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Tag Archives: Parent

An example of Intolerance and Ignorance

After reading an insulting review titled Fascist Crap on Amazon, which was an ignorant, intollerant rant and an example of individuals that do not have the ability to accept anyone that is different from him or her, I decided to write this post.

The reaction was from an anonymous reviewer that calls herself Danielle Cara, which defines most if not all of Amy Chua’s critics. Amy Chua is the author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for about 20 weeks after its release January 11, 2011.

Why Do Parenting Styles Differ? by Kandra Cherry, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Idaho State University, with additional coursework in chemical addictions and case management. She also holds a Master of Science in Education from Boise State University. Her primary research interest is in educational psychology.

Kandra Cherry writes, “After learning about the impact of parenting styles on child development, you may wonder why all parents simply don’t utilize an authoritative parenting style. After all, this parenting style is the most likely to produce happy, confident and capable children. What are some reasons why parenting styles might vary? Some potential causes of these differences include culture, personality, family size, parental background, socioeconomic status, educational level and religion.

“Of course, the parenting styles of individual parents also combine to create a unique blend in each and every family. For example, the mother may display an authoritative style while the father favors a more permissive approach. In order to create a cohesive approach to parenting, it is essential that parents learn to cooperate as they combine various elements of their unique parenting styles.”

Then there is what Amy Chua had to say about how she was raised and how that influenced her as a parent.

Amy Chua writes, “I was raised by very strict, Chinese immigrant parents, who came to the U.S. as graduate students with practically no money. My mother and father were so poor they couldn’t afford heat their first two winters in Boston, and wore blankets around to keep warm. As parents, they demanded total respect and were very tough with my three younger sisters and me. We got in trouble for A minuses, had to drill math and piano every day, no sleepovers, no boyfriends. But the strategy worked with me. To this day, I’m very close to my parents, and I feel I owe them everything. In fact, I believe that my parents having high expectations for me – coupled with love – is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. That’s why I tried to raise my own two daughters the same way my parents raised me.”

As for the Montessori educational method, which the critic that wrote Fascist Crap is an advocate for, in 2005, the Journal of Research in Childhood Education in a Comparison of Academic Achievement Between Montessori and Traditional Education Programs said, “The results of the study failed to support the hypothesis (which means opinion) that enrollment in a Montessori school was associated with higher academic achievement.”

Then in 2006, CBS News reported, Do Montessori Schools Have An Edge? In the CBS report, Debra Ackerman, Ph.D., of the privately funded National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), tells WebMD that no single teaching method or curriculum, including Montessori, has been proven to be the best approach for teaching young children.

There are many widely differing approaches to early education, Ackerman says, and the large-scale studies needed to better understand which methods work best are just starting to be done.

Discover how to Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap

_______________________

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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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Education, family values, Parenting

 

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A Brief History of Parenting – Part 3/3

As you may have learned in Part One and Part Two, Old-World parenting was an improvement over the way children grew up before the 18th century and the Chinese may have learned this parenting method from the invading Western nations after The Opium Wars.

However, parenting methods developed further and by the 1960s, according to research, the best method of parenting is not Authoritarian but Authoritative, which is characterized by moderate demands with moderate responsiveness.

The authoritative parent is firm but not rigid, willing to make an exception when the situation warrants. The authoritative parent is responsive to the child’s needs but not indulgent. Baumrind makes it clear that she favors the authoritative style.

The worst parenting style represents what studies show are the “average” child and parent in the United States today.  These parents are Permissive, Uninvolved or a combination of both.

Since the average parent in the US today talks to his or her child less than five minutes a day and the average child spends more than 10 hours a day dividing his or her time up between watching TV, playing video games, social networking on sites such as Facebook, or sending hundreds of text messages monthly, it is obvious what the results are. Source: Media Literacy Clearinghouse

Since the Permissive and/or Uninvolved parent has few requirements for mature behavior, children may lack skills in social settings. While they may be good at interpersonal communication, they lack other important skills such as sharing. The child may also fear becoming dependent on other people, are often emotionally withdrawn, tend to exhibit more delinquency during adolescence, feels fear and anxiety or stress due to lack of family support and had an increased risk of substance abuse.

Return to A Brief History of Parenting – Part Two or start with 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).

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

 

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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).

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

 

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A Brief History of Parenting – Part 1/3

The Chinese did not invent the parenting style Amy Chua described in her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In fact, the Chinese may have learned this method of parenting from the British, French, Germans, Russians, Portuguese and Americans since this method of parenting first developed in the West in the 18th century.

The 19th century invasion of China by Western powers during The Opium Wars explains what happened, and it was a British citizen from Northern Ireland that may have introduced this style of parenting to the Chinese.

This man was Sir Robert Hart, known as the godfather of China’s modernization. It was Hart, the main character in The Concubine Saga that guided the Qing Dynasty to restructure China’s educational system to compete with the superior, Western style of education of that time.

Recently, I discovered that the one-star critics’ reviews of Amy Chua memoir of raising children the Chinese way had gone too far when another anonymous reviewer calling itself Tiger Indeed left this one-star review, “There once was a nation that fully endorsed these principals (referring to Amy Chua’s parenting methods). It was called the Soviet Union. Enough said.”

This wasn’t a book review. It was an opinionated condemnation of the way Amy Chua raised her children.

Digging further, I discovered that Tiger Indeed had reviewed one book. I’m sure you guessed the title: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Then I discovered Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, who in the 1960s was the first to identify the different methods of parenting.

Baumrind described Amy Chua’s parenting method but the way Chua raised her daughters wasn’t the same as there is some crossover between Authoritarian and Authoritative.

Continued on May 23, 2011 in A Brief History of Parenting – Part Two

_______________________

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).

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

 

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Putting the Blame where it Belongs — Part 4/6

To make this new Academic Index work, most if not all teachers use computer grading programs.  All teachers need do is make sure there are categories for homework, class discussion, students asking questions related to the work, class work, quizzes and tests.

I taught for thirty years and kept track of all of those categories easily.  I also fed that information into a computer-grading program. I knew who wasn’t doing homework—the same goes for class work and in many cases no matter how many phone calls I made or how many failure notices I mailed home to the parents, little changed.

For example, if the parent of a failing student came to a parent conference, I could tell them that his or her son did eight of 23 homework assignments and what the average grade earned was.  I could do the same for class work, students asking questions, quizzes, tests and for class discussions.

Since most of my tests on literature in the English textbook were open book, it was easy to see who didn’t read the story or study.  After all, I handed out study guides before each quiz and test.

For class discussions and questions related to the class work, I carried a clip board with a seating chart where I kept track of who said what by putting a mark next to the name of the student that was involved.

I transferred that information into the computer-grading program and at parent conferences, I could tell parents every facet of their child’s grade.

Students that never asked questions or took part in discussions had no marks next to his or her name for those categories and I could easily tell parents that their child never asked questions or took part in discussions.

In fact, I could tell them how many classroom assignments had been turned in and the grade for every assignment or the average grade.

Continued on May 19, 2011 in Putting the Blame where it Belongs – Part 5 or return to Part 3

______________

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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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 8/9

In Part 4 of Recognizing Good Parenting, I focused on another method of parenting—the average Asian-American parent. The results provided in Parts 5 through 8 in that series are impressive.

Well before Amy Chua and her essay in The Wall Street Journal then her memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Asiance Magazine reported December 2009, “How (average) Asian-American parents raise successful children.

“What Chinese (Asian-American) parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences.

“This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.”

The author wrote, “Western friends (parents) who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most.


Kindergarten children – Is this the result of parents using old-world methods of parenting?

“For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.

“Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best.”

Many of Amy Chua’s critics claim this description of the average Asian-American from Asiance Magazine is a stereotype and is wrong

However, Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. writing in Psychology Today explains Why Chinese Mothers Really are Superior (on average). “It’s not stereotyping when it’s right.… Asian Americans have the lowest self-esteem of any ethnic group in the U.S., but achieve the best academic performance (and, among adults, the lowest unemployment rate)…

“On average,” Dr. Twenge says, “Asian parents use more discipline and insist upon hard work more than Western parents. And on average, their kids do better….”

In Part 9, take a test to discover how much of an “average” American parent you might be.

Continued on May 12, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 9 or return to Part 7

_______________________

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 11, 2011 in family values, Parenting

 

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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 5/9

Parents are a vital element of a child and teen’s education. Parents must be involved even if the children are attending public or private schools.

Teachers cannot do it all.

Students must read daily at home, do classwork, homework, and study for tests.  The job of a parent is to make sure the student does that work.  If a student fails a class while attending school, the main reason is he or she was not doing the work or studying while in class or at home and the parent failed in his or her job.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are about 64 million students in primary through secondary schools in America, while It has been estimated that 1.5 million students were homeschooled in the United States in 2007 (with a confidence interval of 1.3 to 1.7 million), constituting 2.9% of students.

It’s obvious that if a parent is teaching his or her children at home, the family is spending quality time together instead of watching too much TV, playing video games, sending text messages, or social networking on the Internet (see Recognizing Good Parenting – Part 2 for the average breakdown of time for each activity).

Instead, home taught students talk several hours a day with parents, and it pays off.

Academic statistics for home-taught students is impressive.

In 1997, a study of 5,402 home school students from 1,657 families was released. It was entitled, Strengths of Their Own: Home Schoolers Across America. The study demonstrated that homeschoolers, on average, out-performed their counterparts in the public schools by 30 to 37 percentile points in all subjects.

This was confirmed in another study by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of 20,760 homeschooled students, which found the homeschoolers who have been home taught their entire mandatory school years had the highest academic achievement.

Another important finding of Strengths of Their Own was that the race of the student does not make any difference. There was no significant difference between minority and white homeschooled students. For example, in grades K-12, both white and minority students scored, on the average, in the 87th percentile.

The motivations for home schooling are based on a concern about the school environment (85% of parents that teach at home); a desire to provide religious or moral instruction (72% of parents); and a dissatisfaction with academic instruction at schools 68%.

There are other reasons but these three areas make up the majority.

In addition, Ordination.org reports, “For the third consecutive year, ACT college admissions test scores are higher for homeschoolers than for other students. Homeschoolers’ average composite score was 22.8, compared to the national average of 21, out of a possible 36. On the SAT, homeschoolers, who comprise less than 1 percent of test takers, earned 568 verbal and 532 in math. The national average…was 505 verbal and 514 math.”

A few more facts from Home School Resources Guide.com may clarify the picture more.

– 71% of homeschoolers actively participate in the community. Traditionally schooled students averaged only 37%.

– 76% of homeschoolers were more likely to be involved in civic affairs, compared to only 36% of their public-schooled counterparts.

– 58.9% of the homeschoolers surveyed reported they were “very happy” with life, in contrast to 27.6% of traditional students.

If you are a parent that is home teaching your children, breathe a sigh of relief, because the odds are that you do not fit the definition of the American “average” or “norm” for a parent.

Another factor that plays an important role in being a parent is peer pressure among teens, which I will deal with in Part 6.

Continued on May 9, 2011 in Avoid the Mainstream Parent Trap – Part 6 or return to Part 4

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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.

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