Does is still take a village to raise a child?

Posted: July 3, 2013 in Health, Social Media
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teen violenceSo I was web surfing recently when I found an article about a teen girl in who fought a teacher in California. I clicked on the link and was floored by what I seen. The girl not only continually hit the teacher after the girl provoked an argument with the teacher. She kept hitting the teacher even after the teacher started to curl into a ball blocking the young woman’s blows.

Then another video  with a similar altercation between another teen girl and a female teacher. This time the two were exchanging blows after a verbal exchange over a cell phone ringing. To me this is more evidence that this generation today care less and less about respect. Is this all in my head? Is this generation less receptive to authority figures? If so why?

Is It The Food?

One theory is the food today is not the same as the food we eat 20 or 30 years ago and our kids are suffering for it. Some examples I found are BVO or Brominated Vegetable Oil; it’s an additive that has been taken out of PepsiCo sodas, but still appears in drinks like Powerade, Mountain Dew and Fresca. The problem with this additive is known as a “flame retardant”. It is known to cause depression, tremors, confusion and issues with thyroid function. Our meat we eat is an issue as well. Ractopamine a muscle enhancer which by the way is banned in Europe, Russia and China are used for meat in the US. Links to hyperactivity, muscle corrosion, behavioral changes have been found for the product which is supposed to promote leanness.

Hawaiian Papaya during the 1990’s started dying off due to the ringspot virus. In the US efforts to save the fruit we genetically altered the fruit creating a super fruit that can withstand drought, disease and floods. Studies are finding animals eating this genetically enhanced  fruit are more likely to have intestinal damage, bleeding ulcers, kidney and liver damage. Farm raised salmon are fed canthaxanthin to keep the fleshy pinkish orange we are used to seeing in the fish. Otherwise the salmon would have more of a pale pink or gray color. The problem is studies are showing now that canthaxanthin is linked to issues with pigments collecting in the retina and damaging eyesight.

Some experts are now telling parents to avoid juices, cereals, snacks and vitamin supplements that use food colorings, because of the affects these chemicals have on the nervous system. These chemicals are not broken down by our liver and have affected our neurotransmitters that also dictate our thinking ability. Too many additives in our food have found people are more susceptible to anxiety, headaches and upset stomach as well. Studies have shown  since the 1980’s that removing these additives from a child diet have decreased hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder up to 79% in most kids who showed signs of these ailments. It seems going natural is the way to go, but one other study affects you whether you eat or not. I’ll explain

Fast Food …..Need I say more, but I want to talk about something maybe you haven’t thought about that affects behavior. Yes the food is bad as well and many if not all the additives I previous talked about can be found in the food and drinks in your fast food place of choice. The unspoken affect on behavior is the feeling of time stressed and impatience just by seeing fast food symbols.    Even if we’re not in the restaurant we have a sense of urgency after we see these symbols. A study done in Toronto showed just by seeing the golden arches a person psychology changed and they became impatient about financial decisions. They are not willing to postpone immediate gain for future rewards and therefore blow caution to the wind about saving even against their own monetary interests. I know this doesn’t directly tie into children and teen behavior, but it does give a correlation between their state of mind and decision making skills in these types of settings.

Social Media

How does the new wave of social media affect behavior on our youth young fragile minds? Growing up I didn’t have YouTube, facebook, twitter, myspace, Instagram or any other social media site to log onto nor did I have a cell phone until I was in college. Younger and younger I see kids wanting the new Iphone or Itouch. So how exactly are these kids being influenced by this? The NYU child study center with Doctors Yamalis Diaz PHD , Lori Evans Ph. D and also Richard Gallagher Ph. D did some research and found out that youth from ages 8 to 18 use social media 6 plus hours longer a day more than any other activity.

Among preschoolers those who spent more time watching TV have shown negative impact on attention, academic performance and adjustment in elementary and middle school. There is a correlation with social media use and poor grades as well. Those who also watch more TV; only 23 percent of light user averaged “C’s” or worse, as compared to 47 percent of heavy users. Increased exposure to violence and sex on TV and media have shown more aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, less empathy, fewer helping behaviors and even increases in fear. Something to think about before letting your child goes on YouTube and float around. Sexual content on video games and other media have been associated with poor attitudes toward women, an increase in rape myth acceptance “They asked for it” perspective and last increasing violence toward women.

Also some potential impacts from social media include greater anxiety, increase in depression, energy taken away from family time, academics physical activity and other face to face interactions. A compulsive need for vigilance checking comments on their social pages, which leads to an impulsive reactions in order to “correct” impressions or comments being circulated about them.

Using facebook in particular has shown some similar results in negative behavior as a touched on just now as well. Using facebook showed teens with more narcissism tendencies while young adults showed more psychological disorders, antisocial behavior, mania and aggressive tendencies the more of a presence they have with the application.

Parenting Style

How does parenting style play a role in a child behavior? Matthew McNeil wrote an article in the Minnpost that puts blame on lazy and lack of parenting in this society. Yes as a parent you have to deal with work, busy scheduling, and a divorce if your separated and even attention of other children or adults may take a parent away from the child when they need them the most. Blaming the teacher if your child is failing in school is not the answer or the coach if they can’t play sports because they never put enough practice into it or saying the officer had a vendetta against your child if they are continually running into police for their behavior. We tend to mask our inadequacies with complaints about the other side rather than actually putting time into raising our kids. The job then becomes that for celebrities, and social media in the last part is not a good way at all to proceed with a developmental stage for the child. This overlooking that the child has bad tendencies correlates their view on the world around them. I know a met a few people in my life that seem to make excuses for themselves. This its everybody else’s fault mentality impacts their way of thinking.

One parenting tip that worked for me when I was growing up that I want to use on my kids is after you are done disciplining your child (make sure punishment fits the crime) is you sit down and talk to them about how what they did made you upset, sad or anything in between. Knowing how my behavior affected my mom made me more conscious that performing the same action would hurt the women who raised me and gave me life. Today’s parents don’t connect with them they way my mom did with me. My uncle is the perfect example. His first born was diagnosed with a slight case of autism when the boy was 3 yrs old. Now a teenager the young man is not able to multitask and has been left unemployed three times within a very short period of time, because he was never given the tools to jump over the hurdle which is his handicap. My uncle could have easily made it a priority to overcome this obstacle, but instead he put going on vacation with his girlfriend ahead of a tutor for the child, spending time in a dysfunctional relationship with his girlfriend instead of building a meaningful one with his son. I will say my family has stepped in and making sure the boy is getting the help and training he needs.

Celebrity Influence

For some reason celebrities want to pretend this elephant in the room that they shouldn’t be role models. For some reason celebrities want immunity from being blamed for the way they impact a child attitude, behavior and even style and dress. Research done by university of South Australia Academic Lesley- Anne Ey found direct links between a child style of dress and raunchy pop stars. In elementary school kids were trying to dance exotically trying to dance like their idols Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Kylie Minogue. Kids as young as five are being influenced. I have a three year old and she can learn a song very quickly and she’ll sing the words along with the song. The bad part is some of these songs have highly sexual lyrics so I try to limit the songs she listens to.

Honestly I like music from Chris Brown, Rihanna the likes of Nicki Minaj but their outlook on being a role model is bad. Chris Brown is just a potential twitter rage waiting to happen, Rihanna poses naked or half naked pics up on her page and says she is not a role model when a whole generation followed her when she cut her hair and had domestic issues with Chris Brown. Soooo its ok to take support from your young fans when you need a spiritual pickup after you’ve been beaten on, but saying “Hey I have the power to make a long standing appulse with my fans let it be a positive one” I get it you whole persona is wild, sexy and free, but denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Words to think about

Our greatest resource for our future is our children and we are failing them. The Iraq war which we know now was for oil and not weapons of mass destruction has taken a toll of $813,434,515,168 from the point of it starting until now. We spent so far this year $781 billion on education. Let say we spent the same amount each year for the past ten years on education that would leave an amount of $7 trillion, 810 billion. Still not even close on what we spent on a war we started. Education is losing and our kids are the victims. I won’t say teens are always the victims, because at some point ones morals, ideology and values have to play a part in the equation and be the compass on how behavior is acted out. I see it as the wager the devil put against mankind. He can’t push you over, but he can give you a whisper of influence. Can our kids be saved? Yes we know what’s causing the problem. Avoid bad food and give them healthy choices, be interactive with your child or children, get involved try to always be in the know of what is going on with your child. Make the child responsible for their own actions. Monitor what and when they watch TV, social media and such. Parenting is a hard job and I don’t wish it on anyone who is not ready, but the stakes are too high not to be a participate in this one.

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Comments
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