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If you could prearrange for your child to have three experiences in life, without being able to ensure how they would turn out, what would you pick for them?

  • To travel cross-country alone. To lose something or someone important to them. To find their soulmate.
  • Falling in love. Falling out of love (with someone, a thought, an idea, anything really – it’s more the insight that falling out of love will bring). Traveling around the world.
  • Discovering and appreciating the beauty of the world given the opportunity to see it and experience it. Falling in love for the first time. And having children.
  • Giving birth. Traveling to Europe. Some other adventurous trip, but I can’t think of anything at the moment.
  • To play in the woods without an adult present. To witness a homebirth. To be fully responsible for a pet.
  • Three experiences– Death of a pet before the death of a person, holding a position of leadership/authority, & the birth of his own children.
  • Unconditional love. To father a child (for the boys) and to birth a child (for my daughter). To fall in love (with someone else). And (I’d like to pick a negative experience – so much can be learned from them, but I don’t want my kids to hurt…) physically challenging your body to the limit.
  • Having a child(ren) of their own. Realizing that they are *wrong* and then owning it (making it right, or whatever needs to be done). Setting a BIG goal, working for it, and reaching it.
  • Traveling the world. Giving birth at home. Camping alone in a beautiful, wild place.
  • To meet someone who makes her heart pump faster and her head spin (when she’s 21 and not a moment sooner! ), dream about him, then learn that the feeling is reciprocated. To travel through Europe with her best friends. To bear the child of the man she loves.

If you could warn your kids to watch out for one thing that represents insincerity, what would it be?

  • Big promises that sound too good to be true.
  • Selfish people who are underhandingly manipulative… their insincerity can be the most painful of all.
  • Vanity.
  • I think that’s something that everyone has to figure out for themselves, but probably someone who seems too good to be true, or who makes promises that are too good to be true….
  • One thing representing insincerity – hyperbole.
  • One thing that represents insincerity? Body language…
  • Their inner voice. Listen to their inner voice.
  • Consistancy. Watch to see if a person says one thing, but does another.
  • Promises made too easily.

If your young child asked you what you think a person’s individual obligation to society as a whole is, how would you answer?

  • To give back more than you take.
  • I think we are each obligated to be conscious of ourselves, what we take from our environment (Mother Earth), how we protect our environment, how we care for it and how we can give back to it. We have an obligation to be human (in the emotional sense of the word) and to love all humanity without judgment and to strive for unity.
  • To respect the earth and God that brought you into this world.
  • To be the best person they can be and to do all they can for others.
  • To live as simply as they can with grace.
  • To take responsibility for his actions & choices, good and bad.
  • To take care of the Earth.
  • To be the very best person *they* can be. Living up to their unique potential would be the greatest thing they could do for humanity as a whole. (I guess this is assuming my children will WANT to give back to society as well…that would be part of living their best life.)
  • To live her life as consciously and lovingly as possible, in terms of her relationships with all beings as well as with our earth.
  • To interact with honesty, in ways that bring joy to herself and those she touches.

If you were to finish the phrase “The part of family life that I put the most work into is…,” how would it end?

  • Being patient.
  • Conscious parenting – knowing our options, knowing alternatives, knowing our limits.
  • Keeping the love and unity together through the support we show for one another and the respect we have for one another’s differences, beliefs and ideas.
  • Raising happy, healthy (phsyically and mentally) children.
  • Treating everyone with respect.
  • My marriage.
  • Interpersonal relationships. How to get along with each other.
  • Helping myself to grow as a person and a mother so that I can help support my children in their growth. (Other than all of the day to day work-that-it-takes-to-just-live chores!!)
  • it’s a tie between dealing with anger and being fully present in the moment. Anger is something I deal with primarily in family life while being present and aware is something that I strive for in every part of life, but especially in the time I spend with my family.
  • Well…the things I *do* the most is concentrating on raising my daughter thoughtfully and with love…but the part that is the most *work* because it’s more difficult is striving to keep our marriage happy and secure.

If you had to give a child advice to help cope with rejection, what would it be?

  • That rejection is not a reflection of their worth as a person.
  • That rejection is a reflection of the rejector and is often skewed to the degree of your relationship with such; that rejection is an opportunity to grow individually.
  • That the world is made up of different people. Sometimes we are rejected on our differences from one another, and that we should just appreciate ourselves more for those differences. There are many forms of rejection. Learning to forgive those builds more confidence in ourselves.
  • First, I would validate their hurt feelings. I would reassure them of their self worth, tell them how important and wonderful they are, tell them everyone gets rejected at some point in their lives.
  • Your opinion of yourself is always more important than someone elses.
  • I’d hold them & tell them I love them… that’s what my Mom did, and I remember it helped me feel safe & helped remind me of who I am.
  • I don’t know how I could do that without diminishing his hurt/trivializing his hurt. I’d just empathise and see what he/I came up with.
  • That there will ALWAYS be rejection in life of some sort– that it is just part of living. I would help them to see the bigger picture and to not take it so deeply and personaly.
  • I would remind them how wonderful they are but also validate their hurt feelings, and together we would work to see how the rejection can become a tool for growth.
  • To maintain her dignity (Momma has an ugly story or two about her failures on that score, Baby! ) and that the hurt won’t last forever, that it will fade with time.

If your child wanted a tattoo at age 13, what would you say? If your child wanted to pierce some parts of their body, what would you allow or disallow?

  • Tattoos, not at age 13. IMO (and experience!) the concept of permanence is relatively fluid to a 13 yo – they often don’t realize that they might not always feel the way they do at that moment. I’m okay with the legal requirement for tattoos being 18, though I would maybe consider 16. I would be okay with virtually any body piercing at age 13, so long as it was done properly and safely. (If a genital or nipple piercing, though, I’d want to first research any effects of having those done during puberty before allowing it.)
  • At age 13, I’d probably say no. I don’t think a 13 year old has the ability to really understand what type of life decision a tattoo is. As for piercings, I would allow a 13 year old to pierce any part of their body with the exception of doing hole stretching. In other words, I believe that piercings are non permanent ornamentation except when you get into stretching holes and I don’t believe a 13 year old, again, has the ability to make that type of life body decision. I’m a little conflicted on this because I’d like to say yes to anything and allow this to be my child’s decision but this is what my gut says.
  • No to the tatoo. Tatoo’s are too permenant and are far too painful to remove. Perhaps when they turn 18, then that would be their decision, but I would hope that my child could turn to me for advice on what and where the tatoo might go, because what you want at 18, is not what you want at 30, and at 30 it’s not what you want at 40! As far as the peircing goes, I’m not too happy about my 13 year old getting peirced either, however it depends on where they would want to get peirced. This is difficult, because 13 is so young to me, but I know it is a critical age now a days to be accepted amoung your peers and to be able to express themselves freely. So, I would have to probably swallow my own fears, and let them experiment, but not let it go too far.
  • No on the tatoo. Too young to make a decision on something that permanent. Plus, it’s not legal here. Piercing– hmmm. It would depend on the child, maturity and age. But, I would probably allow ears and belly button. I would probably say no to tounge, face, or anywhere else.
  • I would say, decide on what you want and wait a year before getting it. If you get any work done I want you to see a well respected professional and you have to be committed to looking after your work – including replacing piercing spacers with final jewellry. I’d express my concern about tounge pierces and chipped and broken teeth.
  • A tat at 13? Oddly, that’s how old I was when I first wanted mine. I didn’t get it until I turned 21 & had moved out! I would (will probably, dh & I both have tats) give him the same advice I give everyone– come up with the design you *think* you want, then wait at least a year. If it’s still something you want, then you’ll probably be happy with it for the rest of your life. Piercings? Hmmm. Ears are fine, no prob there. My sis had her belly done last year, and discovered we have this tough skin that’s like piercing leather. I’ll have to think about this…
  • Well, unlike the rest of you, I’m an old fogey and never understood the tatoo and pierce madness, but just because it’s not for me, doesn’t mean I can tell someone else what to do with their body. They have free reign over their bodies – as long as they are not using their bodies to hurt someone else. So, yes and allow anything.
  • I guess I would not allow anything permanent at 13 (or 16, for that matter) BUT they could do any crazy thing they want with their hair, nails, clothes, body paints- whatever–. I just would not want them to regret a teenage choice at 29 (like I shaved off A LOT of my hair when I was a teen, colored it crazy colors, etc– and thank God it was not a permanent choice!!!!!!!). Teen’s brains are not fully formed yet, and so they still need help with decision making. They are just learning about long-term consequences at that age.
  • It so depends on the child: his or her maturity level and degree of understanding. Tattoo or permanent piercing (such as hole stretching), or genital piercing: I would have a long talk with them about what they wanted to do and why. I would require that they wait a while, at least a couple of months, and see if they still wanted it after that time. It would also depend on where the tattoo was and what it was of. For example, a girl wanting a little Celtic design on her back waist is far different than her wanting to circle her wrist with it. For most other piercings, I would still talk with them about what and why, but would probably only require that they wait a week so that it wasn’t a totally implusive thing.
  • I’m not so sure it’s up to me to “allow” – I would definitely want to talk about why my child wanted to do those things, discuss the permanence of a tattoo. I can’t imagine that I’d forbid it. But Yikes! Hope that one doesn’t come up. Piercings, those can be removed and not much harm done, but a tattoo…oh dear.

If you and your child could enter a children’s story in real life, which would you pick?

  • Hmm, this is tough. Could Little House on the Prairie count as a children’s story? If so, I think that one would be good, as a reminder of what real hardship is like and give us a greater appreciation for our own lifestyle.
  • I would probably pick either the Chronicles of Narnia or maybe A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Well, it’s not much a “children’s story” but for an older child it could be; The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I’m reading it now, and it has so much to offer.
  • The Little Mermaid because I would love to be able to swim under water. But not the original one where she dies and turns into seafoam.
  • Harriet the Spy
  • My first impulse was Love You Forever, but we practically live that. How about And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street, and I’ll hold his hand & watch the parade go by!
  • Wow, there are so many good ones – I think it would have to be any Henry and Mudge book, because it would just be so comfy hanging with that family. For fun, though, Mr. Popper’s Penguins would be really a fun time to hang with though.
  • Too many to pick from!!!! Ummmmm….I guess I will choose My Side Of The Mountian— it is a book about a boy who runs away from home for about a year and lives in a hollowed out tree in the forest. It is just a delicious fantasy– frogs, and fishing, and fires, and the seasons, and living by your wits, and determination– ooooooo I love it!
  • A Wrinkle In Time, without a doubt.
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm because she and my daughter would get along famously!
Categories: Parenting