Sunday, August 30, 2015

How I feel about feminism...

A friend of Slim's asked for my opinion on feminism.  I liked my letter so much, that I thought I would publish it.  There are so many misconceptions out there about the topic and they are so influenced by everyone's definitions, which are so different from one another--a superbly charged topic!  I hope I did justice to explaining what I think and feel without falling into any particular definition.  So, here is my letter....
copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

August 29, 2015

Dear Isa,

Slim mentioned to me that you would like to hear my opinion on feminism---which I will gladly share with you.  However, I am not necessarily sure you will agree with me, which is fine too! :-)  Because it is my opinion, not ours :-).

Two things, first, I do not like the word feminist, not because I do not appreciate what they have done (quite the contrary), but I am not very excited about where they are heading.  (I will explain.)   And second, I am going to speak with you as I would to one of my daughters and in person (writing) as I prefer that to rhetoric and platitudes.

Back to where they have been and where they are heading.  I think most people have differing definitions of feminism, based in their ideologies and political leanings thus their immediate connotations of the word brings strong feelings for good or ill, which is why I just try to avoid it altogether.  That being said, I believe women should vote, receive equal pay for equal work, not be discriminated against in the work place, or anywhere else for that matter.  I think women are brilliant, educated thinkers capable of almost anything a man is.  She is an amazing, talented, gifted, creative being who can solve problems, work hard, and make decisions for herself, her family, her education, and her career.  She can be very independent.  She does not need to be dependent upon others.

But here is where I believe the world has swung the pendulum too far.  I do not think she should be independent.  Let me explain. :-)

Women have inherent gifts unique to them.  We are typically more compassionate, kind, and service oriented.  We reach out to help others because we see a need and recognize our ability to do it and BOOM  we take care of it---no questions, no arguing about whose responsibility it is or who is picking up the tab, no committee to organize or consult before we act.  Oh, someone needs something?  I can do that!  Here is the help.  We are more mercy driven—our hearts and hands reach out to help the widow, the orphan, the baby, or that cute, fuzzy chick.  Anything little that needs attention?  We will do that.  When things are over our heads or more than we can manage, we are more likely to get and receive counsel or ask for help or just an opinion—from a girlfriend, a professional, or a book.  And when it comes to the moral teaching and training of children, I think we are uniquely suited to that mostly because of our interactions with and knowledge of those children.  We can speak directly their hearts and influence their choices.

Now, do all mothers do this?  No.  My mother didn’t and maybe yours did not either.  But wise mothers do.  They recognize their intrinsic ability for influence and from the time that babe is in their arms until he/she leaves the nest and even beyond that—a mother is whispering morality into those little ears and training and educating them in the ways the mother sees fit.  If she is choosing not to directly shape this life, then her example for good or ill does.  The mother who teaches ‘do what I say, not what I do’ has severely limited her influence.

Now, let me ask you something, Isa—
Who has more influence over the hearts of man (men and women)—the one who spouts rhetoric from political platforms and argues, however articulately, across the television and social medias, or the one figure who has been teaching, training, and nurturing that child for twenty or so years?  Whose influence carries more weight and power?

The difference is my influence is not a public presentation.  Mine is not motivated by self-interest. It is not motivated by greed or popularity—but by love and growth for the individual.  The woman who rocks the cradle really does rule the world!  The problem is, we don’t have enough people who understand the real power and role of women.

Society has seduced us into thinking that we need to be exactly like the men.  What a crock!  We aren’t men.  We shouldn’t aspire to be men or compete with men.  Our gifts and talents are unique to us!  As we learn to embrace and appreciate the gifts and talents unique to women, we will change the world—through kindness and charity, not through committee, lobby, and legislation.  We will learn to work in harmony with men and allow their unique gifts and talents to shine through.  We will learn how to be interdependent—where men learn to recognize and rely on our unique talents and we learn to recognize and rely on their unique talents.

You know Slim.  Do you think he would be the man he is today if I had raised him alone?  What if Drew had done it alone?  Either way, he would be a completely different person.  Slim snowed me all the time.  If ever he wanted to do something, he knew what to say to me and how to do it to get his way.  Easy as cake!  The only problem?  He could never get around his father.  As much as I tried to be the gatekeeper, I was miserably unsuccessful.  And if Drew had been in complete control, Slim would have been more rebellious than he otherwise was.  The best place for the child was between the two very different viewpoints.  But instead of competing for control, we complimented each other in each of our roles.  Sometimes I gave a little, sometimes he gave a little.

True feminism, in my opinion, would remind us of who we are and our true power and influence--not try to cry that we are treated unfairly, or unequally and encourage dissent.  I do not want to be treated like a man, because I am a woman, not a man.  I find joy, fulfillment, power, and influence in my role as a wife and mother.  I am not tied down, nor is my freedom inhibited because I have embraced this role.  In fact, it is just the opposite—my influence is 10 fold what it would have otherwise been!  Why?  Because I have participated in companionship with my husband in bringing life and love, teaching and training to nine souls, who will then turn around and choose nine other souls, similar to theirs in ideology and philosophy and start the process over again.  My righteous influence will live on for generations!  Facebook posts or social media comments may not last for weeks.

When our society awakens and recognizes where a woman’s true influence and power lies and then we choose to embrace those qualities that are uniquely given to women instead of fighting to become like a man, that is when we, as women, will experience true fulfillment--because we will recognize who we are and what we can do.  Marriage and motherhood don’t bind us down, they lift us up and ennoble us!  No woman is more like Deity than when she is using her God-given talents and gifts to lift, teach, and train another soul.

Does that mean that all women should or will be mothers?  No, but all women have motherhood DNA—those unique gifts and talents, the ability to nurture souls, and reach in and touch hearts, soothe aching feelings, counsel and calm angry and aggressive attitudes, those gifts are an innate part of every woman.  And as she learns how to use those gifts for the nurture and admonition of mankind, her own children or not, she will have a greater understanding of who she is and the power and influence she has.  To that degree, she will find greater personal fulfillment and joy than she will ever know.

And that, my dear Isa, is how I feel about feminism.

Friday, August 28, 2015

FFF #29, 2015---How Tammy became Ours!

I don't think I have ever publicly shared this story, so I think it is about time.  I know when I read blogs, I can sometimes glean information that doesn't seem to fit, so I seek the answers through some of the other blog posts the author has written.  Sometimes I can't find the information I need to put two and two together.  I don't want this to be one of those places.

Tams is the same age as Spanky and really close in age to Slim and she is the only one who we use her name and not a nick name so it is obvious something is different.  Here is the story, and why it is different.

When we moved here to California, we had four children, Slim, Spanky, Scuff, Sport and were 20 weeks pregnant with Speedy.  Drew was called to be the ward mission leader almost immediately upon our arrival.  The stake president literally ran us down (on foot, not in his car) in the parking lot our first Sunday in the ward.

One family the missionaries were visiting and teaching had two daughters, Tammy and her older sister.  Tams was six.  Her father was an inactive member and her mother was the investigator.  Neither Tams' father, nor her mother were in good health.  It was difficult for both of them to get around.  Shortly after Ann's (Tams' Mom) baptism, I was called to be her visiting teacher.  I visited her every month.  They were difficult visits in that Tams' dad didn't want to give up his smoking habit and Tams' mom was on oxygen.  They had lived a rather rowdy life.  Ann was trying to live her newly made covenants, but Frank (Tams' dad) wasn't quite ready to give up his vices.

As time went on, it was obvious Ann's health was in a steady decline.  She wasn't going to last too much longer.  We had many discussions about her plans for her funeral and what she wanted for her daughters and what plans she had in place for them.  The only thing she stressed was that she wanted her daughters to be happy and successful.  As probably one of her only consistent friends near the end of her life, I promised Ann that I would do whatever I could to help ensure her wishes would be met.

Tams was 10 when her mother passed away, about four years after her mother joined the church.  By then, Drew was the Bishop of our ward.  When their mother passed away, my sweetheart tried to make sure there were women visiting that house and checking on those girls weekly.  Because I don't know anything that is going on in the Bishop's office, I don't know who was asked to do what, but I do know of three women who stepped up to the plate and kept a rather consistent eye on the girls---I love each and everyone of them!  (Judy Bingham, Ellen Messerly, and Heidi VanBuskirk).  I know other women were asked and would not help (I do not know who they are, thank goodness!)  I was kind of out of commission because Sun was just a baby (1), Speedy was three, and I was expecting Shorty, with my other four children who were 12 and under.

It was a rough couple of years.  But it got more difficult when Tams' father passed away a few years later.  She was 13.  At that point, I was ready to file the papers to bring those girls to my house and raise them myself.  However, after many discussions with Drew and lots of prayer, it became obvious to me that the rest of Tams' family needed an opportunity to step in and try to help those girls.  Tams had an older half brother, who lived with his sweetheart and they had two children about the girls' ages.  And there was an aunt who wanted the opportunity to help out also.  There were custody battles and other issues, but Tams ended up with the family and her sister went to a home that was more suited to her needs (she has some mental disabilities).

By this point in time, I was in the Young Women's organization.  As part of my responsibilities, I kept tabs on Tammy---just checking in with her periodically and seeing what she needed, emotionally and otherwise.  I became friends with her family and they trusted me to help them out and check in on Tammy.  Periodically we spoke of Tams' sister and made arrangements for the two of them to spend time together.  It was really difficult for me to watch because I just wanted to rescue Tammy.  I didn't want her to have to experience the life she was living with her relatives, none of whom were active members.  But the truth be told, I was swimming in my own family.  I realistically could not have managed Tammy's and her sister's needs at my house, as much as my heart desired to save them.  But I could keep a watch from a distance and periodically step in and help or facilitate the help they needed, which I did.

Custody battles, lots of emotional discussions, and court appearances were all a part of this time of our interactions with Tammy and her family.  Judy, Ellen and Heidi continued to be an asset and help in tending to Tammy's and her sister's needs.

By the time Tammy was 14, she was attending the same high school as my boys.  I drove her to and from school every day.  She hung out with us.  Some other families also became involved in her life.  She had piano lessons at the M's.  She had family home evening with the Davis' and when ever she just needed a break from life and some space, she hung out with the Craig's, whose children were all grown.

By the time Tams was 16, things became very strained at her home, where she was living with her half brother.  Things were pretty intense and emotional.  One day things blew up and Tammy left the house and walked to my house about two to three miles away.  It was normal teenage drama with lots of tears and hurt feelings, but it became obvious that things were not going to be reconciled and Tams was going to need another place to stay.  I again revisited the options with Drew about filing for custody and bringing Tammy home to live with us.  As we prayed about it, again the answer was, "Not now.  This is not for you to do."  Again, I was not happy with the answer.

Tammy's brother came over to visit with us.  He was really only comfortable with two families he knew in the church, us and the M's.  He knew Sister M because he had been the one dropping Tammy off for piano.  Since we were the only two families he knew, we were the only ones he was comfortable with allowing to file for custody.  Since Drew and I had prayed about it and knew the Lord didn't want us to do it, the M's were the only option.  We called the Bishop (not Drew) and let him know of the details.  He had been in the loop all along.  I don't know who spoke with the M's or how that worked or was approached, but that was what ended up happening.  Tams moved in with the M's and became a part of their family.

That was really difficult for a lot of us.  I am sure the M's meant well, but in hopes of acclimating Tammy to their family (I am assuming), Sister M cut off all of Tammy's interactions with the other families who had stepped in and made her a part of their families. She kind of cut off all of the support network we had built around her, which was really difficult for all of us.  But due to Tammy's amazing resilience, she still blossomed!

I continued to be Tams' venting place.  When things were stressful or she needed to talk or cry, she came to me.  I had been there for a long time, watching over her and loving her and caring for her.  In my heart, she was mine and I cared about her that way.  It was really difficult for me when she would pour out her heart and I wanted to come running to her defense.  It was usually my husband who would say, "Carin, remember you are only getting half of the story---her half."  I knew he was right, but it didn't stop me from feeling very protective of her.

She lived with the M's until she was ready to go off to college.  When she comes home, she stays with the M's.  She loves them!  That is great!  It is wonderful that she has two families---us and the M's.  When we have family anything, Tams is a part of it.  And when the M's have any family thing, Tams is a part of that.  We have to share her, but that is alright!  After what she has been through, she deserves the love of two complete families---one with mostly sisters, and the other one full of brothers.

And that is how Tams became a part of us, and she always will be!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Good bye Scuff!! Have a great BYU year!

Scuff left yesterday for the Y.  In the morning, he was still sleeping on the couch.
The rest of us were gathered around for family prayer and reading.

Then it was time to leave.  Gather up stuff, and last minute hugs.

Loading up in the car.

More hugs at the airport and flying out with a friend leaving for her mission!
That was a nice surprise!

Then the guys sent me this:
So that I would know, all is well!!
Sure love those guys!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quilt top

I finished my quilt top!!!  And I am almost finished with the back :-)


Here are some photos!

Here is a closeup of the boarder.  I did a strip boarder.  This isn't too bad for my first quilt!!

And here is what I am doing for the back.  I just used material I already had at home.  I am only going to buy batting and binding.  Pretty exciting!!  I think I am most excited because this is how quilting got started in the first place.  People just used the old scraps they had and put them together to make their bedding.  This entire quilt is pieced together from just that---left overs, or things just sitting in my closet!  Super exciting!!  Here is the back:
Not super beautiful, but not bad for leftovers!
Have a great day!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I am so excited!!

I had 14 youth in seminary this morning!!!  That is amazing considering last year we had four!!  We added 10 youth!  10!!  I am so excited!

I don't know if they will all stay.  I will pray they will, but to have 14 kids on a day that most of them do not have school, as in 12 of them didn't---that is totally awesome!

We put our minds together and just really went out and invited all of those youth who are of age to come to seminary!  Our seminary secretary gave us a great welcoming idea with a candy gram, so we made one for each of our students and invited them personally---the other youth did.

Here is what they looked like:
"You are invited to expand your mind with 'nuggets' of knowledge and find spiritual 'starbursts'.  Find 'extra' fun with 'jolly' friends.  Plus there are lots of 'snickers' with friends and teachers.

Seminary can be a real 'life saver'.

Yes, SEMINARY is worth '100 Grand'.  Be 'twix't you and me, seminary just can't be beat!  It's the best way to start your day!   So be a 'smartie' and come to seminary!"

We got them to all but one person.  He is out of town due to the passing of a relative.  But I think he will come too.

We have also worked as a seminary counsel to include those students who aren't normally coming in our prayers.  We have prayed with faith that those student would be willing to come and give us a try.

It was so amazing to have our room full!!  I just cannot even express my gratitude to our Father in Heaven for answering our prayers.  Now we just need to pray that we can teach with the Spirit, they will feel it and that Spirit will draw them in.  Please add us to your prayers!!

Our leaders have been trying to tell us that if we will pray in faith and then do the work to bring those souls into the gospel, the Lord will bless our efforts.  The question has been:  Are we willing to work the Lord's way and change the ways we have been doing things!

For our seminary, that has meant including our youth in bringing our other youth to the table.  Asking them to pray for them and exercise their faith, to invite them, to look out for them, say 'Hi' to them, invite them!  And today we are seeing the results of that in our youth!  I am so excited!!

This work is contagious!  It is His work and His glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man!  We can participate in that work and we can do it today!!  Reach out, reach out in love, go and see your visiting teachees, visit your students of your classes, or your primary, or young women, or young men, or the Elders, the RS Sisters, or your High Priests!!  Go and see those who are on your rolls who are not now coming.  Pray to know who to see (the Lord knows your time is short too), reach out to them in love and friendship, see what you can do to serve them and help them feel the love of the Master reaching after them, then invite them to come and join us and make that love a continued part of their lives!!  As they do so, and feel of it often, they will then do that same thing and reach out to others, your ward, primary, RS, Young Women, or priesthood quorums will grow!!  It is amazing!!  Go and do it today!!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Marriage and Family Matter Today

copyright: Karen Larsen photography. Isn't she amazing?!!  Gorgeous!
Yesterday I taught our youth Sunday School class about marriage and family.  It helped that the only youth in the class were my children and that marriage and family are one of my favorite topics, even my field of study in college!

The major point of the lesson was helping the youth to think about the 'whys' of marriage and family and then how to communicate effectively, kindly, and succinctly those principles and doctrines.

We discussed the doctrines and principles, read The Family:  A Proclamation to the World, and read President Hinckley's address about "Why we do the things we do."

Then I had the kids give me question that they have heard at school:

"What do you have against same gender marriage?"

Then the kids spent 20 minutes writing the answer to that question, then we read them to each other.  I heard many of the same points we have discussed here at the house, which was good.  That means our teaching is sinking in right?

I am trying to get myself into bed earlier since seminary started today.  But--

I felt it was important to explain why marriage and family matter today.  Do you realize that The Family:  A Proclamation to the World was give 20 years ago next month?  20 years ago!

I was there when President Hinckley shared it with us for the first time at the General Women's Meeting September 23, 1995.  I remember when he read it that I thought, "Wow, that is great!  I believe that! Doesn't everyone?"

Look where we are 20 years later---only 20 years later---not a generation, not my grandmother's day, not even the time it takes to be considered an adult old enough to consume alcohol.  Crazy!

Marriage and family, the Lord's way with His definitions, is the way to happiness and peace in this life.  It is what brings about the best good for the most people.  It is the right of children born and unborn, to have two parents of differing genders bound together by covenants to love and honor each other, to stick it out and work out their differences, to do it for the benefit of society, for something beyond themselves and their personal happiness, to fulfill their obligations to the rest of the people who share this earth with them.  Yes, we have responsibilities to be the best we can be and to do it for other people, not just us.

I read an article today, shared by a Baptist preacher who tried to explain that unwed pregnancy isn't a sin.

Wow.  He missed a few points.  Yes, that baby is innocent.  He/she did nothing wrong.  He/she was probably just so excited to get a body and have his/her experience in mortality that he/she jumped for joy and took the opportunity!  But the young woman's pregnancy was a direct result of sin, premarital sex.  His point was that she needs love and comfort and to be treated fairly----I agree with that.  She doesn't need to be the topic of gossip or whispering in her church congregations.  I agree with that.

But you cannot celebrate her actions without encouraging others to make the same choice she did.

And back to the point, what about the baby.  What have her (and his, because we know she didn't do it alone) actions cost the baby?  What have their actions cost the two young people who participated in bringing that baby here?  It has cost them a lot (much more than any financial costs!).

What are the differences if that baby is born into a family who are married and bound together by covenants and moral feelings about their obligations and responsibilities to others in their communities?  What are the differences for the youths if those are their choices as well?

Of course, there are other, greater ramifications when you want to add same gender couples into the equation---and not just for the children.

Those of us who do not believe as they do, well, they are calling us names and trying to prove through the legal system that our beliefs are unconstitutional and bigoted.  Last I checked, this was a free country and a man or woman was free to believe how they want, and worship how they want, and speak how they want.  So how are my beliefs unconstitutional?  Am I free to have them?  Then I do.  Sorry they are different than yours.

With the civil rights movement, men and women were being treated unfairly because of their color.  They were not allowed the same freedoms others experienced because of their skin.  That is wrong, then and now.  The laws were inequitable.  Today they are trying to tell owners of businesses that they cannot choose who they offer their services to.  They are trying to force people to participate in society in ways that go against their beliefs.  That is a very different thing.

Those same service are not being denied to homosexuals.  They are free to get them elsewhere.  There are people who will serve them and cater to them, even.  But they want to force those of us who have moral objections to participating in their life styles to do so.  That is wrong too.  Since when should people be forced or fined for upholding their beliefs through their actions?  Are their actions harming them, denying them rights?  Nope.  It just goes against their conscience to participate in those ways.  People should not be forced to violate their conscience or beliefs.  That is what goes against our constitution, not the other way around.

So now I have typed way more than I intended to and I am up past my bedtime.   So wish me luck for seminary tomorrow!!  Good night.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FFF #28 2015 on Saturday, again!

It always surprises me when I plan on posting on Friday and I don't have time to get it written and out before Friday, that Friday is usually just as busy as the days before it.  It should not surprise me, but it does every time.

I have been preparing and preparing for seminary---lots of Old Testament reading.  Plus, I have been studying the seminary manual on becoming a better teacher.  The process the manual stresses about teaching is to first understand the scripture block (context and content), then to pick out the principles taught, understand the doctrines and principles, decided how you want to teach the principles and context/content so that your class understands their truth and importance and feels them deeply, and then to apply those doctrines and principles.  It does us no good to know the doctrines and the principles and then not to apply them.  That is the goal of all of our teaching, to teach the principles and doctrines in a way that motivates our students to apply them.

That is the major goal of our parenting too.

We want our children to understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel in such a way that they are then motivated to apply those doctrines and principles.  Of course, it presupposes that we understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel and how they should apply in our lives.  If we do not know, we cannot teach them.  I think that is where my parents fell down.  They did not know enough of the doctrines and principles or how they should apply.

Where do we find the doctrines and principles? 
copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

In the scriptures.

The prophets have spent an ample amount of time writing down their inspired stories of life.  As we read through them, and think about the circumstances and emotions and feelings that we are reading about, we can see, sometimes directly spelled out, other times inferred, the principles and how they applied.

Here is an example:

In the story of Nephi and the brass plates, we hear Nephi say in 1st Nephi 3:7, "I will go and do that which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

That is a principle, stated directly.  In our own words, it sounds like this:  If they Lord commands us to do something, He has already prepared a way for us to accomplish it.  Obedience is required, and the Lord will help us.

Then how do we apply it.  Well, it has multiple applications.

For Carin and Drew, when the Lord told us to move to California, and the only job we could find paid only half of what we were making in Utah, that didn't mean that we were exempt from going.  It meant, the Lord had prepared a way and we needed to exercise our faith and do what we knew the Lord was asking of us.

You may not be asked to do something so dramatic.  But even in working with our children, the principle applies.  We know, through our prophets, the Lord has asked us to read our scriptures every day and pray, every day.  Regardless of our circumstances, the Lord has prepared a way for us to accomplish that command.  We may need to adapt our definition of what that looks like or the circumstances we think we need in place to accomplish that.  We may need to ask for help and assistance in making the changes necessary to make that a part of our routine.  If we are not willing to even do that much, where is our faith?

Another principle that we can pull from that scripture applies to our parenting.  If our Father in Heaven is willing to 'make a way for us to accomplish all that He commands us,' what then is our obligation to our children?  Is it not to prepare a way for them to accomplish the things that we ask of them?  We need to help them and plan for their success.  That is what righteous parents do.  It would be immoral of us to ask something of our children that we knew they are incapable of doing.  And if we are the teaching parents we need to become, we will not only plan for their success, but will help them accomplish the goal and be their cheerleader along the way, just like our Father does for us.
copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

I didn't realize that I had so much to say on the subject.  Anyway, that is enough for us to think about today.  As you read your scriptures, think deeply of the people, circumstances, and the things they are being asked to do and how they solve their problems.  Pull out the principles that you see there and think of how they applied them.  Then think about your own life or that of your children.  Where might those principles apply to your daily struggles or the issues you are facing?  Do you have the faith to put the Lord to the test?  The principles are eternal and time tested and proven, which is why they are in the scriptures.  Try it, be willing to put your whole heart and faith into it.  If you need more motivation, read Alma's exposition about faith in Alma 32 (here).  Remember that seeds do not grow over night, even over weeks, sometimes.  Harvesting takes months, sometimes years.  It may take that long for your plant to fruit, but it will fruit, if you continue to nourish it and care for it.

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hair Cut for Shorty

For mutual tonight, the boys asked me if I would demonstrate cutting men's hair.  I am by no means an expert and the only training I have had is a lot of practice and a girl friend who taught me the basics.

But, Sun took photos of the entire event, so here they are:

Start trimming around the ears

and the back

shave up the sides to a bowl cut

back too

wet the top to cut to desired length

Make a line down the middle to desired height
Blend the top to match the line you cut down the center

Blend the sides to match the top

Blend the sides to match the lines you shaved up to what you cut on top
send them to the mirror to check it out and give feedback
put them back in the chair and fix your mistakes

We let him get out of the chair and then Sun said, "Hey Mom, he still has a line in the back of his head!"  So we sat him back down and blended that line into the rest of the hair.  Viola!  Done.

For little people, I put them in front of something they rarely get to watch on TV and sit right behind them with their bum between my legs and then I cut their hair on the floor.  If they want to get up, I let them and then I try to coax them back to let me finish it.  I just make sure I have enough time so they can get up and run around without me having to leave the house or do something else.  Then it can be relaxing without a lot of stress for the little person or the hair cutter.