Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Why I Want to Be George Clooney’s Dog

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s the end of June and I am already tired of political ads (Can we really endure five more months of these?). We need a distraction.

Hollywood never lets me down when it comes to something meaningless to read. So today’s blog is my  summer break! I’m wishing for a dog’s life for a day or two. Not just any dog–George Clooney’s dog!

George Clooney is vacationing again at his Italian villa with his latest girlfriend, Stacy somebody (I can’t keep up) and his dog, Einsein! For Einstein, meeting George really did give him a dog’s life.

Einstein was a  dog that lived in a crowded dog run, was overweight with dry eye and an under active thyroid. An LA breeder rescued the dog that now lives the good life with Clooney. Einstein is a pleasant looking cocker spaniel that traveled to Italy with Clooney. Last week, Einstein visited an Italian pet grooming salon to enjoy a bath, haircut and of course, a massage. This would endear him to any owner, right? Turns out that a dog’s devotion is less about the memories owner and pet make together.

Dogs can’t store memories like we can. So the luxury experience of Einstein at the spa faded for Einstein after about 5 to 15 minutes. Dogs, unlike humans, are rather stuck in time and live mostly in the moment. They can’t reflect on the spa experience and anticipate if for the future. But I could reflect and even blog on the experience. I would make a memory if sent to an Italian spa! Of course, I prefer the human kind.

Dogs do remember people and places based on associations. They do remember hand signals and signs for many years so don’t give up on the training.

So here’s the thing. George, invite me to the villa for a week and I promise, I won’t be stuck in time but able to anticipate the trip and recall every memory. I would remember that luxury.  I promise I will be appreciative. Unlike your dog, you don’t even need to associate yourself with me. Just send me the ticket, book the spa… and away I go!

Move over Einstein! It’s a dog’s world out there!

 

Every Boy is Some Mother’s Son

posted by Linda Mintle

I love this story. I read it in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. A reporter recalled a story that touched my heart. It went something like this.

A mom was waiting for her daughter to return from a dance. The daughter sat down to talk to her mom about her evening and began with a story of some ugly, nerd-like boy who tried to dance with her. The daughter was offended and couldn’t believe the boy asked her to dance.

Her mom, listening to this story, stopped and thought a moment. I loved her response (I am paraphrasing).

Right now, that boy’s mom is waiting for him to come home from the dance. But when he enters the house, she will see the hurt on his face. Her heart is broken for her son when he recalls the pain of trying to ask a pretty girl to dance. So the next time you turn down a boy for something as simple as a dance, remember, every boy is some mother’s son.

Ouch! But this mom’s words made an impact. The daughter and her friends recited those words before they went on every date.

Thanks to a teaching mom, the daughter learned a great lesson in compassion.

Jerry Sandusky: Should His Wife Be Clueless?

posted by Linda Mintle

With the Jerry Sandusky case in the news, I heard a well-known radio commentator ask, “If these accusations are true, how could his wife not know what he was doing?” It’ a good question that people may wonder. If someone is guilty of doing the things Jerry Sandusky is accused of doing (there is no verdict yet), would the wife really be so clueless?

Often we think of pedophiles as dirty old men in trench coats offering children candy. We think we should be able to immediately spot them. However,  the profile of a child molester may surprise you.

According to the Department of Justice and  psychological experts, these are some of the characteristics that are common among pedophiles:

1) Usually male and married.

2) Prefers to be with children over adults.

3) Finds employment, opportunities, charities, volunteer organizations that involve children.

4) Usually non-violent with no criminal history.

5) Seduces children he knows through subtle and persuasive tactics.

6) Goes to great lengths to conceal his activity and presents self as an exemplary person.

7) Rationalizes his behavior and tells self that what he is doing is not harmful. Lacks empathy for the children involved.

8) Can be any age and from any socioeconomic class, and can be religious.

9) Has deviant sexual interest (like watching children dress), arousal patterns and interests.

10) May or may not have been sexual abused himself. Dr. Marshal, a leading sex offender expert points out that the literature does not support the notion that all sex offenders have been sexually abused. Some have been, and some have not.

Unfortunately, there is no typical profile of a sex offender. So it is difficult to know who is doing the offending.

So back to the question, “Would a wife know if her husband was sexually molesting children?” Very often, the wife is taken aback when she finds out the truth. Because her husband isn’t a “criminal,” it is hard to believe he could be acting this way. People who know him are also surprised.

Can you spot a pedophile? Not always. Even when a spouse has suspicions, they are usually cast aside because the behavior is usually concealed. Denial is powerful when you have little reason to expect anything that would lead to such humiliation.

 

 

 

College is Coming: 8 Summer Talks to Have With Your Teen

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s the beginning of summer, the last one until that teen heads for college in the fall. How can you use this time to prepare your son or daughter for what is coming?

Begin now to talk about anticipated changes. Don’t wait until the week before they leave home.

Here are 8 suggestions:

1) Talk to them about the importance of immediately getting connected to faith-based organizations. Studies show that students who connect within the first 72 hours of being on campus, do best. He who hesitates, well, could get lost.

2) Encourage your teen to find a church near the campus. Staying active in his or her faith helps a person stay grounded in a college community that doesn’t share your values. Churches even pay college students to do nursery duty or help with technology. Getting involved in a church community reinforces your values.

3) Discuss the on-going pressure of premarital sex. Previous sexual relationships can ruin a future marriage. And of course the risk of sexually transmitted infections is very high and could cause life-long problems. The cavalier attitude towards casual sex is wrong and has much emotional and physical fall out. This source of temptation is ever present. Arm your teen with ways to resist and flee.

4) Help your teen relax a bit on immediately knowing his or her major. Encourage taking more general education classes until he or she has a better sense of  interest or passion.

5) Choose your friends wisely. Just like in high school, who you hang out with impacts who you become.

6) The new freedom of college life can create an anything goes mindset. Yet the decisions you make in college can impact your future. For example, posting partying pictures on-line can cost you a job or internship. Poor academic performance can lose a scholarship, etc.

7) Avoid situations that place you in danger. I know teens feel invincible, but remind them that their brains aren’t fully developed yet and they need to avoid situations that impair their judgment or place them in physical danger.

8) Have your teen investigate college organizations and find those that allow a person to contribute and build a resume and character.

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