Tag Archives: parenting

We’ve Come a Long Way…Maybe

27 Jan

A 17 year old senior at Edmonson County High School in Kentucky, got in trouble last week for wearing a dress that did not meet the stringent requirement of the Kentucky high school she attends. The dress, was considered to sit too high above her knees. According to the high school’s dress code, dresses worn by young ladies at the high school must not be more than 6 inches higher than the knee.

You’ll notice in the picture below that the student in question was also wearing black tights beneath her dress but still she had to prove that her dress was the appropriate length by kneeling before her principal (a man) so he could measure its distance from the floor and then by walking around with her arms in the air (again in front of her principal) to see if her dress rode up any higher than previously measured.

 

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She failed her test…but only after walking around with her arms in the air. Otherwise she would have passed. Somewhere between 30 to 40 girls were sent home by the principal that day for similar violations.

Boys, in case you were wondering, have a dress code too but usually only get sent home if their clothing is ripped or torn in some way, as in ripped jeans etc. There was no mention as to how long boys had to wear their skirts when they wear them. This is 21st century America we’re living in isn’t it? So you know that boys get to wear skirts and make-up too… Don’t they?

But I digress because look at what girls in Kentucky high schools get to wear when they are not in the classroom… Here is the Kentucky high school championship Cheer-leading team…sans leggings…and you certainly wouldn’t want to use a ruler to measure their skirts distance from their knees. And are those skirts?

Cheerleaders competed in the KHSAA state championships Saturday.

Here’s a typical Kentucky HS field hockey team? Don’t they make shorts for girls anymore?

Oh…here are the Kentucky shorts…part of the typical girl’s HS volleyball team in Kentucky. They don’t look that comfortable to me, especially for running around and jumping and bending over,  but I’m a guy so what do I know about fashion…

Because here’s what the Kentucky boys wear when they play basketball. Their shorts seem to fall about 5 inches below the knee! Go figure!

What is appropriate for young women to wear in public high schools these days and why can’t they choose to wear what they like and are most comfortable wearing, like the boys do? As long as it’s not ripped or torn? Have we come a long way in our attitudes about men and women here in the United States or haven’t we?

I leave that question for the women to answer because I’m pretty sure that we men have absolutely no clue…oh we have a code…but I’m pretty sure it’s not for everyone.

Debtor’s Prison

14 Jan

This just in! Total student loan debt in the US has reached 1. 3 TRILLION dollars…and that starts with T, which rhymes with P and that stands for Payments you’ll never finish Paying.

Because according to the Associated Press Americans who are between the ages of 35 to 50 still owe as much money on their student loan debt as new graduates do! Thanks to interest… and not the kind that the bank pays you but rather the kind that you pay to the bank when the bank loans you money from the pile of depositors money that they are not paying interest on to depositors… a college loan is the gift that you keep on paying for!

There is even a website that you can go to now to watch the U.S. student debt rise as it happens in real time… at a rate of $2,726.27 per second!

But Huzzah! The Federal government is stepping in with a plan to cap student borrowers monthly loan payments at 10% of their discretionary income. And since discretionary income is the money you have left after deducting taxes, other mandatory charges, and expenditure on necessary items. (loan payments are now even surpassing groceries as the biggest monthly expense for many households) Which begs the question: Are groceries necessary?

So in any event…you should be repaying that loan…forever! Or at least until you check into that nursing home, at which time the Nursing home and your Alma Mater will have to duke it out to see whose debt trumps whose. Or is that whom? Which rhymes with tomb…

College debt is becoming a veritable debtor’s prison, where you get to stay at home, but only if you can afford one, that is.

So parents, when your kids grow up and start to inquire about college you might want to trot out a new twist on an old phrase…”Ignorance is cheap. ‘Tis folly to be wise!”

 

 

 

 

Can You OD on Energy?

14 Sep

There’s a new drug on the market…and it’s as old as coffee. That’s because the new drug is caffeine!

It seems that there are a whole slew of new products on the market that promote energy and sustained physical and/or mental activity and they all feature caffeine as a key ingredient. But these new products are apparently leading Americans to an alarming public health development: a rash of thousands of overdoses and reports of addiction and withdrawal…and sometimes even deaths…related to caffeine!

In the United States, 85 percent of people are estimated to consume caffeine at least once a day. This number includes children under age 18 who mostly get their caffeine in sodas. Even preschoolers are ingesting it, with the likely culprit being chocolate milk but in recent years, hospitals have reported an uptick in cases of caffeine overdose in emergency rooms and nearly two-thirds were in children 18 and younger.

The most dangerous problems appear to come when people use the pure powdered caffeine that is now being sold. Just add it to any drink and you’ve got instant energy. The trouble is that the difference between a safe amount and a toxic dose of caffeine in its pure powdered form, is very small and a safe amount can be almost impossible to measure accurately.

But remember when you were a young rambunctious child and your parents tried to wear you out during the day so you and the rest of your family could get some sleep in the evening? The big question for me is, why are kids taking caffeine anyway? A cup of coffee or a can of soda is one thing but powdered caffeine??? What for?  And It’s gotten so bad that, would you believe, “caffeine withdrawal”, is now a bona fide mental health disorder!

So parents beware! It’s great for you and your children to feel energetic and to always be ready for that brand new day but as in all things American these days it seems that it is always possible to have too much of a good thing no matter the thing and no matter how good it already is…including energy!

Best to just stick to finding your energy in natural places and in natural forms and foods…and if you can’t find your get up and go…just get up and go take a nap.

Times are Tough, Even for Fairies!

28 Aug

According to a recent poll the average amount The Tooth Fairy leaves American children per tooth is $3.19…and that’s down 24 cents from last year! And that’s 2 years in a row now that the Tooth fairy has had to make cutbacks! Yow! You know that times are tough when even fairies are in a down market!

Which means that instead of collecting 74 bucks for their baby teeth, American kids born today can only expect 64 measly dollars between now and their adult teeth arriving. There goes the college fund!…If your planning on sending your kids to clown college that is.

Interestingly enough this poll is usually conducted by Delta Dental but recently Visa has also been conducting an annual survey to see how much money that fairy leaves under a child’s pillow for a lost baby tooth.

That can only mean one thing! Soon your children will be accepting plastic as a means of payment for those baby teeth! So get ready you cheapskate parents, um… I mean fairies. College is expensive you know. So at 20 primary teeth per baby, I figure about 8 thousand dollars a tooth oughta do it…

How to Succeed Without Really Trying?

16 Aug

Up, up and away! Over the past 50 years American students have increasingly grown confident not only socially but also about their own writing and intellect skills and their confidence in leadership ability

 

The American Freshman Survey, has been asking college students to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966.

And since that time there has been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being ‘above average’ in the areas of academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability, and self-confidence. In fact, Over 70% of all students now taking the survey view themselves as above average academically…Which of course, if you are an academic, you know is a mathematic impossibility!

Researchers now call this aberration “ambition inflation”. Which is an actual condition that students suffer from…good grief! It seems that their increased ambitions accompany increasingly unrealistic expectations….and incredible tuition fees I might add…causing parents to suffer from income deflation…and causing colleges and universities and banks to…well, rejoice!

But I digress because researchers have also found a disconnect between student’s opinions of themselves and their actual abilities. For example, while students are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing, their test scores actually show that their writing abilities are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts. So all of our students’ recent poor test scores that have caused consternation throughout the free world (The USA) haven’t affected how our students feel about themselves. Parents…Isn’t that good news?

And get this…Also on the decline is the amount of time students spend studying, with little more than a third of students saying they study for six or more hours a week compared to almost half of all students claiming the same in the late 1980s. But even though students are studying less, the number that said they had a high drive to succeed rose sharply!

So how is that possible???

Well, a separate study has shown that there has also been a 30 per cent increase towards narcissism in students since 1979. And that our culture here in America before the millennium, used to encourage modesty and humility but now here in the 21st century tends to promote bragging about yourself, as the way to go. So while today’s students tend to feel good about themselves and like to brag about it, the end result has shown a corresponding increase in anxiety and depression in America’s students since those 1970s.

And why is that? Well, researchers say that when an unrealistic number of young people think that they are above average and going to achieve great things, and then a much more realistic number don’t, because, well, let’s face it…most people really are average. And when reality finally sets in, depression isn’t far behind…not to mention those hefty student loans with interest due!

So is there a lesson to be learned here? Yes! And the lesson is: Despite the idea that we can achieve anything if we believe we can, there’s very little evidence that it actually works in the real world. Educational Research still shows that when it comes to academic success nothing works like being humble and unpretentious while employing self-control and hard work!… Who knew?

But if you are a parent and you are worried that today’s kids are too darn full of themselves don’t despair because the American Freshman Survey also revealed that along with having an inflated sense of their own abilities and talents today’s students also describe themselves as being less individualistic, less co-operative, less understanding of others and finally, less spiritual than students in the past! Which in my mind makes this one of the most unsettling surveys to come along in a while, especially if you are a parent.

However if you are a College or University official then this survey all but predicts smooth sailing ahead for a future of expanding enrollments and overflowing coffers. Which is ironic because it has been the colleges and universities of our country that have decried the poor skills of incoming freshmen so vociferously that it has drastically changed the way in which we test, evaluate, and rate today’s students. Back in the old days colleges and universities would simply not have accepted poor performing students into their hallowed halls…but that was back before education was all about making money…

Now while inflated egos, narcissistic attitudes and ambition inflation coupled with mass enrollment, high interest student loans, and tuition inflation may lead to dashed dreams, crushing debt and a life living in your parents house…it just might also be an insidious, and one hell of… an excellent business strategy.

Home On the Range

6 Mar

danielle meitiv

Have you heard of Free Range parenting? And I’m talking about human parents, not chicken parents. Apparently everything old is new again because as I read this story I couldn’t help but thinking that this was a story about parenting in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s…you know, before the whirlybirds landed and took our old parents away and replaced them with the newer helicopter variety.

Anyway, In Maryland a couple who allowed their children to walk around their neighborhood unsupervised are now facing a child neglect ruling in their home county. Following a two-month investigation, Montgomery County Child Protective services found Danielle and Alexander Meitiv responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect… which means that their case will remain on file with the state for the next five years.

Authorities launched the investigation, after two police officers spotted the Meitiv children, a 10-year-old boy and his and 6-year-old sister, walking home from a park about a mile from where they live. The officers brought the children back to their house, where they confronted their father who was shocked to see his children being escorted home by 3 police officers…but he shouldn’t have been because this was his children’s second offense! A few months before, someone had phoned in an anonymous tip to Child Protective Services when they had observed the two youngsters playing alone at a different park a few blocks from their home.

This is why the Meitivs are known as “free range” parents (couldn’t we think of another name…please?) because they allow their children to “run off and play” as opposed to the so-called “helicopter parents,” who are known for hovering over every aspect of their child’s life (including play) in an effort to keep them safe.

Now in case you are wondering, an unsubstantiated neglect ruling typically comes when Child Protective Services gathers some evidence that suggests child neglect, but not enough information to support a more concrete conclusion. The Meitivs said they wouldn’t let their children walk around the neighborhood if they didn’t feel the children were capable of handling the responsibility. And they let their children regularly walk home from their bus stop, to the library, and to nearby parks, all of which are less than a mile from their home.

But in all fairness, they’re only the children’s parents…and do we really trust any parents these days…or any adults for that matter? Just a few months ago a 12 year old child was walking around a park in Cleveland, Ohio, pretending to shoot people with a toy gun. Remember that? And when the police found him they didn’t round him up and bring him back to his parents. They shot him! When I was a kid my friends and I would run around our neighborhood with toy guns all of the time, pretending we were our dads during WWII shooting Nazis… And no one went looking for us unless it was night time and we hadn’t returned to base all day. Boy, I guess were we lucky that nobody shot back at us with real guns or captured us and took us back to their leader.

So perhaps, as many of today’s parents might suggest, the Meitivs should consider themselves lucky that their children were returned to them safe and sound… but now what are “free range” parents to do?… on a range that is no longer as free as it once was, back in a day when the deer and the antelope played along with everyone else…and discouraging words or neighbors were seldom heard?

If they don’t comply and keep their children supervised at all times, the Meitiv’s worry that should their children roam free again…and be turned in again… they’ll all, parents and children, be in bigger trouble. Because now, not only is it unsafe for children to go out into the world unsupervised but also for the parents as well! Which I guess, sadly begs the even more important question:

What’s on TV?

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March —- !

1 Mar

Happy March!

Are Spring hopes… eternal? I sure hope so because here on the east coast of the United States it has been one very cold and snowy winter. I used to remember having these kinds of winters every winter when I was little, back in the early sixties. We used to skate on the pond in the back yard (well, not me, only those who could skate) and it was frozen all winter long. And we would take our sleds down the street to the golf course and sled down the big snow covered hills until it was dark outside. And whether it was frozen pond skating or golf course hill sledding it was always jam packed with kids!

There were kids outside…everywhere…and not a parent in sight! Back in those days parents never came out of their houses unless they were headed for the car or the lawn needed to be cut…at least that’s the way it seemed to us kids. They never took any interest in the kid’s world, unless of course we broke something…which inevitably we always did…but then we ran!

Anyway, Spring meant seeing the ground again and running around without our boots. What freedom after months of heavy feet and walking around like you were in a diver’s suit on the bottom of the ocean.

Ahhhhh Spring! I hope we have a real one this year (like we just had a real winter) and it doesn’t just shoot straight up to 100 degrees by next Wednesday! (which these days it seems is always possible)

As for the title of this blog. Riddle me this:

Which day of the year is the only day of the year that is also a command? (English teachers should get this one easy)

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