Over the course of my life, I’ve had cause to visit the hospital emergency ward on a few occasions.
Once, when I broke my nose at a volleyball camp.
Once, when I broke my collarbone in a minor hockey game.
Once, when had a surprise allergic reaction to Brazil nuts.
As a parent, I don’t have particularly strong feelings on spanking.
Corporal punishment is not a method my wife and a subscribe to, but I can see where it might be effective in getting a message across to an unruly toddler.
I do, however, believe in ‘firm discipline’ and do not hesitate to drag my toddler to the Time Out chair when he steps too far out of line.
Of course, when you’re talking about a two-year-old, the concept of right and wrong is still very much a work in progress, so not every misdeed warrants punishment.
When I was 13 years old, my dad brought home six wiener pigs for my brother and I.
The idea, I suppose, was to teach us about hard work, or responsibility — or something along those lines.
While it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, raising those pigs turned out to be a life-changing ordeal that Aric and I will reminisce fondly over for the rest of our days.
As far as pigs go, they were a motley crew of mismatches. We named them according to their physical attributes and unique personalities — Long Pig, Brown Pig, Big Pig, Small Pig, Mean Pig and Kratchmer (named for the farmer who sold him).
I use social media just about every waking hour of every day, but I have yet to decide if Twitter and Facebook have changed our world for better or worse.
Good, evil or otherwise, social media is now a fixture in modern society, ingrained to the same degree as cars, television and indoor plumbing.
As rapidly as the world has embraced and adapted to the digital age, we still seem to be floundering when it comes to policing the online activities of our children.
I recently read a news story about a Manitoba judge who banned a 12-year-old girl from using Facebook while on probation for making online threats against two other girls. The probation order, which included 50 hours of community service, came down earlier this week in a Brandon courtroom after the girl pleaded guilty to two counts of uttering threats.
At different times in my childhood, I played the role of both bully and victim.
Born with a minor eye defect, I was often the target of vicious teasing in elementary school.
In junior high, I was called ‘cross-eyed’ and subjected to all kinds of pirate jokes whenever I was forced to wear eye patches after surgeries.
On more than one occasion, a particular group of older kids surrounded me like a pack of hyenas in the hallway and cackled insults until they drew tears.