Posted by Beverly on
July 26, 2008
Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996
Written by Charles J. Sykes
Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in school, but don’t. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found their way into the standard curriculum.
Rule No. 1:
Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase, “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.
Rule No. 2:
The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it’s not fair. (See Rule No. 1)
Rule No. 3:
Sorry, you won’t make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a Gap label.
Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait ’til you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you feel about it.
Rule No. 5:
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grand-parents had a different word of burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren’t embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.
Rule No. 6:
It’s not your parents’ fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of “It’s my life,” and “You’re not the boss of me,” and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it’s on your dime. Don’t whine about it, or you’ll sound like a
Rule No. 7:
Before you were born your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.
Rule No. 8:
Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t. In some schools, they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone’s feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4)
Rule No. 9:
Life is not divided into semesters, and you don’t get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don’t get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we’re at it, very few jobs are interesting in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rule No. 1 and Rule No. 2.)
Rule No. 10:
Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.
Rule No. 11:
Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them.
Rule No. 12:
Smoking does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you’re out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That’s what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for “expressing yourself” with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.
Rule No. 13:
You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven’t seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.
Rule No. 14:
Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school’s a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now.
Posted by Beverly on
July 4, 2008
How old is too old to give birth? I, personally, believe once you’ve reached 50-years-old you should not be thinking about having a baby. Besides, if you’ve spent 18 years raising children, don’t you think it’s time to give yourself and your husband a much needed break?
Well, that’s obviously not the case with 70-year-old Omkari Panwar. She has reportedly given birth to twins in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The wife of a retired farmer had a boy and girl by emergency caesarean section on June 27th.
Omkari already has two adult daughters and five grandchildren. She underwent in vitro fertilization treatment to produce a male family heir. If Omkari can prove her age, she’d become the oldest woman ever to give birth.
Mrs Panwar, who has no birth certificate, uses the date of India’s independence in 1947 to gauge her age. She remembers being nine when the British left India – meaning she is now 70.
Her husband, Charan Singh Panwar, 77, mortgaged his land, sold his buffalos, spent his life savings and took out a credit card loan to finance the treatment.
The boy and girl each weighed 2 pounds when they were delivered a month early by Cesarean section. Doctors at Jaswant Roy Specialty Hospital said the twins are expected to survive.
I have a few questions:
1) What doctor would agree to vitro fertilization on this poor old woman? How greedy can this doctor really be? Was he American?
2) Isn’t it impossible to give birth once you’re post menopausal?
3) Who will take care of these children in a couple of years? Can this elderly couple take care of them NOW?
Posted by Beverly on
June 15, 2008
3) 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
4) 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
5) 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
6) 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [Center for Disease Control]
7) 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p. 28]
8) 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. [National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]
9) 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. [Rainbows f for all God’s Children]
10) 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions have no father. [US Department of Justice, Special Report, Sept. 1988]
11) 85% of youths in prisons grew up in a fatherless home. [Fulton County Georgia jail populations, Texas Department of Corrections, 1992]
12) Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]
Information courtesy of innocentdads.org
Posted by Beverly on
June 9, 2008
Did you know public elementary and high school students today are more diverse than the baby boomer generation of students? According to a report by the US Census Bureau, in 1970, the student population was 79 percent non-Hispanic white, 14 percent black, 1 percent Asian and Pacific islander and other races and 6 percent Hispanic. In 2003, 60 percent were non-Hispanic white, 16 percent black, 4 percent Asian and 18 percent Hispanic. By the years 2015, I bet the number of minority students will outnumber whites. It already does in many urban cities across America.
Today I became the parent of a high school graduate. Just like most parents of my baby boomer generation, I always want the best for my daughter. I want her to be judged by the content of her character and her knowledge and not by the color of her skin. Unfortunately, racism is still alive and well and in some cases being perpetuated by the baby boomer generation. All you have to do is look inside the boardrooms in Corporate America and see who’s calling the shots and how many faces of color are in real decision-making positions.
Sadly, too many young people enter into adulthood without a clue as to how the world really is. Why? Good question. In today’s speech, the Valedictorian admitted he lived in a “bubble” for four years and, as a result, missed out on the opportunity to get to know and help some people along the way.
We, as baby boomer parents, must bear the responsibility for how our children have been raised. The future is in their hands. What you instill in them when they’re young will reveal itself when they become adults—good or bad. It will also be a reflection on you.
So the question is, are you happy with the way your children (and grandchildren) are turning out?
Posted by Beverly on
June 8, 2008
Baby boomers are providing care for aging parents in record numbers, and many are overwhelmed by the physical and emotional demands.
A study sponsored by ElderCarelink highlights some familiar issues and includes a few surprises. Nearly 700 respondents, from all 50 states, answered the on-line questionnaire designed to explore family caregiving.
According to Robert Brooks, CEO of ElderCarelink, “The results highlighted emerging issues and also validated trends that previous surveys have identified.”
* Female caregivers outnumber males by 6 to 1 and report more emotional and physical impact due to caregiving than their male counterparts, but in other ways male and female respondents are very similar.
* Forty-one percent of all caregivers actually live with the care recipient.
* Most caregivers are married with some college education and have children who are grown and no longer living at home.
* Nearly one third provide more than 40 hours of care per week, and 57% say they very rarely or never take time off from their caregiving duties.
* As a result of their responsibilities, some 60% of all caregivers report their health has deteriorated since they began providing care, and 69% describe feeling overwhelmed by caregiving.
Family life is also impacted by caregiving, with 39% of respondents reporting conflicts with other family members about the care recipient. A significant number also report financial hardship and difficulty maintaining their own homes and family.
“These results are important,” says Brooks, “because they confirm the growing impact that caregiving is having on families across the U.S.”
According to Brooks, the survey and its results form the first phase of a comprehensive database on caregiving which will be available through ElderCarelink. For more detailed information visit eldercarelink.com.
Posted by Beverly on
June 8, 2008
As my daughter prepares for her high school graduation, I’ve spent a lot of time asking myself what kind of parent I’ve been over the years.
Was I what some parenting experts call a “helicopter parent?” Apparently this is a term associated with baby boomers–describing us as parents who hover over nearly every aspect of their child’s life and have a hard time letting go. According to an article in USA Today, most helicoptering is by mothers who are hyper-involved with their sons’ lives and fathers are more likely to use strong-arm tactics to get results. The article also suggested that as many as 70% of parents may be involved in some kind of helicoptering behavior.
OK, so tell me, what good parent isn’t concerned about their child’s welfare? Don’t we have a right to stick our noses in their business, especially if they need help and don’t know it? Don’t you agree that some young adults need guidance when it comes to their futures—like choices for college? As a matter of fact, according to a 2007 study by the National Survey of Student Engagement, students whose parent frequently intervened in problems were more engaged on a number of measures. Those students report higher satisfaction, more deep learning activities and greater gains on desired outcomes such as learning on their own and learning to work with people from different backgrounds.
So now that you can admit that you might be a helicopter parent, the question is what type are you:
The Gunship Helicopter: This type of parent swoops down and fights battles for their young adults. This is typically the type of parent that school administrators and employers don’t like to deal with.
The Traffic Helicopter: This parent provides guidance for their young adult and helps direct them to make appropriate decisions throughout their lives. The difference between this helicopter and the gunship helicopter is that the traffic helicopter ultimately allows the student to drive their own journey.
The Rescue Helicopter: The function of this kind of parent is to either pull their young adult out of a crisis situation and bring them to safety or bring supplies to help get them back on their feet.
You can also take a quiz offered by the College Board: This was my result:
Stay the Course: Your level of involvement seems to indicate a good balance between your child’s responsibilities and decisions, and your advice and guidance.
My parents were the Rescue Helicopters.