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For some people, having a child seems to be the only purpose in life, regardless of whether you can financially care for this creation, or provide a stable environment in which they can develop as a human being. I began to have an interesting discussion with a reader. He grew upset that I made a comment about a young Native American woman who kept having one baby after the other, when she did not have the financial capacity to care for them.

"Why do you feel sad about it? These kids are healthy (because their mom was young when she gave birth). They have enough food. They can play with each other. Why do you think elderly deserve welfare benefits, but children do not?"

First, the kids are not healthy because the mom was young when she gave birth. They are healthy because fellow citizens. and the government, foot the bill for their survival. We have no choice as to whether we are brought into this world, and I agree no child deserves to suffer because of negligent or poor parents. But my focus was not on the children! It was on the parents, who refuse to use any type of birth control and keep breeding like rabbits - with no stable income, future, or job.

Read more... )

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There's a certain childhood rite of passage I never experienced - eating cafeteria lunches. I attended a small, religious school from 5th - 12th grade, surrounded by the same faces until graduation. There were rarely new students who transferred to the school, no new boys to flirt with, or mysterious strangers who suddenly appeared at the desk beside me. In one word, I would describe my school experience as boring. The same can be said of my daily lunches, which my mom diligently packed every morning. Usually, the lunchbox consisted of a peanut butter or ham and cheese sandwich, some type of chips and a piece of fruit. I always envied kids who had the joy of entering the canteen each day to have old ladies with hairnets shovel different food onto their tray, sometimes completely inedible and sometimes a fun game to guess what the mystery meat or slop was. It all seemed very exotic and exciting for someone who was insanely bored being around the same kids and learning environment for so many years.Read more... )
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America is a country of convenience, but for whom? In Virginia, we're having torrential rains the past few days, but this doesn't stop me from doing ordinary chores. A woman still has to eat, even in the pouring rain. After a very long day in the office, I drove to a crowded new grocery store. I had no umbrella, so my tired eyes began searching for a parking space near the entrance so I wouldn't get even more wet. Then I saw this sign!! Right beside the handicapped spaces in each parking aisle are two reserved spots for "Customers with Children." Why? Tell me please why I should have to park further away, carry my heavy bags a longer distance, and get soaking wet just because I'm childless? Being a parent is suddenly a handicap, worthy of a special parking spot?Read more... )
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At my school, there was no cafeteria. Each morning, my mom awoke early and packed lunch for my sister and me. It grew monotonous, eating the same sandwiches and fruit each day. Secretly, I dreamed of being like my friends who went to public schools, lining up each day to have some old woman with a net around her hair throw slop on my plate. In the U.S., there's constant debate over what school children are fed in the cafeteria. A lot of schools have removed snack and soda machines, and guidelines about nutritional values for school meals are always shifting. Over the weekend, I looked at the menu from my nephew's elementary school, listing the meal choices for each day in the month of May. Common choices include pizza, tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken nuggets and pastas, all served with some type of vegetable and potatoes or rice. There's always one healthy option like grilled chicken or fish, and a wide-variety of fresh fruit is available for purchase. Yet only the most disciplined of children would pick such options when there are tastier and more indulgent choices placed in front of them each day. All of this creates a very sad picture on the white tray. I grew curious, and began to read about school lunches around the globe, and here's what I discovered!Read more... )
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The simplest things can leave a lasting impression on our lives. Anything from a smile, a person's beauty, their harsh or loving words and, particularly, a random act of kindness. I continue to review my photos from Kazan, and recently came across this image. I remember that my Russian travel companion in Kazan had a very emotional reaction when he encountered this note and lollipop, but two months after the journey I can't remember exactly why. I spoke to my Russian friend Alexey yesterday and he translated the note as follows: "This rabbit is 10 years old. He was brought from abroad but the child felt sorry for him and didn't eat him. And then the child grew up and brought him to the museum. Live eternally, brother!"Read more... )
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Look to the left of the photo. There you'll see a young boy named Dmitry, adopted from an orphanage in the Russian Far East before the ban on American adoptions went into place. I've met him on several occasions, as his adoptive parents are family acquaintances. He had a severe eye condition at birth, left untreated in the orphanage. Dmitry now calls Pennsylvania home, with his three American sisters and brother. He's had several corrective eye surgeries since his arrival in the U.S. as a toddler, and his sight prognosis is good. It was amazing to hear tales about his adoption, the small village in which he lived, and the struggle to get him to the U.S. I hope I can convince the family to share photos and more personal details about the process, but they're hesitant to do so for fear of negative comments and hateful backlash on this forum.

I've never understood the foundation for this adoption ban? I believe it stemmed from the death of a Russian boy adopted by Americans but it seems to me that, in reality, children were used as a chess piece in the game of geopolitical warfare. Shameful for any country to behave in such a manner. I recently read that the adoption ban is even more widespread now, prohibiting single people (gay or straight) who live in any country where gay marriage is legal from adopting Russian children. So, this means I'm banned from adopting a Russian child for two reasons - being American and being a single female. Read more... )

Spank Me!

Jul. 15th, 2014 11:14 am
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Nothing irritates me more than unruly children in public. I don't mean children who are simply crying or throwing temper tantrums, but those who continue to behave as monsters while the parents sit by and do nothing, or attempt to discipline them in a non-authoritative manner. Saying phrases like "Oh, honey behave," "Don't do that," etc., when such words clearly have no corrective impact on the child's bad behavior. As a kid, I was spanked. Common for my generation, and I would assume most people my age received a whipping from their parents. In my household, it was always my father, and never with his hand. He would sit me down, explain why I was being disciplined, and then give me a few belt lashings. Nothing severe or overly painful, but I knew why I received the spanking and sometimes felt shame afterward for my behavior. Is it a bad thing to make children feel shame? I think not, but some are of the view that spanking creates adverse psychological impacts and creates damaged adults.

Now we have a new generation of kids who are being disciplined in a different way with "time-outs", prohibitions on i-Pad usage, etc. rather than a hand to the ass. Is it working? Hmm..well, I don't really think so. Upcoming generations are a new breed, where they have been praised and coddled in all facets of life since birth. In sporting events for the young in America, all kids receive trophies for merely participating. How does this encourage motivation or hard work?

Interestingly, 19 States still permit teachers and principals to spank students (Iowa, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina). In 1980, 45 States allowed this version of corporal punishment, so there is a definite trend away from spanking. In some countries, like Sweden, there are laws banning parents from using corporal punishment, even in the privacy of their own home.

How do you discipline your child? Is it okay to spank?

Related Story

Living Child Free
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I don't have children, and probably never will. I've never had the motherly urge, or felt panic as the biological clock moved forward. At my age, the clock is in alarm mode and there's absolutely no sense of desperation or yearning for a child. Even as a young girl, I never dreamed of a wedding, the white picket fence or kids. I was motivated by new experiences, new sights and new senses. Always with my nose in a book, reading about some distant place or culture rather than feeding baby dolls with imaginary bottles. In some ways, I've always been a wanderer, a free spirit who doesn't wish to be tied down. I like the freedom of a child free life, the ability to decide at the last minute to pack my bags and go with no hesitation or worries.

The truth is I love children, and am surrounded by them at all times. Almost every weekend, I'm at my sister's house spending time with my nephew - the little rascal in this photo. A five year old genius who constantly amazes me with his sense of wonder, his curiosity about the world and things around him. I mentioned before that my mom comes from a large family, ten siblings who have produced a lot of offspring. So, I also have a lot of young cousins and I visit them frequently. For me, it's enough at this point in life.Read more... )


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