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Kincade writes an essay (or two)

Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Jul 06, 2008 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

We had 15 minutes of fame on ABC’s show Wife Swap, where the show was quite fascinated with our discipline technique of assigning our children five-paragraph essays (with intro and conclusion) for breaking major family rules.   In Albuquerque, in the Espinosa-Marquez home, several of the “tribe” of skaters wrote essays I assigned about why using the “F” word is inappropriate.

We actually don’t do this very often.   But, we do find that our kids all ace English and don’t experience writer’s block at all, thanks to their copious home writing experience.   I keep their essays to entertain them in the future when they are adults (or to entertain all of us if they continue to not learn the lesson, by reading us all their original essay out loud).

My 14-year old son, Kincade, had a bad day on Sunday and wrote not one, but TWO, essays.   Because I thought one of them was hilarious, I share it here for your enjoyment.   Note the skilled use of lots of “filler,” which will come in handy for high school length requirements:

Are Fathers Important, and Do They Deserve Our Respect?

 Fathers are very important in a family, and so we should be respectful to them.   In my second essay of the day, I will discuss why fathers are so important to families.

In our family and in most families in our country, and the United States, and the world, and probably the universe, the fathers bring home the bacon; or, in our family, it’s more like the lettuce.   Fathers all around the world work very hard to provide the “lettuce” for the family and they work too hard for their snot-nosed kids to be disrespectful to them.   I think this is pretty much the reason why fathers are so important, but because I need to fill up this page, I guess I’ll need to make some more stuff up.

Fathers are also important because as a clinical study shows, families with fathers who take an active role are less likely to have children who become juvenile delinquents.   I think that 86% of these “clinical studies” are just made up, but fathers are important because if we didn’t have fathers, we would probably drive our mothers crazy.

Fathers are also incredible role models.   They set examples for their children like being responsible, working hard, and being a stud.   These are some of the examples that my father has showed me, even though I have picked up only on the last one.   If a father were a gang member, then the child would probably show some type of interest in joining a gang.   Fathers’ examples are the most important because every child looks up to his father.   This is why I think fathers’ examples are important.

Now I have told you why I think that fathers are so important.   I feel bad about being disrepectful to Dad last night, and I know that I should try harder to be more respectful.

By Kincade Pay

Posted in: Relationships

8 thoughts on “Kincade writes an essay (or two)”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That is priceless!! Got a good chuckle reading it,but also think I’ll start my daughter learning to write essays on things she may do to give her a better idea on how she may act.

  2. http:// says:

    I was just picking up the kitchen and found this one and started cracking up (I also require my kids to write apology notes to each other sometimes):

    “Dear Libby, I am sorry for telling you that you should check into a mental hospital. It makes me mad when you accuse me of things I didn’t do, but that was not the way to handle it . . . “

  3. “the fathers bring home the bacon; or, in our family, it’s more like the lettuce”

    I laughed so much at that quote! It is absolutely hilarious! It might be my weakness once I have kids- they’ll say something funny and then I’ll start laughing rather than giving them their due punishment.

    But since I studied home and family living at BYU I can add to the essay a little. When a father is present in a home, the kids have been shown to have higher GPAs, more social-emotional intelligence about others, more friends, less children that drop out of school, and relationships with others that last longer.

    Whereas, father absence has been attributed to less stable relationships, a greater likelihood of children using drugs, alcohol, and having premarital sex to name a few.

    Anyway, after reading that letter from your son, I’ve considered doing that in my future family one day. My parents used physical punishments a lot of the time and I want to avoid that in every way. So this sounds like a good alternative.

  4. As a homeschool mom I’m going to remember this one!! That’s great! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That was amusing, but I have a question, Robyn — if your kids do a silly essay when it’s been assigned as a consequence, do you make them redo it more seriously, or you accept it as fulfilling the requirement? (this is a genuine question — I can be such a hardnose, and my first thought is they should rewrite it — however, I know sometimes I need to lighten up, so I was just wondering if this is one of those times, in your opinion).

    Also, just wanted to share that your 12-step food program has inspired me to carry out a one-month-at-a-time discipline modification program (as in child-rearing). So we don’t get overwhelmed (me and DH, OR our kids), and give up too soon, we’re going to address one discipline issue a month so we can change our current habits into more healthy ones. Hopefully this will lead to a more peaceful home in one year :o)

  6. http:// says:

    Cool, you should document your 12 months and write a book!

    If they wrote a totally frivolous essay, I’d have them rewrite it. (In the summer when I’m trying to ameliorate grammatical issues, I have them correct comma splices, pronoun agreement problems, weak subjects, etc., as part of the “learning opportunity.”) But if they just put some silly stuff in with overall good content, I chalk it up to development of a sense of humor, which is good too, right? Dave Barry is syndicated for a reason and gets paid well, so humor writing is valid writing. So I let this one stand. If they write an apology letter that is just veiled ranting, they do rewrite it in a more genuine way!


  7. Thank you for the laugh – I needed that! And…what a fantastic way to handle things with kids. Writing it down is such a sealant. And a healant. Maybe they’ll someday parlay that into love letters with their special someone, in adulthood. Or apology letters to the spouse, if ever needed. Then your D/S-in-law can thank you profusely!! :o)

  8. http://? says:

    Hillarious!! My favorite: “They set examples for their children like being responsible, working hard, and being a stud. These are some of the examples that my father has showed me, even though I have picked up only on the last one.” That is classic 14 year old!

    Awesome strategy-and i totally agree on the humor thing, that is wonderful that he can express the overall theme of the essay, while managing to elicit some laughs. Great writing!

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