Tag Archives: Parenting and Relationships

Responsibility

 

When I was a teenager I taught that growing up ment being free of my mother’s constant nagging about the person she wanted me to be. A proud Man with values that others would admire. Having respect for my fellow man, not hurting anyone directly or indirectly, not stealing or cheating, to be precise do unto others as you would have them do to you. All through those turbulent teen years it never occurred to me that what Mother was doing was prepping me for the life ahead of me. She was teaching responsibility to an oblivious teen who could not wait to be an adult and do all the bad things that adults do, like too many sex partners, excessive use of alcohol and drugs. It never occurred to me that they were wasting their lives and killing themselves. I once worked with a twenty one years old man who had heart murmur  from the amount of coke that he ingested from seventeen to twenty one. Can you imagine a young man with the heart of an old man. I also met a Man who didn’t know the names of all his children, he had so many with different Women. Yet another man who drank anything other than milk or water and his stomach would bleed, from all the alcohol he drank .

 

All this boiled down to responsibility, something that too many adults lack. Immature and irresponsible they know how to scratch the itch but nothing about parenting, I would need a calculator to tabulate the amount of men that I have met in their forties and fifties with the mentality of a fifteen year old. Looking back I thank mom for all the nagging. Of all the misfits that I have been unfortunate to meet in my life, I must say mother did her Job raising two Boys by herself with great success. Neither one of us posses a compulsive obsessive disorder, both good husbands and  fathers, world class citizens who respect all of God’s Creatures.
Parenting comes easy for me, lead by example and pass on values through the way you live your life, it can’t be taught. Trying to teach values and living your life in a gregarious manner is contradicting.

The other day I noticed a young man with two young boys heading to the Beach, in one Hand he had a twelve pack of beer in the other was an opened can that he was sipping from. The message he was sending, public drunkenness was against the law but cool anyway, how contradictory. It’s the same when you invite a bunch of friends over, everybody gets shit-faced and trash talk when the kids are within earshot. That’s  irresponsibility , kids are like sponges they absorb their Environment. Once I was sitting at the kitchen table with my friend’s  wife having a conversation when her eight years old son could not get her attention he vehemently declared mommy you are a Bitch , instead of slapping his face and giving credibility to his vulgarity, she asked him why he called her that. He staunchly replied Daddy said that you are. It appeared that he and his dad had a conversation about something that his mother told him he couldn’t have and his response was, don’t mind her she is a Bitch. Like I have said over and again, anyone can make Babies, but we all don’t posses the level of responsibility to be Parents.

Raising Themselves

This is the part of working in the  Resort business that I love. Meeting people from all walks of life, from all over the world. Today I met a Teacher on her Honeymoon,  the conversation started with my Nametag, to where I was from, to parenting to Marriage. On the latter she wanted to know the secret of a long and happy marriage. I began by telling her that I have been married for thirty seven years,  also that without fidelity, communication, respect,  giving and taking I would not be here thirty seven years later giving advice. Next the subject of parenting ensued and how many kids I had also my secret to their level of consciousness. I began by telling her that by being interactive in their lives by setting guidance, interjecting values and telling them to select their friends instead of being selected. She was glued and mesmerized, I was rattling off with the advice. Then I broke the secret that I Blog about all we just discussed. She taught I was pulling her leg, went to the Site and was now a fan.

 

Even though I was enjoying the conversation, I taught to myself I should be moving on I had work to do that the shift before did not accomplish, also she was a newlywed that probably wanted to go upstairs and get busy.
Then she hits me with what do you think about Android Babies, children given the most expensive of Devices to fill the void of  parenting and not interacting in their lives. I said to myself oh my Lord, she just opened up a can of Worms that would take the entire Honeymoon to properly address. I thought, how can I put it in a nutshell quickly. My response, Children put in a position of raising themselves is equievelient to when I was growing up being raised by a single parent who had to work so we could eat. We were called latch key children, when we came home from school there was no one home for hours. We either prioritize by doing homework, cleaning up our mess and probably start preparing dinner so when she gets home there’s little to do.  For a weak and misguided child that is a recipe for being a bad ass Brat.  She was not a stay at home mom so there was a lot that we didn’t benefit, from her always being there.

 

There’s always a Solution

A child in that situation has to grow up fast making sound decisions in how they spent their time and who they choose to be friends with. I told you that when I was fourteen I was smoking marijuana with a twelve year old that went to Catholic school. Both of us were lucky to have interactive parenting to turn our lives around. My mother busted me at fourteen with an ounce of Weed which started intervention. Without her interactive parenting I probably would have been a big Dealer by twenty. That didn’t happen because the Foundation was laid so was the Path filled with values.  Allowing kids to raise themselves comes with no small consequence.  Case in point a sixteen year old honor student had sex with a classmate, video tape and posted it. When confronted by the school he jumped to his death. I didn’t elaborate to the Teacher so I think she needs to revisit Sks.

Taking Shape

How they grow up is all up to you

Moulding your children does not mean creating a carbon copy of you. It means shaping, creating structure and adding values to their lives. Being controlling  overbearing and a Dictator robs them of their individuality. No one has the right to deny one’s individualism, not even a parent. Your job is to cultivate them to be the best they can be as an individual thinker. Your ideals can of the greatest Christian teaching, but we all have faults, it’s for us to highlight their shortcomings to them and allowing them to repair themselves. By constantly browbeating and berating, all that does is to create resentment and Rebellion. Don’t forget that God made Man in his own image, look around you and see how many of us walk in his teaching, loving our neighbors and following the other nine Commandments. If he could not bring out the perfection that’s within us . What makes you think that as a Parent we can have success with our Offsprings all the time. Remember that you can lead a mule to the water, making him drink is another story. People will always be who they are. Even though they carry your genes there can be night and day contrast in personality.

 

There’s always a Solution

Don’t forget Freud had a hard time putting it all together, it didn’t come to him overnight, you never know what a mind is going to gravitate toward, good or bad. You can perform Lobotomy on some people and you still aren’t going to change their thinking. Your heroic efforts are noted, but all you can do is show them the way and hope that they gravitate to your teaching. Several weeks ago one of my coworker slept while her fourteen year old was out four am with his friends stealing cars and racing them at speeds exceeding 100 mph. They were part of a click who played Devil’s advocate video recording themselves and Posting it on Social media, three of them died that Sunday morning. I will say it again Lobotomy can’t save some people. If your life has been charted ill- fatefully only the hand of God can alter it’s course. And on the other hand the Lord helps those who help themselves. If you don’t teach them values and put structure in their lives and when they choose to live on the fringes of death and insanity, then the inevitable happens don’t ask why me Lord.

 

 

It goes back to the first two people on earth they chose  to listen to the voice of the Serpent who represented evil, it continued to the the young Farmer who killed his brother out of jealousy  and It never got any better to the point where Jesus had to lay down his Life. All this and you expect me to be amazed at anything that people allows themselves to become. you can invest a lifetime of teaching and Money in a child and they choose to be exactly who they choose to be. When I was fourteen years old, I smoked Marijuana with a twelve year old kid who went to Catholic school he introduced me to the finest Weed grown in every corner of the world. So don’t tell me about Public Schools and Home Environment, his Parents were top of the Heap, upstanding citizens. It’s amazing how both of our lives paralleled, we both could have turned out to be big time Drug Dealers but instead we both grew up straight and strong. What good would it have been if we both became Kingpins, but in the process we lost our Souls. Remember, we are going to be who we want to be, don’t forget that we are individuals, individual thinkers and no one can tell us at fourteen that we are stupid. The only double edge sword in Parenting is when you don’t try to show them the way how to let their lives take shape, when you allow them to run amuck without a Compass, then it’s all on you.

To Your Own Self Be True

 

If you are in a relationship that is circumventing of you the person, controlling and inhibiting who you aspire to be, no matter what the chain that binds you. I don’t care how much money, how good the sex or whatever that keeps you on the Hook. When a relationship puts you in deep water over your head, compromising your beliefs, your personality, your drive, your ambition  and your spirituality, you need to step. The Bible says that if your right hand offends you, cut it off. We are living in a Player’s World, every other Jerk wants to play you like a Violin. Their goal is to have you Brainwashed, having you believing that they have your best interest at Heart. Not so my Friend, that’s how they tie you up in a knot. Like Gladys knight said “make me the Woman you come home to” that’s how Pimps control.

 

 

Janice was only fifteen years old when Roger a well dressed suave older Man latched eyes on her, waited for her after School in his fancy car, always offering to give her a ride. Like most good looking young Girls who can’t wait to to be a Woman, she was intrigued, this Guy had all the trappings to break down the walls of her chastity.  One day nearing sixteen she broke down and got in his Eldorado. Back in the old days growing up in the Bronx, the only people who drove Ld’s were old men, Pimps and Drug Dealers. That was the greatest mistake of her life, she had stepped into his Webb, exactly what the Spider had hope for since the first day he laid eyes on her sprouting young body. Unbeknownst to her this Man was a ruthless Drug Dealer. He showered her with gifts over the next couple of months, his only intent, to de- flower the naive little wannabe Woman. It worked. The Cradle Robber cajoled her from the Sanctuary of her single moms Roof to his Den of ill-repute.

 

 

The rest is History, a broken Record of Parents warning their young Daughters, don’t take Candy from a Old Dirty Bastard. All he wants is to get in your Drawers, and so did he . Didn’t take long for her to start showing, because she was now compromised. Janice had compromised herself to a Dog, before twenty she was Knocked up three times and had a Monkey on her back. To create a dependency  and be the supplier, puts him in the drivers seat sometimes they beat her up for using up too much.  Back in Pa when you had a Dog that was bent on bad, you take it out in the Woods and shoot it.There was nothing we could for Mathew Broddak when he killed his pregnant girlfriend friend for the last hit of Crack. Also  far too humane for Roger the Dodger, as he was known. The damage he had done to her was irreparable, all the time telling her that she didn’t need an education or training  because he would always be there for them. The ignorant young Girl she was, believed him that she didn’t need skills, until eleven years later when he was convicted of Murder and given Life. Now she had to clean up her act and go to work with no skills. Poor Kid twenty six years and no skills entering the workforce for the first time so she can provide for her Children, without going on Welfare.

 

 

My Mother always told us that if you lay with Flees, you are bound to itch, man was Jan ever scratching. She was scratching from withdrawal and scratching for a living. Bad enough to be fifteen entering a relationship and giving it up to a cradle Robber of ill repute. How dumb can you be? in some society fifteen is considered to be a Woman, not in Florida. She was only a child when she started having his Babies. He tied her up mentally and psychologically, in some way I don’t blame her. She was only a misguided Child getting caught up in the Webb that he had spun. This is an ongoing cycle for young Girls wanting to be Women too fast, instead of concentrating on the benefits of an education. They become pre occupied in growing up fast and in doing all the dumb shit that adults do like doing Drugs. I was not different, except I had a Mother who was bent on steering my Ship straight. Finally I would like to say thanks Mom for being a great Mother and Father.

Prudence

 

 

Like anything else in life such as skills,  mannerisms,  personalities,  behavior and parenting, people refuse to ascend to be the best they can be. Most people are quite comfortable with complacency and mediocrity.  Of all the things to be half assed at, parenting is not the place. If you were raised by mediocre parents, you should not raise your kids in the same mindset. Parenting is not just about putting a roof over their head’s and food in their stomachs. It’s a little more than that,  like setting a path for them to travel their lives, showing them good values and graciousness. Most parents want their children’s lives to be better than theirs. There is nothing wrong with your children being more developed than you, socially and all around. In an earlier Blog titled Jasoul, I was so impressed with an eight year old child,  that I had to do her parents justice by what I had observed in their child. Jasoul had great mannerisms, style, grace and a ton of class. That is what prompted me to to write this Blog.

Today while walking down Beach Boulevard I noticed a twelve year old girl walking wearing half of a Bathing suit with both hands covering her little Breasts. The tragedy of this scenario was that she was walking with her family. The poor Girl was showing modesty in an age where girls barely older than her walks down the same Blvd with their ass cheeks hanging out of their Hooker shorts. It appears that she was being taught a lesson or being punished,  why I came to the conclusion is, she was showing modesty and her brother wasn’t asked to give her his T-shirt and dear old Dumb Dad didn’t offer her his shirt  while mediocre Mom didn’t come to her female child’s aid. That scenario left a lasting impression on me,  I am quite sure it left one on the little girl. Now do you see what I consider to be half assed  parenting. We are supposed to be there for them in all their times of need. Even though we are in Resorts City where Grownups are walking around with their ass cheeks hanging out of their Bikini, this child wants to be Prudent, for God’s sake work with her and don’t diminish her self pride.

That’s what Great parenting is about. just because you come from a household where your Dad walked around the house in his Boxer shorts always scratching himself in public and always had your Mother pregnant and barefoot, that shouldn’t be good enough for your Daughter who wants to be Prudent and smarter than you. let her be the person who she chose to be and help her to be that person. Your Children should not be a carbon copy of you, your job is teaching them individuality and responsibility. I will say it again parenting is not for everyone who makes Babies.

Blue Bottom


 

Nestled at the bottom of a one mile hike of treacherous terrain, where a slip of foot could leave you badly damaged, or dead. Lies one  of the most beautiful creation of Nature, it might even be where a Meteor fell hundreds of years ago. Never the less it’s a beautiful Gorge with Mountains and tall Timbers on both sides of a bountiful stream. The water flow was controlled by a man made Dam, trapped in a deep crevice of land. That is how it got its name Blue Bottom. When the sun shines high overhead, you see nothing but blue water, no matter how deep you go. It’s been a prohibited area for many years, story told that back in the days of the Flower Children, Hippies would camp out here for long periods of time, nothing short of Squatting.

 

Living in a primitive state just like the Mohegan and Pocono Indians did centuries ago. Don’t forget this place is part of the Pocono mountains. The Flower Children, many of them the children of Farmers were self sufficient, they grow what they needed for their Hermit lifestyle including Marijuana. Free Love, Rock and roll and Drugs were the Theme of the sixties and seventies. As in all societies there have always been Dim Witts quickly to take the lives of others in a fit of drunken rage. I guess after Cain killed  his brother, we were doomed forever with the Curse of Murder. At this same Pristine Ground that I hiked many times even though Prohibited, one day one of these peace loving Flower Children whacked out on Acid, killed a couple of his friends, on what I consider to be sacred Grounds. That act of Barbarianism got them all Evicted from Eden. Once again the proof is in the Pudding Drugs are tolerated differently by different people, and taking drugs that you dont know their composition and interaction is like playing Russian roulette with your Life and others.

 

These Woods were Posted No Trespassing for the longest time. Once Memories are erased by time, each new Generation forget and imitates the previous. Drug Epidemics are typical. Thirty years later the Curse of Blue Bottom re-manifests itself, this time a bunch of privileged kids. The kids would gather at the top of the Gorge with their expensive ATVs, sometimes they raced to the bottom. Once there, let the party begin. Sometimes the party lasted deep into nightmare, drinking and smoking marijuana. The retainer wall of the Dam was ten feet wide with a one hundred and eighty feet drop. Where else would a bunch of young Stoned kids ride their ATVs. The hands of faith have known to be tested long before Evil Knievel, and will forever be. It’s an absolute disaster when teenagers have no structure in their lives and too much time on their hands with dangerous toys to boot. on one occasion one kid raced across the top of the Dam’ s wall, lost control and fell to the bottom of the outside wall, to the rocks that awaited. The Caverns of this Beautiful hideaway is a horror chamber for many. Living in Florida eleven hundred miles away, many times I would think of my secret place at Blue Bottom and my Spirit world make the trip, return and paint a picture in my mind’s eye of this little piece of Heaven nestled in the Pocono mountains.

Mannered

 

If a child is led to be disrespectful of what you ask and say, believing that they are indisputable and unreproachable.  Through whatever means that they hold your trust, it’s  unbecoming of a rounded out individual. They have rough edges, that should be professionally addressed. By you looking away in helpless disbelief, only feed strength to a person with no fear. They will test you to your limits. And , when they are done with you, they turn to Society.

 

Being mannered is a reverent and humbling  feeling, that if you were able to save the world, there is still something, someone or some greater force , to say the least, listen to you, and believing that laws are just  that. When I was fourteen my Mother found my ounce of Marijuana while washing my clothes. This was the first time I was mannered. That woman flushed my ounce of Marijuana and dares  me to tell her what I was looking for. I was humbled to see someone who was well within their rights of exploding like a stick of Dynamite, choose to be the Bigger Man. She had not once in our lifetime ever asked me what a fourteen year old was doing with having and smoking marijuana. what she did was, she counseled me about the way that I was living my life, of the dangers, the  health effects and the consequences. She spoke to me like a Priest and a Drug Counselor. The civilized treatment made me absolutely crazy asking myself why don’t she explode. That is super parenting, for a single mother raising two teenage boys in NYC, let’s call that Dr Mom.

When I was sixteen, going to a party she told me what time to be back in the house, being who I was, my inner demons spoke to me they said she is not taking to you. Stumbling home at pre-dawn, just about morning, shit faced and all, she ambushed me behind the door with a Broomstick, dropped me to my knees, but guess what I did not jumped up and punch her , even though  someone I know could kill, I would have been stupid to disrespect someone who could kill you with kindness. That is mannered. If you can’t manner a child by either fear or logically reasoning , that person will not be afraid of laws. When I was ten I witnessed a man getting knocked down, got up told his assailant to wait right here, returned with a Machete tucked away, asked him try and hit him again, the fool swung. From that day on he was known as Lefty, that’s street mannering, street justice, What it feels like to sing the Blues.

 

 

When I met Mark Harshberger, while working for him as a contractor. Early in our relationship he told me his life insurance was six figures. A state wrestling champion, with 100 Guns. He was afraid of no one, I hope at least GOD. During a small altercation at work for getting too close to his new truck, he offered me six from a forty-five. Hello. Somewhat of an agnostic nature I would say. He was abusive to the workforce, there is no doubt in my mind that He took some of that bodaciousness home. Once we were doing interior demolition on a College Dorm to remove the hazardous building materials, he had abused us so badly for the duration of the project, on the last day of finalizing the project. The Crew of twelve, Mutined, twenty five Dollars per hour and no one showed up for work. He was fearless and un-reproachable. He could shoot as well as his wife Marybeth, who have hit Bullseye at 2000 feet, and beyond.  One fateful day Mark and Marybeth were in Canada hunting with some of their finest Telescopic  equipped Rifles. At this point in his Life he was covered close to three quarters of a million . Sharp-Shooter Marybeth Shot and killed  Mark stating that she taught she shot a Bear in the twilight dusk. While back Home she was setting up House with Mark’s Brother. Murder by Death or death by Murder, you call it. Regardless! Mark was Mannered by Marybeth.

 

PS. we should not wait for someone else to have to manner up our kids.

 

WikipediaMary Beth Harshbarger

Mary Beth Harshbarger (born February 19, 1965) is an American woman who rose to media attention when she accidentally shot her husband, Mark Harshbarger, during a hunting trip in Newfoundland, Canada, thinking he was a bear. She was charged with “criminal negligence causing death” and found not guilty.

Mary Beth Harshbarger
Shooting incidentEdit

On September 14, 2006, Mary Beth, her husband Mark and their two young children, and Mark’s brother Barry Harshbarger, were on a hunting trip outside of Buchans Junction, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The facts of the case state that Mary Beth was sitting in the back of a Chevy pickup truck with her children, armed with a rifle, on a logging road late in the day.[1] She waited with her children while Mark and a local hunting guide walked through the nearby spruce woods in the hopes of flushing out a black bear.[1] Barry was at a hunting blind elsewhere in the woods.[1]

Mark began to walk back toward the truck with the guide, the guide stopping to urinate in the woods.[1] At this point Mark walked towards the van, ahead of the guide, in dark clothing without an orange hunting hat or vest to improve his visibility.[1] At 7:55 pm (NT) as he emerged from the woods, Mary Beth told police that she saw a dark shape that she believed was a black bear, and fired using her rifle.[1] What she shot was not a black bear however, but was instead her husband Mark.[1]When he was shot, Mark Harshbarger was approximately 200 feet from the truck in which his wife Mary Beth and two children were seated.[2] In recounting the incident to Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers at the lodge where they were staying immediately after the shooting, Mary Beth said she had looked through the scope twice to make sure what she was seeing really was a bear.[3] She insisted that she had not seen the blue of Mark Harshbarger’s pants, but instead seen the black of a bear.[3]

According to Dr. Nash Denic, the St. John’s, Newfoundland pathologist who autopsied him, Mark Harshberger died of one gunshot wound to the abdomen.[3] Dr. Denic revealed during Mary Beth Harshberger’s trial that Mark would most likely have been leaning over when he was shot .

PS. working for Mark, I found him to be a Tyrant and a Slave driver, very ill-mannered with the Workforce. Regardless no one deserved to be taken out like that, by a Sharp-Shooter who could hit a Bullseye at 2000 feet, my question is, why would you shoot at something 50 yards away not sure what it was being a professional Hunter. If every Hunter in the woods fired at everything that moved, there would be Bodies stacked in a mountain.

PPS. Did I mention that there are too many Guns in the wrong hands in this Country .

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Values

 

Every day it seems there’s another story of the decline in values in our youth in the United States . Drugs are available in even remote Rural schools. Teenage sexually transmitted infections are skyrocketing. In many schools, teachers are more Police officers than they are instructors. A troubling materialism rears its ugly head even among elementary school students. In our Society, proper moral values seem to be taking a pretty good licking. As parents, this disturbing trend brings the cold sweat of responsibility to our Furrowed brows. “I want my Children to have responsible moral values ” we say “but how do I teach them those values?” Parents cannot make their Kids think like they do simply by telling them, “you’ll do it or else.” Demands and threats may yield short-term results, but they don’t mold our Kids minds. They don’t persuade them that we are right. In a real sense, parenting is the transmitting of our values to our Kids. We want our Kids to be honest; we want them to respect others; we want them to know the value of hard work; we want a moral and ethical lifestyle to be as important to them as it is to us.

 

However, there’s bad news and good news in this question of transmitting values. The bad news is that we can’t stroll down the wide and easy  road of lecturing our Kids on the topic. It might have worked for our parents, but the odds of success have radically tipped the other way. The good news, though, is that it is still possible to pass on our values to our Kids, but it’s going to take some taught and effort. Values are passed on to our children in two ways: by what our Kids see and what they experience in relating to us. When our Kids see us being honest, they learn about honesty. When we talk to our Kids with Love and respect, they learn to talk that way with others. We can accelerate our molding effectiveness by engaging in eaves-drop value setting. That means that Mom and Dad talk to each other about their values but within earshot of the Kids. If we want our Kids to learn about honesty, for example, we allow them to overhear us reporting on our genuine acts of honesty. “You know sweetie ” we might say to our spouse, “something interesting happened to me today. At the store, I gave the Clerk a five-dollar bill for a can of pop,and she gave me $14.50 in change. So I gave her back the ten. I could have said nothing and be ten dollars richer, but I feel so much better being honest and doing what’s right.”

 

 

If our Peers tell some off-color and demeaning stories at work, we may say to our spouse, when our Kids can overheard us.” The guys at the Office were telling dirty stories  today in the Lunchroom, but I excused myself and ate Lunch at my desk. It always bothers me to hear stories like that. I feel much better for thinking for myself and walking away.” Kids soak up what they hear when we speak to others. It’s great when what they soak up what  is good, but be advised:  They are sponges for the bad too. Our improper words and actions hit them with the same force. If we have nothing but ridicule for our Bosses and coworkers, our Kids learn that ridicule and sarcasm are an acceptable way to talk. If we cheat at board games or when we play sports with our young Children, then we shouldn’t wring out hands and cry,”why?” when they  get nailed for cheating at school. If our idea of a good time is a La-Z-Boy recliner, a six pack of beer, and an NFL doubleheader, our Kids will get the message that that’s the way grown-ups have fun. All of our wise words to the contrary won’t bluntly the point. The way we influence our Kids values is in the way we treat them. A corollary to the Golden Rule applies here: Kids will do to others as their Parents do to them. Treating our Kids with respect teaches them to go and do likewise. Being fair with our Kids makes them want to be fair to their friends and Teachers. Kids have minds of their own. They want to exert their independence and do their own thinking. They blow off the things that are forced on them and embrace the things they want to believe. If we want to pass our values down to them,  we must present those values in a way our Kids can accept: in our actions and words. Kids’ values comes from what they see and hear. They don’t accept what we try to drive into their heads through Lecturing.

From Parenting with Love and Logic:

I Would Rather Do it myself

Oftentimes we impede our Kids growth. We put ourselves exactly where we shouldn’t be: in the middle of their problems. Parents who take on their Kid’s problems do them a great disservice. They rob their children of the chance to grow in responsibility, and they actually foster further irresponsible behavior. The greatest gift we can give our children is the knowledge that with God’s help, they can always look first to themselves for the answers to their problems. Kids who develop an attitude that says, I can probably find my own solutions, become survivors. They have an edge in Learning, relating to others, and making their way in the World. That’s because the best solution to any problem lies within the person who owns the problem. When we solve problems for our Kids-the ones they could handle on their own-they’re never quite satisfied. Our solution is never quite good enough.

When we tell our Kids what to do, deep down they say,I can think for myself, so oftentimes they do the exact opposite of what we want them to do. Our anger doesn’t help either. Certainly, it galls us to no end when our kids mess up something in their own Lives. When they lose school-books or bring home failing grades, it’s only natural for us to explode in a living, breathing Fourth of July display. But anytime we explode at Children for what they do to themselves, we only make the problem worse. We give Kids the the message that the actual, logical consequence of messing up is making adults mad. The children gets swept away in the power of their anger rather than learn a lesson from the consequences of their mistakes. When we intrude into our children’s Problems  with anger or rescue mission, we make their problems our problems. Children don’t worry about problems they know are the concern of their Parents. This can be explained partly by the “no sence in both of us worrying about it” syndrome. Kids who deal directly with their own problems are moved to solve them. They know that if they don’t, nobody will. Not their parents not their teachers- nobody. On a subconscious level, they feel much better about themselves when they handle their own problems.

P.s. momma may have Popa may have but God bless the Child that’s got it all together for himself.

Excerpt from-
Parenting with Love and Logic.

P.S. by Anthony.

MY HERO

I am no Hero worshiper, when I was eighteen I saw a beautiful Rolls Royce parked on fifty third St. While admiring the beautiful red and black interior design, the owner approached his car. I immediately recognized him, showers him with praise and asked him for his autograph. The Oxi Moron looked at me like I did not exist, the same fool who used to buy tickets to watch him play Basketball, so he could afford the Rolls. Another time on the same Street, my all-time favorite Movie Star struggling with a big Box up the stairs to her Town House. I asked her if I could help her, I also asked for her Autograph, she looked at me as If I was going to Rob and Rape her, she didn’t utter a word, no thanks, get away from me, just a look of disdain. I guess I would not be invited to Dinner. Well that was it for my Hero worshiping for the rest of my life. As far as genuine Heroes who steps up in the most adverse of situations and risk their own Lives to save others, GOD BLESS. Then there are People who life has been un giving and un timing. Yet they devote the little time given them, to share an un Dimmable light of Hope and Resilience.
Mattie Stepanek has touched my Soul.

‘Mattie’s message touched the world’: The story of a boy poet

In his brief life Mattie Stepanek befriended Oprah Winfrey and former US President Jimmy Carter, and his poetry spoke to millions of ordinary people. His mother Jeni talks to Catherine O’Brien about her extraordinary son whose life was cut short by a rare form of muscular dystrophy

Mattie Stepanek
Mattie and his mother Jeni at his first book signing in 2001
Jeni Stepanek’s home is an attractive four-bedroomed house with a white picket fence. Had it been a dilapidated, one-roomed shack, however, Jeni would still have bought it. The only factor that mattered when she moved in four years ago was its location – opposite the entrance to the 26-acre park in Rockville, near Washington DC, created in honour of her son Mattie.

The park has play spaces, but at its heart is a memorial peace garden with a life-size bronze statue of Mattie and his dog Micah. ‘Every day, I sit at my window and see mothers go over to the statue with their children,’ says Jeni. ‘If they press a button on the speaker post, they hear a recording of Mattie’s voice. It is a terrible thing for a parent to bury a child, but I do have the blessing of seeing how Mattie has touched the world.’

Jeni is a mother who has endured more grief that most of us could bear to imagine. All four of her children were born with a genetic disorder – a rare form of muscular dystrophy. The first three, Katie, Stevie and Jamie, died before the age of four. Mattie survived until three weeks before his 14th birthday and in that brief lifespan became an international phenomenon, selling more than two million copies of his poetry collections and giving inspirational speeches to thousands of followers. His heroes – Oprah Winfrey, poet Maya Angelou, former US president Jimmy Carter – became his best friends. At his funeral Carter gave the eulogy, declaring, ‘My wife and I have known kings and queens, and we’ve known presidents and prime ministers, but the most extraordinary person whom I have ever known is Mattie Stepanek.’

You do not have to spend long with Jeni to understand where Mattie got some of those extraordinary qualities. Six years after her youngest child’s death, Jeni works tirelessly in his name, overseeing fundraising for medical research into neuromuscular diseases, teenage mentoring programmes and peace projects in 18 countries, including the UK. She does all this despite having the adult onset of the disease that developed when Mattie was two years old; today her health has deteriorated to the point where she is wheelchair-bound and permanently attached to a ventilator.

‘I am not paralyzed. I can move every part of my body – but I do not have the strength to move against gravity. I can bring my hands together, but I cannot clap. I can raise my hand to my mouth, but I have a difficult time feeding myself,’ she explains.

Mattie Stepanek
Mattie with his dog Micah, 2002
In the year after Mattie died, part of Jeni’s catharsis was to write about his short but significant life. ‘I hesitated,’ she says, ‘because I didn’t want my grief to spill over on the page and nor did I want people to think I was hanging on to Mattie’s coat tails. But I knew in the end I would tell the story – because I was the only one who lived it with him.’

Jeni’s now published book Messenger is a celebration of Mattie’s remarkable achievements and wisdom that was way beyond his years. But it is also the story of a mother and son who were living in the shadow of grief. ‘Mattie was not my therapist or confidant – that was not our relationship. But we were incredibly close,’ she says. She describes them as a ‘dynamic duo’ and throughout there is a sense that it was she and Mattie against the world – not least because there is almost no mention of Mattie’s father, from whom Jeni separated in 1997. Mattie once told the American TV chat-show host Larry King: ‘We’re divorced from my father because he did some mean and scary things to us.’ Today, Jeni says, ‘I prefer not to talk about it, but I think my silence speaks volumes.’

Now 51, Jeni grew up in Maryland, where she still lives, in Rockville. She is as reticent about her own family background as she is about her husband. ‘It’s sad, but it is not the story I am telling.’ She does explain, however, that she was training to be a clinical child psychologist when she married aged 25 and became pregnant with her first child Katie, who was born four weeks prematurely, in 1985. Katie came out not breathing, was rushed straight into special care and ‘it was my sudden immersion into the next 20 years of my life’. Although Katie did eventually walk and talk, she couldn’t breathe normally and was fitted with a tracheostomy tube connected to a ventilator. She died suddenly at 20 months when her kidneys and bladder stopped functioning. Her condition was never diagnosed – doctors told Jeni she was a ‘fluke of nature’ and assured her that it was safe for her to have more children.

I give my mommy ‘Buried treasure’ Just like the little boy in Peter Pan. But I can’t give my mommy ‘Buried Jamie’. He is in the Heaven That is the hole in the ground, Like a treasure

Written by Mattie when he was four

Her second child Stevie seemed fine when he was born, just two months after Katie died. But within three days his heart rate was falling rapidly, and by the time he was three months he was permanently attached to a ventilator. He died at six months when one of his oxygen tanks malfunctioned, leaving him without air.

After Stevie’s death, Jeni underwent genetic and emotional counselling. Doctors couldn’t identify what had killed her babies, but realised it was caused by a recessive gene, which, in theory, should mean that there was only a one-in-four chance of giving birth to a child with the then unnamed condition. She and her husband decided to risk another pregnancy and Jamie was born in February 1989, tragically with the same health problems. ‘At one minute after birth I had a bouncing baby boy,’ Jeni recalls. ‘At five minutes, I had a floppy newborn.’

She resolved firmly to have no more children, only to find herself pregnant again within the year. She considered abortion but, as a devout Catholic, couldn’t go through with it. Mattie was born in July 1990. Jeni ignored medical professionals who suggested she put him in an institution, and consequently for almost two years lived on the edge of exhaustion, juggling long stays in hospital with either or both of her surviving sons.

In 1992 a doctor looked at Jeni’s drooping eyelids and, suspecting that they were a symptom of neuromuscular disorder, suggested she underwent testing of her own. Only then was the rare and poorly understood genetic mutation that she had passed on to her children identified. Dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy affects the autonomic nervous system, which means automatic functions, such as digestion and body temperature, can suddenly go haywire and, at any time, the body might simply fail to breathe. The exact mutation was so rare that Jeni and her children are the only ones in the world who have been identified with it. The good news, doctors told her, was that they now had a medical explanation, ‘and the bad news was that all my children were going to die young’.

Jamie survived until three and a half before passing away peacefully in his sleep. Mattie was two when Jamie died, and a school psychologist suggested to Jeni that she put away Jamie’s belongings so that Mattie could ‘forget and grow up without the memory’. It was the worst possible advice. Within two months, Jeni recalls, ‘my loving child was banging his head against the wall, screaming and tearing pages out of books’. To help assuage his anger, she took out a pen and paper with him and wrote ‘The Story of a Very Special Brother’. They talked about Jamie and what it was like to feel sad after he died. Jeni collected Mattie’s thoughts and pasted them into a book, ‘and those were his beginnings as a writer as he learned about the value of getting on to the page what was in his heart’.

Let this truly be The celebration of A New Year… Let us remember The past, yet Not dwell in it. Let us fully use The present, yet Not waste it. Let us live for The future, yet Not count on it

Written by Mattie, aged 11

On a superficial level, Mattie was like every other little boy who loves playing with Lego and dinosaurs. But he was also a profound thinker who rapidly developed a powerful way with words. From the age of four, he was composing poetry; by six, he had won his first poetry competition. He called his poems ‘Heartsongs’ – a term he coined to describe his passion for peace that he wanted to pass on to others. By the age of nine he had bound his Heartsongs into five home-made volumes.

Mattie’s poems illustrate his optimism but they also reveal that he was often in a vulnerable place. His brother had died, his father had gone and his mother was in a wheelchair like him. At the mainstream school he attended he found himself, like many disabled children, in the isolated position of being everybody’s pal and nobody’s friend. His friends’ mothers were too nervous about his medical needs to have him over for play dates and he was often the one child not invited to parties.

Jeni was experiencing similar isolation for different reasons. ‘It’s lonely being the mother of dying children,’ she explains. ‘You can’t share normal milestones with other mothers. People either want to solve the problem, which they can’t, or they want to leave when the situation becomes too difficult. Watching children die is hard.’

Mattie Stepanek
Mattie meeting the Harry Potter actors on the set of Oprah in 2001
At ten, Mattie was admitted to hospital with acute breathing problems. He went into a coma, almost died and spent three months in intensive care. When he finally made a tentative recovery in the summer of 2001, a doctor suggested that they spoke to a make-a-wish charity about providing Mattie with a much-deserved morale boost. Mattie’s wishes didn’t fall into the conventional realms of meeting a celebrity or a day at a theme park. He had three specific wishes – he wanted to publish at least one volume of his poetry to spread his message of hope; he wanted to talk to Jimmy Carter, whom he had admired as a peacemaker since writing an essay about him several years earlier; and he wanted to share his Heartsongs on Oprah Winfrey’s television show.

The doctor spoke to the hospital’s public relations department. A few days later, a PR rep came on to the ward and said that staff needed to get a phone to Mattie’s bedside immediately, because Jimmy Carter was going to be calling in ten minutes. ‘Mattie could not believe one of his three wishes was going to be granted,’ recalls Jeni. Carter had anticipated the typical ‘What was it like to be president?’ questions. Instead, he found himself debating the challenges of world peace with a highly intelligent 11-year-old.

The granting of wishes two and three followed. A local publisher was shown Mattie’s poetry and signed him up for his first book contract. Then, shortly after Mattie was discharged from hospital, Oprah invited him to be a guest on her show. Her team arranged for him to be flown to Chicago by air ambulance and booked into a hotel suite. ‘We had never known luxury like it,’ says Jeni.

Mattie’s appearance on Oprah took place weeks after 9/11. He read his poems, spoke to millions of viewers about his own near-death experience, and described the beauty of the heaven he’d glimpsed as ‘beyond imagination’. ‘The world was hungry for a message of hope in those weeks, and Mattie supplied it,’ Jeni explains.

The moment the interview aired, Mattie found himself projected on to the world stage. In the ensuing months he gave scores of television and newspaper interviews and met another of his heroines, Maya Angelou, who offered to write the foreword for his next book. Bill Clinton and J K Rowling were among those who corresponded with him. Oprah bought him a van specially adapted and equipped for Mattie and Jeni’s medical needs, so that they could tour America giving speeches and attending media events. ‘Spending as many as 12 hours a day in the van brought us even closer,’ says Jeni. ‘We would play silly games, tell jokes, and talk and talk. Mattie was never anything but my little boy, and I was never anything but his mum. But we were able to relate beyond that because we both knew how fragile existence is.’

A champion is… Someone who overcomes challenges Even when it requires creative solutions. A champion is an optimist, A hopeful spirit… Someone who plays the game, Even when the game is called life… Especially when the game is called life

By Mattie, aged 13

When Mattie turned 13, Jeni noticed a young man’s face emerging and his fair hair becoming darker. ‘But when I gave him a hug he was so thin. He was growing up and dying simultaneously.’

Early in 2004, Mattie’s health went into sharp decline. He died in hospital in June that year with Jeni lying alongside him to feel his final heartbeat. Local television stations interrupted programming to announce his death. At his funeral the following week, thousands lined the streets.

Then Jeni went home with her close friend Sandy, who has been her lifeline for the past 20 years. Jeni regards Sandy as her unofficial ‘sister’ and Sandy’s children regard Jeni as family. For a long time they were neighbours; now they share the house that overlooks Mattie’s memorial park.

It is impossible to fully contemplate the sorrow Jeni experiences as a mother without her cherished children. ‘I don’t think I ever felt anger. And I don’t think that I ever said, “Why me?”’ she says. ‘I did, however, say I can’t go on. I have been as far into the abyss as it is possible to go.’

Mattie Stepanek
Oprah Winfrey admires the bronze statue of Mattie in the Maryland park named in his honour, 2008
She remembers the second year after Mattie died as being particularly hard. ‘After the first year, the rest of the world moves on – and all the while you are getting more and more distant from your child and feeling lonelier and lonelier.’

Her own health has deteriorated significantly. She went on to a full-time ventilator three years ago and her fading vision means that she can no longer drive. But she remains stridently independent. The key thing, she says, is to have a reason for getting out of bed, and every day she wakes up with the resolute purpose of continuing Mattie’s legacy. Mattie’s Heartsongs are now part of school curricula, scholarships are given in his name and a school in South Africa has been named after him. An annual Heartsongs Gala in Washington has raised millions of dollars, while further funding has gone into children’s hospices.

In truth, Jeni concedes, there was nothing particularly original about Mattie’s message. ‘It was simply, “Live your best life, be your best self, give what you wish to receive.”’ But it was the way he delivered it that struck such a chord.

‘His attitude was that you can’t change what life throws at you, but you can choose how you deal with it – and if you choose right, you will make a difference. Whenever I am feeling miserable I remember that and it gives me the inspiration I need to face the day.’

Messenger: The Inspiring Story of Mattie J T Stepanek and Heartsongs by Jeni Stepanek is published by Hay House, price £9.99. To order a copy for £8.49, with free p&p, contact the YOU Bookshop on 0845 155 0711, you-bookshop.co.uk

At Savingkidssouls. We believe that Great Spirits are Indomitable.

P.S. Matthew 19:14 ►
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”