Parenting #FAIL: Education

I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve encountered who bash the NYC school system for failing their children. I know schools aren’t perfect, but I also know that parents are just as responsible for the level and quality of their child’s education. You can’t just ship your child off to school and expect for them to come home a genius.

For every parent who complains about a bad school, I wonder how many have taken action to correct any educational lapses? How many of us are reinforcing what’s being taught in the classroom at home? I see way too many children on the train with PS3’s to entertain them and they can’t even read or count. High school students failing but they have on Jordan’s and Northface jackets. Fancy cell phones. Blackberries with data plans. How about they get a job? But before that, are they reading on a college level? Are they even reading at level? If they aren’t, it isn’t the school’s fault. It’s the parents’ fault. It’s a shame how we would invest money in expensive clothing and gadgets but won’t get our children a tutor or enroll them in an extra-curricular activity. Then we wonder why teenage pregnancies and criminal mischief are rampant. We’re not giving these kids anything to occupy their time or to look forward to. They have to know that there’s more to life then just what they can reach out and touch at the moment.

I didn’t spend most of my high school years in NYC, but what I noticed the most when I moved back here was that a lot of the young adults didn’t have work experience. So many were getting their first jobs well past the age of 18. I can’t even imagine life without working. I had my first job at the age of 14. I spent 6 months in a NYC high school when I was that age, and some of my peers read just as slowly as my kids did when they first began to learn to read. But you better believe these same students were up on the latest of everything else.

It’s senseless to blame the school for this because if you read to your child at home, what they’ve learned in the classroom would stick. If you can’t offer your child anything else in terms of extra-curricular activities, by all means make sure they can read and have access to books. Make use of any free services available in your community. The public library in my neighborhood did offer a reading time for the children on Saturday mornings, but guess what? Nobody would show up. I went to a library in Bay Ridge that offered the same program. The library was recently remodeled. The library in my neighborhood was old. I couldn’t gripe because what you don’t use, you lose. Many of us complain about the lack of programming in our communities but we don’t make use of what’s available. Funds are not going to be allocated for what people do not use. The Bay Ridge library was teeming with parents and children, my library was empty. Today I learned that some Kindergarten gifted and talented programs are being closed at schools in some urban neighborhoods because not enough students are passing the exam. This was unsettling to me because families will now have to travel farther when their child gains acceptance to the program and I can definitely relate to a working parent traveling long distances for the sake of their child’s education. This can be a huge deterrent and our kids are worth every educational opportunity afforded to them. We have to understand that our action and inaction have an effect on the bigger picture within our communities.

Everything begins in the home and parents have control over honing their child’s system of values. A lot of parents mistakenly look at their children as reflections of themselves who are born into this world with their same likes, dislikes and limitations. Yes, your child may look just like you, may act like you, but they are not you. It’s very important to be proactive about early education so that children will be able to flourish in academic environments. They have a life full of limitless opportunity and you are there to help them grasp it all. Real parenting isn’t for the faint.

Let these kids be great!

In support of literacy and education the Reading 4 Smiles organization offers programming to help children elevate to the next level, academically. Expect to hear more about this and other information about this blossoming non-profit. Please email me at polishtheblog@gmail.com if you would like to donate any supplies or volunteer.

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Why I Hate Dating: Ulterior Motives

You may have read about how I hate dating. This is a multi-faceted opinion. I don’t trust people. This is a reoccurring theme throughout the very short life of my blog. I analyze almost everything and the current focus is on ulterior motives.

There are people who date and people who date with purpose. Dating with purpose makes sense just so long as the focus still remains on being happy and having a happy partner. Dating with purpose leads to issues when someone has an agenda and cares more about that than whom they are pursuing. I get this a lot.

A guy will try to do everything perfectly in attempts to get the ball rolling in the direction he so desires. He’s being so wonderful so early, and to me, that it’s suspicious. While doing this, he’s liable to accept everything you throw at him because in his mind there is a big picture. He wants a wife and a family by any means necessary, even if you are not ready. He has an agenda. He will keep on keeping on until he gets what he wants. If you push him to the limit you may uncover a glimpse of his true character underneath the facade. This is often NOT easy to discover.

You have to pay very close attention to the actions of others in order to decipher their intentions. If you are fortunate enough to realize that there is a hidden agenda and you remove yourself from the situation, you can confirm the presence of these ulterior motives by watching what the person does next. If the person wanted to hurry up and be in a relationship with you but you find that they are in a relationship shortly after no longer seeing you, chances are that they really just wanted a relationship. Who with didn’t really matter.  I’m leery of anyone who just wants to jump into anything. Before I just wasn’t mature enough to realize that sometimes people have a need to fulfill something within themselves through being in a relationship, and that is not the way things should be. We should always want someone more than we need them.

I don’t want to be needed. Maybe being needed gives security for some people but for me it’s a huge role to fill. I don’t want anybody crashing because I decide to no longer be with them. I want to complement someone not be their crutch. Yes, you can need someone in a sense that you see them as an integral role in your future. I get that. But needing someone just to be able to get through your day to day or just to have something to live for, is a problem. Seek help.

Don’t be duped. Relationships are a two way street. Not only do we have to really get to know a person, we also have t make sure they really know us. I’ve made a habit of not holding back much at all in terms of my character. I need every interested party to get the most accurate perception of me. Not that they would not have before, but it’s just that we often leave out things that aren’t relevant at the time. We wait to cross that bridge when we get to it. This definitely isn’t wrong, it just may cause friction in the future.

Here’s a minor example, I was flirting speaking with a male friend and we made a joke about taking a shower together. Immediately afterward I told him that showering together is nice when everything is new, but I actually hate it. I would like to clean myself in peace. Surprisingly enough, he agreed. So, no tension down the line when I decline any offers to soap up together. He already knows the deal and so do I.

The point is to be yourself. There are often times when we meet an amazing person who appears to be right for us; but they really aren’t right for us if they cannot accept us for who we are. This doesn’t automatically make them bad people. It can make us jerks though if we try to be who we are not, or accept what we otherwise won’t, just to get them. Don’t do a disservice to yourself or to others.

Weinergate

That’s it? With all of the other drama going on with politicians, all Anthony Weiner could come up with was flashing his piece on Twitter? Then lying about it? #cmonson! I saw one of the pics on TV, and despite the top of his face being cut off, you could obviously tell it was him. When you have interestiing looks such as his, you may want to cut your whole head out of the photo. A little old lady on the news wanted to know why he felt he could even act out like that because “he’s very nerdy looking; he’s no Kennedy!” (I died btw) Somebody I’ve spoken with wanted to know how he could have possibly been wasting time on Twitter when our government needs an overhaul? I had to remind him of the nature of our government and their working hours. No need to single out Anthony Weiner.

But have I missed something? Is there a special club for politicians who like to share their body parts? The club is growing. But Anthony Weiner is different. He refuses to resign, his wife has not been by his side in public. Smart woman. He openly let loose a pic on Twitter meaning to send it in a DM? Dumb man. You don’t have to @ a person in a DM. I know that I’ve almost accidentally DM’ed the wrong person before. But at least I was on the DM screen!

It’s a wrap for privacy  Social media offers all sorts of levels of transparency. So much so, that even if you lock your stuff up tight, you can still be found out through whom you associate with. (Some of you may want to reread that part.) –>You can still be found out through whom you associate with. Don’t do anything that you don’t feel comfortable enough saying “YUP! I did it!” because you’re going to look crazy.

I wasn’t really concerned about what Anthony Weiner did until he lied about it, and then when I was reminded that he just got married. Dude, I can’t co-sign you now. I don’t believe that just because someone sexts, that they can’t do their jobs properly. You know how many brilliant people show up to the job high or drunk? But the lying is wack. Also, just because someone is a political figure doesn’t automatically make them a rolemodel. Afraid of your kids seeing poor rolemodels on television? Simple, cut it off. Nobody else is responsible for your child but you.

Although I don’t condone  Anthony Weiner’s actions, I don’t think he should step down. If he wasn’t abusing children, public money or breaking the law, I don’t care. I’m also not sure what goes on in personal life or bedroom, but nothing justifies cheating. I’m struggling trying to figure out why some men even do this. He JUST got married, was doing this BEFORE he got married, yet STILL got married. If he wanted to be single to sext other women he should have remained single. Sounds simple. I give credit to the men who go about it that way. I’m not sure what Mrs. Weiner is going to do, but I would have done the D.I.P.  I would have left him just off the strength that he was doing this prior to being married. Had this been a first time offense, I probably would have forgiven it.

This whole debacle probably would have morphed into a Spitzer style mess had he not slipped up like he did. He should consider himself lucky because he’ll likely redeem himself later on down the line as he still has some support. However, he’s not being well received by a lot of his peers, so resignation will probably be the end result. We’re publicly watching him crack under the pressure. So much for sticking it out.