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Your Opinion

Posted on 2010.10.27 at 06:00
Current Location: 75409

I love love love a diverse panel of contributers during a discussion. I love hearing everyone's different ideas and especially things which add value by way of being viable yet entirely foreign to me. I learn SO VERY MUCH from wide range of personalities and backgrounds.

But I have a problem with those of you with no experience who attempt to correct mine. I know you don't believe me, but that's because you're DUMB: Experience wins every. single. time. Because let me tell you - this article - very, very, true. If you don't have kids and don't agree - no one - not a soul I've met who has kids - wants to hear your opinion on the matter.

BONUS TIP: For an fun-filled, care-free life, apply this knowledge to all areas of your life!


Before I had kids, I was one judgmental non-parent. Put a damn hat on that kid, it's freezing! Ever heard of shoes, lady? Inside voices, for the love of God!!! What was wrong with these parents? It was parenting, not rocket science, for crying out loud.

But, then I had children and I got it. I got it all ...

  1. Confusing kids' names. I never understood why parents would go through each and every child's name when addressing their kids. Now, I rarely get the name right on the first try. "Lil-Be-EVAN" is how I often address my children. I mean, I know their name, it just isn't ever the first one to roll of my tongue.

  2. Kids without coats. Sure, they might be chilly, but it won't kill them. Hardly a battle worth having. I get it now.

  3. Pajamas outside of the house. I remember once seeing a toddler in the grocery store wearing pajamas at 4 in the afternoon. I thought it was one of the trashier things I'd ever seen. I wouldn't even blink now -- they're dressed? They're happy? They're planning ahead four hours? Win!

  4. Character clothing. It's just so trendy and ugly and so not cute. But the kids love it and it makes them happy, so I buy the Spiderman and Toy Story apparel. But I still don't like it.

  5. Snacking at the grocery store. Can't the children wait until the food has been paid for and bagged before diving in? How rude! Now, I see that it's simply a survival mechanism for the rest of the trip. Goldfish, anyone?

  6. Toy guns. Guns aren't funny. They kill and they hurt and they should not be a game. I still believe that, but the water guns I gave my son last year turned out to be a gateway gun and now he owns four.

  7. Yelling at children. What kind of horrible parent yells at the creature they love more than anything. A better question: What kind of parent doesn't?

  8. Fast Food. With childhood obesity being such an issue, why would parents continue to shove fries and cheap meat down the throats of their kids? Because it's easy, that's why. Chic-fil-A's play area has saved my sanity on numerous occasions and in moderation, I'm completely fine with it.

  9. Child leashes. These seemed practically torturous! I still haven't actually used one, but in busy places, I think they're kind of genius. The kid feels in control, but you have control. Does it get better than that?

  10. Car DVD players. I swore up and down that I would never be a parent who resorted to this. I survived never-ending road trips and car rides with my books and music, why would any child need more? Because it shuts them up, that's why. And it's a beautiful thing.


quicksilvermad at 2010-10-27 12:37 (UTC) (Link)
1. My dad still calls me either "Laur-Jennifer" or the ever-so-confusing "Jenn-Laura-Jennifer" from time to time. I understand it completely. Because (and this is going to sound weird) I do this with my dog, Arthur. Because my other dog's name is "Jester," I often get in that rut of "NAME-PICK-A-NAME-NOW-AND-YELL-IT" since they both end in a freaking "R." I can't imagine what my sister must go through with her kids. All four of them.

2. Hell, I grew up in Wyoming. If it was miraculously above 39º F, every single kid ran outside in shirt-sleeves because it was finally warm. And kids are resilient. Cold is just a temperature—not a catalyst to the flu. As long as they don't wipe their face with hands they've had dipped in raw chicken guts, they'll be fine.

3. I still end up wearing pajamas outside of the house. But I'm unemployed and I'm usually just heading out to CVS or something. As long as the kid has his underwear on in the right spot (inside the clothes, thanks) I don't have a problem with this. Plus, sometimes that PJ shirt is a comfortable reminder that, yes, you will be heading back home to play with your Hot Wheels later because Mom never makes you go anywhere for too long if you're wearing the Lightning McQueen shirt (this is my oldest nephew).

4. I just see this as a chance to show my own nerd when I visit my sister. I wear my Iron Man shirts, Nathanael wears his Spider-Man or Transformers stuff, and I'll get all dressed up with the girls, too. I think it helps them to know that adults still have a bit of the same interests as them. Nathanael can go on for hours about Optimus Prime (and I think Forest has been showing him the cartoon from my childhood as well). Making a connection with a five-year-old is important to the kid because he knows that this information he's filed away in his busy brain can have an outlet to an adult who totally gets what he's talking about and can contribute new information.

5. God bless Goldfish crackers.

6. If it's a Nerf water gun that looks nothing like an actual firearm... Sure. But I grew up in Vandenberg, CA (as well as Wyoming) when they had that shooting. They used it as a story point in Die Hard as to why Reginald VelJohnson's character was off the street. A kid had a water pistol that looked like the real thing and the cop shot him. Then again, I'm not really the best person to answer this particular point because my dad was with Air Force Security Police and taught me and my sister about gun safety since we knew he had to carry one at work every day. So I had a different perspective on the entire gun issue when I was a kid.

7. I think yelling has less of an effect than the creepy calm reprimanding... My sister is a Jedi at this. And if either of us even thought of pitching a fit in Target, my mom would remind us of why we shouldn't do that by pointing out some other kid having a tantrum and saying: "Isn't that ugly?" Yes, it was ugly. No, I did not ever want to look ugly. I never threw a tantrum in public. But this whole "yelling at children" thing seems like a tamed version of the other issue at hand. Spanking. I tell you what—once you make a huge mistake on a repeated offense and you get a spanking for it? You never do that again.
Again: I grew up in much different times. Nowadays you mention corporal punishment on children and people have a shit fit.

8. I actually didn't much care for fast food growing up. It's just as easy to buy a couple of bags of frozen nuggets and crinkle-cut fries, shove them in the oven, and serve it up that way. Besides—it's cheaper to do "fast" food that way since you can get such huge bags of Perdue chicken nuggets. Or my favorite: MICRO MAGIC BURGERS AND FRIES.
Do they still make those? God, I lived off that stuff...

9. I was never "leashed." I was taught to hold hands or grab onto the side of Daddy's pant leg/shirt. Or, if it was really crowded, I'd get the shoulder ride. Hands-on seemed more comforting to me in a huge crowd. Because I was terrified of getting lost on my own. So I was Death Grip Kid. My sister's kids like holding hands in busy placed, too.

10. All for it. Let 'em watch Dora so I can freaking drive.

Edited at 2010-10-27 12:38 pm (UTC)
ehowton at 2010-10-27 16:22 (UTC) (Link)
I am blown away at your thoroughness.
sacredyuja at 2010-10-27 14:36 (UTC) (Link)
#1 was especially great for my parents seeing as I'm an identical twin, lol. It would always make my parents laugh at each other when one was trying to reprimand one of us and call us by the others name. :)

I pray you never use a child leash....just hold the kids hand, lol
ehowton at 2010-10-27 16:22 (UTC) (Link)
Identical twin! Now that must've been interesting. My "little" brother is 6' 6" and looks NOTHING like me...
anakngtinapa at 2010-10-27 19:17 (UTC) (Link)
LOL. I love this.

1. My parents often do this to me and my sister. So we're often called 'Jer-mie', her name is Jermaine. And even my brother included, 'AJ-mie-jermaine-JAMIE!!'

4. I wish my mom would realize how happy I'll be if she finally buys me that Patrick Star shirt.

7. I got more than yelling as a kid. Now that I'm older, I find yelling hurts more than any physical.. hurting. Heh.

8. Fastfood was a treat when I was a kid. We didn't eat them frequently, so I was always SO happy when we eat fastfood.
ehowton at 2010-10-27 20:09 (UTC) (Link)
I was just as bad. My wife and I had a list of things we were, and were not going to do as parents. Most of that shit just ain't real. Its a delusion. I've tried to explain that to people - that what you think you know, you don't - and that you find your standards may not work across the board and you have to be flexible and will be surprised at what you'll rescind after 72-hours straight of a screaming child. Any port in a storm, right?
michelle1963 at 2010-10-27 19:19 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not a parent, and never will be. I rarely judge parents who parent. Yep, some parents have a style that make me cringe, but they're trying. The truth is what works with one kid, may not work with another. Kids are all little individuals just like adults.

That said, I do have two issues:
1. Parents that don't parent--the kids rule the roost.
2. Parents that are unnecessarily cruel.

You see by my answers, I'm all about the Bell Curve. Outside of 2 standard deviations, and I'm going to notice, and I will judge.
ehowton at 2010-10-27 20:13 (UTC) (Link)
Bell-curve, nice. Yeah, sometimes I'll see a parent getting frustrated with a child and my heart goes out to the child...then I remember, "Oh yeah, I said something similar to my son yesterday." And I think about the events surrounding my actions, wonder what it may have looked like, and if I could've handled it differently.

I'm good at causality and cataloging, but need a more efficient data retrieval system :/
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-10-28 14:18 (UTC) (Link)
But I have a problem with those of you with no experience who attempt to correct mine. I know you don't believe me, but that's because you're DUMB: Experience wins every. single. time.
If this were true, than nothing could be learned through deduction. School, books, infomationals on TV, blogs, the Internet, etc. would all be useless as these do not allow the user to directly experience revelation, but rather convey someone else's revelation. In fact, if experience wins every. single. time. parents couldn't teach their children. Conversely, this means that there should be no social stigma for producing children and not taking responsibility for them.

Your arrogance is infuriating.
ehowton at 2010-10-28 14:32 (UTC) (Link)
Speaking of arrogance, I never said you couldn't learn from deduction. Not even accidentally. In fact its a wonderful, wonderful tool for people who have not yet, or won't ever get a chance to - EXPERIENCE IT THEMSELVES. Kinda the reason we have zoos and shit - for people who will never attend an African safari. But even those who have interacted with exotic animals as a zoo will have a more personalized interaction than those who learn about them in books. Simply put, experience will always trump deduction. Come to think it, its funny you're the one to be arguing this point with me :D

As an aside. There are those who study the nuances between empirical data as its experienced through individual filtering and baseline deduction, but that is outside the scope of this discussion.
(Anonymous) at 2010-11-01 00:52 (UTC) (Link)


I love it! You made my day!!!!
ehowton at 2010-11-01 20:21 (UTC) (Link)

Re: kids

Thanks mom.
(Deleted comment)
ehowton at 2010-11-01 21:25 (UTC) (Link)
The more I've experienced, the more I acknowledge experience as an entirely thorough instructor. Awkwardly, there are those who disagree with its practicality. Not from an epistemological standpoint, mind you, just its...effectiveness. Just since this post I've had to realize - those people must have learned zero lessons from experience to doubt it so resolutely.

What kind of person doesn't learn from experience?

And I've been quoting the title of that book all day :D Ain't that just the truth?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
ext_305806 at 2010-11-01 16:17 (UTC) (Link)

your opinion

OH MY GOD this is sooooo true. I am talking from 22 years of experience here. With my kids ranging in age from22 (Robert) to 4 (EJ) and a couple in between, I have been there and done all these things except the pajama thing. I have a wierd thing about taking my kids out in public in their jammies. But beyond that survival of our sanity is most important as parents. If we aren't at least a little sane then how in the holy hell are we going to raise these little monsters to be active productive members of society.
ehowton at 2010-11-01 21:27 (UTC) (Link)

Re: your opinion

Twenty...two? Ugh. Sometimes I feel so old. I CAN'T HARDLY BELIEVE THAT!! Its that wide range which is keeping you young. I mean, I can see the benefit in playing Legos and Hot Wheels and Power Rangers over and over and over throughout my life instead of just once!
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