This coolest morning of the season found me spending more time than usual reading  Sunday’s news by the fire.  Not a bad place to be, but the news gave me much to think about.

Bullying….that seems to be the buzz word on everyone’s tongue.  Is this really a new phenomenon or has it become yet another troubling issue in our society?  I remember being a kid and occasionally being the brunt of someone’s cruelty.  Worse, I remember being a source of words that would today be defined as bullying.  I don’t think I meant to be mean but saw it as a means of being accepted.  Is that still the case?

In a New York Times article today, what I found really disturbing is how young the behavior starts.  Kindergarteners shunning another classmate?  Really?  I don’t think the thought ever occurred to me at that age.  And, the fact that parents, in some cases, seem to condone the behavior is totally unacceptable.  What kind of adults will children whose  bullying is reinforced as normal behavior become?  That is a scary thought.

In yet another article, I learned that picture books for kids are being moved to the back shelves because parents want their kids to have more text heavy books at a young age given the pressure to do well on standardized testing in schools.  Puhlease!  There is as much to be learned from beautifully illustrated books as from words.  I still remember N.C. Wyeth‘s illustrations in Treasure Island and credit them and others for influencing me to look at art.  Today, I use book pictures as a way of encouraging my granddaughters to look and think creatively.

And, then was the article about the governor of New Jersey nixing the railroad tunnel between his state and New York.  Can someone tell me what he has been drinking!

Enough of the troubling news.  Let’s turn to travel and weddings/engagements.  Those are always good for a quick escape!

What did you find interesting this fall Sunday?

i love your comments, so jump right in and share your thoughtsf

15 thoughts on “Sunday by the Fire

  1. I am ecstatic I found this blog! I would LOVE for u to check out my “Creative Playground” tab on my blog and click on my site “Social Muze”! It’s a little site I put together for my blog and AllPoetry dot com friends to talk about art, photography, poetry etc… 🙂 I would love for you to be a part of it! At least take a peak 🙂 I will def be back!!! 🙂
    Kellie

  2. Just here for the weekend- heading back to DC tomorrow! Hate to leave – again- will be here for Christmas week- Thanksgiving- normally spent at the Maine house- will be in Seattle this year- welcoming grandson #2 to the world!

    Love that you read the NYTimes Weddings- I am obsessed with them 🙂 always an interesting story- how about the two Marines growing up 1/2 block away from each other in Brooklyn and not meeting until Fallujah!! Adorable story! Have a fun fall- I will keep up with you on your blog!

  3. There is so much thoughts in here.
    I’ll take 2 which are both heart stopping
    — negative & positive.

    1st, bullying. Who wouldn’t be terrified of that?
    At the very young age I told my kiddos that whatever happened they won’t hurt back another being for hurting them. They are taught to understand that bullies have issues of their own which might be too big and painful for them to handle thus, their avenue of releasing it is through hurting another being. Or they are raised in a family who’s members hurt each other — supposedly unintentionally. I told my kiddos to be assured of God’s love. That their value isn’t measured on what the world sees (yes, some of my kiddos are bullied for being bigger than their classmates — same as myself when I was in grade school). They are taught to pray for the bullies and their parents that they stop the hurting because it will hurt them as much in the end.

    2nd, books which is an exciting topic for me and my kiddos! My kiddos are taught to appreciate books not only because of the great thoughts in it but also the graphics, the texture of the pages, the cover, the layouts and the fun in it! They are not pressured to be the top in class but encouraged to give their best (my first 2 kiddos are on top of their class). My hubby and I decided that we will support what the kiddos want and their talents because we don’t want them growing like us — pressured and not happy for following the parent’s choice. We very well understand that the classroom isn’t always the best place to gauge one’s talent but still one has to pass it. This is much like the story of the animals. Just because the birds failed in swimming and the fishes failed in flying they are no longer an exceptional being.

    What have you done Lulu, you made me talked so longgg — longer than any posts or comments that I made so far. Actually you have stirred my emotions and that’s not everything because of my limited choice of words. But hopefully this I conveyed much — this is a great post and thank you for this one!
    🙂

    1. Linda, this is such a thought-provoking post. I SO agree that parents need to take a lot of the responsibility for the bullying. I’ve seen and heard parents defend their children for bullying others. (I have even heard of some who praise and encourage their children for bullying!) Sadly, I also believe their are teachers and school administration personnel who teach bullying. Our children are learning what they see in their homes and at school. (When I was youngster, most parents punished their children if they heard they were being a bully). School authority figures are so afraid of being sued or turned in to some agency that they punish the victim as well as the agressor. I know it’s hard to get to the bottom of who did what, but I do think it is a bad lesson to teach. Thank you for this post. laurie

      1. What good points you make, particularly about the monster society has created when it comes to the inability to enforce authority without fear of being sued. Where did it all change?

  4. I was reading this week’s People magazine last night, and it is featuring bullying. And the young man that leaped to his death last week. Don’t these kids have more to do? I’ve already raised my girls and they’re in their thirties. I would never tolerate this.
    Brenda

  5. A friend and I went to a Downtown Houston Fall Art Fair. We spent the afternoon hunting for the shady side of the streets. Alas, fall in Houston is still humid and 89 degrees. There were wonderful arts of all types to look at. I bought some cool
    earrings and a photograph in a mat, ready for framing. There were many things that caught my eye, but all I did was look at those. I ran into several other friends who were out enjoying the fair as well. Lovely afternoon.

  6. I read the article on picture books when it waw published and was sad. Even as grown ups, your two daughters still buy picture books. There’re are so many good ones! I can’t imagine skipping over them and rushing into chapter books for the sake of appearing smart or well-read.

    Long live picture books!

  7. I grew up in a small, midwest town in a clique of 3 girls—the other two of which parents were good friends, wealthier and more into the ‘social’ thing. I often experienced ‘bullying’ when I was the inevitable ‘third man out’ in a group of three. They made fun of me for not having the things and experiences they had. Overall, it probably did my character good, but the negative was in the way it made me perceive my parents. I resented them for being who they were. I think that remained with me for a long time. Now I am able to realize I had the gems, but it took a long time to realize that.
    As to the books, the proponents of this idea need to realize that a picture is worth a thousand words. Being able to draw out ideas and feelings from a picture is a much better use of the brain than reading facts. Even for adults!! It teaches us to not read literally, but to realize different ideas can all be valid. That is something that is sadly missing in our world today.

    1. Isn’t it interesting how long it takes us to figure some thing out? I wished for a long time to have parents who were different from what they were but eventually realized that people are who and what they are, and there is something to be gained from all. As for you, many would wish to be like you!

  8. Ah such a thought provoking post. So much there. Hmmm bullying – very real and certainly shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone condoned by parents.

    Love picture books! And yes, they have great value.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays. Sorry I’m so late getting around to everyone, but it was a VERY busy weekend.

    – The Tablescaper

  9. Following is a comment from a friend who had healthy ways of addressing the subjects being discussed:

    We have had 2 sets of company this week and on the go! When I was teaching I went out for recess with my 6th graders and ate lunch with them – always talking to them about people’s differences and bullying. I had chess tournaments in the class room and drew names of who was playing together so social interaction would take place.

    And I am also a firm believer in picture books – sharing those books daily with my students. We learned much from those books. The librarian was my best friend and we used the library often during the week.

  10. A comment sent via e-mail and published with permission:
    My kids told me when they were younger looking at picture books helped them live inside their heads. They didn’t need playmates most of the time because they had imaginary friends. I think it would be a disservice to our children and to adults to get rid of picture books. I can think of two books right off my head “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Polar Express” that I still love to read. I still leave a Christmas bell out every year because of the latter. What are educational consultants thinking? P

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