The 4 Answers Response Leaders Know Before Everyone Else?

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26 November 2007

Who's on First?

Me: Sweden?

Emily: No, Sweetin'.

Me: What? What is Sweetin'?

Emily: It is the name I gave the cereal for my school cereal box project.

Me (feigning an understanding): Oh, what is the objective of the school cereal box project?

Emily: Sweden.

Me: Good grief.

Communication is so fragile. With Emily, we have kept up so far fairly well on the lingo of 6th grade, I think. Of course we live in an increasingly Hispanic populated area so some words pass us by because, uh, we no habla Espanol.

I remember when I was in 6th grade, "gayrod" was in 'fashion' (for the ever-so-advanced 6th grade mind anyway). I still don't know what gayrod means exactly but I sure knew it was bad. Heck, those were fighten' words out by the bike rack if you called somebody that...so I heard anyway he says through a devilish grin.

Nowadays, kids call each other what I would consider to be some very nasty names. And I am no prude, believe me. I am just amazed with the recklessness of name calling among the folks that can nary back it up. Of course it is not really the name calling that is the issue, but the underlying lack of respect for others ... for boundaries ... for consequences. We live in such an indulgent time that folks of all ages are accustomed to popping off to someone and there is usually someone right there to fix it for them (a parent, a misguided policy, a lawyer, etc.) before someone opens a can of whip ass on them. Some say that we live in a more civilized society....but there is certainly plenty of evidence to the contrary too, eh?

A fave read of mine is called Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age by Daniel J. Kindlon (ISBN-10: 0786886242). (You can order it - and anything else Amazon sells - at a low price by clicking on the Amazon widget on the right column). It is rich on research and long on anecdotes of how middle class kiddos get lost easily in their consequence free existence....and end up becoming blights on their family and wards to society.

Now don't be a fink....go do something productive!

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