"Our children are watching us live, and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say." - Wilferd A. Peterson

Experts: 'Buddy' Parents No Friends to Kids
By Liza Porteus

The usual response to incidents like the Illinois hazing melee -- at least among most tongue-clucking adults -- generally runs along the lines of "Where were the parents?"

But what happens if, as may have been the case here, the parents were out buying the booze for the underage drinking bash?

"It's not just that you're helping the kid out because they need a couple of beers for a party," said Dr. Roger McIntire, author of books including, Teenagers and Parents: 10 Steps for a Better Relationship. "It's the message that is behind that - the message was that these kinds of overindulgences are acceptable."

The issue has struck a nerve among those who believe many parents may be more worried about being a buddy than a father or mother to their teens -- to the detriment of both the kids' development and the strength of the family. Experts generally agree that parents aren't doing their children any favors when they buy underage drinkers beer in an effort to win affection or popularity.

"It's an extension of the same type of parent who ... would consider having graduation parties and serving alcohol to kids and saying, 'Oh, I'm taking keys,' and considering they are being the cool parents, actually thinking they should be voted parents of the year," said family therapist Carleton Kendrick, author of Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We're Going to Grandma's. "It is more important for them to be perceived as cool than it is for being a parent."

School administrators in Northbrook, Ill., on Monday ordered the suspension of several girls involved in the now-infamous May 4 "powder puff" incident. But officials also made clear they had limited jurisdiction in the case, which was not a school event.

Police continue to investigate reports that at least some parents were involved, and are expected to file criminal charges this week."This is about the personal responsibility of the parents to do their job as parents and to make sure that their children are behaving appropriately," attorney Mark Smith told Fox News' Hannity and Colmes last week.

But defense attorney Mel Sachs argued that shifting blame to the parents doesn't hold their kids accountable. "Children have to learn to be responsible themselves," he said. "It's very easy to shift the burden to the parents. We can't allow that to happen."

Some experts insist parents must still be held accountable, at whatever level. "I cannot imagine what was in the minds of these parents if they helped provide these kids with those animal entrails and excrement and not asking what this was all about," Kendrick said.

The Partnership for a Drug Free America recently launched an ad campaign encouraging parents to act less like friends and more like adults. In the ads, parents ask kids many questions about where they're going, who they will be with and when they're coming home, in an effort to show they care and to make sure their teens know what's expected of them.

"We advise parents that kids have friends, they need parents," said organization spokesman Howard Simon. "It's important for parents to remember their kids, whether they admit it or not, are looking for you to set rules and boundaries - it's probably the single most important job you have in your life.

"It's great to have your kid like you and we understand the desire to want to be that but at the same time, your kids need you to give you the rules on how to guide your behavior."

Olaunda Williams, youth director for The Partners to Reduce Underage Drinking in North Carolina, said a trend is beginning to emerge where parents are held accountable by the justice system for providing alcohol. North Carolina has a "huge problem" of parents buying beer for their underage teens, she said.

"They feel like they're being responsible parents as long as they take the car keys," Williams said. "We want them to understand they are breaking the law. Parents need to understand this behavior is illegal, it shouldn't be tolerated."

McIntire said parents should give their children kudos for a job well done and praise their positive attributes, not for aiding and abetting illegal behavior."If you try to be a friend to your child, the way to do it is to show some admiration for some things that they do, not to try to come in on the side of liking the same music or using the same lingo or otherwise trying to fit in with them and their friends," he said. "I think it's better to take the high road."

Source: Fox News


Twelve Rules for Raising Delinquent Children

The following has been attributed to the Houston Police Department, who supposedly put out a pamphlet with the above title, and listing the following rules of raising a delinquent child.  The rules were then picked up and published in the local Chamber of Commerce publication called Business:

1.      Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants.  In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.

2.      When he picks up bad words, laugh at him.  This will make him think he's cute.  It will also encourage him to pick up "cuter phrases" that will blow off the top of your head later.

3.      Never give him any spiritual training.  Wait until he is 21, and then let him "decide for himself."

4.      Avoid the use of the word "wrong."  It may develop a guilt complex.  This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5.      Pick up everything he leaves lying around—books, shoes, clothes.  Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

6.      Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on.  Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but don't worry about his mind feasting on garbage.

7.      Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children.  In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

8.      Give the child all the spending money he wants.  Never let him earn his.  Why should he have things as tough as you did?

9.      Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort.  See that every sensual desire is gratified.  Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10.    Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen.  They are all prejudiced against your child.

11.    When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, "I never could do anything with him!"

12.    Prepare yourself for a life of grief.  You'll surely have it.


Can Parents Be Both The Boss & The Buddy To Their Children?

Being able to balance being the 'boss' as well as your child's 'buddy' is absolutely necessary for a healthy parent child relationship. Some experts teach that we should always be the boss and never play the role of buddy. Others suggest that your son or daughter should be your best friend. Both extremes are unhealthy.

Your child should never be in doubt as to who is the boss.Personally speaking, when growing up, the times I felt my dad was my buddy were those rare and wonderful moments we spent gardening or fishing. I knew he was the boss; there was no doubt about that in our family. But for those magical moments, he was also my friend.The problem is that one without the other gives a dangerous imbalance. If you make an attempt to be your child's best friend above everything else, you will relinquish your ability to be an effective parent, able to wield authority when needed. If you refuse to accept the role of friend on occasion, you relinquish the chance to show love in a special way and to stand close to your children in their unguarded moments. Most parents have no trouble playing the role of boss but find it difficult to take the time to be a friend. Children do not respond to rules; they respond to relationships. It's true that you can get your children to "behave" by enforcing the rules. You can control your children to a certain point by running a tight ship, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are getting their loving and obedient response. What you are getting is their reaction, which may look like obedience on the surface, but beneath there is fear, frustration, and anger. Unless you establish a loving, accepting relationship with your child, you can almost count on trouble down the line. How Do You Balance Punishment & Praise?Punishment is a method of teaching principle - not a tool for revenge. Keeping that in mind will often make it easier to decide what (and whether) punishment should be handed out. If you use punishment simply as a deterrent ("and if you ever do that again, you know what will happen to you"), it will stop being effective when your kid figures out a way to keep you from finding out. But if it is used both as a deterrent and as a way to teach your child principles, the inner conviction that develops will stand even when the enforcer is not around. Here are two overriding rules to keep in mind:

1. First, punishment should always be carried out when you are under control. The minute you find out that your thirteen-year-old son took the car for a joyride may not be the best time to decide the sentence. Twenty years of hard labor in a foreign country may seem entirely appropriate to you at that moment; an hour or two later, when you've cooled off, you'll probably realize that five years would be plenty.With smaller children, it's often necessary to respond immediately, so that they can connect the punishment with the behavior. It's still important to keep control. A broken cookie jar may enrage you, but the child had no idea of the importance of the cookie jar. Express your displeasure about the sneaky action of stealing cookies, then wait until you've cooled down a bit about the cookie jar before taking action.

2. Second, avoid punishing older children (from about school age up) in front of friends if possible. You will never meet a child who didn't feel that a family trust was being violated by public punishment. You will also never meet a child who didn't try at one time or other to get away with bad behavior in the presence of others. Unless the child is clearly being manipulative, try to do your correction in private. If you're being manipulated, do your correction on the spot -- and then make it clear that your action was necessitated by your child's manipulative behavior. Another reason to avoid public punishment is that we parents can't always trust ourselves to maintain control over our emotions in that situation. We're often so embarrassed by our children's behavior and by how it reflects on us that the punishment can cease to be punishment for principles violated and become revenge for our embarrassment.

Waliz
http://partnerforlife.blogspot.com/2007/08/can-parents-be-both-boss-buddy-to-their.html


Teens Who Volunteer Reap Academic Rewards
By Ann Pleshette Murphy

June 18 - Volunteering was the last thing on Devin Cohen's mind three years ago, when he was keeping his mom company at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., where she received cancer treatment in the oncology unit.

"I saw that most people in the unit were kind of bored and lonely," said Cohen, 15. "And then I thought, What are the kids like when they're receiving chemotherapy? Won't they be lonely and bored?' So I thought 'Hey, I mean that's a good place to start and to help people out.' "

Cohen's initial idea has grown into a program that provides sick children at the hospital with books, games, sports gear, and companionship.

More than one in four teens nationwide does some type of volunteer work, such as bringing hope to sick children, beauty to their own neighborhoods, and safety to the homes of seniors.

But the giving goes both ways. Research confirms that teens who learn early to be social, caring, and responsible perform better in school. Volunteering improves their chances of graduating at the top of their class, armed with critical leadership skills.

It also makes teens feel good about themselves.

"There's no better feeling than giving back to the community, especially with children and in my case children with cancer," Cohen said.

His mother is pleased with her son's initiative.

"I'm really so proud of Devin," said Ellen Cohen. "I think he's encouraging other people to volunteer, which I think is important too."

Antidote to Trouble

Studies show that teens who volunteer just two hours per week have higher self-esteem and more resiliency and are 50 percent less likely to smoke, drink or do drugs.

Amy Figueroa is part of Fresh Youth Initiatives, better known as FYI, an organization that serves Washington Heights, a tough New York City neighborhood.

"It brings happiness to my life, knowing that I could do something - that I could help somebody else," she said.

She and other teen volunteers hit the streets, replacing graffiti with murals, painting mailboxes, planting gardens, and sewing sleeping bags for the homeless. FYI recruits act as positive role models for their peers.

"There's a lot of people that get in trouble. They sell drugs or they just do bad things to people," Figueroa said. "FYI is a place where they could come and put all negative things behind them and start doing positive things to help with the community and help out themselves - Mostly you see people my age like doing graffiti and stuff like that, so that gives the people another image of what kids can do."

One young volunteer provides some comfort to homeless people who sleep on New York's cold streets.

"When I work doing the sleeping bags for the homeless people and giving to them, it makes me feel proud of myself and it makes me feel so confident that I just did something good for someone and that someday, something good will happen to me," said Marilyn Rosa, 12.

Bridging Generation Gap

Teens who volunteer at the Heart of Manateens in Tampa, Fla., bridge the generation gap with the area's senior citizens and challenge the stereotype that adolescents are apathetic and self-centered.

Hildred Smarr, 80, is one of more than 3,500 seniors who live alone and have benefited from the program.

"About a couple years ago, a tornado came by, and this huge limb fell over on my roof and into my window," Smarr said.

"She had called up the Manateens at the volunteer center,and had asked, told us that she had debris all over the place," said Laura Lockwood, 20.

Teen volunteers dispatched to Smarr's house worked quickly.

"They cut it all up and took it all away. Isn't that marvelous?" Smarr said.

Corey Herbert, 15, said he felt good about helping senior citizens and getting to know them.

"I think it really makes an impact sometimes, once you like sit down and talk to them," Herbert said. "You do get really a nice relationship. And then they just kind of want you to keep coming back. And it's really nice."

Smarr is just thankful for the program.

"I don't know who started it all, or anything like that, but thank heaven they did," she said. "They are such good kids. They're terrific."

Tips for Parents

When trying to find volunteer projects, choose an issue close to your heart, stick to projects close to home, and volunteer along with your children so you can involve the entire family.

If kids are skittish about helping the sick or impaired, help them find other alternatives. Teens, for instance, often like fund raising and environmental-based projects.

An Outgrowth of Hobbies: Make the volunteer activity something that your child would do as a hobby. For example, teen boys are the toughest group to encourage to reach out, but if they can assist players of the Challenger League, where they can help handicapped kids play ball, it might be more rewarding than they imagined.

Stay Local: Don't be overly ambitious. Your elderly neighbor might need help unloading groceries, or the local library may be looking for volunteers to read to younger children at story time. Youth groups, the elderly and local libraries are a great place to start. Also try local libraries, hospitals, care facilities, school guidance counselors and neighborhood associations.

Make It a Family Affair: Whether it's letter writing, participating in an anti-war march or doling out soup to the homeless, you can best encourage your children to volunteer by modeling the behavior yourself.

Here are some helpful Web sites/ideas for volunteer activities:

The Manateen Club: A program of the Volunteer Services of Manatee County, it includes a project that helps the elderly, as well as beach/environmental cleanup plans (manateens.org).

Fresh Youth Initiatives: Teen volunteer program in Washington Heights section of New York (freshyouth.org).

Little League's Challenger League: Disabled players get help from able runners (littleleague.org).

Do Something: A great place to start for teens to find out what they care about and how they can help (dosomething.org).

Points of Light: Another great place to start with all sorts of links to local programs across the country (pointsoflight.org).

Cinderella's Closet: An organization in Sacramento, Calif., offers recycled prom dresses to underprivileged teenage girls (safeinsacramento.org/Cinderella).

Prom Dress Drive: Start your own fund-raiser. Raise money for teens who can't afford a dress or accessories.

Youth Service America: Clearinghouse for national youth volunteer programs (ysa.org).

Source: Good Morning America


Summer is the Hot Season for Teen Sex
By Ann Pleshette Murphy

June 19 - Fifteen-year-olds Victoria Richardson and Ben Ochrym are in love, and they're the closest of pals, too.

"He is like really my best friend," Victoria said. "He was always there for me, and he really listens well and I really respect that about him."

The high school couple will be spending the summer together, traveling in Europe on a teen tour. But the plan caught her dad off guard.

"I was under the impression, somehow mistaken, that it was all girls," Gene Richardson said. "And at some point it became clear that it was not all girls. And I just kind of flipped."

When Victoria is far away from her Rochester, N.Y., home, her parents worry, how far will she go?

"I want them to feel comfortable with their own sexuality, with how things will progress, but I guess I'm not ready for her to be really involved with that," said her mother, Sandi Richardson. "So … that's a struggle."

Forget the Fairy Tales

If Gene Richardson had his way, his daughter would wait - and wait a good long while - before she had sex.

"I guess the fairy tale would be until she was married," he said.

Fairy tales rarely come true. According to a survey of 30,000 teens released last month by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 20 percent of teens lose their virginity before their 15th birthday. More teens lose their virginity during the summer months than at any other time of the year, according to research in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. By the time teens graduate high school, two-thirds have had intercourse, and when they walk down the aisle, a mere 15 percent will still be virgins.

Victoria Richardson says that peer pressure to have sex exists, but she has a mind of her own.

"I feel that pressure a lot with my friends," she said. "But I don't let that get in the way because I want to be ready and feel good about it."

Why Kids Have Sex

In fact, peer pressure is only one of the reasons that teens have sex, said pediatrician Dr. Mark Schuster, co-author of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex, But Were Afraid to Ask.

"I'd say the main reason kids have sex is because they've heard it feels good and they want to see what it's all about, and another reason kids have sex is because their partner expects them to or might even break up with them if they don't have sex," Schuster said.

Parents should speak to their children about sex, and the importance of being ready before they do anything.

"You don't pressure someone else to have sex if they're not ready to have sex. That's a very important message for boys certainly, but also for girls these days," Schuster said. "They both need to learn it."

Having sex too soon can wreak havoc on teens emotionally. Research shows that sexually active teens are more likely to feel depressed and to attempt suicide. In fact, two out of three say they wish they had waited.

Out in the Open

Gene Richardson doesn't think teens are ready to cope with the responsibilities and the possible results.

"My biggest problem is that sexual intimacy is an adult activity, and there are adult consequences," he said.

Parents who are concerned about their teens becoming sexually active should bring those concerns out in the open, Schuster said.

"The biggest mistake parents make in talking about sex is to not talk about it," he said. "There's an epidemic of noncommunication about sex. Parents just avoid the subject."

Eliminating gray areas is critical, so experts say that parents should be specific and define what they mean by "sex," including oral sex. They should also talk to teens about sexual responsibility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases, and make sure that teens know how to say "no."

They should also understand that saying yes can be a wonderful thing - when the time is right.

"Sex is a gift - sex is a wonderful part of life, and we don't want kids growing up and being afraid of sex," Schuster said.

Victoria says talking to her mom about sex has been a comfort.

"My mom tells me that it's not a bad thing," she said. "So that makes me feel OK, 'cause I don't want her to think it's terrible. If I do it, I don't want her to be really mad. And I think she knows that I'll just wait and then it'll be a good thing, just like she said."

Source: ABC News


Survey suggests teens closer to parents in troubled times
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 - The nation's teens have spoken: Mom and dad, you're doing just fine. Almost 75 percent of high school students said they get along very well, if not extremely well, with their parents or guardians, a survey finds. Of the rest, 23 percent called the relationship "just OK," and only 3 percent said they don't get along well with their parents.

OVERALL, TEENAGERS have a lot more admiration than animosity for their family members, despite popular notions to the contrary, "The State of Our Nation's Youth" survey says. The Horatio Alger Association, which provides college scholarships and mentoring to needy students, released the annual report on youth attitudes Tuesday. Conducted in April and May, the phone survey was given to 1,055 high school students, most of them 14 to 18 years old.

The family-friendly theme stands out among this year's findings.

Asked how they'd like to spend more time, more teens said they would rather be with their families than hang out with friends, play sports, listen to music or do anything else.

Teens put family members atop their list of role models - far ahead of entertainers and athletes - and more than nine in 10 said they have at least one family member to confide in.

The teen years are a natural time for separation, but the last year has not been a normal one, said Peter Hart, whose research company wrote the report. War in Iraq, a faltering economy, scandals in business and the church - today's teens have absorbed it all, Hart said.

KIDS ARE OPTIMISTS

"During all of the turmoil and change, instead of isolating themselves, I think they've drawn themselves back toward family," Hart said. "It's family and friends that are their support network." Three in four students say they are optimistic about the country's future. "It's almost as if they have built-in shock absorbers," Hart said.

Even the disputes teens have with their parents aren't of great consequence, the survey finds. The most common argument, teens say, is over cleaning their rooms. In a boom time for bellybutton rings and tattoos, only 4 percent of fights are about student appearance.The findings should be encouraging to busy parents, but they also are a warning, Hart said.

"The kids who are in high school are telling parents, 'We're listening you, we care about what you think, and we'd like to spend more time with you,'" Hart said.

Academic demands put the most stress on students, more so than family squabbles, financial worries or social pressures, the survey says.

Asked about the pressure of getting good grades, 42 percent of students called it a major problem, up from 26 percent two years ago. The largest increases were among black students, sophomores and juniors.

OTHER SURVEY FINDINGS:

Almost half of students - 47 percent - said they have solid or strong confidence in Congress. Only 26 percent said the same about the media.Fifty-eight percent of students said they have their own television, and 45 percent have their own cell phone. Almost all students - 97 percent - said there is a computer in their home. Forty-seven percent of students report spending six or more hours per week on their homework, up from 37 percent last year. Sixty percent of students say standardized tests are a good way to measure their progress. Last year, 65 percent thought such tests were a good idea.

The poll had an error margin of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Source: MSNBC/Associated Press


Fashion Sends a Message: But Is It the Right One?
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
By Jennifer D'Angelo

NEW YORK - "Gorgeous." "Sexy." "Beautiful." Many young women are all these things, but a fashion trend that has them wearing these words on their busts and bottoms is raising some eyebrows.

"Message" fashion - clothing with descriptive phrases stamped on the chest and behind - is the teenybopper look du jour. But critics say the trend, which sometimes includes provocative phrases and even expletives, can go too far.

"Messages that are positive and pure, like 'beautiful,' 'angel' and 'magical,' are absolutely OK, but not anything sexual that could be construed as dirty and nasty," said Elizabeth Kiester, fashion director for YM magazine.

Mary Jane Mariani, a New Jersey mother of five daughters ranging from 15 to 24-years-old, said she wouldn't mind her girls wearing some of the sayings, but agreed that others aren't appropriate for teens.

"It depends on what it says. 'Gorgeous' is OK, but I wouldn't want them to wear 'sexy' or 'boy toy,'" she said.

Kiester confirmed that the trend is a huge hit with girls. In fact, YM is featuring message sweaters and belts in their October issue. But the teen glossy is highlighting innocent versions of the fad, and focusing on the impact that wearing a statement about yourself can make.

"We’re going to show a sweater that says 'leader of the pack,' across the chest, and on the ironic side, a belt that says 'dork,'" Kiester said. "The feature is about the empowerment of words, how words affect the way you feel about the world and yourself."

But when the messages veer into the realm of sexually suggestive sayings such as "I'm delicious" and "boy toy," even some fashionistas get skittish.

Kiester was taken aback when her 12-year-old niece started wearing Juicy Couture sweats with "juicy" written across the front and backside.

"My sister said, 'It’s just a brand.' But I thought that might be a little too sexy," she said.

One New York City teacher told Foxnews.com she has witnessed her kindergarten students' young mothers wearing messages that she feels cross the line.

"I’ve seen them wear jeans, tops and shorts that say provocative things, and I think it cheapens the female person and makes sex a game," said the teacher, who requested anonymity.

Nevertheless, the look can be found just about everywhere. Express stores, frequented by teens and young women, carry cropped cargo pants with "gorgeous" across the tush, as well as T-shirts with "sexy" on the breast pocket.

Wet Seal, another favorite youth-oriented chain store, features colorful T-shirts that say "high maintenance," "notorious" and "miss chievous."

E! fashion director Elycia Rubin said the trend is an "attention-grabber," which is in line with the culture's increasingly flashy pop stars and actors who influence teens. But Rubin's not bothered by the sassy sayings.

"I have a pair with 'love' across the butt - my boyfriend made them for me," she said. "I’ve seen them on Britney [Spears], Gwen Stefani. It’s just a fun kind of flirty, spunky clothing trend."

Rubin, who lives in L.A., said men do call out to her on the street more than usual when she wears her "love" jeans, but she thinks that’s perfectly OK.

"It’s sweet when there’s a nice message. I’ve seen some of the bad words - Madonna has swear words on some of her clothes - [but] I don’t think it’s offensive. If you wear it well, you’re fine."

However, some parents like Mariani are concerned that the fashion statements could be construed as walking personal ads, especially when kids are involved.

"I object to 'hot' and 'sexy," Mariani said. "I wouldn't want my daughters to call attention to themselves in that way."

Source: Fox News


Raising kids to love reading
by Shelley Butler & Deb Kratz

We can't help it-- we just love children's books: the stories, the pictures, the photographs, the feel of a book in the hand, the turning of the pages, the anticipation of the first page and what will come next, and even the slight sadness when a great story is over. Add reading a great book aloud to a young child and magic is in the air as you make monsters come alive, trains bravely chug, and rabbits fall asleep by the light of the moon.

Reading a book out loud makes it your own. The very idea of reading to a child gives you permission to make creature sounds the like of which no one has ever heard before, to imitate accents, to act overly dramatic, and to behave like a kid again, if you wish. When you step outside yourself and become the characters, you get to be, do, and say things you might not otherwise, in just the right way, and at just the right time. You, the reader, decide how happy or sad or mad or crabby a character should be, and how much emphasis or drama to add to the story. In the end, you have created a unique treasure.

Imagine all the varied and wonderful versions that are created each time Max cries, "Let the wild rumpus begin!" in the classic WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak. Or how many different sounds Mary Anne, the faithful steam shovel, has made since MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL by Virginia Lee Burton hit the book shelves in 1939.

Try this out loud, from the absolutely gross and wonderful new book, AWFUL OGRE'S AWFUL DAY: POEMS, by one of our best children's poets Jack Prelutsky:

Awful Ogre Speaks of Stature

When elves and gnomes encounter me,
They often shriek, "Grotesque!"
I bow with magnanimity
And murmur,"Statuesque!"

Even the youngest children, who may not understand each nuance or word meaning, will delight in the magnificent variety of sounds and emotions you emit. No two ogres will be the same--your rendition will be like a secret handshake that only you and your child know.

So, how should you read to kids? In your own way (whether quietly or dramatically), with passion, in comfort, and enjoying the pleasure that comes with it. When reading together is warm, contented, and fun, you and a child become closer, and young children start on the path of lifelong reading. Independent reading skills will follow later. For now, one of the greatest gifts that you can give a young child, as well as yourself, is a shared love of books and reading.

CHOOSING KIDS' BOOKS

Look for a variety of good stories, nonfiction books, and books with great illustrations or photographs. Choose new books that you yourself enjoy, and pick some from your childhood. Personally, we couldn't be more thrilled that Dr. Seuss' YERTLE THE TURTLE and THE RED BALLOON by Albert Lamorisse have survived the test of time. At the same time, we enjoy some newer books, like Kevin Henke's LILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE, as much as our kids do. One of the keys to successful reading is to choose books that appeal to you.

The other half of the successful reading equation is to choose books that appeal to your child and his/her temperament, stage of life, mood, and development. Early childhood, in general, is a time when children learn an amazing number of new skills and face new situations in life. There are books for every occasion and child, and about almost any issue: death, new sibling, safety, child care, making friends, imaginary friends, starting school, travel, bad moods, good moods, feelings, cooperation, going to the hospital, doctor, or dentist, getting along with siblings, sleep, even swearing. Check out ELBERT'S BAD WORD by Audrey Wood and others in "Books to Help Kids Grow and Develop," here on FamilyFun.

Have you ever read a phrase and thought, "That's what I have been trying to say all along."? Children's books can help adults say what they mean, but perhaps haven't found the words for yet. Consider STAND TALL, MOLLY LOU MELON by Patty Lovell and illustrated by David Catrow. Poor Molly Lou was born with many undesirable traits, including a voice that sounds like a bullfrog's, but it doesn't matter because her grandmother teaches her to turn adversity into a desirable thing. "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy."

So, how should you choose books for kids? Select a wide variety of books that you like, that your child will like, that help a child learn more about the world, and that help you say what you mean. Look for books that help children feel good about themselves, feel more powerful, discover new capabilities, get the support that comes from knowing that there are many other kids in the same situation or with the same feelings, and that help explain the meaning of values, traditions, family, community, and more. If this sounds like a tall order, don't worry--there are so many great books out there, you'll soon be tripping over them, if you're not already.

BOOKS AND READING FOR YOUNG ONES

Attempting to outline what kind of books children of a particular age will enjoy is like trying to predict what kind of food children may like at a certain age. Since it's hard to predict and variety is healthy for children, offer many kinds of books throughout childhood. Though there are some general guidelines about what kids are drawn to in books during early childhood, don't limit yourself to choosing only these types of books.

Babies typically enjoy:

* Listening to you read from birth on--the richness of language and warmth of your voice bring great joy to a baby. Read as long as your baby will listen, but don't force it.

* Listening while they are playing or crawling sometimes, in addition to before bedtime.

* Experiencing books in their own way. Babies like to chew, lick, sit on, stand on, and throw books--make soft and sturdy books available.

* Books with one clear image per page.

* Short stories or books about things that are familiar to them, like MY FIRST WORD BOARD BOOK by Angela Wilkes.

Toddlers typically enjoy:

* Short stories about a variety of subjects. Again, don't force a child to sit still. Let them enjoy the reading experience in their own way.

* Board books and stories that contain things from a toddler's experience.

* Poetry, rhyme, and books with repeating phrases, like DRUMMER HOFF by Barbara Emberley, illustrated by Ed Emberley; and READ-ALOUD RHYMES FOR THE VERY YOUNG by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Tolon Brown.

* Books that cover one concept, like shapes, colors, or the alphabet.

Preschoolers typically enjoy:

* Longer and more complicated stories. Let kids listen as long or as little as they are comfortable.

* Poetry, rhyme, and books about things they know from their widening experience.

* Jokes, tall tales, and folk tales that are not scary, like MCBROOM'S WONDERFUL ONE-ACRE FARM: THREE TALL TALES by Sid Fleischman and illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Keep in mind that there is a wide range of what is typical at each age, that attention spans vary widely, and that kids can understand stories at a higher level than they can read. Above all, don't give up on a reluctant reader; keep trying new books and reading at different times of the day. You know your child best, so allow children to experience reading and books in their own way and in their own time. Choose stories that they will like and listen to, but also pick some that stretch their attention span, interest, and imagination, and perhaps yours, too.

BOOKS TO HELP KIDS GROW AND DEVELOP

Children's books help kids make sense of the world. Reading should be fun, but it can also help parents teach a child more about new situations, skills, or feelings that may be difficult for developing minds to understand. Keep in mind that there are several good books for just about any situation. Here are a few examples:

* New Baby in the Family:

JULIUS, THE BABY OF THE WORLD by Kevin Henkes helps children as well as parents understand the confusing and sometimes conflicting feelings a child has when a new sibling comes home, as Lilly (of LILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE fame) struggles with her feelings about her new brother in her typically delightful and unique way.

* Diversity and Tolerance:

CHILDREN JUST LIKE ME by Susan Elizabeth Copsey, et al, celebrates the magnificent diversity of people around the world, and helps develop an understanding that no matter where children are from, they are more alike than they are different.

* Sharing and Cooperation:

ME FIRST by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger offers a perfectly fun way to learn more about the difficult skill of taking turns.

* Death:

LIFETIMES: A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO EXPLAIN DEATH TO CHILDREN by Bryan Mellonie helps parents, caregivers, and anyone who works with children explain the difficult concept of the natural process of death and dying with language and ideas that children can really understand.

* Physical Activity:

HELLO TOES, HELLO FEET by Ann Whitford Paul and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott allows active kids to be active, and may inspire quieter kids to try more energetic pursuits--when you read this one, encourage your child to tiptoe, march, stomp, and hop right along with the character in the story.

* Developing Skills:

DEAR ZOO by Rod Campbell, the Spot series by Eric Hill, ALPHA BUGS by David Carter, and other lift-the-flap, touch-and-feel, or pop-up books are great choices for helping young children work on hand (fine motor) skills, and practice cause and effect, in addition to providing just plain fun!

Don't stop here--there are hundreds more books out there to help children grow and develop.

GREAT NEW CHILDREN'S BOOKS

If you think of the world of new children's books as Mount Everest, then the following list does not even qualify as a foothill. Don't take our word for it--go out there and see for yourself. Here are just a few fantastic new titles to get you started:

"THAT'S NOT MY TRACTOR...IT'S ENGINE IS TOO BUMPY" an Usborne touchy-feely book, 2001

A splendid new board book. How can anyone resist a book that has "squashy" wheels for the touching?

YOKO'S PAPER CRANES by Rosemary Wells, Hyperion, 2001

For Yoko's beloved grandmother's birthday, she makes paper origami cranes in the way that her grandfather showed her before her grandparents moved to Japan. This wonderful story honors the special relationship and love between grandchild and grandparent, even those that live far apart. The illustrations add a rich layer to the book. A sequel to YOKO (1998).

BERRY SMUDGES AND LEAF PRINTS: FINDING AND MAKING COLORS FROM NATURE by Ellen B. Senisi, Dutton, 2001

Young children will need supervision and help from adults to make the colors and fun crafts from this book, but it will be well worth it. The ideas are simple and easy, the photographs entice you to try the crafts, and the pure joy of learning more about color and nature comes through on every page.

MY BABY by Jeanette Winter, Francis Foster Books, 2001

This one-of-a-kind story tells about a girl in Mali who learns the ancient art of making bogolan, a mud-painted cloth. As she and her mother work, she dreams ahead to her wedding and preparing cloth for her baby. In the process, the readers are given an experience of life on the savannah, complete with sweet flowers that you can almost smell, drums you'd swear you could hear, and the rich animal life of this part of Africa. The remarkable illustrations add great detail and vivid images to the story. All in all, a beautiful reading experience from the author of FOLLOW THE DRINKING GOURD.

MILO'S HAT TRICK by Jon Agee, Hyperion, 2001

Milo is just about the sorriest magician you have ever seen, and he is about to be fired. But who comes to his rescue? A bear who can make himself disappear into Milo's hat. Their new act is a smash, but Milo faces his biggest challenge yet when the bear becomes too tired to perform anymore. You'll have to read it to find out what happens, but we will say that Milo, who starts out in trouble, finds his way out by accepting help and learning from an unlikely place.

FLAPDOODLE DINOSAURS by David Carter, Little Simon, 2001

David Carter has elevated the craft of pop-up and lift-the-flap books to an art form and his newest creation is no exception. Each page features a dinosaur and is accompanied by a great verse and things to do. Wonderful, as you would expect from the creator of ALPHA BUGS.

OLIVIA SAVES THE CIRCUS by Ian Falconer, Atheneum, 2001.

If you give a child OLIVIA, they'll want to see its sequel. In this installment (hopefully, there will be more) Olivia, the only colorful thing on any page, tells her class at school how the whole circus happened to be sick and so she performed daring feat after daring feat in order to save the day. When asked if these stories are really true, Olivia confidently answers "pretty true" and "to the best of my recollection." Kids and adults alike won't be able to help falling for Olivia--she's a true original.

To find more new books for children, ask at your library and bookstore, and look for reviews and award-winners in parenting magazines, local parenting papers, and at online parenting Web sites.

WHERE TO FIND MORE WONDERFUL BOOKS (Note: http://www.lovetolearn.net/ is a good resource.)

Expect a wealth of help in finding good books for kids. Some ideas are:

* Ask the children's librarian at your local library and children's booksellers for good ideas and for book lists. Bring your child to story times.

* Sign up with an online bookseller to receive new children's book announcements or take advantage of notification services.

* Ask friends, family, neighbors, teachers, colleagues, other children, the person in line next to you at the children's museum, or anyone and everyone you meet for their favorite books or a title of a great new book.

* Read book reviews in newspapers, parenting magazines, and on many online bookseller Web sites.

* Watch for announcements each summer in the media, at bookstores, or ask in the library when the American Library Association announces it's yearly books awards.

Books and booklists to help you choose children's books:

* THE READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK, 5th Ed. by Jim Trelease, Penguin, 2001.

* THE FIELD GUIDE TO PARENTING by Shelley Butler & Deb Kratz, Chandler House Press, 2000. Look for the extensive booklist, The Field Guide Children's Book Shelf, in "Reading and Books," and suggestions of children's books by topic in each chapter.

* THE NEW YORK TIMES PARENT'S GUIDE TO THE BEST BOOKS FOR CHILDREN by Eden Ross Lipson, Three Rivers Press, 2000.

Help online for finding good children's books:

* "100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know" from the New York Public Library

* "75 Authors and Illustrators Everyone Should Know" by Bernice E. Cullinan for the 75th Anniversary of Read Across America in 1994.

* "2001 Not Just for Children Anymore" a list of children's books by category that adults will love, too, from the Children's Books Council.

Shelley Butler and Deb Kratz are the Parents' Choice Award-winning authors of THE FIELD GUIDE TO PARENTING, which is featured on FamilyFun's Raising Kids page.

Source: MSN


Reading is Key to Child Growth

Remember what used to be called the three Rs - reading, writing, and 'rithmetic? Reading is listed first for a reason.

Reading is the most basic skill required of any education. Because so much information is distributed through printed words, learning to read is the key to learning everything else.

How can parents encourage their children to read? Simple: Read to them. And if possible, start when they are small.

Children who are read to frequently tend to become superior readers and also end up doing better in school than children who are read to infrequently. Educators have discovered that reading and storytelling stimulate the imagination, enhance children's vocabularies, introduce them to components of stories - such as characters, plot, action, and sequence - and provide them with information about the world surrounding them.

Parents who read to their babies and toddlers are encouraging them to become readers as they grow up. Here are some suggestions to help with the process:

Build a collection of children's books and keep them easily accessible.
Establish a special, daily, parent-child reading time.
Make reading time fun.
Make books and reading familiar topics of conversation. Talk about exciting children's books you think they would enjoy. Your enthusiasm for books and reading might become contagious.
Visit the library as a family. Take a tour. Check out books and let the children do a little exploring.
Use non-reading activities, such as singing, storytelling, family plays and talking, to promote books and reading within the family.
Take steps to create an environment that fosters a love for reading, and you will equip the children in your care with tools that will set the stage for lifelong learning.

- Texas Cooperative Extension


Boredom, Stress, Cash Leads Some Kids to Substance Abuse, According to a Columbia University Survey
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON Aug. 19 - Boredom and a wad of cash can lead young Americans to substance abuse, according to a Columbia University survey released Tuesday.

The study also found that students at smaller schools and those attending religious schools are less likely to abuse narcotics and alcohol.

Young people ages 12 to 17 who are frequently bored are 50 percent likelier than those not often bored to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs, said the study by the university's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.

Those with $25 or more a week in spending money are nearly twice as likely as those with less to smoke, drink and use illegal drugs, and more than twice as likely to get drunk, the study said.

High stress can also take its toll kids suffering from stress are twice as likely as those with low stress to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs, results showed. High stress was experienced more among girls more than boys, with nearly one in three girls saying they were highly stressed compared with fewer than one in four boys.

Much of the stress was attributed to academic worries and pressures to have sex and take drugs.

Kids at schools with more than 1,200 students are twice as likely as those at schools with less than 800 students to be at high risk of substance abuse, according to the study, and Catholic and other religious schools are likelier to be drug-free than public schools.

The average age of first use is about 12 years for alcohol, 12 1/2 years for cigarettes and almost 14 years for marijuana, the center found.

"This is an alarm call to parents," said Joseph Califano, Jr., the center's president. "You should be aware of what your kids are doing, know your child and don't underestimate your power you have over your children."

QEV Analytics interviewed 1,987 kids aged 12 through 17 and 504 parents, 403 of whom were parents of interviewed kids, for the survey. They were interviewed from March 30 to June 14. The margin of error was plus or minus 2 percentage points for kids and plus or minus 4 percentage points for parents.

The study also found fewer teens are associating with peers who use substances 56 percent have no friends who regularly drink, up from 52 percent in 2002; 68 percent have no friends who use marijuana, up from 62 percent in 2002; 70 percent have no friends who smoke cigarettes, up from 56 percent in 2002.

Source: ABC News


'Girlie' Magazines: What Today's Teenage Girl Reads

In 1944, the first issue of Seventeen hit the newsstands, one of the first magazines of its type. Today, Seventeen remains one of the most popular teen magazines for girls, boasting more than two million readers, and it now has a counterpart on the Internet. Inspired by the success of teen magazines, adult women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan have created teen versions, such as Cosmo Girl, which also has a website.

The difference between those early Seventeen magazine covers and the covers of today is simply stunning — girls were in dresses with smiles, without a trace of the overt sexual posturing of such modern cover girls as singer Beyonce, featured on the June 2003 issue, thumb in belt loop tugging down to reveal even more of her already exposed pelvic bones, and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in an almost identical pose on the cover of the May 2003 issue. The stark contrast between the two periods of time demonstrates clearly the degree to which images of teenage girls have been sexualized in mainstream media.

The essence of Seventeen's content has not changed through the years. The primary focus still lies in fashion and how to be appealing to the opposite sex. However, in the early days of the magazine, girls did not look forward to the broad array of work place opportunities that they have today. Thus, it is disappointing that today's Seventeen magazine has not moved beyond a focus on how a girl looks, with each issue jam-packed with ultra slender girls, pierced bodies, and advertisements for products ranging from the usual excess of cosmetics and clothing, to hair care and color, to the body hair removal products necessary to wear those very low cut jeans and skirts. An advertisement for Gillette Satin Care Shave Gel features a girl resting naked in a pile of leaves, with a few leaves strategically placed. A Herbal Essences advertisement contains a transparent double entendre.

In the early days of Seventeen, the assumption behind the focus on attracting the opposite sex was that the _expression of that attraction would take place within marriage. Today, that assumption is gone. On the Seventeen website, in the Sex and Body section (subtitled let's get down to the nitty gritty), a teenage girl can find a clinical description of the physiological process of sexual excitement and orgasm. She can take quizzes to determine her level of knowledge about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. She can find advice on how to "deal with a pregnancy scare" and how to know when she is ready for sex. Although communicating with parents or adults is often suggested throughout the site, it does provide information on how to obtain contraceptives without parents finding out.

Although Cosmo Girl purports to be empowering and girl positive, it still relies heavily on the classic "look pretty and get-the-guy formula." The images typically impart a slender view of beauty. Pierced and sexualized teens appear in clothing ads with shirts unzipped to below the breast; female models appear in ads in just their panties - and less.

At the Cosmo Girl website, a daily quiz reveals that 77% of respondents were pierced professionally, as opposed to the 10% that did their own and the 13% that had none. On July 19, 2003, the site featured a section with various males bared to the waist, titled Eye Candy Unwrapped, exhorting girls to vote for the one they'd like to see naked. There were flashing, revolving titles - Why Don't You Have A Boyfriend, Free 4 Sexy Guy Posters, Get A Better Body In Two Weeks. These are the messages that "empower" the modern girl.

Those early Seventeen magazine covers provoke a touch of sadness, recalling a time when 14-year-olds were still allowed to be children. They offer a glimpse into a world where children were not shoved into sexiness and where the most serious of sexual decisions were years away; a world in which child sexual behavior was not validated and condoned by society at large, and in which the sexualization of children was not so intricately linked to the profit margin of so many corporations. Looking at those cover-girls from the past, it is unmistakable how much our own teenage girls of today have lost.

News and Commentary by Sharon Secor: August 2003
Source: Morality in Media

Trend to live together, not marry, puts kids at risk

USA TODAY research this month showing that civil marriages are increasing while church weddings are declining raises questions about which type of marriage is better. The answer from family researchers: Whether couples tie the knot in a courthouse or a church is less important than that they are married while raising children.

What worries researchers who study family structures is the growing trend of couples choosing to live together outside of marriage while raising children. Divorce and out-of-wedlock birth rates leveled off years ago, but families in which parents cohabit are on a steady climb. More than 40% of all live-in households in 2000 included a child under 18, up from 21% in 1987, according to the latest U.S. Census figures.

While an unmarried mom and dad living together might look like the married couple down the block, unions lacking formal long-term commitments have been found more likely to create problems for kids. Sociologists cite evidence that children raised by live-in parents have a greater likelihood of emotional troubles and poor school performance. A major reason is that unmarried couples are more likely to break up.

Certainly, adults have every right to choose their living arrangements and expect social tolerance of their choices. But when the choices have a negative impact on dependents in their care, the government and other institutions have sound reasons to promote marriage as a social good.

Last week, the White House stressed the point by marking Marriage Protection Week. Though easy to deride as more a rebuttal to calls for gay civil unions than a defense of marriage, the effort at least highlights a problem that gets too little attention.

The negative effects of cohabitation documented by numerous studies include:

Single parents. Three out of four children born to unmarried couples see them split up before age 16, according to the National Marriage Project, a research group based at Rutgers University. The impact of growing up with a single parent is well documented by research: Children are more likely to repeat a grade, drop out of school, become sexually active and exhibit anxiety.

Dysfunctional behavior. Live-in households tend to be less stable. A cohabiting partner is three times as likely to suffer depression as a married person and twice as likely to exhibit aggressive behavior.

Some states are experimenting with ways to spread pro-marriage messages. Oklahoma and Florida, for example, are offering discounts on marriage licenses if couples take classes designed to build skills needed to make their unions work. At the same time, churches and other groups are offering workshops on building relationship skills.

The White House, for its part, has included a $300 million annual pro-marriage plank in a welfare bill before Congress. Some of the money would pay for counseling that encourages unwed mothers to marry and gives them skills needed to stay married.

Some critics of these policies say lifestyle decisions are none of the government's business. Others say too much emphasis is placed on married couples with children when their share of the population has dwindled to 25% of U.S. households.

Still, when the welfare of children is at risk, reminding adults that their lifestyle decisions do matter is a worthwhile effort.

Source: USA Today


Why Should Your Marriage be the First Priority?
Program Audio--Click here (http://www.hslda.org/docs/hshb/78/hshb7833.asp) to Listen Online.
Volume 78, Program 33
11/28/2007

Sometimes it can be hard to focus more on your marriage than on your child, but this prioritizing is vital in your homeschool. On today’s Home School Heartbeat with Mike Smith, we’ll hear from Dr. Emerson Eggerichs—a homeschooling father of three and the president of Love and Respect Ministries.

Mike Smith:
Dr. Eggerichs, this week we’ve been talking about how homeschool parents can make their marriage a priority. How does having a strong marriage help a family’s homeschool and influence their children’s education?

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs:
Well, Mike, good question. As Sarah and I homeschool through the years, we realized there are matters of the mind and there are matters of the heart. And homeschooling educates the mind primarily, although we seek to develop character. Overall we’re educating, according to the standards of the culture, the mind. But the interesting thing is, we knew that our marriage educated the hearts of our children. And again we felt, how sad if we educated the minds of our kids because of the excellent homeschooling but we wounded their hearts; we wounded their hearts because of a bad marriage. It just made no sense to us. So from God’s view, the best education is an education of the heart and mind and your marriage goes right toward the heart.

Mike:
So you would agree that God called us to raise our children for heaven rather than Harvard?

Dr. Eggerichs:
You know, I haven’t seen any scriptural texts that suggest that Harvard may be a goal.

Mike:
Well, our point being that he’s called us to first of all, spend our time on our children’s spiritual development, and then of course their intellect would be important as well. Well listeners, please join us join us again next time to hear more on marriage from Dr. Eggerichs. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.

"Home School Heartbeat" is a production of the Home School Legal Defense Association. All rights reserved. For more information on Home School Heartbeat or the Home School Legal Defense Association please contact us at:
Home School Heartbeat • P.O. Box 3000 • Purcellville, Virginia 20134-9000
Phone: (866) 338-8614 • Fax: (540) 338-8609 • Email: heartbeat@hslda.org
Web: http://www.homeschoolheartbeat.org/


At The Root Of Education Reform
By Lynn Stuter
November 6, 2007
NewsWithViews.com

In 1997, Craig Roberts wrote, in his book, The Medusa File, page 90:

"… certain segments of the population must be programmed to be robotic drones, incapable or unwilling to think on their own. In this scenario, the “individual” is the enemy of the state. Individual thinking and choice are not conducive to “peace and progress” and not permitted. Only by being part of “The Team,” can the individual (follower) accomplish objectives or “outcomes.” Of course, these “objectives and outcomes” are directed by the bureaucracy. This phase of population training is currently being accomplished by the public school system with such programs as “outcomes based education,” and the introduction of New Ageism into the classroom. One has to remember that Adolf Hitler pioneered a similar tactic with his Hilterjugend and state-sponsored school system. To quote the Fuhrer, “When an opponent declares: ‘I will not come over to your side,’ I calmly say ‘your child belongs to me already. Who are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing but this new community.’”

How could we possibly think that the system of education, implemented in the United States under Goals 2000, is the same system of education that produced the mentality that became Germany under Hitler?

To understand fully, we must go back in time to Plato, and follow his philosophy as it transpired through his disciples: Kant, Hegel, and Marx, to the philosophy and mindset of the men who influenced the social scientists of pre-Hitler and Hitler Germany. This is covered, in great detail in Leonard Peikoff’s book, Ominous Parallels. Also covered, in great detail, is the fact that the United States, as established, was established on the philosophy and teachings of Aristotle — the antidote of Plato.

What most American people do not know is that following World War II, many of the Nazis social scientists who served under Hitler were brought to the United States by the CIA via Operation Paperclip. The fact that they were Nazis, had served under Hitler, had participated in war crimes (some of the most heinous nature), were avowed Nazis, was expunged by the CIA (while high-level government officials looked the other way) from their files to get them into this country.

Once in the United States, the knowledge and ideas of these social scientists was put to work, only this time in the United States; these men became professors in universities, worked in behavioral science laboratories, and became practitioners in the social science field (psychology, psychiatry). Their writings and theories influenced the direction of social science in the United States, social science being the backbone of education in the government schools and what teachers are taught in colleges and universities today.

At this point it would be ludicrous to claim that these men were wholly responsible for the direction social science has taken in the United States. The philosophy of Plato and Kant, those who built upon their critique of reason, has been influencing social science in the United States for as far back as Wundt and the Leipzig connection of the 1870’s. What is important is that this same philosophy set the stage for Hitler; it also set the stage for bringing these men to the United States from Nazi Germany.

The result has been the transformation of America via the Hegelian Dialectic; Hegel also being a disciple of Plato and Kant, their subjectivism and relativism.

In his book, Ominous Parallels, Leonard Peikoff, protégé of Ayn Rand, spoke of the education system of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power and how that system produced violent children; how that system produced the men who went on to become Hitler’s feared Gestapo and SS, men capable of inflicting grossly inhumane and violent behavior on others. The men who produced that system of education then came to the United States under Operation Paperclip, bringing their philosophy, teachings, and ideas with them to influence what would be implemented here.

And we wonder why we have violent children without a conscience, who take guns to school and kill other children and teachers, who join gangs, who can kill without remorse? And we wonder why, with the implementation of education reform in the schools of the United States since the early 1990’s, we have seen a spike in juvenile violence?

Some of the Nazi’s who came to this country, under Operation Paperclip, went to work for the CIA in the field of mind control, involved in such as Operation Artichoke, Operation MK/SEARCH, Operation MK/ULTRA, Operation Monarch, and Operation Bluebird — all CIA mind control programs experimenting, among other atrocities, with the use of drugs in the re-programming of the human mind. One CIA scientist, Dr Frank Olsen, after being given LSD without his knowledge, died after falling from a hotel window. Whether he committed suicide or was murdered, his family was kept in the dark, under the cloak of “national security,” for years about what really happened to him.

Coupled with what children are being taught in the government schools (in the name of producing a child capable of demonstrating mastery of government ordained, behaviorally-oriented, exit outcomes, just as one would train an animal), many of the children who have turned into killers have been found to be have taken in the past, or were currently taking, anti-depressant drugs with mind-altering capabilities. The incidence of anti-depressants being prescribed for children is rampant; the same being augmented by programs like TeenScreen set up to screen children for mental disorders (as established by the American Psychiatric Association) such as suicide, social phobia and shyness with referrals to mental health professionals where anti-depressants are too often prescribed without justification.

In the Operation MK/SEARCH program, children were re-programmed to lie, steal, spy, sabotage, kill and even commit suicide. (Roberts; page 86) Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine High School) and Cho Seung-Hui (Virginia Tech) all committed suicide. Likewise, all had been on or were currently on anti-depressant drugs at the time they went on a shooting rampage. Many of the school shooters have been found to have been on prescription anti-depressants drugs, past or present, including Kip Kinkle who killed his parents before continuing his shooting rampage at school.

Yet as America follows the path of Hitler and Nazi Germany, the American people continue to believe the spike in violence among today’s youth is not coming right out of government schools; has nothing to do with prescription anti-depressants. But then most American’s also have no knowledge of Operation Paperclip or the mind control programs of the CIA that have root in the mind control programs of Nazi Germany.

But the American leaders would never do something like this to the American people. They wouldn’t? One only need to consider that the Franklin cover-up — involving child pedophilia, prostitution and pornography — led to people in the highest levels of government with connections to law enforcement, the FBI and the CIA, to realize that “yes, they would.” The philosophy that can justify this kind of behavior is the same philosophy invading our schools in the name of education reform.

God bless America? What do you suppose God sees when he looks down on this land of people who willfully look the other way while the most innocent, the weakest, the most defenseless among us — the children — are treated in this manner? What do you suppose God thinks when he sees Christians sending their children to the government schools to be subjected to this barbarism? What do you suppose God thinks when he sees teachers in the government schools who claim to be Christians?

The Bible, in at least three chapters, speaks to the fate of those who harm His children:

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6, KJV)

“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mark 9:42, KJV)

“It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:2, KJV)

God speaks not idly.

The American people would do well to seriously reconsider their support of this “new” system of education that has roots is something so demonic, so evil.


PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PUBLIC MENACE:
How Public Schools Lie to Parents and Betray Our Children
By Joel Turtell
http://www.newswithviews.com/HNB/Hot_New_Books25.htm

In "Public Schools, Public Menace," you will discover:

How public schools can waste 12 years of your child’s life.
How public schools can cripple your child's ability to read.
How public schools deceive parents into thinking their children are doing well in school when they are not.
How public schools indoctrinate children with anti-parent, anti-American, and anti-Judeo-Christian values.
How public schools expose innocent children to often shocking sexual material in so-called sex-education classes.
How public schools pressure parents to give their children potentially dangerous, mind-altering drugs.
Why low-income minority parents should not pin their hopes on vouchers, charter schools, or the No Child Left Behind law.

The good news is that your children can now get a quality education and success in school by homeschooling them, or by carefully selecting a low-cost private school. You now have real school choice. Your children don’t have to suffer through 12 years of a mind-numbing, third-rate public-school education. (Note: just because a private school is "Christian" or mentions another religion doesn't mean that they don't get substantial funding from -- and therefore are controlled by -- the state. Please see www.learn-usa.com and consider homeschooling.)

You can give your kids a quality education right now with low-cost, K-12th grade Internet private schools, and many other education options. Our book, "Public Schools, Public Menace" shows you how.

22 ways that busy, working parents can homeschool their kids.
All about low-cost Internet private schools --- a new education resource for busy, working parents who are disgusted with public schools.
A wealth of practical advice, strategies and resources for parents who decide to take their kids out of public school.

Public Schools, Public Menace: By Joel Turtel. Softcover. 375 pgs. $17.95 plus $6.00 for S/H. For each additional book add $1.50 for S/H. To Order, Call: 541-955-0117 0r, toll-Free US 800-955-0116, We Accept: Visa, M/C, AM/EX.

http://www.newswithviews.com/Blumenfeld/SamuelA.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/Stuter/stuterA.htm
http://www.newswithviews.com/public_schools/public_schoolsa.htm

http://www.learn-usa.com/
On April 17, 1997, the Clinton's held a White House Conference on Early Childhood Development and Learning. This Conference signaled the White House blessing on yet another attack on the family. The managed economy of the systems philosophy is truly "womb to tomb."

The links below take the reader through but some of the material on the "early childhood brain development/early childhood learning" war being waged on the American family. In reading the material posted here, please remember the following quotes:

We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them. From the first days of their lives they will be under the healthy influence of Communist children's nurseries and schools. There they will grow up to be real Communists. — Congress of Communist Party educators, 1918

Give me the children, I will give you a nation. — Hitler, 1939

When an opponent declares 'I will not come over to your side', I calmly say 'Your child belongs to us already. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.' — Hitler, 1939

A Recipe For Violence

It COULD happen anywhere! Youthful violence, that is.

In reaction to the recent shooting spree in Littleton, CO, this is a warning from an engineer-turned-educator that such an incident could happen anywhere in the U.S., not because of the availability of guns but rather because of psychologically perverse public school policies and practices, emanating from the U.S. Department of Education or its various "laboratories," promulgated in varying degrees nationwide. Examining them in combination, you will see that they comprise a "RECIPE FOR VIOLENCE!"

The problem is NOT GUNS, but deteriorating youth behaviors. Trends of increased violence at younger ages are being deceptively touted as an excuse for "gun-grabbing" legislation; but the violence is surfacing in other ways. And kids have always had access to guns, especially in the South and West. I, and all my friends, carried pocket knives (no restrictions on blade size), and played games with them in the schoolyard. With all the spats and squabbles, using one of those knives as a weapon was never an option. In the next generation also, my son carried a pocket knife and recalls being beaten up by a bully in elementary school, and says today that it was not that using his knife defensively was consciously rejected, the THOUGHT NEVER EVEN OCCURRED!

The truth is that kids have changed — and a lot of it is ATTRIBUTABLE TO SCHOOL CURRICULUM! In educators' frequent hand-wringing over rising violence, they like to blame all such on TV, society, etc., but avoid facing evidence that defective reading, language, and vocabulary programs have depressed communication skills thereby sabotaging skills needed to resolve conflicts. If people who confront/conflict can't communicate, their interaction is more likely to turn physical.

Worse yet, studies at the U.S. Department of Justice in the 1980's by Michael Brunner, on educational factors affecting incarcerated juveniles, found direct linkages between illiteracy and violent behavior. Sociological studies of background factors of violent felons showed the strongest statistical link to be FAILURE TO LEARN TO READ — stronger than poverty, drugs, broken homes, etc! Said statistical link, in the light of Pavlov's experiments on animals and humans under sustained frustration, Brunner believes to be causal. Brunner's work resulted in a book, Retarding America - The Imprisonment of Potential (Halcyon House, 1993).

In Suffolk County (NY), we have a "ticking time-bomb" example of the "recipe:" Suffolk has:

the highest incarceration rate in NY state of 16 -20-year olds;
the highest (except for NYC) arrest rate of 10 - 16-year olds;
an overcrowded jail, where the majority of prisoners are illiterate;
large numbers of youth on probation and community service who can't read;
the highest (except for NYC) high school dropout rate;
colleges and professional schools where freshmen who can't read at college level have been near 40 percent for at least the last six years;
teacher-training colleges turning out teachers who can't teach reading, giving Masters' degrees in reading without even one phonics course;
high-tech businesses whose most frequent complaint is a lack of skilled workers (often meaning persons who can't follow written directions);
the highest rate of drug arrests, and youth in alcohol programs, despite the highly-touted DARE program which makes everyone feel good but cannot be proven to reduce drug usage.
Most of the above relate directly to the systemic literacy problem. I have started a literacy program for youth on Probation or Community Service because we found virtually all to be either special-ed cases or identified low achievers. We have 14 - 18 -year-olds with reading levels from ZERO to fifth grade, sometimes getting NO reading instruction in school. We train volunteer tutors in Orton-Gillingham multisensory phonics, match them up with desperate kids – who DO progress in reading. All this is not to denigrate the work of dedicated local teachers, but to point out the futility of their efforts in a flawed system in which they, themselves, are also victims. The crucial issue is what is happening to the children.

Other ingredients of the "recipe" are psychologically tainted curriculum "strands," each of which gives children a nudge toward violent or irresponsible behaviors.

"Attitudes and Feelings" Focus vs Brain Development

Aside from moral and cultural questions of what attitudes should be taught, curriculum practices emphasizing feelings instead of logical thinking train the brain inappropriately: Neurobiologist Dr. David Goodman states (Learning From Lobotomy, HUMAN BEHAVIOR, January, 1978) that rather than studying the brain in terms of left and right hemispheres, it is more enlightening to analyze it as being divided crosswise into fore- and aft-brain functional regions.

The aft-brain includes the regions of senses and feelings, whereas the fore-brain frontal lobes provide control functions: long-term planning, logical reasoning, inhibiting of impulses, self-control, tolerance for delayed gratification, etc., the functions we associate with maturation. So, as brain areas develop in rough proportion to their usage, students taught to pay more attention to their feelings than to rational thinking and self-control will have under-developed frontal lobes, making impulsive and violent behaviors more likely.

Values Clarification, Decision-Making, & "Critical" Thinking

The majority of these kinds of activity are based on the "non-directive" therapies of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, who admitted to problems with their use on children. Children are encouraged to adopt "values" for themselves — even if different from those of their parents — and to try making their own decisions on matters of life and death — that there are no "right" or "wrong" decisions, just "different" ones — with inadequate knowledge of consequences.

Studies have shown that children undergoing the above types of courses under the rubric of drug- or sex-education tended to be MORE experimental than students who received no training at all. Dr. William Coulson, a colleague of Maslow & Rogers, has been criss-crossing the nation apologizing to the American people for that period of psychological work, and explaining why it is harmful to children:

"Decision-Making": Some of the procedures lead children to believe they can use a 5-step "decision-making" process to make their own decisions on matters of life and death, e.g., whether or not to "experiment." (Or maybe whether or not to shoot at schoolmates, or abandon an unwanted fetus.) Step 1 is, "State the problem." Step two is, Examine the alternatives." "For the child who has been taught abstention," Dr. Coulson says, "the word 'alternatives' leaps off the page like a flaming sword! What's the alternative to abstention?"

The Magic Circle: When the chairs are placed in a circle and the teacher steps outside, students are encouraged to exchange innermost thoughts about sex, drugs, lying, cheating, masturbation, etc. In such situations the extremes of peer personalities begin to interact: At one end of the scale is the naive, dutiful, obedient child; at the other, the aggressive, assertive, experimental child. Coulson rhetorically asks, "In such settings, which child is the more likely to influence the other? The system is psychologically designed to bring down the dutiful, obedient child."

The Cheapening of Human Life

In the midst of exhortations to save whales, seals, snail-darters, etc. are death and suicide education (kids visit cemeteries, write their own epitaphs, discuss suicide), lifeboat problems (Who would you throw out?), environmental studies which paint humans as "the problem," books such as The Giver (about one who executes unwanted babies), and the euphemization of abortion as "choice" (Does the fetus have a choice?). All of these cheapen the sanctity of human life. Is it any wonder that teen-agers can shoot at other persons, or abandon a new-born and return to the prom, and later admit only that "Mistakes were made?"

The Self-Esteem Scam

Though we are told that raising kids' self-esteem enhances learning, experiments to prove it have been UNsuccessful. In my own experience, I saw many improved behaviors and attitudes and self-confidence as a RESULT of successes in learning. The psychotherapeutic value of a successful learning experience is grossly under-estimated by educators who should know better. They have the cart before the horse. Artificially inflating an non-achieving kid's ego, without giving him an inner means to nourish it, is more likely to produce arrogance and complacency than studiousness. A little humility helps.

Cooperative or Group Learning

Aside from the fact that any teacher worth his/her salt can teach new concepts better and quicker than kids can teach each other, consider the effect on respect for teachers vs catering to peer pressure. Remember the teachers YOU respected the most were the ones who TAUGHT you something. Now replace that by kids getting 10 years of group learning by high school, and the respect has diverted away from teachers and toward the peer-group. Could these spawn gangs? Do teachers complain, "I don't get no respect?" Re-examine group learning.

Social Promotions Deceive

When reading programs started to go non-phonetic (circa 70 years ago!) the increase in failures posed a problem. The system "solved" the problem by promoting children who cannot read, touting the theory that "holding them back would damage their psyches!" By graduating kids who can't read their diplomas, we condition them that performance does not matter. By "protecting" them from failure, we have guaranteed it. When the workplace rejects them, rosy illusions become anger and alienation.

A RECIPE for VIOLENCE

Combine a tad of TV titillation, plus defective communication skills, plus overstimulated feeling centers and under-developed regulatory lobes, plus ignorance, plus arrogance — the illusion of power to choose one's own values, un-fettered by worries of bad or wrong decisions — plus the perception that human life is expendable: mix them all together with the frustration of drowning in a sea of print while unable to read it, and you have A RECIPE FOR VIOLENCE!

Revisiting the reading problem, high-tech companies complain of difficulty in finding technically-qualified employees. That is consistent with the findings of the American Institute of Physics in their 1989 report, Who Takes Science? which showed clearly that the students who enroll in physics and chemistry are the good READERS!

The public probably believes that if children spent more time in school they would have less inclination to be violent. But, in a 1980 PARADE article (copy available), a Florida sheriff blames the schools for most of the violence, and a Department of Justice official notes that incidents of violence go DOWN in the summer — and back up in September! Also consider that all the shooting sprees have been in schools. If kids just wanted to kill, they could go to a shopping center or a church!

To round out the perspective, consider also the Department of Justice data showing our prison population is at an all-time high of about 1.7 million inmates — MOSTLY ILLITERATE — and growing slightly faster than 7 percent per year. At that rate, it will double about every ten years! In 1995, it was 1 million; so by 2005 we'll have two million, by 2015 four million, etc. Can we afford to build prisons fast enough to keep up? Should we? Is this any way to run a country? Is this "a kinder, gentler, (smarter?) nation?"

Can we get some caring citizens interested in REAL violence prevention?



Twelve Rules for Raising Delinquent Children

The following has been attributed to the Houston Police Department, who supposedly put out a pamphlet with the above title, and listing the following rules of raising a delinquent child. The rules were then picked up and published in the local Chamber of Commerce publication called Business:

1. Begin with infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.

2. When he picks up bad words, laugh at him. This will make him think he's cute. It will also encourage him to pick up "cuter phrases" that will blow off the top of your head later.

3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is 21, and then let him "decide for himself."

4. Avoid the use of the word "wrong." It may develop a guilt complex. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around—books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but don't worry about his mind feasting on garbage.

7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your children. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

8. Give the child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his. Why should he have things as tough as you did?

9. Satisfy his every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10. Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen. They are all prejudiced against your child.

11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize to yourself by saying, "I never could do anything with him!"

12. Prepare yourself for a life of grief. You'll surely have it.


Can Parents Be Both The Boss & The Buddy To Their Children?

Being able to balance being the 'boss' as well as your child's 'buddy' is absolutely necessary for a healthy parent child relationship. Some experts teach that we should always be the boss and never play the role of buddy. Others suggest that your son or daughter should be your best friend. Both extremes are unhealthy.

Your child should never be in doubt as to who is the boss.Personally speaking, when growing up, the times I felt my dad was my buddy were those rare and wonderful moments we spent gardening or fishing. I knew he was the boss; there was no doubt about that in our family. But for those magical moments, he was also my friend.The problem is that one without the other gives a dangerous imbalance. If you make an attempt to be your child's best friend above everything else, you will relinquish your ability to be an effective parent, able to wield authority when needed. If you refuse to accept the role of friend on occasion, you relinquish the chance to show love in a special way and to stand close to your children in their unguarded moments. Most parents have no trouble playing the role of boss but find it difficult to take the time to be a friend. Children do not respond to rules; they respond to relationships. It's true that you can get your children to "behave" by enforcing the rules. You can control your children to a certain point by running a tight ship, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are getting their loving and obedient response. What you are getting is their reaction, which may look like obedience on the surface, but beneath there is fear, frustration, and anger. Unless you establish a loving, accepting relationship with your child, you can almost count on trouble down the line. How Do You Balance Punishment & Praise?Punishment is a method of teaching principle - not a tool for revenge. Keeping that in mind will often make it easier to decide what (and whether) punishment should be handed out. If you use punishment simply as a deterrent ("and if you ever do that again, you know what will happen to you"), it will stop being effective when your kid figures out a way to keep you from finding out. But if it is used both as a deterrent and as a way to teach your child principles, the inner conviction that develops will stand even when the enforcer is not around. Here are two overriding rules to keep in mind:

1. First, punishment should always be carried out when you are under control. The minute you find out that your thirteen-year-old son took the car for a joyride may not be the best time to decide the sentence. Twenty years of hard labor in a foreign country may seem entirely appropriate to you at that moment; an hour or two later, when you've cooled off, you'll probably realize that five years would be plenty.With smaller children, it's often necessary to respond immediately, so that they can connect the punishment with the behavior. It's still important to keep control. A broken cookie jar may enrage you, but the child had no idea of the importance of the cookie jar. Express your displeasure about the sneaky action of stealing cookies, then wait until you've cooled down a bit about the cookie jar before taking action.

2. Second, avoid punishing older children (from about school age up) in front of friends if possible. You will never meet a child who didn't feel that a family trust was being violated by public punishment. You will also never meet a child who didn't try at one time or other to get away with bad behavior in the presence of others. Unless the child is clearly being manipulative, try to do your correction in private. If you're being manipulated, do your correction on the spot -- and then make it clear that your action was necessitated by your child's manipulative behavior. Another reason to avoid public punishment is that we parents can't always trust ourselves to maintain control over our emotions in that situation. We're often so embarrassed by our children's behavior and by how it reflects on us that the punishment can cease to be punishment for principles violated and become revenge for our embarrassment.

Waliz
http://partnerforlife.blogspot.com/2007/08/can-parents-be-both-boss-buddy-to-their.html


LOVE & MONEY; Out of the Classroom, Back in the House
By ELLYN SPRAGINS

Dear Kids,

Now that you're both in college, we would like to make one thing perfectly clear. We do not plan to support you endlessly. We do not want you to move back home after college. We expect you to find a job, live on your own and, if you want to go to graduate school, pay for it yourself.

We know you can do it.

Love always, Mom and Dad

Thirty or 40 years ago, putting these expectations into words would have been unnecessary. College graduation meant adulthood and independence. End of story. These days, parents who dare to express such sentiments risk seeming like unfeeling brutes. When your 21-year-old complains that ''everyone else's parents'' are welcoming their college graduates back home, they're about half right. With jobs scarce for the third consecutive year, more than 60 percent of college students surveyed in March by MonsterTRAK, a job-posting Web site for students and college graduates, said they planned to live with their parents after graduation, 40 percent of them for more than a year.

Call me an unfeeling brute, but I think I know what that picture looks like: the family car missing when you need it, empty yogurt containers and pizza boxes strewn around the house and a sleeping body on the family-room couch until lunchtime each day. How do parents, who might have expected some physical and financial breathing room after their children finished college, tolerate it? And how do young adults, accustomed to living independently, handle parental intrusion?

In many cases, surprisingly well on both sides. Some parents are so accommodating that they welcome home not only a son or a daughter, but also a son's girlfriend or a daughter's boyfriend. Amber Janke, 24, who graduated from Chapman University in Orange, Calif., last year, lived for two months with her boyfriend's parents in Buena Park, Calif., before finding a job in March at the conference services department of the university. Her hosts didn't ask her to pay for anything, but she and her boyfriend pitched in by cleaning the downstairs portion of the house. She and her boyfriend, who is 27, now live in their own apartment in La Habra, Calif., but she says she feels much closer to his parents as a result of the experience.

Brandon Long, 22, graduated from the University of Virginia in May and has been living with his girlfriend, Sheree Twiddy, at her parents' home in Chesapeake, Va. While he looks for a job, Ms. Twiddy, a nursing student, has been working at a nearby hospital. As the months tick by, his girlfriend ''is totally supporting me. But she's getting a little edgy,'' Mr. Long said. He reports no strains, however, from living with her parents. The couple try to have dinner every night with the Twiddys, and they gather with Ms. Twiddy's brother, sister and their families on Sundays.

Pamela Twiddy, 47, who is presiding over this arrangement, wants to support the couple, who plan to marry, in every way she can. ''When my kids were younger, I never would have guessed that I would have allowed this,'' she said. ''But you have to put some things aside for the betterment of the future.''

To folks like Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research associate professor at the University of Maryland who interviewed more than 300 young adults aged 20 to 29 for a book, children's post-college claims on their parents' pocketbooks and households is all part of a new life period he calls ''emerging adulthood.'' Rather than focus on settling down to a career and marriage, these graduates prize exploration and self-expression. ''They're looking for a job that's not just a job, but more like a calling,'' Mr. Arnett said. ''Marriage, home and children are seen by most of them not as achievements to be pursued but as perils to be avoided.''

But I have to wonder: is funding your children in their adult lives really the best way to show your love? Or is it connected to this new generation of buddy-parents, whose aim is to be friends with their children, rather than authority figures? College career centers report that parents' participation in their children's job hunts is more common now than ever. Parents are also subsidizing (or buying outright) apartments for their children far more frequently than in the past. ''I think there is an unwillingness to deny their children the pleasures of life,'' said Ann F. Caron, a developmental psychologist in Greenwich, Conn.

To Ronnie Stern, a marriage and family therapist in Maplewood, N.J., this extended dependency is part of a trend in which parents seem to demand less of their children at any given age. ''All the milestones for kids today are stretched, from toilet training, which has moved to 4- and 5-year-olds, to getting a job,'' she said. ''The fact that children don't launch clearly at the end of the process is not a surprise.''

Mrs. Stern, 61, remembers growing up when it would have been embarrassing to ask something else of your parents after graduating from college. Parental love was defined as doing what was best for the child, even if he or she didn't particularly like it. Parents thought that age and experience made them better judges of what was best than their children.

These days, though, parental love seems to be defined as doing what your children want to do -- even if that means paying for their food, shelter, cars and cable TV far longer than you had expected. ''It used to be that the goal of child rearing was independence. Now, it's safety above all. Safety from danger, from a mosquito bite, from upset,'' Mrs. Stern said.

What's wrong with wanting to insulate your children from difficult experiences? It's one of parents' most natural instincts. But it has a certain crippling effect. If you don't believe they can make it on their own, neither will they. Paying their way in the world for too long will undoubtedly preserve a sense of friendship with your kids, but it may rob them of something they need even more than your money: your confidence in them.

Ellyn Spragins is a freelance writer in Pennington, N.J. Her column about money's influence on relationships appears the first Sunday of each month. E-mail: loveandmoney@nytimes.com


Strong Boundaries Create Secure Children
http://www.naturalnews.com/z023208.html

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http://www.naturalnews.com/022966.html

Psycho-Educational Assessments Can Reveal Children's Hidden Strengths
http://www.naturalnews.com/022888.html

Re-authorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and Its Hidden Agenda
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Raise Your Child's IQ With Adequate Amounts of DHA
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Early Exposure To Bacteria Helps Create Stronger Immune Systems
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