Monday, October 29, 2007

Why we spank

Okay, so to start with, one of the main disagreements between my friend and myself was over the usefulness of spanking. We believe that spanking is the most effective way of training a young child and has the least long-term detrimental effect on the parent-child relationship. I'm comparing spanking to time-outs, with-holding things, and verbal reactions (scoldings, explanations, etc.) when I say this. They seem to be pretty much the common alternatives to spanking. I see it as the easiest way to have a direct, quick response to an incident of disobedience. It is quickly implemented, not easily argued with and is quickly over and the relationship is quickly restored between parent and child. I especially dislike "time-outs" for young children because their short-term memory (speaking pure biology here) is not adequate to handle a "consequence" that's more than about 45 seconds long. And a 45 second time-out is just not effective. Verbal stuff seems to be way to easy to get emotional over and with-holding privileges usually ends up with a long drawn-out argument and sometimes temper-tantrums. I don't want any discipline I use to seem vindictive to my child. I'm not really aware of any other common methods of punishment--at least that I can think of right now.

Any thoughts?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Politically INcorrect

So, we left (okay, okay--I left) our camera at Mom's this weekend, so we will have no new pictures to post until the middle of next month when Polly brings it up here for us. So I've decided to dedicate my blog to some discussions on parenting! I am having an email discussion with a good friend about this topic and it dawned on me that I just don't get to talk to people about this often enough. So I'll be posting bits and pieces from our emails and other rambling thoughts and I'd love to hear from those of you who read and are interested! (either by posting here or by emailing me personally)

The conversation got started because one or the other of us mentioned the book "To Train Up A Child" by Micheal and Debbie Pearl. This book was our introduction to a new idea (to us at the time) in parenting --a positive and pre-emptive approach to training and discipline. My statement to this effect triggered a discussion first about the legitimacy of the Pearl's teaching in general and then about the advisability of spanking as a training tool for young children. We firmly believe in the loving use of the rod at a tender age as an excellent way to introduce to our children the idea that it is better to obey than to have one's own way.

So that's all I have time for tonight. My friend warned me that this is a sensitive topic and one that may initiate hot argument. But I am prepared! I eagerly invite all comments--not because I intend to shoot you out of the water with my brilliant counter-arguments, but because I really want to hear what you have to say. Especially if you disagree. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Plug For Polly

This is a post to send everyone reading my blog to my sister's blog for the evening. She has written a bit about her experiences (and those of my whole family to some extent) recently with my dear grandmother who is slowly fading from us into the fog of Alzheimer's. It is touching, and somewhat profound--even if she is my own baby sister. :) Thanks, Polly, for making me cry a little tonight. The experience you and Tessi are going through with ministering to Grandmom this way will serve you in good stead when it comes to marriage and child-rearing, for sure. God bless you!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Grief and God

A dear friend lost her longed prayed-for baby on Saturday and I am grieving with her and her husband this week. It surprises me every time just how tender I still am over our own still-recent grief-- despite the joy of Judah. This loss in the life of a friend re-opens an old wound for me, the more painfully for seeing that grief reflected so freshly in her life.

My grandmothers on both sides of our family are seriously ill right now, and Dad's mother may not be with us even come Christmas (barring God's intervention).

As a result of these things, in our nightly discussion Jeremiah and were pondering the nature of the grief of God. How does God view death? In what way does He grieve with us?

Jeremiah commented that depth of grief seems to be related to knowledge of the dead. In other words, the death of a little-known great-uncle (hypothetical--don't think I even have any great-uncles...) who lives 100 miles away is less grievous to me than the death of the Grandmother who was a daily part of my childhood for seven years. The death of our unborn child last year, versus Sofi or Judah's death. See what I mean?

So we wondered if God, who knows each of us more intimately than anyone, would grieve for our death more deeply than anyone else. But God, I think, views death a little differently than we do. We're on the losing end, but He's on the receiving end. When my precious little one went to be with the Lord, I grieved for her loss, but God received her with loving arms and cherishes her even now, I am sure, as He would any child of mine that He would see fit to call home.

I also don't think that death itself causes God grief because He has conquered death through the resurrection of Christ, why should it hold any power of grief for Him? And so I think I've settled on this for now; God grieves over death for our sakes-- those of us "left behind", for the pain it causes us to lose that which we have loved or longed for. There is no longer any pain or sorrow in death itself, only in being left behind. And even that, for a believer, is tempered with the knowledge that our loved one is going from our arms to the arms of one who loves them even more than we ever could and some day we will join then there.

Thinking about it this way really brought home for me just how significant the difference is between the Christian and the non-christian when faced with the reality and cruelty of death. Imagine the pain of the finality of death without Christ. It is completely "loss", there is no one on the receiving end for the loved one who is leaving us. How sad....

Monday, October 8, 2007

Latest Pictures

Well, Sofi has the big news this week. She's going to be a Pollichinelle in the Rockingham Ballet Company's production of The Nutcracker this Christmas! Very exciting and we are so proud of her. Not that auditions were that exclusive, but she did have to audition and she did get a part. This means a lot of extra commitment on our part for practices and paying for costumes and such. But we decided it's worth it. She's really motivated to dance and eve practices her steps at home on her own. I have a feeling she may break her Grammy's heart and be more into dance than music or drama. Although I suppose dance is the perfect marriage of the two....

Susi and Violet are coming for Christmas! It's going to be a great holiday this year--much different from last year's depressing lack of family. We'll have Grandmom and Pop-pop (who just moved into the doublewide at Mom's) and Susi and Violet. Hopefully this will motivate Sam to ask off work (better start lobbying now, Sam) and then we'll all be together for Christmas again. Except dear Uncle Ben, who will be sorely missed :( But then next year......!!!


Judah, unhappy about the whole elephant thing...



Am I cute or what?!




Read to me, big sister!



Two bugs in a rug :)



Dancing at the H-burg International Festival



Very tired of getting his picture taken!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Catching up...

Okay, here's a photo essay of Sofi's birthday! It was her first big party (I'm not really into parties for the "under sixteen" set...) with 15 kids attending! Some were big sisters and brothers of her friends, because she decided that she wanted to invite "the whole family". Enjoy!






Baby Gabey: the youngest member of the party....














More pics soon, I promise!!