Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Case Against Adult Television



   A few days ago I wrote about the annoyances of kid's television. Naturally, I felt like the next thing to do is write about a case against adult television.

    Actually, I felt the need to write this after glimpsing an article scrolling across my Yahoo page feed. The topic was about the effects of the Netflix show, "13 Reasons Why." I have not watched this show, but from what I've seen in the previews, the show is about a girl who commits suicide. Before she does, she makes 13 different tapes or cds or some way for 13 of her peers/family to listen to why she was committing suicide, those reasons being them.
    It would have been really easy for me to sit down and binge watch this show, but I held off on it. I started to see different posts on Facebook with reasons why to not watch this show, most of them were because the show glorified suicide. It made the act of suicide sound like a way to finally get attention, even if you weren't going to be there, people were going to remember you anyway, especially if that person as involved. People were going to remember all of the good things about you and then they would know how much that you were taken for granted. Since the show came out, there have been a few teenage suicides that were linked to the show.  I don't want to go into debate about suicide, but I do want to say this- If your reason to commit suicide is so that others will finally appreciate you, what good will that do if you're not here? Don't make a permanent decision based on a momentary whim.

    13 Reasons Why isn't the only show that should raise some concerns or censorship. There are so many shows that are out there that make you wonder, "Should everyone have access to this show?". I like to watch crime shows and doctor shows. I'm usually able to solve a crime before the people on the show do. (Although I'm sure they made it that way for everyone since they make clues very obvious to us and show us what the detectives don't see.) We've all seen it where the crime is solved and forensics tells you EXACTLY how the crime was done and that the body only needed to soak in acid a few more hours before the body was completely unrecognizable and all DNA had been wiped clear. Should we really allow all people to be able to watch this show? Who knows which person is going to go out and accept the challenge of How to Get Away With Murder?

    I also mentioned that I love to watch doctor shows. Thanks to Grey's Anatomy, I think that I could perform an apendectomy. Should I? No way!!! I have not gone to school to be a doctor. I have no license for that. I wouldn't give someone a fancy haircut or do taxes without one. Why would I practice medicine? I know that I can't perform surgery, but does someone else know that they can't just do a tracheotomy on someone in the middle of nowhere just because they saw it done?

    Another thing that I think should be addressed is the topic of sex. (Gasp! she wrote sex!) When I was growing up, the most about what I knew about sex was that I was created from it and what I might have occasionally read from a romance book. I know that teenagers were having sex in high school, it was evidenced by all of the teen pregnancies in my school. Sex on screen really started to flare once television become less censored and the internet was easy to access. Is it any coincidence that kids are starting their sexual conquests at such an early age?

    I was boy crazy in junior high and high school. That isn't a secret. I didn't know if I could get over my loneliness without a boy to crush on me back. However, I didn't need a boy in order to make my choices. I didn't make my choices based on a boy either. Once Bella met Edward, her focus was to become a vampire just like him. She wouldn't be completely happy until she was a vampire so she could be with him forever.  50 Shades of Grey- Ana couldn't focus on her job without her boyfriend constantly messaging her. She had to always check in with him or he'd go into violent tirades. Instead of wanting to be with him because she thought that he was smart, kind, and had a great personality, she was addicted to him by his sexiness and intrigued by his unfamiliar sexual acts which were an underlying need to control something and someone since his life had not always been controlled by him and he needed to fill that void. She allowed him to hurt her and instead of running away and staying away, she went back to him because lust felt like love.

    These shows/books make for good entertainment, but do we really want our children to think that it's ok to be led into relationships because it makes them emotionally gooey? Is it ok that they want to be in a relationship because they feel like they are needed and continue to make excuses about their significant other because they think that they can fix that person? Is it ok to fuel a weird fascination that could empower sociopaths? Pyschopaths? Maybe a rise in mental illness is because tv shows have become so realistic that people can't filter the difference between facts and fiction? Good and evil? The moral integrity of this world has become unbalanced and everyone makes excuses for it. "That's just how the world operates today!" It may be, but should it?

    I know that this won't make a change in the way that tv is perceived and I know that even though I'm writing about the evils that some shows present, I will watch them too because they are good entertainment and binge worthy.Might I suggest that we keep these shows to adult eyes only? Can we filter what our kids watch? I know that it's not completely possible to keep everything out of our children's view, there is internet and friend's houses. If they really wanted to, they could find a way to watch something they shouldn't. Can we all just agree to keep their eyes out of it when we can?

    Now, once the toddler has gone down for his nap, I think I shall watch Grey's Anatomy for a few hours...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Complaints About Kids Tv Shows

    If you were or a kid and if you've ever had kids, chances are, you have watched television shows made for kids. There are some differences between the shows that I watched as a kid vs. what my kids watch today. For example: You're not going to really see your favorite characters smoking cigarettes/ cigars or drink alcohol like Bugs Bunny occasionally did.
    Another difference is that the violence factor has gone down too.  Growing up, it was common to see Wile E. Coyote set up a dynamite trap or Yosemite Sam shoot off his guns.
    While there are differences, some for the better, there are still similarities and it's easy to see why everyone enjoys cartoon or regular kids tv programs. However, despite all that, there are things that, as a parent, I could see less of.

Have you ever noticed that in shows no one ever has to pay for things or money is no problem? Characters are always buying things. They can decide to buy a car on a whim or order five coarse meals without batting an eye. I would like to be able to have that financial freedom.

Kids can go anywhere without permission. Have you ever watch Dora the Explorer? She's able to go on adventures all of the time and she doesn't ask permission. Most of the kids in these shows are free-range kids. I was a free-range kid when I was growing up. I was able to ride my bike everywhere, but I always let my parents know. If kids went out and did things on their own these days, authorities could be called on the parents.

Bad guys are funny. Ok, this was the same for when I was growing up, but it should be something that we could be a little more cautious about. Dr. Doofensmirtz is the mad evil scientist in Phineas and Ferb and he can be hilarious, but ew really don't want our kids believing that all bad guys have a sense of humor.

Kids can take on bad guys. When we saw Kevin take on the two burglars, we all thought it was hilarious and knew that we could outwit bad guys too. I've noticed that there are many superhero tv shows out where the kids were the superheros. They should be more focused on their homework and other teen problems. My kids are 3, 5, and 7, They are always playing good guys/bad guys and I hope that if they were ever put in a dangerous situation, that they would just run and not try to fight.

No consequences- Another show that comes to mind is Phineas and Ferb. They always asked their mom for permission under false-ish pretenses and then would invent some ridiculously awesome contraption that could harm them or others. Dora and Diego are always going on adventures and rescuing animals. At their age, they should be just playing with age appropriate things, not driving jeeps.

Parents are always able to drop everything. When watching the Dinosaur Train, their parents are able to drop whatever they are doing and ride the train to some destination to answer their kids questions and satisfy their curiosity. I hope that my kids don't think that I'm a bad mom when I can't stop what I'm doing to always play with them or do something. Dinner has to get on the table, the baby's diaper has to be changed. There isn't always an opportunity to stop everything I'm doing in order appease the children.

Kids are usually smarter than the adults. Can't we just agree that our kids are smart? Why do we need to watch tv shows or movies where the parents are so dumb that they probably shouldn't be in charge of kids, let alone be in charge of themselves.

Kids can interrupt teacher's. Dino Dan comes to mind when I think about this. He is always thinking about dinosaurs and whenever there is a project, assignment,  or he randomly thinks of something, he interrupts the teacher or he browbeats the other kids into talking about/building/acting out dinosaurs.

Kids can disobey parents. Moana, Tangled, Cinderella. All of these are about the kids blatantly disobeying their parents wishes to go find themselves. In these cases, it as always a good thing, but I don't want my kids to think that it gives them the right to do something when we tell them no.

They repeat instructions 10 times- I know that shows do this repetitively so that kids can remember, but watching the map tell Dora the directions 10000000 times can drive a woman mad.

    What are some things about tv shows that you like? That you dislike?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

College Debt Trap- My Laments

    According to Forbes, the average cost of attending a four-year public college is over $28,000 per school year. A private college could cost over $59,000. So let's take the middle #- $43,500. Now, this is still on the high side of public school, but if you multiply $43,500 by four years, a student could end up owing $174,000 for a Bachelor's degree. If the student decides to go on with their schooling, obviously, it will be much more.

    I went to a private Nazarene college. I don't really know how much my tuition was when I attended, but I was fortunately lucky to receive a ton of grants and some scholarships which lessened the amount that I had to take out for loans. I haven't had my parents help in paying for school, all of my loans have been paid for by me and my husband. There is still this idea that when a child goes to college, their parent's will help pay for it and that is what your Fafsa? Fasfa? is based on. That just makes me want to laugh!

    Another funny notion to me is that we are entrusting 18 yr-19 yr old teenagers/young adults to go out and be on their own financially. We say that they are old enough to be able to decide which college they can go to and no one really tells them that even though it is easy to apply for a student loan, they WILL have to pay that off some day. I'm still paying and will for years!
    As an 18 yr old going to college, I was smug. I just knew that I could take out money like it was water and it would be ok. I was going to graduate from college and get a great job with my Business Administration degree. It was going to be easy! I was a great worker, intelligent, and creative, any company would want me right away. I was going to be able to get into a company and move right on up the corporate ladder. They taught me in school that once I got that big fancy degree, I was going to make close to $20,000 more than someone who was my age and only went to high school. They told me that I can get my loans paid off quickly if I paid extra each month, which I should be able to do because I have a great job.  Guess what! That didn't happen.
    When I graduated from college, there were no jobs. No one wanted to hire a fresh face employee with no experience. Entry level jobs wanted someone who already had 3-5 years experience. No one was willing to train me. Maybe it was because the economy had plummeted in 2009 so no one wanted to hire or really could hire, but boy, it was an ego let-down.

    So... Eight years ago, I graduated from college. I haven't really had a chance to use my degree, but my husband has, so I guess that's good. I've had jobs here in there, wherever I could get them, but had to leave the job I loved when my third child was born- child care was just too expensive. Perhaps, when my kids are all in school, I'll get the chance to use my degree at a job that I love. For now, it's just more cost efficient for me to stay home with the kids because all of the school loans that we have make it difficult to add extra expenses like child care, another car payment, you know, things that are a little bit necessary in order to go to your job.
    As a teenager, I went to college because I thought that was just what I was supposed to do. I didn't have a clue what I wanted to be- I still don't! (Well, with the exception of being an actress or famous writer, but I figure I should get a day job that I like in the mean time.) I'm not saying that I'm not grateful- I did after all meet my husband there and had a blast in college, but I wish I knew some things about life before then. Maybe I would have tried working to pay off my loans while I was in school instead of spending hours hanging out.

   I'm not saying to tell your kid not to go to college, because kids/young adults are going to do what they want to do. We can, however, stop telling them how much money they will make if only they went to college. Help them become prepared. Teach them what it's like to have a loan, how long it will take to pay off, how it isn't future them's problem. Teach them that a trade school or vocation is just as good as a degree and it's cheaper than one. Educate them on the other options out there. Pray for them. Give them the option to pick the best choice for them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Importance of a Youth Group Worker

    Recently, an article was shared on Facebook about my cousin Leah and her youth group ministry. (The link is https://www.episcopalchicago.org/our-stories/ if you want a chance to read.) Since becoming the youth group pastor, her teen group has grown quickly. In the article she mentions modeling her youth group after a 2008 booklet, "Sustainable Youth Ministry". One of the main ideas is that for every child, there should be many adults who care for them.
    This idea is so phenomenal if you really think about it. There are so many children in this world who don't have anyone to care for them the way that they should be cared for emotionally. I don't know where I would actually be if I didn't have a caring youth pastor or youth helpers when I was growing up.
 
    Side story- When I was growing up, my grandma was the only person in our family who attended church on a regular basis and also lived by example as the way that Christ lived. When I was in grade school, I remember her taking me and my sisters to church on a Wednesday night to participate in Caravans- some churches call them Awanas. It's basically like the downplayed version of church boy/girl scouts. Each week, we would learn about Jesus, but on the side, we would also do different things to earn badges.
    Without going into too much detail, growing up at home wasn't always the greatest.  Going to church, even on Wednesday nights, provided a fun opportunity to go out and have fun, then afterwards, Grandma would take us to get ice cream or Mc Donald's for dinner.
    Regrettably, I was the naughty child of the group and thankfully, the group leader would still stick by even though I would start fights and could be down right mean to them.  No one ever told me not to come back and for that, I'm grateful.
    Going to church then, was often sporadic. It wasn't really until my later years in Jr. High that I attended regularly. I hadn't fully grasped the concept of what it meant to be a Christian, but there were so many adults who led me and helped out in our youth group. The adults all listened to what I had to say and showed each and everyone of us that attended each Wednesday and now Sunday that teenagers do go through things. They were the same things that the helpers went through. They were able to help guide us, but more importantly, care.
    When I was in High School, my mom began to go to church and then my other grandma would go. My sisters and I joined Bible Quizzing and participated in everything that we could. The Bertolozzi name began to be known and I just remember adults from all over the congregation saying hello and tell me that they were always praying for us. People from the church were investing themselves into our lives- into my life!

   The summer between the end of my Sophomore and beginning of my Junior year, I had the awesome opportunity to go to Texas for NYC which was a large convention for the youth in the Nazarene church. It was that time when I really knew what it was like to live for Christ. It was then my life began to turn around. I began to have more patience. I learned that it was better to talk instead of hit, to listen instead of argue.

    My life isn't perfect by any means, but because of the youth group workers who invested in my life, I chose to live my life a little better each day, to be faithful to my husband, to try my best at being a good mother, and to raise my kids to know love like Jesus loves us.

    My challenge to you is this; if you attend a church and don't already, volunteer to help out with your youth group or help teach Sunday school. From my experience, I led the church Bible Quizzing team for a few years and I was also the youth president at our church for one. I also volunteered for most of my grown up life and I have had so many rewarding experiences seeing the kids grow and building relationships with them.
    Not every child lives in a happy two parent home. Some live in unhappy homes with two parents or live in a happy single parent home. Sometimes, you are the only adult that can help mediate things. Maybe some kids have something that they need to say, but don't know how to. You can be the person who helps. You can be one of the people in this child's life who shows they care.

    Did you have anyone who invested in you that made you a better person today?

   

   
   

Monday, June 12, 2017

Momisms

   Being a mom has laughable moments that other moms understand better than those who aren't a parent. Someone may think they understand, but it isn't always the case. I have written a list of words or phrases that moms experience daily. I  hope you get a laugh out of them and can relate.
  • Momercise-  the act of trying to exercise,  but you keep hip checking your child in the head as they run by.
  • Dad Blindness- the act of walking past dad to ask mom who is busy or relaxing to do something for them- usually opening up a fruit snack or some other treat they shouldn't have.
  • No- A word that means no to adults, but apparently means "yes" to the kids.
  • Chores- An unfamiliar word to children. You have to explain to them what they need to do, show them, and then wait all day for them to finish. It usually results in some form of discipline that the child is dumbfounded by and doesn't know why it occurred.
  • Temporary Paralysis or Leg Injury- this is the result of asking your child to do something and they suddenly develop this type of injury.
  • Child Indecisiveness- This happens when you ask your child of they want something, they say no, and then a few minutes later ask for said thing. Usually this is most commonly seen when asking if they want a drink or if they need to use the bathroom. Ex: <child's name> I have to shower, do you need to use the bathroom? Child says no and then 5 minutes later, child knocks on door with extreme need to pee.
  • Child Amnesia- the uncanny ability for your child to forget a rule that has always been in place. Ex: We don't use mommy's makeup to color on the walls. Child- oh, I forgot.
  • Cooking- the act of preparing food that your children will probably not eat anyways.
  • Rest- hahahaha
  • Sleep-  something you get little of. I hear you get it back when your kids become teenagers.
  • Sleeping In- something that dads can manage to do, but moms can't. We're too aware of the shenanigans our children are getting in to.
  • Shower- something you would like to do everyday, but realistically do a couple times a week.
  • Bathroom Break- it's not really a break, but more like a communal gathering while you pee and poop.
  • What's That?- What's that as a mom is no longer trying to figure out if that animal 30 ft away is a cat or a skunk. Now it is trying to figure out what the sticky goo on the couch is or trying to explain that the white smear on your black shirt is actually your child's snot and then explain to them that you didn't change your shirt because you didn't know it was there until it was pointed out. 
  • Snack- food you would like to eat by yourself,  but kids will always find you and ask for a bite. To eat a snack by yourself, eat carrots or find a hiding spot. Sometimes a spot can be a closet or locked bathroom.
  • Hostage Situation: Goes both ways- you made this family and are stuck with them because you choose to be with them because you love each other unconditionally. Should be renamed "Family"

    I hope that these were able to make you laugh! Which Momisms do you have in your household?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Calling All Parents!

    When you are a stay at home parent, the opportunity to be able to socialize with anyone over a certain age becomes less and less. Most days, the only adult that I talk with is my husband after he comes home from work and the conversations aren't usually very exciting because we're both tired from his day of work and my day of making sure the kids stay alive and well.
    On weekends and on family dinner nights, I am able to spend time with my in-laws and that is very refreshing. Sometimes, when I'm driving, I'll have the opportunity to talk with my mom or one of my grandmas or sisters on the phone, courtesy of the Bluetooth in my tiny car. (I someday hope to be able to drive in a bigger vehicle again, on top of the road, ready to run the other tiny cars over on a whim- Ok, probably not run them over, but there's something about a tall vehicle that makes you feel like you can rule over the road.) While these brief conversations can help my day pass by and fuel my need for conversation, sometimes, they aren't enough. Sometimes, you need friends who aren't family to talk with.
   
    This last Sunday, I was invited to an early lunch with some of the moms that meet up for an occasional mom's group devotional time. One of my husband's and my dear friends will be partaking in a new adventure with their children to another town that we would need to make a special trip to go visit. As one of a last "hurrah" get-together, some of us moms met up to spend time with this mom who will be moving. This is what happened: We got together, we took some time ordering our food and then we talked. We talked about our children, we talked about our husbands (no bashing was allowed), and we talked about how each one of us was doing.
    Even though we all had different personalities,  many of the stories that we told were similar in tale. It's amazing that even though each of us were different ages, had children of different ages, and were in different situations in life, we were able to all relate. For the moms with younger children, I was able to relate to them how I was able to calm my strong willed child and give them advise for them to use if they wish. We were able to comfort those who were having a tough time. We were able to laugh about the misbehavior of our children that we knew shouldn't be laughed about, but it still ended up being funny. We were able to brag about our children in a way that wasn't overwhelming or boring because we hadn't told the same story to each other 10 times already because it had been a while since we had last talked. We were able to encourage each other and we were able to talk to each other in ways that we couldn't talk with our spouses or significant others because to sometimes lay our fears or stresses on them could cause some strife.
    Sometimes, you just need to get together with other moms just so you can talk and find comfort and release from every day life that you normally wouldn't be able to do.

    To our dear friends who are moving, I won't mention your name for privacy, but we hope and pray that you have a wonderful journey. I hope that you will be able to enjoy each other and your children with the extra time you gain. Enjoy the new memories you make, while not forgetting the old. I also hope and pray that you ill be able to find new friends and a good support system. If you ever come back to town, which I'm sure you will, if you have time, give us a call.

    I also hope that you moms or dads out there are able to find someone or a group of people that you can just hang out and talk with. It's good for you mentally and soulfully.

    Do you have a support system of other moms or dads?

Friday, June 2, 2017

Ideal Shape 12 Week Challenge- Week 2

    Last week I posted about losing weight and how I would try different diets and/or exercise routines. For 12 weeks, I will try the Ideal Shape 12 Week Challenge and tell you how it goes for me in case that this is something that you might want to try out.

    I started my second week on Monday. The workouts are short and you do one every day for 6 days and then rest on the 7th day. I wish that I could say that I worked out everyday, but I didn't. On the days following the days that I didn't work out, I doubled up. Most of the work outs have been pretty easy, but also challenging. I have found myself thinking, "Hmmm... I wonder if this exercise is even doing anything?" only to find that my muscles are shaky or sore the next day.
    During the workout videos, Lindsey gives you different modification ideas if the workout is difficult for you. I have troubles doing the leg workouts- mostly because I'm a big baby and don't like to feel the burn when I'm doing them.
 
     So... I'm sure what you really want to know is if this exercise program is working for me. Have I lost weight? Not yet- actually, I've gained a few oz. Don't let this discourage you from doing this workout, though. Even if I haven't lost weight , yet, I can actually feel my muscles and believe that I'm toning in my arms and even waistline. The best news is that I put on a pair of pj bottoms that have been straining against my gluteus maximus (rump, bottom, butt) and for the first time in a long time, I was able to put them on and feel like they wouldn't rip if I bent over. I'm also finding that my shorts were able to button without squeezing away my life force.

    So even though I haven't lost any weight, I still have high hopes that it will happen soon. Actually, many of the testimonies on Facebook, the women and men say that they didn't start losing weight until their 5th week. Remember, we're toning our bodies and rebuilding muscles that we haven't used since we were kids. I already feel stronger and healthier just after two weeks.

    I can't end this post without telling you, the challenge is free, but they do sell their products. You might find them helpful in curbing your hunger and also helping out with your eating habits. When you sign up for the12 week challenge, you will also get helpful emails sent to you everyday with suggestions and encouragement as well as the Facebook network, but that part is free. This program is great at keeping you accountable and I hope that you will try along with me and let me know how it's going for you!

    Have you tried Ideal Shape's 12 week challenge? Is this something that you think that you would be interested in trying? Find them on Facebook and take a look for yourself! #12WeekIdealShapeUpChallenge @12WeekIdealShapeUpChallenge #IdealShape

How to Have an EASY Thanksgiving With 7 Easy-to-Make Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday (political things put aside) to celebrate each year with your family and friends. When I was yo...

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