Raising teenage boys? Stop screaming and start enjoying the ride ;-)


From Susie’s Little Creations

“Whenever I asked boys about planning, their immediate response was to assert that they don’t plan. ‘We don’t plan because plans never work anyway.” “Life’s a roller-coaster, so there’s no point in planning.”

“Girls plan a lot, don’t they?”

“Yeah, but they change their minds, don’t they?”

“Yes, I guess they do.”

“See, waste of time making the decision at the first place!”

“Do you think you’ll ever have a life plan?”

“No”

“So how will your life sort itself out?”

“Oh, that’s easy. I’ll be about 25 and some gorgeous-looking chick will walk past. She’ll have a great plan, so I’ll just hook onto her.”

From http://www.rachelobeauty.com

One question I always asked as we moved towards a discussion about how they managed their academic workloads: if they were given an assignment that was due to be handed in on, say, Tuesday morning, when would they do it?Regardless of academic ability and/or socio-economic status, the answer at this point was invariably “Monday night”, with the occasional “Tuesday morning” thrown in. …

It was a source of great amusement to me when, on some occasions, I pushed a little harder with the students and suggested that if they only did the assignment the night before anyway, regardless of when it was handed out, perhaps the best idea would be to ask their teachers to adopt the practice of giving out assignments overnight, working to the idea that they would have only one night to get it done. It seemed a very logical step to me and one that would mean a significant reduction in levels of stress for those parents who spend their lives trying to compel their sons to start work on the assignment due next week.

Whenever I suggested this idea, however, looks of absolute consternation would cross the faces of the boys. “No, you can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because we need time to think about it!”

From http://lh4.ggpht.com

This unwillingness to plan isn’t all bad news, however. A story told to me by one teacher challenges the view that adolescent males will reach their potential in the classroom only through planning and organised work.

This teacher described the time when he’d explained to a group of senior students that they had only five days left in which to complete their art folios and that if they didn’t manage to do so within that timeframe, they would lose the opportunity to take art the following year…

These were boys who were quite academically capable, but who had shown themselves to be fairly normal adolescent males by working at about 5 per cent of their potential through the year. The teacher had previously taught adolescent girls, who, in his view, tended to work at about 90 per cent of their potential throughout the school year.

Once the teacher had delivered the news of the impending deadline, the boys seemed to accept the challenge and immediately got to work. They literally lived and breathed their art folios for the following five days, spending every hour at the school, taking only occasional breaks to eat and sleep while getting on with the work. In the teacher’s words they went from their previous 5 per cent effort to about 250 per cent. Everything else in their lives fell away and nothing else mattered until their folios were complete. …

From http://www.funnyism.com

The boys also seemed to have been changed for the better and to have become more confident as a result of the experience. They’d been tempered by the challenge and had learned a bit more about who they were and what they were capable of.

So, here’s a thought worthy of consideration at this point: is it possible that this learning might not have occurred and the high standard of work not been reached had they chosen instead to work steadily throughout the year? Is it possible that the inertia frequently displayed by adolescent boys occurs because the challenges being put in front of them aren’t of sufficient depth to merit a real response?… Have we made education a series of relatively small steps because we think that’s what works, when what boys actually want and need are fewer, much bigger steps?”

From ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men
by Celia Lashlie


From http://www.fashionforacure.org

THE END

Private Mousen

( Ukraine, 1980s )

Boys
Photo by Shrike

I always loved my summer holidays in a small coal-mining town in Ukraine. I stayed there with my Ukrainian relatives living in a flat on the top floor of a three-story building with a big fenced yard. There were always lots of kids playing in the yard.

Unfortunately (or, may be, fortunately) there was no girls of my age there – only boys, but we managed to get on quite well, playing war games and chasing each other.

They called me Private Mousen, as I always was as quiet as a mouse. There was no other ‘privates’ in our battalion – only half a dozen of generals and a few spies.

Boys3
From Photosight.ru

I did not need to wait long for my first assignment. One morning the spies disappeared in our kitchen. Soon they came back and whispered something to the generals.

“Hey, Private Mousen. We’ve got a special assignment for you. Come here!” – I came closer to the generals. One of them rushed outside and got some yucky-grey mud from the nearest puddle.

“You need some camouflage,” – he explained, spreading a thick layer of mud all over my face. I wrinkled my nose.

Boy2
Photo by 
Ekaterina Babash

“That’s good. Now, here is your gun,” – he gave me a big stick. “Your post is behind the door. You should wait there quietly until someone comes through the door. Once you hear someone coming, you need to jump out and shout ‘Hande Hoch’ as loud as you can. We’ll wait there,” – he pointed at the distant corner not far from the front door.

I hid behind the door, listening attentively to any sound. Soon I heard my grandma coming. I jumped out and shouted at the top of my lungs: “Hande Hoch”.

Poor grandma shrieked in horror, jumped on the spot and dropped a huge pot of beetroot soup on the floor. A big red spot started spreading all over the carpet.

I burst into tears, spreading dirt all over my face and clothes. Generals and spies burst into laughter and rushed outside.

Alerted by all the noise, my aunty jumped out of the kitchen with a broom in her hands and started chasing boys around the yard to the surprised looks of all the neighbors.

5
From Photosight.ru

“Just wait for your dads to come home and belt your cheeky bottoms, you rascals” – she shouted, angrily waving the broom at the boys. “And you, little devil in skirt, you are going straight to the bathroom. I wonder sometimes about the kind of upbringing your mother is giving you!!!”

 1

I tried to mumble something in defence of my poor mother. She was surely doing all the right things. Every day after school I had various activities: piano lessons on Mondays, singing on Tuesdays, ball room dancing on Wednesdays, athletics on Thursdays, and gymnastics on Fridays.

By the time I was getting home to finish my homework, I hardly had any energy left. And if that was not enough, every Saturday and Sunday my mum used to take me to various museums and theaters. I still remember endless hours I spent in philharmonic halls, listening to the classical music.  Or queuing for hours to get in the Hermitage and then walking through endless Hermitage halls with all the paintings and artefacts. No time was left for friends and fun.

Tiger
Tiger Mum

Being a teacher, my mother was always at the cutting edge of all the learning theories, testing all of them on me. When she was pregnant with me she was listening to Bach to ensure that I’ll turn into a tall beauty – no luck. I always was the shortest in the family. I wish she danced Lambada instead – then I would surely have turned into a 90x60x90 model or a movie star 😉

Star
Marilyn Monroe

Though Mozart she played after my birth to make sure that I’ll always be cheerful probably did the trick – still laughing.

7
From http://pricolisty.ru/

She surely could not do any more ‘right things’ with me – not unless there were 48 hours in a day!

Dance
Photo by 
Maxim Slugin

My auntie however was not convinced. She quickly washed me, dressed me nicely, brushed my hair and left me outside on a bench under a tree. “Be a good girl,” – she said, giving me a book and disappearing in the kitchen.

Book
Photo by Artbanka

A magic place: there wends his way
The woodsprite, there’s a mermaid sitting
In branches, there on trails past knowing
Are tracks of beast you never met;
 On chicken feet a hut is set
With neither door nor window showing.
There wood and dale with wonders teem;
At dawn of day the breakers stream
Upon the bare and barren lea,
And thirty handsome armored heroes…

‘Thirty handsome armored heroes’ did not keep me waiting for too long.

6
From http://fotki.yandex.ru

“Private Mousen! What are you doing here?” – I heard a whisper from the nearby bush. “Come here. We have something special for you.”

I left my book on the bench and peeked behind the bush.

 “Look at these wonderful caterpillars. It was a hard job to collect so many caterpillars for you!!!” – they attempted to throw a few caterpillars on me.

They surely knew that I was scared of all these yucky creepy creatures. I sprang to my feet and rushed away, chased by all the generals and spies.

After three circles around the yard, driven by fear I managed to climb right to the top of the tree. I looked down. Everything started spinning around. I closed my eyes and clung firmer to the tree trunk.

“Where is the Russian Princess?” – I heard my uncle asking, pointing at the book on the empty bench. Moving a few steps away from my uncle, boys silently pointed to the top of the tree. Quietly swearing and waving his fist at the boys, my uncle climbed up the tree to get me down.

Uncle
Photo by Lena Urazaeva

Next day my uncle put on his new white pants and took us by bus to the pond. The pond was quite deep even a few meters from the shore, and I could not swim at all. Boys wanted to get to the little island in the middle of the pond.

“Come on, Private Mousen. You can do that. Just kick your legs and move your arms like this and that,” – unfortunately, I definitely was not an innate mermaid.

“OK,” – said my cousin. “I can help you. Just hold on to my waist and kick your legs as fast as you can, and I’ll move my arms. We will be able to get there together at no time at all.”

I followed his advice.

“Three, two, one, go!!!” – I started kicking vigorously, while holding to his waist, and we both went right to the bottom of the pond.

My uncle jumped into the water and pulled both of us out. Yucky brown water was pouring down his new white pants. He was silent the whole way home.

 Boy4
Photo by OOH

“Let’s count cars,” – suggested my cousin to break the boring silence. “I’ll be counting Ladas, and you will be counting Volgas. Who will get the most is the winner.”

“One, two, three…Start” We started counting cars.

“What are you counting?!” – exclaimed my cousin indignantly. “That’s not even a car, but just a tin can!!!”

‘A tin can’ was a nickname of another Soviet car “Zaporozhez”. I could only blink my eyes, as all the cars looked pretty similar to me. They all had four wheels after all.

“Ok,” – my cousin scratched his head. “I have an idea. I will count Ladas and you will count … red cars.”

2
Photo by Jaroslav Toporkov

The following day we had a surprise – someone has left a big 24-kg kettle-bell in the yard. All the boys crowded around it. Then they got an idea. One of them rushed to the little ant-hill in the corner of the yard and got a jar of ants.

“OK, guys. We will take turns in lifting this kettle-bell off the ground – whoever fails must eat an ant from the jar. Private Mousen, you are first.”

I came to the kettle-bell and grabbed it with both hands. I pulled it up as hard as I could, but it would not move at all. I tried again and again – it did not help.

“Well, here is your ant,” – my cousin put an ant on my hand. “You need to eat it now, or we are not playing with you anymore.”

I closed my eyes and put this ant into my mouth.

“Close your mouth and chew,” – ordered my cousin.

“What is in your mouth?” – my uncle appeared in the yard.

I silently pointed at a jar full of ants.

“Yuck, spit it out! Who gave you that?”

“That was just a game, uncle.”

“A game? OK, lads. Your turn to lift this kettle-bell. Come on, guys.”

None of the boys could lift it either.

“Watch out, lads. Or you will be eating ants next time,” – he warned the boys, picking up the kettle-bell and carrying it away.

3
Photo by Olga Kochedykova

We started getting bored.

“OK, let’s play ‘squirrels on the tree’,” – suggested my cousin. “I’ll be chasing and tagging you. You need to jump on something to keep your feet off the ground to avoid being tagged.”

We started playing. I was trying really hard to run to the nearest bench, but my cousin was getting nearer and nearer.

“I’ll help you,’ – shouted one of the oldest boys picking me off the ground. He ran with me to the bench. We almost reached it, when he tripped over and fell. I flew right onto the ground and smashed both knees. I burst into tears with blood dripping from my knees.

“Stop crying,” I heard his whisper. “It does not hurt much, as the blood takes all the pain away.Trust me, it is much worse, when it is not bleeding, as all the pain stays in your body then. Also, the air slowed down your fall, so you did not hurt yourself as much as I did, as I was closer to the ground and the air could not slow my fall that much,” he said with a moan.

He did not have a single scratch, but his words were so convincing, that I stopped crying at once and started comforting him instead.

Plaksa
Photo by @Geroin

A few days later we heard that thieves has stolen some marinated gherkins and tomatoes from the sheds at the far end of the yard.

“I have an idea,” – my cousin said. “We should catch them.”

We spent the whole day digging holes in front of the sheds. Then we got some rope, made loops and hid them in the holes. We covered the holes with leaves and grass.

“Well done, guys. Private Mousen, you’ve got a very important assignment. You will be the first to trial our traps!”

I ran to the sheds, fell in a trap, rushed out, got my foot caught in a loop and crashed onto the concrete path in front of the sheds. Now I had not only bleeding knees, but a bleeding elbow as well.

“Private Mousen. Couldn’t you just pretend!” – hissed my cousin. “My mum has already used all the iodine on disinfecting your battle wounds!”

 “But that would not be a real trial, would it…?”

4
From Photosight.ru

Unfortunately, we did not catch any thieves while pickled gherkins kept disappearing from the sheds.

“Well,” – said my cousin, scratching his head. “Who will stay with me on night watch?”

I was the only volunteer. We sneaked a big jar of juice from the kitchen and a pack of playing cards. We played cards until midnight. We peeked out of the window. The night was clear with bright stars scattered all over the sky.

“I’m feeling tired,” – said my cousin – “I need a little nap. Let’s take turns. I’ll be first. Keep an eye on the clock and wake me up in an hour. You can have an hour nap then.”

He hid under the blanket and fell asleep. I did not know what to do. I tried to read a book, but my eyes kept closing and I kept drifting off to sleep. I went to the bathroom and dipped my face in cold water. It helped to wake me up a little bit. I pinched myself. I tried to skip and jump,  and frolic around the room, keeping an eye on the clock. At last an hour was over. I woke my cousin up and climbed under the blanket.

When I opened my eyes, the sun was shining. My cousin was fast asleep. I did not speak with him for the rest of the day.

Photo by Elena Krivenkova

The summer was over. It was time for me to go home. But looking out of the train’s window in the darkness of the night I saw the smudgy faces of the generals and spies.

9
Photo by Serge

* * *

Differences

True, though I still have never progressed to either a ‘general’ or a ‘spy’.
And who cares? 😉

Girl1
From http://www.mytwintasticlife.com/

THE END

You are a Genius!

Genious
From QuotesWave

According to a 1968 study by George Land and Beth Jarman, published in their book Breakpoint and Beyond, preschoolers are geniuses in divergent thinking. Land and Jarman administered a divergent thinking test to 1600 people; divergent thinking being the capacity for creativity, the ability to determine multiple solutions to a problem. This is the type of test administered by NASA to select innovative engineers and scientists. The results in the sample group were astounding – 98% of the participants scored at the genius level for divergent thinking. The sample group? Five-year-olds.

In this longitudinal study, only 32% of 10-year-olds, and 12% of 15-year-olds reached the same level of creative thinking. Of 280 000 adults tested, only 2% reached genius level. Robinson used an example of divergent thinking in his video provided below: that divergent thinkers would be able to come up with 200 uses for a paper clip, whereas most of us could only come up with 10-15. A divergent thinker would think outside the box. Does the paper clip have to be in the form we know it? If there are no limitations, why not a 200-foot paper clip made of foam?

We are all genius in our own unique way, no matter how deep our genius got buried over the years. Rediscover your genius and fill up your life with laughter and joy. You are amazing!

THE END

Filling Empty Minds

Teach your children
From Motivational and Inspirational Quotes

Each one of us starts empty,
Just waiting to be filled,
With love and words
And things we learn;
The empty space is killed.

Displaced with all the good things,
And sometimes with the bad,
We learn from
Those around us
And the special times we’ve had.

When we are still quite empty,
In our younger years,
It’s easy for us,
To fill up,
With love and hope and fears.

It means the young are easy led,
And learn things very fast,
But bad times leave,
A dirty mark,
Even when long passed.

When spending time with young friends,
We need to think about,
The lessons that
We’re teaching them:
They’re quicker in than out.

There’s positives within this,
Because those younger minds,
Will grow and flourish
Happily
When watered with good times.

by Pooky H

THE END

Education is a fundamental solution to poverty

“Think about it: Every educated person is not rich, but almost every educated person has a job and a way out of poverty. So education is a fundamental solution to poverty.”

Governor Kathleen Blanco

APTOPIX India Free School

In this photo underprivileged Indian children attend a free school run under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India. At least 30 children living in the nearby slums have been receiving free education from this school for the last three years. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

“For two hours every day, Rajesh Kumar Sharma, 40, leaves his job at a general store and meets under a metro bridge with dozens of children from New Delhi’s worst slums. There, the father of three teaches the kids math, science and social studies, using black boards that are painted on a building wall. He teaches them the basics in the hopes that they will be admitted to government-run schools in the near future.

“Whenever I passed by this area, I would notice that children were spending all their time in the fields or playing around,” Sharma told the Indian Express.

He was able to convince many of the children’s parents to get them out of the fields for a few hours to help them learn.

When he started the school in 2011, he had 140 students. The next year, 70 of them were admitted into government schools, Yahoo News reported.

“Our teacher has told us that when poverty strikes, you should open your mind, and that can be done only through education,” a student of Sharma’s named Abishek told the Indian Express.”

From Kindness Blog

THE END