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Are They Made or Born?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
By Glinda


There is a child who is in our lives that I sort of wish wasn’t. By this, I mean the kid is an a-hole in the making. It is a painful, yet fascinating process to watch.

But yet, was this the way the child came out of the womb? Did he come out of it completely defiant, rude, and with the penchant for stomping on people’s feet simply because doesn’t like what they are saying?

Or is the fault of the parents?

Why is it that the mother can watch the boy as he deliberately obstructs tee ball practice as he sits down in mid-field, or purposely throws the ball the other way? Or somehow not see as he sticks his tongue out to adults who are in charge?

Well, she did at least give him a time-out when he stomped on the coach’s foot.

I’ve heard her make excuses for her ignoring of his behavior, as if it will one day all just magically disappear. It’s just a phase, you know. The path of least resistance is one this mother is all too familiar with. In fact, I think it has bench alongside it with her name on a plaque, that’s how often she uses it.

All kids do indeed have their phases. But when is such behavior a phase, and when is it obvious to all but the parents that this is ingrained behavior? And even if it’s a phase, it still needs to be addressed, stat.

So tell me, are children like this a product of nature, or nurture?

Kick a Ginger Day: the aftershocks

Monday, November 24th, 2008
By raincoaster

Kick a Ginger Day!

You may or (if you are televisionless) may not be aware of the recent South Park episode featuring Kick A Ginger Day, the November 20th holiday on which it is traditional to kick redheads.

You may or may not also be aware that the heretofore entirely imaginary Kick A Ginger Day fell during International Bullying Awareness Week, but that is neither here nor there.

And you are, since you’re on this blog, likely all-too-aware that children have an irrepressible desire to act out the things they see on television.

You can see this coming, can’t you?

From Canada.com, in advance of the day:

RCMP in B.C. are investigating the 14-year-old administrator of a Facebook group called “National Kick a Ginger Day, are you going to do it?”

The Vancouver Island boy said the group, which had nearly 5,000 members from across Canada and internationally, was only a joke and he is sorry.

The page, which urges members to “get them steel toes ready,” had garnered hundreds of messages. Many were from people claiming to have already kicked redheads that day; others expressed outrage.

And from the CBC, afterwards:

Twenty students from Journey Middle School in Sooke, B.C., were sent home for kicking their redheaded classmates; a student in Prince George, B.C., went home from school after being kicked in the leg repeatedly; and 13 students in Calgary were suspended for beating up a redheaded teen.

But, in the fine heroic tradition of the Pink Shirts, there is hope. It comes from teacher Tulani Ackerman, whose younger brother was one of those unfortunately-pigmented victims. On November 27th, this coming Thursday, she and her entire class will take the Ginger plunge and turn redhead.

Ms. Ackerman and her class are to be congratulated for setting an heroic example of self-sacrifice and solidarity and I only hope to god they don’t start wearing pink shirts with that artificially red hair.

Phoebe Price, natural beauty

The Eleventyth Circle of Hell

Sunday, September 14th, 2008
By raincoaster

Get HAPPY! NOW DAMMIT!Very few people know this, but there are more circles of Hell than Dante revealed. It’s true: in his original manuscript for the Divine Comedy, he revealed the existence of the mysterious “Eleventyth Circle” of Hell. A zealous editor excised the chapter in question, on the grounds that it was too terrible a secret to reveal.

We are now going to expose this great secret, right here on a parenting blog where his editor would never think to look for it. We are going to tell you just who it is who dwells and suffers eternally in the Eleventyth Circle of Hell:

Car games fascists.

My friends, I have had some agonizing road trips in my time (I particularly recall the longest four hours of my life, spent riding shotgun west of William’s Lake with a man who used every second of that time to harp upon the perfection of the political party of his choice, a group of knuckle-walking, syphillitic graft-mongers so vile that when they toured the prison system even the germs cut them dead) but nothing, my friends, compares to the excruciating, yet regrettably rarely fatal, experience of being locked in a car with someone who insists that everyone plaster a Team! Spirit! Smile! on their faces and Have! Awesome! Fun! Playing! Cool! Car! Games! Right! Now! Or! Else!

Should you feel like quietly looking out the window counting ponies, or reading your Shakespeare which isn’t going to get any shorter if you let it wait, working on your theory reconciling Aristotle and Kant, or staring at the map purposefully, sighing extravagantly, and making darting glances at the passing roadsigns in order to freak out the driver, you will be yelled at, poked, and very likely even called a spoilsport by the little Mussolini in charge.

Whereupon I recommend my own favorite car game: stop at Dairy Queen and drive away while he’s in the bathroom.

Pink and Proud

Thursday, September 11th, 2008
By raincoaster

Pink Shirt Day!

Cast your minds back, dear readers, to a more innocent time. When things were quieter. When people were nicer. When the deer and the buffalo roamed.

Sorry, lost the thread.

Yes, cast your minds way, waaaaaay back, to this time last year. That was when we blogged about David Shepherd and Travis Price, two students in Nova Scotia who, outraged by seeing a fellow student bullied for wearing a pink shirt, took arms against a sea of bullies and, by opposing, ended them.

They started the Pink Shirt movement.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

“I made sure there was a shirt for him,” David said.

They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands. David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink…

“People say you’re famous, heroes or celebrities,” added Travis, who plans to take criminology next year. “We’re not, we’re just two kids who stood up for a cause.”

And now the government of Nova Scotia has declared the second Thursday of every school year to be Pink Shirt Stand Up Against Bullying Day. This year, that is today, but if you miss it there’s an International Stand Up Against Bullying Day on Friday, November 21st during anti-bullying week.

“The actions of these two young men, along with their fellow students who wore pink to school in support of another student, are showing all Nova Scotians just how much of a difference individuals can make,” Premier Rodney MacDonald said. “It is an honour to acknowledge their creative and selfless efforts by proclaiming a day at the outset of each school year to relay such a positive message against bullying.”

Join the Facebook group and upload photos of you and your kids flaunting your pink, or just go ahead and stand up to bullying right here in Real Life by wearing your pink with pride!icon. Blog it, forward it, wear it, flaunt it!

Now that’s Superfantastic!


Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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