Tag Archives: children

Choose Your Own Adventure: Gun Regulation

26 Sep

This post is inspired by this video:

http://www.upworthy.com/he-cried-and-begged-his-father-dont-do-it-daddy-dont-shoot-mommy-my-son-said-that?c=ufb1

Now I’ll admit fully that I didn’t watch the video. I would have, but I live in the boonies and my internet causes me to be unable to watch videos in a normal amount of time.

The title in itself, however, causes me to think a little more about gun control.

He cried and begged his father. Don’t do it Daddy. Don’t shoot Mommy!

This being followed by the description of the post on Facebook: “Some people told her she should have had a gun. Those people have never lived through this.”

From this alone, we say “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Fair enough, I suppose.

So Dad comes home, what I assume to be an argument or disturbance occurs in front of little Johnny, and Dad pulls out a gun. His intention is to shoot Mom.

This choose your own adventure has two options:

1) Mom doesn’t have a gun and goes into the bedroom to shield her son from Dad.
2) Mom does have a gun, and pulls it on Dad.

Number 1 is actually what happened, and Dad proceeded to shoot through the door. That’s traumatizing for anyone involved. I know that I would be horrified whether I was the target or being the one shielded. It’s ESPECIALLY traumatizing for a child.

To prevent this ending to this adventure, we instead choose option 2. Instead of shielding little Johnny in a room and being shot at, Mom instead whips out her own gun. We will ignore the fact that Mom would more than likely not have the gun on her currently. So…Mom pulls out the gun and aims it at Dad. In any grace of the universe, Dad realizes the rashness of his actions and lowers his gun, defeated. Little Johnny may have been spared, but more than likely will still be traumatized at least slightly because Mommy just pulled a gun on Daddy. Was Daddy going to shoot Mommy? Was Mommy going to shoot Daddy? Or, because the universe is often harsh, Dad doesn’t drop the gun. Dad aims gun (or shoots). So Mom shoots. Now little Johnny sees his parents both shoot at each other. That is even more traumatizing. Now, the two people in his world who are supposed to love him and love each other and care for each other have made what appear to be attempts on each others lives. And who knows what the aftermath could look like. If both people are wounded, now they are just laying there bleeding, while little Johnny looks on. Or if one parent was unscathed and the other wounded, that parent grabs little Johnny and runs. But little Johnny is being ripped away from one parent by the parent that shot the other one.

Traumatic.

There is a third and fourth option. Dad doesn’t have a gun and neither does Mom. Or Dad doesn’t lose his shit. But neither of those is something we can control.

But “Gun control!” you say. “More mental health screening!” you say.

Unfortunately, Dad might not have a history of mental health issues or a criminal record. He may not have gotten his gun legally.

Here’s the thing: I’m okay with guns. I enjoy shooting. I think that we should do more screenings and background checks and regulate a little more who can own a gun. If Dad gets cleared to have a gun because he has no criminal record and no history of mental health issues, so be it. But if Dad has a history of mental health issues and is off his rocker, while having a criminal background also…no, he should not get a gun.

I think the biggest thing to control gun violence is to teach others about gun safety, and both the risks you assume in addition to the benefits owning a gun may provide. Teaching each other about mental health and the risks posed if someone appears to become depressed, or showing other tendencies while a gun is in the home.

Because Mommy having a gun doesn’t traumatize little Johnny any less. Mommy having a gun isn’t a solution. It’s just kind of like a band-aid to cover up a bigger issue that maybe Dad shouldn’t have had a gun.

What option do you choose for this Choose Your Own Adventure? 

Blaming the Victim

2 May

The line that defines a victim from an instigator can be very hard to recognize, but figuring out if that line even matters might even be a harder task.

In the news not terribly long ago was a story about a boy who was getting bullied at school because of his My Little Pony backpack. When this child tried to get help and stop his bullies, he was instead reprimanded for contributing to bullying by choosing to wear said backpack.

In other words, he was asking for it.

Let’s say that this little boy just really, really liked his backpack and didn’t understand why he was being picked on. It’s absolutely horrible that school officials would punish him, and not the children bullying him.

But lets switch things up a bit. Let’s say this little boy doesn’t have any attachment to his My Little Pony backpack, and simply wore it because he knew these other kids would pick on him for it; he wanted to get them in trouble. Instead of being “the victim” in this case, he might more readily be considered an instigator.

To me, the most likely scenario falls in between: he liked his backpack, and when the other children picked on him, he didn’t want to give into peer pressure, and continued to wear it.

While these three scenarios are only slightly different, the view of this little boy with a backpack changes how we think he should be treated. Should it? I’m not convinced either way, but I do know that he shouldn’t have been punished. He has no control over how other children treat him – only they have control over their own actions. Even if he had no attachment to his backpack, these kids should still know better than to pick on another child.

If we think of this child as an “instigator”, should he have been reprimanded for contributing to bullying or should the other children have been disciplined? Does someone being a “victim” and an “instigator” at the same time change how we should handle the situation? Have you ever been picked on my kids for something silly like this – what was it? Have you ever purposely done something just because others thought it was weird?

Overprotective Parents

14 Aug

I wouldn’t generally consider my parents overprotective, but growing up with overprotective parents is much different than having overprotective parents as an adult.

I’ve always been a very independent person, and my parents have always acknowledged that and respected it. So when they pull the we’re worried about you card all of a sudden, it kind of catches me off-guard.

Not that I don’t think they worry about me. I know they do, but when they try to interfere with what I’m doing, that’s when it gets weird.

I’m planning a trip in September that involves 4 nights/5 days of hiking and camping, and I’m doing it alone. Apparently my mom and dad don’t like that idea, because when I called my mom a couple of days ago, she requested that I sleep in hotels instead.

They don’t want me to camp alone. It’s understandable why someone would worry, but I can’t afford 4 hotels. They can’t afford 4 hotels. I just don’t understand how they can expect this.

In one hand, my parents are basically offering to pay for 3 nights of hotels for me. On the other hand, I was kind of excited to camp for 3 nights. It’s really bothering me, and I don’t know what to do or how to handle it. My parents have never interfered with plans like this before. I can’t help but feeling like they don’t understand that I have no one to go with (which is kind of embarrassing to admit); I don’t think I know anyone who would actually make an effort to go with me.

Should I give in to my parents request and sleep in hotels instead of camping? Should I just camp, and how do I tell them to get over their worrying? Ever had a situation where your parents/friends/significant others do things way out of character? How did you handle it?

Children as the Future of Religious Intolerance

8 Sep

 

Here at Colorado State University, we have a place reserved for anyone who needs a moment to utilize their right to free speech. Its called the plaza, and on any given day you can find a score of people talking about everything from the environment, to politics, to abortion.

Today’s feature presentation was by a religious group advocating on getting in to heaven. It was some very conservative religious group, as all of the female members were wearing long sleeved and long skirted dresses, with high collars and scarves covering their hair. A man, whom I presume to be from the same group, was making a speech about sin and how we need to accept God into our lives. Its been an hour since I’ve been there, and I can only imagine that its starting to get out of hand. People don’t much like to be told they are sinning and going to hell, and as college students we do like to use our voices against it.

What was different about this group of people, was that they were congregated as families. A family here, and a family there. As I was walking off of the plaza, a woman standing there with her husband and young (about age 7 I’d say) daughter were standing there handing out little cards. The mother was ignored by a girl in passing, and handed her daughter the stack of cards. The next girls both took cards from the little girl. Not everyone is as nice. Not everyone will accept her cards.

I find both good and bad in this situation. This child will face rejection, and she may or may not know why. This can be a good thing; she might rise up and be stronger because of it. In the same breath, she may not. My biggest problem with it is that she is not old enough to make a logical decision about her beliefs, and she shouldn’t be advocating for her parents’. She was also in an area that could get very heated, very fast and words can be very powerful to someone so young.

Do you think its wrong for her parents to have her hand out these pamphlets? 

Inter-Religion Marriage

4 Sep

A comment, made by @ANVRSADDAY, on my previous blog about mistakes made me think about something I don’t often think about: inter-religion marriage.

In my own life, I can’t say that I would never marry someone with religious beliefs different than mine, but if I did he would have to have pretty relaxed beliefs, and could in no way be a die-hard religious fanatic. For me, though, its a little different because I don’t believe in God. That, in itself, pins me against almost every religion. With those people who do believe in a God, there is a vast number of combinations of denominations and religions that can work together.

Even if I did believe in God, the implications of having different religions would be minimal. I think the biggest reason its a complication in a marriage, is the decision of what to raise the child as. I’m not having children, so that is of no concern to me (although I do believe children should be exposed to as many religions as possible, and allowed to make their own choice).

Would you be comfortable marrying someone of a different religion than you? Do you think its okay for other people

New Mommy Syndrome

3 Sep

 

This is my third attempt at writing this blog. I can only hope that this one is effective, but considering I’m past the first sentence, I’m off to a good start.

My new baby isn’t really a baby at all. He is a 2-year-old dog, who I’ve named Jazz, that I adopted two weeks ago, yesterday.

In my second week, I’ve become more adjusted to having a dog, but in no way is my new mommy syndrome gone. From the moment that I first got the call that Jazz was mine, up until about a week later, I was 30 seconds from breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably.  At the end of that week, being in worse shape than I started, I finally lost control of my emotions and broke down – at work no less. I pulled myself together the best I could, but when I got home I laid down on the couch with my new doggy and cried. I cried, and I cried, and I cried some more.

I was at wits end. I was afraid to leave my home. I was afraid to come home again. I couldn’t think about tomorrow, because the prospect of being tied down by a dog for the next 12 years was too overwhelming to think about. I didn’t eat for the first 3 days. I couldn’t sleep. With every moment he peed in the house, my hopelessness increased. Every poop was unbearable. Plain and simple: I was a total mess.

Unfortunately, Jazz’s story wasn’t simple. I couldn’t just take him back because I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t take him back because I realized I wasn’t a dog person. The truth is there was only one other option. Either I adopted him, or he was put to sleep. It was that outcome that pushed me to adopt him. I had to fight through the pain, just long enough to find the light.

Its been two weeks, and although that doesn’t seem like any respectable length of time, I still haven’t found the light I’ve been searching for. I can leave the house without being sick to my stomach, and I have been eating and sleeping normally, but my life is no where near anything remotely close to normal. I feel guilty when I spend time with my friends, and I feel guilty when I would rather take him out for 5 minutes to go potty, than walk him for 45. I feel guilty when I see how great of a dog he is, and he is great.

Sure, he is indifferent about most things dogs love. He could care less about tennis balls, rope toys, toys, or generally anything other than rawhide. It has its perks, and it means he doesn’t chew my furniture or shoes. He enjoys water, and likes the cats. He rarely barks or jumps. He likes other dogs and is easy to train. He loves people more than anything. How can I have so much anxiety about a dog that is so perfect? These are things I think about every second, of every day. There isn’t a moment that passes that I don’t wonder where he is at or what he is doing.

Apparently, this is all just new mommy syndrome.

If I could rewind time, there is no way I would change my decision. I love Jazz, I do. He has had positive impacts on my life, and I do enjoy spending time with him.

Yesterday was what I like to call “a good day”. On good days, I wake up and don’t feel doom in the pit of my stomach. On good days, I look forward to being a dog owner. These days are really dependent on my schedule. When I got home yesterday, I sat around for a good 30 minutes to an hour, and then I packed up the pup and we went to the dog park. If I could spend every day at the dog park, all days would be good days. Being outside, and watching my pup play with the other pups is so pleasurable. I have no stress when we are at the dog park.

The day before that wasn’t a good day. It was what we don’t talk about. Days like that I find my fuse is just a tad bit too short, and my desire to be independent is all-consuming.

Fast forward to today, and although it wasn’t a good day, it wasn’t unspeakably terrible. It was nice to come home and love on him.

Two weeks later, my stress level is still more than doubled. I’m managing, though. I grit my teeth and try to come to a compromise. No one seems to quite understand what new mommy syndrome is like, and I don’t think I fully believe that it will go away, but that is the misunderstanding that keeps us all being individuals. Friends try to help, and in one breath I don’t want help. In the next breath, I’m just thankful that I’ve made it long enough to contemplate if I need help.

If there is one thing this experience is teaching me, it must definitely be that I will never be able to raise children. Oh, and that perseverance will keep your head above the water, even if its just barely enough to breathe.

Have you ever had “new mommy syndrome”? Was it with children or a pet? How did you cope?

Public Pornography

8 Aug

 

Datingish recently posted a blog called “Public Pornography: Do or Don’t“. It wasn’t something I think would be a big issue until I started reading what some people were commenting. The responses ranged from “No, children could be affected” to “As long as they aren’t masturbating” to “I’d rather my children see that than violence”.

Everyone who mentioned that they wouldn’t care if their children saw it was supporting their argument by referencing billboards and magazine articles with naked men and women. Here is my problem with that: nudity and porn are very different things. Porn usually involved someone putting something into someone else’s orifaces. This can be extra-vanilla, or it can be downright violent.

When you assume that nudity = porn, and you would rather them see that than all the violence on TV/video games/movies, I read that as “I’m okay with my 7-year-old child watching that person tie up that other person and beat them until they are screaming for sexual pleasure.” If you are okay with that, I think you might also be okay with emotionally neglecting your child.

There is a time and a place for children to learn about and/or see, and experience sex. It should not be in that situation. There is also a place for porn, and keep in my that I have no problem with porn; you might even say that I support it, but it shouldn’t be allowed in public. Some people even argued that if they ban that, it opens the door to ban all kinds of other things. While psychology research has supported this, the opposite must also be true. If you open up one freedom, you also open up more, and I really don’t want to see giant orgies when I walk outside in the morning. I also think that watching porn in public could potentially cause a masturbation issue, which is also unacceptable in public.

Would you be okay with your 7-year-old child seeing hardcore porn? Could this scar/traumatize children? Do you think the problem lies in whether or not a person is masturbating? What do you think the reasoning behind watching porn in public is?