Your parents matter.

I've gotten more and more into the tech and happenings in social networks, so I came across this video through my scobleizer feed. Don't know what that is, don't worry. The point of this post isn't really about the tech, it's about the kid. You know what, I could have been this kid, lots of people I've met could have been this kid - if they were born in Silicon Valley. As a parent, one of my goals is to give my kids every opportunity, not everyTHING, but every opportunity. Where I grew up it was all about sports for kids, football, baseball, yadda, yadda, yadda. I don't want my kids to grow up that way, they want to do art camp - cool. This summer my son did lots and lots of science camps and he was OKAY about it, but not crazy. His best friend on the other hand is a natural-born scientist. I hope he follows that. If my daughter wants to become an artist that is fine, a fashion designer (she has loved shoes since age ONE) that is fine, a doctor, great. Recently, we had a conversation about why there were no women on our Presidents placemat and she decided to become President. I, of course, am fine with that too. The only thing I won't let her do is date, but other than THAT!!!

I think we can all learn something from this video and that is that kids can do more than we give them credit for, in other countries kids my son's age are already speaking two or three languages for instance. Anyway, here is a video introduction of a kid that I don't consider "inspirational", I consider him....introduced. Introduced to the world at large.

Comments

I was eventually forced to relax

The only thing I won't let her do is date, but other than THAT!!!

my "No dating 'til you're thirty years old" rule I originally imposed on my princess when she was around nine. At first, she embraced the rule because she understood that her Daddy was perfection personified, and was all she ever needed. I'm not sure if she bumped her head or was hypnotized, but she stumbled off the righteous path sometime between Driver's Ed and actually receiving her license. Just one more aspect of the fossil fuel nightmare.

While I did (have to) relent and allow her to date, I frequently used a line I stole from the movie Clueless when introduced to the devil of the month who stole her heart:

"I've got a forty-five and a shovel, and I'm not afraid to use them."

My graduate advisor...

had a 15 year old daughter and he used to do this. He's hold up two fingers and say 'Do you know what this is?' and they'd say the Peace sign or something like that and he's say 'No, that's the number of barrels on the shotgun in my closet, don't make me show 'em to you.'

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

That's pretty funny

I just get out all my knives and sharpen them.

Very slowly.

Heh heh :)

I had dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend a few years ago (he has since been kicked to the curb), and we got along tolerably well, so I smiled at my daughter and said, "Don't get your hopes up, but I might let this one live."

Don't worry, Dads

Whether you know it or not, you are the one we measure every other guy against. It took me nearly 40 years, but I finally found the one who met the standards that my Dad set for me - just by being who he was. I had lowered mine a couple of times. (You know, the whole you've got to kiss a lot of frogs thing.)

I must say I struggle with the young ladies that my son brings home at times. Did I ever dress like that? And giggle like that? argh.

Robert - I loved the video, and your comment. I think that one of the best things we can do for our children is give them the opportunity to have lots of experiences in safe environments, and then allow them to choose freely what their interests are. I also think that free time is extremely important for children. When 6 1/2 hours a day are devoted to school, and depending on how old they are, an hour or more of homework, there has got to be time for them to get outside and just run and play - or as I wanted to do when I was a kid - curl up with a book and read. I think our children as a whole need less programmed time, and more "free choice" time. If they choose to do programmed activities during free choice time - well, that's fine. Does that make any sense?


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

free time

I couldn't agree more, I certainly live in the heart of an area where parents put their kids through a non-stop circus of kiddie events and courses.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I see it here, too, though probably not as much.

Kids go from school to after-school care, to some kind of on-the-run dinner, to soccer, to homework (if it's not finished) to home. I think a lot of it comes from working parent guilt, because they feel that their kids need to have "high quality activities". Just my personal observations.

We - as parents - need to find a way to make that stop.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

speaking languages at early ages

The best time for people to learn language - one, more than one, twelve (ok - that's a little much) is when they are very young.

The reason - it's all about brain development, baby. Or, it's all about baby's brain development. OK - not just babies. Children learn languages most easily up to age 10.

Research does not suggest drilling children in alphabet songs from different languages or using flash cards to promote rote memorization of letters and numbers. Children learn any language best in the context of meaningful, day-to-day interactions with adults or other children who speak the language.

Schools can take advantage of this window of opportunity to teach language. If children are to learn to speak a second language like a native, they should be introduced to the language by age ten.

When do most children in the US get exposed to a second language? Usually in high school, when it's required for a college bound kid.

At the risk of showing my own lack of language skills: d'oh!


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Language is so hugely important

for acquiring everything else we'll need on life. The more, the earlier, the better. Even back in the Stone Age 50's, my parents gently tossed vocabulary to me (my dad used to read to me in German while I was still in the womb). I firmly believe that's why I have a knack of picking up other languages with reasonable ease.

From vocabulary, they encouraged me to read -- even at age three.

Ah, those were the days, when American children were encouraged to learn, to be something greater than their parents were -- maybe even to fly to the moon. We were told: "You can if you want to. Study, work for it, and it can be your destiny, too". These days, the Republican-ravaged school system only teaches to a test. Heaven forbid we should teach children how to think or to handle unfamiliar situations or even solve problems independently.

Good heavens, if my dogs can grasp the concept of "language" (as in "total communication" the way they teach hearing people to communicate with Deaf when ASL concepts fail them), then there is absolutely no excuse for not teaching our children. Communication is the singular vehicle to learning. Without learning, we will remain a benighted nation of ignorant sheep. To wit:

Now, it's "fit in", "don't be different", "conform to the state-mandated 'norms'", and "if you aren't a wackogelical sheep, incapable of independent mentation, you are anathema and must be destroyed". Xenophobia and situational phobias are encouraged -- even promoted -- by this nationally-destructive mode of behavior. To my mind, it only proves that George Orwell and P.T. Barnum were right :-\

It's heartbreaking. President Kennedy encouraged us to believe and work toward being, well, "more". The Republic regime insists that we should be afraid, incapable and, well, "less". Our forefathers must be ready to climb up out their graves.

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mohandas Gandhi

That's why it's up to parents -

and other adults around the children - dare I say it - the whole village - to encourage individuality and free expression in our children, while showing them how to live within the rules with which they'll have to live. At the same time, we need to give them enough of a sense of security in themselves so when the rules don't make sense, or a leader is full of excrement, they have the guts to stand up and say - "This guy is full of shit."


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi