Also today in pig-headed ignorance, and today in ignoring science, and today in failing to think through consequences, and today in hating on children.
A CHILD’S weight should be included in their school report as part of a radical plan to tackle the obesity crisis, according to [Professor David Penington] who led Australia’s successful response to the AIDS epidemic.
I find this mindblowing, not just for the complete disregard for science, but for the astonishing idea that it’s a good thing to shame children about their weight, and that somehow, magically, this will make them thin and happy. It doesn’t work with adults because (a) shaming just upsets people and (b) shaming does not result in weight loss and (c) weight loss does not lead to better health (just google “obesity paradox” and you will find the evidence), and it works EVEN LESS with children because….. (hold your breath, here’s a giant reveal that seems to have escaped Prof. Penington), CHILDREN DON’T GET TO CHOOSE WHAT FOOD THEY EAT.
As parents, we impose our own lifestyles on children. The children in my house? They’re great at argument (conceptual, inferential, evidential, you name it – they argue it and yes, this is a problem from time to time), but sports, well, whatever. They play a bit and we go and cheer them on, but really, it’s just not a big deal. That’s because in our house, discussion is a Big Thing. But they miss out on sport, which is a large part of many families in New Zealand, because it’s just not a big deal around here. They are deeply influenced, and the patterns of their living set for a long time to come, by the way that Mr Bee and I live.
And the type and amount of food they eat, and the exercise they do, or don’t do, is deeply influenced by us. They have no responsibility for what does into their lunchboxes. That’s MY responsibility. I’m the one who buys the bread and the sandwich fillings, makes the muffins, ensure there’s some fruit and some yoghurt on hand, so that they can make their school lunches.
So when Prof. Penington sets out to shame children, not only is he doing something that is completely ineffective anyway, but he totally missed his target.
I’ve had enough of teachers and doctors and (alleged) experts filling the school curriculum with do-gooding nonsense, which only leads to children coming home and trying to get their parents to change. But exactly how much power do children have to change their parents anyway? Very little indeed. It’s an intolerable burden to place on children. I think Prof. Penington must hate children too.
Mr Bee and I went out dancing last night. When we got home, we found notes from our daughters.
I hope you enjoyed your dance, and that you managed to talk to other people at least a bit.
Clearly our daughter understands our curmudgeonly introverted natures all too well. For the record, we *did* talk to other people there. And we even danced.
We are fine (no fights).
A fairly minimal standard of being fine…
I hope you had a good time too (I also hope Mum’s feed aren’t too hurt because of Dad’s footwork.
Also for the record, my feet were just fine, and Mr Bee didn’t tread on them at all.
People that the Vatican thinks should be disciplined and silenced: nuns who work on poverty and social justice issues.
CHICAGO — A prominent U.S. Catholic nuns group said Thursday that it was “stunned” that the Vatican reprimanded it for spending too much time on poverty and social-justice concerns and not enough on condemning abortion and gay marriage.
In a stinging report on Wednesday, the Vatican said the Leadership Conference of Women Religious had been “silent on the right to life” and had failed to make the “Biblical view of family life and human sexuality” a central plank in its agenda.
It also reprimanded American nuns for expressing positions on political issues that differed, at times, from views held by U.S. bishops. Public disagreement with the bishops — “who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals” — is unacceptable, the report said.
People the Vatican promotes and places in positions of authority: priests who actively lie and cover up for other priests who rape children.
The Catholic primate of all-Ireland has said that he will not resign as Church leader despite revelations in the BBC’s This World programme.
It found Cardinal Sean Brady had names and addresses of those being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.
However, he did not pass on those details to police or parents.
Not only did he not pass on the details to police or children, but he actively coerced the children into staying silent. And he has LIED about the support the children were given.
Sean Brady’s role in the affair became clear in 2010, when it became known that he had been present when the abused boy was questioned.
He claimed, however, that the boy’s father had accompanied him, and described his own role as that of a note-taker.
However, the BBC This World investigation has uncovered the notes Cardinal Brady took while the boy was questioned.
The child’s father was not allowed in the room, and the child was immediately sworn to secrecy.
The story about Sean Brady will make you sick. And he’s still making excuses. He says that he wasn’t the only one who knew. In other words, it was someone else’s responsibility. And he claims that he had no power to do anything in any case.
“The commentary in the programme and much of the coverage of my role in this inquiry gives the impression that I was the only person who knew of the allegations against Brendan Smyth at that time and that because of the office I hold in the Church today I somehow had the power to stop Brendan Smyth in 1975.
“I had absolutely no authority over Brendan Smyth. Even my Bishop had limited authority over him. The only people who had authority within the Church to stop Brendan Smyth from having contact with children were his Abbot in the Monastery in Kilnacrott and his Religious Superiors in the Norbertine Order.
He is completely wrong about that. He always had the ability to go to the police, instead of participating in covering up a crime, and enabling a rapist to carry on raping children.
And he is now a Cardinal in the Catholic church.
So on the one hand, all those wretched women who dare to spend their time and effort working on issues of social justice are dangerously out of line and need to be reprimanded and controlled, and on the other, a man who participated in covering up the rape of children and is still making excuses for his behaviour, is given a position of high authority in the church. He is an “authentic teacher of faith and morals.”
I do not think that phrase means what the Catholic hierarchy church thinks it means.
Previous posts on the Catholic church and its protection of men who rape children:
Out of touch
Can the Pope be impeached?
They could always turn themselves in
Chanting the script from Rome
Sez it all.
We’ve just finished watching the sumptuous 1982 Granada TV adaptation of Brideshead Revisted, and this time, Ms Thirteen watched it with us.
I don’t know what Evelyn Waugh had in mind as he wrote the book, and really, I don’t care about his intended meaning, if any. ‘Though I am impatient with most post-modernism, I am quite taken with the idea that writing is completed by the reader, and ultimately, it is the reader’s reaction to the work that matters most.
As ever, I found the early episodes very beautiful, if nostalgic. Oxford was glorious, and the lifestyle of the great house was fabulous, for the privileged few. Really, I drooled my way through the series, enjoying the splendour of the architecture and the clothes and the art.
But this time round, in the final few episodes, instead of agonising with Julia, I simply got terribly impatient. For god’s sake, I thought (and yes, that is intentional), seize love!
Instead, she was trapped by the Catholic church into rejecting the man who loved her, and like her sister and brothers, she was defeated by the church. No partnership, no children, no connection. Those last few episodes are a savage indictment of the Catholic church of the 1930s.
Ms Thirteen was very disappointed by the way the story ended. We asked her what she thought about it all.
“Wow,” she said. “Don’t be a Catholic.”
“There’s more to it than that,” said Mr Bee. “What do you think the deeper ideas might be?”
She thought for a moment. “Really, really, really, don’t be a Catholic.”
It has been one of those days. I had a mass of administrivia to get through at work, and half way through, I got a call from my girls’ school: Miss Ten the elder was feeling queasy and could I come and pick her up. Yes, I could, in half an hour. Frantic rush to get the trivia done, and I got to school an hour or so later. Working at home for the rest of the day.
After school, I had to get Ms Thirteen to her drama class. I left the Misses Ten together at home, as is my usual practice. The law in New Zealand says that you may not leave a child:
“without making reasonable provision for the supervision and care of the child, for a time that is unreasonable or under conditions that are unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances.”
I figure that the girls are fine at home alone, together, for 10 or 15 minutes, as I run their elder sister somewhere.
We’d been gone for about three minutes when my mobile phone rang. Ms Thirteen answered it. It turned out that Miss Ten the Elder had thrown up, and Miss Ten the Younger was caring for her.
Bad mother moment.
I was back home five minutes later after dropping Ms Thirteen at her lesson (Greenhills is not large, and we are very conveniently located). Miss Ten the Younger explained to me how she had looked after her sister, and cleaned up after her, and settled her on the sofa with a bucket and a towel.
“Well done,” I said to her. “You did very well.”
“I knew you would say that,” she said.
“Well, yes,” I said. “But *you* knew you did well, and you did do very well, and it’s important for me to acknowledge that.”
They both coped very well indeed. And of course, that makes me much more confident about leaving them at home, knowing that they can, and will, cope with minor disasters.
I have loved every stage of my daughters’ growth, from their baby sweetness to their toddler learning to the first days at school. And I’m loving this stage, as they become increasingly independent. That is my hope, that together with my partner, we will be able to work with and guide our children so that they will be able to grow into competent adults.
For a meditation on loving children, check out my friend Denny’s thoughts about her children: In praise of a wise woman. The ‘wise woman’ of Denny’s post is not her, but that soubriquet fits Denny too.