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Category Archives: self-esteem movement

The Price of Inflating Self-esteem: Part 1/4

I read Joel Stein’s The ME ME ME Generation: Millennials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents published in the May 20 issue of Time Magazine. My first reaction was to agree with what he wrote 100%.  Then I thought about it for several days and decided there was a major flaw in Stein’s piece.

When I finished reading the piece, this phrase was glued in my head: “In the U.S. Millennials are the children of the baby boomers, who are also known as the Me Generation, who then produced the Me Me Me Generation.”

There is some truth to Stein’s statement but it is also misleading. I taught in the public schools for thirty years starting with fifth grade in 1975-76; then graduated to 7th and 8th grade 1979-89, and in 1989 I transferred to the high school where I taught until August 2005 when I retired. During those years, I worked with at least 6,000 students and had contact with hundreds of parents.

There are five generations:

1.        The Greatest Generation (1901-1945) – my parents were born early in this generation and I was born near the end in 1945.

2.        Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964)

3.        Generation X (1965 – 1985)

4.        Generation Y (1978 – 1994) – The Millennials

5.        Generation Z (1995 – 2007) — I never taught this generation. Source: List of Generations Chart

When I first started teaching, I worked with students from Generation X until 1992 when the Millennials first walked into my classroom.

It didn’t take long to witness a difference in attitude and behavior among the Millennials compared to Generation X, but not all of the Millennials were members of the so-called ME ME ME Generation. There were always great students who were not narcissists or sociopaths, but through the years there were fewer of them and more students with parents that were very concerned about their child’s self-esteem—there was a lot of pressure to give out higher grades and make the work easier.

For example, in 1979 when I first started teaching 7th and 8th graders at Giano Intermediate, at least half of my students earned A’s and B’s. Few failed.

After I reached the high school, the failure rate climbed to 30% and about 20% earned A’s and B’s. By the time I left teaching in 2005, the failure rate among the Millennials had climbed to as high as 50% in some classes and about 5% of the students earned A’s and B’s—that was in my English classes.

In one class—journalism—that I taught for seven years starting in the early 1990s, the students produced the high-school newspaper, and ninety-nine percent of those students earned A’s or B’s, and it was rare that a student in that class earned anything less. In that class, there were few narcissists with self-esteem obsessed parents.

The parent cult of self-esteem became a serious movement in the 1960s and spread over the years like a virus until it reached toxic numbers—a malignant cancer, but not every Baby Boomer parent was a member of this cult so we have to be careful about stereotyping all Millennials as narcissists.

Continued on May 24, 2013 in The Price of Inflating Self-esteem: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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What parenting method works best?

  1. The self-esteem boosting, follow your dreams and be happy all the time parenting method that many white parents in America practice.
  2. The practice known as tiger parenting as seen in Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and/or Anchee Min’s The Cooked Seed—both memoirs.

Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor of Yahoo! Shine reported on May 9 about “a recently released decade-long study of 444 Chinese-American families shows that the effect tiger parents have on their kids is almost exactly the opposite,” and that a controlling Chinese-style parent does not drive his or her child to success.

The conclusion was that “Tiger parenting doesn’t produce superior outcomes in kids.”

I disagree, and here’s why:

Studying 444 Chinese-American families does not provide enough information.

Instead, the study should expand in its scope and include all Asian Americans in addition to Pacific Islanders, because these cultures encourage stricter parenting methods and place a higher value on education compared to the wishy-washy style of the average White American parent who talks to his/her child less than five minutes a day and allows the child to divide his/her daily time watching about 10 hours of TV, listing to music, hanging out with friends, playing video games, spending time on sites such as Facebook, sending text messages, etc.

The results:

  • Suicide Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 1990-2010 (all ages):

In twenty years, the suicide rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders never cracked 7% and even improved from 6.63% in 1990 to 6.24% by 2010.

For American Whites, the suicide rate was 13.3% in 1990 and climbed to 14.13% by 2010—more than twice the suicide rate of Asian/Pacific Islanders.

Source: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Unemployment rate by race for March 2013 (all ages):

The White American unemployment was 6.9%.

The Asian-American was 5% (the lowest employment rate among all racial groups)

Source: United States Department of Labor

  • Divorce rate by race:

Whites had the highest divorce rate in America at 27%.  African American’s were a distant second at 22% and Hispanics at 20%.

The Asian-American divorce rate was 8%—less than a third of the White divorce rate.

Source: Assisted Divorce.com

  • Drug use by race (all ages):

“Of the major racial/ethnic groups, the rate of drug use is highest among the American Indian/Native American population (10.6%) and those reporting mixed race (11.2%), followed by African Americans (7.7%), Hispanics (6.8%), and whites at (6.6%).

The lowest rates were found among the Asian population at 3.2%—less than half that of whites.

Source: pbs.org

  • Money Income of Households—Percent Distribution by Income Level, Race, in Constant (2009) Dollars: 1990 to 2009:

1990 White = $49,686 (Medium income in dollars)
2009 white = $51,861

1990 Asian = $61,170
2009 Asian = $65,469

Source: US Census, Table 690

  • STD Health Equity – Rates by Race or Ethnicity:

In 2011, Whites had 1.7 times the reported gonorrhea rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, Whites had 1.4 times the reported chlamydia rates of Asians/Pacific Islanders

In 2011, whites had 1.4 times the reported syphilis rates of Asian/Pacific Islanders

Source:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Life Expectancy by Race:

The average life expectancy of an Asian-America in the United States is 84.56 years, but for White Americans it is only 78.74 years.

Source: World Life Expectancy.com

  • Birth Rates (Live Births) per 1,000 Females Aged 15–19 Years, by Race … 2000–2011:

White = 22 per 1,000

Asian/Pacific Islander = 10 per 1,000—less than half that of white females aged 15-19.

Source: cdc.gov

  • Education:

50 percent of Asian Americans in comparison to 31 percent of the total U.S. population had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and about 48 percent of Asian Americans were employed in management, professional and related occupations, compared with 40 percent of the white population

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In Conclusion: “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.”

In addition, the Pew Research Center says, “Their living arrangements align with these values. They are more likely than all American adults to be married (59% vs. 51%); their newborns are less likely than all U.S. newborns to have an unmarried mother (16% vs. 41%); and their children are more likely than all U.S. children to be raised in a household with two married parents (80% vs. 63%).”

The average White parent is obsessed with his/her child’s self-esteem and happiness, while the average Asian-American parent practices a parenting philosophy known as tiger parenting that most whites detest.

Considering the information in this post, what parenting method has the best long-term results for a longer, healthier better quality of life? Please leave a comment with your answer.

Discover The Truth about American Education

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Winning the Genetic Lottery may not be enough

For months, I’ve been searching for studies that show the odds of winning the job/career lottery that leads to a glamorous/famous, wealth growth job.

I didn’t find my answer from a study. I found it from a super model, Cameron Russell.

What Cameron Russell says in this YouTube TED video is the real story of dream jobs. She says, “I am standing on this stage because I am a pretty white woman and in my industry we call that a sexy girl. … The real way I became a model is I won a genetic lottery and I became the recipient of a legacy. Saying you want to be a model when you grow up is akin to saying you want to win the Powerball when you grow up. It’s awesome and it’s out of your control and it’s not a career path.” Source: Shine.Yahoo.com


Pay attention to Cameron’s words. She offers wise advice about reality and life.

Before I go on, I want to say that genetics is not the only factor in many dream jobs/professions. Dedication, hard work and persistence also play a part in fields such as sports, acting, the arts, etc.

But, what Cameron has to say holds truth for all of the dream jobs that so many young people chase often destroying his or her future.

It’s okay to have a dream but dream realistically.  The odds are against anyone becoming a super model like Cameron Russell, an icon in football, baseball, or basketball, for example. This also applies to acting, the music industry and being a published author no matter what path an author takes such as indie, self-published or traditional.

That is why I believe every child, teen and young person must have a backup plan that is realistic but often leads to a boring job—when dreams fail to materialize—that pays more than working for Wal-Mart, the fast-food industry, cleaning pools, cutting crass, washing dishes, tending bar or waiting on tables.

Being a life-long-learner is important to having a backup plan and this message is for parents. It is your job to make sure your child loves to read and sees that learning is important and not boring and a waste of time. The future belongs to life-long learners.

Education is getting a bad rep from the media in the United States and college educations are under attack. Why?

Who stands to benefit from an ignorant, functionally illiterate population struggling to survive on minimum wages working in insecure jobs?

Discover Education’s Accountability Dilemma

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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What makes Education Toxic?

A comment left for a postNC Teacher: “I quit”—on Diane Ravitche’s blog made a good point, and I posted a reply:

I think you have made a great point or at least inadvertently focused a spotlight on an important issue and why it is there.  Turnover in a school or school district may be a red flag—a strong warning sign— that the school board/administration/students are not the easiest to work with or work for [another word would be dysfunctional ].

This could be extended to an entire state since each state has its own department of education that decides policy in that state as directed by the elected politicians from the governor of a state on down. Due to a need to gain votes, religious and/or political agendas tend to rule in such organizations and the winds may shift at any time.

For example, I friend sent me this about the current situation in the high school in Southern California where he now teaches.

I was a public school teacher from 1975 – 2005 and we worked together before dysfunctional administration at our high school and in our school district drove him to quit and find a job in another district that at the time was a better place to work.

But beware of the grass is greener over there syndrome because a drought will kill the green grass leaving behind sweltering heat and dust.

During my thirty years in the classroom, I worked under nine-different principals. Some were great, some good and some horrible.

The horrible ones drove teachers, counselors and VPs out of the schools where they ruled Nazi style and turnover could reach as high as fifty percent in a few years.

Good principals, who are usually a sign of good administration and a sensible school board, tend to hold on to staff.

I mean, how many people quit jobs—any job—with a boss that knows what he or she is doing; a boss that supports his workers in the best possible ways to make the work environment a place where we want to spend twenty to forty years of our lives?

My friend said of this school year (2012 – 2013):

“112 scheduling changes in the first three weeks (the classes he teaches)

“75% of the administrative team is new; a lot of chaos

“50% of the counselors are new; a lot of chaos

“We lost our department chairs, so there is no communication between the teachers and administration

[This high school, he says] “once had a top-notch academic program; however, we are falling apart at the seams; our test scores have flat-lined and they will continue to flat-line because there are just too many new faces at our school; two of our Vice Principals have never been a VP before; they’re nice people, but we have to wade through their learning curve.”

For another example: at the high school where I taught for the last sixteen of the thirty years I was in the classroom as a teacher, we had one new teacher quit at lunch on his first day on the job with two more classes to teach after lunch. During the lunch break, he walked in the principal’s office, tossed his room keys on the desk and said, “If they won’t show some respect for me and attempt to learn, then I refuse to teach them.”

I know from experience, that district did not do a good job creating a positive, supportive educational environment for its teachers because I worked in that district for thirty years. Instead, it was more of a combative environment that did not offer the support teachers wanted or needed to teach.

It is a fact that teachers teach and students learn. However, that is not always the case. Instead, teachers in a toxic educational environment often struggle to teach while too many students make no effort to learn.

Elected School Boards and the administrators they hire should support an environment where teachers may teach and students will learn, and we can learn from two of the best public educations system in the world: Finland and Singapore.

In Finland, the teachers have a strong union and the teachers make the decisions in a supportive educational environment and it works. Parents start teaching children how to read at age three but the first year of school is at age seven.

In Singapore, merit rules. Students must compete academically to earn where they are tracked and the system is heavily tracked based on performance. There is no self-esteem driven educational environment; there is corporal punishment and students may be publicly beat with a bamboo cane if caught breaking strict-rules built to support a merit based education system.

Why can’t we in the United States learn from Finland and Singapore?

Discover What is the Matter with [American] Parents these Days?

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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“Half Nelson” teaches a truth about K-12 education in the US

What causes a dedicated and charismatic teacher to become addicted to crack cocaine—to become burned out and a victim of drugs and/or PTSD?

The answer is not broken schools, teacher unions, or incompetent teachers, but a dysfunctional culture and society demanding through laws and legislation that teachers fix the problem or be accused of failure.

While critics of public education often play the political game by blaming teacher unions and so-called incompetent teachers (even though there are no reputable studies or evidence to prove these alleged claims), few seem to care about what Forbes reported in High Teacher Turnover Rates are a Big Problem for America’s Public Schools.

In March 2011, Forbes reported, “NCTAF’s findings are a clear indication that America’s teacher dropout problem is spiraling out of control. Teacher attrition has grown by 50 percent over the past fifteen years. The national teacher turnover rate has risen to 16.8 percent.  In urban schools it is over 20 percent, and, in some schools and districts, the teacher dropout rate is actually higher than the student dropout rate.”

Forbes says, “Teachers cite lack of planning time, workload, and lack of influence over school policy among other reasons for their decision to leave the profession or transfer schools.”

 

And if you think Charter Schools are any better, you may be surprised to discover what The Washington Post reported, “Teacher turnover, which tends to be alarmingly high in lower-income schools and districts, has been identified as a major impediment to improvements in student achievement.”

The Washington Post said, “The authors (of a study) find that the odds of charter teachers exiting are still 33 percent higher than those of regular public school teachers. There is an even larger difference in secondary schools, where charter teachers are almost four times more likely to leave.”

Half Nelson reveals a primary reason so many teachers quit even if they have the so-called job protection of tenure (a report from the public schools of North Caroline says about a third that quit annually have that so-called precious tenure critics complain of).

Why would someone with such an easy, kick-back job with labor union protection quit?

Dan Dunne (played by Ryan Gosling) is a young, urban, middle school, inner-city history teacher taking drugs to make it through the nights and weekends but during the weekdays he is a popular teacher—the kind that  students see as a role model.

I identified with this movie. For thirty years, I taught in public schools surrounded by barrios infested by teen street gangs that had been around for generations. I witnessed drive by shootings from my classroom doorway, riots between gangs, grieved with my students when kids were shot down in the streets never to return to school, and a year didn’t go by that some gang banger that was also a student in one of my classes didn’t threaten me by asking what I would do if a gang jumped me.

Half Nelson brings us closer to that world and reveals another reason why so many teachers quit and never return to the classroom.

If you want to discover the truth about many of America’s schools and why teachers and possibly many students drop out, I suggest you watch this movie that the odds say you haven’t seen.

If the average ticket price of a movie in 2006 was $6.55, and Half Nelson earned $2.7 million in North America, that means less than 500 thousand people saw the film and there are more than 314 million Americans that did not see it.

Maybe most Americans do not want to know the truth, because many parents would have to accept the blame for illiterate and/or failing students. Parenting is a serious job—not a game.

Discover a film with a clear political agenda against teacher unions

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Narcissistic and/or Civic Minded

During the Thanksgiving holiday our Millennial Generation daughter mentioned that she and some of her friends at Stanford wanted to make a difference and show that their generation cares and is not the most narcissistic generation ever.

She said it was depressing to be labeled with the “narcissist” tag. And it is true, the Millennial are considered by some to be the most narcissistic generation ever.

There are other generations besides the Baby Boomers and the Millennials, the two we hear about the most these days.

1900-1924: G. I. Generation
1925-1945: Silent Generation (I guess this is mine but am I really that silent)
1945-1964: Baby Boomers
1965 – 1979: Generation X
1980 – 2000 – Millennials  (also known as Generation Y)
2001 – Present: New Silent Generation or Generation Z

Generation X grew up different than previous generations before them. They grew up in an era where divorce and working moms were commonplace and thus created a group of individuals who became very independent and resourceful who learned to adapt to a wide range of circumstances very early in their lives.

The Atlantic.com ran a piece on the topic and reported, “Millennials Rising, published in 2000 when the oldest Millennials were just 18 pointed to increased rates of volunteering among high school students and decreased rates of teen pregnancy and crime.”

Then in 2006, Generation Me, presented data showing generational increases in self-esteem, assertiveness, self-importance, narcissism, and high expectations.

Maybe both descriptions are true. Millennial are mostly narcissists with high self-esteem that want to make a difference by volunteering and getting involved. Maybe it is that belief in self, that narcissism, that makes them what USA Today reported, “People born between 1982 and 2000 are the most civic-minded since the generation of the 1930s and 1940s.”

Then on Sunday, November 25, my wife and I watched 60 Minutes. Have you heard of “Free the Children”?

Instead of reinventing the wheel, Millennials like our daughter might want to become involved with this nonprofit that was started by a 12 year old in 1994.  Most of the donors and members of this group are Millennials or belong to Generation Z.

Craig Kielburger’s mission began 18 years ago when, as a child at age 12, he founded “Free the Children”—an organization now in 45 countries that empowers children to help other children.

Is it that bad to be labeled a narcissist if you are doing some good and working to change the world for the better?

Discover Brainwashing American Style

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 7/7

I found two easy solutions that may help eliminate or reduce some of the bad habits of America’s Cultural Revolution that have plagued the United States since the 1960s—poor diet and damage caused by the self-esteem movement.

The first solution comes from the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Costco Connection.

In Being Bob Harper, The Costco Connection asked, “Is how you eat today different from when you were growing up?”

Harper’s answer was yes. He said, “I had to reprogram how I ate and what I ate from how I used to eat.”

In addition, Harper said, “People don’t like change. People get nervous when they have to actually look at themselves…” However, “we have a lot of bad habits that simply have to be broken.”

Harper’s advice is to drink lots of water at each meal. He describes a real breakfast as oatmeal (I suggest steel cut oats), eggs (one a day and not fried) or plain Greek yogurt, doctored up with berries and nuts, apples and berries every day along with other fibrous fruits…

In fact, WebMD lists foods that Boost Your Mood and Energy Level. For example: apples, avoid sweets while eating whole grain and whole-wheat bread; cashews, almonds and hazelnuts; Brazil nuts, salmon, leafy greens, fiber, water, and fresh produce.

Traverse Bay Farms also says, “Bananas are one of the world’s finest foods for supplying fuel energy.”

Harper says, “If I had to place it on a priority list, nutrition would be number one and exercise would be number two.”

The second solution that may help reverse the damage caused by the false self-esteem parenting method comes from a book I read years ago, which I used to guide me through changes in my lifestyle to rid myself of a few habits I did not want.

What To Say When You Talk to Your Self by Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. was released in hardcover in 1986. Parents and want-to-be parents are urged to follow the advice in this self-help book and change those bad habits that might lead to raising children with an inflated, false sense of self-esteem so they do not grow up to be narcissists eating a poor diet and valuing fun over merit.

In fact, Helmstetter’s advice may help people change an unhealthy lifestyle so exercise and healthy food become a daily routine—a healthy habit.

The book’s description on Amazon says, “You don’t have to be crazy to talk to yourself! We all talk to ourselves all of the time, usually without realizing it. And most of what we tell ourselves is negative, counterproductive and damaging, preventing us from enjoying a fulfilled and successful life. Shad Helmstetter’s simple but profound techniques, based on an understanding of the processes of the human brain, have enabled thousands of people to get back in control of their lives (it worked for me). By learning how to talk to yourself in new ways, you will notice a dramatic improvement in all areas of your life. You will feel better and accomplish more. It will help you achieve more at work and at home, lose weight, overcome fears, stop smoking and become more confident. And it works. Helmstetter is a bestselling author of many personal growth books, and the leading authority in the field of Self-Talk.”

“What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” also comes as an audio version. If you buy a copy, listen to it a few times before you start improving your life and the future adult life of your child or children.

Return to The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 6 or start with Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

 

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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 6/7

Once Americans left the farm where they grew and ate their own food without it being processed and turned into pop tarts and cheese puffs chased down with a 64 oz. Coke, the quality of the American diet went into a nosedive at the same time that the US needed its population eating a healthier diet due to the growing need for a literate, educated workforce.

There is a benefit that comes from eating a healthy diet that helps a child/teen earn a proper and better education.

The WSIPPA report said that high school graduates earn 24% more money over their lifetime than non-high school graduates and it is estimated that high school graduation reduces the chance of future adult criminal activity by about 10%.

In fact, the US Census Bureau in 2010 reported that the median earrings for full-time, year-around workers aged 25-64 by educational attainment was about $35,000 annually for high school graduates (that median is about $10,000 less for drop outs), almost $56 thousand for people with Bachelor’s Degrees and almost $70,000 annually for Master’s Degrees. A professional degree earns a median of almost $102,000 a year.

According to Wise Geek, “A professional degree is generally a college degree that allows you to work in a certain profession. There are some types of employment that are not open to people without a professional degree. For instance you can’t be a doctor, a nurse, a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner without obtaining the appropriate degrees first. In most cases, some fields require a professional degree before you can even be considered for hire in your chosen career.”

As you can see, for most Americans, working hard to earn an education pays for a lifetime.

If America wants its public schools to improve, parents must do their job first and feed their children’s brains proper nutrition, make sure the child sleeps nine or more hours a night and shuts off the TV weekdays and limits TV on the weekends while limiting social networking Internet time to one day a week for an hour or two at most.  And lock up the video games, the MP3 players, the iPods and there is nothing in the Declaration of Independence or the US Constitution that says a child has to have a mobile phone.

So, ignore the blame game—the attacks on teachers unions and the anti-public school propaganda from politicians and media pundits such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, which are misleading, avoid the truth and are a danger to America’s future.

Do you believe that feeding children a poor diet that has too much sugar and bad fat in it will lead to higher earnings and good health when those children are adults?

If you said “NO” to the previous question, there is a solution, a way to change the situation—to turn a bad aspect of America’s Cultural Revolution around. If you said yes, then you are a lost cause and possibly an Internet Troll (a narcissist) with a brain that was damaged by a poor diet and lack of exercise.

Continued on June 10, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 7 or return to Part 5

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

 

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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 5/7

According to Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPPA – March 2005) the high school graduation rates in the United States in 1870 were less than 5% of school age teens. In 1940 that number reached 50% and by 1960 reached 70% where it started to fluctuate annually a few percent (single digits) one way or the other.

The reason for the need of a better educated population today is because we are no longer an agricultural country. In 1870, 74% of the population lived on rural farms and it doesn’t take a lot of science, math and literacy to farm [before farming became high tech].  By 1990, 75% of the US population had moved from the country to the city.

Along with this shift in rural to urban population centers, parenting methods went through a metamorphosis. In 1870, children were considered property and could be forced to work hard labor on the farms or be sold into servitude to work in coal mines or factories.

The Child Labor Public Education Project says that it wasn’t until 1938 that for the first time, minimum ages of employment and hours of work for children were regulated by federal law. Before that, children were treated as if they were property—treated as if they were slaves.

Parallel to these changes came the self-esteem movement that had its start in the 1890s and by 1960 was the  common practice of the average American parent (about 40% of all parents) to inflate a false sense of self esteem in children while pressuring the schools and teachers to do the same through grade inflation, doing away with rote learning, and dummying down the curriculum so it was easier for children to earn higher grades and feel good about themselves. In addition, having fun is now more important than merit.

The result, generations of young American narcissists that believe they are entitled to have fun and watch TV, eat what they want and not what they need, and have unlimited freedom to play video games, listen to music and spend as much time as they want social networking on sites such as Facebook.

If you have noticed that I am sometimes repeating myself from post to post, you are right. Rote learning does work and helps students remember important facts instead of forgetting them daily. Do you know who America’s 16th President was or its 32nd President and the significance of these two men?

When we ignore the lessons that history teaches us about our mistakes, our leaders (and parents) tend to make the same mistakes again and again.

Continued on June 9, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 6 or return to Part 4

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

 

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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 4/7

Perri O. Blumberg writing for Shine reported on foods that make you dumb. I’ve known about this for some time. There has been plenty of reputable research on this topic for years–for decades.

In a recent animal study, UCLA researchers found that rats fed a solution of fructose had a harder time navigating a maze, a sign of slowed learning and memory loss, compared to a second group of rats who were given the fructose solution as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to have a brain-boosting effect. The researchers suspect that the fructose-only diet decreased brain activity because it affected insulin’s ability to help brain cells use sugar to process thoughts and emotions. Certain omega-3 fatty acids may buffer the brain from the harmful effects of fructose.

A diet high in “bad” saturated fat may hurt brain function, according to new Harvard research published in the Annals of Neurology. When researchers studied the eating habits and tested the brain function of 6,000 women for an average of four years, they found the women who ate the most saturated fat scored lower on tests of brain function and memory.

A recent British study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that chewing gum during a memorization exercise impaired participants’ short-term memories.

After teaching for thirty years, this is what I learned from about 6,000 students by working with them and through obeservation. In addition, I discovered (by asking questions of my students) that the average American child/teen does not eat breakfast, hates water, loves soda, loves French fries and cheese pizza, hates to read, hates to do homework, uses the excuse that the teacher was boring not to study or pay attention in class and then most of America blames the teachers when the child does not remember what he or she was taught.

In addition (and I’ve written about this in detail before on this Blog), studies also show that the average American child/teen spends about 10 hours a day dividing his or her time watching TV, listening to music, playing video games, spending time on social networking sites such as Facebook, sending endless text messages, etc. If this is true, when do those children and teens find time to read, do homework and study?

At the one high school where I worked, after the soda machines were installed, the students were drinking about 2,000 cases of soda a week. There were 24 Cokes to a case and about three thousand students. Do the math. How many Cokes did the average student drink a week at that high school while classes were in session? It cost $1 for one soda and the district was paid 50 cents for each sale.

If you do the math, it works out to three Cokes a day per student. One 12 oz can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar x 3 = 117 grams. However, one 20 oz bottle of Coca Cola, which is what they sold out of the vending machines at the high school where I was a teacher, has 65 grams of sugar or 195 grams for three bottles.

Meanwhile, the average American parent (about 40% of all parents representing an influencial block of voters) continues to inflate a false sense of self esteem in his or her children while pressuring teachers to find ways for the kids to have more fun, feel successful in class by inflating grades and dummying down the curriculum while doing away with boring rote learning, which is necessary for some subjects such as spelling, the rules of grammar and mechanics, math, science and the history of the United States in addition to how the US government works.

How does a child/teen know what the Constitution means when he or she cannot remember what it says?

Continued on June 8, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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