A Family Conversation We All Need To Have…

I am going to say one more thing about the election, don’t worry it’s not negative. But I would like to implore people in light of the hate crimes to sit down and talk to your children, because many children are saying and doing things that are highly inappropriate, and we need to have this conversation at the kitchen table.
 
A friend of mine who’s child goes to Maple Grove High School saw racial epithets etched into a locker. Chances are the kids who did this were not of voting age, so this means they are hearing this at home, or watched the news and saw the inflammatory language used during this election (not pointing fingers at anyone, as this applies to everyone).
 
We need to reassure our children that:
a. The people who voted for Trump as a whole are not racist, they are not sexist, and to the people who voted Clinton, they are people who have a differing belief system then you. Yes, there are some who are the above, but in general, I did not think that 48% of the population believes this.
 
b. The same can be said for Hillary. The people who voted for Hillary are not libtards (anyone who uses this language inflames me), we are not voting with our vagina, we don’t all think that those that voted for Trump are evil incarnate. We are not all on welfare. Nor do we condone murdering infants fresh out of the womb. We have different belief system than Trump Supporters.
 
c. Agree to disagree… There is no need to rehash everything to prove a point.
 
d. The people who voted independent did not waste their vote, they are not to blame for anything. They voted their conscious, just as Trump voters and Clinton voters.
 
e. Under NO circumstances is racially inflammatory language acceptable from EITHER side. It accomplishes NOTHING. Calling the protesters thugs accomplishes nothing. Etching the N-word in lockers accomplishes nothing. It causes division and violence and it’s heartbreaking.  Calling Trump supporters racists is no different than calling Clinton supporters race baiters– both accomplish absolutely NOTHING.
 
f. Reassure your children that their friends are not going to get kicked out of the country. That’s just not going to happen. Sure Trump said it would. Explain rhetoric, even though he said it, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, and that in Presidential elections people say things that they don’t mean. Jefferson called Adams a hermaphrodite back in the day. Was he really a hermaphrodite, probably not– generally infants with hermaphroditism were killed or institutionalized in the 1700s, so that was a high insult. Further, tell your kids not to go to school and say mean, bullying things to other kids, who are darker skinned. My daughter told me that some of the latino kids her class were told to say good-bye as Trump was going to kick them out. Come on, really? If my daughter said that I would b-tch slap her. If your kids are saying it, then chances are you need to b-tch slap yourself.
g.  Repeat the same conversation regarding Muslims.
h.  If you live in a community that these hate crimes have occurred in.  Go volunteer to clean it up with your children– be the example!  This behavior is not acceptable.  For those who are Christian like me, it is not Christ like.  There are two bible verses from Matthew that I reference regarding this: Matthew 24 and Matthew 19.  Something about a camel and eye of the needle, and hypocrites.  Don’t feel like looking it up, but it’s applicable here.
i.  Also explain to your children about how the system works.  It is not rigged.  It works as it was designed to.  It may need to be rescinded, but Trump won the electoral college, Clinton won the popular vote.  And if you are decrying the fact that all the votes are not counted– most of those votes were in democratic districts there are not enough of them make a difference in the results.  They are not fraudulent votes, and they probably are not going to make that much of a difference in the outcome.  Congratulations you won, be happy.
j.  It is OK to protest peacefully, and if you don’t believe it’s not OK, get out of my country and look up the first amendment, the one I think is more important than the second amendment.  But anyway, I signed up to defend this country, and I encourage those who are protesting– protest away.  Teach your children to protest.  It  is your constitutional right that I signed up to defend.  As to why the peaceful protests are necessary– Trump used very inflammatory language to get elected.  I highly doubt he believed half the shit he was saying, but he said it, and the electoral majority needs to know that it made other people angry.  As a woman, I am angry that he said he liked, “grabbing women by the pussy.”  As a woman, who was grabbed by her pussy in high school on a school bus it made me incensed that someone did this and still got elected.  I have a right to be angry.  Hell, if there were any protests near me, I would go to them too.  I accept the results of the election, but that doesn’t mean I think what he did was right.  And no amount of apology will make what he said right, in my mind.  He said it, it hurt, and “locker room talk” was a bullshit excuse.  For those saying, “well I didn’t protest when Obama was elected…”  Obama didn’t say anything about grabbing women’s pussies, Obama didn’t say he was going to deport Mexicans, and Obama didn’t say that Muslims need to be registered.  So he really didn’t do anything to offend your sensibilities other than exist.  Try to understand the why of the protests, these people are not lazy, thugs, or doing it to be ungracious losers.  They are doing it because Trump pissed them off.
k.  Finally, reassure your children that it’s going to be OK.  We are not going to go to war.  Trump is not going to launch nukes.  Barack Obama said a few days ago, after Clinton lost the election, “The sun is going to keep rising.” Tell your kids that the best thing to do after you are done protesting is protest with your wallet and your vote.  I for one will not be buying any Chinese-made Trump ties, nor will I be staying at Trump Tower, I will be voting, and I will be writing my Senators and Representatives.
In summary, we live in a democratic republic (the whole electoral college bit), it is already a great country (and we probably will go up from here), people are unhappy about the election– it opened wounds, there were not nice things said, and because the not nice things were said doesn’t mean we should behave like the candidates, that those not nice things are OK, and that we are better than how the minority on both sides are behaving.  My sister-in-law posted a really cool thing on her wall, and I’ll repeat it here:  “No one man can make our country great, and no one man can destroy our country.”

I Am Not From The Same Planet

Today on Facebook, I was called a libtard, I was told that I am the worst parent in the world, and that my kids must be spoiled rotten brats.  Why would someone say something so horrible to someone they don’t know?  Because I vocalized my opinion on a story that has gone viral down in Lower Alabama.  A grandfather was arrested in Birmingham for spanking his grandchildren at McDonald’s.

First of all, spanking is completely legal in Alabama.  Secondly, I have NO issue if you want to spank your kids.  Thirdly, I am not the vindictive type of person, who would call the authorities on child being spanked in public, unless you are the type of person who hits your child with a closed fist.  Hell, I spanked my kids a long time ago, but something happened around seven years ago that completely changed my mind.

My daughter was three, and per being part of the nuclear inspection team after a major nuclear weapons incident, my husband was gone inspecting something.  My daughter had done something, I don’t really remember what, but it was something typical of a three year old that garnered the reaction of me spanking her on the butt.  I gave her a spanking, and when I was done and about to explain to her why she had “deserved” that punishment, because that’s what every good spanking mom does.  She hit me, and said, “bad momma, you shouldn’t hit.”

In that one moment, I became utterly confused.  I sent her to her room, and told her not to hit.  It was in that moment, I realized I had two options.  I could punish her more for hitting me, by hitting her, and she is the type of child that would have hit me again.  Or I could change my parenting approach.  I realized in that moment that spanking her was not going to work.  She had outwitted me.

Of course I get the, “How did you teach her not to run into the street, or touch hot things without spanking her?”  Simple, I told her that if you run into the street, you could get hit by a car.  I kept a close eye on her, and didn’t allow her to go near the street.  It didn’t require me to hit her if she got close to the street.  It just required me to say, “Hey Sophie, come here, you are too close to the street.”  If she didn’t come, I would go to her, and grab her.  Again did not require me to hit her to get the point across.  She never really ran into the street.  Same goes for the oven.  She would get close to the oven, I would say, “it’s hot, don’t touch.”  If she got too close I would remove her.  And one time she did touch it, and got a little burn.  It hurt, it scared her, and she never touched the oven again.  It didn’t require me to smack her butt.

As for my son, when he was first diagnosed with autism, we were told that traditional discipline would not work, and could have dire consequences.  Namely, one therapist said, that spanking a child on the spectrum could cause them to become overly violent, or it could cause them to mistrust adults.  We stopped all corporal punishment after we were told this.  The only time he has ever injured me was completely accidental, and he has never purposefully been violent to anyone.

Well, the conclusion of the Internet parenting experts is that my children must walk all over me, they must be disrespectful, and they must be brats.  None of the above is true at all.  I’ll sing the praises of my children.  My son, the one with autism, is one of the most sensitive loving children a parent could ask for.  He has a wicked sense of humor, and his favorite thing in the world to do is tease everyone.  He has one of the most interesting tastes in music, and is a Boy Scout.  His best friend is Thor, my 100-lb Golden Retriever.

My daughter wants to be an ABA-therapist when she grows up.  She is polite, kind, and wicked smart.  She plays violin and sings in the church choir.  This summer she has decided to read the Bible cover-to-cover.  When I asked her why?  She said, she liked church stories.  Her favorite song is “How Great Thou Art.”  Trust me, I have a new found faith in God, but I am not nearly that religious.  She has said that when she gets married that her husband better love Ryan, because he will be living with her when she grows up.

The behavior of on-line commentators utterly confuses me.  I have said nothing about myself, my political leanings, or how my children are.  I have not judged any other parent for their parenting choices when it comes to discipline.  I am one of those parents, who thinks that if a discipline method works for you, and your family, go for it.  But I am also one of those parents, who believes in mutual respect.  That does not mean that I am best friends with my kids (yet, perhaps when they are older we can have a relationship like my mom and I), but it means that I respect them as human beings, and I feel (most of the time) they respect me.  I don’t believe in demanding respect by virtue of age, or experience.  For me respect doesn’t work that way.  It can’t be something forced, or demanded.  Respect is earned, and it can be taken away.

My kids are not these wild children that everyone complains about. They are not entitled, demanding, or spoiled.  They are good kids.  My parenting philosophy is if my kids are the type of kids a grandparent feels the need to discipline, the type of kids that people complain about, or are not respectful and polite, then I am the one who failed, and I need to fix the way I parent them, not the other way around.