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Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Stupid Cyber-Bully

Finally, I have almost experienced a cyber-bully. I let my youngest son,I’ll call him Bucky, have a Facebook page even though he’s only 9. But I use my e-mail address so I have access to the page and see everything people write.

Bucky doesn’t really care about anything except looking at cool pictures, the silly games and writing “Hi’ on everybody’s wall.

Things have been problem free for more than a year but last month a  kid name Jason that I don’t know sent Bucky a message, something like, “my homie said u r gay for real.”

I didn’t catch this comment until Bucky wrote back “butt face”.

Then Jason, who is three years older than Bucky wrote ‘bring it on dick banger”.  Bucky didn’t know what any of this meant so he came to me to ask what Jason was talking about.

AAAARRRRR. I blocked Jason after going over every message, picture and video on his face book page.

“Who is this kid”,I asked Bucky while he was playing with his Legos.

“I don’t know, I think he rides my bus.”

“You don’t know him?”

“Not really, he’s in like 5th grade.” 

Bucky didnt’ seem bothered so after blocking “bad kid Jason” I let everything drop.  I told big sister to keep an eye on Bucky while they were on the bus.

We haven’t heard from Jason in a month, but today a new message popped up on Bucky’s page. All it said is “F UUUUUUUUU.”

So what am I supposed to do?  Should I send “bad kid Jason” a message and say, “Hey, idiot, this is Bucky’s “Bad-A” mom, and I’m reading all the messages you send.”

Do I ignore it?

Or, do I print the messages out and go tell his mom?  I figured out who she and and were she works while studying his FB page.

One thing I have figured out. Just having access to your child’s FB isn’t enough. You have to actually look at the page. Figure out what’s really going on.

I’ll let you know what happens.  Please, send me ideas if you have any. Please, please please.  hampoland@gmail.com

Teens #1 Complaint About Their Parents

I was poking around on Twitter and found the category/hash tag for “I hate it when my parents…”. In Twitterland it looks like this#ihatewhenmyparents.

As far as I can see the number one complaint from teenagers and kids seems to be when we ask who they are texting. First, I kind of want to tell all these whinny kids to shut up and stop bitching because I’m paying for your phone, but that won’t really help.

Instead, I will say this. Kids, you need to understand that cell phones are very new, and texting is even newer. The first text was sent in 1994 and it was really slow catching on. Now all teens text all the time.  You keep your cell phone clutched in your fist like the  Bald Eagle keeps his deadly talons  wrapped around the American flag.  God forbid anyone try to remove that cell phone from you fist.

As an adult, I can tell you,  it seems as though you are having a bunch of conversations with people we can’t see or hear, right in front of us. Wait, that’s exactly what you are doing. And it’s really really rude. I know you don’t see it that way because you grew up with texting. But we don’t know who you are talking to or what you are talking about. And that’s creepy.

For all I know my beautiful fifteen year old daughter  might be making a deal with a pimp to buy hookers for her boy friend along with an ounce of Purivian cocaine…and she’s doing all this while she is eatting a Pop Tart in the kitchen with me.

You wouldn’t sit at the dinner table with me, eating Thanksgiving dinner, while having a detailed conversation on the phone. You know that would be rude because you are a smart kid.Well, texting is the same thing.And at least, when you are on a real phone, we get the general idea that what and who you are talking to. I’m able to tell you are making plans to go to the movie with your friends and you are not discussing the rising prices of condoms or how to buy Jack Daniels without an ID.

When you text in front of us, we don’t know what the hell you are talking about or who you are talking to. Don’t get mad when we ask, be grateful you have a parent that cares.  I know a lot of kids who don’t have any adults in their lives who care what or who they do.

So we ask, “who are you talking to?” Answer politely, unless it is a Colombian drug lord, and stop texting while you are hanging out with us. We love you and don’t really want to take your phone away. And when you grow up, if you text in front of your boss, he’s probably going to fire you.

The second biggest complaint about parents on Twitter seems to be “I  hate it when my parents come in my room, then when they leave they don’t close the door.”  Hey, grown ups, close the door when you leave your teenagers room! Good Lord, thats just common courtesy…so they can text bad things about you in peace. Just kidding.  I don’t think they are actually interested enough in our lives to spend much time texting about us.

Please let me know what you think, write to me at hampoland@gmail.com  or leave a comment. You can even text me if your really need to.

A Sweet Boy Turns Into A Bad Ass

Kids change.  They start out one way and ten years latter are entirely different creatures.

When Jack was a little boy he was beautiful, soft spoken, kind and gentle. He wasn’t shy or weak but he was so sweet and loving. Jack was so sweet in fact, Alex started wondering if he was gay.

Sometimes he cried when his dad beat him in basket ball.  Jack was the little boy who tried to take care of everybody, especially his sister Mary and a hopeless mamas boy. We couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful son but seemed to lack in natural aggression.

We constantly wondered if the world would eat him up. We worried that he would get picked on, girls wouldn’t like him, and the universe would just steam roll our son because he was too nice and gentel. 

Alex had a tough childhood, and  was literally afraid for Jack.  We tried to figure out how to make him tougher, for his own good. But it was hopeless. Jack was a sweet heart.

When he tried to play sports he just couldn’t find that part of himself that wanted to beat other people down. Jack wanted everybody to win and be happy. When a pee-wee foot ball coach yelled at him on the field and said, “Don’t you every want to hit somebody Jack, just put them down?”

 Jack shook his head, “No, not really.”

The coach nodded, “Go sit on the bench.”

When I look at Jack now, I can still see and feel that gentle and soft little boy. But he’s not the same person. He’s a different creature. He’s a big swarthy, tatted up musician. I listen to his CD, yikes, he’s a bad ass. He sings about whiskey, and guns and he takes his shirt off while he plays drums. Sometimes he gets so worked up while he’s on stage he ends up performing in his boxers.  When he performs, beautiful hot girls crawl all over him…even though he’s standing with his mother! Seriously.

 Jack is a bouncer in a big city rock and roll bar. He called yesterday to tell me he had to break up a fight, “Well,” he said, “I just yanked one dude off the other then threw them both out.”  Yes, he’s got a degree in French and film, but he really loves a good fight. 

Kids change. The brat turns into a wonderful teen aged girl. The ugly boy grows into a handsome man. The laziest kid finds something he wants to work for. So you can’t ever give up on them.

 Jack is still a smiling, sweet mamas boy, he’s still a family man.  But the little boy who cried playing basket ball with his dad hasn’t been seen in a long, long time.

I love you, Jack!

WRITE TO ME!…I get lonesome. hampoland@gmail.com

Why That Boy Acts Like A Boy

I recently read a blog entitled “Why Our Sons Wear Pink”.  A mom explained why she encourages her sons to be sensitive and gentle. She thinks people like boys who are rough and jock like.  But I think things are going in the opposite direction.

 A lot of folks get mad because little boys act like little boys. They are too rough, too tough and too violent. And it’s not politically correct.

But boys are boys and girls are girls. We don’t get mad at little girls for being too “girly” . We don’t get mad at girls for wearing pink and taking care of their baby dolls. We don’t fuss at them for being too sweet or too nurturing.

But boys take a beating for being too aggressive and too violent, for pretending to shoot things and beat up dudes. I love it when my nine year old plays in his room, when he draws and listens to music. But i try to be patient when he’s a screaming, hollering crazy guy running around in the yard with his bb gun and jumping off the playhouse onto the trampoline with a foam sword.

 I’m the first parent to jump into a hot messy situation about a kid that’s a bully or too aggressive. When that happens I start calling parents and principals. I hang out on the playground. And I don’t let my kids play violent video games.

But boys and men were were made to be hunters and protectors. Girls were designed to take care of their young. Sometimes the boys have to take care of the babies and the girls have to go hunt down dinner, so a person who can do both is invaluable. But for the most part that’s how humans were designed. Seahorses and birds are different but we are humans. (I know I break the rules I’m reciting…I’ve been involved in Martial Arts for years and love boxing, but taking care of my kids is the most important thing I do.)

I agree we have to encourage our boys to be sensitive and compassionate. We must teach them to respect everybody, not just the alpha males.  Parents  need to encourage boys to appreciate the arts, music and literature. But as a society we need to stop blasting our boys for being boys. 

My oldest son, Jack is 24 years old.  When he was born I was a very tan hippie chick who hated guns.  I wouldn’t let Jack play with guns…ever.  So the boy turned everything, from Legos to bannanas, into a gun. My daughter, Mary, who is 16 months younger had absolutely no use or interest in guns.

Parents, this is on you, insist and encourage you boys be respectful and kind but don’t beat them up if they want to sword fight, wrestle, and hunt down bad guys. Let those boys be boys.

*Important Note: If your child is gay, understand God made him that way and love him just the way he is. If you’re child is mean or a bully make him stop and don’t make excuses. Don’t use the line “he’s just being a boy” if he’s actually an obnoxious punk.

Tell me what you think, comment or write to me! Thanks, diana

hampoland@gmail.com

Trust Your Gut…Maybe The Mom Is A Crack Head

So,  many parents think I’m way too easy going and liberal. Others, think I’m a Nazi because I insist on kids being respectful.

But parents…when you are sending your child to some body’s house….trust your gut. Listen to your instincts. Be quiet and let that little voice in your heart speak up. Often times that’s the only thing protecting your child from something wicked.

My son, who is eight, has a new friend, Robert. He’s a little guy with pretty eyes. Robert lives with his older brother and sister, his mom and Joe, his mom’s boyfriend and three dogs.

The first time I picked Robert up  I tried to keep an open mind. But thehouse, which is a mile from any other home, was pretty rough.
I made arrangements to pick up Robert with Joe, the mom’s boyfriend. Joe was really young and tatted up, but seemed like a nice guy. He asked the right questions. “When will he be home” and “Will you feed him dinner”. The kid was lucky to have Joe, at least he was interested in the boy.

At some point during the afternoon, I asked little Robert what his mom did for a living and he said, “She mostly sleeps.” (red flag?)

As Robert was leaving, my son asked if he could give his new buddy some toys.
“Why?”
“Because Robert’s only toy is a big Freddy Kruger doll”. (He made a face that said,’pretty gross, right?’)
“Go get some toys and put them in a bag guys.” I was horrified.
The two boys came out of the room ten minutes latter with a bag full of Hot Wheels, a Nerf Gun, a plastic tank and a harmonica.

Robert gave my son a hug then said to me, “At Christmas I get toys and cool stuff from the church.”

“What church do you go to?”

“We don’t go to church, but they give us presents every Christmas. ”

Over the last three weeks Robert has come to our house four or five times. He plays, they have fun. He eats a lot and I’m working on his manners. I still haven’t  talked to or seen his mom. I always make arrangements through Joe, “the mom’s boyfriend.”

Today we picked  Robert  again. Joe “the mom’s boyfriend,” asked if Justin, the older brother could come to our house too.

Sure.

Justin hung out at our house with Robert for a few hours. During the day he told us his mom had lots of boyfriends but only Joe right now.  And neither one of them had jobs. The ultimate red flag slapped me in the face. If folks don’t have jobs, what do they do during the day? How do they make money to pay for tattoos andFreddy Kruger dolls?

I have absolutely no proof that there is anything illegal going on. I have no reason to think they are doing anything  wrong.

 But I do.

So, I told my son he must not ask to spend time at their house because I’ll say no, every time. I don’t want him to embarrass the boys.

My gut tells me there is something weird going on in that house. Both the boys always, always ask if they can spend the night. They don’t want to go home. After almost a month, I still haven’t met the mom, only  the mom’s boyfriend. But the boys tell me she is home all the time.

What should I do? 

 I know I have to keep helping the boys so I invite them over and try to teach them what I can. They like going to church with us. They like sitting down for dinner, playing board games and football.  When I give them clothes that don’t fit my kid, they try them on and grin and say thank you.

What should I do? Trust my gut, and start talking to peole. The right people. As a parent the most important thing I have to do is take care of my kids and their friends, and their friends.

Parents, I Know You’re Not Stupid…But What The Hell Are You Thinking?

Parents should read this but they will not. Kids will read it but they shouldn’t. I should not write it cause I’m going to make people mad but right now I don’t care. I’m mad.

This week I’ve been surrounded by parents doing stupid and selfish stuff and they don’t seem to realize they are hurting their kids and setting a bad example. Sometimes I’m a wretched parent but I pray someone will hit me in the head with a gallon of milk if I do some of this stupid shit.

Case #1 Mom acts like a freakin’ teenagger and expects her daughter to be mature. Mom falls off the radar, doesn’t answer her phone, doesn’t let her family know where she is for 24 hours. If her teenager doesn’t answer her phone for an hour the world explodes and kid get grounded for weeks and weeks. Mom doesn’t get grounded though because she’s the “grown up”. (For those of you who don’t realize it those quote marks surrounding grown up are air quotes full of sarcasm and eye-rolling). Mom doesn’t like doing laundry and expects the kids to do it for her. Mom doesn’t buy fruit because it’s expensive.

Mom, your child loves you so much and really really wants you to act like a mom.  She’s counting on you to show her how to act like an adult and to say your are sorry when you screw up.

Case #2 After a twenty year marriage, there is a divorce and mom wants to date again after four months. The teenaged child has absolutely no interest in meeting or talking to any of the new boyfriends. They all piss him off cause he still loves his dad. He’ll always love his dad. In a year he’ll be ready to meet the new men in his mom’s life but not now. Still, the mom insists the son hang out with new men, they all go to the movies or to football games. But the boy just gets resentful and angry. Come on woman, use your freaking CPA brain. Yes, you should date, you are divorced, but don’t force your son to meet these guys. It’s way way too soon. He’s gonna act like a 15 year old jerk face punk because it looks like you are choosing these men over him. All you have to do is date when he’s not around, date but don’t shove his face in it and make him hang out with the guys. Give the kid a year to get used to the idea of divorced and dating mom.

Mom, listen to me, make your son your number one priority for a while.  You’ll have time to do all the stuff you want to do but right now, you are everything to that boy. The divorce wrecked his world, even if it was the right move. So don’t blow it. He loves you and needs you.

If you don’t know if you are doing the right thing, all you have to do is think about the case in reverse or put other people into your situation and see how you feel. Chances are you are a decent loving person who knows right from wrong. Just take a minute and think and then follow your heart.

Please, Teach That Kid How To Shake Hands Like A Man

My last blog was about men putting their hand in their pants and now I’m going to write about handshakes. Yeah, I realize that’s a little odd and I think I’ve written about this before but I’m feeling passionate and it’s really really important.

This weekend I met two perfectly good kids with really sorry handshakes. They were pathetic and weak and the kids didn’t have a clue what to say or how to make eye contact. The seemed hopelessly squirrely. I felt sorry for them because it was obvious no adult had ever taken the time to teach them how to shake hands.

Parents, it’s nearly criminal if you don’t teach your children, especially your boys, how to shake hands like a man and say, “nice to meet you”. If you don’t teach them, who will? You should start teaching your kids how to shake hands as soon as they can walk so when they are six it’s not a big deal. When they are toddlers shake hands with them around the house, at dinner shake hands at the table and say “Nice to meet you, will you pass the chicken, please?” AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE EYE CONTACT.

If you don’t teach your kids how to do this, people will think they are slimy little punks, like Draco Malifoy. Seriously, that’s what we are thinking. I know it’s wrong but if a 13 year old kid has a pansy handshake I assume he’s also the kid who picks on little girls and spits in front of Grandmas.

If you love your child give them an advantage in life and teach them how to shake hands.

And now, will somebody please help me off my soapbox?

How To Get A Boy To Clean A Room

Parents, I’ve figured out something huge. If you have a little kid, especially a boy, you’ll realize how brilliant I am.

When you tell your kiddo to clean the living room he might say “ok” but then he wanders around the living room, not seeing any of the mess or clutter, until he finds an object he can turn into a gun to “pretend shoot” the dog.

Guess what?  He’s a kid and he’s a boy so he doesn’t actually see any of the mess. Therefore, he’s almost incapable of cleaning up.

So, instead of telling the poor dude to clean up the living room try this.

Give your guy individual instructions. Here’s what I did today and I swear, it worked.
Me: “Boy boy, clean the living room and then we’ll go swimming.”
Boy: “Ok.”
Me:”First clean off all the tables”
Boy: “Ok”, he says as he places a napkin on the dogs face. But he does in fact, take the bathroom stuff to the bathroom, the dishes to the kitchen and the toys to his room.
Me: Boy boy, pick up all the stuff on the floor and put it in the right rooms.
Boy: “Ok” he says as he ramps a Hot Wheel on the cat’s back.
Me: “Boy Boy take all the blankets and stuff that are piled up on the couch and put them back in your room”
Boy: “Ok” he says as he captures a cricket and puts it on the dog’s head.

You get the idea, right? If you tell him to do one thing at a time there’s a much higher chance he’ll actually get a room cleaned up for you.

Yelling at a kid over and over to clean up a room is just stupid and mean.  I don’t think little kids actually see a mess or know what one is so you have to give them very clear instructions. And you can only give them one job at a time or everything gets gobbled up in their 7 year old brain.  If I say “make your bed, unload the dishwasher and feed the dog” there’s a really chance he’ll put the dog food in the dish washer and the dishes under his pillow. My children aren’t morons, they are just kids.

So, if you want things done think like a kid and then you have to take everyone swimming.

Parents! I Learned How Sexting Starts!

Yup, the code has been broken.  One of Lexie’s friends recently explained to me exactly how teenaged sexting with pictures starts.

 As parents when we hear that a teenaged girl is in a pickel because she sent a picture of her boobs to a boy we sigh and groan and say ‘what the hell was she thinking, how could this happen?” Well, now I know.

It goes something like this and according to my 15 year old informant the script doesn’t vary much.

Girl and boy are flirting via text.

Guy: “I’m just lying here watching tv. I wish you were here.”

Girl: “Me too”.

Guy: “I’m  sore from lifting weights. But look at this”. Then he sends a picture of himself with his shirt off looking all ripped.

Girl: “Nice lol”

Guy: “You should send me a picture”.

Girls sends a picture of her pretty face.

Guy: “That’s not fair. Send me a good picture.”

And then…if the girl is stupid(that’s how teenager put it)…she sends him a picture of her boobs. If she’s smart she laughs at hims and says something like “No way.”

And then the teenager and Lexie and I discussed the next thing that happens. Both the boy and girl take their phones to school. The girl shows other girls the picture of the guys muscular chest, everybody comments and it’s not that big of a deal. 

And the guy does the same thing. He shows all his friends, team mates and acquaintances, even his little brother and uncle,  the picture of the girl without her shirt. And it’s a very big deal because he promised he wouldn’t show anyone.

As parents I think we have a few options.  We can pull out children out of school and keep them at home for the next ten years.

We can take away their phones or at least give them phones without cameras. Or, we can warn our daughters that this is how the situation almost always unfolds.  The boy will show everybody the pictures on his phone because he’s proud of them and thinks their hot. It’s doesn’t make him a bad guy, it just makes him a normal guy.

After I learned all this from the 15 year old I called one of my older, 20 something kids (I’m not going to name).  I started explaining how all the teenaged sexting starts and was interrupted.  “Mom, I know how it starts.”

Ouch!  And I made a mental note. “Never ever pick up older childs’ phone and casually glance at the photos without permission.”

*Names have not been included to protect the innocent and guilty.

WORKING MOMS SHOULD GET PAID LESS THAN SINGLE FOLKS.

This is a Hampoland re-print, by request. I hope you guys like it twice.

Working Moms Should get Paid Less Than Normal, Childless People. That’s right, I just wrote those words and I’m the mother of four children. Throw kitchen implements, like can openers and boxes of Mac and Cheese at me if you need to, but Im serious and I’m right.

Every week I loose hours, lots and lots of hours, of productivity because of my children. There are the phone calls and texts, Facebook messages and IM. They need money, they need love, they need an idea for a paper, they need a copy of their birth certificate, a bunch of boys on the high school football team got caught with a beer bong and are suspended from the team, their best friend just lost her virginity to a super creep. The reasons for the conversations go on and on and I love them because I’m a good mom. The truth is these calls are the highlight of my day.

Then there are the secret trips for the kids. The ones I take when I’m supposed to be out working, selling things and making money for my employer, but I’m actually at the doctor’s office because one of them has a funky wart. Or I’m buying sophies or tennis shoes so she can work out with the volleyball team. Or there’s the legendary and desperate message on my cell phone, “Mom, I left my report at the house. If I don’t turn it in I’ll get an F, can you go get it for me? I have to have it by noon”.

There’s time spent on Facebook stalking my children. It’s really important so I can figure out what’s going on and who I need to ban from the house (probably the 16 year old boy with huge swoopy hair who appears to be smoking a joint the size of a cigar on his facebook profile).

And when my child wakes up with a 103 degree fever and needs to stay home, I make that phone call to my boss in a heartbeat. Nothing at work is more important than my child’s health.

And finally, I spend time every day staring at pictures of my kids, thinking about how much I like their faces. Sandor’s buck teeth and freckles, Lexie’s joy filled eyes and dress that’s waaaayyy too short, Mary’s splendid arching eye brows and her funny duck face and the way Jack puts his arm around me when we take pictures and his porn star mustache. I even spend a lot of time looking at pictures of their tattooes (the big kids, not the little ones have tats) I just stare at their pictures and sigh, all the time. I bet I spend ten minutes everyday doing that, almost an hour a week.

I suspect most good parents are just like me. We have to put our kids first, and do what’s necessary. I think an employer would be totally justified if he decided to pay me less.

But who needs money more than a good parent? We have to buy stuff for our children, we want them to have an instrument so they can march with the band, we want them to go to football camp so they can start next season. There are prom dresses and crappy cars and insurance. College text books ($300 for biology) and orthodontists. We have to pay all those doctors to look at their weird warts and moles, we need money, lots and lots of money so we can take care of the children we love so much.

So, maybe good moms are the best employees. Maybe we are the most motivated and driven…maybe moms should actually be paid more!

I have to go now, my boss is texting me because I’m late getting back from lunch and the nurse just said it’s Lexie’s turn to see the dentist.

*Guys, men, fathers: I did not write about you because I don’t know what you do during the day. Do you Facebook stalk, do you look at pictures and sigh? I’m not so sure. But if you are a good dad and do the “work day run around” for your child…this piece is for you too. Keep up the good work.

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