Where’s the pen and paper?

Where’s the pen and paper?

The other day I was chatting casually to a priest when the subject turned to issues to do with the internet.  I enquired as to how in his view and experience the internet was affecting marriage and was intrigued by his answers.  Today, couples are using social media to resolve their issues.  Emails to sort out their problems and social media to externalise them or ‘cover’ them up.  Seeking refuge in such a public space can no doubt lead to many a misunderstanding and further complications.  Not to mention the added complication of comment boards from people who are close and not so close. The truth is that ICT has changed every aspect of our lives.  Marriage and relationships are one such aspect.  Smart phones and social media applications have made it easier to communicate. Gone are the days when our children’s budding romance had to wait for the weekend or that lone telephone call – today its full on social media.  Photos on Instagram, messages that are the subject of various comments, facebook posts and whatsapp messages.  We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to means of communication today.  It has become so second nature that we feel almost lost without our phones or internet connection. The speed of communications has ironically hindered traditional communications.  Only recently I wanted to thank one of our excellent consultants for the great job he did on a family member.  I sat down and wrote a letter and got the children to do the same.  I have always valued written letters and thought this small gesture will be appreciated.  Indeed...
Is social media too much for parents to handle?

Is social media too much for parents to handle?

My father used to say ‘children should be seen but not heard’. We grew up hearing this phrase in our family and I had no doubt he picked it up from his parents as my grandparents were of the same mindset. One look was enough for them to discipline us. That’s all it took. Times have changed and our views on parenting have also changed. The sooner our children talk the better. We are constantly comparing our children’s skills and abilities and equating it with intelligence. We have become slightly obsessed with our children and they way they look and how they act. We always think we know best. We seem to think we can determine everything from their friends, to their teachers to how they behave. The days of ‘your teacher is always right’ is rare if non-existent. For some reason we have developed an inherent belief that our children are flawless. We fear that their behaviour will be judged and we will be to blame. It often seems to me that we are always too quick to justify our children’s behaviour rather than disciplining them. My mother often justified her strict discipline by saying ‘you’ll thank me for this one day … one day you’ll have children of your own and you’ll understand me’. I never quite understood her until today when I often wished there was a handbook for raising children detailing steps one should take in each situation. The truth is there isn’t and many of us can only use our upbringing and instinct to guide us. A guide book will tell you how to...
It’s all about being accepted

It’s all about being accepted

A year or two ago one of my daughters came home seriously upset.  On asking her what the matter was she explained that two girls on her bus route were teasing her because her hair was too straight.  I couldn’t hold back my laughter which angered her even more naturally.  I looked at her and told her how incredibly lucky she is to have naturally dead straight hair and how those same girls in a few years’ time would be spending lots of money to have hair like hers.  She was not convinced of course and out came the curlers as she wanted her hair to be curly.  I entertained her in full knowledge that no matter how hard we tried her hair would simply flatten out within the hour.  After a few hours we managed some semblance of curls in her hair and she seemed remotely content.  Her sisters followed, no doubt, which made our day incredibly tedious. Her joy was, as expected, short lived.  Her hair was flat by bed time and not one curl survived the night.  I explained to her that she had to learn from a very young age to be happy with whom she was and how she looked.  I had to do just that when I was growing up.  I hated my nose and to be honest I still hate it.  It’s caused me a lot of grief over the years to the point where I struck a deal with my husband that if I stopped smoking I would actually have a nose job done.  I did stop smoking and went for...