I interrupt this blog to share the cover of Gen X Parenting. What do you think?
Gex X Parenting will be out in September. Yeah!
Don't Be Cruel
I should have known by the title of the article that some of the contents would cause the hair on the back of my neck to rise.The Buzz On Parents
: You Thought the Kids Were Mean and Cliquish. Meet The Adults of the Species
The article centers on a new book titled “Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads” written by Rosalind Wiseman, a 36-year-old Washington educator whose 2002 bestseller “Queen Bees and Wannabees” deconstructed the minefield that is middle school.
The part I found especially interesting was the comparison between Boomer and Generation X Parents. Here’s an excerpt:
“How do baby boomer parents differ from Generation X parents in their attitudes toward conflict?
“Boomer parents want a feel-good answer that solves the problem with no messiness. They don't want their kid to experience pain. Their issues are more about not wanting to say no to their children.
“Gen X parents have a herd mentality which you really see when it comes to technology. They don't ever question why you shouldn't have it or whether it's a good thing for their kid to be using, like a cellphone.
“The one thing about Gen X people is that they feel like they can become experts on any subject if they read it on the computer. They go into the school and they have become an expert on anything. Their attitude is, ‘I read it, therefore it's true, and I now know more than you do even though you've been working with kids for 15 years.’ ”
Hmmm . . . For one, as a Gen X mom, I do question technology. My kids do not have cell phones—even the sixteen-year-old who has his own vehicle. (A truck that he earned himself.)
They also don’t have free reign on the Internet. In fact, I’m the one who has to type in a password for every site they visit to insure it’s safe. Am I the only one?
As for the “experts if you read it on the computer” part, I can’t really say much about that, since I teach my kids at home. I do research educational information on the computer, but I suppose that if I were to come up with something new concerning my kids’ studies, the only one I’d have to argue with is myself! (Talk about getting nowhere fast.)
Of course, the author does have some good points too, especially this:
“Parents should not act like everything is a life-and-death problem -- from a bad grade to not playing on the team to not getting a part in the play. If somebody is going to die in the next five minutes, then you move. If not, then you sit down and you figure out what you are going to do.”
One thing is for sure, with three kids (and three unique sets of gifts/struggles) life is too short to make a big deal out of everything. It’s something I’ve learned over time—something my dear husband has helped me with. In fact, I think it all started when my cuddly daughter still wasn’t walking at 13-months. I was horrified since my best friend’s daughter was walking at 9-months.
“Honey,” John said patiently. “By the time they're five they’ll be running around, talking, potty-trained . . . and no one will have any idea who did what first.” Wise man.
So what do you think about “The Buzz on Parents” do you think the author is right on? Off track? Or a bit of both? I’d love to hear your input!
Botox for the heart
Okay, I have to admit it. There are days that I'm just grumpy. Sometimes it's due to the rise and fall of my hormones. (I'll stop with that, thank you very much.) But other times it's due to little things. Mud tracked in on a freshly mopped floor. A not-so-positive review of one of my books. The scale.
I may not yell at my kids or snub my husband, but the underlining joy is gone, and my whole household is affected.
I've tried different things to transform my attitude. Sometimes walking my dog helps. Other times a hot bath (yes, even mid-day) will do the trick. But there is one thing that helps no matter what . . . turning to God and realizing my dumpy 'tude is most likely due to a thirsty soul. A soul that needs communion. To be filled up--for only then can I joyfully pour out love to those I've vowed to cherish forever.
Here's a great Scripture to meditate on the next time you feel your attitude sinking and struggling:
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirst for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God? . . .
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. (Psalm 42:1-2,5-6)
Thinking and rethinking my need for God, pausing to praise, allowing His voice to speak concerning my discontent, and putting my hope in Him gives me an instant change of heart. My day looks brighter, the "little things" don't seem to matter so much, and a smile returns to my dimpled cheeks. (And, boy, is my family glad!)
In fact, turning to God is like Botox for the heart. It provides an instant faith-lift!
Hard habit to break (Chicago)
You know you’re a Gen X mom, when your middle-schooler reminds you of a class project, piano lessons, or a promised trip to the mall, and you say, “Can you email that to me?”
I’m only half joking. Actually my “preferred method of communication” just might be a Gen X thing after all. I recently read the “Lifetime Women’s Pulse Poll
.” And here is something the piqued my interest:
“Technology is the native tongue for Gens Y & X and an acquired taste for Baby Boomers. However, Gen X is more likely to prefer email while boomers and Gen Y, prefer face-to-face, and Gen Y is more likely to IM or blog than the other two groups.”
My two kids are Gen Yers for sure. Since they are homeschooled, and do most of their work on the computer, the #1 thing they get reprimanded for is IMing when they should be studying. Amazingly, the more I watch them, the more I’ve discovered that they actually don’t have much trouble toggling between the two.
As for me, I refuse to use IM. For some reason I don’t like the fact that people can see when I’m on-line. (Maybe because I always am.) I also prefer to email my responses according to my own schedule, instead of answering the phone or IMing. Am I the only one? Is anyone else out there like that too?
One of my favorite verses says, “For we speak as messengers who have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He is the one who examines the motives of our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT)
I suppose the important thing is not how we communicate, but that we do . . . pleasing God in all the ways technology allows us, emailing, IMing and phoning included! (How’s that for a Gen X statement!)
Let Boys Be Boys
God must have had a sense of humor when he gave me two boys. To be truthful, I’m as “soft” as they come. I enjoy snuggling up with a good book, bubble baths, and mochas (with extra chocolate). I’m gentle and soft spoken, and my idea of “outdoor recreation” is talking my dog for a walk on the paved bike trail near our home. And to be honest, I used to have a hard time “letting boys be boys.”
It all started when Cory was not even a year old. My husband John would grab Cory by the back of his zippered, footie pajamas and fly him around the house like Superman. Cory would squeal in delight. John would fly him faster and higher, and I literally had to hide my eyes.
Then Cory turned two and the favorite game of my “men” was Jumping Joe and the Rock Monster. Cory would chase John around the apartment with his plastic sword, and then when John was cornered he would turn around and nail Cory with a Big Bird beanbag chair. Cory would go flailing and hit the tiled floor, and I would gasp—sure that he was hurt. But within seconds, Cory would be on his feet and they’d be at it again.
I was finally “clued-in” on the importance of this type of “manly” interaction when I signed up for Dr. Dobson’s video course called “Bringing Up Boys.” (I highly recommend it!) In this course, Dr. Dobson stresses how boys need this male interaction. He claims they actually thrive of being “playfully punched” and having BOTH parents interact on things that interest them.
I decided to try it out. That night after class I approached Cory (who was then 14), and I gave him a big slug on the shoulder. “I hear that you like this type of affection,” I added as I slugged him again.
His jaw dropped, then a huge smile filled his face, “Yeah, I do.”
“Wanna play Nitendo?” I asked.
A bigger jaw drop. A larger smile.
“Are you serious?”
I punched him again, told him I was serious, and then he proceeded to totally kill me in Mario Cart. (Okay, I tried . . .)
“Mom,” he said when the game was finished. “I don’t know what they’re telling you at that class, but keep going.”
I did keep going, and what I learned most of all is to “let boys be boys”—which has benefited our whole family. Yet, without this class and without my husband’s rough-housing, I wonder what turn my parenting would have taken us. Would I have tried to subdue my boys, turning them into something calmer and gentler than God had designed them to be? Most likely yes. After all, that what I’M most comfortable with.
I read a controversial column on this on Townhall.com. Author Doug Giles shares his opinion on “Raising Boys That Feminists Will Hate
,” and it’s worth a read.
So what do you think? Do you agree that our society is trying to make boys too gentle? I’d love to hear your comments!
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Dear Family and Friends,
We want to share our exciting news with you! We are adopting a little girl from China! She will be between 0 and 12 months and should be living with us by next summer (07’). We have chosen the name Alyssa, and she will be joining Cory (16), Leslie (13), and Nathan (11). In fact, they can’t wait, and we are praying for her together as a family every night.
You might wonder what made us decide to do this and all we can say is that it was God who put this desire into our hearts. Ephesians 1:5 says, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.” We are excited about the opportunity to offer at least one child-in-need a family to love and the opportunity to learn about Jesus. We know God has a special child chosen just for us and we are eager to be completely faithful to what He is calling us to do. It will be exciting to see how He works out the whole adoption process.
Adoption is a wonderful way to add to a family but it is not an inexpensive venture. We are using a wonderful agency in Denver, Colorado called Chinese Children Adoption International. You can check them out here: (http://www.chinesechildren.org/). Our adoption expenses include document preparation and translation, hiring of attorneys and other professionals in the U.S. and China, travel, hotels, passports and more will cost in excess of $20,000. Please pray for us as we continue to raise these funds. We know God is able to do “exceedingly more than we ask or imagine.” Most of all, pray for Alyssa. (In fact, if you would like to send us a special prayer or Scripture verse, we are compiling a Scrapbook for her.)
Also, please email us with any questions you may have regarding our situation. We are happy to talk about this wonderful adventure. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are excited about what God is going to do in our lives through this child. The process is long and not without obstacles, but we are ready for the challenge. When Alyssa arrives home to us, we will contact you through the mail with our happy news. Thank you for praying for our situation in this coming year!
John and Tricia Goyer