Articles

 Last week, on May 25, the Reno Gazette Journal ran a column by a family therapist, Dr. John Rosemond, the title of which was CHILDREN ARE BAD, AND OUR JOB IS TO FIX THEM. His ideas about child-rearing, as stated in his article, made my blood boil. So I wrote and submitted a response. It appeared in today’s paper (June 1, 2016).

In his column he said such things as:

Children are bad…

…Am I correct?

…Are children, by nature, bad? Yes, they are…

…As soon as a child begins to develop language, he begins to lie, as in “I didn’t do it!” He sees something he wants and commits assault to get it. He is irrationally selfish. He steals.

…One does not have to teach children to be bad, they arrive already possessing of that disposition.

…one can, hopefully, overrule MotherFather Nature and transform the little criminal into a pro-social human …

…In a sense, proper parenting is the act of making lemonade out of lemons.

____________________

Here’s my response:

ROSEMOND IS WRONG — CHILDREN ARE NOT BROKEN

by Carol Purroy

“Children are bad, and our job is to fix them” was the headline of a recent column (May 25) by family psychologist John Rosemond. He said that all children are, by nature, “bad.” They lie and steal, and are irrationally selfish. It’s true, they do — but I take umbrage with his terminology.

Small children who behave this way are not “bad.”

They are merely exhibiting the basic primal stage of development. That’s normal. They are not broken. We do not have to “fix” them. As children grow they must learn to “play well with others” and our job is to teach and guide them through each stage on into adulthood.

If we perceive a child as “bad” we respond to his unacceptable behaviors very differently than if we his actions as normal for that stage of development. We we respond with disapproval. We punish him. Some people might take Rosemond’s article on child-rearing to mean that in order to “fix” a child we must beat the “bad” out of him (lovingly, of course). That’s the old “this hurts me more than it hurts you” baloney.

If, on the other hand, we perceive our young child’s self-centered actions as natural for that stage of development, we’re liable to respond to the behavior, rather than to her as a bad child. Label the deed, not the doer. That can make all the difference in how a child perceives him or herself.

Children must be socialized…

to become principled contributors to society. Discipline is, of course, necessary. Children who grow up without it can remain in that early stage of development, to the detriment of themselves and society. Discipline, however, means different things.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “discipline” as:

  • Punishment
  • Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
  • Control gained by enforcing obedience or order.

Parents and the broader society punish those we perceive as “bad.” We gain control over them by enforcing obedience and order. If, however, we view someone as an “OK person” who engaged in undesirable behavior, we’re more likely to correct, mold and perfect their mental faculties and/or moral character.

p.s: I am not a “30-something-year-old.” I am an 80-year-old woman who raised three sons with unconditional love and a firm hand. Not for one minute did I ever consider my children “bad” or as beings who needed “fixing” — and guess what, they turned out great.

_____________________

I ran out of space, but I’d have liked to also say that “proper parenting” according to Rosemond apparently means twisting and squeezing children until all their juice — their very essence — is gone.

What’s your opinion?

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Nepal Memories

My Meandering Mind

by Carol Purroy

Blog 3: The Majesty of Kathmandu: Nepal Memories: Last week’s news of the earthquake in Nepal was horrific and tragic. In addition to the loss of life, the cataclysmic loss of homes and livelihoods, the destruction of centuries-old temples is heart-breaking. My memories of Nepal and its people are among my most treasured.

In 1985, my (then) husband Wayne and I visited Nepal, on a year-long ’round the world trip. I was turning 50 and my heart’s wish was to celebrate the half-century mark by trekking in the Himalayas — not climbing Mt. Everest, just trekking in the world’s highest mountains. After a torturous few days during which (1.) planes were delayed and connections missed; (2) we were held prisoner in the New Delhi airport under armed guard; (3) we tried sleeping on wood chairs shoved together to avoid the rats on the floor; (4) after a sleepless night we finally took off for Kathmandu. Below are some of my Nepal memories:

Kathmandu

As we rose into the sky the morning of my 50th birthday, my spirits lifted.

Nepal Memories

Sunrise on Himalayan Peaks

Sans reservations, as usual, we spent part of the day finding and getting settled in a hotel — The Snow Lion.

That night we treated ourselves to the best offerings of an upscale Chinese restaurant near our hotel. Soft lights from filigreed lanterns enhanced its red and gold interior, heady aromas of pungent spices and tantalizing flavors quickened our hunger pangs. A pot of steaming tea materialized almost instantly; we sipped delicate jasmine tea while perusing the menu.

When our soup arrived it was like nothing we’d ever tasted. It warmed, soothed, and stimulated the senses. One dish after another of my amazing birthday dinner was presented, each more delicious than the last. 

We made it!” said Wayne. “We’re in Nepal for your Big Five-O.”  

The chill mountain air revitalized us on our stroll back to the hotel. The full moon hung low, an incandescent globe. In the magic of moonlight, the mountains looming over the city lent enchantment. Grateful for this perfect gift, we wended our way back to the hotel and climbed the three flights to our room.

The spiritual vibrations in Kathmandu were palpable. I thought it must be due to the altitude, but then learned that it’s only 4,600′, about the same as Reno, Nevada. I suppose it could be because it’s in a bowl surrounded by 28,000′ mountains and resonates with their force field. In any case, it’s the most uplifting, energizing, inspiring energy I’ve ever felt in any location. Majestic and Magic! My entire being pulsated with it. It must have had a powerful impact on the people who’ve lived there through the millennia, hence all the temples and shrines and the ubiquitous practice of spirituality. (More on that in Blog 4.)

Trekking companies were plentiful. Treks of all sorts were available: three-days to two-months, bare-bones-basic to luxurious. We set up a nine-day trek; starting November 4. 

I couldn’t remember being this excited, ever. The rest of the trip had been in preparation for this. I was in better shape than ever. Over the past four months since leaving home, I’d hiked 10 – 20 miles nearly every day, frequently lugging a 35-pound pack. (This was before some genius put wheels on baggage.) I was lean and mean and ready for anything.

We sent postcards bragging about our upcoming Himalayan trek to everyone we knew. It would be the high point of the whole trip, both literally and figuratively. Having lugged our camera equipment everywhere we went over the last four months, we decided to leave it in the hotel and be footloose and fancy-free for a few days. We’d spend four or five days in Kathmandu after the trek, plenty of time to get the photos we wanted.

Street Entrepreneurs

Kathmandu Memories

Kathmandu Street Vendors

This was the start of the exotic portion of our trip. The streets of Kathmandu teemed with people, temples, open-air curio shops, rugs, orange-dyed goat heads in outdoor meat markets, tee shirts and trinkets, rickshaws, motorbikes, et cetera. Cows wandered the streets freely. When a Nepalese person was near one, he or she would reach out and stroke its forehead for luck. Street entrepreneurs, including children, conversant in several languages, dealt with tourists of every description. Their ingenuity was impressive. One adolescent boy offered, for a few rupees, to clean the wax out of our ears.

A younger boy, one of many shoeshine kids, had a special offering as well. “I give you shoeshine, lady,” after passing over Wayne, who wore Bïrkenstocks.

I shook my head. “No thanks.” I continued on, my once-white leather sneakers kicking up dust on the unpaved street.

He walked alongside, cute as could be. “Where you from?”

California,” I answered.

Oh California. Disneyland!”

Kathmandu Memories

Kathmandu Street Vendors

Yes. Disneyland.”

He walked beside us. “I give you very nice shoeshine.”

No. I don’t need one.”

He didn’t agree. We tramped on. His face lit up and he announced, “Hey! I got a great idea!”

Okay, let’s hear it,” I bit. “What’s your great idea?”

I’ll use white shoe polish!”

I laughed. “That is a great idea.” Who could resist?

Shopping in Kathmandu

Most of the commerce done in Kathmandu (and all of Nepal) seemed to happen not in shops with walls and doors and windows, but in open air stalls, or simply with merchandise laid out on the street.  All manner of items were offered, from tee shirts and touristy trinkets, to fine jewelry and cashmere shawls. All at bargain prices.

Although we’d promised ourselves, and each other, that this was not going to be a shopping trip. The less we spent on non-essentials the longer we could stretch the trip out. However, we were celebrating my 50th birthday, so our self-imposed rule was broken.

nepal Memories

Tibetan Chimes.

My present was a set of Tibetan chimes. It is one of my most treasured possessions. Every time I look at it or ring it, it evokes memories of Kathmandu. (I think mine are brass, but historically, they were made of 7 levels of precious and semi-precious metals for royalty and high priests. The 7 levels correspond to the 7 chakras (energy centers in the body). Ringing the chimes clears the chakras, allowing for the free flow of energy.) One of my favorite Nepal Memories.

One thing we learned about shopping in Kathmandu: if you see something you want, buy it immediately, because you’ll never find that shop again. The streets are laid out in such a way as to guarantee chaos and confusion. It was obviously organic in design; with no thought to traffic patterns or automobiles. Many of the small ancient temples were set in a hub from which several streets radiated. We’d follow one street only to come upon another temple or shrine, and another hub. Several times, when we attempted to return to a vendor or restaurant, the location of which we were sure we knew, it wasn’t there. We were lost. Again.

Nepalese People

Nepal Memories

Bejeweled Nepalese Girls

Nepalese are small, dark and beautiful, with delicate features.

The women wear graceful, flowing sarees (the plural of sari), black kohl around their eyes, and a red dot over the “third eye” in the center of their foreheads. (In Kathmandu, most wore a plastic peel-off, stick-on dot.)

Nepal Memories

Nepalese Children

The men wear sarongs with tees or button-front shirts. Both males and females sprinkle yellow or orange marigold petals over their obsidian hair. Many also wore flower leis.

When we were there — late October/early November — most were barefoot.

Spirituality is a constant, essential element in their lives. Buddhism and Hinduism co-exist in this part of the world. You see holy men and women everywhere.

The night before our trek, we attended a meeting held by a Hindu sadhu (holy man). He sat cross-legged on a platform, wearing garments of white. Many who attended brought a lei, placing it over his shoulders in respect, reverence and adoration, then bowed low, with hands together fingers touching forehead. Namasté. By the time the meeting started the leis were so thick they covered most of his upper body and head. Before beginning, he adjusted them  so he could breathe…and speak. On one arm, over a terrycloth wristband, he wore a gold Rolex — a gift from one of his followers, no doubt. A good bit of the meeting was taken up with a meditation. It put us in the proper frame of mind for our Himalayan adventure trek.

To be continued in Blog 4: Nepal Memories • Part II. Coming in Blog 4: Temples and Shrines; Freak Street; Himalayan Adventure.

Video: Kathmandu • The Most Beautiful City in the World, by TheDeepeshShow:

Note: These are not my photos. Read Blog 4: Nepal Memories • Part II to learn why.

If you’d like to read more of Carol Purroy’s memoirs: http://tinyurl.com/thatslife

Note: These Memories of Nepal are from 30 years ago. This was written shortly after our return in 1986. Kathmandu is one of my favorite places on earth; I’m heartbroken at the ravages of the earthquake.

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A-Z Publishing’s History

A-Z header

A-Z Publishing

 

A-Z Publishing was founded in 1997 to publish Purroy’s first book, YOUR LIFE OUGHTA BE A BOOK; Write the stories of your life. She’d been teaching classes on that subject for a number or years through City Parks & Recreation Departments, Senior Centers, Churches, et cetera. As she published her own books she learned more about the process and improved the products.

Prior to that, she had formed a publishing company in San Francisco, which published two senior magazines. They received awards and acclaim.

In time she became the publisher for others who wanted to maintain control of their works, yet produce a book that didn’t scream “self-published”. She now works with other professionals in the book publishing field to ensure excellence.

In 2010 she was named Woman of the Year in Publishing by the National Association of Professional Women, and in 2011, was listed in the National Registry’s Who’s Who.

Ethical Wills

She kept teaching memoir and creative writing, through Truckee Meadows Community College, senior centers, churches, Parks & Rec departments, and on her own. She added a class on writing ethical wills — a final love letter to those you care about — which is catching on in the western culture. It has long been a tradition in both the Jewish and Chinese cultures.

Ethical Will & Testament

Your Ethical Will & Testament

Having spent more than a quarter-century in private practice as a psychotherapist and clinical hypnotherapist, my purpose was was to help people empower themselves and become successful in their chosen fields. It remains my goal as a writer, publisher, and human being. Obviously, I work with a lot of authors. A-Z Publishing is now expanding to include artists, consultants, business owners and entrepreneurs in their drive for success and empowerment through the media authority package.

As an adjunct to A-Z Publishing, she publishes an online magazine for those in their beautiful sunset years: http://www.GoldenAgersRock.com.

A-Z Publishing is Expanding

A-Z Publishing, Book Publisher, is proud to announce it is now offering big media placement to serious professionals: Authors, Artists, Consultants, Entrepreneurs.

greig1

  It’s done wonders for mine!

Carol with media logos

Carol Purroy “as seen on CBS NEWS, FOX, NBC, and ABC”.

Public Speaking, Media Appearances

Through A-Z Publishing, she does public speaking on a host of topics, including: memoir, self-publishing, ethical wills, fiction writing, The Happiness Project, et cetera.

Carol at Grassroots Book Fair

Please let us help you get your book ready for publication: take our writing classes and avail yourself of our publishing services.

Thank you for visiting our website. Please come back often.

 

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The services A-Z Publishing provides are the following:

  • Editing
  • Book-doctoring
  • Formatting
  • Arranging print book publishing through Create Space
  • Arranging eBook publishing on Amazon.com/Kindle
  • Courses on writing and publishing
  • Media Authority Package

Please leave your name and email below. We will contact you as soon as possible.

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A-Z Publishing.com

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write your memoirs

Top 7 Reasons to Write Your Memoirs

                                                                         Today you are You                                                                                                                                                    that is truer than true.                                                                                                                                                                    There is no one alive                                                                                                                                                 who is You-er than You.                                                                                    Dr. Seuss

Your written legacy is the most important thing you’ll ever write. It’s the gift of you.

Almost everyone agrees that writing one’s life storiesmemoirsautobiographyethical will — is a good thing to do. You’ve probably said to yourself or your children, “Yeah, I’ll do it . . . someday.” The problem is, “someday” keeps moving on up the road ahead of you. 

Q: How important is it to get your life’s adventures, experiences, lessons, etc., on paper?

A: It’s crucial.

The 7 top reasons to write your memoirs:

  1. It will ensure that you’ll be remembered. If, 100 years from now, you don’t want to be just a name on a genealogy chart, you have to write your memoirs.

  2. It will stimulate your mind and help prevent dementia/Alzheimer’s.

  3. You’ll end up feeling good about yourself; enhance your self-esteem.

  4. You’ll learn a lot about your life and become better able to put it in perspective.

  5. You’ll exorcise your demons. Writing about the tough parts of your life is good therapy. The power your traumas hold over you will diminish.

  6. Your physical health may improve. Your traumas are trapped in your cells and joints. By writing about them, you release them and – viola! — your chronic symptoms are likely to ease, if not disappear.

  7. You’ll get more out of life. 

Writing the recollections of your life is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you’ll ever do. The rewards carry down through the generations. Your children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, etc., will thank you for it.

As much as you don’t want to end up merely a piece of bark on the family tree, your descendants won’t want that either. They’ll want to know you. They’ll want to know what made you you; your relationships with your parents and grandparents, friends, spouse(s), children; what made you laugh; what made you cry; how you made your life-altering decisions; your romances, and 1000 other things. So write your memoirs.

****************************

My “How-to/Why-to” book on memoir writing, Your Life Your Legacy, is available as a Kindle eBook at http://tinyurl.com/qbos8af. It’s chock-full of helpful ideas and stories to inspire you to write your memoirs.

 

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Vestibulum elementum quam eget sem hendrerit lobortis. Donec vel enim porta, vulputate enim nec, scelerisque arcu. Nulla augue justo, condimentum sed eros eu, posuere vulputate arcu. Maecenas vulputate hendrerit sapien at iaculis. Nulla consequat magna sit amet felis volutpat, non consectetur odio lacinia. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Pellentesque et elit libero. Curabitur justo diam, placerat id ipsum in, ultrices placerat ipsum. Vivamus erat ipsum, semper ac ligula eget, semper ultricies tellus.

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