Nearly every parent is disappointed and angry when the couple’s relationship fails. Some parents do a good job of harnessing the emotions unleashed by divorce. Some do not. Most parents understand the importance of keeping kids out of the middle and they do a fairly good job of honoring this responsibility. Some parents, though, are so blinded by rage and a wish to punish their former partner that they lose sight of their children's need to love and be loved by both parents. Some parents promote their children’s alienation because they believe that they are the superior parent and that the children can get by without the other parent. When for vindictive or narcissistic motives, alienating parents act in a manner that can erase the other parent from the children’s lives and leave their children with only one parent with whom they feel comfortable giving and receiving love.
After students have read and understood the assigned topic, they can go on to the next step of the essay-writing process. This step does involve writing -- but not yet essay writing. In step two, students write an outline of their proposed essay. The outline should look something like this:
Congress According to Twain
1) Topic: The question or prompt rephrased in the student's own words. Rephrasing the prompt will help students understand the assignment and narrow and focus the topic of their essay. For example, "Mark Twain once said that all members of Congress are idiots."
2) Position: The student's position or opinion about the question or prompt. For example, "I see no reason to disagree."
Most writing assessments ask students to take a position. Students should be aware that, if the test directions ask them to take a position, they need to take one side of the issue and defend it, not consider and defend both sides of the issue.
3) Reasons: Three reasons the student has taken his or her stated position.
a) Reason 1: The most important reason. For example, "Congress has passed a number of bills without considering where the funding for those bills would come from."
i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 1. For example, "The Americans with Disabilities Act, the Clean Air Act, and the No Child Left Behind Act are just three examples of laws that were passed without considering how cities and states would pay to implement their mandates."
b) Reason 2: The second most important reason. For example, "Congress has passed a number of silly bills based on narrow political interests."
i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 2. "For example, federal laws have been passed making it a crime to imitate Smokey the Bear or transport wooden teeth across state lines."
c) Reason 3: The third most important reason. For example, "The members of Congress from my state are idiots."
i) Evidence: Example that demonstrates Reason 3. For example, "I met John Smith, a member of Congress from my state, and he had never heard of my hometown."
When I graduated from college in the early 2000s, I enjoyed the same unspoken expectation shared among my fellow Gen-Xers: If you poured your heart and soul into your career, you would eventually get to a director level and have the flexibility, paycheck and assistants beneath you to begin to create a work-life balance. Then the 2008 recession hit, and people were lucky to have jobs at all. Assistants and perks disappeared across industries, and I felt like the cultural expectation was that we should now be tethered to our desks and our smartphones.