Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Parenting Lesson #1: Do Not Correct Your Child's Funny Mistakes

My five year old yesterday, having recently watched Disney's Pocahontas, commented to me, "Daddy, Pocahontas' daddy said she speaks with a wisdom behind her ears."

If you don't get it, say it out loud. Still no? Say it again.

If you still don't get it, the actual quote is, "My daughter speaks with a wisdom beyond her years."

I couldn't bear to break it to her. When she asked why I was ROTFLMAO I said that she was just so cute I couldn't help it.


  1. I told you the other day I have a question for you, well I figured no better way than this, which is quite private for where I am.

    So as someone who has faith above all things and believes in religion, for example if you are trying to get someone to join your religion *not saying you do* but as an example, and they are really not interessted, what is something one can say in a polite and courteous way to get you to understand it's not goign to happen.

    I have these Mormans who continue to come by and talk, and I cant turn them away without seeming I am doing something horribly wrong. But I just dont believe what they do. They are very interessting to talk to and listen to as you are, and I like the debates we have *you are by far better to debate with* but I cant seem to get it through their head its not going to happen.

    What can I do?

  2. My approach would be two-pronged.

    First, I'd tell them flat-out that they will not succeed in converting me, but since I am so eager for them not to convert anybody else due to the grave error of their beliefs, please spend all your missionary time trying to convert me. Battering a stone wall with straws, so to speak.

    The more charitable response would be simply to ask them not to come by anymore. Thank them for their time and their interest - even grant them permission to pray for you; they will at least be left with a glimmer of hope - and send them on their merry way. Maybe give them some brownies for the road or something like that, just make sure you use the phrase, "For the road" when you give it. If they're already in your home, stand up, proceed to the door, and open it. There is no stronger hint than that.

    Also check out http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=573464 for more ideas.

  3. You might try a positive approach.

    You're quite devoted to your faith as it is now, and you're glad they're trying to spread God's word, and you wish them luck on their journey. (Note: "trying" is different from successfully doing it and getting the message right)

    I had a really nice chat with some Mormons not too long ago. I think I was actually excited at the time to have door-to-door evangelists (missionaries from Idaho, actually!) show up and I ended up being very talkative. I had missed some a few months earlier who only left a pamphlet before I could answer the door. We talked outside my house about a few things, and I tried to only bring up our similarities instead of differences. When they asked me if I knew anyone who would benefit from them stopping by I delicately cautioned them against inadvertedly pushing people away from God.

    I guess you could say I was buttering them up to get them to go away, but I honestly enjoyed talking to them.

    The one thing I regret is not getting the phone number of their hotel room (they said they were staying in a hotel in town) so I could call them up and hang out with them... I'd love to find out what they were like without the suits and name tags.

    On the other hand, my dad's technique is to invite them in for a beer and a cigar.

    (as I understand, some Mormans drink, so maybe that isn't as effective these days)


    (Ian McGowan)


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