My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Ahhh...I want your vote! And why I love Jennifer Pooley at Harper Collins

For the first time in a couple of weeks, EVERY CHILD is in school. This stomach bug thing was awful, but I think it's *finally* over, thank goodness. Wash your hands, people. You don't want this one.
Remember a few weeks back when I told you about the darling young editor from Harper Collins that I met at the conference in Virginia? Jennifer Pooley? Well, she sent me ANOTHER book yesterday, and I can't wait to write about it when I finish. I've seen a lot of editors speak and present at conferences, but something about this girl just resonated with me. I have such a passion for books and stories, and I really see that in her. So many other editors seem to get blase about the process and the books they've worked on, rattling them off like grocery lists, but when she talked about her books, she just came alive. Very cool. I know the authors who work with her are blessed.
SO my baby, my six-year-old, has had a loose tooth. ("Looth tooth") This morning he ran downstairs and said, "Mommy, my tooth is really looth now."
"Let me see," I said.
He opened that cute little mouth of his and that darn tooth was nearly hanging out of it. It was completely topped over in his mouth, hanging over the gum by a tiny little bit of gum tissue. It was hilarious. "It is definitely loose," I said, laughing. "Go show Daddy."
Well, you know what happened next. But it reminded me of Christmas time and the excitement these kids have for the whole thing. Kids really learn a lot of patience in these processes--can you imagine telling an adult to put up with a loose tooth for a month? OR wait for a month for awesome presents while someone is 'watching you' to see how good you're being? It's really quite hilarious when you think about it. That kid was so patient for the tooth to come out that it was actually hanging there. I've chuckled about it all morning.
Now I want to discuss a column by John Rosemond that appeared in the News and Observer on Tuesday. It may have also appeared in your local paper, but the N&O is where I read it. The title of the column is "Be Honest About Future". A grandmother wrote in to him, complaining that her daughter-in-law had taught the eight-year-old that he could be anything he wanted to be in life. She was furious and called it "irresponsible." Rosemond says, "Today, this 'you can be anything you want to be' hooey has become ubiquitous. Enlightened parents seem to believe telling children fictions of this sort of one of the obligations of a truly caring parent. As a consequence of this lack of guidance and leadership, increasing numbers of young people in their late 20s still haven't discovered their Inner Wannabe."
Call me crazy, but WHAAAATTT? Our society puts so much pressure on parents to be perfect as it is, now we're going to condemn them for telling a kid he can be whatever he wants to be? NOw, as a Christian, I believe the scripture that tells us that God gives us the desires of our heart. So while we all have gifts and talents, I believe our desires will correlate with those talents (once we uncover them--which sometimes takes a little while...). But aside from that, which was pretty much beside the point, this article kills me.
It goes on to cite young people who blame their parents saying things like "In college, without her parents helping her make straight As (what???), she is discovering that she isn't as capable a student as she's been led to believe." Call me crazy, but this sounds like a different problem.
So here's the last line, "How sad and sadder still for the fact that this young woman's devastation can be largely credited to parents who obviously never considered the old saying to the effect that good intentions pave the road to Perdition." Hmmmm. What do you think? I've love to hear some other opinions here. And forgive me, Mr. Rosemond, if I'm misinterpreting your words here, and if I'm not, thanks for the opportunity for an interesting debate.
I'm going to put it to a vote. So look for it on the screen of this blog: Parents damage their children when they tell them they can be anything they want to be. Agree or Disagree

3 comments:

Liz said...

Hmmm . . . not that easy to answer. As with most questions like these, the answer is not black or white. At least not to me (of course I am pretty much the grayist person around).
I am usually on the side of "you can be whatever you want to be". However, if someone is shooting for NFL MVP or winning 8 Grammy's ala Taylor Swift (she has the possibility of doing that this year), I'm not sure that is a healthy thing to enthusiastically support if there are little signs of, say, athletic ability. Duh.
But the blanket "I think you can can be whatever you set your heart on" is a healthy and appropriate message to tell our children. It gives them hope and most of all lets them know that the most important people in their lives BELIEVE in them. In my work, most of the truly troubled kids are the ones who have no one to believe in them, or even worse, who tell them they CAN'T do anything because they are stupid, dumb, lazy, (fill in the disparaging adjective). I usually like John Rosemond, and I see what he is getting at, but I am all for a healthy dose of "I believe in you".

Liz said...

BTW- I voted for "disagree" and it showed my vote under "undecided".

Anonymous said...

I think parents should support their kids' dreams. That said, the parents have to give the tools to their kids to achieve those dreams, and not just do things for them. I think that's where today's helicopter parents mess up. They keep swooping in to solve everything and kids never have a chance to figure out how to fail and therefore never learn how to succeed on their own. And think John Rosemond is a crotchety old man, for the record.

--Jody

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman