Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Teacher Tells Student What Words She Cannot Say!

posted by Linda Mintle

Some things defy common sense…here is one of them. Be ready to be outraged!

Maybe you heard the story last week.

High school senior Kendra Turner was suspended in Dyer County Tennessee for breaking a class rule. You might be thinking, “OK, teachers need to keep control of their classrooms.”

But here was the rule: Students are not allowed to say, “Bless you” in the classroom. And the teacher listed other phrases not allowed in the classroom–words like, My Bad, stuff, dumb, etc.

A student sneezed, Kendra instinctively said, “Bless you!” and the teacher suspended her, claiming her comment was disruptive to the class. The teacher also told her “Bless you” was for church and not the classroom!

Bless you is disruptive? I thought it was a social grace!

Get out your whistles! The thought police are alive and well in Dyer County Tennessee. And they are determining what WORDS people can and cannot say. And Kendra didn’t even mention God!

Last time I checked, “Bless you” was a common response to sneezing, said to be empathetic to someone. Apparently we need to guard against those empathetic remarks. In the classroom, empathy is disruptive. Instead we need more self-centered, uncaring students who only watch out for themselves!

Is this not ludicrous? Ms. Turner has every constitutional right to say, “Bless you” in a classroom. The teacher is way out of line and playing God even if she doesn’t like God!

Teachers are to stimulate thought, not regulate it. I’m recommending an in-school suspension for the teacher for lacking common sense and infringing on a student’s constitutional rights! Maybe a day in the Principal’s office would create a little civility in her.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon Split: Telling All May Have Been Too Much

posted by Linda Mintle

The gossip train is all a buzz with what looks like a split between pop diva, Mariah Carey and her husband, America’s Got Talent host, Nick Cannon. The usual suspects, TMZ, People, Hollywood Life and others are reporting the spilt, saying divorce is a done deal. The six-year marriage that produced  “Dembabies” is allegedly on the rocks. According to CNN Entertainment, the couple has been living apart in separate homes for months now.

Married for six years, the couple engaged in lavish yearly ceremonies to renew their vows in exotic locations like the Maldives, Beverly Hills, Paris, Disneyland, etc. That is, until this year. And while this couple enjoys celebrity status and has plenty of money to take care of their kids, money can’t buy you love.

It may be that Cannon’s tell all March radio interview on Big Boy’s radio show was TMI (too much information). During the interview, he acknowledged hooking up with other celebrities including Kim Kardashian. Spilling the intimate details of your sexual antics to the public usually creates couple tension and feels like betrayal. No matter how much hooking up happens in Hollywood culture,  announcing it to the public is humiliating.

Betrayal is typically the result of a process that has been simmering below the surface of a relationship. For example, discontent, loneliness, and resentment are processed by negatively comparing the person to someone perceived to be better. Unfortunately, when this negativity builds, the people involved are not always aware of it.

Then someone comes along and shows interest, validates the person, maybe even admires the person. When the betrayer engages this person and turns away from his or her partner, the process begins. The couple isn’t talking, but one person may be confiding in another. Closeness is building with an outsider and the negative comparisons get stronger. The partner’s emotions are ignored and distrust has set in. The negativity feeds the thought of maybe this is not the right person for me. This other person understands me better. The person is now ripe for betrayal.

Secrets are kept. Conflict is avoided. Emotional distance grows. A coalition with another person is formed. Distrust marks the original relationship. The betrayer has to justify his or her actions and thoughts by continuing to turn away from his or her partner and blame him or her for unhappiness. A line is crossed. Betrayal leads to divorce unless repair is made.

Divorce is #2 on the well-known Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, scoring a whopping 73 points. Only Death of a Spouse rates higher. And that scale doesn’t account for celebrity/non-celebrity status. So while Hollywood may yawn at just another celebrity split, the people involved suffer tremendous emotional pain.

Don’t yawn and think, it’s Hollywood, big deal! Pray for the couple. Divorce may be common in Hollywood, but it is never painless. And the children pay the price.

 

 

 

Withholding Friendship as a Weapon

posted by Linda Mintle

upset girl

I’ll never forget the day my five-year-old came home and said, “No one will play with ‘Sandy’ because she doesn’t do what they say!” I was upset and thankfully, my daughter thought it was mean. But the other girls excluded little Sandy and rejected her from their friendship circle.

Would you be surprised to learn that children as young as kindergarteners form cliques and intentionally reject children from playing? And that three-year-olds can start bullying!

Sad, but true. And this gender segregation happens more among girls than boys because of their verbal skills and earlier social development. Yes, mean girls can use friendship exclusion as a weapon of power.

Known as relationship aggression, it usually refers to threatening to remove a friendship if the child doesn’t do what you want. It is a form of manipulation and increases with age, with middle school a prime time target.

There is evidence to suggest that children learn this behavior by seeing it in others–parents, siblings, media, etc. So be careful the type of exposure your kids have if you prefer them to develop the counter skill of empathy.

When my five-year-old talked about her classmate’s exclusion, we made sure we invited her to play. And my daughter made a bold move and told her classmates that if they wanted to play with her, Sandy would be included. At an early age, she understood this type of aggression and wanted it stopped.

Every parent and teacher should be on the look out for this type of relationship aggression and nip it in the bud so bullying is addressed early on in children’s lives.

 

Look Before You Lock: Leaving Kids in Hot Cars

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s August. It’s hot!

You just need to run into the store for a few minutes to grab a few groceries. Your six-month-old is sleeping soundly and he really needs a nap. Should you leave him be and run in to the store?

With all the news about children dying in hot cars, the Dr. Linda Mintle radio show decided to talk more about why cars are so dangerous and what happens to children, the elderly and even pets when left in a hot car.

To do so, I brought in special guest Dr. Chris Thomson, a physician in the emergency room at Lynchburg General Hospital in Lynchburg VA and also Chair of Emergency Medicine at Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. This is a 27-minute interview packed with information and suggestions regarding  ways to remind yourself that your kids are in your car! Take a listen.

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