Category Archives: Parenting

As a parent of several children who have grown to be successful, productive, compassionate adults, I offer a few words that I HOPE are wise.

What Games Do Your Kids Play?

I was sitting in my family room this evening watching my favorite television show (not that I watch much TV) and I noticed that my son was sitting at the coffee table playing with some small action figures; not the posable kind, but a futuristic version of the little green army men most of us played with as kids. My first realization, as I watched him set up one team in a perfect L-shaped ambush is that he probably watches me / listens to me teach way too much. My second thought was that how he plays and what toys he plays with are definite indicators of his upbringing and reflect the values of the household. Was that too large a leap of logic? I don’t think so.  Continue reading

Teaching Our Children to be Victims?

A while ago I wrote an article that brought great response about how some training circumstances and tools used by our military services today may actually be teaching our soldiers to die. What I mean to say is that the training may be conditioning them to expect their own death. In recent months I’ve been studying instances of violence where American citizens didn’t fight back; didn’t defend themselves; essentially were willing victims. As I’ve examined these instances I noticed somewhat of an age cap on the “willing victims” and I saw a link to our public school system and some policies that were developed in the late ’70s and early ’80s. This is a topic I’ve written about before, but I felt I needed to do some further study, and in this article I’m going to share some of that newly gleaned information with you. Additionally, I’m going to share a story about a thirteen year old 8th grader who, just in this past week, observed a set of circumstances in her school that led her to believe something might not be right. She shared her story with her father and he became VERY alarmed. We’ll discuss why. Continue reading

A Fighting Generation?

It is an observable oddity of the American society that we sometimes act or behave exactly opposite to what is in our best interests. I know a great many people who act oddly when they are falling in love, but that’s not really a surprise is it? Some people say that a soldier who sacrifices himself for his fellow soldiers has acted oddly, but others understand the selfless sacrifice he made – and should be honored for. What strikes me this week that I’ll write about in this article is how our American society seems to be structuring itself to raise ever more pacifist citizens at a time in our history when we are most in need of warriors. Continue reading

What Makes A Man?

MAN: an adult male person, as distinguished from a boy or a woman. A male having qualities considered typical of men or appropriately masculine. A male human endowed with qualities, such as strength, considered characteristic of manhood.

(Definitions provided by www.dictionary.com)

I was a little surprised to find more than 26 definitions for the word “man” when I looked it up on dictionary.com. I knew there was more than one definition, but 26? I read through them all and realized just how versatile the word “man” is. For my purposes though I was looking for an abstract meaning; I was looking for something beyond “adult male human”. I know plenty of males who are legally adults that I don’t consider men. They are either too immature, to selfish, too unmotivated… too something or not enough of something. Such thoughts gave me pause. What exactly is the “something” that makes a man?  Continue reading

Teaching People To Be Helpless

Most recently I had a conversation with a gentleman who is a Marine, a veteran police psychologist and an avid supporter of self-defense. The conversation started because I had been asking questions about families and the environment set dependent on whether the family itself – that being the mother and father (or other primary care-givers) – either taught self-reliance or they taught dependence. I was amazed to find out that studies had been done which revealed children were born predisposed in their reactions to challenging events. I’m having to be very careful in my wording but to simplify it some, what I discovered was that some babies are born apparently less fearful of certain events than others. When such children are raised in households that teach self-reliance and over-coming challenge, then the adults that result stand a better chance of dealing with traumatic events without negative side-effects. Continue reading

America’s Future

As I stood amongst some peers last week, bragging without shame about my children, one of the fellows kindly listening to me made the following statement: “The hope of our country is in our children, and if we don’t drastically change the societal message they’re getting, our future looks dim.” My very first reaction was to absolutely agree with him. My second reaction was the fearful realization of what that statement meant. I take great faith from some of the legislation that has been passed at the federal and state levels across recent years, but on the other hand, I’ve seen more than I’m interested in seeing on television and in movies. And most of what I’ve seen that I have no use for seems to be what the teenagers of today are drawn to like they’re addicted. The sad truth is that those movies, music videos, etc. are not ABOUT anything. They GLORIFY something, but most often that something is gore, sex, drugs, money, or some other extremely temporary “good time”. The combination of all of that really made me stop and think about our current teenage generation and what we should expect from them in about two decades when they’re running this country – or just taking over.  Continue reading

The Value of Our Warrior Culture

As I type this it’s Sunday afternoon, November 12, 2006. Two days ago, November 10th was the Marine Corps’ Birthday (231st). Happy Birthday Marines! I’m proud to have to call my older brothers on that day and wish them all a Happy Birthday since all four served as Marines and two even retired from the Corps. Yesterday, November 11th, was Veterans’ Day. To ALL who have served our nation in military uniform, THANK YOU for your service. I count myself both proud and honored to be one of you. Today – in just a few hours – my oldest son leaves. He’ll be traveling up to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) near Baltimore to spend the night at a hotel. Early tomorrow morning he’ll be up and processed and shipping out to… Marine Corps Boot Camp. Thirteen weeks of life altering experience and training that will certainly change him in many ways. When I consider what kind of man he’ll be at the other end, I have to consider what kind of child / man he is NOW to have made this choice and be moving into it with the level of confidence and assurance that he has.  Continue reading