Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Social Media Outrage and What Good Parents Do

It's cold here, cold and snowy, so between the lack of car and the cold I've been huddled up next to the fireplace with the lap top waiting for the heater to do it's thing.The house stays nice and cozy and the heater works well, until the temps get in the teens/low low twenties, which it did.

Two stories on social media caught my interest and made me laugh. But I think the majority of the folks complaining about both stories missed a crucial point.

First, Kanye West's fans were twittering and Facebooking about how wonderful it was that Kanye helped an unknown musician be seen by a wider audience, thereby launching the career of this unknown. The problem being that this 'unknown artist' was Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles, Wings and a long successful solo career. Writer of some of the most memorable iconic tunes of the sixties, seventies and eighties not to mention his later work.

Yes, it was ignorant of the Tweeters, but yes, it's likely that they'd never been exposed to the information on Paul either. What information these kids lack points to a lack of exploration of cultures in the parental home.

Don't think I'm blaming the parents for this, oh no, but if a child is raised in a home where exposing the children to a variety of music, literature, thought, other cultures doesn't happen then it is not surprising when those same children as young adults have knowledge gaps. Another reason to make sure your children have a well-rounded education that starts in the home and the home keeps supplementing and completing what education takes place at school.

I am a big believer in this, always have been, which is why both of my kids know who the Beatles were, what fork to use at a fancy dinner and how many different things are out there that they didn't learn about in the classroom. It's every parent's responsibility to do this, but part of our lazy culture is that many do not supplement the class room education with the real life stuff. Every child should know basic self care things such as cooking and doing laundry and have a deeper understanding of society and culture before they leave home in order to be responsible citizens of our world.

Many parents don't do this because they may be exhausted from working long hours to support the family, or it wasn't how they were raised, or perhaps they don't value this sort of thing. Hard to say and even harder to get others to implement this type of education in the home.

The other story was the infamous story of failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin posting a photo of her special needs child standing on the spine of the family dog to help do the dishes. I agree that allowing a child to stand on a dog is never a good idea for the health of the dog. It's pretty heinous, I just cannot understand why the media isn't commenting on the worse underlying issue. The fact that Palin was not paying any attention to what her special needs child was doing. She admits it in her posting of the photo, saying she wasn't really paying attention so she didn't pick up Trig, which led to him using the dog as a step stool.

She had no problem with him standing on the dog! Which is pretty awful, even if you consider it harmless to the animal to stand on it at the very least Trig could have been badly hurt. What if the dog had bitten him, or shifted just enough for Trig to fall and face plant right on that hard tile floor?

It's irresponsible parenting even if Trig wasn't special needs. But knowing she was paying almost no attention to the needs of a child with issues really makes me much more furious than Trig standing on the dog, and I'm already pretty mad about the abuse to the dog. She's proven yet again she had no business raising children.

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