it to learn new material that wasn't covered in school due to time constraints? You can get a variety of answers to these questions, depending upon who you ask.

Some districts in New Jersey and California have passed regulations limiting week night homework to 10 minutes per grade for all subjects. A third grader would have 30 minutes, a fourth grader would have 40 minutes and so on. This seems fair but I think that middle school and high school students should have more homework.  Maybe the middle school and high school students could have 15 minutes per grade.

I think that homework should be used to reinforce what was learned earlier in the day.  It should give the teacher a clear indication of whether or not the student understands the material.  Almost like a take home quiz.  Homework should be reviewed in class and all questions should be answered.  If a lot of students don't do well on the homework, the teacher should not move on to new material.

It is important to use homework wisely and not just for busy work.  Some teachers are pressured about homework.  I know parents who complain when they think there is too much homework and I know parents who say that there is not enough homework.  I was the recipient of dozens of emails one evening with parents complaining about the kids having too much homework.  I thought the incident was ridiculous!  I little work is not going to kill your kid!

Some parents think that their kid has a lot of homework because it takes them a long time to complete it.  After talking to many parents, I have concluded that part of the issue is time management.  A research assignment should not be attempted the day before its due.  It should be worked on over several days or weeks, depending on the length of the assignment.  Our children have more intense homework assignments than we did when we were their age.  My children were doing research papers in 3rd grade.  Therefore, we need to teach our children time management skills at an early age. 

So parents before you start complaining about too much homework, do your homework to make sure its not a time management issue.

When does parental involvement at school go from good to bad?

Parental involvement in a school can be a good thing as long as the parents know their place.  Many eyes have begun to roll after that first sentence, I know.  Schools want parents to be involved because most times, if parents are involved then the behavior problems are minimized and the students come prepared to learn.  Parental involvement can be good because different people bring new and fresh ideas.

Parents can have opinions and suggestions but they can't make demands.  It seems as though some parents think they are entitled to have their ideas put into place simply because they exist. Schools don't have to do what parents say.  Teachers and principals have the right to make decisions at their school without consulting the parents.  If you are consulted or asked your opinion, you should give it and feel privileged to have been asked.  Your input at your child's school is not a right, it is a privilege.  I am in no way suggesting that schools discourage parental involvement.  Parents are important to a school.  Things seem to get ugly when parents want something and they don't get it.  Slanderous emails about teachers are sent and some parents have threatened to stop donating money to schools because they didn't get what they wanted.  I once had a parent tell me that parents who donate a lot of money to a school should have some say as to what goes on in the classroom. WTF!!  If you own stock in a company, can you go to a shareholders' meeting and demand changes to company policies?  Microsoft, here I come!!  If schools knew that strings were attached to the donations that they received, I'm not so sure they would take them.

There seems to be a lack of respect towards teachers from parents.  Parents criticize teachers in the presence of their children.  Teachers are threatened with lawsuits.  Teachers are professionals just like doctors and lawyers and they should be treated as such.  Parents think that they can tell the teachers how to teach and interact with children.  How many parents would tolerate someone coming to their place of employment telling them how to do their job?  Parents everywhere, the school is the teachers' place of employment and you need to respect that fact.

Are teachers perfect? NO! There are no perfect parents either.  We are all flawed in some way.  At some point while your child is in school you may have an issue with a teacher.  The key is how you handle that issue.  Be respectful.

Reducing A Twin Pregnancy to One?

There was an article in the New York Times about women who became pregnant with twins but only wanted one child.  They only wanted one child so they had their pregnancies reduced to one child.  The mothers had a reduction procedure to remove one fetus.  Its called reduction to a singleton.  WTF!!  There are no health issues involved in these decisions, just plain old entitlement.  I am entitled to get what I want, how I want it.  I want a baby so I pay for IVF and I only want one not two.  Why?

One mother already has two children and she wanted one more child not two.  She feels as though she can't be a great mother if she has to mother two more children.  Two children would soak up everything she had to give and leave nothing for the older children.  She could give each one only half of her attention and half of her love.  This mother said that she didn't want to be a second-rate parent.  Guess what genius, you became a second-rate mother when you decided to have a doctor suction out a healthy fetus from your womb just because the package wasn't what you ordered!  As a mother I have never felt as though I could run out of love to give to anyone in my life.

Another mother wanted the reduction because her husband was away in Iraq and she had no family to help. She sought out two doctors to do the reduction and both refused.  So determined to have it done, she got on a plane and found a doctor who would agree to do the reduction.  Is this really a reason to get rid of one of your children?

Are we given too many choices and options in life?  What happens if the remaining fetus is born with special needs?  Are the parents going to give the special needs child up for adoption because taking care of this child was not part of the plan.  Are women going to start terminating pregnancies, when they find out the sex of the baby if its not the sex they want?  According to the answer to this question is yes!  Several immigrants from China and India are asking U.S. doctors to terminate their pregnancies because the child is not the right sex.

I have always considered myself to be pro choice.  I am truly stunned!  What are your thoughts?

Halloween and the Low Class People It Attracts

Halloween is one my favorite days of the year.  However, it seems to bring low class people out of their holes.  I lost count of the number of adults holding trick or treat bags for infants that were being pushed around in strollers.  Just in case you are wondering, yes I called them all out on their ridiculous behavior.  I told them that the baby was too young to eat candy and they said that the baby could suck on it.  I told them that the baby had no business eating candy and that they should know better.  This is where bad parenting begins.  They had no shame!

Every year I post a sign on my front door that reads "NO COSTUMES, NO CANDY"!  Halloween is about having fun and dressing up.  You don't just get to go door to door demanding candy just because you are you.  Everyone who wants candy from me must have a costume!  It doesn't matter how poor you are, you can come up with a costume, even if you just put make-up on your face.  I had a kid who had one black mark drawn on his face and I gave him candy.  His friend didn't make the effort so he didn't get any candy. 

I also lost count of the number of adults with no costumes and no infants that expected to get candy.  Grown people going trick or treating with no costumes is just plain low class.  Let me rephrase that, grown people trick or treating period is low class.  There's nothing wrong with dressing up and taking your kids trick or treating but you should not expect nor demand candy! 

Don't forget to tune in on Friday to read about women who are pregnant with twins but only want one child.

My Education Reform

Here is my recommendation for how to start fixing our education system.  You need to start with the next kindergarten class.  Kindergarten should be required for all children.  Some states like Illinois, don't require children to attend kindergarten.  There should be a clear set of benchmarks that every child needs to meet in order to pass to the next grade.  If a child does not meet all of the benchmarks, the child must repeat their current grade.  Its time to stop promoting children to the next grade when they have not mastered the skills necessary to do the next level of work.  There are too many high school students who can barely read and do basic math at an elementary school level. 

This has to stop because it is not helping anyone.  Its hurting these kids because its leading them to believe that they know more than they actually do.  A child who is held back in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade is better equipped to handle it emotionally than when they are in 9th grade.  Most high school students who are far behind in school eventually drop out of school.

A student should not be allowed to disrupt a class on a daily basis.  Its unfair to the other 28 students, if the teacher is constantly disciplining a student instead of teaching.  There should be schools for children with discipline problems.  It should not take months to move a student to the school for undisciplined students.  The school should be staffed with social workers, psychiatrists and mentors to help address all of the students' issues. 

Many people attribute well performing schools' success to parent fundraising.  Its not all about the money.  Most schools in poor neighborhoods have just as much or more money than those schools that fund raise.  Schools get extra money for every low income student enrolled.  If you don't have good teachers and a good principal, all the money in the world is not going to make your school great.  There are successful schools in poor neighborhoods because there are parents at those schools who care.  When you have parents who care, you have kids who come to school ready, willing and able to learn.  Think about a world where the students come to school to learn and they are well behaved and are mentally ready to learn.  A teachers' dream......................

A recent survey by ACT revealed that 75% of students are not fully prepared for college.  Many of those 75% that are admitted to college, will be required to take remedial classes.  Will colleges lower their standards or will it take students seven or eight years to earn a college degree?  What will become of our future if the education system is not fixed?  

Parents Need To Raise Their Children

I am sick and tired of hearing stories about bad kids in schools.  Bad kids are cheating well behaved kids out of their education.  Every time a teacher has to stop teaching to discipline a child the other kids are missing out on their education. Don't get mad at a teacher for calling you everyday telling you about your child's behavior.  You may not think that laughing in class and making faces is not a big deal but it is a disruption to the class.  Every time the teacher has to stop and tell your kid to behave, other kids are not being taught.  If parents would raise their kids, they would go to school and know how to behave.  The education system in this country would not suck as bad as it does right now. 

Parents need to realize that its not cute if your 5 year old tells you no and hits you.  When your child exhibits aggressive behavior towards others and shows no remorse, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.  A big part of parenting is setting boundaries and discipline.  There seems to be a lot of parents that don't believe that discipline is an important part of raising a child.  When you allow your child to do whatever they want, whenever they want, your child has no boundaries.   If a child has no boundaries they don't behave well in school because they are not used to being told no or what they can't do. 

Little Suzie should only be wearing a princess costume if she is going to a costume party not grocery shopping or to school.  I knew a couple who let their son wear his batman cape everywhere.  Some of you might say "what's the big deal?"  Its not about the cape, its about the parents not telling him no.

In addition to not raising their kids, parents are also setting bad examples for their kids.  Parents need to realize that its not ok to tell their child to sit his ass down or say you get on my fucking nerves.  When you talk to your child in this manner, you are ruining their self esteem.  Children see their home life as the norm because until they go to school, they spend most of their time at home.  My children thought that every kid had a Mommy and Daddy that were married.  When children grow up in a home where the adults yell and scream and fight, they think that's what is supposed to happen.  A friend of mine that is a teacher, had a third grade student call her a bitch.  Its very obvious that that word is used very often in his home. It also obvious that this child has not been taught to respect adults. 

Parents need to stop ignoring the warning signs for their teenagers.  If your son or daughter comes home with expensive items that you did not purchase, you need to find out where they came from.  You need to return the items because they are not free.  If your kid comes home with cash and tells you to use it to pay some bills , then you have a problem.  Don't pay the rent and turn a blind eye to your child's involvement in illegal activities.

The young people who are doing all of the drive by shootings, didn't wake up and become murders.  They started down that path a long time ago.  By the age of five you should know whether or not your child has the potential to be a juvenile delinquent.  I'm not saying that it will definitely happen, but bad behavior is seen very early and it needs to be acknowledged as such by parents.  There aren't very many murders and drug dealers that are in prison that were good kids that never misbehaved.

For once, I would like to hear the parents of a young criminal get on the news and apologize for the actions of their child.  Stop making excuses and defending bad kids.  Acknowledge that they tried to be good parents but somehow failed to instill good morals and values in their child.

Parents, your role is to be a parent, not your child's friend.  You need to teach your child right from wrong and how to be kind and respectful to others.  The world does not revolve around your child and you are doing your child a great disservice in making him/her think that it does.  So many of the world's problems could be solved by parents raising their kids.  Its not rocket science and its not easy but it is possible and very rewarding.

Please tell me your thoughts about today's blog, take part in today's poll and don't forget to tune in next week!

Should Schools Change Rules When Too Many Kids Are Breaking The Rules?

Two Chicago Alderman want the Chicago Public Schools to reduce the number of school suspensions by 40% and institute restorative justice practices.  So are schools are supposed to reduce the punishment given because too many kids are breaking the rules? Every school has rules and consequences for breaking those rules. The Alderman are acting as if the schools are taking good, well behaved children and suspending them.  I say that the Alderman need to go door to door and visit the parents of the children being suspended.  The parents need to raise their children instead of letting them be raised on the street.  If parents properly raise their children, the suspension rates will go down because the children will behave in school.  I think that if a child is suspended he/she should not get to stay home and do nothing.  They should be given extra work to do while they are suspended so they do not fall behind in school. Schools need to start holding parents accountable for their children when they continue to break school rules.

Over the years, I have heard and read about people who claim that black boys are suspended more than any other race and gender.  Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe they are misbehaving more than the other races and genders? Maybe parents should start to shelter their young boys from seeing acts of violence and aggressive behavior in the home.  I know plenty of black boys that know how to behave and its because their parents raise them properly.  Stop making excuses!  Tune in next week for a complete rant about parents not raising their kids.

What do you do when your children don't get along?

Separate camps and enrichment classes even though siblings want to attend the same classes and camps. Why you ask? Its because the siblings don't get along or because one child will make the other child miserable if they are in the same space. Parents, avoidance is not the answer. I realize that you want to keep the peace in your home. Children need to learn to get along with their siblings. You can't just avoid a boss or co-worker because you don't get along with them.

Sit your children down and talk to them about your family values and what it means to be a part of your family. Every family's value system will be different. You might say that members of your family are loyal, kind, loving, trustworthy, forgiving and don't intentionally hurt anyone physically or emotionally.

Tell your kids that if they don't adhere to the core family values, then there will be consequences. If siblings are not encouraged to have a tight bond with each other, more than likely they won't encourage it when they have families of their own. A good family structure and bond, help people function better in other relationships.

When my daughters would not stop fighting with one another, I made them sit down and write a letter to each other explaining why they loved each other. It is important that parents promote healthy relationships among siblings.  The root of healthy relationships start at home.

Unruly tweens and teens! How to set them straight.

Have you taken away cell phones, television, computers and video games to no avail? Learn to be creative with your discipline. Try taking away all of your kids' clothes except for one complete outfit. No child wants to wear the same outfit seven days a week. If you are really upset with your child, feed them the same meals everyday. Continue to make a variety of meals for the rest of the family. There are children all over the world who have very few clothes and some don't have three meals a day. Your children are fortunate and sometimes they need to be reminded, just how fortunate they are.

Stay firm with your discipline! Your child may say that they hate you but you must be firm to get your point across because you don't want the bad behavior to continue. Consistency is the key to eliminating bad behavior in children. If you tell your child that there will be consequences for certain actions, you must follow through. You must mean what you say and do what you say. Don't make idle threats!!

P.S. Don't forget to tell your child that you are more than willing to use your vacation days for volunteering at their school.

Should new parents be required to take parenting classes?

The law requires you to be at least 16 years old and pass a test in order to be able to drive a car.  You are not eligible to vote or join the military until you are 18 years old.  The legal drinking age is 21 years of age.  In our society you must take a test and show some maturity in order to do the things listed above.  However, you can bring a child into this world with no training or maturity.  

Should new parents be required to participate in parenting classes?  I am not just referring to young unwed mothers when I pose this question.  I have encountered college educated married couples who are clueless when it comes to parenting.  Parents should not be afraid to ask for help when it comes to raising their children.  

I recently read about a mother who was changing her baby's diaper on the table of a restaurant in downtown Chicago.  WTF! The waitress had to reiterate multiple times to her that there was a changing station in the restroom.  I'm not even sure any class could help this mother.  

I think that some parents would welcome the idea.  What do you think?

Are You Micro-Parenting Your Child?

Are you a helicopter parent who micro-parents every aspect of your child? Do you run to your preschooler's aide when you see another child take a toy from him/her? Do you call the parents of a child who called your child a bad name? Are you still sitting next to your child who is in middle school while he/she is doing their homework? Are you stressed because you think that school is too stressful for your child?  LIGHTEN UP!!! Every child needs to be able to navigate certain situations on their own, in order to grow up to be a functioning adult. This is part of growing up and learning to solve problems and be responsible.

I attended a seminar for a test prep company that provides test prep for high school entrance exams. There was not one, but two parents that asked if they could come to the classes with their children to help them. WTF!!

There are more and more instances where the parents of college students are still trying to micro-parent. A Northwestern University professor, showed a sex toy demonstration after his class ended. All of the students were told about it and were given the option to leave. I could not believe the number of parents being interviewed on the various television news stations. They were expressing outrage that their young adults were exposed to a sex toy demonstration. The parents of college students are reviewing homework assignments as well. A friend of mine teaches at a law school and she had a student complain about a grade. He told her that he didn't deserve the grade she gave him because his mother and father had reviewed his homework.

How are these individuals ever going to grow up to be productive members of society when the parents won't let them experience anything that might be challenging or unpleasant?