Would your friends go to jail for you?

May 22, 2009

DSC_8009You’ve just turned 16 and finally have the freedom you’ve been looking forward to for years.  You know that there’s a group of kids (mostly older than you) who get together every Saturday night and you’re going!  No one can stop you.  Your parents won’t even know.  Being cool is worth the risk anyway.  You don’t realize that the risk is far greater than you could have ever imagined.

The “party’s” started by the time you get to the apartment.  Several of you friends are already there.  The minute you step in you know you’ve made it, you’re a part of an exclusive club, one of the cool kids. Empty beer bottles litter the coffee table and the ashtrays are full.  The guy you’ve been trying to get to notice you is sitting right there.  Smoking a cigarette and you are almost sure that he smiled when you walked in.  Your heart races, and you hope you hands don’t get sweaty.

Within minutes you’re in the mix.  You grab a beer and sit on the floor between two of you friends.  You keep glancing over at the boy you like to see if he’s watching you.  A new guy arrives and everyone gets excited.  Much more excited than they did when you showed up.  He pulls out a bag of extacy and passes it around.  A couple of kids pass it up but the guy you like grabs a couple of the pills and pops them with a sip of beer.  The bag gets to you and you know you can handle more than two.  You’ve done it before.  You grab three and wash them down.  The guy you like is definitely watching you.  He’s impressed; you’re not the goody-goody he thought you were.  The party is on!

At first you’re fine.  You feel strong, powerful, and uninhibited.  Music’s playing and the most perfect guy in the WORLD gets up, grabs your hand and pulls you up into his arms to dance.  Who cares if your hands are sweaty, it doesn’t get more perfect than this.  He presses up against you and you know that he wants you.  You don’t want the dance to ever end.  But god, you’re thirsty.  It’s hot, you’re hot, you have to get something to drink.   You pull your partner with you to the kitchen and grab a water out of the frig.  The two of you go back into the living room and sit on the floor.  He’s got his arm around you, you’re his girl.  He’s picked you and it’s even better than you imagined.  Except, you’re not feeling so good.  Actually, you’re feeling pretty bad.  You get up to go to the bathroom and on the way out you stop one of your friends and tell them you’re feeling sick.  They tell you to have another drink and blow you off.  You go back to the boy of your dreams, and wait for the sick feeling to wear off.  It doesn’t wear off, instead, it gets worse.

You can’t let this happen.  You are not going to be one of those wimps who can’t handle a few drugs.  It’ll get better but you’re finding it harder and harder to think beyond the thirst and discomfort.  Finally, you tell your guy that you’re not feeling so good.  You get up and find a couple of your friends munching out in the kitchen.  “Hey guys, I think I’m sick.” They pull you over and try to get you to eat something.  “No, I’m not kidding, I’m really not feeling too good.” you say.  They start to giggle, pull you into their arms, and tell you you’re going to be fine.  You leave and go back to your “guy.”  You can wait this out.  You are not going to make a fool out of yourself.

The boy settles you back against him, you rest your head on his shoulder, but you are now feeling too bad to even get any pleasure out of it.  You’re really starting to get scared.  Your head is killing you.  You’re wondering if you can even move.  Finally, you whisper, “I need some help.”  but no one hears you.  The music’s too loud.  You try again.  The boy your with looks down and asks what’s wrong.  Again, you whisper “I need some help.  I’m feeling sick.”  He smiles and pulls you closer, then turns back to a friend sitting on his other side.   You start to cry.  You’re going to ruin everything but you’ve got to get some help!  You force yourself to scream.  “Please help me!”  Everyone is looking at you.  An older guy, one of the high school football players, yells out “Oh, do we have a baby here?  Someone need their mommy?”   Suddenly, nothing matters to you except getting help.  You don’t care what anyone thinks.  The only thing you can feel is fear, and pain, and it’s got to stop!  “Please, someone help me.” You whisper.  You’re friends come over.  They finally realize that you’re serious.  Everyone’s staring.  Again, you don’t care.  Your friends ask you what you want them to do.  They seem angry with you.  Finally one of them says “What, you want us to take you to the hospital?”  It’s like a joke to them, but it’s not to you.  “Yes!”  you quietly beg.  “Please.”

They pull you up, and help you into the car.  You’re not even thinking about the scene you’ve caused, all you want is to be somewhere safe, where someone can help you.  The drive takes forever.  Finally, you see the lights of the emergency room entrance.  It’s like a beacon.  Things are going to be fine.  You have your friends, they’ll make sure you’re ok.  But your friends aren’t really with you.  There’s no way they’re going to go into a hospital where adults will see how wasted they are! You’re Their friend but they’re not willing to get into trouble just because you can’t handle yourself.  So they get you out of the car and you watch them drive away.

You’re alone.  You’ve never walked into a hospital by yourself before.  You’re 16 years old, and there’s always been someone there to take care of you up until now.

A male nurse sees you through the glass doors leading into the emergency room.  He comes out and you’ve never seen a better sight.  He asks if you need help but you can’t answer him.  You feel yourself crumbling to the ground.  Everything is going so slow.

Your friends stand out in the rain watching them lower your casket into the ground.  Some are crying, others look scared.  An orderly at the hospital saw the car that dropped you off.  The police are looking for that car.  No one’s talking.  You’re dead, they can’t do anything for you now.  You’re not worth getting into trouble for.  Unlike you, they’ve still got too much to live for.

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The kid you make fun of; The bully you’re afraid of; The outsider

May 21, 2009

One kid sits in the back of the room. He has no friends. He gets really angry for no reason at all. In the playground he avoids people or if that doesn’t happen he gets into a fight. If the teacher tells him to do something he’s starts cussing and pushes down his desk. He smells bad. No one tries to play with him. No one wants to sit next to him. His peers make fun of him behind his back, and are afraid of him too; he’s the biggest bully they’ve ever come in contact with. He’s mean, angry, and totally alone. He’s in third grade. He’s also the one student I will remember and admire more than any other.

I was volunteering at my child’s elementary school. Her teacher was not able to handle the classroom and I volunteered to help by taking the worst behaved kids out of the classroom and working one on one with them. One child I was not willing to take out was the one I just mentioned, he was way beyond anything I wanted to deal with; shoot, I was afraid of him. Then, one day I was working with the entire class, and noticed the kid (I’ll call him Jake) working really hard at the assigned task. It was a writing assignment and I stood behind him and watched for a few minutes. I was amazed. He was writing at a level way beyond 3rd grade. I stopped him and asked if he would step outside with me. When we got outside, I asked if he would want to come and work with me sometimes and he seemed eager to do so.

We started working together the following week. The two of us went to the library to work the first day I took him out of the classroom. We were working on a writing assignment and things were going great. I was so suprised at how much I liked working with this mean little kid. Then suddenly, he stood up for no apparent reason. He didn’t leave, he simply stood up at the table and continued to write. After just a few seconds, I smelled something foul and realized that he’d had an accident. I was stunned. This was a third grader! What would cause this to happen and why was he acting as if nothing had occurred? I had no clue what to do but decided to act as if nothing was wrong. We continued for several more minutes, with Jake standing the entire time. I talked to his teacher after we got back to the classroom, and she wouldn’t tell me anything that would explain his behavior, so I went to the principal and asked what was going on. The principal was actually very upset that I was allowed to work with Jake at all. She explained that I would need to get his guardian’s permission to work with him again. That evening, Jake’s guardian called me at home.

I was not prepared for what she had to tell me. Jake’s father began sexually molesting him when he was an infant. This continued until he was three years old. The abuse left him with severe physical problems that could not be corrected. The psychological scars were just as extreme if not worse. You see, Jake’s father had taught him that when he let someone else take control, really bad, horribly painful things happened. Jake had had years to learn this. As an infant, he had no resources to fight back with. As he got older though, he grew stronger and he learned that he could fight back. Fighting back was his way of making sure that no one else was ever able to control him like his father had. Those bad things were not going to happen again to little Jake. No one was ever going to control him again. The little boy who had no friends, who got into trouble everyday, who was laughed at and teased, who scared his peers and teacher alike, was the strongest little boy I had ever met! He had survived where so many other would not have. He had learned to live with things that his peers couldn’t even imagine at that age. He was amazing. He was bright, he was tough, he was cute, and he will be in my heart for the rest of my life. He was also the scariest bully most third graders will ever meet.

So, the next time you find yourself in the company of someone who is different than you. Maybe he smells funny, maybe he’s overweight,he’s a mean bully, or a strange loner. Think about Jake before you start passing judgment and/or making fun of him. You don’t know what his life has been like, or what he has had to go through to make him who he is. You don’t have to like him. You may even need to avoid him. But, if you can begin to understand him you will be able to see him in a completely different way. You don’t know who you would have become if his life had been yours.

More family problems

May 20, 2009
  1. Anonymous says:

    sometimes i feel like my mom doesnt love me anymore because she will get mad at me for no reason and it annoys me so much can u give me some advice on what to do to not let her get to me

    she will yell at me because i talk loud because like yesterday we got a new dog a while ago and the dog likes to bite so when my brother is playing around with him he will get bit so i say hey if you play with him like that hes going to bite you imn not trying to yell at him but i guess it sounds like that and she yells at me for it.and if i get a grade like a b on my report card she will say your grades dropped i mean its not like its a d orsomthing yes i know my grades went down but thatdoesnt mean you cant be happy for me all of the rest of my grades are a’s its justso annoying sometimes i even cry in my room because of someof the stuff she does to make me feel unloved

  2. Pam blizzard says:

  3. I believe, without a doubt, that your mother doesn’t mean to make you feel unloved. She may actually see in you some of the things that she believes is wrong with her. You are her greatest creation and she wants you to be the best, and that means even better than she is. I can remember my mother always making me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I would feel like I had done something really great, and she would either put it down, or make it seem unimportant. It got to the point where I expected the criticism no matter what I did. It only occurred to me much later that almost everything I did that disappointed her were the things she never accomplished or did for herself. I don’t believe that her disappointment was really about me at all, it was about her. What made this really hard for me was that I allowed her expectations to become mine, and I ended up always feeling like a failure. You are not suppose to strive to be a better version of your mother; you’re suppose to strive to be a better version of you.
  4. Mothers are more than just parents too. They are people who have to deal with everyday life as adults with a lot of responsibilities. Those responsibilities can become overwhelming. When that happens, it can show up in everything they do. They need to come home and deal with their own problems and stresses. They may feel absolutely exhausted, like they just can’t deal with ONE more thing. They need to be able to just get away from it all in order to replenish their energy. Unfortunately, they may not be able to do that if there is any discord around them. This makes it very easy for them to lash out even when it’s not necessary or appropriate. You need to understand that. At those times, it’s not really about you at all, it’s about them and what they need. Those are real needs too. Imagine having something really upset you. A good friend hurts your feelings and you just can’t let it go. It can affect how you act. When this happens, have you ever said or done something that takes that pain and frustration out on someone else? Did you mean to hurt that person? Could you even stop yourself from taking it out on them? You know that you didn’t really mean to be hurtful, but do the ones you hurt realize that? The same thing can happen to adults. It’s not fair, but if you can see beyond the angry words, it’s not nearly as painful.

More parent problems

May 20, 2009

# anonymous Says:   ms bliz. i am having problems with my parents. i feel like they are hovering every little thing i do. and if i say one cus word n a cell phone it gets taken away. i cant hang out with any of he friends that i want too. they think that every one is a bad influence on me when i am probably a bad infuence sometimes myself . do you have any advice *

pamblizzard Says:  Your job right now is to learn how to become a happy, successful adult. Your parents’ job is to make sure that you learn that. Your parents are simply trying to do the best job that they can. Trust me, they (parents) don’t want to hover and take things away. Your actions make them feel like they have to though. So, it’s up to you to fix the problem and let your parents SEE that you are learning how to take care of yourself. Being friends with someone who is making bad choices is tougher. You can’t fix their problems and your parents don’t want to see you following their example. Finally, I know that being “bad” can sometimes make you feel powerful. Unfortunately, that’s not really power, it’s simply breaking the rules. Power is feeling confident, secure, and happy. You have an amazing chance right now to become that powerful, strong, person. Show your parents that you are working to become that person and your problems will go away.

The Preakness; A life lesson

May 17, 2009

Preakness finish from espn.com

check out “Mine that Bird iso cam” on msn video

I have watched the Triple Crown Horse races since I was in middle school.  I’m 51 years old now so that’s been many years and many races ago.  The first race that really stands out in my mind is the Derby where Secretariat blew the competition away.  He continued to do just that right through the Belmont; making him my first experience with a Triple Crown winner.  Secretariat was big, beautiful, and unbeatable.  Coming from the back of the pack and winning by a landslide in each race.  Permanent images from those 3 races 30 plus years ago will be with me forever and I’ve been waiting for that same heady feeling in every race I’ve watched since.  Well, it’s finally happened again and the horse that inspired it didn’t even win!

Mine that Bird, a 15.1hh gelding that originally sold for under $10,000 entered into the Kentucky Derby pretty much unnoticed except for the fact that he was carted there in a trailer for over 20 hours by a trainer with a broken leg.  That was his entire back story prior to the race.  I guess that was to some extent understandable;  he is a rather non-descript horse with a small star on his forehead, an average brown coat, a slightly sideways gait, and a small build compared to most of the horses running in the most prestigious horse race in the states.  Top that off with the fact that he’s a gelding racing almost exclusively with stallions and you’ve got a serious underdog who wasn’t even considered a contender in the Derby.  Well, he proved just how much of a contender he was.

Mine that Bird was so far behind in the derby at one point that my husband commented: “I feel sorry for that poor jockey in the back.”  It was easy to write him off even before the first turn.  The cameras broadcasting the race stayed focused on the front runners and the little horse in the back was pretty much forgotten, but not for long!  In a matter of seconds that little, non-descript horse seemed to fly into the view of the cameras recording the front runners.  Coated in mud, running around and between horses, the little forgotten gelding was making the big guys look like they were lopping around the track.  He made winning that race look easy and he added a new set of images that I will be able to treasure for years to come.

Mine That Bird from ESPN photo gallery. . .

It was truly a wonderful race to watch, but was it a fluke?  Did the jockey just get lucky?  Was the field simply not as good as everyone thought.  Was every other horse in that race just having a bad day?  The Preakness proved that none of that was true.

All the horses had been moved into the starting gates.  Mine that Bird was in the second gate.  Suddenly you could see the horse in gate one start to flail, and then rear, knocking his rider off.  If you’ve ever been around horses, you know that that can cause some serious anxiety in the horses surrounding the agitated horse, and Mine that Bird was inches away from the action.  Add to that, the horses had to stay in the gates until the horse in gate one could be remounted and moved back into place.  Finally the race was on.

Let me stop here and talk about the one horse that wasn’t in the Derby.  Rachel Alexandra, a filly was originally owned by a man that would not race her with the boys.  She was sold the week before the Preakness, and the new owners didn’t feel the same way.  She is a big 16.1hh beautiful filly with the oddest, most memorable blaze I’ve ever seen.  She was in post position 13 and one of the last horses to be loaded into the gate.  She was also being ridden by the wonder jockey Calvin Borel who had ridden Mine that Bird in the Kentucky Derby (Borel had been her primary rider and only rode Mine that Bird in the derby because she wasn’t in the race.)  She was the justifiable favorite to win and rightfully so.

Back to the race.  Rachel Alexandra flew out of the starting gate.  Staying in the front of the pack the entire race.  Her long sleek head always visible in the main cameras recording the race.  She kept up the pace and kept the stallions racing beside her at bay until almost the end of the race when she pulled away from the pack and became the obvious winner.  But what about Mine that Bird?  He’s really what this story is all about.

Mine that Bird started out slow again.  Settling into the last position, AGAIN!  Watching him later on a cam that was recording him, it looked like he was running full out even though he was behind all the other horses.  The little guy was obviously over matched and just got a lucky break in the Derby.  Well, maybe not!  Suddenly, he switched into a whole new, higher gear.  There were no holes between horses for him to slip through so he had to run around the field on the outside, and boy did that little guy run.  Suddenly the announcer is screaming his name.  Rachel Alexandra is pulling away from the pack and no one is challenging her except for the little, non-descript horse that started slow but finished in a league all his own.  He came in second, less than a length (the length of or horse) away from Rachel Alexandra, and he was gaining on her even at the finish line.  Rachel Alexandra won the race and proved that she was a very special filly but Mine that Bird won even more.  Rachel Alexandra was born a wonder horse, Mine that Bird, became one!

Of course, there has to be a moral to this story and since I’m writing this primarily for my teen readers it’s going to be about them.  Rachel Alexandra was the popular choice.  She had everything going for her.  She looked amazing.  She was built “like a brick house.”  If horses fought over popularity, she would win hands down.  And she will be remembered as one of the few fillies who could run and win against the guys.  But, Mine that Bird will be remembered in a much more important way.  He will be remembered as the horse that was the “loser” until he won;  The horse that couldn’t but did; and finally, the horse that once no one saw, but will now never be forgotten.

Mom doesn’t love me

May 16, 2009

# Anonymous Says:  |sometimes i feel like my mom doesn t love me anymore because she will get mad at me for no reason and it annoys me so much can u give me some advice on what to do to not let her get to me *

What does your mom do that makes you feel like she doesn’t love you?

# Anonymous Says:  |  she will yell at me because i talk loud because like yesterday we got a new dog a while ago and the dog likes to bite so when my brother is playing around with him he will get bit so i say hey if you play with him like that hes going to bite you I’m not trying to yell at him but i guess it sounds like that and she yells at me for it.and if i get a grade like a b on my report card she will say your grades dropped i mean its not like its a d or something yes i know my grades went down but that doesn’t mean you cant be happy for me all of the rest of my grades are a’s its just so annoying sometimes i even cry in my room because of some of the stuff she does to make me feel unloved

I believe, without a doubt, that your mother doesn’t mean to make you feel unloved. She may actually see in you some of the things that she believes is wrong with her. You are her greatest creation and she wants you to be the best, and that means even better than she is.

I can remember my mother always making me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I would feel like I had done something really great, and she would either put it down, or make it seem unimportant. It got to the point where I expected the criticism no matter what I did. It only occurred to me much later that almost everything I did that disappointed her were the things she never accomplished or did for herself. I don’t believe that her disappointment was really about me at all, it was about her. What made this really hard for me was that I allowed her expectations to become mine, and I ended up always feeling like a failure. You are not suppose to strive to be a better version of your mother; you’re suppose to strive to be a better version of you.

Mothers are more than just parents too. They are people who have to deal with everyday life as adults with a lot of responsibilities. Those responsibilities can become overwhelming. When that happens, it can show up in everything they do. They need to come home and deal with their own problems and stresses. They may feel absolutely exhausted, like they just can’t deal with ONE more thing. They need to be able to just get away from it all in order to replenish their energy. Unfortunately, they may not be able to do that if there is any discord around them. This makes it very easy for them to lash out even when it’s not necessary or appropriate. You need to understand that. At those times, it’s not really about you at all, it’s about them and what they need. Those are real needs too. Imagine having something really upset you. A good friend hurts your feelings and you just can’t let it go. It can affect how you act. When this happens, have you ever said or done something that takes that pain and frustration out on someone else? Did you mean to hurt that person? Could you even stop yourself from taking it out on them? You know that you didn’t really mean to be hurtful, but do the ones you hurt realize that? The same thing can happen to adults. It’s not fair, but if you can see beyond the angry words, it’s not nearly as painful.

Road Runner

May 12, 2009

In an earlier blog I mentioned that the cartoon Road Runner was like real life.  It’s true in more ways than one!

Let’s take the Road Runner himself.  He’s just running down the road, pecking at small things to eat.  He’s taking care of himself, not bothering anything or anybody except of course a few bugs.  Unless  he’s just picking up seeds which would mean he really isn’t bothering anyone.  Ok, he’s smiling, happy, going along his merry way, but just around the corner is trouble!  The Coyote is waiting with an elaborate plan to stop the poor Road Runner in it’s tracks.  Usually this involves some type of major catastrophe.  The Road Runner rounds the corner, see the danger, and goes into fighting mode.  Oh wait, that’s not right!  What the Road Runner does is out smart the coyote with clever actions.  The only character to “get it”, for about the millionth time, is the coyote.  The Road Runner continues on his merry way, and the coyote get’s smashed by his own mean scheme.

Now, let’s look at the coyote.  He’s been raised to hunt in order to survive.  He’s obviously learned that not killing his prey means he will starve.  (Have you ever noticed how skinny that poor coyote is?)  He has been taught to be “mean” by both example and necessity.  All this poor, skinny coyote can do is keep going after the Road Runner.  (Apparently there are no more animals within hundreds of miles.)  Is the coyote really bad?  Does he have a choice in the actions he takes?

Finally, my real life analogy.  The Road Runner is the average person.  He’s been raised to take care of himself and not bother anyone else.  Success makes him happy.  He’s also very clever.  He knows that fighting with the coyote would be a waste of time and he’d probably end up getting hurt.  Instead of fighting, the Road Runner outsmarts him, goes around him, or avoids him completely.  In turn, the Road Runner walks/runs away from the encounter with a smile of his face, and the coyote gets it!  Just like the Road Runner, the average nice, clever person avoids the mean guy/bully.  He uses his brain to win in an encounter.  The “good” guy wins, and the “bully” fails.

Now for the bully/mean guy.  This is the person who has been taught that he’s not successful, or in control, unless he’s bigger and badder (I know it’s not a word but it works!)  than others.  He’s learned these lessons at a very young age.  He knows that if he doesn’t kill and eat something, he’ll hurt horribly.  Most kids who grow up to be bullies are taught the same thing.  Maybe they’ve been physically abused and know that letting anyone else be in control can hurt.  They’ve been made to feel weak and miserable unless they’re making someone else hurt.

The lesson here is that the best way to beat a bully is to not let him be in control.  You can do this by ignoring him, outsmarting him, or avoiding him.  If you fight back you will almost always lose.  Plus, that’s what he wants.  He wants to know that he’s gotten to you.  If you get angry or let him hurt you, he’s won.  On the other hand, the bully has been created.  It may not be who he really is.  Instead it’s what he’s been taught in one way or another.  Understanding that will make it easier to not be bullied.  It’s hard to be hurt by someone you pity,  and a bully is pathetic.  He can’t make himself happy, instead he counts on others to make him happy and that’s NOT your job.  Counting on others to make you happy and feel good about yourself, is bound to fail.  That’s why most bullies grow out of it.  You see, the only person you can count on to make you happy is you.

Teen pregnancy

May 10, 2009

Bristol Palin is making public appearances advocating abstinence for teenagers.  The message is a great one, whether it’s realistic or not.  My problem is with the messenger. While Miss Palin is traveling around spreading her message; Where is her baby?  I can remember being a new mother.  I remember having to sleep when my baby slept and even then having to be ready to jump up at her first cry, since her diaper would be soaking wet and needing changed.  Going to the grocery store was a major production with the constant worry that my baby would decide that it was her time to be miserable, tired, or hungry, and I would end up dealing with a wailing baby the whole time.

Going out and having a good time was even more of a challenge.  Getting dressed up, doing my hair and nails, even taking a shower was more difficult when dealing with an infant at the same time.  And if I did manage to do all of that, I’d have to consider the extra expense of going out.  Dinner and a movie cost a lot all by themselves, now the cost of a babysitter was tacked on.  I’d come home tired and maybe get a few hours sleep before the baby woke up and demanded, with her cries, that I get up and take care of her.  A simple date was not simple any more.

Forget dates, daily life changed radically and it got worse when my baby started getting around on her own.  Suddenly, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself!  If I did manage to sneak in alone and close the door, there was the chance that my sweat child would find her way to the door and scream for me until I finished up (and that was when my husband was watching her.)  My baby became a deciding factor in everything I did.  There were NO exceptions.  Imagine having to take care of a new puppy for several years.  Having to clean up it’s messes, take it out every few hours, replace all the things it destroys or simply lose some favorite possessions.  Then, multiply that by a hundred.  You can’t lock a new baby in a crate and go somewhere, you can’t leave out food for the baby and have it feed itself, you can’t attach a collar and leash and walk outside with you baby.  Again, you have to consider the baby in EVERYTHING you do!  Don’t expect to be able to sit down and watch a TV show without any interruption.  Don’t expect to go hang out with friends at the drop of a hat (the baby may be really cool to your friends for a while but then they’ll realize that having an infant around really crimps their style and those invitations to hang out will stop.)

Having a baby is a commitment that will change your entire life.  Their presence will affect everything you do and have, even the friends you make, the boys you date, and the places you go.  So, if there are things in your life that you are not willing to give up, then consider carefully before you have unprotected sex.  If you hate having someone always telling you what to do, then realize that a baby will be dictating what you can and can not do for the rest of your life.

Bristol Palin’s message is fine, the image she presents is not.  If she presented her message with a baby crying in her lap, with no makeup on, and several breaks for taking care of her child, her message would be much more effective and realistic.  Miss Palin traveling around, making speeches is not a realistic picture of a teenage single parent.

Ask Ms. Bliz

May 9, 2009

DSC_8016At the end of the first page of my blog, you are allowed to view older post. This includes the hello world section. Feel free to go back and post a question under that post or, use this one. I’ll see all your questions and comments no matter which post you chose. I’ve also set the site up to not post a comment until I approve it. If you have a question or problem that you don’t want viewed by others  just let me know.

Free Mother’s day e-cards

May 9, 2009

Hey kids.  To find the free e-cards on Hallmark.com; look on the left hand side of the hallmark homepage, and where it says “I want to send…” select e-card, then “for this occasion…”  select Holidays, and finally “narrow it down to…” select mother’s day.  There will be 3 different types that come up, Classic, Humor, and Cute.  Click on “see more” and a bunch of cards will come up.  Look for the ones that are “FREE”.  Hope you find something fun for your mom.  

Show up: Get a prize

May 8, 2009

My daughter was born in December and for her 11th birthday party I decided to have all her friends paint a sweatshirt for the holidays.  I went out and bought the shirts, paint, and patterns and the kids seemed to have a great time decorating their shirts.  The party was a huge success and I was patting myself on the back for coming up with such a great idea until the first kid left the party.  She walked to the door, carrying her new sweatshirt, and asked “Where’s my party favor?”  Maybe I’m being too critical but:  What the heck!  I can remember my mother buying prizes for my birthday parties growing up.  There were games played and the winner of the games got a prize.  There was no rule that said everyone at the party had to leave with a gift.  I remember this was the case at all the birthday parties I attended as a child.  You weren’t entitled to something just for showing up.  I’m now wondering if that is the opposite of what we are teaching our kids today.

Look at peewee and little league sports teams that young kids are involved with now.  At the end of each season, everyone gets the same trophy no matter how proficient they played or, more importantly, how hard they tried.  The child who stood out in the field staring into space every practice and game is rewarded in the same way that the child who listened to the coach and became a better player did.  I can understand every child getting the chance to play their fair share no matter what their skill level is, but should the kid who decides that paying attention and really trying isn’t important, get the same “prize” at the end of the season as the one who at least made an effort?  Again, are we teaching our children today that the benefits of working hard are no better than those of just showing up?

Finally, are we setting our kids up for failure?  What happens to the kid who got a trophy every sports season when they were younger, decides that it would be cool to be on the high school sports team?  We’ve been teaching them for years that they can win the trophy/prize no matter what their effort.  Now suddenly the rules are completely changed.  They can’t just show up anymore.   They have to earn their place on the team and we’ve been teaching the exact opposite.

I can remember once when my young son was competing as a dancer.  He was a great tap dancer, good enough that his instructor gave him private lessons for free since we couldn’t afford them at the time.  He loved to perform but hated to practice and didn’t understand the need to learn things that he didn’t find as interesting.  At this particular competition, he was up against several really talented dancers.  One little boy in particular was really great.  He had obviously been working hard at several different types of dance, and he justifiably blew the competition away, including my son.  After the award ceremony, where this other little boy won the big trophy, my son came up to me and said; “I’m as good as he was mom.”  I wanted to say “Yes  you are sweetie.”  I wanted him to feel good about himself.  Instead I said one of the hardest things I’d ever said.  I told him that he wasn’t even close to as good as that other little boy.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t tell him that he couldn’t be as good, only that he would have to practice a lot more to achieve that.  My son is now a college student and he still likes to goof off and avoid work, but he has learn that the harder he works for something the greater his reward will be.  Feeling good about yourself, proud of what you accomplish, and winning the prize, takes a lot of effort.  You can’t expect those things just for showing up, at least not in ”real life.”

Purple dinosaur and a middle age man in a sweater

May 7, 2009

What small child doesn’t like Mr. Rogers neighborhood and Barney the purple dinosaur?  What parent doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy when their precious child watches Mr. Rogers and Barney?  Well, I say turn the TV channel to something more appropriate like “The Road Runner” or “Tom and Jerry.”  Why you ask, do I feel this way?  Well, the later are much more realistic and life like!

Barney that cuddly purple dinosaur sings his little didi at the beginning of each show.  Ask almost any little kid to sing the “Barney” song and they will start right up.  “I love you. You love me.  We’re a happy family.”  A small child takes this literally and honestly believes that what Barney says in the song is true.  They may even take it further and believe that it’s a rule of life that everyone loves them and will make them happy, no matter who they are and how they act.  I’m sorry, but the only people who love their child no matter what, are their parents (at least most of the time.)  In the real world, you earn your friends by your actions, and you have to work at keeping them.

Mr. Rogers, at the beginning of each of his shows, announces to kids that he “likes them just the way they are.”  What!!!  Again, maybe that’s true of parents, but it doesn’t apply to everyone else, especially a child’s peers.  Parents don’t really have the options of liking or not liking their own child.  Peers on the other hand are not so restricted.  Instead, with peers, you have to MAKE friends.  That requires actions and some effort.  It doesn’t just magically happen.

So, you might ask, what’s the big deal?  Shouldn’t  kids  feel good about themselves, happy, and loved?  Of course they should but it doesn’t always happen that way, and it gets worse as kids grow older.  Suddenly, they’re in their teens and everything changes.  What happens when the child Mr. Rogers has made to feel perfect just the way they are, finds themselves standing on the outside of the popular groups at school?  What happens to the young girl whose best friend in elementary school finds someone “better” to hang with in middle school.  Are Barney, and Mr. Rogers’ shows setting kids up for disappointment, pain, and anger, later in life?

Healy after surgery

May 5, 2009

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Substitute teacher

May 4, 2009

Hey guys, substitute teachers have the toughest job in the school.  They don’t know you, they want to do a good job, and they’re not getting paid enough to put up with your bull.  Give them a break.  They wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t like kids, and didn’t want to help.  If a sub acts mean it’s probably because they have to in order to feel like they’re doing the job they were hired to do.  Again, your actions cause their reaction.  Try to put yourself into their place for a moment.  If you can do this, then treat them the way you would want to be treated in their position.  Being a good student is not a hard thing.  Learning to respect others is an important part of growing up and of taking care of yourself.

Not a game

May 3, 2009

I am so glad that I started this blog.  You guys have had some amazing questions and hopefully I’ve given some good answers back.  That saying, that if you can help just one person it’s worthwhile, really is true.  Unfortunately, one of my students decided to PRETEND to be suicidal in several of their comments.  I don’t know if this was done as a joke or simply to see what I would say or do.   I have had two people I know commit suicide and one who has threatened it several times.  I take it very seriously and as the person who made the comments now knows, I will do anything to keep it from happening to someone else.

I have deleted the comments this person made from the site.  I don’t mind if you ask questions about just about anything, including suicide, but please don’t use this blog just to get attention.

Finally, if any reader ever does comtemplate suicide I DO want to hear from you.  Helping you would be worth staying up all night for.

Breaking up is hard!

May 2, 2009
  • Great question for posting

    Anonymous Says:

    hi mrs blizzard i was just wondering if you have any advice if someone breaks up with you what would you do because some people get over it but other people will be hurt for weeks i was just wondering if you could give any advice on what to do

    • It took me years to figure this one out! First off, kids your age are actually learning how to relate to the opposite sex. Having someone break up with you may not have anything to do with you, but may simply be the result of a change in attitude. I can remember going out with a guy because he was really cute and talented but not my type at all. I went out with him because I just enjoyed his company. Unfortunately, he thought that me going out with him was a indication that I wanted to be his “girlfriend.” When he started talking about what we would be doing the next weekend, I realized that we weren’t on the same page. I felt bad about it too. You see, it was one of my first experiences where I was the one who “broke up.” The thing is, my feelings had nothing to do with him personally; He was still very attractive and talented and a lot of fun to be around, he just wasn’t right for me. This helped me to realize that a person breaking up with me did not necessarily mean that their was something wrong with me. You’re going to meet so many people in your lifetime, and you’ll meet many great people that you could never see yourself dating but who mean a lot to you. Give yourself time to explore and look forward to the journey, not backwards.
  • Smoking pot

    May 2, 2009
  • Another one of your questions that needed posting.

    anonymous Says:

    ok my problem is that my friends are always smoking weed around me and it got to the point where they asked me if i wanted any, of course i said no but now i actually want to and i bought some and i don’t know what to do i know its wrong but its not addictive and its only one time should i or should i not?
    please help:)

    • |Actually, this is an easy one for me to answer. Unfortunately, it’s probably not nearly as easy for you. No, you should not try pot even if you think it’s only “just this once.” I can hear your friends now if you do try it and don’t like it. They’ll tell you that it gets better the more you do it. If you do try it, and like it, you may find it very easy to keep making excuses to “do it” just one more time.Pot may not be addictive but it is a crutch. It alters your reality for a brief period of time and may make some things seem better. It also causes paranoia, messes with your sense of time and depth perception, and alters your emotions and inhibitions. The last can be devastating, since you may find yourself doing things that you would never do straight.
    • Finally, can you honestly think of one good reason to get high? It’s not going to make you a better person, it’s not going to solve any problems, and it’s not even going to taste good. What it will do is make you act silly, have the munchies, become paranoid, and possibly make you do something you’ll regret a lot longer than any high you get from it.
  • Too Cool for School

    May 1, 2009

    “Wow, the popular kids in school have it all!  I wish I was part of that crowd.”  Well don’t feel too bad if you never break their ranks, you may be better off.  School age kids, even kids in high school don’t really understand the real world.  They haven’t had the chance to.

    The popular boys in school tend to be the bad boys, or the jocks.  The popular girls are usually determined by their looks, not their brains or in many cases even their personality.   These characteristics may be popular in school but they often don’t carry through into adulthood.  Adult women don’t want a bad boy.  Being able to catch a football isn’t a high priority for a woman.  Instead, the adult woman is looking for a man that is confident, strong (mentally and physically), and motivated.  The adult man is looking for a woman that they can talk to and do things with.  She too needs to be confident, happy, and motivated.  In both cases, looks are still important but the value is placed on different aspects of appearance.  These characteristics are what students need to be working on developing during school.  Succeeding, learning from mistakes, and setting goals  make a person a happy adult.

    If you are looking at those popular kids and wishing you were one of them remember this;  For a lot of them, the best years of their lives are the years they were in middle school and high school.  That’s 7 years of their lives and they go by quickly.  The rest of their lives, don’t measure up.  Personally, I would much rather be a popular adult than a popular teenager.  I get to have a lot more “best years of my life” than they do.

    Family problems

    April 30, 2009

    This is a comment that I wanted to post for everyone to see.

    anonymous Says:

    hey mrs. blizzard. well i’ve been having some family problems. my parents are divorced and my mom lives like 3 hours away, so she’s never around and i know it’s not her fault and that she try’s to be here for me but, i feel kinda seperated from her, like she’s hiding something from me. my older brother has been the biggest problem of all. he’s always being a jerk and sometimes i know it’s not his fault because i just found out that he might be bipolar, soo… he’s also gotten kicked out of school, so now he’s doing online school but, he has decided that if he cant get back into school that he will go into the navy. that really scares me. and on top of everything i have my own issue, and im gonna admit it… i have some big self esteem problems. please give me some advice. :)

    Being separated from your mom at your age is not something that I can personally relate too so that part of your comment is tougher for me than the rest.  I can say that you must always remember that the separation is not the result of something that you did or did not do.  Also, adults have lives that are full of hopes and dreams and problems just like kids do.  If your mother is happy then try not to worry to much about her.  If she is not happy then I can’t stress this enough; You can not fix her problems.  She’s the adult and she has to make her own choices.

    I have lived with a family member who has a psychological problem similar to your brothers.  This can drive you crazy because you hate to see it and you’d love to be able to change/fix it but nothing ever works.  You can’t control his behavior.  What you can control is how you react to his actions.  Try not to get too angry with him but know that it’s ok to be angry.  Just don’t let that anger eat you up inside.  If your brother does end up going into the Navy understand that that is his choice and he has the right to make it.  Out of all the military services this would be the one I would feel most comfortable with a family member in.  Military service men and women develop relationships that are very much like a family.  They provide a since of companionship and support that some people thrive on. 

    Finally, we get to your self esteem issues.  Know that you are by no means alone with this problem.  At your age, everyone is struggling with those issues.  Even the popular kids who seem to have it all have their problems.  Teen and pre-teens are at a stage in their lives when they are trying to figure out who they are going to be.  Work at finding out what makes you feel good, what makes you happy.  Being happy is the biggest part of being confident.  This doesn’t have to be as hard as it may sound.  If you love music, pick out some great tunes and listen to them (a lot!)  If you love playing a sport, practice and get better at it.  If you love a clean room, clean your room and feel great about it.  If a friend is bringing you down, know that it’s ok to pull away from them.  It doesn’t matter what you look like or what size you are if you’ve learned how to make yourself happy.  You see, being happy draws people to you.  Don’t worry if it takes time.  It’s worth waiting for. 

    My parents are so mean!

    April 28, 2009

    Parents can be so mean sometimes.  They do things like take away your video games when your grades drop;  They cut you off from your friends if you start getting into trouble;  They won’t even let you use your cell phone if you get caught texting too much.  Then they get mad if you argue with them about it!  How can they do this to you?

    Well, lets look at it from a different prospective.  It’s pretty simple, consider this table:

    Action ==> Reaction

    Your grades drop ==> You lose your video games

    You get into trouble ==> You’re cut off from your friends

    You text too much ==> You lose your cell phone.

    Which came first, the action or the reaction?  If your grades hadn’t dropped would you still be playing your video games?  If you hadn’t gotten into trouble would you be able to hang with your friends?  If you hadn’t texted too much would you still have that cell phone in your bag?  The problem isn’t that your parents are being mean, it’s that you haven’t kept up with your end of things.  Hey, who bought you the video games in the first place?   Your parents are just trying to teach you how to take care of yourself.  You see, as an adult, if you don’t take care of yourself (in other words, do the things you should) then you lose.  The difference is, the things you lose as an adult might be:  your home, your family, your life.  A few weeks without video games doesn’t even come close to as bad as losing the things you could lose as an adult.