I thought this was a good way to explain the war to children, at least asfar as a war can be explained.A LESSON TO MY SON by A PROUD AMERICAN Irma S. ChambersThe other day, my nine year old son wanted to know why we were at war.My husband looked at our son and then looked at me. My husband and I werein the Army during the Gulf War and we would be honored to serve and defendour country again today. I knew that my husband would give him a goodexplanation.My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand inour front living room window. He told him:"Son, stand there and tell me what you see?""I see trees and cars and our neighbors houses." he replied."OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the UnitedStates of America and you are President Bush."Our son giggled and said "OK.""Now son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every houseand yard on this block is a different country." my husband said."OK Dad, I'm pretending.""Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and see that mancome out of his house with his wife and he has her by the hair and ishitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face,he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death. Theirchildren run out and are afraid to stop him, they are crying, they arewatching this but do nothing because they are kids and afraid of theirfather. You see all of this son....what do you do?""Dad?""What do you do son?!""I call the police, Dad.""OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations and they take yourcall, listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help. What doyou do then son?!""Dad, but the police are supposed to help!" My son starts to whine."They don't want to son, because they say that it is not their place oryour place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," myhusband says."But Dad...he killed her!!" my son exclaims."I know he did...but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I wantyou to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you'repretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children.""Daddy...he kills them?""Yes son, he does. What do you do?""Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next doorneighbor to help me stop him." our son says."Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to getinvolved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," myhusband says."But Dad, I NEED help!!! I can't stop him by myself!!""WHAT DO YOU DO SON?"Our son starts to cry."OK, no one wants to help you, the man across the street saw you ask forhelp and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller andpuffs out his chest. Guess what he does next son?""What Daddy?""He walks across the street to the old ladies house and breaks down herdoor and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fireand then...he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing at the windowand laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?!!!""Daddy...""WHAT DO YOU DO?!!!"Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I close theblinds, Daddy."My husband looks at our son with tears in his eyes and asks him..."Why?""Because Daddy.....the police are supposed to help...people who needsit....and they won't help....You always say that neighbors are supposedto HELP neighbors, but they won't help either...they won't help me stophim...I'm afraid....I can't do it by myself...Daddy.....I can't look outmy window and just watch him do all these terrible things and...and.....do nothing...so....I'm just going to close the blinds....so I can't see what he's doing........and I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."I start to cry.My husband looks at our nine year old son standing in the window,looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husbands questions and he tells him...."Son?""Yes, Daddy.""Open the blinds because that man....he's at your front door..."WHAT DOYOUDO?!!!!"My son looks at his father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls upthis tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes, withouthesitation he says: "I DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD!! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY ORMY SISTER, DAD!!! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM, DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM!!!!!"I see a tear roll down my husband's cheek and he grabs my son to hischest and hugs him tight, and cries..."It's too late to fight him, he's too strong and he's already at YOUR front door son.....you should havestopped him BEFORE he killed his wife. You have to do what's right, even if you have to do it alone, before......it's too late." my husband whispers.THAT scenario I just gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq. When goodmen stand by and let evil happen is the greatest EVIL of all. Our President is doing what is right. We, as a free nation, must understand that this war is a war of humanity. WE must remove this evil man from power so that we can continue to live in a free world where we are not afraid to look out our window and see crimes on humanity. So that my nine year old son won't grow up in a world where he feels that if he just "closes" that blinds the atrocities in the world won't affect him. Today the second day of "WAR on IRAQ" I felt compelled to write this and pass it along. Hopefully, you will understand the lesson my husband tried to teach our son."YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO ITALONE!" BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE PROUD OF OUR PRESIDENT! BE PROUDOF OUR TROOPS!! SUPPORT THEM!!! SUPPORT AMERICA!! SO THAT IN THE FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER HAVE TO CLOSE THEIR BLINDS...."Omronnie
What a nice simplistic fairy tale. Exactly the same fairy tale the current administration is feeding the American public. If I recall, the first steps of the Vietnam war started with similiar patriotic fervor. Anyway, maybe because I'm stuck inside cleaning on a nice day (or maybe I'm just a grumpy old poop), I've been pondering a response. Here's an exprapolation of what I told my 10 year old, more or less. Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see:"Son, one day you see pictures on the TV of that mancome out of his house with his wife and he has her by the hair and ishitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face,he throws her on the ground, then he starts to kick her to death. Theirchildren run out and are afraid to stop him, they are crying, they arewatching this but do nothing because they are kids and afraid of theirfather."Of course, you are upset. Any moral person wouldn't be. We must do SOMETHING! However, nothing is ever that simple. What the TV DOESN"T show you is that this convicted wife beater is surrounded by a neighborhood of convicted wife beaters, all of whom hate THE LAW (ie, the US) even more than they hate each other. It also doesn't show you that this man's house has been the target of constant air raids over the last decade, where many of his children have been killed by "collateral damage". It also doesn't show that this man's basement is filled with oil, which would keep our house nice and comfy in the winter. It also doesn't show that this man used to be our friend against an even bigger wife beater living next door. In fact, many of the next door neighbors would love to take over this man's house and kill as many of the children as they can to claim the oil or land. But they all hate "THE LAW" even more. So, THE LAW initially comes on TV to say that this wife beater is responsible for the vile acts of other wife beaters in his neighborhood, and is, in fact, about to strike again! When it turns out that the other wife beaters did this vile act with the support of (what we thought were more friendly) wife beaters, then THE LAW starts a new story. This wife beater has TERRIBLE WEAPONS and he is going to use it on us! Of course, there is no proof despite the best efforts of the greatest spies to find these weapons, and one of the lead searchers of 10 years ago even claims that this is all a sham. Finally, THE LAW has already amassed a huge force of the greatest army in the world to surround this wife beater's house. In between throwing grenades into his door, they yell "Come out and surrender you wife beater!" But the wife beater is truly a wicked man, even among the other wife beaters in his neighborhood and does not play fair. He hides. The army storms the house while the TV crews are merrily watching the video game war in progress. All these neat weapons! What cool explosions! While the US TV crews report on the home towns of of army troops, the wife beater neighborhood TV station is showing pictures of orphans and dead children and destroyed houses of the evil one's yard resulting from "misprogrammed" smart bombs. There's always collateral damage, right? Besides, we are doing this to help THEM! The neighbors, however, are not so happy. Their TV explains that THE LAW is here to kill all the Muslims and take over the oil in the basement for their own use. How silly! But those other wife beaters are sneaky. They keep telling their kids (in between beatings) that THE LAW is going to kill them all and that they need to fight back. More pictures of dead babies follow, though those pictures are considered "unpatriotic" in the US and are banned. Finally, the finest army in the world takes over the wife beater's house with a minimum of LAW casualities. There must be those vile weapons here somewhere...... We weren't here for the oil, anyway. And those kids! The finest army in the world is now responsible for the health and welfare of millions of poor, undereducated, scared, vengeful, hungry and armed kids (most of whom are under the age of 14) who are just happy the shooting has stopped. Meanwhile, the wife beating neighbors are beginning to circle....Life is never simple. War is never simple. Blind obdience is unpatriotic. ch (the cranky patriot)
"Life is never simple. War is never simple. Blind obdience is unpatriotic. "the truth....the dying truth..so we go back to the old mantra..believe nothing that u read in the papers...nothing that u hear..and only 1/2 of what u see........"judge them by their works"....about all that matters....the 'works'....................tr
Life is never simple. War is never simple. Blind obdience is unpatriotic.Excellent post, WW. Reminds me of an elementary school teacher I once had. He said something to us I will never forget, and that I repeat today in my own classrooms. "It is not only your right to question your government, but your responsibility to do so. Anything less would be un-American."He was, by far, the most openly patriotic teacher I ever had, btw-- I remember watching those Glen Campbell specials in class. And although a rabid Kentucky fan, ol' Mr. Clemens was still a good teacher ;-).Oji
What a horrible story.Not only is not a particularly accurate summation of the war and its rationale (even from the US govt's official line), it is emotionally abusive to the child.Did someone really say something this stupid to a child?
You gotta love the part where the kid is made to cry and try to figure out how to solve problems that grownups cannot. Scaring a kid with fantastical monster stories in order to pound out a point or two for violence is pretty shabby parenting.How about telling the kid that there IS a world police force out there and that diplomacy is an option? How about setting aside the fantasies about why you HAVE TO GO KILL someone when you are frightened, and replace it with some logic that includes doing the right thing by not telling fibs to justify your own violence? Maybe tell the kid that rounding up the neighbors and confronting the guy as a group of concerned citizens would not only build concensus, but could possibly address the problems? That solving problems is a process.This preemptive strike stuff stinks. Making up justifications for violent contact also stinks. That parent should quit being a bully and show some problem-solving strategies.~j
This (the original post to the thread) is so unutterably stupid and sad.Do people really live like this? This degree of emotional distance and disregard for their own children? So sorry to think that this 'species' of folk actually walk the earth. No wonder we're onthe verge of planetary collapse.Unbelievable.nl
This (the original post to the thread) is so unutterably stupid and sad.Do people really live like this? This degree of emotional distance and disregard for their own children? So sorry to think that this 'species' of folk actually walk the earth. No wonder we're onthe verge of planetary collapse.Unbelievable.NL~What drew me to this post in the first place is the amount of rec's it had received under the *best of* feature. So apparently it is very *popular* to think this way. Deal with things this way. Maybe someone who rec'ed the post could explain WHY this kind of parenting makes any sense at all. At least that would shed some light on things.And yes, I believe this style of scaring kids and finding fast, violent solutions to problems is practiced a lot. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to talk with kids and negotiate out solutions. Much easier to spank the brats, tell them horrid tales and send them to bed.~j
Much easier to spank the brats, tell them horrid tales and send them to bed.===========well, one could argue that the spanking and sending to bed in the pre 1960 era helped make us a great and strong nation, and that the namby pamby "let's not keep score in t-ball so we don't hurt their poor fragile self esteem" attitude is making us ever weaker. The world has winners and losers, like it or not, and we seem to be moving as a society into over-protecting our children so they grow up not having a clue how to stand up to a bully, whether in the playground or in Iraq.Our kids who can carry an M-1 rifle into Baghdad at age 18 had better learn at some (young and tender) age that the world has bad people in it and we have to stand up to them lest they run rampant on the good people.
This (the original post to the thread) is so unutterably stupid and sad.Do people really live like this? This degree of emotional distance and disregard for their own children? So sorry to think that this 'species' of folk actually walk the earth. No wonder we're onthe verge of planetary collapse.Unbelievable.NL~What drew me to this post in the first place is the amount of rec's it had received under the *best of* feature. So apparently it is very *popular* to think this way. Deal with things this way. Maybe someone who rec'ed the post could explain WHY this kind of parenting makes any sense at all. At least that would shed some light on things.And yes, I believe this style of scaring kids and finding fast, violent solutions to problems is practiced a lot. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to talk with kids and negotiate out solutions. Much easier to spank the brats, tell them horrid tales and send them to bed.~j ------------------------------------------Well .. the 'answer' to the question of 'do people like this really exist!' lies in the perfectly offered example of the post in this thread just prior to this one:"well, one could argue that the spanking and sending to bed in the pre 1960 era helped make us a great and strong nation, and that the namby pamby "let's not keep score in t-ball so we don't hurt their poor fragile self esteem" attitude is making us ever weaker. The world has winners and losers, like it or not, and we seem to be moving as a society into over-protecting our children so they grow up not having a clue how to stand up to a bully, whether in the playground or in Iraq.Our kids who can carry an M-1 rifle into Baghdad at age 18 had better learn at some (young and tender) age that the world has bad people in it and we have to stand up to them lest they run rampant on the good people. Can you believe this? And the really depressing thing that rings out as clearly as a struck bell in the calm of night is -- over and over again -- the demonstration of a palpable FEAR in the writers of all of these pro-violence posts .. here and all OVER the MoFo site these days. Over and over again we see TERRIFIED souls ranting on and on about how we MUST BEWARE OF ANY OTHER LIFE OUT THERE!!! This one - the original of this thread - even says, essentially, "lets break the self-confidence, natural self-comfort and inherent goodness of our children as early as is humanly possible so they can go out and KILL FOR US!!" The fearful, militarized mind is a rigid, non-creative, uncaring and deeply frightened confusion of guardedness, innacuracy and paranoia. You can readily see this on their stone faces and hear it in their dead voices when they speak. Quite frankly, they often seem very nearly inhuman. Every conception of this sad and frightened mind appears to arise out of ill-managed urges towards greater 'power' .. and 'power over'. This is their only 'understanding' of how to relate to the world they so misinterpret around them. Thank god for those who are willing to risk some for the human continuation of the life of personal integrity and responsiveness to the needs of others. The militarists Grand Answer to the condition of aliveness that we so miraculously find ourselves in ... is death.nl
NL~What drew me to this post in the first place is the amount of rec's it had received under the *best of* feature. So apparently it is very *popular* to think this way. Deal with things this way. ps - yes .. that's exactly what drew me to it as well. And yes .. fear is a very popular emotion both for precious personal coddling, and as a touchstone for faux-righteous action that is, in fact, only selfish and destructive. Just look at the world.nl
You gotta love the part where the kid is made to cry and try to figure out how to solve problems that grownups cannot. Scaring a kid with fantastical monster stories in order to pound out a point or two for violence is pretty shabby parenting.It also applies to education...telling kids that they will have a very crappy world to live in and they better do well in school so they can fix that world is irresponsible and cruel. Not understanding the nature of children who are still developmentally dependent on adults to make their world safe, helps to create desenitized apathetic teenagers who grow up to be adults who just want to be the biggest wind bag, bully on the block...any block.rbs
Maybe tell the kid that rounding up the neighbors and confronting the guy as a group of concerned citizens would not only build concensus, but could possibly address the problems?That solving problems is a process.<Tried that one with Colin Powell at the UN. So much for neighbors.>This preemptive strike stuff stinks. Making up justifications for violent contact also stinks. That parent should quit being a bully and show some problem-solving strategies.<Tried that one with George 'W' Bush. That one seemed to work.>Omronnie
Did someone really say something this stupid to a child? And 36 people rec'd it...Geez!
Did someone really say something this stupid to a child? And 36 people rec'd it...Geez!relax, i'm sure lots of those folks realized it was just allegorical "patriotic" pablum and the conversation most likely never happened. heck i wouldn't be surprised if the author wrote that flimsy maudlin strawman just so someone like WW could more easily rip it to shreds.i'm shocked but encouraged that WW's rebuttal got more recs, especially considering the prevailing sentiment on this board. all those recs on the original post really had me worried for a bit.
Did someone really say something this stupid to a child?And 36 people rec'd it...Geez!I'm only speaking for myself, but I very often recommend posts that I don't necessarily agree with for a variety of reasons: just plain good writing for one; a well-presented argument; something that is thought-provoking; a more concise and clear explanation of what someone previously tried to say but didn't say coherently; something that is outrageously funny or disgusting but makes the point that some people DO think, act, or feel that certain way; etc. It's sometimes hard to do, but I try to refrain from making blanket judgements of "rec-ers" just because I have no idea why they rec'd a certain post. Maybe it's just because lots of other people have rec'd a post and they want to jump on the bandwagon. (I have to admit I've done that at least once myself. <gg>)Hmmmm, could that be construed as a momentum play? <gg>ChiTrader
Everyone calm down - I just called social services and reported this family.hoover
well, one could argue that the spanking and sending to bed in the pre 1960 era helped make us a great and strong nation, Except that meta-analyses of several longitudenal studies have demonstrated that spanking is associated with long-term aggression problems in kids. In other words, it makes them more compliant in the moment (parents who spank are correct about that, it turns out) but less compliant in general, and increasingly conduct-disordered as they age. and that the namby pamby "let's not keep score in t-ball so we don't hurt their poor fragile self esteem" attitude is making us ever weaker. Interestingly enough, research supports this point. Apparently, children develop self-esteem from accomplishing difficult tasks, not from "feel-good" curricula per se. and we seem to be moving as a society into over-protecting our children so they grow up not having a clue how to stand up to a bully, Well, given that an estimated 3,244,000 children were reported to Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies as alleged victims ofchild maltreatment in 1999 (about 40% of whom were referred for neglect), and given that an estimated 1,400 abuse-related child fatalities were confirmed in that same year (nearly 4 every day, 42% of whom were under one year of age at the time of their death), and given that approximately one in three girls is sexually abused before the age of 18 and approximately one in six boys is sexually abused before the age of 16, and given that the U.S. Advisory Board reported that near fatal abuse and neglect each year leave "18,000 permanently disabled children," I'd say that we're a long, long way from "over-protecting" our children.I do agree with you, though, that kids could use some training in "how to stand up to a bully," particularly when that bully is an adult who believes that it is acceptable to put their hands on a child in a violent or coercive manner. Reminds me of a dinner party I once attended at which an icy woman announced that hitting one's children "shows them that you love them." I politely inquired, "So when you do something that your husband dislikes, you feel loved when he hits you, do you? That's very romantic, if a bit risque." She didn't really have a response to that. BG
Everyone calm down - I just called social services and reported this family.hoover ---------------------------------------Loved that one !!!!!!!!!!!!
As a parent, we are given opportunities to contribute to our children's growth and development. Here is my own brand of parenting. Not for everyone, I am sure, but I did want to share a snip of how our family parents a 15 year old daughter. This is a copy of a re-cap email to follow up on discussions about recent disappointments, choices and life direction. Caution: Long, not violent:~jDear Marissa,Thank you for having the courage to tell me what is happening with you lately. I appreciate your willingness to share some of your thoughts on where you are in your life. You are so very special to me and I am privileged to be a part of your life. You and I and everyone in our family will be faced with disappointments and difficulties and it is right that we be able to share those times with each other. But also, remember that this life together will also be filled with happy things and times when we are successful and have achievements that will need to be shared and celebrated. It is important that each of us keep track of those wonderful things to help balance out the times that are the most challenging.You mentioned your fears and unhappiness at not knowing where your future is leading to. You explained it very well, and even though I am not your same age, I understand the importance of where you are right now. In my own experience, one of the most difficult situations to reconcile is when things are uncertain and unclear. You are facing some of that right now. By telling me about it and by your sharing where you are at with other family members and your friends, I am certain that you will begin to gain more clarity and set into motion a series of things that you really want and value. I suggest that you be specific about what those 10 things are that you desire. It is not a burden or a lot of hard work to describe them....it will simply be a list of things of where you are and the direction that you want to go. You will repeat this exercise many times in your life. It will become a natural habit and it will become very easy to do. It is a valuable skill to acquire.You are less of a little child and more of a young adult at this place in your life. You can no longer be just a child of people who tell you how to spend your time or tell you what is best for you. Dad and I will always be here for you, but we respect your choices and want to encourage you to learn how best to achieve what it is that you really want. I know many adults that do not have goals and plans, but I think it would be a mistake to tell you to expect so little from life. You are bright, talented, humorous, interested and interesting as a person. You have many strengths that you are just beginning to appreciate and I want to encourage you to keep exploring those fine qualities as well as develop other characteristics that will be satisfying to you and your relationships. Character trait development in courage, insight, achievement, goal setting, appreciation and empathy, happiness, resilience to name a few.My own parents never spoke to me of these things, Marissa. So I am not sure if what I am telling you about makes much sense. I only know that as an adult, that these are some of the things that really *work* for having success and satisfaction and endurance for this life. You are fortunate that you are in a family that cares for you and wants you to have plans and successes that are worth sharing and celebrating. Even when things are difficult, there are still elements of the process that are worth sharing and working though with your support system of friends and family. You are very loved. You are valued because of what strengths and contributions that you have to offer. You are a very valuable team member in this game called life and it just wouldn't be the same with out all the things you have to offer.I mentioned to you some strategies on how to build a life that is strong and rich. I want to recount those things because I think it bears repeating. You will have the life that you want by actively seeking these things: Developing strong skills to handle all sorts of situations. Finding and developing helpful resources. Defining what you value and strive to have achievement in areas that you determine to be important. These things are all interwoven and as you have success in acquiring these components, you will build a stronger and stronger foundation for happiness in your life. As you develop your personal skills and seek out others who are doing the same, you will have created an environment of helpfulness and quality. By setting out goals and desires for yourself, you will naturally be drawn to others who have similar visions. By having the courage to really want things and having the courage to be dealt disappointments, you will experience a richness of life that will be worth living. It will be a life with feeling, meaning, colors and impact. I would never expect you to live a gray life. Your imagination and zesty viewpoint deserve to be shared and appreciated by many.I know that my frank discussion might seem exotic to you. So many things to consider that you may not have been even thinking about just a few days ago. But I consider myself a resource. Just one resource. And I want to let you know that I do think about you and want to give you solutions that I think might be helpful to you at this turning point in your life. Dad is another very important resource. Britt. Traig. Uncle Gary. Your grandparents. Your friends. Charlotte. The people at the Shelter. People who you have not even met yet. All are potential resources for you. When you know what it is that you want, then you will find opportunities to gain valuable insights from people you know and people you meet and in things that you read or information that you learn about. Because they will have a new meaning as you move toward things you want. You will be quicker to grasp what contributions they have to offer, because you will already be open and more AWARE of the gifts and insights that each person and situation has to give. Right now, I would recommend the following:*Get clear on what can be done about your photography class. Really get real information to make choices about.*A list of 10 things you want right now. Make it and let it be.*Read the book, "The Four Agreements". You get paid for this.*Begin to be aware of how you can learn to care well for yourself. Sometimes you will be alone and you will need to be your own best friend and resource.*Explore the concepts of *Appreciation* and *Empathy* for they are the real opportunities to enjoy relationships and life.Remember, these are recommendations. You may or may not take this advice. I am giving you what I think are reasonable and helpful suggestions. They require effort and are an opportunity to move in a direction that will bring about some changes that might be very surprising. If you find yourself mired in inaction, then it will give you an opportunity to find out more about inaction and how it works in this life. Remember, my dearest daughter, that all of this is a PROCESS and sharing the process is part of what makes things interesting and interconnected. There is no bad or good about what can be done. It is about seeing opportunities available with the new eyes of adulthood. You may have thought you are alone, but you are not.I love you.Your mom,Julie.
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