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11-29-12. Amazon.com had a 3-day sale on MS Windows 8 Pro Upgrade with a $30 rebate credit (after 30-days). I buy a lot from amazon.com anway using Amazon Prime service, so getting the DVD package made sense for me, rather than downloading the software with all the work of creating my own DVD, if the product installed corrrectly. Having been in the computer business for over 30 years, I know things do not always work right during upgrade installations; this one being no exception. The installation on my Sony VAIO laptop went well, but the one to my custom desktop did not and resulted in initially no video display operating. Having the installation DVD made it possible to reinstall the Win 8 Pro software in REFRESH MODE (that's the only mode that worked in this case). While I had to reintall all my software on the desktop machine, it's now all working right. Having the actual DVD in-hand is a major security factor to installation and upgrades. The amazon.com sale made it convenient to do the job without having to pay the extra cost and time to purchase the Win 8 Pro package elsewhere or run the risk of crashing during download. The full $30 credit for each copy did not process right but one phone call to amazon.com support fixed the error immediately and I spent the credit within minutes of its availability. Thanks amazon.com.
Even though I'm not a parent, I read Rosalind Wiseman's Queen Bees and Wannabes and loved it. If adults are honest with ourselves, we will see that many times our adult relationships share many features with those of our younger selves. How often have you seen someone post on Facebook regarding their workplace, "I thought I was out of high school!" ? So while these books may have been written to address the issues of adolescents, they are just as applicable to those of us who are long past that age. As Dr. Phil said the other day, we as adult talk about kids as though we have had nothing to do with who they turn out to be.
Wiseman is aptly named (well, she would be a wise woman, but I digress.) She has really paid attention to the interactions between kids, between girls, between boys, between parents, and between parents and kids. Of course Queen Bees resonated with me because I'm a girl and I've been in both the bullied and the bully position as a kid and probably yes, as an adult, as much as I hate to admit it (about being the bully.) I wasn't diagnosed with ADD until the ripe old age of 41, and having untreated ADD means that my reactions and comments were sometimes said in the heat of the moment, without thought. Now that I'm being treated, I no longer have that issue.
With Masterminds and Wingmen, this was a fascinating look into Boy World. Now, I had already figured out some things on my own. I was raised to believe that boys didn't have the same kind of relationships or feelings that girls do. But I noticed that a lot of men did have those kind of friendships with both men and women. And so it led me to believe (correctly) that many of the stereotypes I'd been told about men and women were incorrect. As Wiseman points out, just because a boy says he's fine, it doesn't necessarily mean that he is. There is much more going on than meets the eye.
Wiseman offers up a lot of tools for dealing with just about every situation that could come up - and these are ones that adults could use as well. How often do we tell employees to "Do the right thing" or "Be a good employee" without defining what those are? As humans we approach everything from a point of our own experiences and history - which means that we end up holding people to standards they may not have encountered before. It's the same thing when we tell kids to "Do the right thing" or "Don't get into trouble" without laying out the parameters of what that means.
She also uses a strategy called SEAL,which assists with conflict resolution. This is another technique adult could use.
1. Stop and Set it Up: Assess the situation, i.e what happened? Should I confront the person now or later?
2. Explain: State the problem and what you would like to happen or do.
3. Affirm and Acknowledge: Affirm your right to be treated with dignity and acknowledge anything you've done to contribute to the issue.
4. Lock in (or out): Determine the status of the relationship going forward.
I also love that she points out that when you ask someone else what their perception is, "you must be ready to be changed by what you hear." To me, that's one of the most powerful statements. Because if you're not truly ready to hear something, you won't be able to accept what the other person is saying and you won't be able to see their point of view.
Some highlights (there's no way I can share all of the great moments in this book - I have 26 pages of highlights.)
*The closest we've come to recognizing boys' issues is in our discussions of teen suicides, which we generally attribute to homophobia and lack of gun control.
*What's way more useful for boys is to talk to them about integrity looks like to you under duress.
*He isn't running to play that video game for no reason. He's running to distract himself from the shame he feels that he was ridiculed for his body, from his deeply wired believe that he can't tell you what happened, and it feels good to shoot something that he can pretend is his tormentor.
*My colleagues in college admissions tell me that the ratio of male applicants to female applicants has continued to weaken so much that now they believe that for every eight qualified female applicants there are only two male applicants....So while people are worried about racial affirmative action, the biggest affirmative action problem is right in front of us.
*No matter how physically hurt he is, Batman shakes it off If he's angry, he either clenches his jaw or exacts revenge with utter physical domination.
*It's about understanding that power and privilege are at work when one person believes he has the right to speak for everyone and no one contradicts him.
*To equate speaking out about abuse of power and social injustice with being sexually attracted to other men makes no sense. If it did, heterosexual men would be defined as those who do nothing or who join in when someone's being abused. Then only gay men would have the courage to stand up.
*Our boys deserve meaningful relationships, the freedom to pursue what interests and challenges them, a feeling of belonging and social connection to others, and a sense that they're contributing to something larger than themselves. Those four criteria make up the definition of happiness.
*From the moment our children realize they are separate entities from us and realize that we will often stop them from doing what they want, they carefully study us to figure out how to get their way.
*We are forced to come face-to-face with our acceptance of violence as entertainment in other areas. Since many of us find that hard to acknowledge, we point to video games as the problem.
*There is no video game in history that can approach the level or intensity of violence present in the Old Testament.
*If he gets caught violating a technology or alcohol or drug policy, he (and even you) may think the rules are stupid or unfairly applied, but he agreed to those rules by becoming a participating member of the community.
*"What is the difference between what you do and who you are? If you repeat certain types of disrespectful or dishonest actions, at what point do you become a disrespectful or dishonest person?"
*Kids, including the most entitled and abusive athletes, don't go after other kids unless they know that adult "leaders" in their school don't or can't hold them accountable.
*You can't take away someone's experience, but you can say that his personal experience doesn't reflect the reality of all girls, and you should advise him not to make it generalized blanket statements.
If I had the funds, I would buy this for everyone I know. I really can't think of a single person, group, or company that wouldn't benefit from this.