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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconThe Center for Disease Control calculates that high-school kids are having more sex, and more unprotected intercourse, when compared to the behavior of their older siblings.' Condom use is down, as kids have become more complacent about herpes and AIDS.' Maybe it's also that the total swing of society in support of teenage sex and babies born out of wedlock is working - a photograph of Britney Spears' 17 year old sister Jamie's new baby is worth $1 million.' Hmmmmm. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensParentingSexTeens
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05/13/2010
IconChina has a population control policy of one child per couple.' To encourage families to comply, population planning authorities have regularly been giving parents in rural areas amounts ranging from $8 to $17 annually for 18 years, and $144 after the parents reach 60.' Because so many children' died in the recent Sichuan earthquake, the Chinese government has decided to drop the 60 year old age requirement and will compensate the families now.China has a limited pension and health care system, so parents expect to have a heavy financial dependence on their offspring during their elder years.' For the families whose sole children died, this support is now gone, although the government has permitted these families to adopt.Recently, there were angry marches in which parents protested the shoddy school buildings in which their children died.' In some cases, the schools were the only buildings to completely collapse, according to Mei Fong, a journalist from Chengdu, China.According to some news reports, the government is considering extra compensation after authorities have concluded investigations to decide the extent of negligence in the collapse of the school buildings following the quake. More >>

Tags: divorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconThis is from one of my listeners (whose name is not given in order to protect her privacy): I've been hearing a lot lately about egg donations, surrogacy, and intentional single mothers, and I don't know if you were aware that it had gone this far!' Don't get me wrong, egg donation put me through school with no debt.' Over the past 4 years, I have donated my eggs to 4 different families, going through a total of 7 different surgeries in order to do so.' I know that at least 3 of these donations resulted in the birth of a child that was a miracle and a dream come true for the parents of these children, and I am grateful to have taken part in this dream. Recently, my agency contacted me again.' They had another donation for me.' I was thrilled because my husband and I are planning on starting our own family, and we were going to start trying in the next few months.' The donation would end in $10,000 in our pockets, which I thought would be a nice little nest egg or college account for the child we are planning.' Well, the agency sent over the contracts for me to sign, and luckily, I read them thoroughly.' The recipient was not the expected married couple with unfortunate infertility problems, but a single woman who, after having conquered the corporate world, realized it was too late to get married and make a baby on her own!' My heart sunk.' How could I intentionally give life to a child knowing it would not have a father? Then the thought crept in:' this woman is going to do it anyway, so I might as well be the one to profit from it, right?' As I was talking to my husband about my concerns, I realized, 'How can I donate part of myself to this woman and still expect my husband to believe that I think he is an asset to raising our children? How can I force another baby to grow up in daycare with no masculine influence, and still show my husband that he is a hero for wanting me to stay home with our kids while he supports us?'' I couldn't. I let the agency know:' I will not be available to do this donation, as I believe a child deserves both a mother and a father.' And I hope that my "passing" on the opportunity will make the potential "mother" reconsider her options and buy a puppy.' I may have lost ten thousand dollars, but as my husband said, I still have my morals, and that's worth more to our children than a college account. More >>

Tags: FamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMen's Point of ViewParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Associated Press ( 5/27/08 ) Japanese youngsters are getting so addicted to Internet-linking cell phones that the government is starting a program warning parents and schools to limit their use among children.' The government is worried about how elementary and junior high school students are getting drawn into cyberspace crimes, spending long hours exchanging mobile email, and suffering other negative effects of cell phone overuse.' The government is also asking Japanese manufacturers to develop cell phones with only the "talk" function and GPS.Some youngsters are spending hours at night on email with their friends.' One fad is the "30 minute rule," in which a child who doesn't respond to email within 30 minutes gets targeted for bullying the next day.' Other children have sent in their own snapshots to a website and then ended up getting threatened for money.The cell phone craze in America is tightly connected to the growing "disconnect" between children and their busy, busy parents who feel some false sense of security while not supervising their children simply because the phone has a GPS locator.' Parents should not, as a matter of course, be giving cell phones with Internet access to children - it is just too tempting to abuse, and it puts them at risk. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingTeens
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05/13/2010
IconI remember several "brouhahas" over the last few years concerning some Christian religious leaders making comments about severe weather, HIV and even September 11, suggesting that it was "God's punishment" for perceived flaws in American social life.' Boy, oh boy, did the media go mad over that!Although she has had to backtrack and apologize for her comments, I didn't see anywhere near the same response to Sharon Stone's suggestion that China's devastating earthquakes, which killed an enormous population might be "karma," because China is "not nice to Tibetans."' First of all, the average Chinese person has no power to dictate foreign concerns, much less their own domestic situation.' Has anybody lately looked at their form of government?' Anyone whining about "disenfranchisement" of voting privileges in America should visit China for a year - and make sure that the 50% of deployed military's ballots are actually counted for a change.To suggest that God or karma wiped out innocent people, because He is unhappy with their government's international political position is, in my never to be humble opinion, blasphemous, and phenomenally insensitive and disgusting.Christian Dior has dropped spokeswoman Stone from their advertisements in China, and has also apologized to its customers there. But, I imagine, because she is a popular, liberal, Hollywood type, with great facial bone structure, she will not be feeling the negative impact of her own "karma" for very long. More >>

Tags: babyParentingPoliticsValues
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05/13/2010
IconBesides the assault on Western civilization from the outside by Islamist jihadists, we are deconstructing our own society by declaring null and void basic concepts of mother- and father-centered lives for children.Forget the biology:' Male and female create offspringForget the psychology and sociology:' children who do not have Mom and Dad-centered home lives tend to have higher poverty rates, and more problems on all levels with education, violence, and substance abuse,Forget everything that is basic and makes sense, because some women are so selfish and/or incompetent to have a healthy relationship with a man that their desire - desire - is to have a child, intentionally robbing that child of a father and a mom and dad-centered home.Well, permission to do so has been granted by the British government to do just that.' The British government voted just last week to remove the requirement that fertility clinics consider a child's need for a father.' Let me repeat:' they removed the requirement that fertility clinics even consider a child's need for a father.' Can you believe that?' The best interests of a child are eliminated from discourse, because a female wants to make a baby for her own pleasure - and a historically civilized government backs her up?' Sheesh!Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, in an interview with London's "The Times," said, "I think it strange that the government should want to take away not just the need for a father, but the right for a father." This action effectively declared fathers an irrelevance in modern Britain.' It is scary that only 60% of Brits who were polled believed that a child should have a mommy and a daddy - that's the power of the "feminista" movement!Here are some letters that were sent to London's "Daily Mail:"1. Raised in a single-parent family, I can say from experience that a child needs a father.' Mothers alone cannot take his place.' It's a selfish act and implies women are more concerned with fulfilling their own needs to have a child than thinking of the child's welfare.' Men:' STOP DONATING SPERM! 2. What about a man's right to have children without a mother?' In order to avoid sex discrimination the [government] must surely now provide surrogate mothers for any would-be father who asks for one in order that he might have children. 3. With all our problems with 'feral, fatherless' youngsters in modern Britain, this vote seems utterly baffling, and frankly, obscene. 4. Is there really any need for a mother either? More >>

Tags: FamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconCalifornia's Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has found out some fascinating things about the mating behaviors of octopuses.First, some general information:' these particular octopuses are about as big as a human hand, and most of that size is in their sucker-covered tentacles.' Their bodies are just walnut-sized.' To procreate, the males deposit "sperm packets" in the female's body through a specialized tentacle.Second:' this particular species (aculeatus octopu) is normally yellow with dapples of brown, tan, and grey.' But when a male sees another octopus, he puts on his fighting and flirting colors (both of which look the same), turning nearly white with dark stripes.' That signals that he's a male, and is ready to fight OR mate.'Third:' the females will mate with any male octopus that wanders by.' The males are more selective and are more enthralled with the more voluptuous females - skinny girls need not apply.Fourth:' the little itty-bitty guys don't want to fight the regulation-size guys, so they crawl along the ocean floor to one of the voluptuous females in a den guarded by the larger male.' These clever smaller dudes remain brown and yellow (typical female behavior).' By hiding and "cross-dressing," these little guys often manage to get close enough to the female to mate....and, as I reported, she'll mate with anybody, anytime, anywhere.Moral to this story?? More >>

Tags: ChildrenParentingSex
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05/13/2010
IconOne of the criticisms lobbed at the home-schooling community/movement is that home-schooled children are being shielded from diversity and a multitude of challenging influences which will ultimately handicap them in their ability to function in the "real world."' In other words, "How will these children function in our diverse, multicultural society when they are raised in a setting with monolithic views and beliefs?"Research examining home-schooled students' academic achievements have consistently found that they score higher than the national norms on standard achievement tests.' So the only grenade left to throw at home-schooling parents is that they are hurting their children socially and emotionally.' The few studies in these areas have generally found home-schooled children to have equal or better self-esteem than traditionally schooled students.' Then the argument becomes one of how to truly know you are measuring self-esteem.Researchers from the Department of Psychology at Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi recently published their findings in Home School Researcher (Vol. 17, No. 4, 2007, pp. 1-7).' They decided to study home-schooled students' ability to successfully adjust to college life as an important criterion for demonstrating a positive outcome (or not) of home-schooling.They compared Christian college freshmen who had previously been home-schooled with a matched sample of traditionally schooled Christian freshmen on the College Adjustment Scale.' The average scores of the two groups were compared across nine scales designed to measure emotional, behavioral, social, and academic problems as typically presented to university counseling centers.The home-schooled students scored significantly lower on the anxiety subscale, while no difference was found between the two groups on the remaining scales.' Additionally, there was a general trend characterized by home-schooled students reporting fewer symptoms of emotional distress and social problems, and achieving higher first semester GPAs: The results suggest that home-schooled college freshmen successfully adjust to the social and academic environment of a Christian college with a diverse student population.' The college does not require that all students attending the college assent to a personal faith in Christ.' The previously home-schooled students are also confronted by many peers who make lifestyle choices different from their own.' Most of the college peers of the home-schooled students would be considered less conservative in their dress, entertainment interests, moral values and behaviors, than those typically experienced in most Christian home-schooled families.' Therefore, these students are not entering a homogeneous social community that necessarily mirrors their family backgrounds." Obviously, home-schooled students have additional adjustments to make when leaving their homes and entering a university or college environment:' social relationship, peer pressure, classroom structure, etc.' They are being forced to adapt to a social environment decidedly different from their homes or home school support groups.The results demonstrate that home-schooled students are able to successfully adapt emotionally, interpersonally, and academically to their first, and most challenging, semester in college.' That is probably because, having had the consistent teaching and support of a family and a community, they have developed strengths and convictions that provide a bridge over the troubled waters of a multitude of challenges and temptations.I personally believe that home-schooling helps students who have problems with focus and difficulties with energy control.' The traditional school environment required "Stepford Child" control, and the teaching techniques required for a group of thirty do not necessarily assist the learning needs and talents of each individual student.' So, instead of drugging kids to be docile, perhaps we should turn to the successes of home-schooling. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenHomeschoolHomeschoolingParentingSocial IssuesStay-at-Home Mom
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05/13/2010
IconMore than half of American children between the ages of 3 and 6 are in child care centers or preschools, so the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center recently released the results of a study of children's physical activity in day care settings. ( NY Times, 5/6/08 )The researchers surveyed staff members at 34 area child care centers to find out more about how kids spend their time while they're in day care, including the reasons why they may or may not spend time outside. They presented the findings recently at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Honolulu, Hawaii.' The findings may surprise you.Children are kept inside by day care workers if they show up in flip-flops rather than sneakers, or if they don't have a coat on a chilly day.' If only one child doesn't have the right clothes for outdoor play, the whole group may be kept indoors.' Occasionally, parents will deliberately drop off a child without a coat, because they don't want the child going outside that day.Mulch is often used to landscape playgrounds and outdoor spaces at child care centers.' The researchers found that kids eat the mulch, get it caught in their shoes or use it as weapons, so day care staff indicated that outdoor play can sometimes be troublesome.Also the feelings of teachers and parents influence whether or not children play outside.' Children learn important motor and social skills by learning to kick a ball or negotiating with another child for a turn on the swing, but teachers said they felt pressure from some parents who were more concerned with children spending time on academic skills.In addition, some day care workers said it was just too much trouble and took too much time to bundle up the kids during cold weather, while other workers said they just didn't like going outside.What more can be said about institutionalized day orphanages? More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingValues
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05/13/2010
IconSue Shellenbarger writes a column for The Wall Street Journal that generally sends me up any available wall. The column is entitled "Home & Family," and I keep up with it if only to counter its content.She recently answered a reader's question ( 4/30/08 ) that had to do with a divorced father wanting to take his 10 year old son to his native Australia for 10 days, but his ex-wife is fighting the plan. The father contends that life lessons of such a vacation trump school. He's going to court for the right to take him, and asks Shellenbarger what she thinks.First of all, there are laws which prohibit one parent from taking a child out of the country without the express permission of the other. The reason is obvious: child-stealing. Secondly, having divorced parents at war with each other over a child hurts the child as he or she feels divided loyalties and tremendous anxiety. Thirdly, taking a child out of school for a protracted trip teaches the child that education is less of a priority than personal desires for fun. This father could arrange a summer trip when no school is missed. My guess is that this is a major power play.Shellenbarger not only doesn't deal with any of these issues, but she focuses on the whim of the child: if he would be comfortable with the trip; if he would see it as an adventure....in other words, just considering what the kid wants. What?? Of course the kid wants to be out of school and hanging out with dingos and kangaroos! "The ideal route would be for you and your ex-wife to set aside your personal feelings and focus on what he truly wants," contributes a New Jersey Marriage and Family Therapist. "[It] depends on your son's openness to the experience. Try to give him a free and honest choice, unfettered by feelings of loyalty to either of you or fear of letting you down." Is she kidding? How can a ten year old do that? And why put the burden on the child? Aren't the parents supposed to want and do what is best for the child? This is more of the "if it feels good it is good" school of thought - an experiment whose failure doesn't seem to curtail its perpetuation. More >>

Tags: DivorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMarriageParenting
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