Tag Archives: kids

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?

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?

Socialization in Humans: Making Friends

6 Jun

Rarely are things in this world black and white. This is also true for nature versus nurture (and most other debates of this type). So before I make my case, we are all born predisposed to certain things. Nurture can only act on what nature gives us, so to some degree socialization can only matter so much. The reason I bring this up is because I think I was fairly well socialized as a child, but I’m still an introvert and I still have trouble doing certain things adequately.

In animals (lets speak non-human animals first) we know that socialization can be crucial. With dogs, we socialize them with other dogs, people, and in an ideal world, other species of animals as well. This is all in hopes that they will not fear these things, and will know how to react when they come into contact with them. A poorly socialized dog may find it harder to understand its doggie friends social cues, or may be fearful or aggressive toward them. This is the same with people. If a dog hasn’t been socialized with people, it may bark, bare its teeth, or just be fearful. Novel situations do the same thing. That is why it is so important to introduce puppies to these things. This is all nurture, but the internal nature of the dog still is being acted on; some dogs are socially motivated, so they may love to play with people or other dogs, but others may be internally motivated, so they are more introverted and prefer to do things at their own pace.

Depending on the situation of an animal, we might want to limit its socialization also. This is true of wildlife rehabilitation animals. We don’t want them to think humans are good (because that can endanger them later on, and people as well), so we don’t interact with them the same way we do a dog. If its a baby, however, it does still need to know what it is, and how to react to its peers, so its best to try to introduce it to others of its kind.

This brings me to humans. We, too, have different levels of motivation – its kind of like the introvert versus the extrovert, so how we deal with situations is naturally variable from person to person. Socialization is important for us also, though. Socialization is a major perk of having siblings, and of being taught at a public or private institution. This is not to say that being an only child or being home schooled are bad things, but that parents must take extra measures to ensure their child still has the ability to react to social cues, as well as give them. We may not realize it, but baby/toddler play dates are just as important as puppy play dates. Children learn how to share, what it means to get hurt or hurt someone, and all the positive and negative connotations of such.

This can help them make friends easier later on, and friends are important.

Also, socializing a child with animals or introducing them to new adults can be life-altering as well. If you show a child all different kinds of animals – snakes, mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, etc. – then the likelihood that they will fear those animals decreases. It also gives you a great way to teach your child about its surrounding environment, and the proper way to handle animals like these. Having your child interact with strangers can help them learn that not all people are scary, but can help you teach them valuable lessons such as “don’t get into a car with someone you don’t know”. This could be as simple as introducing your child to the cashier at the store, or asking for what they want at a restaurant.

Being socially awkward myself, I know that I could’ve been more socialized as a child. My sister was 8 years older than me, so I was almost like an only child (yes, growing up I had sharing issues). I also see the effects in my peers who might manifest things such as social anxiety or a decreased ability to react properly to social stimuli.

Do you think socialization in humans is important? What was your situation as a child? Do you have children of your own?