Often when people learn we homeschool our daughter, they will say something like “I don’t know how you stand to be around your kid all day.” or “My kids and I would kill each other if we had to be together that much.” At first, I just smiled and shrugged. After awhile though, I started to wonder. Do most parents really dislike their children?
I would never question a parent’s love for their children. For most parents, their children are without a doubt, loved and wanted. How many parents really LIKE their children though? I have heard parent after parent talk about how they can only stand to be around their children for a small amount of time or how they can’t wait until their children go back to school/move away/go to college because they are driving them crazy.
Conversations between grandparents and grandchildren are often hysterically funny. The older generation still tells stories featuring typewriters and record albums, while the younger ones are texting and discussing the pros and cons of the latest gadgets. Sometimes there are more puzzled looks and “huh’s?” than actual communication. It’s almost as if they are from different countries.
Although aimed primarily at problems generational differences cause in the workplace, there is a lot for the parent and teen child to glean as well. Shaw defines the types of problems in our homes and workplaces that are actually caused because of generational differences. He spends a lot of time attempting to help readers understand why the other generations think and act the way they do.
The next time our world has a problem that needs a creative solution, I suggest we turn to the authors of diet books. They are some of the most creative people around. Diet books have to convince the reader there is a new, exciting, fun way for you to lose weight. The only problem is there really is only one healthy way to lose weight – burn more calories than you consume.
Eating less and exercising more sounds dreadfully boring, perhaps even painful. Quite frankly, I feel a little faint even thinking about the few calories I will get to eat. However, if you package it in some pretty or glamorous sounding package, I am all in. In fact, people spend millions of dollars every year on various diet books and cookbooks. In spite of all of this creativity, most people still fail in their attempts to diet. The reason most diets don’t work is that there is no magic involved. No matter how pretty the package, the bottom line is you will be eating less and moving more if you really want the pounds to disappear.
Growing up, I had a younger brother and lots of guy neighbors and friends. I wasn’t exactly a tomboy, but I could kick a football barefooted and knew enough about sports to impress my buddies. I was very comfortable hanging out with guys and imagined if I ever had a son, raising him would be somewhat intuitive.
Having a daughter has kept me immersed in the world of tea parties, dress buying and girl things for the last sixteen years. I have hesitated to comment much on raising boys in case things have changed since my childhood. Until recently, my search for solid books on raising boys has not been very successful.
One of my favorite movies is Mary Poppins. With all the sliding down banisters, jumping in chalk drawings, cleaning rooms with a snap of the fingers and tea parties on the ceiling, it is easy to entirely miss the point of the story. You see Mary Poppins isn’t really about Mary at all. It is about two parents who are so caught up in their own lives, they have almost forgotten they are raising two sweet, very lonely children. Sound familiar?
My heart breaks as I meet child after child desperate for some positive, meaningful interaction with an adult. Their parents are often delightful people and may even be faithful Christians. They are great parents by the world’s standards. Their children are well-dressed, clean, well-fed, educated and in a variety of societally approved activities. Yet, these wonderful parents are so busy with their careers, charity work, errands and even running the kids to various activities, that they barely know their precious little ones.