Archive for February, 2009

Sorry if I’ve caused you any grief

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Apologies can be sorry things as we’ve learned over the past few years as ‘celebrities’ such as Spitzer, Madoff, ARod, Blagolveich, Michael Phelps, Chris Brown, etc. fall from grace.

Even in my local town, the former treasurer of an elementary school Mother’s Club was recently sentenced to four years in prison for stealing approximately $136,000 of school proceeds during a five year period.

You don’t have to a victim to feel victimized. We find ourselves waiting for the next news story to break as we build protective walls of distrust.

What do our children think? What can we tell them and teach them about these blunders headlining the news?

Do what you’ve always done – teach by your example and don’t expect celebrities to be role models – that is your job. Be the kind of role model that does your personal best and doesn’t look for a silver bullet to meet unrealistic goals. But at the same time, don’t set unrealistic expectations for your children.

• Don’t fight to have them in the honors class if they really don’t belong there
• Don’t argue that the high school coach should give them more playing time if they aren’t the best players
• Don’t challenge the director of the play if the lead went to another child

It’s about putting the right person in the right job.

Which brings me to a person who said he was “simply doing his job” when he miraculously landed his 100,000 pound jetliner in the Hudson without losing a single life. Capt. Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger said he trained his whole life for that landing, as he shared the credit with his crew.

Imagine if Sully hadn’t earned his wings, done the work and was put in the job without the right skill set – the story would have had a different ending. Instead, he did it the old fashioned way; he did the work.

The people your kids look up to should be real, make real mistakes, and most importantly recover from them. The best lesson to teach your kids is that you don’t drown by falling in water, but by staying there.

I don’t have to know you to know that you, like me, have made more than your fair share of mistakes. Let’s enter a new era of responsibility and accountability and sing that old classic to our kids – – “just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.”

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Remove the locks – they are not working: robbers still rob

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Researchers found that crimes committed by sex offenders have not been reduced as a result of Megan’s Law questioning the $5.1 million cost since 2007.

That’s like saying locks don’t deter burglars, so we shouldn’t spend the money on installing locks on doors.

The intention of the law is to alert parents to sex offenders living in their communities, not to stop the behavior of sex offenders.

The wrong questions are being asked. Where is the $5.1 million being spent, and if the issue is awareness, can it be done differently or more cost effectively? Fortunately, State Sen. Bill Baroni said the study “completely misses the point.”

Deborah Jacobs, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, called such laws, “political Band-Aids that don’t stay on.” She suggests instead that we help the victims.

No, Ms. Jacobs – let parents protect their children from offenders so they don’t become victims.

As to the proper use of $5.1 million – use the power of what all moms know, Word of Mouse to create awareness, and reduce your budget.

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