May 8th National Teacher’s Day

Having worked in  the school system I know that like in any job there is, there are good teachers, and there are bad teachers. The good ones are there because it is a career for them, they want to teach and help others, the bad ones are those who just use it as a step to get to the next job. What the good ones have to do is beyond ridiculous. The mass of paperwork and responsibility of being better to peoples children than the parents are themselves is unreasonable.

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Elementary school is a constant effort to get kids to pay attention, middle school is a constant effort to make a child realize they don’t already know everything and then high school is right back to trying to get children to pay attention again. The biggest problem is that as children get older, the more they think of themselves and the less they think at all!

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It can be a demanding job physically but it is a constant mental strain. Since no two people are alike, the way to reach them is equally as different. Most class sizes are 26 people theses days and means you are dealing with 26 different identities at once.

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True teachers are very special people, and not always found in schools. A good mechanic can be a great teacher, a musician can be a great teacher, a lawn care person can be a great teacher… but none of them have gone out with the idea that they are going to teach, they just happen to do it. To become a teacher and actually want to educate children rather than just get a paycheck is a very admirable position.

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I admire those that commit themselves to making someone else grow and be better than they could be without help. And the stupid, stupid rules society forces educators to take only shows just how bad the teachers were when they went to school. And society is making it harder everyday. We need to understand we don’t deserve getting a good education, we earn the right to be taught.

How to celebrate – Thank a teacher for what they do. Learn what society actually puts a teacher through. Become involved with your child’s education.

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March 16th Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

Today is the Absolutely Incredible Kid Day, founded by Campfire USA in 1997. It used to be the third Thursday of March but now seems to vary a bit. Meaning, I guess we lucked out by it falling on the third Thursday of the month!

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We all know kids are great! Mainly our own kids but all other kids come in a close second. They make us laugh, cry, and often serve as a mirror to other members of the family. My kid is, no doubt, the best kid in the world… though he is no longer considered a kid and I may be a little bias. They truly are a combination of being themselves, and who we have molded them into.

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They may be great thinkers, great athletes, funny, loving, weird, space cadets, political, handsome or beautiful. They are who we see them as. Each one as precious to us as they can be, often the reason we live and sometimes a vision of who we would like to have been ourselves. Whoever they are to you, they are your kid and always will be.

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Now there is a bit of confusion about the day because it has been brought to my attention that perhaps they meant an actual “kid”. Meaning, a young goat. Now, if you choose to celebrate a goat instead of your child well, that’s your choice.

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But if you do, you may have to have an entirely different scene of who your “kid” plays with.

How to celebrate – Look at your child for who they really are. Give your kid a hug. Let your child know just how special they are.

November 18th National Adoption Day

One thing everybody deserves in life is a family. People who love and care for them and are there no matter what happens, good or bad. Today is honored in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto rico but the interesting thing is, it didn’t happen until 2006.

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Now I am Pro-Life. It is not that I do not honor the rights of women to do what they choose with their bodies but I always wonder about that child that was aborted. Not meaning to be controversial but what if they grew up to be the person who actually figures out what it takes to get world peace, cure cancer or becomes the parent of some child who does.

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I understand that not everyone is cut out to be a parent, or deal with children but that means we need better and easier adoption laws to be able to find those children a home. And if you have a home that can take a child in, give them a chance.

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I remember growing up there was a girl I really was attracted to. She was an orphan and lived in a Christian Home for orphans. I was only 13-14 but she was everything to me. One night I overheard my parents talking about adopting her and I freaked! All of the sudden the girl I really liked might end up being my sister! Well it didn’t happen, neither did she and I in any other way.

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And lets not forget our animals either. Cats and dogs need families too. If you don’t think so, just look in their eyes.

How to celebrate – If you have room for a child, or a pet, please consider adoption. Support adoption groups. Think before you act.

August 12th National Middle Child Day

The professionals say I should resent being the middle child of my family. That I am not the experiment my parents had with the first child and the cute third child that did everything right. Well, I guess I should be resentful, but I’m not. I have a wonderful older sister and an equally as wonderful younger sister. I do feel sorry for those who did not have brothers and sisters, they will never know what they are missing out on.

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Or maybe it’s because my parents were so good at not making us kids feel we were any different, or maybe it’s because my sisters never made me feel like I was in the middle. To be honest I don’t think we even thought about it.

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Now I realize many of you may have had a different experience. Life is full of experiences, they could be good or they could be bad. I often think it’s how we take them more than how they are intended. We need to take in consideration that we are all different people, none of us reacts exactly the same way to any set of circumstances. That said, we all also like to blame someone, or something, else so we do not have to assume the blame for our own faults.

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I doubt animals even realize they are a middle child, or their mothers and fathers realize they even had a middle child. They treat each off spring as that off spring needs to be treated, doing what is required to let it grow. That being said, we are equally as animals. I really do not think that a parent says that’s the middle child so they aren’t as important.

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Today we like to whine and complain, the loudest normally getting what they want. That’s sad. (The middle child is generally the most quiet, or so the experts say) I am not sure who the experts are, I am not sure what studies they undertook, I am not sure if they are a middle child themselves or not. I am not sure that what they think matters or what makes them an expert.  I think we are who we are… but I am proudly no expert.

How to celebrate – Enjoy being the middle child. If you get frustrated by the way your parents treat you, try changing the way you treat them! Spend more time enjoying life, it’s way too easy to find all the things wrong with it.

National Parents Day

One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent. There are a lot of people who have children but that does not make them a parent. A parent is always someone who puts themselves second to their children, who see to the needs of their children even beyond their own, and is willing to teach, nurture and love unconditionally.

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But a parent must also be able to see the flaws in their children and dish out discipline when required. A child that gets everything they want, when they want it, without having to do anything to earn it, is not being a good parent and will lead to issues both now, and later.

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I have seen so many parents that want to be their kids best friend. That is not being a parent either. The children of parents that are “friends” with their children are more likely to let them get away with things they shouldn’t and not learn that to get respect, you have to give respect.

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And when it’s time to let go, a parent will know instinctively, a friend won’t. In the animal word the adult animal protects, feeds, and teaches their young until it is time for the young to move on. Then they  say goodbye and are likely never to see each other again. Fortunately as humans, we do not have to suffer the same fate but there is still something we need to learn from it. While we should always want to keep our children safe and secure, there are times when they will have to choose for themselves and we will not always be there when they have to make choices.

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So yes it is a job. Today was probably created by some group to sell more cards and gifts but that idea never caught on. It is simply a day, recognized by President Clinton, as day for children to honor their parents by spending a little time with them. For the true parent, there is no better gift.

How to celebrate – Thank your parents for all they have done for you. If your parents are no longer living, remember the good times with them and all the things they did for you. Take your parents to lunch or dinner or do a cookout for them.

May 25th National Missing Children’s Day

I cannot imagine the feeling of knowing your child is missing. The horror of not knowing they are safe or not, not knowing whether they are being treated badly or not, the not knowing if they are still alive or not. You already know they aren’t safe, you already know they are being treated badly, that just leaves the last one, something far too unimaginable to even fathom.

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Have you ever lost sight of your child? Just for a moment? At a mall or a department store, on a playground or at a school function? It’s terrifying. When you do find them then the anger sets in that they would wander away from you but there is also that relief factor that they are safe and sound, that you found them or they found you.

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You just turn your back for a second and they are gone. They don’t really know the difference but so much can happen in those few seconds. Somewhere around 50,000 children are abducted every year by non-family members. For the most part that means there are 50,000 sickos out there that take them, probably many more that are not successful.

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The missing children’s organization was started back in the 1970’s, it took on more serious roles in the 1980’s and was finally proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan on May 25th, 1983. Approximately 20% of those missing children are never found, some are found but after it’s too late.

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I guess, from what I see, this is nothing new. It seems to have been a part of our history since the beginning of time. But why can’t we find a way to stop it? Why should any adult who steals a child from their family, steals a child’s innocence and steals a child’s life be allowed to live?

How to celebrate – Always keep you child, children, in sight. Make sure your child is registered with one of the safe children’s programs. Make sure you keep a current photo of you child on hand just in case.

May 6th Free Comic Book Day

The first known comics appeared in 18th century Japan, by the 1930’s they became popular in the United States. On the first Saturday in May free comic books are given out at select comic books stores across America (And Europe) by the North American Comic Book industry. (No, you can’t just go in and get which ever comic book you want.)

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The idea came from an article written in the August 2001 issue of Comic & Games Retailer by Joe Field. He operated “Flying Colors Comics” in Concord, California. The idea caught on and put into practice by the Diamond Comic Distributors (The worlds largest comic book distributors) in 2002. Today over 7,000 retailers participate in some 30 countries.

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When comics first came out they were basically for children’s entertainment. Basically every super hero the world has ever know came out of comic books. Some have been the pure imagination of the author, others are based on actual historical characters (with a few alteration) or mythological legends.

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While most are pure fiction, some mix historical facts into their pages. They are entertaining, but can also be educational, a sly way of teaching kids while they think they are having fun.

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But some comics are definitely not for children at all! (Some are even a little mature for most adults!) Like practically anything originally designed to be innocent and fun, it can be taken to a very dark side perverting what was originally intended.

Some of the top producers of comics in the world are Dark Horse, Top Cow, Marvel, Image Comics, Mad Magazine, Blank Slate Books and Drawn & Quartered.

How to celebrate – Go to a comic book store and get your free comic! (I am sure the very first ones are already collectable) Re-read any comic books you may have saved from your youth. Make sure the comics your children are reading are what you think they are.