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Everything posted by Whetstone

  1. If I am in a strange place - hotel or guest room - I have difficulty sleeping. After a night or two I am fine. At home I am a sound sleeper although I used to wake up with the kids while my wife would sleep through their cries when younger and their comings and goings when older.
  2. Becky - your husband is protecting you when he snores. It's primal. No animal would dare enter the cave with that huge animal making that awful sound! And lest anyone wonder, it's my wife that warns away the other animals from our cave.
  3. My oldest daughter sent me this link. She said it reminded her of me. I teared up when I read it. http://fromdatestodiapers.com/50-rules-for-dads-of-daughters/
  4. I think a lot depends upon how you define conflict. Without conflict we would never make any advances at all. It's the conflict that occurs when we don't like our life situation that stimulates us to take action to affect change. In this context, conflict is a positive. Even conflict with other people can be a positive. If their actions (or lack thereof) are causing some form of hardship to us then addressing the issue will result in positive outcomes. It's the fear of hurting someone else, or being perceived as an aggressor that has some people saying they are 'afraid' of conflict or that they dislike conflict. It's a faulty perception.
  5. I always tried to speak to my kids 'normally' - I'm sure it didn't always work or come out that way. And I know I have a tendency to go into 'teacher mode' and lecture/explain/teach the why of everything.... I did the same with my students and athletes. You tell them straight and you don't speak down to them. One of my pet peeves is when parents answer for their children. You see it more often with younger kids but it happens with teens too - you ask the kid a question and mom answers for the kid. Like the child doesn't have a mind or a voice of her own. Another peeve is when adults talk to children in a high pitched lilting voice like a kindergarten teacher. ugh just talk normally.
  6. This is an article from today's Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper. For those of you that don't know, it's not a rag, it is Philadelphia's "premier" newspaper. Apparently rapper T.I. yearly has his daughter 'checked'. I know we dad's do want to protect our daughters and sometimes even get possessive but this seems really extremely to me. And what does he intend to do if he finds that she has been active? Seems like education and communication of values is the way to go, not forced medical screening that really doesn't tell you anything. ‘Virginity testing’ a trust-buster? By Rita Giordano STAFF WRITER By Rita Giordano STAFF WRITER By now music and pop culture fans know that rapper T.I. takes his teenage daughter to the gynecologist each year to check if her hymen is “still intact.” That disclosure, made during a “Ladies Like Us” podcast last week by Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., has generated a lot of heated response. On Twitter, T.I., known for hits such as “Rubber Band Man,” received such criticisms as “beyond possessive” and “disgusting, possessive and controlling.” Those were among the tweets liked by T.I.‘s daughter, Deyjah Harris, now 18. According to her dad, she signed a waiver allowing her doctor to give her father a status report on the state of her hymen and, it appears he believes, her lack of sexual activity. Except “virginity testing,” as the practice is known, doesn’t necessarily mean that at all, say medical experts. Furthermore, even if a young person is willing to sign such a medical disclosure, expert says, what information a parent may learn may not be worth jeopardizing a healthy parent-child relationship. The episode holds a teachable moment for other parents who worry about their offspring, the potential perils of sexual activity and the impact on their future. First, the medical evidence. “Contrary to popular belief and old wives’ tales, the hymen does not necessarily break at any point,” said Beth I. Schwartz, pediatric and adolescent gynecologist with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. “Hymens, like all other body parts, come in different shapes and sizes, and they often stretch with any kind of activity, most commonly tampon use.” Another myth, Schwartz said, is that the condition of the hymen is proof of whether or not a woman has been sexually active. “There is actually no way on a physical exam to tell if someone is a virgin or not,” she said. “Even though [the T.I. story] is a crazy situation, it does point out a real and true concern, and that is that parents want to be able to help their children make safe and healthy medical decisions,” the doctor said. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advises that girls have their first reproductive health visit between age 13 and 15. During those appointments, Schwartz said, one of the main purposes is a conversation about medical history and well-being — between doctor and patient. Open conversations are also among the best ways for parents and children to develop trust, experts said. That’s what bothered Wanda M. Williams, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing at Rutgers-Camden, about the story of T.I. and his daughter. “Trust is a major component in relationships,” especially between parents and children, said Williams. “You would like to think he trusts her, and this indicates to me he doesn’t.” Sexual activity is just one part of growing up, along with drugs, bullying, other potential trouble — and all are among issues youngsters need to feel they can talk to parents about, she said. “If she feels he doesn’t trust her, what other things will she feel like she has to hide?” Williams asked. The Rev. Renee McKenzie, vicar of the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia, also counsels many young people as a chaplain at Temple University. When she read the stories about T.I. and his daughter, she said she initially cringed. But she also felt more discussion was needed. “I applaud that he had a conversation with her, but even if you’re under age 18, that’s still your body,” the reverend said. “That’s not to give the child permission to act irresponsibly with her body, but our job is to teach them how to control themselves, how to act in a particular way. We want to monitor, but we don’t want to be overly intrusive.” If a father like T.I. was one of her congregants, she said she would “counsel him in a way that he could hear his daughter. That’s how we would change a difficult situation into something positive for the child.” Merle Weitz, a social worker with the Sexual Risk Avoidance Program of the Southern N.J. Perinatal Cooperative, said the situation provides a good opportunity for parents to initiate a conversation with their kids. “Don’t shy away,” Weitz said. “Communication that is open, nonjudgmental and involves listening — even when you disagree — helps to build trust and encourages responsible decisionmaking. In fact, research shows that parents who talk with their kids about body changes and contraception actually prolong the onset of intercourse.“ rgiordano@inquirer.com 215-854-2391 ritagiordano
  7. They wear their regular clothes? Whatever happened to skinny dipping?
  8. We have a pool. We never had set rules about bathing suits or anything but my girls never really pushed things. I wouldn't have been happy with strings or really skimpy bikinis but they never wanted to wear them anyway so it was never an issue. Sometimes when we had pool parties and their friends or teammates would come over a girl or two would be wearing something (or really not wearing anything) that would make my wife and I look at each and just OMG. I'm very glad my kids never wanted to do that.
  9. I didn't do it this way but in retrospect I should have: Kids shouldn't get an allowance or pocket money. That is teaching them to rely on welfare. Kids should have the opportunity to earn money through age appropriate tasks. For young kids it can be as simple as putting toys in the toy box when they are finishing playing. For older kids they can earn money through the tasks they should be doing anyway - taking out the trash, vacuuming, doing the dishes, etc. This teaches kids that money is something has to be EARNED and the more you work the more you earn. I suggest that the teens here that want more money offer to do some tasks for their parents to earn the money. That is actually something my son did when he was ~11, he offered to mow the lawn if I bought a lawn tractor and to pay him instead of me paying the lawn service I was using.
  10. You are scaring me kiddo - - the last thread I read was the one where you said to let mom help put makeup on so she thinks she has control... then she will get bored and you will get to do it yourself.
  11. SNEAKY!!! You will have a good career in sales and marketing!
  12. Mackenzie makes a very good point, perhaps it is an issue of your daughter not knowing how to work/study efficiently but it also may be an issue with the homework assigned. I have real heartburn with many teachers and the assignments they give students. If a teacher says 'it will only take an hour' - they have no concept of reality. Perhaps it would take the teacher an hour but it will take a student 3+. Or even if it is an hour for a student, multiply that by 8 classes and you have 8 hours of homework a night, PLUS extracurricular activities and normal life!!!!! It's absurd. I stopped assigning homework as a teacher years ago because I saw the burden that students had, plus the fact that the students who really needed to do the homework weren't doing it anyway. There were many times I saw my own kids spending hours doing homework and I would tell them NOT to do it. I'd take them through the math of how it wouldn't affect their grade at all - - I never won the argument - - my kids felt they HAD to do their homework (at least the youngest two, my oldest was a completely different story....)
  13. This is an interesting dilemma that is really deeper than just being allowed to listen to music. For parents it brings up the issue of how far do you go to "protect" your children from the world around them. For the teens it's a question of how far do you push your parents without incurring their 'wrath'. Music fights have been going on for generations. I don't know if 'back in the day' parents were fretting about Mozart but certainly they fretted about Elvis and later the Beatles. I can understand Sophie's and her mom's perspectives. It's more than just 'not using' the words though. Much of the music containing dirty language also is sexual, racist, misogynistic and derogatory. Hearing this over and over can have the effect of normalizing abhorrent behavior. Is that really the message we want to be sending? I am glad I didn't have this issue with my own kids. They are similar to Natalie in that they like my generation of music, which of course my parents hated but at least it is relatively clean. I asked each of them at different times why they like my music and they all said pretty much the same thing - that it was hours and hours of road trips listening to it as they grew up. Interestingly, when I played music in my classroom the ONLY music that everyone was okay with was my era of music, and the students say the same thing. I think if I were the parent of a 13 yro girl I would do my best to shelter her from music containing foul language, violence, sexuality and misogyny.
  14. No worries. If you are interested in something bring it up. There are always new members with other things to share and sometimes the other members remember new things or are prompted to reply too.
  15. I'm all for safety but..... Are the guidelines for car seat safety developed truly for safety or where they developed by car seat manufactures to sell more car seats? When is 'safe enough' 'safe enough'? She'd be safer if you made her wear a helmet inside the car. She'd be safer if you made her wear a nomex suit lined with Kevlar. Are you driving an armored SUV, it's safer. Why drive her to school anyway, the bus is safer than your car. She'd actually be safer if you home schooled. I'm being facetious but where does it stop?
  16. Very cool Martha. You did the right thing by talking with her. Was anything actually decided as to how she will treat you differently (if at all)? How do you feel after this conversation?
  17. Martha, Maybe I missed it and if so, I'm sorry but where is your mother in all of this? You've gotten some good advice from lots of people already and I'm sure you've been reading things elsewhere as well. It seems to me as if you want to be treated by your stepmom as if you were her daughter - and it seems as if you want to treat her as if she were your parent. It comes down to communication. I know it's sometimes awkward but the people in our life who we should be able to be the most open with are our parents. They love us unconditionally. Tell your dad and tell your stepmom how you feel and what you want. And just because she treats you as if you are her real daughter doesn't necessarily mean you will get spanked - - but if you do, it's not the end of the world. And I may be wrong but you may WANT to get spanked by her so you actually feel as if you are her real daughter - - it's not wrong to feel that way but it certainly isn't necessary. I'm going to say it again - tell your dad and stepmom how you feel and what you want. Good luck.
  18. No. I lived in Queens. New Yorkers are actually far more friendly than they get credit for. Sure if you are walking along a Manhatten street no one will say hello to you because you pass hundreds of people and it's overwhelming. But if you need help New Yorkers will be the first to help. And you get recognized if you are a regular customer. You are made to feel welcome. Warmly. And there are tons of small shops where you get known as a "local". As you mentioned there are communities within the city itself and those communities have their own 'atmosphere'. And New Yorkers are 'up front' about things. They will tell you bluntly how they feel and where you stand - - you don't have to worry about what is going on behind your back. It's actually one of the nicest things about doing business in NYC as opposed to elsewhere.
  19. I could arrange tours of NYC. I am NYC born and raised. I know a couple of the girls are from NYC too - I won't mention any names but they may chime in. It's funny, so many people want to go to NYC - I couldn't wait to get out.
  20. Alex and Pookie and Al really already addressed this but I want to add my 2 cents. Teens sometimes feel pressure to know exactly what they are going to do 'when they grow' up. Sometimes that pressure comes from parents or school but often it comes internally. They THINK they should know what career they will have, where they will go to school, what major they will have and where they will live and who they will marrry, etc. etc etc. PRESSURE PRESSURE PRESSURE Let me give you a hint. If you are a teenager and you have NO CLUE what you want to do or what long term goals you should have - - YOU ARE NORMAL. If you had asked me when I was a teenager if I would become a HS teacher and softball coach I would have said you were crazy. It wasn't even close to being on the radar. When you girls are middle aged and have families and/or careers they will probably be very different from what you can imagine now - - heck most jobs twenty years from now probably haven't even been invented yet. Just do the things you are involved in now to the best of your ability. Take lots of different courses in HS and get a varied education, and do your best in each class. By taking different classes you will be exposed to lots of different fields and viewpoints. Do your best in EVERY class whether you hate it or not (like math) because you never know when you will use the information. (Plus our brains are funny - - the more we know, even if it's about different things, the better decisions we make about whatever is confronting us.) Get involved in various activities, whether at school or church or in your community. Meet different people, seek out people who are different from you and listen to their way of seeing the world. Again, do your best in everything you are involved in. (That should be a short term goal.) Your long terms goals will evolve based upon your interests and experiences. AND HAVE FUN!!
  21. Nat, You are right. I hope you saw the big smiles at the bottom of my teasing post about the boys! My first year of teaching I was also coaching the HS softball team. There was this one girl, a senior.... always dressed all in black, had a couple of visible tattoos, piercings of her nose, tongue, eyebrows, cheeks, lots on her ears and who knows where else, hair was dyed black, she frequently wore black leather boots with silver buckles and straps. I think they called the style 'grunge' or 'goth', I'm not really sure. I have to admit my initial impression of her was not positive. Just to look you'd think 'loser druggie'. Boy was I wrong! She was the sweetest, most polite person and one of the best and dedicated athletes I ever had the pleasure of coaching. I'm sorry I only had her for one year. Every day before a practice or a game she used to come into my classroom before getting changed. She brought this little dish with her. She'd go through this process of taking off all of her jewelry and dropping it in the dish making a little clang. Since she was a senior she'd get out of class early while I still had students. It would take her about 10 minutes. I always thought it was kind of cute.
  22. Being serious here. It isn't so much about behavior rather it's about the individual and what works best with that individual. As a parent with a misbehaved child of any age or gender you are trying to correct behavior and prevent future misbehavior. What "works" for that INDIVIDUAL? With my son, other things worked better than spanking. With my daughters - oldest especially - spankings worked best. In my experience speaking with other parents and teens and young adults both in person and on forums like this it just seems the consensus is that spankings work better with older girls than they do with older boys. So that's what parents do. If you misbehaved and I gave you a CHOICE of a spanking or lots of dirty yard work, which would you chose? My son responded better to being assigned lots of dirty yard work and things like that than he did to being spanked. The opposite was true with my daughters. The other part of all of this is that frequently with girls there is a lot of emotion and "attitude" involved. That's usually not the case with boys. The spankings act as an emotional release for the girls and it lets them 'get everything out of their system'.
  23. OMG I really really really want a button that says "that was so funny I spit my drink all over the screen"
  24. Abbie Abbie Abbie Abbie, The NY Yankee hat is nice as long as he is a fan and not just wearing the hat because he likes rap! He needs to put some clothes on and stop touching you. You need to put some clothes on stop touching boys. Satan shirt? Earing? NO NO NO NO NO Has your dad seen this? I bet when/if he does he is going to freak. There is a convent not all that far from me. I think your dad may send you there for the next 10 years. I will forward him the information on enrolling you if you would like.
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