Friday, May 29, 2009
Rude Kids The Fruits of Overdeveloped Self-Esteem
May 21, 2009
A recent report on MSNBC suggested that parents’ pre-occupation with their kids’ self-esteem may have produced “rude” children who lack compassion for others.
According to MSNBC, “many experts say today’s kids are ruder than ever.” The word “rude” encompasses a variety of behaviors, from selfishness to deliberate malice. In one example, a pre-schooler deliberately tripped a woman in a crowded restaurant and then bragged to her mother about it. In another, a child continuously insults his mother in front of his mortified grandmother. In both cases, the parent neither says nor does anything.
Apparently, these aren’t isolated instances: a 2005 Yale University study found that “preschool students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral problems.” It isn’t only preschoolers. The media has documented the behavior in the workplace of those born between 1980 and 1996. Words used to describe the behavior of the so-called “Generation Y” include “self-centered” and “arrogant.” As one management professor put it, “They don’t know when to shut up.” And having grown up questioning their parents, they now question their bosses. Whether or not today’s kids are actually “ruder than ever,” the article and others like it reflect the sense that something has gone wrong in the way we raise our children. Specifically, it has to do with “popular parenting movements focusing on self-esteem.”
These movements produce parents who “[respond] with hostility to anyone they perceive as getting in the child’s way.” By “getting in the child’s way,” they mean doing anything that might make the child feel less-than-wonderful about him or herself—in the classroom, among their peers, or on the playing field.
So today we have a generation of children who believe that the world revolves around them and that they are entitled to feel good about themselves.
Expecting children raised this way to be compassionate or even polite betrays a profound ignorance of human nature—the same ignorance that led to the “popular parenting movements” that created the mess in the first place.
These movements were inspired by the ideas of Romantic Enlightenment thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. According to Rousseau, “There is no original perversity in the human heart.” So, he says, “when children’s wills are not spoiled by our fault, children [desire] nothing uselessly.” So parents and teachers should strive to produce children who are “authentic, self-sufficient, and autonomous.”
According to E.D. Hirsch, this Romantic ideal that “each person has a natural and uniquely divine spark, which, if nurtured, cannot go wrong,” is behind the emphasis on self-esteem. The problem, as Hirsch points out, is that there is no proven connection between high self-esteem and actual achievement.
In other words, feeling good about yourself isn’t enough to make you good. You have to be taught right from wrong and made to feel bad when you deserve it. As the Scripture says, true parental devotion includes the willingness to correct our children.
The alternative isn’t “authenticity”—it’s spoiling their wills in the worst possible way.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Underlay paths with black plastic before covering with mulch, wood chips, crushed stone, gravel, marble chips, or shredded bark. In that way you will not be picking weed next time. . . and your garden will look stunning with all those beautiful flowers. And say "goodbye" to weeds.
Now, I am happy and more relaxed knowing that soon my flowers will bloom.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her! With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now. The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again. In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request. I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully. My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office. On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her. On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our on to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms,walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind... I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart. The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money inthe bank, blah..blah.. blah. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
You're the Best, Mom. The words that I thought I would not hear...not realizing that once you have kids these words become music to your ears and give joy and happiness that your heart can feel. I am just so blessed and lucky because my children always say "You're the Best, Mom". Even though I am so tough and hard in disciplining them. But afterwards they come to me and say I love you and you are the best. My heart melts with these words and my eyes start shedding tears. They are truly a treasure , a gift that you cannot buy or trade. The smiles on their face, a hug and a surprise kiss make you feel so fortunate that the good Lord has given you such a wonderful blessing.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Oh yea, everybody is so excited to have their makeover done.
Most of us don't wear make-up and don't know how and what is the right shade that suits our skin color. Unless we go to a consultant or a professional and seek advice of what shade and skin type that will work on us. At this gathering we can surely get a lot of good ideas and Jan will show us what is the right shade and type that will help enhance our beauty. Most women use it as part of their daily life , even these hard times they can't live without it. When you start wearing make-up , you are hooked the rest of your life. I am glad I hosted the party and I learned from it. I can now start wearing the makeup that Hubby gave me that has been sitting for an age in my drawer.:-) . Hopefully it's still good.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
It is unusual this time of the year that we have rain every day , and this is for about a week now. When we first moved here it hardly rained. As I remember; when it does come it is a blessings and we love it. Well, maybe old man weather and can't make up his mind, probably forgetting that the rain should be dropping on the other side instead of around our place.-:-) It helps though to soften the dirt , making it easy to dig and ready for planting. I still have some spot for plants that I need to plant but not in these rainy days. I have some flowers and shrubs ready for planting. I am just waiting for the weatherman to clear the sky.
Monday, May 4, 2009
It was one cloudy day, after a heavy rain that came an amazing double rainbow. The children in our neighborhood including Marianne and Kenny were astonished to see this beautiful and natural creation of God. I was inside the house when the kids were calling me to come outside to see the double rainbow. Indeed it was a beautiful double rainbow that I witnessed. I was flabbergasted - can’t hardly believed it - because I haven’t seen a double rainbow in my entire life until that one cloudy afternoon. I am so lucky to see this wonderful nature and I am so proud to share the photo to all of you.