The art of parenting (5×8 – 6/26/12)


What’s the line between a spanking and a beating? Jamie Godlewski of Coon Rapids answered the question “what would you do?” by trying to stop a man from beating/spanking his son. WCCO reports he paid the price by being the target of a beating himself.

“I was worried about the kids. I didn’t care if he was going to harm me or not, but those kids, I wanted them to be safe,” he said.

The art of parenting (continued): A few years ago parents mostly used technology to keep their children off some Internet sites. Now, the technologies allow parents to gather a huge amount of intelligence on their kids. But the kids are striking back with their instinctive defense mechanism: Sneakiness.

Related: A couple of weeks ago, the Internet went buzzy, passing along the video of a commencement speech advising kids they’re not special.

“Sometime in the last decade boosting a child’s self-esteem became a disreputable practice, sort of like letting him drink Mountain Dew at breakfast,” John Keilman writes in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Really? When your son strikes out in a Little League game, do you holler from the bleachers that he should have practiced harder? When your daughter asks if she’s smart, do you say you’ll let her know after you see her report card?

Of course not. You tell your son, “Good try,” then offer to help him get better. You tell your daughter that she’s very smart, then say she still needs to work hard to get good grades. You keep it real but you encourage them. You pat them on the back. You try to help them feel better about themselves.

Even more parenting: Boxes for people to leave their unwanted babies in are reappearing in Europe.


Jay Cooke State Park is going to stay closed for awhile, the DNR says. It’s not hard to see why.

Somewhere in Minnesota today, people are going to work and trying to figure out how to fix this.


There are, of course, plenty of places to see some of the flood damage in the Northland, but the Department of Natural Resources has some of the most intriguing photographs of damage to the state parks in the region, including some before/after shots now that the water has gone down and all that’s left is the nothing. Find it here. It’s hard to see, in particular, how Jay Cooke State Park can reopen anytime soon.

Lessons from the past: There are a lot of people in Minnesota, especially along the Red River, who have graduate degrees in flood recovery. The 1997 flood in Granite Falls and Grand Forks (and elsewhere) and last year’s disaster in Minot have led to a common piece of advice for Duluth-area victims of the recent floods: Be patient. And also watch out for all the people trying to rip you off.


NPR’s new ombudsman doesn’t write anywhere near as much as the awesome Alicia Shepard did when she had the job, but we’re going to go out on a limb and suggest he’ll be getting plenty of reaction to NPR’S story about “radical Muslims” in the U.S. military.

The story says the FBI has launched “more than 100 investigations into suspected Islamic extremists,” but then adds that only a dozen are considered “serious.”

There are a lot of “coulds” and “mays” in the story, a lack of definition of what an “extremist” is and why the phrase “100 suspected extremists” is used if only a dozen cases may be serious?

“If these guys are a not considered loyal to the USA, why not just discharge them from the military?” one commenter asks. Good question. The military certainly knows how to throw people out.


Griff Wigley, of Locally Grown Northfield, has been keeping an eye on a failed attempt to plant some trees at one of the more prominent intersections of Northfield. They’ve stood as silent testimony to…. something…. for more than a year, he writes today.


How do you protest an ordinance against swearing in public? By swearing in public. In Middleborough, Massachusetts yesterday, protesters lamented the city’s new fines for public swearing.

“We disagree with the idea that the government should be regulating our speech in this way because it’s an individual and family matter,” said Middleboro resident Debbie Lafond, 38, who brought her 4-year-old son Caleb to the protest. “If they can regulate this, what’s next?”

I think (swearing is) against a higher moral law,” a local pastor said. “That’s the law that I would like to see people bend to.”

Bonus I: Proof that pelicans live around Big Stone Lake and the Ortonville dam:

Bonus II: And ducks live in China...

Bonus III: The beauty of the farmer’s market.

Bonus IV: Aaron Sorkin’s Aaron Sorkin plagiarism:


Related: When people are forced to dance at weddings. (Trail Baboon)


The Supreme Court on Monday struck down parts of Arizona’s immigration law, ruling that immigration policy remained a federal responsibility. President Obama said the ruling made clear the need for comprehensive revision of federal immigration laws. Today’s Question: What should be the main goal of U.S. immigration policy?


I will not be posting here today (Paul Tosto will be). I’ll be spending part of the day at Northfield’s Laughing Loon Farm, which was severely damaged in flooding last week, and at which volunteers are gathering today to pitch in.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Frank Deford, sportswriter, novelist and regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition. His latest book is Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. (Rebroadcast)

Second hour: Anne Lamott speaks about her new memoir “Some Assembly Required.” (Rebroadcast)

Third hour: Buddy Guy, legendary blues musician. His new memoir is “When I Left Home.” (Rebroadcast)

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): Architecture and mystery writer Larry Millett, speaking at the Club Book series about his craft. He’s the author of award-winning architecture books including “Lost Twin Cities” and a series of Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – The long reach of the Colorado River. A live broadcast from the Aspen Institute.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Officials say every town in Carlton County was hit hard when last week’s rains pushed rivers out of their banks, closing bridges and flooding homes. In the town of Barnum, all of the town’s residents were evacuated last Friday. Days later, residents are joining people from throughout the region to help neighbors recover from the flood. Residents in these areas say this kind of disaster could strike anywhere people have built homes and businesses along rivers in Minnesota. MPR’s Stephanie Hemphill is following the story.

Less than 1 percent of Minnesotans carry flood coverage. But with what seems to be more flooding as the climate is changing, should our ideas about flood insurance be changing, too? Had more people in Duluth purchased flood insurance (if they even could), would worst of losses have been prevented? Tom Crann will talk with Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Michael Rothman.