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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

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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 7, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 1/3

The permissive Self-esteem and Montessori approaches to raising children both encourage children to make many of their own decisions while adults/parents stay mostly out of the way.  Without more involved parental/adult guidance, the long-term results may be devastating.

Recently what was termed the Facebook depression study was reported in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and there was immediate criticism of this study.

However, before you side with the critics to justify spending more time online, stop and think about the higher risk of cancer that was linked to cell phone use, which was also criticized when it was first reported as a theory.

Then recently alarming new research from Sweden on the effects of radiation from cell phone use indicates that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer from the use of mobile phones. Source: The Independent

As for “Facebook depression”, the advice said parents should understand the sites their children visit and encourage healthy use and should monitor for potential problems such as cyberbullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.

Being popular and fitting in is the thing for every teen across the globe. Peer pressure is intense (and cyberbullying is quite common, can occur to any young person online, and can cause profound psychosocial outcomes including depression, anxiety, severe isolation, and,tragically, suicide.) and has an impact on many undesirable choices that many teenagers are making – whether or not to smoke, drink, have sex, attend school, indulge in criminal/antisocial behaviour.

The study concluded that, “As with offline depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.”

The risk of cancer from cell phone use and more on depression will be covered in parts 2 and 3 of this series.

Continued on June 7, 2011 in Risking the Mental and Physical Health of Your Children – Part 2

______________

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 6, 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 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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