Today’s Teenager – myth or truth

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March 28th, 2011

The older generation reacts to the current generation of teenagers as if they came from another planet.  We are appalled by their language, their dress or lack thereof, their casualness about sex and drugs, the movies they watch and their ability to instantly transmit photos and words to 30 people in 30 seconds.  I guess you could say we are reacting much like our grandparents did.  Yes there is information overload thanks to technology but are our grandchildren really much different than we were?  Flower children,  free love, campus protests and music our parents  thought was barbaric.  I consider this a fact finding mission much like the recent  health care surveys  that now say carrots do not improve your eyesight.  (I only wish my mother was alive so I could show her that article).  Let’s start with patriotism.

“The kids today don’t know what it is to sacrifice for their country.”  Tell that to the 18 and 19 year olds in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Tell that to the thousands of teenagers who volunteer at Special Olympics or Habitat for Humanity or who work at homeless shelters or our food banks.  How about the young boy who mows his elderly neighbor’s lawn? Look at the faces of our young people when the National Anthem is playing.  They have pride in their  Country.   Don’t judge them, ask them.

“Young people today have no respect”  We were taught respect in my home.  How many of you turn off the television when company comes?  How many introduce your children or grandchildren  to your friends and require that they greet every person with a hand shake or some acknowledgement? How many fathers or grandfathers remove the “acceptable” baseball cap from their head in someone’s home or at a restaurant?  Do you swear in front of your children or grandchildren?  Do you talk about others in front of them?  Respect is learned by example.  We are not our children or grandchildren’s peer, we are their role model and their parent or grandparent.  Respect is both taught and earned.

“Today’s teens dress like street walkers and hip hoppers” – Where are the parents when these young people leave the house?  Who allows their child to walk down the street with his pants below his butt and his underwear hanging out? Who bought the clothes?  Sure we can’t be around them 24 hours a day and yes after they leave home they could roll up that skirt or lower those jeans but I see more parents who are okay with it because it’s “in” and they don’t want their children to be left “out”.  Why have we’d given up teaching our children to be individuals and to respect themselves?

I had an interesting conversation with my 14 year old granddaughter as we sat eating lunch at a neighborhood Subway Sandwich Shop. Three people were waiting to be interviewed by the manager for a position that was open.  The first person was a young girl about 17 years old with a ring in her eye brow and one in her lip.  Her clothes were clean but hung loosely on her thin frame. She was chewing gum and occasionally would stretch it out with her fingers from her mouth and put it back. She was texting on her phone while she waited.  The second person was an elderly man around 65 years old in a blue collared shirt and neatly pressed pants.  He shuffled when he walked and his glasses hung around his neck on a safety chain. As he waited for the manager he would take a small piece of paper out of his shirt pocket, put his glasses on, read it and return both the paper and his glasses to their original place.  The man repeated this process several times. The third person was a young man about 16 years old.  He wore clean well fitting jeans, a tee shirt  with a plaid long sleeved overshirt and clean laced gym shoes.


Jack and Grammy and the Letter B

Posted in Uncategorized  by: admin
March 28th, 2011

It was Saturday morning and Grammy had many errands to do. She stopped at Jack’s house to see if his mother needed anything. Jack, who is six, was having a bad day. Mom was not happy with him because he had been teasing his younger brothers. Grammy asked Jack if he wanted to come with her to do errands. “Please Mom,” Jack said, “I promise to be good for Grammy”. “Jack is always good when he helps me” said Grammy. “Okay” said Mom, “but you had better behave”.

Jack and Grammy set off on their travels. After Jack was secured in his booster seat he asked Grammy if he could make a list of all the things that had to do. “Sure” said Grammy, “I have a pen and notepad in my purse”. “Where do we have to go first?” asked Jack. “We must go to the bank first” said Grammy, “I will need money for all of my errands.” Jack printed “bank” in his notebook. “Where else?” asked Jack. “Our next stop will be the bookstore so I can buy the book Papa wants” Grammy answered. Jack carefully wrote “bookstore” in his notebook. “Any place else?” asked Jack. “I think we should stop at your brother Ben’s baseball game but first we will stop and but some bubblegum.” “Great” said Jack “I love bubblegum and I guess I like Ben too”. Jack wrote “Ben’s baseball game” and “bubblegum” in the notebook so Grammy wouldn’t forget, especially the bubblegum. Jack was a very good speller. He only had to ask Grammy once to help him spell a word. “Will we be done then?” asked Jack. “One more thing” said Grammy. “We need to buy balloons for Elena’s birthday.” “I forgot today was Elena’s birthday,” said Jack as he added “balloons” to the list. Elena was Jack cousin and she was turning seven today.

“We have a lot of things to do,” said Jack. “When we are all done, we will go to lunch” said Grammy. Jack was very quiet for a few minutes and the he asked Grammy if they could go to brunch instead of lunch. “Why brunch?” Grammy asked. “It will make my list perfect,” said Jack. “Here is what we have to do today.” Grammy read the list Jack has printed neatly in the notebook.


book store

Ben’s baseball game



Grammy started to laugh. “We certainly can go to brunch so we can have an all “B” day,” she said. Jack wrote the last thing in the notebook.


The only point here is that it is pretty easy to write a short story that your grandchild will remember for a long time.

Hot Air Balloons

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March 28th, 2011

There was a commercial on television showing miniature hot air balloons rising above a campfire with really moving music playing. Going on the internet, we found plans for making hot air balloons out of tissue paper, gondolas from copy paper and birthday candles for propulsion. After three hours Read the rest of this entry »


Posted in Uncategorized  by: admin
March 28th, 2011

What fun! What a mess! What wonderful memories and traditions are passed down while working in the kitchen. Each season you can plan a special meal to be prepared and served by your grandchildren for their parents. Because I have so many grandchildren, I divide them into cooks, servers, hostesses and cleaners. We alternate jobs each season. Pull out that oiled cloth and put it on the floor for the two year olds. Put some water and a “little” flour in the bowl, give them a wooden spoon and have them stir up the ingredients. They will love helping and the “real” food will get prepared without mishap. “A good cook always cleans up.” At the end of every session I will say “A good cook” and my grandchildren will shout “Always cleans up.”  Again running water and soap can entertain for hours. Aprons are a must (the plastic ones are best). At Christmas we have all the cooks in the family (boys, girls and Moms – most of the Dads have opted out so a Sunday when football is on is always good) gather together and we bake cookies. We always bake enough so each family has plenty for the holidays. Hot chocolate is a must. It doesn’t matter if the shapes look strange, the cookies always taste great. The first Christmas that we worked with a cookie press, we had a lot of laughs. Grammy had never used a cookie press so our first batches were the size of scones. After Sam, who is 10, read the directions and explained that the press had to be touching the pan before we clicked for the dough, we had perfect shaped cookies.

Vegetable Gardening

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March 24th, 2011

This is my all time favorite thing to do with my grandchildren. Your garden can be as small as one tomato plant or a few herbs or a full blown garden if you have the space. The important thing is to include your grandchildren from the beginning. Let them help you pick the plants or have each one choose what they want to grow climate and room permitting. It was years of trial and error for us. We learned quickly that five zucchini plants are too many and that pumpkins and watermelons need their own space. A 15 by 15 foot garden has worked out perfectly for us. We grow several types of tomatoes, peppers, arugula, beans, peas, watermelons, herbs and our very favorite potatoes. As soon as the frost is out of the ground, we rototill the garden. This can be done with a spade or an electric or gas rototiller. Add sand to the soil and work it into to the dirt. Because we like to keep our garden organic, Read the rest of this entry »