Good Deeds

Friday, November 12th, 2010 02:00 pm
faevii: (happiness)
I forgot to mention this when it happened, but a few days ago I actually bought a song. Yeah, imagine that! Well, it was for charity and only cost me 77 cents. I may be broke, but not that broke. :D Plus I really wanted to hear it and would have felt extremely bad about not paying.

I am talking, of course, about SuperEvolver's "Viva la Revolution", featuring Tom Meighan of Kasabian a.k.a. That Guy In My Icon. I like it a lot and all proceeds go to UNICEF's Pakistan Flood Children's Appeal and the Harley Staples Cancer Trust, so check it out on iTunes or Amazon if you feel so inclined.

(I was really glad I could get it from Amazon because I don't have a credit card and still don't fully understand PayPal due to never having used it, and Amazon doesn't require either.)

Parenting 101

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 07:42 pm
faevii: (in the name of justice)
I believe there is one thing that a lot of people need to realise about children:

When a child is "throwing a tantrum" or refusing to do what you say for no apparent reason, chances are that the kid is actually hungry, thirsty, tired, hurting, lonely, confused, scared or overwhelmed by, for example, a loud noise. Something inconspicuous is always going on.

A parent's job is to teach the little ones how to recognise this on their own and to express it in an appropriate manner. That will take a while. In fact, even adults aren't perfect at it. Remember the last time you snapped at someone? Yeah, that.

What I'd like to know is, how exactly is yelling supposed to help there??

Mind you, I'm certainly not in any condition to do my job well all the time. But I have told Timo things like, "Please tell me if something is bothering you." And I have asked him questions like, "Are you sad? Are you angry? Do you, perhaps, wish I could play with you more often?" Imagine how his eyes lit up at that last one.

And even though it may seem silly, I always tell him how I'm feeling myself. "I'm sad because my stomach hurts. Sorry about the yelling; I'm angry with Daddy. Thank you for helping me, now I'm happy." That sort of thing. How could he possibly be familiar with all of that stuff already?

It's amazing how much attention you're rewarded with when you do something like that. Downright fascinating. And fun. My favourite situation is when I'm suggesting alternative reactions to him, watching his expression go from frustrated to curious to amused because I can never resist throwing some completely absurd ideas in there once I'm done with the serious ones. :D

Honestly, it's not that hard ... unless I'm hungry, thirsty, tired, hurting etc. myself - kinda drives the point home, doesn't it?
faevii: (slice of brain)
I'm beginning to get tired of saying this, but I had another lightbulb moment. ;D Don't you just love it when something very spontaneously starts to make sense? As in, you're innocently walking towards the bathroom sink, minding your own business - and all of a sudden the SENSE attacks you out of nowhere?! D: (Okay, apparently I think I'm funny today. I do that sometimes.)

Anyway, you might remember that I've written about the word "crazy" before, and that I said I had trouble understanding why some people found it offensive. Although I recognised that it was more of a personal thing based on unusual connotations, I also had a logical argument to offer: namely that it hasn't been an official term for quite some time now and thus no longer even refers to actual mental illness - or shouldn't, at least.

Here's the thing, though. I just remembered something. I remembered that when I was a child, long before I ever heard of the various types of mental illness that exist, I thought there was a condition called "craziness". I thought that "crazy" people were extremely confused, scary and sometimes dangerous. Most importantly, I was convinced that it was impossible for a crazy person to be aware of their own craziness. That is not okay.

I don't think I picked up this notion anywhere in particular - I probably didn't have to. I mean, what are children supposed to think? What is a five-year-old supposed to think upon hearing someone joke, "if you think you're going crazy, chances are you're not"?

And it's not like I magically stopped thinking this way as soon as I learned about depression and anxiety. I was only surprised, for a moment, that there were mental illnesses that didn't make you properly crazy. Schizophrenia, though? Surely, that must be the "real" craziness! I believe I was a teenager by the time I reached this point, and fortunately I never stopped learning. Others get stuck somewhere along the way, and THAT'S why it's a problem. Lo and behold, I get it now!

Of course we're not all spreading harmful misinformation every single time we use the word. "I'm crazy busy!" or "That was a crazy party!" hardly tell children anything about its meaning. However, those phrases do distract from the fact that it has a meaning, and don't do anything to counteract the misinformation that's already circulating. "You'd have to be crazy in order to think that!" or "What a crazy bitch!" confirm that it must mean something bad, though, and reinforce actual bigots in their thinking.

That's the crucial point: We, the people who can make it through an entire post about this topic, are hardly the problem. We just accidentally encourage those who are and make it harder for anyone to identify them - we unknowingly provide them with cover and ammunition.

I refuse to participate in any of that. I won't use the word anymore unless I'm calling myself crazy in a value-neutral way. :) It's not about being "politically correct" or never wanting to piss anyone off, ever - I just really dislike misinformation. Also, plz to not be teaching the next generation that people like me are all monsters.
faevii: (pain and suffering)
Holy shit am I relieved right now. I used to think the only way to remove warts was to cut them out, and I had heard from someone who had this done that it was supposed to be terribly painful. And then ... a bunch of warts grew on my fingers. D: But! Today it finally occured to me to consult google, and thus I learned that the most effective treatment is actually to apply salicylic acid! Plus you can try to suffocate the things by covering the area with duct tape for about two weeks, but that's impractical and pretty hard to do right. Still, it's another option.

Phewww. I really should have thought of that sooner. Possibly years sooner, since I suspect I got them by accidentally touching a wart on my toe. That one never bothered me much, so I just ignored it. I had no idea that they could spread. Shouldn't that be taught in schools or something?! In biology, perhaps?

Important info, kids: If you have warts, don't touch them or you will soon have more! Also, removing them isn't as painful as you might have heard!

Honestly, they should do that. My mother doesn't seem to know it yet, either - I know she's had a wart on her toe for about as long as I've been alive. The website also said that sometimes they go away on their own, but clearly our immune systems aren't good at that.

ETA: Apple cider vinegar might also help and some sources say that you only need to do the duct tape thing for six days.

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