“The right for private citizens to own military-style weapons, for starters.
As for private property, I own some AND I pay taxes. In the U.S. we have taxation WITH representation. I vote for those who believe that we ought to avoid replicating the Great Depression. It was great for the very wealthy (who got to buy a lot of devalued property - sound familiar?) and very bad for most other Americans.”
“Andy, we have many social programs in the U.S. Free public education is a form of socialism. So to be an American and hate social welfare doesn't make much sense.
Do you benefit from exploitive wages and corporate welfare? You might save a few cents each time you spend $100 at Walmart. But the Waltons aren't really doing you any favors by discounting their wares slightly and shorting their employees along with the government that must fill the gap between their feeble purchasing power and the cost of housing, food, and medical care. You're helping to pay for the latter through your taxes. Someone needs to work in supermarkets for you to buy groceries. But if the Waltons and other wealthy corporate groups keep all the profits for themselves, the economy suffers and the middle class shrinks. Then you might lose your job (if you are lucky enough to have one) and have to rely on the socialism of unemployment benefits, food stamps, medical assistance, and subsidized housing. Or should we leave you to starve in the streets in the interest of the so-called free market?
Human beings are social animals. We all depend on the larger group (society) for survival. The social contract cannot favor a handful of individuals if most members of society are to thrive. God did not invent and bless capitalism and Christ eschewed it. The Right represents the wealthy (not the middle class) and the Christian Right doesn't understand Christ's teachings.”
“The "right" of a few individuals to keep their billions doesn't, in my mind, supersede the need for the U.S. to maintain a strong middle class in order for the economy to function sustainably. Tax billionaires at 50%. Tax corporations based on the proportion of their gross profit that goes to paying workers earning less than $50,000/year. This would cover the cost of government programs that are needed to help starvation-wage workers have housing, food, and medical care for themselves and their families.
Make it illegal to avoid taxes by stashing money in offshore accounts. And add a tax penalty for companies that exploit overseas workers and make an end run around US environmental laws.
Living wages are fair. They are good for the economy because they grow the middle class, which in turns spurs job creation. Paying fair wages certainly won't hurt the über-wealthy. Few, if any, would close up shop because they could only make 50 billion instead of 100 billion. Unfettered capitalism is exploitive and will eventually eat itself as the number of low-wage workers with little purchasing power increases.”
Uncle Todd on Aug 7, 2013 at 06:52:49
“The "right" of a few individuals to keep their billions doesn't, in my mind, supersede the need for the U.S. to maintain a strong middle class in order for the economy to function sustainably.
Besides the right to private property, which other rights do you believe we should deny people for the sake of the common good?”
Robert DeLeon on Aug 6, 2013 at 18:35:56
“I fully agree with you, but don't hold your breath.”
“I'm the mom of adopted twins and can barely type through my tears after reading your story. Natascha was a blessing. I'm so sorry that you lost her - or rather her bright future. You'll never lose the time that she spent with you.
I'm not Catholic, or even a regular church-goer, but I teach at a Benedictine college and was at least glad to read that Natascha got back to loving school (and was loved at school) by transferring to a Catholic school. Many Catholic Sisters, some of whom are my colleagues, are my heroes.
My children suffer from FAS/FASD because their teen birth mom drank during her pregnancy. I am blessed to have them and even more blessed that they can go to a public school where teachers and staff are loving and encouraging and very happy to talk to a newbie single mom who wants her slightly damaged kids to learn as much as they possibly can and to keep loving school.
Thank you for sharing Natasha with us. I wish you healing, although I know that it must be incredibly difficult to get past the unfairness of the fact that your child could not be healed and you are left to figure out how to carry on.”
“As a kid I fell, was knocked down, was crashed into on the sledding hill (back in the day when wooden sleds had metal runners - I'm a non-traditional aged parent of young kids). Once I fell ice skating and a kid skated over my hand. Luckily, my mitten saved it from anything but a bruise. Our parents were not only not within reach of us, they were not within sight of us! They were at home or at work and we were out playing. Kids aren't made of fine porcelain, as it turns out.
I live in an urban neighborhood with a great park that hosts concerts, festivals, and small sporting events. It is a heavily used park. In the summertime, the playground and splash pad are crowded with lots of kids, many of them running around like little maniacs. Today, one of my twins met a boy who loves to run as much much as she does. They chased through the splash pad sprinklers gleefully for a good half hour.
These kids are having fun! They're socializing across races, classes, and nationalities. They are getting healthy exercise outdoors. Families are out together. This is GOOD! I certainly wouldn't keep my children home because they are in the most active 20% of kids in the park. Knees will get scraped, an arm could even get broken. But I don't think that keeping our kids wrapped in cotton wool (or sitting in front of the TV) is a better idea.”
thomasina 1 on Jun 27, 2013 at 00:54:02
“It is one thing to have accidents that are unintentional. I am sure that your sledding and skating accidents were not a matter of the other children focusing on harming you. Playing out doors as you describe is way different than Boaz getting all belligerent and willfully hitting and punching other children, or throwing sand at them.
I don't think you can compare the two. It is necessary to mind children. And if a parent knows that their child has a disorder, then it is incumbent upon them to really monitor their behavior to prevent any altercations. And, to use that as an opportunity to tell them not to indulge in the wrong behavior. Actually, this goes for any child.
And this begins at home, before any contact with other kids.”
“I'm so aware of that! I belong to a number of parents group for parents of FASD kids. Many people with FASD also have ADHD and sensory/verbal processing disorders. Dysmaturity is a hallmark of the syndrome. I'm fortunate that my daughter has at least low-normal intelligence, as many kids with FASD have sub-normal IQs. Imagine that their birth moms drank and then either had them taken away or decided not to parent them. Many of these kids also have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, PTSD - entire alphabets of diagnoses. While my kids aren't hitters, I do worry that one is oppositional (she was neglected, witnessed abuse, suffered food insecurity and undernourishment) and the other (with FAS) is vulnerable. So I'm doing all that I can to avoid having them be vulnerable teens. But action --> result doesn't click with them because of the FASD. I understand this mom's frustration and exhaustion.”
“I tried to sell my house and buy a townhouse when I decided to adopt. My house was on the market for 9 months and I was caught up in pre-adoption paperwork, seminars, meetings - it all takes a lot of time. I had to take the house off of the market as I got close to the adoption. My neighborhood has tilted towards rentals and the value of my home continues to fall.
I pay a lot of money for childcare because I work full-time and because my kids are very active and do better with lots of organized activities (as opposed to when I'm making dinner, washing dishes, putty away groceries).
I didn't know that my kids would turn out to have the issues they have. They were pretty typical of the kids at the orphanage and I thought that they'd settle into a quieter, more stable home with a loving parent. It turns out that FASD is very common in the country I adopted from and more of those kids end up in state care. Now, US adoption agencies are giving more information about this sort of thing. Still, I'm glad that my kids have a mom and are my kids, even if we're kind of isolated by their differences. Well, there are the groups for families like ours, but those parents are also over-extended. It's life.”
thomasina 1 on Jun 26, 2013 at 13:38:16
“Well, You have what you have. Try to get into a better garden situation, or Perhaps do what a neighbor of mine did, and that was to take in a housekeeper and babysitter for room and board. You may be able to offer housing in exchange for child care. ”
“Assaulted? This is what leads me to believe that the biggest problem is passive-agressive parents who think that ONLY their kids matter - and teach their kids to model that behavior.”
Kimberly Owsley on Jun 26, 2013 at 16:41:21
“Also, special needs kids aren't the ONLY ones that matter, either.”
Kimberly Owsley on Jun 26, 2013 at 14:12:21
“Just because a six year old couldn't seriously hurt you doesn't mean he couldn't seriously hurt another child. I think a lot of these people being so incredulous over the word "assault" are imagining the little boy hitting THEM, not another little kid. Yeah, then saying it's assault would be JUST a little ridiculous. But in the context I'm referring to, it's really not. ”
“Let's get this clear: The child didn't bite anyone. Nor did he punch anyone or cause any injury beyond hurt feelings.
My kids have ADHD (medicated, but hard to treat since the cause is FASD). When I see them running too fast around the splash pad, I stop them. But I can't always be within reach. So they might knock a little one over in their exuberance. I would go to that child to soothe him/her and make sure that they weren't hurt and I'd apologize to the parents. But I wouldn't stop taking my kids to the splash pad. Or should I kennel them and take them out on leashes?”
Jennifer Elston on Jun 26, 2013 at 16:23:15
“Accidentally knocking someone over in a little childish exuberance is a completely, let me repeat- COMPLETELY, different situation than if your kid was known to say shove kids down on purpose. Would you bring your kids to the splash pad if you know that multiple times throughout the day he/she would literally shove someone down on purpose, end up crying because they are embarrassed they can't control their temper, and result in a total meltdown that probably set him back in the therapy you have him in for that exact kind of behavior? I would hope not.”
thomasina 1 on Jun 26, 2013 at 14:47:49
“You should keep your children away until you have trained them to not knock others down. That is pretty serious. Would you like to be knocked down to the ground yourself? Put yourself in the place of that little child. Work harder on preventing bad behavior.”
“That would be assault. Should little kids go to jail if they hit another kid on the playground? If they hit their siblings are they domestic abusers? Were most of the outraged parents posting here were kids in the 80's? It's time to grow up and stop being the ME generation. Ubuntu - I am because we are.”
Kimberly Owsley on Jun 26, 2013 at 15:08:13
“"Should little kids go to jail if they hit another kid on the playground?"
OBVIOUSLY not. But they shouldn't be rewarded with ice cream without even getting a proper talking-to either.”
LonelyLiberalinOk on Jun 26, 2013 at 14:22:00
“Kids like this will grow up to be adults like that.”
juna on Jun 26, 2013 at 13:01:49
“I think the worry here, Julia, is that this kid will eventually really hurt someone. It could happen even now.”
“Attacked? Do your kids ever hit each other or another child? I'd hardly call that an "attack!" You cite the Golden Rule. Would you rather be helpful and understanding or judgmental? "Do onto others...."”
juna on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:36:40
“No, my kids never did. And yes, I subscribe to the Golden Rule. Here it is in a negative form: Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you. I think that includes hitting, which I define as physical attack. Violence is given far too much "understanding" in this country.”
“How about if all of you who want these kids to be more closely supervised volunteer in your community to help over-challenged parents? I know as a single, working mom, I can't do everything nearly perfectly. I can't even get a lot of things done. I could take a sitter along with us to places that challenge my kids if I weren't spending all of my money on help with the yard work (can't do it and trust my 7-year-old twins not to get into mischief), and co-pays on therapies for my kids. Help would be appreciated and make our community a friendlier place.”
Karchi13 on Jun 26, 2013 at 14:08:12
“Great idea! All these awesome, perfect parents should get certified as respite care givers!”
MarcEdward on Jun 26, 2013 at 13:01:13
“Got three kids of my own to supervise at the moment, and a wife to take care of. It'd be a better nation if we had a LOT more community support for the many who need it.”
thomasina 1 on Jun 26, 2013 at 12:31:41
“Why do you live in a place where you have to pay for yard work ? Childcare and paid babysitting should be a priority.”
“A small child hitting does not equal a kid being "beaten up" or "beaten." Many typical six-year-olds will hit another kid when they are frustrated and tired. What I find hard to accept is that adults want to fight when their child has a playground conflict. The author is clearly trying. I'm fairly certain that if her kid were wailing on another kid or biting, scratching, or kicking, she'd get them right out of there. I hope that she is getting PCA services. It can take a while to qualify and then can be difficult to find someone to take the job. But since she has a smaller child to look after, a great solution would be if she had a PCA who could accompany them to the park and sit with her "explosive" child to help keep him calm and remove him before he hits. Still, pretty much all of these kids are mainstreamed at school and they go to recess with their class. So short of keeping special needs kids segregated, we need to be "the village" raising the children of our community. I talk to other people's kids about rough or dangerous behavior. I don't need to accuse the parents of being bad parents. But I come from the place of raising challenging kids.”
“Kimberly, I just noticed the quote under your name. Are you practicing what you preach?”
thomasina 1 on Jun 25, 2013 at 17:11:47
“It does not matter if a child is "special needs." They still cannot be allowed to harm other people. The difference is, when they are mentally challenged like these children, the parents must take responsibility for their child's bad behavior, and curtail it, immediately. "Special needs" is no excuse for allowing violent harm to another.”
“Yes, a parent with a volatile child needs to be careful. Still, many little kids hit when they are frustrated - even if only once in a while. Kids get rambunctious and push or bump other kids in play or in anger. If my kids hit, I make them apologize and take them home if they're not ready to behave better. I would apologize to the parents if they were nearby (often they aren't in our neighborhood park, but that's another story). I monitor my girls when they are climbing around the play structures and monkey bars because most kids forget about caution when they are having lots of fun, and any of them could fall or bump another kid and cause a potentially serious accident. Public parks are for everyone, including kids with disabilities. Play and interaction are good for all kids. Learning to deal with differences and an occasional confrontation is part of growing up. I teach at a private college and wish that more parents would let their kids experience some natural consequences instead of raising them to believe that everyone will view them as precious and inherently good, smart, and right. I'm an older parent who was allowed to go to parks without my parents as a kid. I love to see kids allowed to be kids - even if they are still learning about playground etiquette. Those are good life lessons all around.”
Kimberly Owsley on Jun 25, 2013 at 13:36:40
“The problem is, this parent was NOT making her child apologize, only apologizing herself. She did NOT take him home after it was made clear that he wasn't going to stop his bad behavior. I would understand if he's non-verbal, but she could at least sit him down for a minute and make it clear to him, "You know hitting is wrong, right? You're sorry for what you did, right?" And have him nod or at least acknowledge the discipline. Then take him home without the ice cream. A verbal confrontation would be one thing. It might even be excusable if the physical confrontation was believably accidental. But if a kid knowingly assaults mine, me and their parent are going to have some words. Not all playground violence is benign, it's not a little thing just because the adult wouldn't be hurt by what the child was hurt by. I've been physically and once even sexually assaulted by children on the playground, and the adults never did anything about it, they either claimed not to have seen it at all and therefore "couldn't" do anything about it, or they just shrugged it off. If learning to deal with an occasional confrontation is just part of growing up, then it should be the same for kids with disabilities too. Sorry, but Boaz is just going to have to learn to deal with confrontation from the people he assaulted if he continues to assault them!”
“So glad that you are taking this first step! Even if you need to take that step more than once, even if things are difficult with your family, people in AA will be there to offer support and encouragement. My mom was sober and active in AA for the last 33 years of her life. Her drinking made my teenage years hellish and her path to sobriety was a long and rocky one. It took me quite a while to trust her again in my young adulthood, but once I understood that she truly prized her sobriety, I became very proud of her. Her sponsor and some of the AA members she had sponsored spoke at her memorial service a couple of years ago. I hope that you find good AA groups and a sponsor as wonderful as my mom was and, most importantly, that you find recovery.”
“I'm happy for you that your superior parenting skills have turned out well-behaved kids. I'm the adoptive mom of twins with FASD. You can't tell this by looking at them or by talking with them, but my kids have sensory processing and language processing disorders that make the world a fairly confusing place for them. They aren't able to fully understand cause and effect, nor how tomorrow becomes today and today yesterday. Somehow, that all makes sense to those of us lucky enough to be born with fully functioning brains. My girls don't tend to hit other kids, but they do have trouble taking turns, sharing, "acting their age" in stores, restaurants, etc. So I rarely take them to places where they need to be still and understand the needs and rights of others. But they go to school, to day camp, to the park and all sorts of kid places. And I get criticized for my "poor parenting" and advice from people who are raising typical kids with a supportive partner. I wish for you that you develop some empathy for parents who love their kids despite difficulties and their own exhaustion. If you aren't up to that challenge, perhaps life will help you learn by throwing you off of your high horse once in a while.”
trixila on Jun 25, 2013 at 14:56:49
“I'm raising kids with the same condition and it is never easy and going out in public can be unpredictable. There are many times when I want to address the person giving me a dirty look in the store when my daughter is having a fit and simply say "Please understand, she did not choose to be born this way! Her birthmother drank and did drugs throughout the pregnancy, so give us a #$@&! break!"--but I never do. Sounds like you are doing a great job, keep it up.”
Kimberly Owsley on Jun 25, 2013 at 06:43:52
“There are a LOT of behaviors that I think are acceptable or at least excusable for kids with physical/mental/emotional/etc problems, but physical violence is NOT and never should be one of them. It cannot be excused. Today it's a scratch or a bruise, but next time he pushes a kid off the monkey bars it could result in a broken neck or worse. There is a line, and parents are going to speak up if you cross it. I wouldn't say a thing if a kid like this has a tantrum, if he's simply "mean" to my child I'll tell him or her to play with someone else. But if he hits my child and the parent just expects me to forget about it because he is "behaviorally challenged" and my kid wasn't SERIOUSLY hurt, well, lets just say I would not be NEARLY as nice as "hippie skirt" was about it.”
“I feel the same when I watch my twin daughters walk into their school when I drop them off in the morning. They've come through incredible struggles. Separation for most of their early childhood, life in an orphanage for one and a life of neglect for the other. Finally, they met at age 4 (not speaking the same language). I adopted them when they were almost 5 years old and brought them to a new life in a new culture. They have some issues from prenatal alcohol exposure and multiple early childhood traumas, yet are amazing, loving, fun kids and their twin bond is just magical. I love to watch them walk hand-in-hand into school or scurry with their snow boots and back packs when the first bell rings. But now it's difficult not to think of those other first graders who were their parents miracles and were just loving learning the way my gils do. So yes, we MUST have the strength to win this struggle! No parent should have to have these fears. No child should die or see a friend die from gun violence.