Tag Archives: kids

Tannenbaum Tears

Don't kill it don't kill it
I'll kill myself I'll kill myself
Tears in the rain
I'll kill myself I'll kill myself

I don't want it to die I don't want it to die
Tears in the rain

   I want this tree I want this tree
   I want this tree I want this tree

I'll kill myself I'll kill myself
Don't kill it don't kill it
Tears in the rain
      Let's get a live tree
   I want this tree I want this tree
      Let's get a live tree

   Dig this one up dig this one up
      No no they don't here
      We cut them down
I'll kill myself I'll kill myself
Don't kill the tree
I'll kill myself
Tears in the rain
   Dig it up dig it up
      No no not here

      Let's go let's go
      Out of the rain
      Back to the car
      Let's talk Let's talk
I'll kill myself
      Let's go

   No tree? Cut it down! Cut it down!
I'll kill myself
Tears in the rain
      Let's go let's go
      To the car to the car
      In the car in the car
      Let's talk let's talk

      Let's get a live tree
   Dig it up! Dig it up!
      Not here not here
      Let's go let's go

   I want that tree I want that tree
      Let's go let's go
      C'mon c'mon
      Out of the rain
   I want that tree
   I hate him I hate him
   Ruins everything

   I wanted that tree
I'll kill myself
      Live tree live tree
Don't kill the tree
      Let's go let's go
    I hate him I hate him
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When

When your eight year-old
Tells you
What he wants
To be buried
Because he’s so angry
At you
Because you
Took something
Away from him
When he was six
And he wants
To kill himself
Because of it
And he wants
To get a knife
And stab his heart
What do you say?

When he says
He’s been sad
Every day
Sad
Because that thing
Is gone
Sad on roller coasters
Sad at the zoo
Sad laughing
Sad smiling
Sad
What do you say?

When he says
He hated
The replacement
He later got
At Christmas
And didn’t tell you
He hated it
Because he didn’t
Want to hurt
Your feelings
What do you say?

When he cries
The cry of loss
Unrecoverable loss
Bone rattling loss
And the tears
Will not stop
And the cries
Of anguish
Echo in the void
And you know
You know
Where he’s at
Because you
You’ve been there too
And he’s only eight
Only eight
And you see
Before your eyes
This piece
Of your child
Tear away
And you can’t
Can’t
Stop it
And you know
He’s there alone
When you’re right there
What do you say?

When he says
He hates you
And hates his life
And wants to die
And wants you to die
And his life is shit
And you’re a son of a bitch
And a fucker
And an asshole
And he wants to die
Please let me die daddy
I hate my life
Please let me die
You fucker
What do you say?

When he wants
That thing
And you’re the hate
Because it’s gone
Because you took it
You fucker
What do you say?

When you know
It’s his brain
And he’s tired
And the new meds
Might be talking
He doesn’t mean it
It’s not him
What do you say?

When he runs
For the knives
And knees you
In the head
Hard
Hard, to make you cry
And he wants to die
Wants to die
And his brother
Cries
Terrified
What do you say?

When you think
You did the right thing
The best you could
All you could
Right then
Right now
And one day
He may understand
But not tonight
Not now
You fucker
You asshole
You son of a bitch
You mothefucker
You shit
You bastard
Fuck you
Leave me alone
I want to die
Let me die
Go the fuck away
Go the fuck away
Let me die
Let me die
What do you say?

When he finally drops
Exhausted
Mumbling
Still obsessed
And asking
Asking asking
Asking for it back
And you shush him
And you kiss him
Goodnight
On the knit forehead
You used to nuzzle
When he was baby small
And tell him
You love him
And he whispers back
With a smile
I love you too
What do you say?

Rationing Screen Time for Kids

If you have kids, you may be in the same boat as me – suddenly realizing that they are spending too much time in front of display screens. My wife and I are trying to ration their screen time, and I’d love to hear what you think about our method.

Our house has seven screens of various sizes, all connected to the infinite, interactive, on-demand Internet, and six are mobile devices; one television, two laptops, two tablets, and two phones. With this amount of gear, we almost always have a spare device wherever we are.

As parents, we want our kids to be comfortable and familiar with the technology given its increasing importance in global culture and commerce. We let them use those devices in order to learn how to use them and also as rewards for good behavior. But we’ve also been guilty of using those screens as babysitters when we needed to get things done or have a break from the kids. Personally, I’ve also been really bad at modeling good behavior when it comes to when and where I use my screens.

With that backdrop, the past few months have seen our kids more frequently pestering us for screen time. With one of our children, that pestering recently went beyond whining into full-blown, angry temper tantrums in public. Their expectations obviously reached the point of feeling entitled to play or watch something whenever and wherever they want.

This saddened me. Somewhere along the way, we failed our kids in setting and enforcing limits around screen use. We lost control.

The method we’re using to get it back is screen rationing, and this magnetic whiteboard with colored magnets is helping us to keep track of it all. To enforce the time limits, we use our kitchen timer or a timer on the device they are using.

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Here are the rules that go with the board, and the rationale behind each rule:

  1. Each colored magnet is worth ten minutes. Discrete and concrete time units.
  2. Only mom or dad touch or move the marbles or all marbles are lost for the day. A deterrent to tampering.
  3. TV time can be shared or pooled. Encourages cooperative behavior for shows longer than 30 minutes.
  4. Computer/phone/tablet time cannot be shared or pooled. Caps total screen time per day to two hours per person.
  5. Both people lose time for fighting, no matter who started it. Deterrent to fighting.
  6. Time is lost for misbehavior. Consequences for bad behavior.
  7. Time used cannot be earned back. Used means used.
  8. Time lost can be earned back with good behavior or performing additional chores. Reinforces good behavior.
  9. Bedtime is still bedtime, even if you have time left. Limit setting.
  10. Time resets at bedtime. Every day is a new day.
  11. Time cannot be given to the other person. It’s not their responsibility to allot time.

We’re prepared for a rocky first few days or weeks for everyone as we all get used to this new structure, but we’re hopeful that the benefits will spill over into other areas.

What do you think?

How to Build a Lego™ Table

Back in July, I built this table for my eldest son’s birthday. We’ve had a lot of fun as a family since sitting around it and building stuff.

With the winter holidays in the Northern Hemisphere coming up, I’ve decided to make and sell these. They make a great gift for your kids (or for yourself!)

As shown, the tables are 3′ x 2′ x 2′ and are $175 each. There are color options on plates, paint, and bag. I’m in the Seattle area, and willing to deliver locally for a few extra bucks. If you’re from out of town, I can quote you a shipping cost.

Leave a comment with contact information or ping me on Twitter if you’re interested!

(I’d also appreciate a like, retweet, reblog, or otherwise share around if you found this interesting. Thanks!)

The Wrong Babysitter for our Kids

Her: “I’ve watched other, normal kids, and they’re nothing like yours.”

Me: (blink, blink)

(That one’s not coming back.)

King of the Castle

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Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

Fabrications your five year-old crafts at school that you hear about during a meeting with the Principal on Wednesday: “I have a gun in my backpack and I want to shoot you for hurting my feelings,” and, “I am going to bring dynamite to school and blow it up.”

Oi vey.

We spent Thursday morning at home and I’m pretty sure this has been added to his permanent record.

This could have been a reaction to limiting his potential total screen time (games on phone or computer and watching TV) to 60 minutes per day and he can only earn it in five-minute chunks through good behavior.

Or he’s been slipping in the Fight Club DVD late at night when the rest of the house is asleep.