If You Care About Kids and Families Present and Future, Read Today’s Paper

9 08 2009

It’s all about what we’re really teaching our kids, how we hurt them and ourselves even as we try to make their world better for them now, and them better for our world later . . .

Young Pitching Arms Race

[His coach] tried his best to protect the boy, he said. He mentioned the Internet guideline he followed regarding proper rest — one hour of downtime for each pitch thrown. “I don’t recall where I got it,” he said. Later he admitted, “I just don’t know what’s right.”

Neither did [his dad] Ken Manning. “One of my main goals in life was to get my kids grown with no athletic injuries,” he said. “Now Alden gets out of school an hour early twice a week for physical therapy. I asked myself a hundred times, How can this happen to my son?”

As for Alden, he didn’t worry about complicated issues. “I just wanted to play,” he said.

Unpaid Internships Parents Are Paying For

Not that the parents are complaining. Andrew Topel’s parents paid $8,000 this year to a service that helped their son, a junior at the University of Tampa, get a summer job as an assistant at Ford Models, a top agency in New York.

“It would’ve been awfully difficult” to get a job like that, said Andrew’s father, Avrim Topel, “without having a friend or knowing somebody with a personal contact.”

. . .Andrew’s parents used a company called the University of Dreams, the largest and most visible player in an industry that has boomed in recent years as internship experience has become a near-necessity on any competitive entry-level résumé.

Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?

If poverty tends to criminalize people, it is also true that criminalization inexorably impoverishes them. . .

In just the past few months, a growing number of cities have taken to ticketing and sometimes handcuffing teenagers found on the streets during school hours.

In Los Angeles, the fine for truancy is $250; in Dallas, it can be as much as $500 — crushing amounts for people living near the poverty level. . . . 80 percent of the “truants,” especially those who are black or Latino, are merely late for school, thanks to the way that over-filled buses whiz by them without stopping. I met people in Los Angeles who told me they keep their children home if there’s the slightest chance of their being late. It’s an ingenious anti-truancy policy that *discourages* parents from sending their youngsters to school.

The pattern is to curtail financing for services that might help the poor while ramping up law enforcement: starve school and public transportation budgets, then make truancy illegal. Shut down public housing, then make it a crime to be homeless. Be sure to harass street vendors when there are few other opportunities for employment. The experience of the poor, and especially poor minorities, comes to resemble that of a rat in a cage scrambling to avoid erratically administered electric shocks. . .

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25 responses

9 08 2009
JJ

Oh and if you have a red-headed child in your family or circle of mom friends — especially being parented by anyone who distrusts science and medicine and/or who believes “hunger is a positive motivator” and pain/work/hardship is children’s due because of original sin or some such, be sure to read this one too.

The Pain of Being a Redhead

. . .when someone with red hair is considering a dental or other procedure requiring an anesthetic, they should talk to their doctor about the high probability that they are resistant to anesthetics.

“Because they’re resistant, many redheads have had bad experiences,” Dr. Sessler said. “If they go to the dentist or have a cut sutured, they’ll need more local anesthetic than other people.”

Maybe I can test how much science Favorite Daughter absorbed in college, by whether she tries to parlay this in her own case of non-genetic, late-teen-onset red hair. 😉

9 08 2009
suchlovelyfreckles

JJ, I hope you will return to my blog to see my last reply to you. It seems there was a bit of a misunderstanding (and yes, misusing of words), and I hope very much, that there are no hurt feelings or bitterness. As far as I’m concerned we’re standing on the same side, homeschooling mothers who happen to be secular at the same time. Please accept my apologies, if I offended you.

9 08 2009
JJ

Ute, you are welcome here and I’ll feel welcome at your place too, thank you. It’s nice to know that with good will and intelligence, we parents *can* actually connect and understand each other!

See conversation here for more . . .

9 08 2009
Mrs. C

LOL Hunger is a positive motivator, because Elf had to wait for his dinner *ten extra minutes* once when his room was messy. He was motivated to clean. :]

Seriously, though, the truancy thing is way far past reasonable. How about they make school optional entirely? Why do we need to compel people to go to a building for x number of days to learn? Why can’t it just be the parents who decide? And if it is a fear of crime thing, can we just admit that schools are paid babysitters and be done with it?

I think this is paternalism gone awry somewhere. Interesting note that it is the underclass that is most heavily penalized. Hm. Your thoughts?

9 08 2009
suchlovelyfreckles

JJ, I’m actually amazed I didn’t come here sooner. I love your blog. Of course it might be hours now before I can leave. I get sucked in too easily.

9 08 2009
JJ

LMAO! Then you are DEFINITELY welcome! We love appreciation here and we’ll even take bald-faced flattery, just because we get so much grief . . .it helps balance out our will to keep going. 😉

9 08 2009
Chrissy

The first article you had really struck home with me. I come from a sports family. Both my aunt & uncle are involved with the sports departments of their schools. Growing up both of my brothers were playing for multiple sports teams every season. They would play for the county, for their school and sometimes for select teams. Once they got to high school they just stuck to their schools, but they played football, basketball & lacrosse. When one of my brothers was a senior, my family discovered that he had broken his back playing football. The doctor discovered 3 fractures in his back after falling on the basketball court. He had to be extremely careful for 5 months. They were concerned that if he did anymore damage that it would be permanent. He had to wear a back brace for 6 months. He did go on to play college football. He is now 26 years old and has bad knees, a bad back and many more ‘football’ injuries. He has taken this as an opportunity to make sure that children do not injure themselves while pursuing their dreams.

Great post!!

9 08 2009
Nance Confer

I’ll take a wild guess, Mrs. C, that Elf is not going hungry on a regular or extended basis. And certainly not to save money in your state’s food stamps budget.

Hi Freckles. Nance here. JJ does most of the posting but I’m around too. 🙂

Is it a crime to be poor? Not exactly. It’s just easier to mess with poor people. People who have fewer resources.

Here’s something I’ve noticed lately. More cars looking less fresh. For a while, I thought I was the only one driving an old POS. Now, I see the newish but the headlight was bashed in and it’s not getting fixed cars — more and more. Hmmmm. . . maybe it will be harder to distinguish who is “poor” in a while and authorities will have to stick with the tried and true crime of walking or driving while black.

Nance

9 08 2009
Mrs. C

Nance, I think you might be right. But you know, you would *think* plumbers would be ok no matter what, but our plumber said no, people who have problems with one toilet will just use the other for a while or whatever. Even he has noticed calls going down.

Yet… there seems to be plenty of money to install cameras at the big intersections just outside my town…

9 08 2009
Mrs. C

PS Elf thinks that “going hungry” means it’s almost time for lunch. Have you seen his little cheeks??

9 08 2009
boremetotears

re: “More cars looking less fresh”

Less fresh cars are all the rage out here. Not only is washing your car a waste of water (during a drought), but the water districts are threatening penalties for people for producing runoff into stormdrains that empty into local habitats and eventually the ocean. Plus, a dirty car is a sign of wise frugality in a new economy 🙂 Who can tell the difference between a freegan in a dirty car from a “poor” person anymore? :/

10 08 2009
Crimson Wife

My DS is a redhead and he does not seem as sensitive to pain as his blonde older sister. But then again she’s a drama queen and he’s the quiet type.

I try to avoid deliberately inflicting pain upon my children, but as I’m not one of those overprotective helicopter moms they do experience their share of boo-boos.

I wonder if carriers of the gene are also more sensitive to pain than non-carriers with the same hair color. I know that when I have gotten anesthesia for childbirth and dental work it hasn’t numbed the pain entirely. There’s a 2/3 chance that my girls are carriers as well.

10 08 2009
JJ

Red hair like blonde darkens in grownups, and what about born redheads who haven’t learned about this by the time they go grey or white? Their genetics will be the same but the doctor or dentist won’t have the visual cue. I guess practitioners need to add that to their questionnaire — what color hair did you have when you were little?

10 08 2009
JJ

Re: Mrs. C and truancy/loitering/littering charges

Don’t forget being charged as “disorderly” and disrespectful to authority a la Professor Gates, which is used on teens in the streets because they’re not in school but then once they’re herded back to class, used in the same way to suspend or expel them FROM school too. It’s all the same basic authoritarian, schoolish structure underlying our system of social controls and enforcements.

It’s always seemed to me this is the power of story with which home education advocacy can reach and convert liberal public school advocacy.

10 08 2009
JJ

Education versus enforcement as class war:

The US may not technically be a police state but a growing number of beefy police officers seem blissfully unaware of that. Moreover, a growing number of Americans seem to be in need of a police state watching over them in order to cattle prod them in to behaving in a socially responsible way, while the level of hostility between people of different classes is high enough to power the national grid. . .

Respectfully disagreeing with Hitch, I think President Obama was right to call the arrest “stupid”, right to retract the remark, and right to buy the two of them a beer. America hasn’t got time for this race and class divide shit. People of all races, creeds and colors need to quit griping and start respecting each other as people and working together on the same team.

As for classes, well, there is certainly a class war going on in the US as almost everywhere else. And in the US, the middle and working classes are undergoing a pancake collapse while the super-rich are floating up there in the clouds.

If you want a healthy, productive and functioning democratic society, you have to improve the lot of the poor and protect the working class and the middle class while progressively taxing the super-rich out of their ill-gotten gains. Personally, I think five Lear jets and ten palaces should be enough for anyone.

And if you want techno-feudalism, just let the current laissez faire system continue, with generous bailouts for the rich to cover their losses and a choking off of bank lending to collapse the real economy, and you’re likely to get it.

10 08 2009
Mrs. C

JJ, we’re in total agreement on this. Though I do understand the police investigating Gates after the report was made, once it was established that he was the owner of the house, that should have been the end of it.

Slightly off-topic, but I had to note on a dear Christian friend’s blog that it isn’t just the conviction to have a stay-at-home mom that makes it possible. Without someone HIRING the husband, it just plain old doesn’t happen:

http://terrysoapbox.blogspot.com/2009/07/epiphany.html

10 08 2009
JJ

Reading that discussion gave me a headache I’m afraid — not because I couldn’t understand and it hurt my head trying, but from sadly shaking it back and forth the whole time.

Except for the part about whether a sort of sharia law would be good, to force all women out of the workplace and back home where they belong, like middle eastern nations have done under patriarchal fundamentalism. That part made my head hurt because a blood vessel in my temple started throbbing!

10 08 2009
Nance Confer

Oh, is it my fault that men are unemployed — again?

Nance

10 08 2009
JJ

Yep, better stop reading those suffragette diaries like Doris Stevens’ “Jailed for Freedom” because they’ll give you false hope and confuse you into thinking we’re progressing rather than just spin-cycling.

10 08 2009
JJ

As bible verses put women home and out of sight, it meant with whichever man claimed the right to keep her there, dad, arranged husband, brother-in-law who just murdered her husband, strangers with a fat goat or purse the husband might fancy trading her favors for, and I seem to recall reading a few biblical rapes and stonings for moms and their daughters plus a bunch of animal sacrifices and outright slavery . . .

Sarah Palin must have been trying to be governor and always be home with the kids (or keep them with her traveling) at the same time, on the public dime, hmmm, interesting interpretation! Btw, Mrs. C if you know — is there anything in the bible about women arming themselves with concealed-carry permits while they’re home with the kids, or shooting wolves out of helicopters etc?

10 08 2009
Mrs. C

Have you read the story of Jael and the tent stake? That’s *sort of* a concealed carry thing. I think I’m just gonna claim that sets biblical precedent and be done with it. 😛

11 08 2009
Nance Confer

Jesus had a helicopter?

Now I’m all confused. . . 🙂

Nance

11 08 2009
JJ

Don’t bother your helpmeet-made little head about it anyway, Nance. Doug Coe at C Street has it all figured out, we can just let him run the world with his wargod, muscular, rich and wanton, love-em-and-leave-em Jesus (not that he needs the permission of any other man, much less wimminfolk. He’s taking it!)

12 08 2009
COD

If god was going to bless his minions with a personal heart to heart you’d think it would be over something a little more important than women in unisex security guard uniforms.

12 08 2009
JJ

And after the crucifixion, wouldn’t god bless his children with learning that came without physical beating? Especially the ones to whom he gave special challenges in the first place?

Disabled Children Spanked More — and where? In the Bible Belt of course:

Among the cases cited in the report was that of a 6-year-old, first-grade boy with autism, who was paddled at his Mississippi elementary school. An assistant principal who the report described as weighing 300 pounds “picked up an inch-thick paddle and paddled him” on the buttocks, the report said.

“It just devastated him,” the report cited the boy’s grandmother as saying. “When a child with autism has something like that happen, they don’t forget it. It’s always fresh in their minds.”

(crossposted from another comment thread)
A biblical god no thinking parent can believe in:

“… as evangelicals, the Pearls believe that salvation only comes through punishment and pain. God punishes his Son with crucifixion so that humanity might not have to face the Father’s anger. This image of God the father, for whom violence is an expression of tough love, is lodged deep in the evangelical imagination. And it twists a religion of forgiveness and compassion into something dark and cruel.”

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