Sunday, November 27, 2016

I just wanted some pecan pie

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
It’s late at night after a long day of “Thanksgiving.”

Don’t get me wrong … I do have plenty to be grateful for and I don’t want to whine and complain about everything that seems wrong in my life.

What I’m talking about really seems to be about being too busy and feeling too obligated. So much so, that I now feel guilty about not being happy because I don’t have time to sit and enjoy a piece of pecan pie.

For instance, today, on Thanksgiving Day, I got up at 5 a.m., after studying tons of decorating ideas on Pinterest last night until midnight.

I didn’t have time to do this properly earlier and wound up throwing decorations together that looked like Easter in fall colors.

My two boys wanted to play football with their dad, but he was busy mowing the lawn before his parents came over to dinner. So I played a pathetic game that lasted twenty minutes before they gave up on me.

I cleaned as best I could since I had major projects for work that took all my time.

I made cute napkins designs that no one cared about.

Dinner was late, because I was late after having to go to the store to get stuff I forgot.

I missed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I love—again. I never get to watch it anymore.

I did the dishes, put them away and tried to sit down and have a piece of my favorite pecan pie when I was asked to make sandwiches. Really?!

I just wanted to enjoy this holiday. Instead, I had to cram my pecan pie down.

No-Fun Mom

Dear Mom,

We’re sorry you didn’t have a day of joy, love and some fun.

Let’s start with one thing at a time, like the main question:

Why is it so important that you have a “Martha Stewart” showcase event, instead of a truly family-centered day of togetherness and care?

Try these tips for Christmas or next year:

  - Forget Pinterest … it’s time -consuming and takes away from setting some fall flowers, candles and a few simple hand-written notes on each place setting. Stop competing with other moms.

  - Make a sign for the front yard like, “Family Football Beats a Beautiful Lawn Any Day of the Week” and mean it.

  -  Being a family means everyone has a job to do to help clean the night before. Expect it and reward them with a fast round of applause before dinner starts.

  -  Roll napkins in a napkin ring … it always looks good. Ask for a good thought of gratitude before each person opens their napkin.

  -  If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is important to you, then have someone DVR it and ask them to watch a little with you later. You are important!

   - Make a solid rule – say thank you and they get dessert. No thanks … no dessert.

   - Unless your children are eight years and under, they can make their own sandwiches.

    - Say “thank you” to your own self and have two pieces of pie … you are worth it! Use some whipped topping, too!

We’re thankful for moms like you … who really care. Make sure you take care of yourself.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri (Two moms, too!)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Why Not?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I would like to weigh in on your column where a mother justified her daughter’s use of a smartphone in the classroom.

As a retired educator, I applaud your stance that smartphones should not be permitted therein. I’d like to share:

First: Kids will take advantage of situations that offer them instant gratification.

Second: Kids manipulate you to their advantage.

Third: Kids lay guilt trips to get their way.

One of the major problems in society today is that we have children raising children.

Parents are afraid to be strong. Abdicating parental responsibility doesn’t help your child or society.

Here’s my personal experience:

When our daughter was sixteen, I refused to allow her to attend an all-night after-prom party. She looked me in the eye and said “I hate you!” I responded, “I’m sorry, but I love you enough to let you hate me.”

It’s sometimes painful being a good parent.

And just because you can make a baby does not make you a good parent!

Venting Parent

Dear Venting Parent,

Thank you for loving your daughter and being a responsible parent and educator.

Being a valiant educator is a brave and difficult profession in our culture of entitlements.

We agree that many parents have become unwilling to accept their responsibility to teach their children right from wrong, manners, consideration, values, virtues, morals, ethics and common courtesy. However, there are parents who battle our current culture of self-centered behaviors which adults have adopted as our modern-day standard.

Yes, children want instant gratification, can be manipulative, and try to guilt-trip others to get what they want.

But we need to remember that children are born with innate goodness and divine worth. They need encouragement, praise, and guidance with consistent and clearly defined boundaries.

Clearly defined boundaries help children learn how to Define Yourself Before Others Do™.

Simply put, being a parent today is a giant, never-ending, career with priceless benefits … if done well.

Pat yourself on the back for saying no to your daughter and meaning it. Your example may well create a generational standard of family strength and integrity.

Today’s column about parents, teachers, children, and our current cultural standards, gives cause to ignite our foundation’s campaign for Civility for a New Generation.

As our bumper sticker says: Why Not, Prescott? End Bullying NOW.

It displays our determination to make Prescott the city with the most civility and the least bullying. Yes, it’s a lofty dream … but we say, “Why Not?”

Civility, Courage, Confidence, Creativity, and strong Carriage – our 5 C’s of good leadership will bring dignity, integrity, and high merit to our city, while also reducing abuse, bullying, suicide, and victimhood.

If you are committed and determined to change our new generations from Victims to Survivors to (good) Leaders … our Triangle-of-Triumph™, then please get a free “Why Not, Prescott?” bumper sticker from the Prescott Unified School District office at 146 S. Granite Street. Stickers will soon be placed on our school buses!

If you’re in another town and want your own bumper stickers, contact us.

City by city, let’s become a new generation of civility! Why Not?

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri