Character and Ethics
A new study found that when it comes to getting through to young people, you may be better off focusing on the positive, rather than using scare tactics.
If you’re a parent, you may at times get frustrated by how hard it is to get your children to listen to you when you warn them about the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, speeding when driving, or whatever the possible danger is.
The study, done at University College London in England, involved participants between 9 and 26 years old, who were asked to estimate their risk of suffering certain bad events, like being in a car accident or getting lung disease (from smoking). They were then told the actual statistics for those events.
If you feel uncomfortable even bringing up the subject of sex with your pre-teen or teenage son or daughter, you are not alone. More than one parent has elected to avoid having that talk altogether because they didn’t feel comfortable. However, given the potentially very serious and life-changing consequences of sex, it is a subject that parents ought to discuss.
At no other time have children of all ages been exposed to so much gratuitous sex as today’s children. Sexual messages abound in television, movies, music and advertisements, while the Internet is a new source of ready sexual content for children who are not being carefully supervised. Today, more than ever, it is important to bring up the subject of sex with your son or daughter, instead of relying only on school to teach them what they need to know.
The recent series of horrifying, unspeakably senseless mass shootings perpetrated by teenagers and young adults in different American states has all of us in this country searching for answers. What can be causing these increasingly common, genocidal outbursts of gun violence? And what can we as a society do to change things?
Most of us understand that it would be simplistic to try to More »
In an age of growing disconnection between people and nature, many parents find it challenging to instill in their children a sense of appreciation for all that the earth has to offer. In many cases, nature is remote and not easily accessible, while electronics and media are immediately available, and many busy parents understandably go the easier route. But there are numerous benefits to helping your child appreciate the wonders of the great outdoors, and it is even More »
As kids grow, it can be difficult for parents to let go of the parent-child dynamic that was established during the early years. Teens might still be far from fully formed adults, but they are unique individuals with strong senses of themselves, and much of their behavior is oriented toward growing and becoming adults. For parents, the old closeness of the early years must sadly give way to something else. No longer will you More »
Many children are not predisposed to working hard and carrying out their responsibilities with enthusiasm. In fact, most kids must be taught these things, often with great hardship and frustration for the parents. Kids want to play and enjoy their idle time—which is perfectly natural and even healthy to some degree—and typically do not take well to being More »
That kids experience growing pains is no myth. At times of growth (and kids do grow at uneven rates), to feel actual pain in the bones, muscles, and joints is quite common. Its prevalence is difficult to measure, but it is believed that as many as half of all children experience growing pains regularly. As grownups, we may not remember just how uncomfortable these pains can be, but they are significant enough to disrupt sleep, make it hard to focus in school, and cause irritability.
Be aware that even though you feel you are doing your very best raising your child, sometimes your parenting strategies can be damaging to your child’s self-esteem and the parent-child relationship. Your child needs to grow up with a healthy level of self-esteem to be more resilient to the lessons learnt and the knocks taken in life. A good self-esteem enables your child in decision making, having confidence in the judgements she makes, knowing what is right and wrong and having an ability to ‘bounce back’ after a knock. Healthy self-esteem is especially important during your child’s adolescent years when the chances are she will experience peer pressure to experiment with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterised by repetitive and unwanted thoughts. These obsessions create actions made by the sufferer as they try to eradicate the anxious thoughts which are compulsions. OCD cases vary from mild to severe and manifest in different ways. With children suffering from OCD their obsessive thoughts can cause high levels of distress and anxiety often dominating their time and ability to focus and hold their attention on things. Research carried out estimates that 1.9% to 3% of children have OCD so out of 1000 children in a school 19 to 30 of them will probably have this disorder. OCD does not discriminate between ethnicities or social groups.
When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practical skills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we should raise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teaching them forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have different talents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are most talented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child’s life. And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a good idea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.
By Lisa Pecos
With the rise of computers and electronic gadgets as tools for all types of school-related activities, kids spend far less time writing by hand than they used to. As a result, many people fear that the ancient art of handwriting is bound to become a thing of the past. While this is true to some extent-writing by hand is certainly less important than it used to be-it is still important to have good handwriting for the times when it is called for.
By Marc Courtiol
Although it may sometimes be hard to imagine life without cellphones, most grownups can recall a time when we were not all in constant touch with one another, and when every household shared a single stationary phone. And because most of today’s parents grew up in that world, many have a somewhat traditionalist attitude when it comes to whether to give their own kids cellphones. Many feel there is no reason a child needs a cellphone, while some take a more modest approach, allowing that it may be a good idea to provide their kids cellphones at, say, 14 or 15, when the social life picks up.
By Lisa Pecos
Today’s kids plug into media at an earlier age than their predecessors, and the amount of media they consume is staggering compared to the habits of past generations. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average child between the age of eight and 18 consumes media for seven hours and 38 minutes every day-and the real rate for teens is much higher. As parents, there is good reason to be disturbed by these figures. Granted, certain types of media have benefits, but the negative effects of media overconsumption are considerable. The good news is there are things responsible parents can do to moderate these effects.
By Jamell Andrews
Most children experience some degree of shyness in certain social situations. For example, some young kids are naturally afraid of grownup strangers, and some are shy around kids of the opposite sex. For others, the problem can be more general; they may seem to lag behind their peers in social development, and this may cause them to have trouble making friends, which in turn causes them to fall further behind. If your child falls into this category, there are steps you can take to help her outgrow her shyness.
Our son Michael was potty trained at nine months and spoke in sentences at 12 months old. At age two, he would listen to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite over and over. When a friend gave my husband and I tickets to see the Nutcracker one holiday season, I cringed! Mike did stand up comedy at the age of three, and we thought it was necessary to put him into Pre-School to learn to read and write his own first name.
Over the past several years, the phrase “helicopter parenting” has emerged in the media as a term for parenting styles that involve excessive intervention, attention, and guidance on the part of parents toward their children. The term is metaphorical; the parent is a helicopter constantly hovering over the child. It is often used pejoratively, and it tends to bring to mind images of parents completely sanitizing their children’s worlds, going to the hospital for every bruise or scratch, and acting in an excessively entitled manner on behalf of their kids.
Stutters or Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder most commonly affecting children between the ages of 2 and 5, though it appears in people of all ages. There are many forms of stuttering, which itself is only one of a variety of similar speech disorders. It usually involves the involuntary repetition of syllables, the prolonging of words, or mid-word interruptions. The speech difficulties are often accompanied by additional tics such as rapid blinking, lip tremors, and muscular tension in the face, jaw, or upper body. The problems often worsen when the stutterer is excited or under stress.
No one said parenting was going to be easy. As children grow up, countless issues can arise, and as parents it is our job to try to guide our children through these times to the best of our abilities. An essential part of this job is to talk to our children about serious issues that kids face. These talks are not always easy, and they can be downright uncomfortable for both parent and child. However, they are crucial for a child’s development, and they are also useful for establishing the lines of communication.
Anger is something that kids learn. From too much violence on television, to video games, the internet, and music, violent images and words surround us all. While adults can listen to or view these things without having them directly impact the way they behave or treat others, children are an entirely different matter.
By Jamell Andrews
Divorce is a stressful event for everyone involved. Just because parents are the two individuals who are directly going through the process, it does not mean that the children involved are immune from the negative effects. For the most part, the various reactions that children have to news of divorce will depend upon their ages, temperament, and the specific circumstances that surround the divorce.
By Jamell Andrews
In an effort to teach children how to be responsible, respectful, and honest throughout their lives, schools throughout the United States have implemented structured character education classes. For the most part, parents are extremely supportive of these types of programs because they want their children to learn how to respect others, how to have integrity, and how to exhibit self-control.
By Anna Rekal
Bullying can come in a variety of different forms, and it can start as early as preschool. Children may be picked on or teased, or they may be forced into certain behaviors or activities in order to avoid being beaten up or have their lunch money stolen.
By Jamell Andrews
It is believed that children develop into who they (ultimately) are based on the confidence their parents have as parents. In other words, if mom and dad are not comfortable being parents, or if they do not exude very much self-confidence in this role, their children are likely to pick up on these feelings. This can contribute to the overall sense of insecurity or lack of self-esteem that children may feel as they grow older.
By Jessica Lawson
With divorce rates in America at an all-time high, it is practically inevitable that our children will be affected by broken marriages either directly or through friends. Difficulties, both emotional and physical (due to moving back and forth between residences), can threaten a child’s sense of home and blur the roles of parents.
By David Bain
Jesse Jackson once said, “Your children need your presence more than your presents”. When stated it seems obvious that a child’s early years can determine the rest of their life. What seems so obvious, however, is often ignored. Parents often forget that offering support and companionship is as important as a good home and material possessions. It is important for parents to understand that a child’s self-esteem is determined, in large part, by how they are raised. Creating self-esteem is one of the most important aspects of parenting.
By Evan Steele
As a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, parent educator, and parent, I have had the opportunity to be on “both sides of the couch,” and observe the current state of parent education. The following are some thoughts about what help is available, especially as it relates to difficult (ADHD, ODD, etc) children.
By Sylvia Wells
In this hyper-stimulating world we live in there aren’t many places you can go to enjoy quiet time with your children. That is why I make the most of my time in the car with my kids. There are no distractions, (and no escape), it’s a great time to reconnect and get to know each other a little better.
By Julie Redstone
“A new study in the scientific journal Child Development, Nov./Dec., 2006, shows that if you teach students that their intelligence can grow and increase, they do better in school.
About 100 seventh graders, all doing poorly in math, were randomly assigned to workshops on good study skills. One workshop gave lessons on how to study well. The other group was taught about the expanding nature of intelligence and the brain.
The students in the latter group learned that the brain actually forms new connections every time you learn something new, and that over time, this makes you smarter. The group of kids who had been taught that the brain can grow smarter, had significantly better math grades than the other group.”
Michelle Trudeau, NPR-Morning Edition, Feb. 15, 2007.
In the progressive unfoldment of the idea that “you are what you believe,” many of us have learned to apply this teaching to help create a positive outlook in our children concerning what they are capable of intellectually, and what they can aspire to in any area they choose to pursue later on. We know how to encourage our children in the ways of worldly success.