Once my husband and I took a rare opportunity to have a date night leaving our six-year-old twins with what we thought were capable babysitters. Well, were we surprised when returning home we found the twins finishing up the R-rated movie The Matrix. We have found it virtually impossible to shield our boys from Big Media’s bombardment of images and lifestyle choices of the current crop of celebrities. Yesterday’s Snooki is today’s Kardashian. The Simpsons used to be horrible, now it’s South Park and The Family Guy.
Heavy marijuana use among teens has increased drastically in recent years, with nearly one in 10 sparking up 20 times or more each month, according to a new survey of young Americans released this morning. The findings represent nearly an 80 percent increase in past-month heavy marijuana use among high school aged youth since 2008. Overall, the rate of marijuana use among teens has increased. Past month marijuana users, or teens that have used marijuana in the month prior to the survey, increased 42 percent, to 27 percent of teens, compared to 2008 findings. Past-year and lifetime use also increased, but not as drastically, at 26 percent and 21 percent respectively.
This week a “parenting advice” video went viral and is currently running at 13 million page views. It involves a father from North Carolina who reads a disrespectful Facebook post from his 15-year-old daughter complaining about having to do chores. After reading her post, he decides to plug her laptop with eight hollow-point bullets from his .45-caliber pistol. Scary. There are two camps in the comments on this video.
Demanding, highly controlling, authoritarian parents are more likely to have delinquent, disrespectful children than parents who are seen by their children as legitimate authority figures, according to research from the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Relying on data from the New Hampshire Youth Study, a longitudinal survey of middle and high school children, researchers identified three distinct parenting styles — authoritative, authoritarian and permissive and looked at whether those styles influenced children’s beliefs about the legitimacy of their parents’ authority, according to a press release from UNH. “The style that parents used to rear their children had a direct influence on whether those children perceived their parents as legitimate authority figures,” said Rick Trinkner, a doctoral candidate at UNH and the lead researcher. “Adolescents who perceived parents as legitimate were then less likely to engage in delinquent behavior.”
Authoritative parents, who are demanding and controlling but also warm and receptive, are more likely to raise children who view their parents as having legitimate authority. Children of authoritarian parents, on the other hand, perceived their parents as the least legitimate, according to the study.
The Whole Kids Foundation (WKF), a non-profit by Whole Foods Market, is accepting grant applications from eligible schools and non-profits to help schools grow students’ relationship with and understanding of food through the practice of gardening.
As summer winds down, kids are looking for those last-minute thrills and good times. At one popular spot along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Ga., they go swimming and tubing and — if they work up the nerve — jump off a big rock.
A few bumps, bruises and broken bones from playing on a playground might be good for kids after all. Playgrounds with safety features such as low height limitations and padded ground might be too safe, the New York Times reports, potentially preventing kids from developing emotionally and contributing to unnecessary anxiety later in life. Risky play, such as climbing or wrestling, gradually exposes kids to dangers and helps them solve problems. What kids learn on the playground is a similar technique that therapists use to help conquer phobias in adults – starting small and working toward larger goals, such as reaching the top of the monkey bars – Ellen Sandseter, a professor of psychology at Queen Maud University in Norway, told the Times. Some experts and parents disagree with the idea that playgrounds may be too safe, worrying fears may be introduced too early in a child’s life and ultimately develop into phobias. However, recent studies have shown quite the opposite, purporting that kids injured at a younger age are less likely to develop phobias toward risky behavior as those who didn’t experience the same life lessons.