Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teen Suicides

Okay--very painful subject but I feel the need to address it.  My neighbor called this morning to tell me to put on the Today Show.  There were two moms on the show talking about their 14 YO girls from Minnesota who had apparently made a pact to hang themselves.  One of the girls was being treated for depression, the other left a note on FB explaining to her aunt that she just couldn't take the bullying anymore.  (Not her exact words, but close enough.)

Which brings me to one of my earlier posts about daughter #5 who is having issues with a group of girls at her school.  It started when she entered 7th grade.  This particular girl (who is head honcho for the group) has had it out for daughter #5's best friend and got pulled into mix by association.  Nonetheless, she is catching crap from this girl---I shall call her girl X.  Girl X has been a bully since MG and has a large following.  I personally have seen the bullying actions of this girl and had reported her to the principal at the time of the incident.  She was, of course, suspended... but, returned to school with no other reprecussions. 

Girl X is in 8th grade (same as daughter #4) and has never messed with her.  She seems to pick on the ones who are...well, let's go with... shorter, more frail, pretty--(because no one can be prettier than her.)  Girl X has taken this bullying outside of the school.  Her posse follows along where ever and whenever.  All reports have been made to the school and well, they had their counseling and closed the book.

At Christmas, there was a festival at our church.  Now Girl X does not attend our church, but she does however go to the teen functions because they are open to everyone!  So low and behold....she is at the Christmas festival.  I drop daughter #5 off with BFF and leave.  (You must understand that this function is very closely monitored--adult supervision and church volunteers)  I return for pick-up and after announcing her name for 15 minutes, she finally comes to my car.  "Mom," she says, "somethings happened and you have to come."  I am not one to freak out until I know the situation, so I calmly follow daughter #5.  She brings me to BFF who is being guarded by one of the kid's pastor.  He explains to me that Girl X attacked BFF from behind and they fought.  (Now, I'm responsible for this child as she was in my care at the time.) 

I look over to the other side of the field where Girl X was being guarded by the police (who were on duty there at the time.)  I tell the pastor to call BFF's mom and get her here, she may want to press charges.  I speak to her mom, who is well aware of the entire situation with school, and she tells me she is already in route.  I stay until she arrives, daughter #5 gives police statement and we leave.

Now comes the good part!!!  You remember I talked about the website Formspring...okay.  I take daughter #5 to get something to eat on the ride back home.  Well apparently, by the time we arrived back home, Girl X and posse had been released.  I didn't get word until later that BFF's mom decided not to press charges... she didn't want to see this troubled girl (Girl X) go to juvi!!  And just so you know as a side note, Girl X does have issues---no excuse for me!!  Anyway, daughter #5 gets on the computer knowing there will be talk on FB about the "big fight."  Determined that she would tell exactly what happened she logs in.  I stand behind her the entire time.  Next thing you know---there it is!!

Plastered all over FB---Girl X---"Just got in a fight and kicked some ass."  Naturally, daughter #5 wants to jump in and I have to give her the whole "she's not worth it" speech.  Now, daughter #5 goes to Formspring.  Totally new to me, so again, I stand back and watch.  To my shock, she is sending messages to daughter #5, threatening her, calling her names, telling her she'll see her in school and much, much, much, much more!!  Her language alone would make you cringe coming from a 14 YO.

I turned on the printer, printed everything she said and had daughter #5 cancel  her  Formspring.  I also had her block Girl X from her FB.  The difference between the two is at least FB you can block someone, more importantly she can be reported.  Formspring allows anyone to say anything without any rules!!!

This entire story is to express to you the importance of staying on top of what is going on with your children.  Do not allow them to use FB without having their password so that you can see what is going on.  It's not that you don't trust them... it's ones like Girl X that you have to worry about.  If you find anything, please, please, please notify your child's school, report whoever it is to FB, block that person from your child's friend list and above all----print copies of anything that has been said and file away!!  Talk to your children people--- cyberbullying is killing our kids!

Whether these two girls had other reasons for what they did, no one will ever know!  One of them definitely used FB and again, if either used Formspring we won't know that either. What I do know is that I would rather have my daughters pissed at me for a while and know they are still with me than to have done nothing and lose my kids over stupidity!!  It's just not worth it!!          See ya soon!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teen Drama

There is one thing that is always going on in my home.  Drama!!  This week's drama is the devastating break-up between daughter #4 and her boyfriend.  I know, I know.  Two months is a long time to be together and the pains of losing the love of your life has left her saddened.  Yep, you got it--- the old girlfriend came back into the picture and he jumped ship to go back to her.

Like any mom would, I saw the approaching signs.  Didn't want to come over to visit, didn't want her over, made excuses (my mom won't let me kinda thing) for not wanting to go to a movie etc.  I let her know that things just seemed a little strange and she may want to back out.  Girls are very stubborn when it comes to taking advice but having older sisters and a mom that gets a very good read from people, she was prepared.  They went together to the school dance and he spent a few hours at my home over the weekend.  On Monday, she was given the news!

Daughter #4 is not your typical teen.  She handled the whole situation very well.  She told him if that's what he wanted then she was fine.  She wished she would have known he still had feelings for the other girl 'cause she would have asked someone else to go to the dance.  She then ended the chat (FB chat---what a way to break up) went into her room, then walked outside.  As a concerned mom, (1st love---devastation) I gave her a few minutes alone, then followed out the back door.

Now here's where I have to give you the visual.  Right outside my backdoor  (approx. 60ft. away) we have an open fire pit.  Great for winter cold and awesomeness to sit out and just enjoy.  Well, there she was.  Sitting on the side of the pit looking into the fire.  "Fire!!  What are you doing???"  I walk over to the pit to see the stuffed animal her now ex-boyfriend had given her slowly burning.  Wanting to comfort her, I sit and place my arms around her.  "Are you okay?"   "I'm fine," she responds.  "In that case we need to help this thing burn."  I go into the shed, fill a small cup with gasoline and pour it onto the slow burning bear.  It naturally shoots up in flames and she bursts into laughter.  "Go get more!"

By this time daughter #5 spots us and hollers at daughter #2 (who was visiting at the time) and the four of us sat outside laughing and cutting up.  We kept the fire going for a couple of hours with logs and it turned out to be a great bonding night! 

Boys will come and boys will go, but there's nothing like a good fire!  See ya soon!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Let me set the stage on this one.  Daughter #4--1st grade--03/04 school year.  I always knew she had a gift.  She's loved drawing since she was very little.  Scribbles at first that progressed into beautiful advanced work for a six year old.  Near the end of her first grade year, her very special teacher calls me into the class.  At that time, I was voluteering a lot at the elementary school.  Daughter #5 was in kindergarten and I put in as much time as I possibly could.

Her teacher tells me that she would like to have d#4 tested for Talented Art.  I'm thrilled at this point cause now I know it's not just me that notices her work.  You all know as moms, we say how great our kiddies are but when you hear it from someone else... wow!  The teacher calls in and has the "art specialist" visit the school for testing---Round 1.  We are asked to bring in a portfolio of her work to be looked over.  No problem!  I have been saving her work for a while so we put together a portfolio.  She passes round 1 and we are asked to go to the local headquarters where Round 2 will be held.  The date was set and of course, we were there.  She goes in alone while proud mama sits and waits.

After an hour and a half she's done.  On the way home I asked her what did they have her do.  She tells me they made her draw a man in a boat fishing.  I asked her how she thought she did... she says great.  I'm happy.  After 4 weeks they send you a notification in the mail to let you know if she has been accepted.  (Long process, I know!)  We get the letter and BAM--she misses getting into the program by one point.  One point!!  The letter says you can call to inquire why she wasn't accepted, which I did on her request.

I ask the lady on the other side of the phone, "What did she do wrong?"  Her answer, "She did not show any shadowing in her picture."  Hmmm.... I think to myself... 1st grade and they want Picaso!  I now have to explain to her what she did wrong.  Her response,  "Mom, it was noon time.  You don't see your shadow at noon time!"  HA!!  Now I'm wondering if I should call back and tell them what she just told me.  I decide not to for two reasons.  1)  They would never believe that it was her that said it...  2)  They obviously want art done according to their standards.  The question was did I want my child to be creative on her own, doing her own thing?  Or--do I want someone standing over her telling her to do it this way (according to them)?

We sat down and talked about it and decided I would let her do her thing!  "In time," I told her, "you will be recognized for your own work."  And she was!  In 6th grade she entered a school art contest called Reflections.  Her work took her to State Finals!  In your face talented art!!  D#4 is now an eighth grader.  Over the years, she was approached to be tested again but together we decided for her to continue doing her own thing!  Now... her 8th grade art teacher has asked she do it again.

This time, D#4 wants to be tested.  Not wanting to hold her back, I agreed.  She was again asked to bring in her portfolio.  One major No No is nothing animated!  So we pull out all of her drawings, sketches etc., of the Anime's she loves to draw and her more recent Steampunk art.  Uggghh---this stuff is really good, but she wants to get in, so we comply.  She passes Round 1... naturally, and now has a testing set up at the facility in May. 

My dilema.... I couldn't be more proud of her when it comes to her artwork!  She really is good!  (Not just mom saying that!)  Point---she really has come into her own with her creativity and draws things she really loves.  If she is accepted in May, she will be forced to draw what is acceptable according to the Talent Art Program.  So now---as much as I want to support her in what she wants, I don't want her to be disappointed when they dictate what she can and can't draw, how she can or can't use pastels etc. 

She has made the decision to go in May so now I must take a back seat and hope for the best.  She wants this to be her future and I won't take that away.  She actually wants to be an illustrator!!  Book covers, PB stories etc. for my stories!!  ROFL  I can hardly refuse that!  She understands what she is in for, so with that in mind, I will let her grow.  Will let everyone know what happens in May!!!  Wish us luck---See ya soon!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Little about me

Most writers blogs are based on things they write about or things they have learned about the writing world and want to share their knowledge with us!  I follow many writers myself who do this.  However, for me, I've decided there are more than enough blogs out there already based on the subject of writing.  How to write, when to write, what to write about.  Your MC, your plot, your MS, publishers, to agent or not to agent and the list goes on.

While every one of these blogs are helpful for us, I thought my writing.... just writing... about kids, family issues, life, and my own controveries with writing are more the way I wanted to go.  Ya never know, I may change along the way.  For now, this is my comfort zone.  So begins my journey of blogging!

Hopefully I won't bore you with the not so unique life of a writer.  Every one of us goes through the same things as we progress with our work.  The uniqueness comes from what has brought me to this point of being a writer.  Blogging is a whole new thing for me, as I'm sure it is for several others.  I hope to share some fun, laughter and possibly some tears along the way!  Wish me luck and until another day..... See ya soon!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Staying in Touch

How many of us out there sit back and watch our children on the computer?  How many of us really know what they are doing?  Facebook has become stomping grounds for our kids.  They are entertained by playing the countless number of games that are offered and they can chat with their 100's of friends.  (Half of them they don't even know!)  There are but a handful of parents that will investigate just what their children are doing, the rest.... well, shame on you!

I am one of those annoying moms and proud to admit it!  My girls were not allowed to have a FB without me having their passwords.  I sat with them to set it up and made sure they set the privacy to 'friends only,' no exception!  No information was given for school, age, gender etc.  That was last year.

I randomly pull up their information (at the very least, once a week) to make sure they are maintaining their end of the bargin.  Needless to say, I was shocked recently when I viewed several disturbing comments on one of my daughter's page.  I was aware that she has been having some conflict with some girls from her school and thought things were being dealt with on that end.  It's on going... unfortunately. (We'll discuss that in more detail later.)

Here's where I tell you about a new site that not very many parents are aware of.  I was completely in the dark on this one!  My daughter was told to get a Formspring accout by this particular girl  (so they could talk things over)... she did.  OMG---people---listen when I tell you, if you haven't seen this site and you think your child might be on it.... STOP THEM!!  Stop them NOW!! 

This site allows children to openly slander, curse, cyber-bully and anything else that you can't imagine!  If you've found your child is involved with this site, read everything!!  I know some teens can be cruel but this goes beyond cruel.  If you find anything that is remotely resembling this new wave of bullying, copy it!  Make 3 copies.  One for the school, one for the police and one for yourself!! 

I hope that any of you who read this heed the warning and stay in touch with your kids!!  They are not going to always tell you what is going on in their lives but there are ways you can prevent some things.  If you have a similar situation, feel free to comment and tell us what you've found and how you are dealing!!