Posts Tagged ‘children’

Picture of young woman on country road with back toward viewer as she walks away with saying: Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you, grow you or make you happy.
I first read this saying on this picture of a young woman on a country road walking away from the viewer. It says, “Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you, grow you or make you happy.”

My first thought was, “Yes, definitely.” I was brought to all the times I feel that walking away is good like when a bully is about to punch my nose if I cross the line. Some fights aren’t worth it, so respect yourself enough to walk away.

Then, I thought about perceptions. Depression can alter perceptions. So can drugs. When a person is experiencing a major depressive episode or on drugs causing perception deficits, true good influences could be left behind.

Nevertheless, I have questions about walking away from anything that does not serve you, grow you or make you happy. What if you determined your family no longer served you? What about your religion or your country? Your children? Your husband (wife)? Your job? What if you didn’t feel happy with any of those because they didn’t serve you?

Are you really what it is all about, you and no one else?

There are times not to think about what is serving you but who and what you are serving. You also we need to think about long-term goals and relationships. At a given moment, you may not feel “happy,” but ask yourself, “What will I feel if I walk away?” Will you be any better off?

After I thought about these things, I say, “Respect yourself enough to find ways to serve others. You will grow and find an inner happiness.”

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The unimaginable happened again. Today in Castle Rock, Colo., a mother who was supposed to be one her children’s strongest protectors was arrested on charges of first-degree murder in their deaths.

Castle Rock Police Chief Tony Lane said a woman called police about 7:45 a.m. today saying she was going to commit suicide. When asked whether there were children in the home, the caller said “they had gone to Heaven.”

When police arrived at the home in 200 block of Cherry Street in the Founders Village subdivision, they found Kelli Murphy, 41, there with injuries to her wrists and two children, ages 7 and 9, dead in their bedrooms. Murphy was taken to a local hospital to treat her injuries and is in police custody.

It’s mind-boggling why a mother would kill her children. Obviously, there were signs that the father had picked up on. He called police for a welfare check of the children the day before. Officers did come to the home but left without the children.

The good news is the father is not a suspect. The extremely bad news is his call for a welfare check did not save his children. This raises some serious questions. What signs did the father see but the police did not? Are welfare checks extensive enough? Did the police ultimately think the father was attempting to use them as a tool to inflict harm on his wife?

We’ll never know how child custody would have gone had the parents’ divorce been finalized. But, there lingers a deeper question of bias against fathers. Would the court have granted the mother custody simply because she was the mother and, therefore, deemed the better parent? Unfortunately, some judges and states have that reputation.

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A new study on the relationship between the number of childhood moves and the level of well-being in adulthood shows frequent moves can be harmful to children.

Shigehiro Oishi, of the University of Virginia and the study’s lead author, said, “We know that children who move frequently are more likely to perform poorly in school and have more behavioral problems. However, the long-term effects of moving on well-being in adulthood have been overlooked by researchers.”

In the study reported in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers show frequent moves in childhood result in poorer well-being in adulthood, especially in introverted or neurotic individuals. The study that followed 7,108 Americans for 10 years also found that the more children are moved around, the more likely they were to report in the survey less satisfaction in life and fewer quality social relationships as adults.

With the economy and the need to move where the jobs are, sometimes parents have no choice. In other cases, however, parents should seriously consider their reasons for moving the child from one apartment or house to another, from one school to another or from the location of daily care to another. There is more than meets the eye to settling down and planting roots.

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An ad for a three-story doll house jumped off the page at me as I looked for little girls’ Christmas gifts. I thought, “Oh, I would have loved having one of those.” What power toy ads have to sell while bringing back memories.

Advertisers know how to maximize that selling power with children. They produce appealing ads for children and place them where children see them, including on TV and Web sites, and in catalogs and direct mail.

Therein lies a big problem.

At least, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood sees it that way. Over 1,440 of its members and supporters lobbied 24 major toy makers and retailers asking them to stop targeting children with their ads.

The group’s Web site says it is “never fair” for corporations to market directly to children but that parents should be targeted instead. The Web site also says that while parents worry about making ends meet, it is “especially cruel to bombard children with ads for expensive toys and electronics.”

Yes, children are bombarded. However, generations of children have fond memories, made even during financially difficult times, of dreaming while flipping through thick Christmas toy catalogs.

After TV and Christmas specials became common, so did TV toy ads. Now, the list of ways ads reach children seems almost as endless as the number of toys being sold.

Children yearn and dream but don’t need to receive every toy in their dreams. The real problem is most children are not being taught the skill of choosing. When most children see 10 toys, they want all 10. They cannot rank three top choices nor select one favorite.

I talked recently with Dr. Elia Gourgouris. He is a nationally-known speaker, author and relationship expert and a Superior trustee.

Gourgouris said I was correct in stating children are not being taught to prioritize. He added we live in a society where wants are confused with needs, and parents have the responsibility to teach their children the differences.

A second problem is too many parents equate giving lots of presents with giving lots of love. Gourgouris called this way of thinking a “shortcut” because he said good parenting is spending time with your child, resolving issues, talking and explaining why you can’t afford the child’s top 10.

“Honestly, when kids grow up, they don’t remember the toys,” Gourgouris said. “What they remember is the times they spent quality time with their parents. Gifts break. They lose them. They break even within the same day they receive them.”

A third problem the CFCC members neglect with their effort is that too many parents don’t like to say “no” to their children.

I find it surprising parents don’t naturally teach their children to make choices. It would be an easy out to ask their children to rank their choices. When times are tough financially like today’s recession, this skill could help children ward off disappointments.

Gourgouris pointed out, “The right thing to do is to teach kids that ‘no’ is okay, and you can do it with love. You don’t have to get mad at them.”

I agree and see no other way. Life isn’t sustainable when children have the expectation that whatever they want, they instantly get.

As I think about Christmas and other holidays this time of year, I realize children need more dreaming and choosing. They also need spending quality time with their parents who dare to maintain boundaries by saying in a loving way when necessary, “No, we can’t afford it.”

Source: Daily Camera Dec. 14, 2008, under “A child’s Christmas”

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My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Aug. 1, 2009:

Parents teach their children to be safe by not sharing personal information on the Web. Likewise, the U. S. Justice Department advises individuals to be “stingy” in sharing and to adopt a “need to know” approach. In contrast, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced in early July he is talking with Palantir Technologies to develop a huge database for Denver. With no apparent clearer goal than to better help Denver school children, parents and children are to surrender their privacy. Their information would be shared within the city, the school district and possibly nonprofit entities.

Some children may benefit from teachers, social workers and the like turning to the computer rather than to them or their parents. However, children across the board will lose. Their data, errors and all, will be available for individuals to analyze and in other ways act like all-knowing beings peering in and poking around. Lives of children and their families will become an open book.

The same lure of free money and “help” attracting Hickenlooper hangs over local communities and school districts. They may have the same luck as Denver with the database. Palantir Technologies, the developer, plans to make it a donation. Additionally, the database may help school districts catch some of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top Fund, the largest K-12 education reform discretionary pot in our country’s history. Unfortunately, these funds hook us into a more national K-12 educational system, a move we should disdain in favor of local control.

*This title was not part of the Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on April 19, 2008, in response to the Camera’s question: More than 400 children were taken from a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ranch in Texas by armed officers with a warrant seeking an underage girl who had alleged she was being abused by her 50-year-old husband. Officials separated more than 100 children over 5 years old from their mothers, who returned to the compound. Hundreds of younger children remain off-site with their mothers. Do you think Texas officials overreacted in the raid, and are they justified in keeping the children away from their mothers?

If you look at the situation in Texas as a call from one underage girl alleging abuse from her 50-year-old husband, Texas officials overreacted by bringing out officers armed in SWAT gear to rescue her. However, the FLDS live much differently than others in their walled-off community. In those ways, Texas officials compared them to the Branch Davidians. Since Davidians fought back with firepower and would rather have been taken dead rather than alive, I do not fault officers for coming prepared for trouble. I credit the FLDS leaders for not escalating the confrontation.

I agree with the top priority Texas officials had for entering the FLDS ranch — concern for one child and any others in danger. By Texas law, they removed all the children on the ranch. Life there seemed so intermingled, all children seemed at risk. Keeping these children away from their mothers as well as their fathers until proven safe to return them is wise.

Nevertheless, I urge Texas officials to cause as little harm as possible themselves in their protective services processes and give the children as much comfort as possible. It’s unfortunate but also a protective that foster-care certification takes time. No matter how well-meaning an individual or group may be, they cannot try to step in the legal processes.

Source: Daily Camera

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