Mar 20 2013
The Krusty Sage: Your Kids Don't Need Your Stupid Success Track


(This guy keeps posting to my blog.  He's WAY krusty, and I, for one, am continually offended by him.  Who SAYS this stuff?  I admit I'm envious of his awesome beard and also that awesome chair.  But still.)

Your kids don't need your stupid success track. 

Quit signing them up for a bunch of garbage and racing them around everywhere, and then griping about how you "just don't have any time anymore to eat dinner together", blah blah blah.

You had time.  You gave it away, because you're afraid. 

Don't send them to schools that brag about their academic "rigor" (ie, "We'll load them down with homework so you'll think we're rigorous"), let them sign up for multiple sports and extra-curriculars and then complain about how hard it is to be a kid these days. 

It's possible -- just possible -- that's it's not so hard to be "a" kid these days as it is your kid.

Gasp!  But what if they don't get into a good college?  What if we don't sign them up for myriad art lessons and soccer-specific-weight-training programs in the offseason and dance classes and computer camps and calculus tutorials and the traveling baseball team?  How will we develop their skill areas?

You're not here to develop skill areas, pops.  You're here to develop character.

You can't develop character if you're crazy-busy developing stupid skill areas. 

But how will the kids' survive in the global marketplace?  And --

Right.  You honestly think they're not going to "make it" somehow if you don't hustle them around like the world's going to blow up in ten minutes?  You honestly think it's your job to impart career-training at all costs? Where -- honestly, where -- did you get this idea?

You think your kid will starve to death if you don't send him to a high-tech school with state-of-the-art laptops?  (Ooh, laptops!  Quality education!)  Like it's really hard to learn to double-click?  How did I figure it out? 

You're not here to develop skills.  You are here to develop character.  That means spending lots and lots of time with you kid.  You.  Not some hired expert.  You.

But my kid WANTS to do all this stuff, she loves her lessons and band and her sports and the homework and her job and --

Yeah, and when she was a baby, you let her diet consist entirely of Smarties, because she liked them, right?  Kids -- even teenagers -- are not often rich in wisdom.  Maybe you noticed.  Maybe this is why you are still rightly called the "parent".  They just might need you to draw an actual line, and model a life unmotivated by fear of fitting into corporate America, uncluttered by do-it-all-ism, and all about people.

But you don't understand.  It's today's society, and all kids just have these demands and there's no way around it, and it's just our culture these days, and --

And if our culture jumped off the Empire State Building...

You know, you COULD be counter-cultural.  You could help them avoid a crippling performance-perfectionism when they get older.  They might even choose lifestyles that eschew materialism for relationships.  Maybe they could value people over achievements.

Who knows?  Maybe you still could, too.

Comments (41) -

3/20/2013 5:31:07 PM
Gloria Rios United States
Gloria Rios
I agree.
3/20/2013 5:33:25 PM
Gayle United States
This very conversation was running through my brain this morning. We have two boys and I want to give them opportunities to experience different activities. At the same time I struggled with how we would manage to squeeze in one more thing into an already busy schedule. I reflected on whether their involvement in sports or other extracurricular activities would add to their quality of life now or later. My conclusion...I'd much rather spend quality time together as a family and not feel like we are spinning out of control. Thanks for speaking to this issue in such an honest way. I'm with you.
3/20/2013 5:44:53 PM
Jeanette Hoffman United States
Jeanette Hoffman
You just described the girl I have have taken care of for 5 years.  Her mother has her in everything and the kid is exhausted trying to get her homework done.  Mom is so afraid her girl will miss a cultural or sport experience.  Girl says her favorite thing is eating dinner as a family which they get to do 1 day per week.  

I think I am making points on keeping her out of the play because she's getting so behind......
3/20/2013 5:52:30 PM
Dani Hendrickson United States
Dani Hendrickson
LOVE the crusty dude!!!!!  I home every day with my girls!  I praise God for giving me this time and opportunity!  Sure, we have some bad days, but OHHHH the good ones!!!!
3/20/2013 5:58:31 PM
Michelle United States
Thank you so much for reaffirming what I already believe.  Its so easy to get caught up in all the "stuff".  We've tried out only a few different extra curricular activities, but they only lasted as long as my sons were interested in them.  I LOVE having time to just talk with my sons about what truly interests them, not what society thinks they should be achieving.  
3/20/2013 5:58:59 PM
Dj United States
Very BLUNTLY and WELL said.
3/20/2013 6:05:51 PM
Leigh United States
Just had a similar conversation with my husband.  He's a child of the 60s, I'm a child of the 80s.  Growing up, my husband  didn't play soccer, karate, art lessons.  Everyone of his activities were at church with family.
3/20/2013 6:09:20 PM
Kimberly United States
I usually agree almost completely.  This time I am not so sure.  I think that the underlying point is valid... my job as a parent is absolutely to build men of God, not superstars.  I think a lot of this depends on your child, and your family and how old they are and the way THEY should grow. (I would be wrong to try to make my children grow into mini-mes.. they are so different than I am.  So when I want to be home having hot cocoa and doing puzzles, they want to be out shooting hoops and socializing.  So we compromise. It would be equally as wrong to push an introverted child into being class president.)  

So my concern falls into three areas.  Yes, they don't need MY success plan, but they do need to be trained.  Part of that training is to learn to learn - to be challenged and to put in the work and the effort and do their best.  That is going to look different for each child.  Two of my kids excel academically, so they need to be challenged academically. One struggles, so my expectations for him are not as "rigorous" Smile It is good for them to be trained in different situations and different ways.

Second, so much of this part of life ( I have teens) is them learning to be their own person while in the safety of my care.  To do that, they have to go do, go be, go try.  And be able to come home and relax, process and regroup, and then go again.  They are testing out their identities as learners and athletes and leaders and musicians and friends and group members and Christians in a world that is, increasingly, not. I really believe that they should do that while under the safety of my authority instead of having them jump off to college having never stretched those identity muscles.  

Finally, and maybe mostly, is that what I think I hear you saying is Relax! they are going to be all right!  However, I see a LOT of legalism regarding this cropping up.  Maybe it is just where I live.  But it seems that parents are knee jerking in response to exactly the busy kid culture we live in, and going totally legalistic in the other direction.  If withdrawing from all but a few church-approved and parent directed activities is right for them, then it must be the only answer for everyone.  And, honestly, that just makes me mad. The bondage of legalism gets my fires burning everytime, in any manifestation.  

Our family is active.  We go do.  We are out in the community and with the school and our church.  We get to speak into the lives of kids and of families that we would not know if we weren't involved in these things, families that don't "do church". Sometimes, I wish I could go back to when they were littles and we were home together all of the time.  But I am raising men, and I want them to "go therefore into all the world" boldly and with confidence, because they know who they are and that they can touch down at home.  My kids' character is being challenged and built through our involvement in activities.  They have to be men of God in the world, not just at church and in our home.

If I have misunderstood what you were conveying, I apologize.  I am in no way offended, but felt like there was a valid counter-view that should be expressed.  We are not all called to be elbows, and raising kids, like being a member of God's body, is rarely one size fits all.  Thank you for the challenge to examine what we do and hold it up to the scrutiny of conviction.  Keep fighting the good fight.
3/20/2013 6:28:41 PM
Abigail United States
I'm just going to throw this out here.  Growing up we didn't have a lot of money, we lived in small towns, my mom couldn't drive, so we didn't get to do a lot of extracurricular. (I was in Tae Kwan Do for 2 years (We moved.) and soccer for a season.)

Did I really miss anything? I don't know. Probably not. Ideally, I would have liked to be allowed to do one thing at a time, but would it really matter now if I could dance well or played softball? Probably not. Do I have a lot of memories of playing in the yard with my siblings, building camp sites, "scavenging" for food, biking to the park and digging giant holes in our backyard? You betcha'!
3/20/2013 6:35:35 PM
Dani Hendrickson United States
Dani Hendrickson
I dont think Crusty Dude meant our kids shouldnt do ANYTHING and be stuck in the house...but there must be a balance.  My middle daughter is an artist and takes a Monday night art class.  We do art a family!  My youngest daughter is a dancer, ballet, tap and jazz.  We have 2 nights a week for dance.  They are also involved in youth group at church and we try to do homeschool field trips (when we can afford it and its not too far away).  BALANCE IS THE KEY!  MODERATION IN ALL THINGS!!!!!
3/20/2013 6:59:59 PM
Jason W. Thompson United States
Jason W. Thompson
I was with the sage until he said, "How hard is it to learn to double click".  Seriously?  How will my kids ever learn to play Angry Birds without a school provided laptop computer.

But in all seriousness, the school I'm going to be sending my daughter to next year only meets three times a week.  They expect the parents to teach them the other two days.  There is something about being able to be involved in the education of a child that seems so right.

Besides, I think it would be more fun to teach her my mad programming skills and create a software empire with her rather than her figuring it out in some computer club and getting rich without me. Smile
3/20/2013 7:00:23 PM
Renee Baker United States
Renee Baker
The krusty old sage sounds like my dad, I will have to ask him if it is...A while back he wanted me to create a profile on some blog because he had a few things to say to the younger generation...? LOL
3/20/2013 7:03:26 PM
Renee Baker United States
Renee Baker
Just FYI our generation that is "over acheiving is the generation that grew up in the simple life. My brothers did do sports in summers and so did I. Craft classes. But not much TV, all meals at the table with mom and Dad, and church ever Sunday and Wednesday. My daughters are doing well and they did not have a lot of extra's the are supporting themselves and their children. My grandchildren sometimes I think have to many obligations. I nag a little about that, but they eat at the dinner table together and go to church.  Krusty ole mom!
3/20/2013 7:15:25 PM
barry anderson United States
barry anderson
you no what your right.
3/20/2013 8:06:31 PM
Less Krusty Sage United States
Less Krusty Sage
I've got to say that I usually agree with the Krusty Sage, but I think he missed the mark on this one.  A big part of what I have to say on this comes from my background so I should probably give a bit of back story.

When I was five I started learning piano and by middle school I was performing on four different instruments as well as giving saxophone lessons. In addition I started attending various robotic clubs in grade school and by my sophomore year in high school was teaching one of these as well.  Combine this with youth group, my church's music team, private music lessons, volunteer work, track, basketball, fencing, Speech and Debate, youth government, etc. and needless to say I was and am a very busy individual.  

With this background I found one statement in this rant to be incredibly erroneous and down right ignorant.  

"You can't develop character if you're crazy-busy developing stupid skill areas."  

This seems to me to be asserting that by developing skills in extracurricular activities one is sacrificing character and personal qualities.  I find this odd when it flies in the face of almost all published studies.  For example one study from the University of the City of New York found that teens involved in activities such as basketball and other such school sponsored events had drastically lower rates of use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs while also having lower rates of teen pregnancy.  These students also, and just about have to, learn skills of multitasking, time management, and overall responsibility.  To assert that students can only develop character when under the thumb of a parent is to stick to some sort of oppressive Gregorian era style of controlling that while not only limiting  the development of a student could hurt their development.

More than just statistics and posturing I also have a real world example of what I mean.  One of my best friends is proof of this very idea.  As hard as my parents pushed me his didn't.  While I went to my various activities he would be spending time with his family.  Time during which they endeavored to teach their kids Christian values. Now compare the endgames of these two scenarios. That kid, who we can call the Minimum Wage Sage, that was kept home and "nurtured", with a very godly family I might add, dropped out of his private christian high school and now has a dead end job.  Where as me and my sister who had the same rigorous childhood are on tracks to be an engineer and doctor respectively.  All this while we still had family dinner every night, have good relationships with our parents and are highly involved and devoted to our church and to a relationship with god.

In conclusion, although my story can't stand for every kid with extracurricular involvements, the statistics can tell you it it is in fact the norm.    To say that extracurriculars are not worthwhile and that character can only be taught at home is, to Quote Joe Biden from the vice presidential debate, "total malarkey."

Less Krusty Sage.
3/21/2013 12:04:51 PM
Ranee United States
I never really respond to blogs, but I have to put in my two cents.    I was the parent that home schooled, and spent tons of time with my kids.   We did not get them involved in extra curricular sports, clubs, etc.      We did not get outside help as far as hiring tutors, etc.  I do believe God has a plan for each child, and a path for them.   Jer. 29:11.   We have spent MANY dinners together.   I have absolutely no regrets about that.  I love my kids.  They love the Lord, and us!  But....I think we need balance here.  I totally understand where Kimberly is coming from as far as her legalism statement.  We were under legalism.   My husband absolutely would not allow me to get outside tutors.  I needed help.  My children are smart, and are now in college.  But....they are really struggling with some of their subjects.  Especially math!  Now they need extra tutors, which at this age is expensive.    My oldest girl feels like a failure because she can't keep up in her math class.  It's not her fault, she's smart enough, she's just behind compared to her fellow students.     I think as christians we need to pray asking God to show us what HE wants for our lives.  No church, pastor or friend is able to tell us what God has determined for our family!  It is wise to get a multitude of counselors, but when it comes down to it we need to be in prayer by faith asking God what HE wants for our family.    We did not do that, we went along with the legalism of our friends and my children are now paying for it.  They will be fine, they will accomplish what God wants them to accomplish, but because of our failings it will be harder for them.  
3/21/2013 1:59:37 PM
Eric H United States
Eric H
"...dropped out of his private christian high school and now has a dead end job.  Where as me and my sister who had the same rigorous childhood are on tracks to be an engineer and doctor respectively."

Well I guess if the potential amount of fiat currency you can accumulate is a measure of "character", you are in good shape.

"I think as christians we need to pray asking God to show us what HE wants for our lives."

Much better advice.
3/21/2013 3:11:02 PM
Allyson United States
Well said. I feel like a lot of parents push their kids to do a lot of things, because they are afraid that if they spend too much time interacting with their kids they will screw them up. No one is perfect and kids need a relationship and boundaries. Yeah getting involved in things is good but too much involvement can hinder a child.
3/21/2013 4:14:48 PM
Matt United States
Brant, I'm not a parent but as a person who see's kids spending countless hours in a mall with people who are teaching them about everything but Godly character I think it's more important to give their kid good character over how to shoot a basket, or ace a test...after all I think God would rather us be of good character than be an honor roll student or all state athlete
3/21/2013 4:34:35 PM
Stephanie Harris United States
Stephanie Harris
I agree with a lot of what he says but I don't agree with his tact and he lacks in posture.
3/21/2013 4:39:10 PM
brant h United States
brant h
Thanks for the input!  Love reading it.

It's interesting - as a general observation: When you challenge accepted norms, in a direct way, you will, without fail, get a response calling for "balance".  

And you'll get it regardless of what you're really calling for.  In this case, the K.S. is arguing for a reassessment of what parenting is FOR.  Nowhere is he arguing someone simply shouldn't learn how to play an instrument, or forsake academic goals.

When teenagers register ludicrously high stress levels, and suffer accordingly, in spite of living in an affluent society, it might occur that what the K.S. is calling for, then, IS balance.  I respectfully disagree, obviously, that the call for balance needs balanced.  

This has been our parenting approach, by the way, from the start.  For those unacquainted with my family's story, please know that, as it turns out, our kids are pretty skilled.  (I'm dad, I'm biased.  But they are, by golly...)
3/21/2013 5:07:22 PM
Alyssa United States
Brant, I am confused about why you are offended by what this man wrote. I was just driving home and heard you on the radio, and wonder why you are so offended by parents who believe developing character is more important providing them with the opportunities the world deems valuable. I am 23 years old and recently graduated with a degree in elementary education. While I wait to obtain a permanent teaching position, I am working as a substitute, and I have observed plenty of kids whose parents are more concerned with developing skills than developing character. What I see is a whole generation of kids who will grow up to be concerned with what makes them happy. We are not put on this earth to do what makes us happiest, but to further the Kingdom of God.

My mom recently said she would have felt more of a failure as a parent if my brother and I had not grown up to have a sound faith in God, than if we had chosen not to finish college, or even attend college in the first place. Our education has always been very important to my parents. I attended a Christian school from kindergarten, until I graduated from high school, and then I attended a Christian college for a couple years before transferring to a more affordable state college. Now, I may not have had all the opportunities to gain "skills" the world deems valuable at a small, Christian school that struggled to be able to even pay the teachers, but I did gain the "skills" that will allow me to defend my faith.

What is wrong with being counter-cultural? God called us to be IN this world, but not OF this world. Developing skills that will help us obtain jobs and provide for our families is important, but are those skills more important having a godly character? At a time when Christian values are quickly declining in our nation, it is my hope that Christian parents are focusing more on instilling Christian values in their children than trying to involve them in every extra-curricular activity possible. I would think that the kind of character we possess will be much more valuable to God when we reach heaven, than the skills that will allow us to be "successful" by the world's standards.
3/21/2013 5:58:16 PM
Peg United States
I like this Krusty dude! While I may not agree with every single thing, I like the bluntness of it all. I prefer people being honest with others about how they feel rather than playing games anyway. This post really hit home with me. I have felt so 'busy' lately. Too much stuff going on and yes, I have no one to blame but myself. When we don't have time to eat together as a family at the dinner table b/c my kids have to be here or there...who's fault is that? Mine. Sometimes, I think we try to do too many things in our own might and not God's. If God wants my kid to be the next math guru, he will bless him with the talent/skill, the drive, and put people/organizations in his path to make that happen. BUT there has to be a happy medium. If my son becomes the top-dog math guru, yet never develops proper family relationships, his faith with God, and we miss growing up together, then no organization, club, or math meeting can ever make up for that. There has to be a happy medium and above all, if God is telling you to slow down, then by all means...slow down Smile
3/22/2013 6:37:48 AM
Heather United States
Awesome post! We agree totally! We pulled the kids out of their few activities (that they were enjoying okay but no one was getting a soccer scholarship) last year to focus on family time and character development and it has been the best thing we ever did for our family.
3/22/2013 8:13:51 AM
Karen United States
"Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people to save themselves, but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.”  Mark 10:27

"He will say to them, “This is a place for comfort.  This is a place of rest for those who are tired.  This is a place for them to rest, but they were. . .”  Isaiah 28:12

"Defining Moments from My Hope America"
"Time is collapsing . . ."

"Jesus saw the man lying there and knew that he had been sick for a long time. So Jesus asked the man, “Would you like to get well?” John 5 (grace)

"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" Romans 2

Seek first the Kingdom of God-
"From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring"  Acts 17

"Lose Myself" tobymac Capital Kings Remix
3/22/2013 9:48:35 AM
Emily United States
What Krusty is trying to say is not that our kids should be locked up at home all the time, but that you can't haul them out 24/7 to ten million different extracurricular activities and expect to bond with them. I am homeschooled, and we can't really afford to do much extracurricular stuff, but I know tons of kids in my Religious Education class who are enrolled in so many activities and sports that they feel as if their parents don't want them around, which, sadly, is probably true. And one thing that I've found is that a lot of my public school cohorts have trouble with family because they *do not know who their family is.* They don't know each other well enough to function because they never spend time together. I've been homeschooled my whole life, and as the oldest, I've been around my younger siblings forever. And I spend time with my parents so much that I know almost exactly how they will react to almost anything. These sort of bonds don't seem to exist nowadays, and it's a crying shame. God gave us a wonderful gift in family. So why are we throwing it away?
3/22/2013 10:55:40 AM
Emily United States
And, personally, I think Krusty should get his own blog. Tong I'd read it! Smile
3/22/2013 5:19:39 PM
Carla United States
Well hello Krusty old dude. I am a first time reader of this blog and I do believe I love you.  I think you should stick around because we need more people like you in the world. I love love love all the time I have with my kids and adore the character I can see God developing in them as they grow.  They have a lifetime of chasing down any activities their hearts desire and they are blessed with diverse interests that we can all peruse together or alone AS WE WISH.  God will provide their paths in life and I only have the privilege of them being MY teachers but a short time.  Children are gifts that should not be shoved off onto someone else as a burden.  I didn't think that way at all until I actually had a child of my own.  
3/24/2013 8:24:59 AM
Karen United States
The prayer:  Psalm 51:9-11;AMP

In pursuit of Creator of Creation – Psalm 139

The two-edged sword of the Spirit for the  “War Inside” antidote is “sanctifying surgery”

Even with all the right tools/laws, humans can “stumble in the wind” when they’re trying to walk across water.  . .

-like getting a camel through the eye of a needle

Jehovah Elohim (the Lord Our God Is One) helped the woman in the garden-

“You have heard that it was said, VAHAVTAH LREIACHAH (You shall love your neighbor, VAYIKRA 19:18) and you shall hate your oyev (enemy).  But I say to you, Love your enemies, and offer tefillos (prayers) for the ones bringing redifah (persecution) upon you.  Do this so that you may become banim of your Av shbaShomayim, for His shemesh (sun) He makes to rise on the ra’im (evil ones) and the tovim (good ones), and He sends His geshem (rain) upon the tzaddikim (righteous ones) and the resha’im (unrighteous ones).  Mattityahu  (Matthew) 5:43-45

Isaiah knew Jehovah Elohim (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

“Tell The World”
to “Speak Life”
3/24/2013 8:29:05 AM
Lisa Tower United States
Lisa Tower
Everything should be in balance. My kids did a season of soccer, then a season of drama, then a season of other classes - we just never piled them all on top of one another. They did one thing per season, and now that they're teens, one has a part-time job and one has a full time job (graduated). My youngest still does one type of class per season outside the house, plus a bible study with older women as mentors. Giving kids opportunities to grow, be challenged, work as a team, learn new skills, it's all good - but only if it's kept in balance. When they lose sleep, or focus is lacking, or they start hating what they're doing, let go.
3/24/2013 12:11:05 PM
Joanna Torkelson United States
Joanna Torkelson
How did you know what I was thinking? : )
3/25/2013 4:40:33 PM
Andy Bisgrove United Kingdom
Andy Bisgrove
Thanks Mr CRUSTY for reminding us of our humanity. We are struggling with home educating in the UK trying to balance faith, work or no work and family surrounded by the supposed  more successful society. You are so right about 'character' and then there is the "Still" voice of the Lord which we need to be still at times and listen to.
3/26/2013 8:52:27 AM
Linda Klajbor United States
Linda Klajbor
wow - talk about a "God moment"...went to this blog from checking my kids' grades online (the modern curse of real-time grade input in our society). One child attends a public school, the other a Christian school. The difference is astounding and yeah, I worry more about my daughter's exposure and acceptance of secular "values" (whatever those are), but until THIS MORNING it hadn't been my primary concern.  Thanks for the conviction...
3/26/2013 10:50:24 AM
Karen United States
“I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with pure gold of Uphaz.  His body also was [a golden luster] like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and his feet like glowing burnished bronze, and the sound of his words was like the noise of a multitude [of people or the roaring of the sea].  And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision [of this heavenly being], for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them so that they fled to hide themselves.   Daniel 10:5-12 (AMP)

“Now all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the noise of the trumpet and the smoking mountain, and as [they] looked they trembled with fear and fell back and stood afar off.  And they said to Moses, You speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die.  And Moses said to the people, Fear not; for God has come to prove you, so that the [reverential] fear of Him may be before you, that you may not sin.  And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.”    Exodus 20:18-21   (AMP)

“-His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire . . .”

Ask yourself, “what word am I reading and listening to”.  Psalm 93:4

“And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold  .”  Psalm 12:6
3/26/2013 11:14:58 AM
Karen United States
“Everywhere That I Go”
Lift His name higher
“Hearken to Me, you who follow after rightness and justice, you who seek and inquire of [and require] the Lord [claiming Him by necessity and by right]: look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the hole in the quarry from which you were dug; . . .”   Isaiah 51 (verse 10?)
3/26/2013 2:06:29 PM
Mandi United States
Thank you Brant (Aka KS)!
As a single mom with no income except my meager hobby farm (more expense than income) and what God gives us, I've chosen to homeschool my children and be with them. A lot of people think I'm crazy for choosing to live this way but you can not believe how God takes care of us!
I struggle at times because I was a homeschooler also and my parents simply didn't involve me in activities. I always want to and couldn't so I do try to keep my kids involved but I needed this reminder that they're actually happier when they can play on the swing set or feed chickens and just be kids!
3/27/2013 7:00:11 AM
Jared United States
Hey Brant this is unrelated, but I hope you will read it anyways. I recently discovered your "totally not for the family" podcasts, and I have been blown away. It is so refreshing to hear someone talk about these issues that most of us just ponder in our minds, but are afraid to speak. The podcasts have challenged and encouraged me. Please don't stop making them we need programs like this one. Thank you.
3/28/2013 2:32:05 PM
Leslie E United States
Leslie E
     I would like to call this "Visions of marrying an Aspie"...  I am hoping this makes sense to you.  It is beginning to make sense to me.
     In 2003 I was grief striken and going through a divorce I had a to do. A good friend encouraged me to try internet dating on an obscure site she was on. One of my first replies was from a man who was raised in Montana in a wonderful little Norman Rockwell town with old fashioned family morals and values that just warmed my heart. I fell in love with the little town and when we met I fell in love with him too... and struggled to understand another side of him that came out later-  the side that took words too literally, was often blunt/honest/socially awkward, struggled with depression, thought everyone disliked him, and could be cold/mean about physical affection- but when I backed away he always wanted me back... this was all so confusing to me. So, we had time periods we wouldn't talk then came back together.  I used to tell him that he was one of my favorite people in the whole world.  In 2006/2007 God let me know very clearly that I needed to follow His ways in this relationship, so I stopped the 'intimacy'- just hugs now and some kisses- and I started fasting and praying about our relationship and turned it over. That's when I had my 1st vision.  I saw Jeff and me together tending to the animals he had given me, and he was wearing a plain gold wedding band that shone when the sun hit it. I was stunned.  The 2nd vision came a few months later when we weren't talking...  I was standing in a grocery store line alone when I saw a vision of Jeff saying wedding vows to me... and I felt the warm loving  supportive presence of God and Jesus there embracing the marriage between us, and letting me know that Jeff had God in his heart again.  Oh wow... both of those visions haunted me for years... people told me it was wishful thinking, you imagined it, he acts like a jerk- dump him, the sun was in your eyes,  you two were just married in a different life, and one famous evangelist healer who visited our church and whom I waited to talk to after church told me coldly with such anger and disgust in his eyes that those visions came from the devil. What do you do with that...?? I hung onto those visions for years not knowing what to do with them, and I watched Jeff move away and get into almost illegal work just to focus on and make a lot of money, and I watched him gain more weight and isolate himself and struggle more with depression. Yet we have missed each other and stayed friends... Here's where you come in: when you, Brant, came into Air1 and began talking about your aspergers symptoms I listened and thought some of them sounded hauntingly familiar, and when a friend's son was a struggling aspie I tried to help, and came across the Aspie Quiz online...  The questions STUNNED me- so  very many of them were just Jeff- the way he thought and acted and talked and even dressed... but the biggest gift for me in all of this is that I am no longer embarrassed about having those visions about someone whom everyone else thought was just a jerk... I think he's a lovable aspie... and I am grateful God finally guided me, in mysterious ways, closer to His level of understanding in all of this.
   I am truly grateful. Thank you.
   Leslie Essenwanger Cheramy    
4/1/2013 10:20:39 AM
Tiff United States
I LOVE this....and totally agree.  There has to be a balance.  It bothers me that they're forcing children at the age of 12 (at least where I live) to their career goal and then focus all of their classes around that going forward.....I'm gonna be 29 this year and I'm STILL trying to figure out exactly what I want to be/do with my career.  Society has given us this outrageous sense of urgency, that, in most cases, is very unnecessary.  There are some super kids and families out there that actually can handle the load, and really like that lifestyle, but if it's at the expense of a really full and rich family life, what is the point?  We shouldn't be breeding so many lonely would-be millionaires.
4/12/2013 10:57:10 AM
Future Animator United States
Future Animator
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4/19/2013 10:14:04 AM
Tim Smith United States
Tim Smith
Brant, dead-on with this blog. Too many parents are wrapped up in the achievement rut and forget about character, compassion, courage and contribution. So we wind up with poser parents and poser kids who don't have perseverance to make it, even with their trophies and 4.4 GPAs. Thanks.
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