64 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-18-19

  1. Morning, Chas. I didn’t expect you to be up and at em and figured that I had plenty of time to be first. Oh, well, may the best old codger win.
    Joan called this morning at 7:30 because she couldn’t find her keys to her trunks that I had left with her yesterday. So I went over after the Morning in Prayer. They were certainly in a safe place. I looked everywhere and looked thoroughly since she had already looked. I did find them but it took a while as they were well hidden. Then we unlocked the trunks and moved them to where she could easily go through everything.

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  2. Morning! The sun is up somewhere but it is just getting light in the forest. Gonna be another hot one today! I believe this is what is referred to as the “dog days of summer”!!??

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  3. The photo is of a wild passion flower. It is miniature next to the giant purple and white dazzler. The fruits are tiny, too. The structure is mostlythe same just much smaller scale.

    Someone is cutting trees down so loud buzzing is assaulting my ears. We are not under the flight pattern today though.

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  4. We got a lot of rain and wind in a short time yesterday. I think it was a hook off of Barry. Several tree branches down around town, but no major damage anywhere.

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  5. Janice, we had passion vines growing up. Mom liked them, so Dad put up a trellis, then another one for it to climb “down.” As I recall, we ended up planting a new vine on the second trellis. I thought the flowers interesting but never really thought about how exotic they were (especially for Phoenix). They flowered profusely, though, and for a long time each year. And the vine grew up to and along a beam at the top that had a gap between that and the roof over our “breezeway” to the front door.

    House finches began nesting on that vine-covered beam, and they nested every single year. One year we had two pairs, two nests. We had a front kitchen (which may have been one reason Mom wanted the passion vine, for privacy), and for a month or two every spring, one could watch the house finches coming and going to their nest while one was peeling potatoes (a daily chore in our household) or washing dishes.

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  6. Good morning. It has been a. Just week here. Last week I worked 6 shifts, this week only 3. I have been down to the college for more scholarship information and over to my mother’s. We hosted a party for the summer reading program children. There were 10 children in our pool yesterday afternoon. Lots of fun and lots of work. To day I need to.finish a 10 page paper on what makes one happy. Woohoo!

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  7. One of the things that makes one happy is hearing the dentist say, “See you in six months”. Both of us have appointments this afternoon for check ups. We hope to hear that.
    Elvera has been neglecting dental care lately and that’s low on my agenda. I hope everything is ok.

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  8. My feeling of shame? Another’s? My shaming other’s? My helping someone see shame for what it should be/ shouldn’t be; comes from/ doesn’t come from? Mighty big subject. 🙂

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  9. We were so blessed to be able to visit the lighthouses etc. between storms and in the heat with our granddaughter. . My legs are killing me from all the climbing up and down, which reminds me I need more of that! She gave us much joy and laughter. She is now happy to be home with her parents and brothers. It was probably good for all of them to be apart for a bit.

    I am ashamed of a comment I made at church a couple of weeks ago. I dealt with it by confessing to the Lord. I have not seen the person to whom I spoke. I believe what I said, but don’t think I should have said it, none the less.

    Our bible study has taken to using a half hour strictly for prayer for the church. The pastor is leading it, although the prayer was driven by members of the congregation.

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  10. Sometime around Independence Day, we were talking about rights, and if the idea of the rights is biblical. (As Roscuro and I discussed it, I came to the conclusion that she and I had different personal connotations of the word.)

    This morning in my Bible reading, I came across this verse in the ESV:

    “If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose.” (Deuteronomy 17:8)

    I was surprised to see the word term “legal right”. I looked up the same verse in a few different versions, and found that one used “judgments” there, another used “legalities” (I think – it was something like that), and another (RSV) also used “legal right”.

    This reminds me of what I have learned about the concept of rights. The rights we are told we have in the Declaration of Independence are known as negative rights. That means that no one else has a responsibility to give us anything or do anything for us, but rather to not interfere in any way, to not sin against another by taking their property or their life, for instance.

    But the word can have the connotation of being an entitlement that must be given by others, and I can see where it is a charged word in Christian sensibility. And of course, we have no such “rights”, entitlement or not, before God, but I think He does want us to give those “rights” (whether we use that word or not) to others.

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  11. Michelle – As to personal shame, I would say that we take it to the Lord in repentance, and keep taking it to Him as it comes back to haunt us. Often, confessing it to one we may have hurt, and apologizing, is necessary.

    But that seems pretty elementary, so I’m wondering if there’s more you are looking for.

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  12. Shame: I thank God that He has covered me and made me new. I ask Him to direct my steps so I don’t repeat the offense. And if it was directed to some other human, confession and apologies may be in order.

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  13. A beautiful day here. Cool breeze, probably get into the seventies again. We have lots of hay they young ones are moving into the barn. I let eleven year old roll the bales but not lift them, Thirteen can lift and stack. Slow process, a little at a time, but they are getting there and will be able to get jobs with local farmers if they keep it up. Work ethic, it does a body good.

    And the raspberries are ripe!

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  14. We are up and about. We are going to Jacksonville to meet friend’s and see The Rolling Stones. The Dog Ranch will no
    longer board Lulabelle. She is too aggressive. I have had to piece together a village to take care of her for three days.
    In other news I have somehow managed to hurt the feelings of several people at work. I’m not sure what I did. I would apologize if I knew what it was.

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  15. Shame is difficult, but it has been processed by Jesus along with sin. I think it can take time for us to process it ourselves even when we know Jesus has effectively dealt with it. Ultimately it has to lose its weight because it is from the age old accuser who challenges us to believe that Jesus has not covered it for us. Jesus certainly dealt with shame as He was falsely accused and then went willingly to the cross, being beaten, shamed, naked, and taunted by His enemies. He understands shame. Ask for His help. Nothing is impossible for Him. Why are you asking, Michelle?

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  16. I saw the Rolling Stones once, but that was in 1972 when they were still in their heyday; when I was still in my heyday, too, now that I reflect upon it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Today will be a challenge with getting all 3 animals to the vet, including a large dog who doesn’t like to be forced into a Jeep and cat who will be very miserable — and vocally will let us all know about that fact — in her carrier for what will be probably a 45-minute freeway drive north to my old childhood stomping grounds. I’m planning to start loading early so if I can get everyone in, we’ll be there well before our appointment. But otherwise we’d potentially be late.

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  17. I’m weirdly craving a taco for breakfast. But I do have a breakfast burrito from Sprouts in the refrigerator, I’ll microwave that instead.

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  18. I’ve gone to this vet for many years, he was the new young vet at the time my mom died and since she took the dogs to him, I did as well once I inherited them. (He had Saturday hours back then that made it fairly easy, but he now is off on Saturdays — his co-vets are on — but the office also is completely booked on Saturdays for many weeks in advance). I knew them before they became so popular, I guess.

    But Dr. P has known these dogs since the beginning and I really do trust his judgement (and we communicate well). If he ever retires (we’re close to the same age), I’ll find someone closer but until then I really do feel more comfortable going to him since he knows me and my animals so well.

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  19. My second wonderful vet did retire in the past year. Our other vet we liked so much sold his property which is now a Walgreens (selling people meds). Now Miss Bosley has to see a new skomebody, DVM.

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  20. Good afternoon.

    There is also “skunked” on this thread.

    Anyone remember the Skor bar? Similar to the Heath chocolate bar, which I preferred, but still good in its own right. I don’t eat either of those anymore. Snickers is about the only chocolate bar I eat anymore, but fairly infrequently. I’ll just buy one if I’m out and about running a lot of errands and am getting hungry between meal times.

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  21. Fifth Arrow has various cognitive and other challenges, but he is doing very well with a new math text I’m using this year. Always nice when struggles give way to areas in which one shines.

    Something that comes more easily is a nice gift from God in the midst of other, more difficult things. He answers a lot of math questions with confidence, and I’m grateful to God for the gifts He gives to my younger son. (Well, and to all of them, also made in their unique way.)

    God be praised.

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  22. I’m not sure how to answer the shame question. Like Kathaleena said, it’s a big topic.

    This probably isn’t really an example of shame, but this week I was thinking about what to make of a certain situation with one of my piano students. He’s doing a nice job with his music, and I tend to find positives in all of my students’ playing and offer specific praise for what they’re doing musically, along with giving constructive advice on other aspects of their playing that need addressing.

    The thing with this one student, though, is that the parent sitting in at lessons claps and cheers with much vigor at the boy’s good playing. It makes me feel like my praise is tepid and not enough for the caliber of his performance.

    It just seems sort of weird, that big reaction to playing something well at a lesson. I don’t know how to handle it, other than to just remind myself that I don’t need to feel ashamed or whatever of my less-than-ecstatic response compared to the parent.

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  23. Very worn down. The heat and humidity are not helping my health at all.

    Kizzie, the KJV translates that verse this way: “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose”
    The word that the ESV translates ‘legal right’ is translated ‘plea’ in the KJV, and simply refers to a legal case – an apt rendering of the phrase ‘between plea and plea’ in modern parlance could be ‘between suit and counter suit’.

    As for the concept of rights, one thing that I have been pondering lately is how we take our own modern legal structure for granted as the way to determine justice and rights. I have been thinking of it especially in the area of personal property. As Canada is compelled, more and more, to acknowledge and begin to correct the wrongs of the past, I have been realizing that the concept of property – as in land – ownership of the individual is not universal, nor is the understanding of what land ownership entails universal.

    A careful reading of the Old Testament shows that clearly. When the land of Israel was finally divided between the tribes, certain responsibilities came with those grants of land. It was not entirely at the disposal of those who dwelt upon it. Land could not leave the tribe (Numbers 36-6-9). If the land was sold to pay debts, it reverted to the original tribal owners in the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10, 28, 30-34). In essence, the people belonged to the land as much as the land belonged to them.

    The First Nations and Inuit people in Canada have a similar concept of their relationship to the land, that they do not so much own it as belong to it. That is why they were never interested in selling the land to which they belong, because to sell it would be to lose their identity and purpose – they and the land are inseparable. In one of the First Nations’ treaties, the wording allows the European settlers the use of the land to no deeper than a plowshare – they could lease the land to the Europeans, but it was not theirs to give away to the Europeans. In essence, the money paid by the Canadian government to support the First Nations’ communities is the payment of a perpetual lease.

    The villages of West Africa have a variation on the concept of belonging to the land, very like the Old Testament concept. The community, not the individual, owns the land. When the mission looked for a place to build, they had to approach the elders of the village and ask for land. In payment of the lease, they pay the property taxes and provide agreed upon services to the village. The mission does not own the land, it leases it upon sufferance of the community.

    What made both the tribes of Africa and the nations of North America angry with the Europeans is that the Europeans imposed their own ideas of individual ownership of the land when they came to the shores of African and North America, rather than observing the rules already in place in the tribal cultures. The irony is that the concept of individual land ownership had only ever existed for an elite few within Europe before the Enlightenment. Before then, Europe’s land could belong to: the Crown, who responsibility to their subjects (actually, Canada has kept this European concept in part, with large tracts of land, especially in northern Canada, being ‘Crown land’); landowners, who held responsibility to their tenants (referred to as the landed gentry, these landowners often formed the nobility of a country); to the people in common, known as common land and the inhabitants as commoners (the English common, for example, allowed villagers to graze their sheep and cattle).

    At about the same time as the Enlightenment, the merchant class, who owned businesses rather than land, began to seek to become landed gentry. The nobility were worn out and, as in England after the Civil War, impoverished by political conflicts. Many nobility either sold or lost their land to creditors. The merchant middle class having broken the glass ceiling of land ownership, had no relationship or sense of responsibility to the former tenants of the nobility. In many places, such as the Highlands of Scotland, tenants – called crofters in the Highlands – were driven out by the hundreds by new nobility who wanted the land free of people so that the wilderness of their land could become a playground for hunting and fishing. The tenants, landless and thus without means of earning a living, began to go overseas, seeking land of their own. Before the Enlightenment era, owning land was a matter of birthright to Europeans, it was accepted that not all would own the land they lived on. After the Enlightenment, land ownership was a matter of money, and that mindset followed the Europeans wherever they went in the world. The legal right to property has varied greatly from age to age and culture to culture.

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  24. Ugh. Now the cat is hiding under the bed after seeing the cat carrier in the living room. And I still need to figure out how to get Cowboy into the Jeep … This errand has a lot of moving parts. Or I probably should say unmoving parts.

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  25. I realized this morning that one of the reasons I’m struggling to accept something in my life is because I’m ashamed of the outcome–despite my hard work to make something a success. My poor husband keeps trying to console me with logic and explanations and declarations of love–and those are wonderful, but don’t go to the heart of how hurt I am.

    This morning after saying, “I’m not in a place to hear this right now,” while he was working hard to reassure me, I went downstairs and opened up Acts, but as I read I realized my real issue is I’m ashamed.

    It’s ironic I feel that way, because I wrote this blog post years ago on the subject:

    https://www.michelleule.com/2011/03/23/shame-on-me-no-thanks/

    It describes an attempt to deal with a tough issue in my past using logic to trample my emotions.

    So, that’s where my question came from. I didn’t do anything wrong. No one did anything to me. I worked very hard and the outcome did not match my expectations. I realized this morning that I feel ashamed of something I have no reasonable reason to be ashamed of.

    And yes, I have been praying and taking this to the Lord for a long time. Somedays I’m fine, others I’m not. Today was an I’m not day.

    But I’m better now. 🙂

    Perhaps this should be on the prayer list instead? 🙂

    Thanks.

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  26. Shame. When I felt real shame 50 years ago, I hid and never spoke of it. But that very real shame is what brought me to the Lord. It took me a couple of years, but I finally cried out to the Lord and knelt down in my closet in anguish and gave it to Him. His gentle words that it was this shame that it took to bring me to Him healed my soul.

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  27. The other parent is the same way, Janice, I should add, although that one has only been at one lesson.

    There are some independent teachers I know who don’t want parents sitting in on the kids’ lessons at all. The parents who interact with their kids during lessons — calling out directions, or erupting in applause, or otherwise inserting themselves into the teacher-student relationship during the lesson itself — is probably a big reason why some ask parents to stay in a different area than where the lesson is taught. Unexpected input during the lesson can be a distraction, and can confuse a child about who is in charge during the lesson.

    I have to wonder if all the clapping, etc., isn’t also somewhat related to the self-esteem movement. All the “good job”s and high fives and applause in the world aren’t useful when they’re unaccompanied by specific praise. “You did a good job counting four steady beats to that whole note” is much more meaningful than “Yayyyyyy!”

    Stepping off my soapbox now. 🙂

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  28. Michelle’s QoD: I do not deal well with shame. It makes me hide, mentally, emotionally (I would hide physically, but I am too big to do that anymore). Where I struggle with shame is in my interactions with humans. My earlier struggles have given me an unshakeable faith in the boundless mercy of God in Jesus Christ, so I can come before Him with my shame and trust Him that it is taken care of eternally. But temporally, it is unbearable. I still quiver in shame over embarrassing words I said decades ago when I think of them.

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  29. I began studying music in a program called Music for Young Children. It always involved the parents as allies of the children, as one parent attended each group class with each child and participated with their child in the class. So, my mother heard what the teacher said and coached me at home. I did three years of that program and then went to private one-on-one piano lessons, which I attended (since by that time, both my older siblings also were going to the same teacher) by myself (we took turns waiting in the living room while one had their lesson in the music room. When I started taking violin, my mother attended the lessons by default, since she drove me to the lessons and the only place to sit was in the music room. She enjoyed it thoroughly, and would often remind me through the week of what the teacher said.

    It is funny, because my mother was no helicopter parent, but she did praise us. I remember her clapping after an especially good performance of a piece I was practicing. She was clapping because she had enjoyed what she heard. She also was a firm and fair disciplinarian. She just loved us, whether supporting or correcting us, and all that she did was entirely sincere. We knew it and accepted it as such. When my mother clapped, I was glad, not because I thought I was the best, but because I had brought enjoyment to someone who was dear to me.

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  30. 6 Arrows, is it legitimate to ask parents who sit in to do so as quiet observers only? I definitely understand the issue of your praise seeming “lesser.” I have no idea how warmly you praise, etc., but my husband and I are both matter of fact people. I might say of something “I like that a lot” but I’m not going to say it with a huge smile and exclamation points–and I have in the past had people in my life who thought me ungrateful and rude as a result. (One in particular would rave over every gift I bought her as though it was the best thing she ever received, and I never knew if she liked it at all as a result. But my “Hey, that’s really pretty–it will go great with my favorite dress. Thank you!” was never enough for her.)

    Sometimes we tend to react “off” other people who relate differently. It’s possible the parent is thinking you aren’t praising enough and is exaggerating the praise. But yes, I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in children’s classes, and I have seen adults who literally applaud everything. For my first year out of college I rented a bedroom from a couple who had a new granddaughter and I once sat in the room with two grandparents, two parents, and an auntie, who all clapped and said “Yay!” at every step the baby made as she learned to walk. I found it sweet, amusing, and distressing all at the same time. Encourage the child, yes–but don’t let him think he is the central focus of the whole family and that every ordinary task he accomplishes is the most wonderful deed of the century!

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  31. Thanks for your perspective, Roscuro. Your first music program sounds similar to the Suzuki approach, where parents obviously play a very active role in their children’s learning, as well.

    My set-up for lessons is also one where the “waiting room” and the “piano room” are one and the same. And sometimes the presence of the parent is helpful, as you describe with your mother being able to remind you of some of the teacher’s instructions. We teachers can’t write everything down, and a student can’t be expected to remember every verbal direction given at the previous lesson.

    Your statement “I remember her clapping after an especially good performance of a piece I was practicing” makes an important point: “after an especially good performance…”

    I don’t mean to sound like I’m opposed to that — I’m not. It’s the frequent repetition of such for every little thing that gets to be a bit much. Kind of meaningless, really, after a while, and something that can create an expectation in the student that frequent applause is needed, and if I’m not being applauded as much as before, I must not be very good, or worthy, or whatever.

    What’s worse, though, than frequent praise, I think, is frequent criticism about every little thing. A former student’s dad was constantly on him during lessons. Sit still. Shhh. Listen. Look at your teacher. Week after week; several such directions each week.

    I was aware of all of these things going on with the boy, but wanted to address them in my own timing and my own way. Better sometimes to try to engage the boy musically so he could channel his energy into the music.

    It was like having a drill sergeant (not that I’ve been in the military) in the room, calling out orders for perfect attention. Perfect attention doesn’t happen when a kid’s attention keeps getting diverted from one adult to another adult in the room, who have varying philosophies on how to achieve a certain goal.

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  32. Cheryl, from what I’ve heard from some transfer students I’ve received, it sounds like I praise more often than other teachers. I try to find something positive to say about each piece a student plays for me, and usually there is something praiseworthy. I almost always start my post-piece commentary with a positive remark, then launch into anything that might need tweaking (and there’s almost always some of that, too).

    I guess I’d have to say that most of my positive comments are delivered rather calmly. Occasionally I get exuberant, vocally, especially if there’s been something we’ve been working on hard that then clicks with the student.

    But like you say, sometimes it can make a person wonder if what they did was really all that great when every. single. thing. is raved over.

    One of my former students who is now an adult would sometimes just stare straight ahead at the music rack, or straight into my eyes with an expressionless face, when I’d praise something she did. When she first started with me, she wasn’t like that — she looked visibly pleased to receive compliments, but later, when she was older, it looked like she didn’t really believe me. It was then that it occurred to me that I might actually be praising her playing too often, where perhaps she wondered if that was just me, saying nice things again, or if I really thought she did do a praiseworthy job.

    Too much of a good thing can simply be too much.

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  33. 6 Arrows, in Chicago for years I was involved in my church’s children’s program–well, really my whole time I attended there. And I housed female interns, college students, who worked in it. The church had one program (I think it was during the summer) that included a meal or a snack or something, and in order not to have chaos, they had a rule that students had to remain seated, and if they needed something, call an adult. The rules were plainly posted on the wall, and there were plenty of adults around.

    One boy once got up from the table, and my roommate reminded him of the rule and asked that he sit back down. Unfortunately, his mother was also a volunteer, and she got in my roommate’s face and told her that she would discipline her own son, thank you very much. My roommate came home rather shaken and asked me if she was out of line to speak to a child if his mother happened to be in the room too. And I said absolutely not, not in that situation. It wasn’t that she was chiding a child sitting next to his mother at a church dinner; she was speaking as one of the adults in charge, to a child who was going against clear rules. I said the mother wasn’t setting her child up to obey authority! If by chance she had an issue with the way my roommate handled it, then she should say that to her in private, but don’t undermine her authority with her son. A parent should want others speaking into her child’s life, and she shouldn’t want to have to keep a special eye on him when she was 40 or 50 other children in the room!

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  34. 6, I completely understand disruptive interjections. It is reasonable to ask the parent to allow the lesson to go uninterrupted.

    We all cheered on the first steps of the little ones, and we often praise them for doing little tasks. As I was seeking to convey with my observations about my mother’s sincerity, praise is not the problem, the motives behind the praise are what counts. Some less wise parents seem to use praise as a means of manipulation, a passive aggressive positive reinforcement to get the child to do what they want them to do. My mother’s praise came from the heart. I have an understanding of that beautiful verse in the Bible from her example, “he will rejoice over thee with joy… he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17). My mother cheered us on because our very existence filled her with joy, so anything we did well was a fresh source of delight to her. Having had a period where she couldn’t become pregnant, she never got over the wonder of having children, and daily thanked God for the gift.

    My mother sees their grandchildren the same way, as gifts. So she, and the rest of us, clap and cheer for their deeds done well and for milestones passed, simply because they themselves are a source of joy. She also disciplines her grandchildren as needed. No grandchild has yet persuaded their grandmother to give countenance to behaviour that she would have forbidden in her own children. Tiny Niece learned to self-regulate her small tantrums regarding getting her face wiped after eating by quoting to herself my mother’s stern admonition for “No squealing” – my mother’s warning tone has lost none of its sit-up-and-listen authority over the years. But she has never worried about too much praise spoiling the little ones, because her praise comes out of love and thus is always truthful.

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  35. In the church we went to for 20 years, the pastor’s wife, Marilyn (who was/is also a good friend of mine) was in charge of children’s programs, such as the children’s Christmas program or the children singing at various times or whatnot. She made a habit not to ever clap for the children, as a group or individually.

    Her theory was that she was an honest person, and she could not honestly clap for a child who did not do a good job. For a child to see her clap for some but not for him would be painful, so she decided not to clap at all.

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  36. We’re home. The cat was boxed, the dogs hoisted and we made it to the vet on time. Unfortunately, he was running late so we got to sit there for quite a while in the waiting room. And the bill was large, which I expected but didn’t like much. Three year-end checkups for pets over 10 years.

    Sitting there as they were calculating it all, I realized I have an old house, an old car and three old pets. So here I am.

    But we’re home. All’s well, Cowboy has a new medication for arthritis pain and we’re all supplied up on flea meds for everyone for the next 6 months.

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  37. Kizzie, I would clap for a child who had not done well if I knew they had done the best they could. Not all children have equal abilities at something like music. Some may love music and practice for hours and still fumble over the keys. Second sibling was a little like that – she was always hesitant in playing the piano, always struggling to coordinate her fingers correctly. But she worked hard at her music, regardless, and so deserved applause.

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  38. I’m sure Marilyn would agree with you on that. The problem was that there were some kids (usually the ones who were infrequent attendees) who didn’t try their best.

    But Marilyn was great with children and with teenagers. She had a heart for them, and a way of reaching them.

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  39. Good comments. I’ll reply sometime in the next few days. Busy weekend coming up, and there’s lots of lightning and thunder right now, so gotta shut things down.

    62 skiddoo.

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  40. Roscuro, I’m not opposed to cheering on the child who is learning to walk. What I found amusing (and unhealthy if it was the norm) was that there were at least six adults in the room, plus the toddler (there may have been two or three additional adults, but I don’t recall if the others were present that day), and the toddler had the sole focus of the entire room for perhaps 45 minutes. And cheers and “yay!” for each of dozens (hundreds) of steps in that time. I think it is good for a child to be encouraged, bad to be the center of attention for an extended period, and to be praised so repeatedly (and monotonously) for something that one has in fact begun to master.

    I hope to be able to see my granddaughter in fairly early stages of her walking, and I will encourage and praise. I may even clap and say “yay!” if she lets go for the first time while I am present or otherwise does a first-time new walking-related skill. But that particular level of praise seemed overkill.

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  41. Oh, along with the over-praise: As recently as when I was a child, a standing ovation pretty much meant extraordinary mastery of something. It was unlikely that a concert would end to a standing ovation–that was kept for truly amazing, stunning, even once-in-a-lifetime achievements. To give a standing ovation because a child sings “Silent Night” is simply silly. I will applaud a child (not during a church service, but other times), but I won’t participate in standing ovations for everyday stuff, unless it becomes extended and virtually everyone is standing, then I will stand just in order not to be a grinch (but I may well stop clapping before then, and probably won’t restart just because I stand up). My husband is the same way. Clap, yes; five-minute standing ovation because something is cute, no. Unfortunately, standing ovations are now totally meaningless–and that’s a shame, because they used to be moving moments.

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