Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Kind of Parent Are You? The Answer Could Keep Your Children Off Drugs

By Hilda Fearon (1878-1917) (Bonhams) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I admit, I started to panic when I read the headline of the June 12th 2014 article by Melissa Hellmann. Having been called “over protective” by my son’s friends I figure I might qualify as a strict parent. And so it tripped me up a bit when I read the title, “If You’re a Strict Parent, Your Kid Is More Likely to Smoke Pot.” Is it time for me to change my parenting style?

In her post Ms. Hellmann describes a study conducted in Europe. The study team looked at over 7,000 teens, asking about their relationships with their parents. Indeed they found that authoritarian (strict) parenting is not the most effective way of steering children away from the use of drugs. The team also found being neglectful was not the way to go. So if laying down the law parenting is no better than “I do not care” parenting, what type of parenting styles show success when it comes to keeping kids away from pot?

In an article posted at covering the same study (referenced by Ms. Hellmann), the study team found that indulgent but very emotional parents were effective in keeping kids off pot. So were the parents who gave “…clear rules…” as long as those parents showed their children love and were not rigid. It turns out that the best parents are the ones who show affection for their children, parents who build strong family relationships. So for those of you, who like me believe in setting boundaries, there is no need for change. Just make sure you let your children know you love them.

What type of parent are you?

The study team identified four parenting styles:
Authoritative - Parents “give clear rules and affectionately and flexibly reason with the children when asking for their compliance.”
Authoritarian – Same as authoritative but with less affection.
Neglectful – Low level of control with little affection shown.
Indulgent – Low level of control but “very emotional.”

I believe my parenting style is closets to Authoritative. How about you?

Referenced in this post:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Having authoritarian parents increases risk of drug use in adolescents,European study finds." ScienceDaily.
  (accessed June 25, 2014).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

God’s Mercy

By Bureau of Land Management [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

{Based on a post I originally wrote before restarting the blog.}

Genesis 4:13-15

After Cain killed Abel, he found himself with a bit of a dilemma. Thinking he could hide his crime, he had not counted on facing judgment by an all knowing God. God’s verdict meant Cain would have to leave his home becoming a nomad of sorts. But Cain knew the dangers of wandering about on his own. Without God’s protection, Cain would certainly fall victim to someone or something that would help him join his brother.

God would have been justified had he said, "Too bad" in response to Cain’s complaint. After all Cain brought the punishment on himself, having been warned of how sin was knocking at his door. Given the opportunity to turn back to God, Cain chose to yield to temptation. But instead of condemning Cain, God was merciful putting a mark on him in order to keep others from killing him.

Like Cain we are warned by God of our need to repent of our sins. God tells us that all have sinned, earning a spiritual death sentence. Fortunately God is merciful offering in Jesus an opportunity for each of us to take on the mark of adoption. We deserve death but instead believers are given life, becoming members of God’s family.

Are you living life as one who is marked for protection from God or are you taking your chances wandering alone in the wilderness?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Fish Story

{Based on a post I originally wrote before restarting the blog.}

Everyone who has put a worm on a hook has a story to tell of the one that got away. The fish story was once a rite of passage for every American living within a short distance of any body of water. I have many fond memories of weekends spent on the banks of various Indiana rivers and streams pulling up catfish and carp with my grandparents. The day’s catch would decide whether or not it was all worth the trip but there was always the one that got away. On one of our trips the one that got away measured at least 100 feet long.

My fish story began just as all of our fishing trips would, by spending Thursday evening helping grandpa check the tackle boxes. We also made sure all the rods were ready. My favorite was black with blue trim. On it was mounted an old Zebco reel. Don’t quote me but I believe it was model 202 or a 232 or something of that nature. She was my first real fishing pole and nobody (other than grandpa) was allowed to touch it.

I was that weird kid who loved spending Friday evenings at the bait shop searching for night crawlers or mill worms or perhaps crickets or blood worms. Grandpa always had a list ready, having calculated exactly what we needed based on what he expected us to catch. For me these runs to the bait shop were about seeing what was new in the world of fishing. For grandpa the trips were about seeing old friends, many of whom he had known prior to retiring from his work near the blast furnace at U. S. Steel. Eventually, once the conversations ended, we would buy our supplies and load everything into the back of grandpa’s old Chevy Cheyenne pickup.

That old Chevy was a real pickup, a 70’s model designed strictly for work. Comfort was at best an after thought, the long bench seat made to keep the driver upright but not comfortable. It had two large tanks with enough fuel capacity to ensure a full day’s work even at 10mpg or less. This workhorse came with a perfectly good AM radio and a single but powerful speaker which played just loud enough to drown out the road noise and roar of the huge American made V-8. She could hold all of our fishing gear in her bed and still have room for a twin mattress. Why a twin mattress? Well this served as a seating area for me and my cousins, a great alternative to sitting on tire wells for the duration of the ride under the old white camper top which covered the truck bed.

The wakeup call came around three, or was it four, in the morning. I dressed and took my place in the truck, ready for a pre-dawn chance to convince a school of fish to try one of my worms for breakfast. But for most of the day I caught nothing. Grandpa and grandma did fine, finding their favorite spots where each was able to monitor three rods at the same time while hauling in a sizable catch. The others in our party were determined to stay near the truck, trying their luck in an area where they did not have to walk. My cousins were fine with catching nothing but I needed to find my own spot where I could actually pull something out of the water. It was after I moved up river that the story took a strange turn.

From the top of a large rock I dropped my line into the water. When finally something tugged on my line, I reeled in only to find what looked like a baby lobster. This thing was hanging on my line with one claw while he pulled chunks out of my worm with his other. I shook it back off into the water, only to learn later that I should have kept that crawdad for bait. But I figured it too small to be worth my time and moved to another spot where the river crossed under a bridge.

There I cast my line once again, only to see the worm fly off just as the hook hit the water. Embarrassed at wasting bait I set another worm on my hook, making sure this one was secure. With a flick of my wrist the Zebco let loose. Hook, line and sinker took off for their target. Much to my surprise, they never came down. I looked back to see if I had hooked something or someone. That is when I discover something I never before noticed about bridge construction.

It seems that some bridges are built on a frame of I-beams. These I-beams sometimes have spaces between them and the bottom of the bridge deck. As it turns out a well placed cast can carry a hook right over the beams and below the bridge deck, leaving the line dangling above the water. No big deal, I figured, I’ll just reel the Zebco back in and re-cast. Bad idea as doing so allowed my hook to find a small hole in one of the I-beams.

I had hooked a bridge. I estimate the length to be about a hundred feet. Of course it could have been longer as I was much smaller then. It had to be some sort of record for length and I was the one who caught it. As she cut my line loose, Grandma told me it was a one in a million shot. She and I would laugh for years about the bridge that got away. Too bad the state of Indiana would not let me take it home for a trophy. That is my fish story. Would you care to share yours?