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Tag Archives: Adolescence

Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2/3

What is the risk of mental and/or physical damage by spending too much time on the Internet or from cell phone use?

According to a recent poll, 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 timesa day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day.

Seventy-five percent of teenagers now own cell phones (In 2010, there were 33.5 million teens in the US, which means more than 25 million may be at risk for brain cancer in the future.), and 25% use them for social media, 54% use them for texting, and 24% use them for instant messaging.

Thus, a large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones.

In fact, according to eMarketer, “Teens live, eat, sleep and breathe the internet. More than 95% are using the internet in 2011.”

We also know from parenting studies that self-esteem and/or permissive parenting is more prevalent among Caucasian parents in the US than Asian-American parents and comparing the suicide and mental illness rates among teens in these two groups reveals a shocking truth.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death of young persons aged 15-24 and according to Child Trends Databank, among males, suicide rates in 2003 were 13.3 per 100,000 for Caucasians but only 6.7 per 100,000 for Asian- Americans.

For females, the rate of suicide among Caucasians was 3.0 per 100,000 while the Asian-American female suicide rate was 2.5 per 100,000. Source: Teen Help.com

Continued on June 8, 2011 in Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 9/9 (THE QUIZ)

How much of an “average” American parent are you? Take this quiz to find out. You may want to write the scores on a piece of paper then add them at the end to discover your final grade. The grade scale is listed at the end.

1.   What describes the amount of time (on average) your family and/or children watch TV daily. (Read Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 1 and Part 2 to understand the importance of the first four questions.)

  • 6 hours                        (30 points)
  • 5 hours                        (25 points)
  • 4 hours                        (20 points)
  • 3 hours                        ( 15 points)
  • 2 hours                        ( 10 points)
  • more than 1 hour daily but less than 2 (7 points)
  •  about 3 hours a week or less (no points—good for you!)

2. Video games

  •  The video games in our house are kept in the child’s room and are not locked up. He or she may play any time and as much as he or she wants (20 points)
  •  My child has one or more video games that are not kept in the child’s room, and (on average) the family and/or children play daily for twenty minutes or more (10 points)
  •  My child has one or more video games that are kept locked up, and he or she plays once or twice a week (five points)
  •  My child has one or more video games that are kept locked up, and he or she plays once or twice a month (one point)
  •  There are no video games in our home (no points—good for you!)

3.   If your child has a mobile cell phone, does he or she send and receive text messages and if so, how many (on average) each month?

  •  1500 or more  (50 points)
  •  1000                (40 points)
  •  750                  (30 points)
  •  500                  (20 points)
  •  250                  (15 points)
  •  100                  (10 points)
  •    50                    (5 points)
  •  My child does not have a mobile cell phone (no points—good for you!)

4.  How much time does your child spend on the Internet on sites such as Facebook?

  • more than 2 hours daily                      (25 points)
  • between one and two hours daily       (20 points)
  • about one hour daily                           (15 points)
  • less than one hour daily                      (10 points)
  • about three or four hours a week        (5 points)
  • less than three hours a week              (3 points)
  • less than two hours a week.                (2 points)
  • less than one hour a week.                 (1 point)
  • My child is not allowed to social network in the Internet (no points—good for you!)

5.  How many hours (on average) does your child sleep daily? (Read Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 3 to understand the importance of this question)

  • my child sleeps about 3 hours or less a night                         (50 points)
  • my child sleeps more than 3 hours but less than 5                 (45 points)
  • my child sleeps between 6 and 7 hours a night                      (35 points)
  • my child sleeps between 8 and 9 hours a night                      (10 points)
  • my child sleeps nine or more hours a night                            (no points—good for you!)

6. Does your child eat a nutrition breakfast each morning? (Read Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 4 to understand the importance of this question)

For example, a nutritious breakfast might be a bowl of steel-cut organic oatmeal (this may be bought in bulk and is not expensive) and/or one soft or hardboiled egg, and one or more of the following: a banana, apple, orange, some melon the size of a fist, or two kiwi (or another real piece of fruit) and a glass of “real” orange juice with no sugar added.

If you answered YES, the score is ZERO (good for you!).  If you answered NO, the score is 50.

Note: Sources for healthy protein: grass fed organic beef or organic free range chicken (6 ounces a day); legumes (peanuts are a legume as are pinto and kidney beans) or nuts such as raw or dry roasted almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds etc. (no salt)

7.  Is your child considered obese? If you do not know, go to Kids Health.org and read the five-part post about Overweight and Obesity. If you have trouble reading, there is a “Listen” function. (Read Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 5 to understand the importance of questions 7, 8 and 9)

If you answered YES, the score is 50.  If you answered NO, the score is ZERO (good for you!).

8. Does your ENTIRE family sit down at the same table without a TV or computer or video game or cell phone or music playing and eat a home cooked meal at least six days a week; does that meal include more vegetables than meat and sweet deserts, and does your family talk during this meal and no one can get up until everyone is done? Is the main beverage water?

If you answered NO, the score is 50.  If you answered YES, the score is ZERO (good for you).

NOTE—Learn more from CDCG’s Nutritious Food

9. Does your child have diabetes?

If you answered YES, the score is 50.  If you answered NO, the score is ZERO (good for you!).

NOTE—Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. It is possible to Get Rid of Diabetes without medications.  To learn how, read 3 Steps to Get Rid of Diabetes Once and for All.

10.  What kind of grades does your child earn in school?  (Read Avoiding the Mainstream Parenting Trap – Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8 to understand the importance of this question.)

  • My child mostly earns FAILING GRADES and/or “D’s” from academic subjects such as history, science, math, English, journalism and/or a foreign language (PE, art, drama, chorus, band — do not count as academic subjects) EARN 50 points
  • My child earns “C’s” or better for all academic subjects (never earns a “D” or a FAILING grade) EARN 25 POINTS
  • My child earns “B’s” or better for all academic subjects (never earns “C’s”, “D’s” or FAILING GRADES) EARN 5 points
  • My child has earned all “A’s” from academic classes every year he or she has been in school. (subtract 100 points from the total—WOW!!!!!!)

NOTE: Good, demanding teachers do not give grades. Students earn them by reading both in and out of school, doing class work, doing homework and studying for tests and quizzes. At home, a child should read a half hour or more daily, 365 days a year. Books are the best source for reading. Libraries loan them free. There is no excuse to not read.  The more one reads, the more literate he or she will be.

EVALUATION—To learn what your score means, compare your total with the following grade scale. [Earning an A, B or C may indicate you are not an “average” American parent. This is good!]

If I were grading this quiz as a teacher, an “A” would be a score between 42 (A-) and ZERO (A+)—Congratulations, you may be an outstanding parent!

To earn a B, the score would be between 43 (B+) and 83 (B-)—Congratulations, you may be an excellent parent!

To earn a “C”, the score would be between 84 (B+) to 124 (B-)—Congratulations, you may be a good parent.

To earn a “D”, the score would be between 125 (D+) to 166 (D-)—Improvement needed!!!

FAILURE falls between 167 (F+) and 415 (F-)

NOTE— Childhood as defined by the law in America is to the age of 18, but it is possible that an individual will live to be 80 or older.  This means he or she will be an adult for possibly sixty-two years or more.

Poverty and poor health is not fun.

If you earned a FAILING grade on this quiz and are unwilling to improve as a parent, why did you have children? Was it an accident?  Do you know that love means sacrifice and a willingness to say no and mean it? Why would you want to poison your children with bad food and focus on too much fun instead of having the child work toward earning a good education that may lead to a more financially secure and healthy future as an adult?

_______________________

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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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 7/9

Knowing about other parenting methods that work helps a parent identify if he or she is falling into the American mainstream trap and how to avoid it.

One successful parenting method was started in 1980.  In 979, Phyllis and David York, two family therapists from Pennsylvania were struggling to raise an out-of-control teen daughter.

Phyllis York wrote a book on the topic of ToughLOVE, which is listed on Amazon.com

Before launching ToughLOVE, the Yorks explored traditional strategies including individual and family psychotherapy, changing schools, and trying to raise the teen daughter’s self-esteem through judo and riding lessons.

In their words, they tried “getting tougher, more permissive, more understanding” and nothing worked.


Then York and his wife, Phyllis, imposed a stern new code of behavior in their home.

It worked.

The following year, the Yorks founded ToughLOVE, an organization to help other parents beleaguered by incorrigible offspring. “The essence of our philosophy is that parents must take a stand with their children,” says David. “Teenagers must learn to accept the consequences of their actions, and parents must stop trying to protect them.” Source: People.com

Since its founding, more than 2 million parents have been active members of ToughLOVE, joining or forming thousands of support groups worldwide. By the time ToughLOVE went from a nonprofit to a for-profit company, there were more than 250 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Source: ToughLOVE (corporate Website)

Continued on May 11, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 8 or return to Part 6

_______________________

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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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 6/9

Since I was a public school teacher from 1975 to 2005, I saw the self-esteem movement among parents change the schools. I not only saw it but my job as a teacher was made more difficult as false self-esteem became the focus of the “average” American parent and not academics. Instead childhood “fun” replaced “work”, which is what a child must do to learn.

Due to the self-esteem movement, there was pressure for grade inflation and dummying down the curriculum so it would be easier on the students to be successful and feel good about him or herself.

Once the “average” child started spending that 10:45 hours a day talked about in Part 2, students went home and put pressure on parents still practicing old-world parenting methods.

Research shows that peer pressure has a much greater impact on adolescent behavior than any other factor.

Think about it. Your teenager spends more of his or her waking hours with peers than with family members. That interaction is more powerful than the influence of teachers and other authority figures. If a child feels compelled to fit in, the teen may do things that go against his or her beliefs simply to be part of the group.

Peer pressure may lead to experimentation with drugs and alcohol, sex, skipping school, and various high-risk behaviors. If you notice a sudden change in your child’s appearance, clothing, and attitude, especially if accompanied by secretive behavior, the child may be succumbing to the influences of peers.

Parents should be especially alert to sudden changes in the friends who make up their core peer group. An unexplained change in the type of friends your child associates with could indicate that your child is vulnerable to new influences that may not be positive. Source: Aspen Education.com

The need of teens to conform to peer group norms and values has often been witnessed by teenager workers as well as parents. When one refers to the “tyranny of teens”, one is expressing an awesome appreciation of the powerful energy and pressures generated by this strange social configuration called the peer group.

Parent/s often surrender to the power of the teen subculture. The parent/s experience feelings of futility. “There’s nothing I can do; they won’t listen anymore.”

When that happens, the teenager is left trying to manage his life while the adult ponders just where his approach went wrong. Another variation in a parent’s response to the teens peer subculture is enlistment in the opposition thinking, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Then one or more parents try to become like a teenager leading to an ineffective parenting. In Part 7, I will write about a proven way to overcome the negative influence of peer pressure.

Continued on May 10, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 7 or return to Part 5

_______________________

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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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 3/9

Sleep Med.com reported, “Children require an average of 9 to 10 hours of sleep each night but it is estimated that 30 to 40% of children do not sleep enough.”

However, while our daughter was still in high school and resented being in bed before 10:00 PM, she often mentioned that many of her friends were still up at 2:00 AM on a school night writing e-mails or leaving comments on her Facebook page.

How much sleep were those teens getting?

The reason children require this much sleep is because recent research discovered the body and brain of a child and adolescent grows and develops while sleeping. If a child sleeps less (on average), he or she is not reaching his or her full potential.

Stanford.edu reported, “The average American teen-ager gets 6.5 hours of sleep on a school night, some lots less.… If they had adequate sleep, they would learn more.… Sleep experts consider adolescents to be between the ages of 11 and 22.”

In fact the Stanford study says, “Sleep deprivation can impair memory and inhibit creativity making it difficult for sleep deprived students to learn.”

“Teens struggle to learn to deal with stress and control emotion — sleep deprivation makes it even more difficult. Irritability, lack of self-confidence and mood swings are often common in a teen, but sleep deprivation makes it worse.

“Depression can result from chronic sleep deprivation. Not enough sleep can endanger their immune system and make them more susceptible to serious illnesses.”

This lack of sleep among “average” American teens may explain why Caucasian teens have the highest suicide and mental illness rate compared to Asian-Americans, African-Americans and Latinos.

In part four, we will see how diet may affect a child’s health, mood and ability to get an education.

Continued on May 4, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 4 or return to Part 2

_______________________

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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Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 2/9

In 2009, children and teens spent an average of one hour and 29 minutes on a computer while texting (on a cell phone) up to four times longer.

A PEW study from April 2010 says, “The typical American teen sends and receives 50 or more messages per day (on a cell phone), or 1,500 per month.”

In fact, teens spent less time talking on a cell phone than texting.

One way to combat texting is to call the provider and ask if texting may be blocked. We use AT&T and I asked and discovered that AT&T offers blocking so text messages cannot be received or sent. Even if a child/teen does not text, friends may send texts and it takes time to read them.  It also costs money to receive a text message. All of our cell phones are now blocked for texting.

A Kaiser Generation M2 – Kids/Youth/Media Survey (January 2010) said, “Total Media Exposure for all 8 to 18 year old’s average amount of time spend with each medium in a typical day was 10:45 hours

That average 10:45 hours was divided up with 4:29 hours spent watching TV; 2:31 hours listening to music; 1:29 hours on the computer; 1:13 hours playing video games; 30 minutes reading print media, and 25 minutes watching a movie.


Rules and Discipline by Dr. Archer Crosley

A Pew “Teens & Social Media” Study reported, “Nearly two-thirds of teens – 63 percent – have a cell phone; 35 percent of all online teen girls blog, compared with 20 percent of online teen boys and 32 percent of girls ages 12 to 14 Blog, compared to 18 percent of boys age 15 to 17.

It does not help that the US has More TV’s than people. More than 50% of homes have at least three working televisions. The average number of TV’s in homes for the US is 2.8, which means many family members may be in different rooms watching different programs.

If you are not in the same room and the TV is on for that many hours, where does quality time come from for talking to each other?

In addition, evidence is growing that early TV exposure undermines all the building blocks, and this study is proof that tuning into the tube at an early age contributes to attention problems (ADHD) and hampers learning.

In fact, children exposed to more than an hour of screen time daily eventually develop ADHD and other learning difficulties by the age of seven. Memory retention also declines as the brain is constantly shifting focus and remembers only those incidents, which have had most impact from the pleasure point of view. Thus, retention of academic concepts suffers. Source: Short Attention Span Theatre

There is also an “average” or “norm” for sleep, which will be the topic of Part 3

Continued on May 3, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 3 or start with Part 1

_______________________

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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