Aug01

Publisher - August 2017

Publisher - August 2017

I have a question. One I want you to seriously ponder. If YOU don’t follow your dreams, who will?

Jun30

Hissy Fit - July 2017

Respect: You Have to Ask For it

Hissy Fit - July 2017

How many times have I heard a teacher, who is encouraging students to speak up, say, “There are no dumb questions”? It’s a great theory, and in a learning environment, has a lot of merit. Allow me to take this theory to a parallel plane, where there still may be no dumb questions, but perhaps dumb choices to whom the questions are being directed. My beef, and what I’m getting at, is parents asking their children questions, which children have no business answering.

I understand the power of giving children age-appropriate options: Would you like to wear the red shirt or blue shirt today? This is probably an appropriate question starting at age 3 or so. But in this day and age of “No Discipline Parenting,” parents are giving too much decision making power to children, who, quite frankly, don’t have the skill-set to make those types of decisions yet.

Humans parent their children longer than any other living being on the planet. The reason: It takes that long to get them ready for adulthood.  Therefore, a six-year-old doesn’t need to be asked, “Where would you like the hostess to seat us?” I’ve seen this happen and it made my eyes involuntarily roll. The gall of a parent running a hostess around a restaurant to the tune of a six-year-old saying, “This one.” “No, that one.” “No, the one over there.” Seriously ridiculous!

If we’re not already there, which we may be, I can’t wait to live in a society where an entire generation, or two, think they are the center of the universe. When parents give unearned power to children, and children rule the roost, there is no other result. At that point, that’s exactly what the children have been raised to do—think of themselves. It’s as simple as 1+1=2.

Parents ask children questions such as:
Upon leaving the pool: “Are you ready to go?” Is that really up to the child? Will a child ever be ready to leave a pool? I can assure you, that was never my call; I was on my mother’s timeline.
I have heard this come out of parents' mouths: “We were going to put our daughter in XYZ kindergarten, but she didn’t want to go there.” If at age 5 she can make the decision as to the best place for her to be educated, I say go ahead and let her get her own apartment. That’s a pretty big decision.

Here’s another question that has absolutely destroyed the eating habits of American children: “What do you want for supper?” Duh, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and ice cream. The reason—other than brainwashed taste buds—they only want to eat this stuff is because they don’t have the knowledge to know better.

That’s the whole crux of this dilemma: Children are being asked questions they don’t have the knowledge to answer! Hey parents, don’t you get it? You are harming your children’s perspectives and futures! Don’t let your indecisiveness trickle down to allowing your kid to make the decisions.
Being responsible for adult answers when you are a child causes stress and anxiety. It’s too much, and kids innately know it. It’s why so many act out. They are not ready to be their own parents. Parents aren’t supposed to rely on children for advice, guidance and direction. It is supposed to be the other way around, and I don’t care that it’s the 2010s. Children are still children no matter how far we’ve “advanced” in the world.

Recently, I ask a friend if her if her grandson was coming to visit this summer. She replied, “No, he needs to stay in Richmond so he can be around his friends.” No he doesn’t! He’s around his friends all year. Knowing your grandparents and being in their environment is important. Do you know how much children can learn from grandparents? I hate to be the one to point this out: Friends come and go, especially when you’re young. This is sad, and once again, very tip-toe-on-egg-shells-child-centered.
Quit the coddling and wake up! Please, for your children’s sake. One day they are going to have to get a job, survive in corporate America, answer to a boss, raise their own children, get along with a spouse and very few are being raised to have skills beyond thinking of themselves.

Last month, I was at a friend’s house and her daughter was there with her 2-year-old little girl. The daughter asked her mother if the little girl could stay with her for about a couple of hours because she needed to get some things done. My friend said yes. However, when the daughter left she had the baby in her arms. I said, “I thought the baby was staying.” Her response, “She didn’t want to.”
She’s 2. It’s not up to her. She does NOT have that level of decision-making skills. Stop the madness. You are setting your child up for an entire adulthood of rude-awakenings.

Lastly, I was at a class recently. A gentleman had to answer what’s the best moment he’s ever had and what he hopes for the future. He answered it very typically: My graduation from high school, college, my wedding, the birth of my daughter, those were all incredible moments. What I hope for the future is to see my daughter experience all those wonderful things, too.

I am happy people want the very best for their children. However, what’s missing in his response is what he wants and dreams for himself and/or his wife. Life doesn’t have to stop for you, or your spouse, because children come into your lives. If all the attention is turned to the children, you are not being a role model on how to live a life of your dreams, or have a good relationship. Thus, your life becomes narrow and so does your children’s because it’s all about them. It’s a vicious cycle—one we all need to quit riding.

My dad used to say, “Children are to be seen and not heard.” You know, in some cases he’s exactly right. If we acted on my dad’s words more often, there would be a lot less childhood depression, conflict, tantrums and drama, and a lot more respect. That’s right. Respect. It’s what parents used to demand. Yes, Ma’am, it’s time to get it back! And, there’s no need to ask your child if that’s ok.

Jun30

Publisher - July 2017

Publisher - July 2017

As most of you know, I have had to work at being happy lately. However, I don’t think I’m the only one. As I move through my days, doing daily chores, I see a lot of people walking around with grimaces on their faces. I’m sure I fall into this category some days, as well.

We have all been through a lot. Hurricane Matthew took its toll, and though there are minimal visible remnants left in our beautiful Lowcountry, Matthew still dwells heavy inside our hearts. We live in an age where we want everything right now—our fine dining meal to us within minutes, our murders solved within an hour and our 20-pound weight gain gone within a week.

May30

Hissy Fit - June 2017

Death Caused by Alcohol: How sobering

Hissy Fit - June 2017

Editors Note: Due to recent tragedies and the profound impact this subject has had on our readers, we've chosen to re-run this feature. Unfortunately, this hits very close to home for many. We hope it will make a difference for you, generating conversations and opening lines of communication with your kids and those you choose to share it with. It is lovingly dedicated to my college friend, Lisa.  
- Originally ran January 2017 -

I sat in the balcony of a beautiful, historical, Lutheran church in downtown Charleston. It was a Friday morning. I peered down to the sea of black, bulging from the pews of the filled sanctuary. It was somber. The overwhelming sound of sniffles wafted through the air, followed by quickly wiped tears. It was the funeral of Carter. He was 22.

May30

Publisher - June 2017

Publisher - June 2017

Every June for the last 11 years, we have featured local men in an article I dreamed up called Men and Their Chairs. I starting thinking about how most men seem to have a special chair—kind of like Archie Bunker, Frasier’s dad or my dad. I wanted to honor men during the month of June because I have met so many wonderful guys who have very cool stories to tell.

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