Tag Archives: kids

Parents: Make Them Suffer! How to Raise a Mature Kid

10 Feb

I could spend time thanking my parents for buying my first car, assisting in my college education, or taking me to Six Flags hundreds of times. That would be perfectly acceptable. Those things were awesome.

On the other hand, I could also spend time thanking my parents for things that totally sucked. I imagine it isn’t easy for parents to make these tough decisions and put their kids through what they’ll act like is a living hell. I imagine those years of complaining, retaliation and complete stress make parents wonder is it worth it? Is it worth the constant battle? The tears? The sleepless nights?

To that I ask, is it worth creating a successful, functioning adult? Is it worth hearing, “you must have done something right!” from your peers? Is it worth an honest “thank you?” from your child? I’m no parent, or even close to it, but I’d say its worth it. They’ll fight you, kicking and screaming, but in the end, its worth it.

Here’s a round of applause for my amazing parents who made everyday decisions that made me who I am today.

1. Forcing Me to do the “Boy” Chores, too

My brother and I had the same chores. No girl is too good to take out the trash or cut the grass. Get a little dirty! It’s fun. Fun tip: Google “kids doing chores” and see what you find! Hint: boys are washing cars and girls are doing dishes. Surprise, surprise!

2. Making Me Clean My Own Room

The mess didn’t make itself! If you’re capable of wrecking it, you’re capable of cleaning it. This taught me responsibility, pride in my own things, and most of all, accountability. After all, what kind of pride could I take in my things if I couldn’t even find them half the time?

3. Not Letting Me Wear Makeup Until I was 15

What did I need make-up for? It seems some young teenage girls feel insecure without make-up and that’s just sad. We need to teach out preteens and teens that inner beauty comes first.

4. Teaching Me How to Cook

You’d be surprised how many adults struggle to boil hot dogs. You’d think cooking is rocket science to some people. Instead, they’d rather spend money on eating out than open a cookbook or have to deal with the dishes afterward. Eating out regularly is a total bank buster and skipping out on cooking because of dishes is just lazy. Cooking can be adventurous and therapeutic at the same time!

5. Saying “Because I said so”

I’m all for reasoning with kids. After all, they need to learn the reasons why things are done certain ways. Sometimes however, there is no specific answer and that is just fine. Answering “because I said so” may be a little authoritarian but it worked and I respected it. I still do. “Because I said so” meant end of discussion. Period.

6. Making Me Listen to Your Music

It may have been torture but now when I talk to fellow coworkers or people of different backgrounds, I can relate and I feel more aware. Equally, it helped me realize that the world didn’t revolve around me. Sometimes I got what I wanted. Sometimes you got what you wanted. And that was okay. I understood you had interests, too!

7. Giving Me a Curfew

Life is all about time management. Get to work on time. Get back from your lunch break on time. Make sure you eat dinner before How I Met Your Mother comes on. A curfew reinforced the importance of time. Not to mention, kept me in check!

Two Cents Tuesday: Kids Need to Learn How to Type!

22 Oct

As these words appear on your screen, they were at one time pouring out of my fingers quickly and with skill onto a keyboard. After years of rigorous typing courses beginning at age 11 and ending around age 15, typing is something I’ve become an expert at. It is also something I enjoy.

So when I recently found out that many kids in school today are completely bypassing this necessary training, I was appalled. An 11-year-old close family friend revealed to me that he’s never taken a typing course but is required to write papers and even do homework assignments online.

How do you type? I asked

I just look for the letters I need, he responded

After I told him that I could easily type an entire paper without looking at the keyboard, he was amazed. This skill is absolutely necessary in today’s tech-driven world but young students are being robbed of the proper training.

According to Anna Trubek, professor at Oberlin College, typing courses have simply “fallen out of the curriculum.” In her article published in the MIT Technology Review, she writes:

“Touch typing allows us to write without thinking about how we are writing, freeing us to focus on what we are writing, on our ideas. “

Educators and their leaders make an assumption about today’s society and the abilities of our students. The assumption, her article says, is that kids already know how to type. Sure text messaging and touch screen tablets could be considered typing. But is a 140-character tweet really TYPING or simply jotting? Brevity has become an increasingly hot commodity on the internet and in normal person-to-person contact but yet our standardized tests and colleges require essays and speeches more than 500 words long.

A huge and disappointing gap exists between the two expectations of today’s children. Long essays can seem overwhelming to a student who 1) Can’t type as quickly as he thinks and 2) Can’t expand on thoughts and ideas. It seems technology has demanding needs – brevity, convenience, immediacy – while the education world tries to keep up in order to engage students but loses essential training in order to do so.

Needless to say, typing isn’t the only skill being left behind. But the question is really how can we revamp our education system in order to properly train our students for success? How can we incorporate seemingly outdated needs into technology-friendly lesson plans? It isn’t about numbers. It is about preparation for success. We can leave no room for assumptions.

Courtney O’Connell, a rising leader on the topic of innovation in education, and a friend of mine, offers an interesting perspective that actually encourages change in the industry to adapt to our changing world. Check it out:

Of course, I don’t know the right answer to the questions I have posed…it is just my two cents.

What are your thoughts? Am I being too traditional? Let’s chat!

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