Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who Is Raising The Children?

I've been taking classes toward my teacher recertification, which has been a good experience for the most part. I'm taking a class on Dialects, which I thought would be extremely boring, but it has turned out to be relatively interesting. So, yesterday the class started doing short presentations about our research projects, and one lady presented on how her children speak differently and she wanted to research how children acquire language. Her husband is from Virginia and one of her daughters speaks with a Virginian accent and the other daughter speaks with more of a Southern accent.

The professor then shared his experience and said that his daughters had the same experience. The woman who cared for his children had a very strong Southern accent, and he and his wife do not. But, for the longest time his children did, because of being around her.

And he said, "It was amazing that my children had the exact same accent as the woman who raised them, . . . I mean, who helped to raise them."

I thought to myself, no, you had it right the first time. The woman who raised them.

When women go to work and leave the care of their children with someone else everyday for the majority of the children's waking hours, then that person is raising them.

And it's sad.

The other day a radio personality talked about the guilt that so many working mothers face. They feel guilty for not being there for their children, and so they try to make up for it with material things, and trying to give them everything that they want. Which, obviously, does more harm than good. Material things cannot make up for a mother's absence in the home.

There are many women that feel that they must work to help their family, and I think the best solution to that is working part-time or working from home if possible. With the economy as it is it can be very challenging for families right now. But, I don't think that children have to be completely abandoned for a family to stay afloat.

Raising children, especially during the first 3- 5 years is so crucially important to do while being home with them. I think whatever sacrifice is necessary to take to ensure that a mother is home with her children during their most informative years is worth it. There is always time to go back to a career. But, you can never get back the years that you are the center of your child's world.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Disney Princess

I've been watching The Princess and the Frog over the past couple of days, and I must say that the movie is growing on me.

I love the whole Disney Princess thing, and I was SOOO excited when I heard about the movie being made. I was so happy because I had lamented the fact that there was no Black princess for years before the movie came out. I remembered thinking, I want my little girl to have a Black princess to look at. And now she does, and I'm excited about that.

When we went to see the movie last year, I was. . . disappointed. I had such high hopes and was so excited to see the movie. I was let down. Mainly because she was a frog for at least half of the movie.

My two year old absolutely adores Princess Tiana and here are some of the things that I love about the movie:

*Princess Tiana is pretty.

*She has a strong work ethic.

*Her singing, "Almost There" in her soon to be restaurant.

*The beautiful animation.

*The prince and princess make a handsome couple.

*The first half of the movie before she turns into a frog.

*That she was a feminine, kind hearted, and lovely young lady.

*Did you notice that most Disney princesses always wear dresses throughout the entire movie? In this movie all the women in the movie wear dresses, and it's just. . .nice, I guess.

What I did not like:

(Before becoming a parent I used to think some parents were being over the top when they said that many children's movies and shows are actually not suitable for them and contain things that should not be viewed. Case in point here. I have to fast forward through various scenes.)

- I did not like the whole voodoo aspect in the movie. I had to fast forward through those scenes. I think they are inappropriate for young children.

-Some parts were VERY crude, like the guy who shot the bug out of his nose. Absolutely disgusting!

-The fact that they were frogs through most of the movie.

-Princess Tiana was a frog for half of the movie.

-She spent most of her time being a frog.

Ok. Other than that I really enjoyed the movie. My favorite Disney character is Belle from Beauty and the Beast, because she loves to read and the movie is just so wonderful. I was hoping to like this movie just as much or more, but that did not quite happen. Maybe if she had been a human throughout the entire movie, or the majority of it at least.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Protecting Our Children

I watched The Oprah Show last Friday which featured Tyler Perry and 200 men who were victims of childhood sexual abuse. The show was heartbreaking to watch. Oprah shared the statistics that 1 out of 4 girls are sexually abused by the age of 18, and that 1 out of 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it.

Many people when having daughters think about how they have to watch out for their daughters so they are not taken advantage of. Most people don't think about being overprotective with their boys. But, now, parents really need to be.

It makes me consider being an overprotective parent. I know in our society overprotective parents are kind of made fun of, and often told to loosen up, let their child go and have fun, you don't have to be around them all the time, etc. But, now I'm thinking being overprotective is the best and safest way to raise my children.Many of these stories these young boys shared involved trusted males in their lives from fathers to stepfathers, uncles, older counsins, priests and other church leaders, boy scout leaders, and even teachers! It's scary!!

It makes me feel distrustful of leaving my children alone while they are young with anyone besides their grandparents.

While watching the show I thought about Elizabeth Krueger whose wonderful website, Raising Godly Tomatoes, has great advice for raising Godly children. She talks about how she keeps her children close to her, and doesn't really allow them to associate with people outside of their family. When they do socialize with others it's as a family. She doesn't allow her teenagers to hang out with their friends without parental supervision.

When I first read about that on her website I thought maybe that was taking it a bit overboard, but now I'm not so sure. I think while children are young, up to their teen years children need to be very closely observed and mainly kept around their family if at all possible. I think doing otherwise is just too risky this day and age.

And honestly, it's not just this day and age, this has been going on for awhile. Most of the men on the show were in their 30-50's, some even older than that. So this is not somethng new. I know of an older relative in her 50's who said that her parents went fishing many weekends and left her and her siblings in the care of their aunt and her family. She has often said that she wished that her parents were more observant and protected them more, because things went on there that shouldn't have. She has been molested by family members, and feels that if her mother had been more watchful then it probably wouldn't have happened.

I just feel that parents have a responsiblity to protect their children, even if it means being overprotective. Sure, allow children to have their friends come over, allow yourself a break now and then and let them stay with grandparents or someone you really trust. But, for the most part, I think children need to be with their parents where they can keep a watchful eye on their children and raise and train them up in the way that they should go.


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