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Discussion of the week (4/18/2005) - Parenting
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robyn and I face the same issue. She's a theist and I'm clearly not, something which I was expressing to the kids in less than productive ways, such as making sarcastic comments or giving the old "eye roll" when ever God would come up.

A little background. Zoe, the 6 year old, actually went to a christian school for a short time and it left an imprint on her view of the world. Zander, the 3 year old has only been exposed through his biological family. Their biological father is almost the spitting image of the typical hypocritical christian, claiming he is a Christian and expecting as much from his kids, all the while failing to live up to even the most basic tenants of the religion in just about every way imaginable. Robyn's theism is based in Christianity but leans heavily towards agnosticism.

Anyways, Robyn and I have actually managed to move forward through talking to each other about it (calmly, for the most part) and realizing that we both want what is best for the kids, even if we may see it differently. I've stopped making sarcastic comments and avoid disrespectful comments about religion around the kids but, at the same time, if the kids ask me a question, Robyn is okay with me answering it.

I've also made sure that the kids are surrounded by lots of heavily science-based books, something which took a bit of convincing on my part to get Robyn to go along with but I managed to get her to understand just how important it was to me and she agreed to it. My thought is that, even if their bio-dad continues to push religion on them, they will have enough of an understanding of core science that they will be able to see the contradictions on their own and then hopefully bring questions to me.

As it turns out, one of their favorite books for me to read to them (Zander loves the pictures and counting the animals, Zoe likes to help me read it) is this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0152017720/ref=wms_ohs_product

It is a great book for introducing kids to the idea of evolution and makes absolutely no mention of religion, which I think makes it easier for Robyn to accept it.

I also have this book sitting in a box. I was going to give it to Zoe with the other one but she isn't quite old enough to be able to read it or understand it very well, so I'm holding onto it for the moment: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756672287/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details

Again, the book doesn't try to beat the idea that there is no God(s) into the kids head, but exposes them to the idea that different people believe different things. Hopefully this will give them the ability to realize that they don't have to accept the bible as verbatim fact and will enable them to ask questions when they come across contradictions in religion.

I also bought a science experiment book for the kids a while back, which we pick experiments from every once in a while and do together.

For Christmas, Zoe is getting this book because they have started studying the solar system in school: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006445178X/ref=oh_o01_s00_i04_details

And this book because she was asking me about volcanoes a while back and it seems like a good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0064451631/ref=oh_o01_s00_i02_details

Edit: Oh, and it is definitely awesome having a girlfriend who made reading a huge part of her kid's lives. It makes teaching them new things so much easier than if they were a couple of kids who hadn't been raised around books and reading.
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Mongolio
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to look at these. One of the problems I am running into is that the oldest two are quite a bit behind in class due to some focus issues inherited from their bio dad. The 13 y/o in 6th grade (he was held back last year) can read on about the 2nd grade level. He also has social issues. The 10 y/o is in 4th and is reading at about the same level as the oldest. The 8 y/o can read a grade or two above his level and has read most of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. The youngest 6 y/o (wife's nephew) is delayed as well due to his bio parents were shitty parents and didn't force him to do anything for himself because they thought it was cute. They gave him Dr. Pepper in his bottle at age 4... Nice, eh?

Anyways, I'll look into the book route just to see what there is.
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Buddy Lee
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had children right now...I'd be terrified.
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, this is from yesterday:



Turns out having kids gives you a great excuse to watch live action Sesame Street while at SeaWorld.
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Question for the Parents here, how old do you think kids need to be to enjoy having The Hobbit read to them? I know that Tolken wrote it for his kids but I'm trying to decide if Zander and Zoe are old enough to enjoy it (and stay interested).
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed watching John Carpenter's The Thing at four. I think they'll enjoy it, if you skip the four hundred or so pages of walking and describing the wilderness.
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TeflonJon
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 10 or so the first time I remember reading it. I remember watching the cartoon version prior to that, probably around 5-6 years old.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TeflonJon wrote:
I was 10 or so the first time I remember reading it. I remember watching the cartoon version prior to that, probably around 5-6 years old.


Same, although the cartoon scared me.
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I remember the cartoon being fairly dark and really not appropriate for kids that young. I think I'll probably wait till Zander is 5 or 6 to try reading it to them. I looked at a few online sources and that seems to be pretty much the consensus for when kids are old enough to start enjoying it.
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got asked how the universe started, today. I think I managed to explain the basic idea of the "Big Bang" to Zoe (6 year old).

This was followed by a question as to how the planets were formed. Thankfully we had just read a book about the solar system last night, which featured asteroids, so I went with a very basic explanation involving gravity and a large group of asteroids collapsing into a planet.

Finally, I was asked where people came from. I reminded her of the "Our Family Tree" book and the response was "Oh, that's right, we started as little tiny things and changed to become people over a long time". Then she told me she didn't remember it very well, so we need to read it again.

This was all in about the 15 minute drive from picking up her to picking up her brother.

After picking him up they decided to name all the planets. For some reason, Zander is especially fond of Mars and Jupiter. Zoe started to say Pluto but caught herself and ended up saying, "Oh, that's right, it's not a planet any more".
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Akuma
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's really awesome.
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Mongolio
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, that kicks ass!
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Core meltdown (commonly known as a meltdown) is an accident scenario in nuclear reactors, and is one of the possible modes of failure for light water reactors, during which the reactor pile turns into a pile of reactor.
---RationalWiki

If Jesus had existed, his DNA would have been 99% similar to that of a chimpanzee. Or you. You're 99% Jesus.
-- RationalWiki
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Ryken
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For real, Trassin, that is incredible. I see I need to step my "Dad" game up.
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today's Lesson: Children's socks were created to frustrate parents.

As every adult knows, the laundry dryer eats socks. You put two matching socks in and only one of them comes out. Somewhere in between pushing the start button and the buzzer letting you know that you have clothing to fold, Sock Gnomes open a secret door in the dryer and collect their weekly sock harvest.

As an adult, this is a bit frustrating and usually results in having one extra sock left over after matching all the other socks with their mates. The lonely widow sock is left by itself, waiting for a day when the Sock Gnomes will steal another sock's mate, at which point two widowed socks can become a new pair for a while.

This level of frustration is nothing though compared to the insanity that arises when you toss two small children into the mix. It turns out that the manufacturers of children's socks are secretly in league with the Sock Gnomes to drive parents insane! Children's sock manufacturers actively work so that no two pairs of kids socks look the same and the Sock Gnomes increase the insanity by only trying to collect one of each sock design.

Currently the count is 20 socks (yes, I counted them). Right now there are 20 tiny toddler and first grader socks sitting on the couch, each one of them looking completely different from the other 19!

I know what some of you are thinking, "John, just put two different socks on them and it will be fine. Their shoes will cover them up anyways." Having already made this mistake once, and only once, I caution against it. I wasn't aware but the 2nd Law of Parenting states that for every parent who sees this as a solution, there is an equal and opposite parent who will not. Trust me, it is better for your well being if you simply avoid this path all together.

I intend to solve this problem after work today, new plain white socks for everyone! I'll be sure to let you know how long it takes for the Sock Gnomes and evil Socking Conglomerate to unravel this attempted solution of mine.
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Ryrra
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My daughter has several sock groups that can make all kinds of crazy pairs. It is great because I don't know if any go missing. Also Yobun does the laundry. We do however have a sock basket that has all unmatched socks form the weeks wash in it.
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Last edited by Ryrra on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest a double pronged approach:

1) Those other parents can go to hell. Related to this, non-matching socks can be fun.

2) Buy socks in larger, matching quantities.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Ryken
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you can get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Innovative-Home-Creations-1600-Lingerie/dp/B000GUR9TE
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm.... true. It is well know after all that mesh is kryptonite for Gnomes.
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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Mongolio
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have two more kids (for a total of 4) and let me know how you feel about it. Then we'll talk.
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Core meltdown (commonly known as a meltdown) is an accident scenario in nuclear reactors, and is one of the possible modes of failure for light water reactors, during which the reactor pile turns into a pile of reactor.
---RationalWiki

If Jesus had existed, his DNA would have been 99% similar to that of a chimpanzee. Or you. You're 99% Jesus.
-- RationalWiki
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Trassin
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The kids are still a bit young but I'm hoping to get them involved in this at some point down the road: http://www.google.com/intl/en/events/sciencefair/enter.html
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The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. - Albert Einstein
"Raccoons oscillate at 50Hz in Europe." - FAWBOTS
"I'm not sure I'm up for orgy scrabble parties" - Female Friend
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