Thursday, November 14, 2013

HOW could they believe THAT?!

I love my Facebook friends. They are all over the spectrum, politically and religiously. One of the wonderful things about social media is how it can educate us on the beliefs of others, helping us better understand why someone might believe something that seems so wrong to us.

I've learned some things through the years.

  • My pro-life friends want to save the lives of babies because they love children and believe protecting them should be one of our top responsibilities.
  • My pro-choice friends love children. They believe that outlawing abortion isn't the best way to save babies and mothers; they want better education, easy access to birth control, and effective social services.
  • My friends who support certain war actions want to see greater safety and freedom throughout the world.
  • My friends who are against certain war actions want to see greater safety and freedom throughout the world.
  • My friends who support gun rights are deeply committed to the ideals of individual freedom, responsibility, and safety.
  • My friends who support gun control are deeply committed to the ideals of community responsibility and safety.
Need I go on? 

It can be all too easy for us to attribute terrible motives to those we disagree with. The result tends to be conspiracy theories and "straw man" arguments that don't really address the topic of debate. I'm sure you've read emails and Facebook posts that suggest that the government is trying to poison our kids through immunizations; so-and-so who started such-and-such movement was actually a racist; and genetically-modified foods are (purposefully) killing us.

Sometimes it takes a lot more effort to believe that the person on the other side of the computer screen really has very valid reasons for believing something you vehemently disagree with.

But it's worth the effort. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Before we leave the house...

I get tired of repeating myself.
I get tired of repeating myself.
I get tired of repeating myself.
I get tired of repeating myself.

And I bet my kids get tired of it too. (Didn't you?)

So this sign is going on the door that leads into our garage:

I'm excited. I can just imagine the glorious conversations:

"Are you ready to go?"


"Are you sure? Go check the list."

I may never say, "Go put on your shoes" again!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Honest talk

We were at the museum today, and I took both kids into the ladies' restroom. We had it all to ourselves. As we were getting ready to leave, Zoodle pointed at the dispenser on the wall and said, "What does T-A-M-P-O-N-S spell?" I told him, and then explained what tampons and pads are used for.

I'd previously told him a little about women's menstrual cycles, and he accepted my simple explanation today with no embarrassment or awkwardness. It was just a conversation about something he didn't know about, and he didn't react any differently than he would have if we'd been discussing China, or spiders, or toenails.

I found myself so glad that we've been open about "taboo" subjects from early on. We haven't gone into detail on everything; we try to give age-appropriate explanations. (They've heard from me that a little bit of daddy and a little bit of mommy join to make a baby, but they don't yet know exactly how that's accomplished!) Because I try to answer their questions without embarrassment, they don't think there's any reason to be uncomfortable with sensitive topics.

I don't always navigate these difficult waters with ease! Recently the word "s-ex" came out of Zoodle's mouth in a way that was totally inappropriate for a five-year-old, because I hadn't adequately monitored his media. (I'd put an app on my tablet that I thought just had innocent sound effects on it, not realizing it had clips of very adult songs on it too.) I felt like a terrible mom, overreacted, and made way too big of a deal about it. Now I'm trying to fix that by being open (in an age-appropriate way) about the word s-ex, so that he doesn't think it's a bad word and isn't scared to use it around me. (Pardon the hyphen inside that word; I'm trying to avoid being found in certain Google searches!)

In general, my kids seem to feel very comfortable asking me questions that I want them to ask me (because I'd prefer they get the information from me rather than someone else!) I sure hope it stays that way as they get older.