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To SPANK a child – that is the question

Sarah B. Weir, a Yahoo blogger, posted, “Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study.”

Weir reported, “Researchers examined data from more than 34,000 adults and found that being spanked significantly increased the risk of developing mental health issues as adults.”

However, a post at The Daily Beast written by Po Bronson reveals another side to this issue that people such as Sarah B. Weir may not want you to discover. It turns out that there has been very little research on children that were never spanked, because children who’ve never been spanked aren’t easy to find.

Bronson mentions a study that is still underway called Portraits of American Life. It involves interviews of 2,600 people and their adolescent children every three years for the next 20 years. Dr. Marjorie Gunnoe (see video) working with the first wave of data on teens found that almost a quarter of these teens report they were never spanked.

Dr. Gunnoe’s summary will upset many that are dead set against spanking. The good doctor reported that kids who were never spanked are not any better off in the long term. In addition, Gunnoe discovered those who’d been spanked just when they were young—ages 2 to 6—were doing a little better as teenagers than those who’d never been spanked.

Furthermore, John Weyenberg, writing for Ezine @rticles.com, says, “I believe that spanking children is a viable and sometimes necessary form of discipline. I do not believe in abusing children. I do not equate spanking with abuse. Spanking a child under the wrong conditions and too often can turn into a pattern of abuse. But spanking a child as a very last resort under the following conditions can prove to be beneficial and not harmful.”

I agree with Weyenberg and also suggest that angry parents should never spank a child. If a parent is calm, the odds are he or she will not lose control turning spanking into physical abuse. I spanked my son when he was a child, but I used a paddle and wrote the rules on the paddle that spelled out what earned a spanking such as lying about his homework, because he lied about his homework often. No matter how upset I was, those rules spelled out the exact punishment when all else failed. As a rule, he was also spanked with another adult watching as a witness.

In addition, many studies into the effects of spanking have proven to be highly unreliable because they are largely based on the researcher’s interpretation of children’s behavior. Study bias is a common phenomenon among behavioral studies in which the researchers have a committed position and are required to judge behavior. Source: Religious Tolerance.org

For this reason, Robert Larzelere and his colleagues wanted to see if the link between spanking and antisocial behavior was caused by the children themselves—some kids are more trouble, and they provoke more disciplinary action. The results of the Larzelere study, “In addition to a link between antisocial behavior and spanking, the researchers also found links between  antisocial behavior and ‘grounding,’ or punishing kids by taking away their privileges to go out, and antisocial behavior and psychotherapy.”

Then Arthur Whaley discovered that in countries where corporal punishment was commonplace, the link between physical discipline with increased child aggression and anxiety was weaker. Source: Parenting Science.com

This indicates that spanking children may not be harmful where the issue isn’t a controversial hot-button topic that creates an environment where children grow up feeling sorry for themselves because other children and parents send signals that spanking is wrong and abusive when in fact, it often is not.

Studies show that “early emotional experience knits long-lasting patterns into the very fabric of the brain’s neural networks leading to moodiness, irritability, clinical depression, increased negative thinking, negative perceptions of events, etc.” Source: Forgiving Parents: Breaking the Chain of Anger, Resentment and Pain

Does this mean that the loud and vocal anti-spanking lobby is responsible for planting the concept in children that are spanked that they are being abused leading to mental illness as adults? Hmm, if you are a parent that spanks, you may be able to sue that nosey next-door neighbor or teacher that criticizes your parenting methods that may include spanking. Think about it—it is called programming a response.

Discover Too Happy! To Perfect! Too Fragile!

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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 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.

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What, Me Worry about Debt – I’ve got self-esteem protecting me – Part 2/3

Parents that obsess about his or her child’s self-esteem and do all they could to nurture their child’s vanity led to the average parent in America being a permissive parent.

“Permissive parenting often results in children who rank low in happiness and self-regulation. These children are more likely to experience problems with authority and tend to perform poorly in school.” Source: The Four Styles of Parenting

In fact, if the inability to self-regulate is not adequately developed, the result is increased stress vulnerability and susceptibility to psychopathology, of which depression is one possible outcome leading to unhappiness along with a higher risk of drug and/or alcohol abuse along with higher rates of suicide.

For example—Caucasian teens with the highest rates of self-esteem have almost twice the suicide rate and much higher rates of alcohol and drug use than that of Asian-Americans who, according to studies, have the lowest self-esteem in the US.

Instead of boosting self-esteem, parents should have focused on building confidence through guiding their children to overcome failure by learning to work hard to reach success.

When we learn the definition of self-esteem, we discover that it is respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself and/or an unduly high opinion of oneself that leads to vanity, which means excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments regardless of the facts.

In addition, synonyms for self-esteem are: conceit, self-love, narcacism, egotism, etc.

Self-confidence, on the other hand, is a belief in one’s own abilities and true self-confidence isn’t an overnight acquisition. It takes dedication and time to realize you are a good and capable human being.  It is confidence in one’s own powers, judgment, etc.  It means risking failure to learn how to succeed.

Eventually, an individual with confidence gains freedom from doubt of his or her abilities.

Continued on June 21, 2011 in What, Me Worry about Debt! – Part 3 or return to Part 1

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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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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

What are the results when we compare the permissive self-esteem driven Western parenting style and that of the Chinese and/or Asia parenting style?

First, a look at the average differences between parents in the US and China/Asia.

“Unlike in the West where children are encouraged to experiment and develop their own individual talents (as the Self-esteem movement and the Montessori methods preach), Chinese parents believe the child is an extension of oneself. Chinese parents believe they know what is best for their children and therefore override the child’s preferences.… Westerners believe in allowing children a large measure of freedom to choose their own paths while the Chinese parent makes choices for her children.” Source: China Daily


Different Cultures lead to Different Results

In fact, Nicholas D. Kristof, writing for the New York Times, says, “Perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its (China’s) citizens have shown a passion for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call “chi ku,” or “eating bitterness”.

If you doubt these results, the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health reported that Chinese have the lowest ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use) rates in the United States.

Then the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2008 said that Asian-Americans had the lowest prevalence of serious mental illnesses by race, while Caucasians had a much higher risk, which was higher than Latinos, African-Americans, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.

Return to Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2 or start with Part 1

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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.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2011 in family values

 

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A Brief History of Parenting – Part 2/3

Amy Chua‘s so-called Chinese parenting style, identified as mostly Authoritarian, is the “CLASSIC” no nonsense do as I say, not as I do parenting style that first came about during Victorian England in the 18th century. The other parenting methods did not materialize until the 20th century, so how Amy Chua raised her two daughters had been in practice for more than two hundred years.

Amy Chua says, “I believed that raising my two daughters the same way my Chinese immigrant parents raised me was the right way and that I had nothing to learn from the laxer parenting I saw all around me.” Source: USA Today

Positive Parenting Ally.com (PPA) says, “I think we can see the early seeds of the authoritarian parenting style in the 18th century. At that point in time, parents in the Western world (particularly the British) began taking the first steps toward a mind shift and become more involved in their children’s upbringing.

PPA also says, “The mind of an authoritarian parent likes order, neatness, routine and predictability.… Children of authoritarian parents tend to do well in school and are said to generally not engage in drinking or drug use. They know the consensus rules and follow them.”

Instead of calling this method of parenting authoritarian or Chinese, I’ve used the term Old-World, which fits and is an acceptable choice of parenting

Authoritarian parenting was a vast improvement over how children had been raised (or not raised) before the 18th century. Prior to the authoritarian parent, children were mostly treated as adults and faced severe punishments such as mutilation, slavery, servitude, torture, and death. In fact, the US has a long history of treating children this way. Source: Child Labor in U.S. History

It was in the 18th century that Western parents stopped seeing their children as a potential representation of dark and evil forces that had to be kept in check physically (harsh beatings etc.) and instead attempted controlling their minds, their feelings, and their needs.

Continued on May 24, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part Three or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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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 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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