Parents: Just Say No.


I’m old, so I have the right to complain about all of society’s problems.NO!  Say It!

As an old person, I’m of course bothered by young people and their new-fangled ways and crazy ideas.

I like things, not the way they were, but the way I remember them (which is a lot better than they were).

Lots of things bug me, but I don’t have time (or the strength at my advanced age) to blog about all of them.

One, stop with the trophies.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  if your kid (or mine) is crappy at a particular activity, they don’t deserve a trophy.

This leads them to believe they are just as good as the other kids and it’s just not true.

It’s okay to be bad.  It encourages children (and adults) to search for activities in which they are better.

Finishing 2nd stinks, but it’s not the end of the world.

The Constitution says “We are All Created Equal.”  This is true.  You will notice it doesn’t say, “We are All Good at Soccer When We are Eight Years Old.”

Some kids just aren’t as good as their peers.  If you ask them, they know.

Giving them a trophy might make the adults feel better, but it doesn’t make the kid any faster.

Another thing (actually there are many more, but I’m getting sleepy) that bugs me is parents need to man (and woman) up and tell your kids “No.”

“No” isn’t a curse word.

It’s not insulting.

It won’t ruin their lives.

If it hurts your child’s feelings, who cares.  They will grow up and hate you for a lot more complicated reasons than telling them “No” when they wanted candy, or to watch TV for 47 straight hours, or begged you for money, or wanted to wear something inappropriate to school.

“No” is good.  We all need to hear it.

Discipline is what we do for children, not what we do to children.

Stop with the trophies.  Stop trying not to hurt you precious child’s feelings.

They will survive.

We did.

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Acceptable Behavior.


Once a teacher, always a teacher.

When you teach, you get more than a paycheck.

You get special powers.I'll Give You Something to Cry About.

The most sacred of all of these powers is the ability to correct a child with a “look”.

Any child.

Any time.

Any where.

Restaurants, movie theaters, ballgames, and church are just a few of the places where this gift comes in handy.

If I have to explain this concept (or the “look”), you have never been alone in a classroom of 25+ students (please feel free to replace the word “students” with something more descriptive).

Having the gift also means you have the innate ability to judge others on their parenting skills (I’m not proud of this and I’m not saying it is right… I’m just saying it happens).

The other day I heard a parent say to their child “Your behavior is not acceptable!”

I wanted to say (although you will be proud of me for biting my tongue…) “His behavior is completely acceptable or else he wouldn’t do it.”

And that is teaching and parenting in a sentence.

Most kids do exactly what is expected of them.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

Discipline is the gift that keeps on giving.

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Nothing Good Happens After Midnight.


Even This Wolf Should Be Home.I was reminded of this saying last night when one of our smoke detectors starting beeping… every 45 seconds… every 45 seconds… every 45 seconds…

… until I dragged my big tired behind out of bed and pulled the battery out. The official time was 3:53 a.m.

I tried to wait it out until someone else got up and fixed it, but no one seemed concerned that the house might be on fire (my reaction was the same when I heard the baby cry… ride it out and act like you’re asleep).

Did I mention that I had to get dressed, go out into the cold garage, and bring in a 10 foot step ladder?

By the end of this little construction project, I was wide awake.

What a lovely way to start my Sunday. What happened to the days when I could sleep in? What happened to the days when I didn’t own a smoke detector?

Another question: Why do smoke alarms only need new batteries in the middle of the night? They never seem to go bad in the afternoon.

This annoying, slightly exhausting experience reminded me of what my dad used to say when I was a teenager.

“Nothing good happens after midnight.”

It’s true.

In this case and in every other.

Seldom has anything productive or positive happened after the hands on the clock say 12:00 a.m. (or if you are younger than 25… when the digital clock on your cell phone reads 12:00 am).

I believe more parents should keep this in mind. Especially, as their kids grow older and demand more freedom. The first thing young people ask for are longer hours to be with their friends (and a Wii, cell phone, mp3 players, a car, and everything else expensive and electronic).

Too often, teenagers (and sadly, even younger kids) find themselves in complicated situations that seem to always happen in the middle of the night.

Usually these events occur well after they should be home. And compounding the problem, these kids are generally completely unsupervised by clear thinking adults.

You rarely pick up a newspaper and read that a young person (or worse, a group) has gotten themselves into trouble between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. (or read about it online, as it is 2008)

These things always happen way later than what should be considered a reasonable hour for a child to be out.

And often it is after midnight.

So the next time a curfew is set, I hope someone remembers the advice that I got and didn’t want.

Nothing good happens after midnight.

Actually, that isn’t true. One good thing can happen.

The teenager can grow up and have their own smoke alarms to worry about.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.