January 31, 2009

Boy’s Big, Wrapped Birthday Present

This is very cute… and touching…

Gabriel Hurles’ sixth birthday party wasn’t a surprise, but his present sure was. The kindergartner was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class on Wednesday that he didn’t notice the enormous wrapped box off to the side.

“That’s one big, giant present,” a 6-year-old classmate told him. “See what you got, Gabriel.”

Gabriel peeled back the wrapping paper to find the surprise of his young life — his father, an Army mechanic back in Nevada on leave from his second tour in Iraq.

“It’s my dad!” he announced to his classmates at Sutro Elementary School in Dayton, a few miles northeast of Carson City. “Hi, Daddy.”

continued

January 29, 2009

Hyper-parenting and the taste of crow?

The source of my most recent humbling is a pledge made several years ago that I would never hyper-parent my children.

Hyper-parenting, you may recall, is the term coined years ago by a psychiatrist describing parents who over-schedule their children in an attempt to enrich their lives. They drag them from one activity to another, always keeping something on the schedule.

As it turns out, experts say this is bad for both the children and their parents. I frequently belittled those parents and felt quite superior in my parenting skills. I hesitate to go so far as to call myself supercilious, but I was knocking at its door.

Full story: Dad has to eat his words about parenting … again

January 23, 2009

Father Lets 8 Year Old Accidently Shoot Himself

I mean, how much stupider can you get as a parent? Allowing an 8 yr old to participate in a shooting contest?

Dr. Charles Bizilj stood 10 feet behind his son this weekend at a “Machine Gun Shoot” in Westfield, where the third grader aimed an Uzi at a pumpkin in the distance.

As Bizilj reached for his camera, the boy clutched the gun in his arms and squeezed the trigger. The Uzi flipped backwards and 8-year-old Christopher Bizilj fatally shot himself in the head.

Full story: Grieving father says he gave son, 8, permission to fire Uzi

December 10, 2008

Best way to teach kids

Sometimes, the best way to teach kids to become good leaders is to put them in situations that require such skills. Lance D. Shaw proposes to raise the bar a notch higher: to put kids in the actual parental role. He shares his real-life experiences on this theory in Parenting Dad (&/or Mom). This began in Silicon Valley, when they were preschoolers.

Following the belief that learning and influence in the family should be a two-way street, Shaw discovers a radical way of teaching his two kids to become good leaders — that is, to switch roles with them as the parent. His children took turns with him at being Dad — or Mom, as the case may be — on a daily basis. He saw this as the perfect way to train his children’s creativity, initiative, judgment and decision-making skills, encouraging an open-minded albeit unconventional environment.

Full story: Dad Teaches Kids to Play Mom and Dad

October 8, 2008

Annoy Your Teenager Without Being There

Ford has made parenting a little easier by introducing MyKey, a programmable ignition key for Ford automobiles that monitors teenage driving behavior. With MyKey in place, various driving habits that parents may consider unsafe, or merely obnoxious, can be curtailed.

It covers all the common parental complaints: The car’s speed cannot exceed 80mph. Radio volume is limited to 44 percent of maximum and, if seatbelts aren’t fastened, no sound will come from the speakers at all. Extra-careful and/or paranoid parents can place warning sounds at 45, 55, and 65mph, blasting a warning of potential reckless driving to the youthful driver.

Full story: MyKey Turns Your Ford Focus into Your Mom