Saturday, December 12, 2009


I found this article about Empty Nesters who buy puppies.

“'People who are empty nesters but 10 years away from having grandchildren are saying it’s time for a fur baby.' He says people in their 50s have the urge to 'fill the void' for a number of reasons. One is the human need to nurture."

And then I realized that two children moved out of my mom's house and she bought two new dogs [above] Sweet Pea and Harry Socks...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best hope for a poor black child

When thinking about Precious and The Blind Side, I didn't really think about the role that family plays in them until I read this article.

"Both movies tell stories that suggest a way out of poverty, brutality and domestic calamity for certain lucky individuals while saying very little about how those conditions might be changed."

"Both locate the problems facing their main characters in the failure of families — of mothers in particular — and find solutions in better families, substitute mothers"

"we love stories of heroic educators, coaches and moms who change the lives of poor, marginalized children by teaching them hard work and self esteem."

"the best hope for a poor black child in America is to have rich white parents."

Even though I haven't seen these movies, I've been thinking a lot about them. In real life, it is wonderful that Big Mike found a way out of a horrible situation thanks to the unbelievable kindness of a surrogate family. That support allowed him to find his way. But something about putting it in a movie turns it into a white/black thing. This poor black child succeeded because a rich white family took pity on him. Precious is a little less about race; by that I mean that her savior is not a white family. but a constructed family: a social worker, fellow at-risk students, etc. Either way, I think it's important that having a supportive family becomes the catalyst these characters need to change their lives.

If anyone's actually seen these movies, feel free to disagree/ agree with me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dog Whisperer

This is funny: Calm but Assertive.

As you probably know, I really love the dog whisperer. I apply a lot of his beliefs when managing a class and plan to apply them to parenthood as well. This is an article from The New York Times pointing out that many parents are turning to Caesar Milan for parenting tips. hehe!

This has nothing to do with my blog.

This is totally unrelated but kinda funny.

I was reading about when children are ready to go to school and in the Middle Ages, they were deemed ready when they passed the apple test: they had to have enough foresight to choose a coin over an apple. Weird.

Sharing Stress

Job Woes Exacting a Toll on Family Life
This article outlines the toll it takes on the family when one or both parents are unemployed.

"But beneath the surface, they have been a family on the brink. They have watched their children struggle with behavioral issues and a stress-induced disorder."

"Children, especially, have become hidden casualties, often absorbing more than their parents are fully aware of."

"A variety of studies have tied drops in family income to negative effects on children’s development."

Children are so in-tune to changes in their family dynamics. The daughter in the family featured in this article ended up pulling her hair out {side note, on nip/tuck, the daughter pulled her hair out and ate it! ahh! also from family stress}. I think that my sister may have done this her whole life. Because my parents were divorced before my sister's second birthday, she grew up in a very stressful household. I can definitely see how she reflected that stress. I guess we all absorb the stress that our family's feeling, though. Not just financial stress.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Modern Family!!

I've been watching Modern Family and laughing out loud. It's hilarious. My roommate doesn't like it as much as me because he gets stressed out thinking about having a life like the ones depicted in the show. I think because it's all about the family and trying to get along and raising teenagers. blech.
But it is a great show and interesting because the show is exclusively about their home lives. It doesn't show them at work or introduce many friends. And yet there is enough material investigating these familial relationships and how complicated families can be to make an entertaining show.

More stats

Number of houses in Baltimore:

Male householder, no wife present, family



Female householder, no husband present, family



I always wondered what that number was.

Number of houses in Greenville, SC:

Male householder, no wife present, family



Female householder, no husband present, family