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When should children start formal schooling?
As late as possible, according to Canadian psychologist Dr. Gordon Neufeld. A recent article published by the IMFC (Institute of Marriage and Family, Canada) Dr. Neufeld explains how attachments to peers can cause a plethora of problems which may not be recognized until later in life when the affects of the peer attachment develops.
Neufeld suggests that sending young children to daycare because it will help them overcome shyness, or get along with others, or in fact because the child “loves to go and spend time with her peers,” is the wrong thing to do. Read the rest of this entry →
OK, so this article in the British Daily Mail has said everything I was thinking about the Hunger Games. Essentially that teens process images they create in their minds by reading text in a different way than they process larger than life on screen images. And the difference is not a good one.
The Hunger Games
There is a movement and outcry *thank you* to have the movie’s rating upgraded to 15A. I believe this is as it should be.
While there are children in the real world we live in who are forced to fight in wars and who are victims of other atrocities there is no need for us to “entertain” our young precious minds with this type of film. We get only one opportunity to be a kid. Do we really want our youth to grow up faster than necessary and jaded by violence and killing as entertainment?
Are we no better than The Capitol? What is our society coming to?
Kids know when something feels bad. And, sometimes it’s easier to say their parent “won’t let” them than it is to admit to their peers that they don’t feel comfortable in a situation. When peer pressure reaches that point where the group rule is the bottom line, kids need an out.
If you let your kids know that they can use you as an out for uncomfortable situations you have given them the opportunity to avoid dangerous or unethical situations.
If your child is too old for the whole “I’m not allowed” scenario– Let’s face it peers will be scathing when they perceive that adults are in control of what otherwise would be a peer-driven situation — then you can set up a texting code. (You might this this is goofy, but if you recall peer pressure can feel awfully threating.)
Jenna texts you and says:
Jenna: Hey Mom, I’m out with the gang. be home by 11″ (which is within curfew.)
The code word is “gang.” This prompts mom to text back that Jenna must come home immediately.
Mom: Sorry Jen, we need you to come home ASAP. We’ll pick you up in 5 minutes. Where are u?
If anyone asks to see her phone, Jenna hasn’t done anything wrong….no one can say she’s a sissy, or a cry baby, or that her Moommmy won’t let her do anything There’s nothing in the messages that implicates Jenna or her Mom. And the reason to come home is not any specific one, so there’s no ruse or lie.
You can set up your own code word, but it works best to find one that will blend into any text. It could be as simple as using the word “not” as a clue that the answer should be “no.”
Jeff: Can I stay overnight at Pete’s or not?
Mom: Sorry not tonight.
If Jeff wanted Mom’s true answer, because he actually wanted to stay at Pete’s he would text: ”Can I stay overnight at Pete’s tonight?” This way Mom can just answer yes or no, depending on circumstances.
Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride. Ron Taffe
Hold on. This goes for all of the people we love, we keep them close and support them regardless of their age. If your teenager is asking you to step away from their life, ask yourself why. And ask yourself who should be the primary influence in their lives peers or family.
Support through adolesence is something that I learned by living through it. I am fortunate to have been raised in a communicative family. I’ve heard people on television, say: “When I’m a parent I hope I’m nothing like you.” Those words couldn’t be farther from the truth for me.
I always felt supported by my parents. And I still do. They love me like no one else ever can or ever will. Now I’m an adult and don’t really need them any more. But, it’s still nice to know they have always loved me for who I am and will always want what’s best for me.
There were times in my adolescence when I felt compelled to ask for more freedom or independence. My parents always listened to my requests and metered out as much as they felt was appropriate. Which in some cases I felt was a little overbearing or unfair.
It go something like this:
When I’d tell them all my friends are going: “There’s lots of time for that when you’re older.” (true)
When I’d suggest they not come watch me play sports: “Of course we’re going — we love you and we want to spectate at your volleyball match.” (nice)
When I’d insist it was embarrassing that my parents would chaperone at a school dance. “We trust that you’ll be behaving yourself whether we are there or not, so it shouldn’t matter if we see you at the dance.” (good point.)
When I wanted cool sneakers, aka expensive ones: ”As long as we’re paying for your shoes they don’t have to be the ‘in’ brand. We’ll pay as much as practical shoes cost, if you want cool ones, you can pay the difference.” (I never did buy the cool ones. Or maybe just once, but I quickly realized it wasn’t worth it afterall.)
I read Hold On to Your Kids when my children were small. And while I didn’t necessarily agree with everything in the book, I’m glad I read it. It helped reinforce that I want to be an involved parent through all the stages of my children’s development.