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Monday, October 20, 2014

Special needs kids and confidence

Day 20.  We are two thirds of the way there, and on this, the holiest of days, I bring you another serious topic, that of developing confidence in special needs kids.

First, I really am not qualified to say "this will build confidence in kids" or more..."this will build confidence in special needs kids", but I can tell you how I treat my kids.  I can tell you how I hope that how I'm raising them helps them as confident individuals growing up.

I try never to downplay or belittle my children's fears.  When they come to me and tell me they're afraid of something.  I tell them that I understand.  I never tell them to suck it up or stop being wusses.  I acknowledge their feelings and I offer ways to help them cope. I talk to them about their fears.

I freely offer affection.  I give hugs and kisses and snuggle wherever and whenever my kids want.  I don't tell them to "get over it" or "stop being a baby", I want them to always know that they have someone to comfort them.  That I'm always a safe place.  I want them to always feel protected.  Before I ever even had kids I'd heard (and I can't even tell you where or who...) that withholding affection from kids...you know, to toughen them up...did the opposite.  It made kids feel less secure with parents and less sure of themselves.  And that kids who got affection and more attention tended to feel secure.  Not that I'd have it any other way, but that would be the excuse I'd offer if anyone were to accuse me of "coddling" them.  I'm not coddling them.  They have limits and they know them.  They are disciplined.  But the hug well is bottomless.

I compliment them on things that they do right/well...or things that they did poorly that they got better at.  I try to compliment them on everything, not just "pretty princess" stuff.  I tell them when I think they're saying smart things, or being funny, or when they look pretty, or make an athletic play.  I want them to know that when they do well, I notice. 

I tell them I'm proud of them, I ask them to tell me whether they feel proud of themselves.  If not, i ask why.  I try to explain why I think they should be proud of themselves despite their reasons. 

I try not to ask too much of them.  I try to set small goals and allow them to achieve them before advancing to harder goals.  I like them to feel they're doing well.  I like them to have successes upon which to build.

But...I know parents who feel like they did everything right and their kids still struggle with self esteem.  So I don't know.  School can be awesome, or socially crippling, and I can't do anything to make it better except to listen when they come to me.

I don't know, I guess the summary is...

Let your kids know you love them
Let your kids FEEL that you love them
Let your kids know you are proud of them
Encourage them to feel proud of themselves.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Matthew Modine

Day 19 brings us to Matthew Modine.  This is a topic only because I give shit to a friend of mine about having met him under unique circumstances (that decorum forbids me discussing in blog form).  The essence of the grief-giving is that each time I bring up the topic, I purposely fuck up the name and make the circumstances more ridiculous than the degree of ridiculousness to which they already are.  That sentence seems weird.  This is a weekend post.  Nobody will read it (hopefully not Matthew Modine).  Moving on.

I get the following actors confused in my head:

Matthew Modine
Brandon Frasier
Dermott Mulroney
Dillon McDermott.

Spellings may vary. 

I know that Matthew Modine did "Vision Quest".  I remember primarily because the girl in that movie (escapes me who she was) was smokin' hot, and as a teenage boy (I think maybe 13...14?  Not sure when that movie came out) I tried to watch it through HBO's scrambling in an attempt to see her boobs.  Not sure that she actually gets topless in the movie or not.  I really should close that loop.  Hmmm.  Back in a bit.

Linda Fiorentino???  What the hell??  I don't even find her attractive!  God DAMMIT!  Okay, I don't care if she got topless or not. 

Back to Matthew Modine.  I know he was in other stuff, but that's the only movie I think I can remember that is DEFINITELY him.

Brandon Frasier...The Looney Tunes movies about basketball (SPACE JAM!!  Got it after I finished typing this) and The Mummy.

Dermott Mulroney...some TV show I never watched and The remake of "The Miracle on 34th Street"

Dillon McDermott...that movie with Pretty Woman...what the hell is her name??  ugh.  Julia Roberts!  My Best Friend's Wedding?  I think that's right. 

Okay...take those guys out of those signature (to me) roles...and I have no idea which one is which. 

This might be the worst blog post of the 19 I've written so far.

The End.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fire: Is it a "good" thing or "bad" thing?

Day 18...another fire-related topic.  People are fire crazy.  It's all the rage. 

My immediate response to this is "neither".  I'm tempted to compare it to, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people", but then someone will always say "No, it's the bullets."  and then someone else will chime in with..."No, it's the hemorrhaging." And so on.  And this topic is serious.

Still...

Fire doesn't kill people it's the burning.
Fire doesn't kill people it's the witchcraft
Fire doesn't kill people, it's Beevis and Butthead

I don't know, all of those suck.

They used to burn witches at the stake.  That seems like a "bad" use of fire.  I'm not trying to "judge" you if you're all..."Witchcraft is bad!  Burn the witches!", because that's your religion, man.  But it seems like if you made a mistake and accidentally burned someone who did NOT possess magical powers...that would be as evil or moreso than the witchcraft itself.  I'm looking at you, Catholics. 

But the fire itself wasn't "bad"...the choice to use it to burn witches was.  Because...they COULD have just as easily used the fire to cook bacon...which would have been "good".  So, so good.

In closing...

Fire doesn't kill people, it's the...hey wait, fire DOES kill people!