Tag Archives: children

Valentine’s Day for more than couples

Valentine’s Day when I was in elementary school was all about the actual valentines. No candy. No extras. What mattered was the names on the back of “Be My Valentine.” Giving valentines didn’t stop at school either. Children rang doorbells in the evening and ran so they wouldn’t get caught (though I don’t know why because they signed the cards). It was fun.

My pre-school brother felt a little left out, however. He ran to the door with the rest of us, but none of the valentines were for him. My younger sister and I saw this and devised an inclusive plan we hoped would cheer him up: We’d anonymously give him valentines. He’d get to race to the door, find his name on the back and carry the valentines around like we were doing.

Since we didn’t have any other valentines besides the ones we were given at school, my little sister and I found valentines from classmates that were signed in pencil. We erased the names carefully and completely before writing his name on the back. We slipped out the back door, rang the bell at the front door then ran back inside the back door. Our little brother was excited! And, he only wondered for a moment who sent them. It was so fun!

The hype I hear about Valentine’s Day today is all about couples having the most romantic evening with the perfect setting, gifts, flowers and much more. Some singles have responded by calling the day “Single Awareness Day” in hopes of changing the focus. They are right to do so. Continue reading

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BVSD snow day news poorly disseminated

Yesterday’s forecast of a heavy snowstorm undoubtedly left most Boulder Valley School District students excited about the possibility of a snow day. They might have been thinking of playing in the snow, sleeping, watching movies, and engaging in other relaxing activities.

However, I doubt any thought the day would have started like it did with one or more phone calls to parents from the district at 4:30 a.m.!

In previous years, snow days were announced over media outlets in the evening if the storm had already hit hard or early in the morning. All parents and students needed to do once they woke up were to watch TV or to listen to the radio. This year, the district might have posted a notice on its website, but I saw no evidence of a school closure on TV or radio until after 7 a.m.

One mother posted to her friends on facebook: “I sure needed a snow day today! But to interrupt my sleep at 4:30 a.m., now that is cruel! The district needs to get their act together.”
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BVSD must protect against excessive heat

The Boulder Valley School Board wisely rejected a proposal on Tuesday night that would have delayed school starting by only four days next fall. Parental concerns about unbearable classroom heat in August were valid. Teachers unwilling to move their professional days to before school starts may be less so. However, four days simply is not enough of a change.

In the 1980s and 1990s, school started after Labor Day most of the time. September’s first days were often warm for fall clothes, so students dressed accordingly. To think students did any differently this year is ridiculous when school began Aug. 15 and temperatures outside reached 98 degrees.

The purported reason for increasingly early starts and their intrusion into time with family is to allow students to take semester finals before Christmas break. Thus, students wouldn’t have tests hanging over their heads during the break. However, when school started after Labor Day, students had plenty of time to get back into their studies before finals. A big plus, too, was schools weren’t too hot.
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Obama should have told the children

President Obama’s back-to-school speech on Sept. 28 to the nation’s children covered what many educators and parents say themselves. Obama said students should “discover new passions,” study hard, do their homework, get to bed early so they can wake up on time, and acquire the skills to pursue their passions.

Despite the fact that Obama’s little chat for the third year in a row took kids away from their studies in school to hear him, I cannot argue with the messages he gave. However, with his smiling face time before U.S. children, he failed to tell them some hard facts.
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Back-to-school privacy training

In Jeff Parker’s political cartoon published in the “Camera” last week, the “Back to School” banner hung above the chalkboard as an elementary student stood in from of her class. The little girl began reading her essay on the topic on the chalkboard, “What I did over the summer break.”

The teacher’s eyes bugged out and her chin dropped as the girl read her essay about the family’s misadventures in the bad economy. Despite the obvious topic, the whole scene has student and family privacy implications.

Art Linkletter showed for decades, “Kids say the darndest things.” Nevertheless, a little parental training can go a long way. Parents would be wise to talk with their children about what is appropriate to share and what isn’t. Often children offer details of their lives without a thought as to the implications of sharing them.
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‘O Mio Babbino Caro’

As there is no official Father’s Day song, I want to embed one into your head. The favored piece is the aria, “O Mio Babbino Caro” (Oh My Dear Papa), from the opera, “Gianni Schicchi” (1918) by Giacomo Puccini. In the opera, Lauretta sings a plea to her father for permission to go with the man she loves to buy a wedding ring.

Though I’m not advocating society go back to the days when fathers hold power over who should marry, society has moved too far from children asking their fathers even for advice. As you listen to the Norwegian sophrano Sissel Kyrkjebø sing, think what plea do you have for your father?

I know plenty of children who wish their fathers were in their lives more and plenty of fathers who miss their children. Also, I know God, Our Heavenly Father, would like to hear our pleas to him as well.
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BVSD disputes after Obama’s speech

When President Obama wanted to talk directly to our nation’s children in September, I had no problem with that. He’d been on T.V. nearly every night with one press conference or the other. A speech directed to children sounded fine. Though it turned out children were in school rather than with their parents, I didn’t even mind that much. However, his initial writing assignment to accompany his speech left me shocked at his narcissistic political move. Continue reading

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