Health Alerts - Choose Wisely
Children's Health is Important too.
They have Nutritional Needs and Emotional Needs
You may like to consider the Following Advice
The Problem with Overpraising Children
by Dr. Lisa Firestone
Research has shown that there are positive effects of praising children, but it depends on what kind of praise we’re dishing out. A recent Stanford study of toddlers showed that “praising effort, not talent, leads to greater motivation and more positive attitudes toward challenges” down the road. These findings are consistent with previous research, which has connected praise with increased motivation in children, but only when it is based on real attributes. As one study posed, “Provided that praise is perceived as sincere, it is particularly beneficial to motivation when it encourages performance attributions to controllable causes, promotes autonomy, enhances competence without an overreliance on social comparisons, and conveys attainable standards and expectations.”
The problem with many parents hoping to boost their child’s self-esteem isn’t that they’re praising; it’s that they’re overpraising. Too often in today’s competitive world, we focus on children’s “greatness” to define who they are and make exaggerated statements that fail to reflect their true abilities. According to lead researcher of the Stanford Study Prof. Carol S. Zweck, statements like, “‘You’re great, you’re amazing’ [are] not helpful, because later on, when [children] don’t get it right or don’t do it perfectly, they’ll think they aren’t so great or amazing.”
Self-esteem isn’t about telling kids that everything they do is terrific. A real sense of self-worth is based on the skills they build for themselves and the true accomplishments they feel they’ve made. However, many parents have the tendency to build up their kids with false or exaggerated statements. For example, instead of saying, “What a creative painting! You really worked hard on that,” they may say something like, “Wow! What a wonderful artist you are! You’re so talented! You’re the best painter I’ve ever seen.” Most parents do this innocently in an effort to make their kids feel good about themselves.
Affects of Over-Parenting Children
by Dr. Lisa Firestone
It does seem that in trying to help our children avoid potential danger, we are over-scheduling their lives and depriving them of the kinds of experiences that we enjoyed when we were young. However, there are other powerful unconscious forces operating that are driving parents to restrict their children’s freedom of movement, ostensibly out of concern for their safety. Understanding these factors could be helpful.
In our work at the Glendon Association, a nonprofit psychological organization that provides parent education programs, we have come to recognize that many well-meaning parents overprotect their children, see them as less competent than they really are, and overstep their boundaries because they (the parents) feel connected to them through a process Dr. Robert Firestone calls the fantasy bond. In this imagined connection with their children, parents partly relieve their own fears of aloneness, separation, and death – the ultimate separation. In their minds, they feel merged with their children, while in reality, they may not be fully present in their interactions with them. These parents cherish the feeling of being needed by their kids, but actually they are not relating to them as unique, separate individuals.
The origins of the fantasy bond can be traced to infancy or early childhood. It arises to cope with interpersonal pain and separation anxiety and this imagined connection is reinforced when children learn about death. Even before they discover death, children use this fantasy of being merged with mother, along with primitive self-soothing behaviors, to partly relieve their pain and to avoid the possibility of being overwhelmed by the intensity of their reactions to separation experiences and other disturbing events.
The fantasy bond serves as a survival mechanism during childhood, but paradoxically becomes a barrier to one’s personal development as an adult. Later, as people mature, marry and have children of their own, they develop fantasy bonds with their children to varying degrees, and the cycle is continued into the next generation.
Is Your Technology Use Hurting Your Kids?
by Dr. Lisa Firestone
A recent study of families in fast food restaurants showed that 70 percent of parents were distracted by their devices during their meal. In the meantime, their children complained and misbehaved, throwing tantrums and even food at their parents. The usage of smart phones has overwhelmed the population, with people barely able to make it through dinner without texting, tweeting or surfing online. The problem is that checking in on Facebook often means checking out of whatever interaction you might have with the person sitting right across the table. In the face of such monumental distraction, we’re forced to ask how this will affect the next generation.
From the get-go, babies need the attention of their parents, not just to survive but to thrive. Parenting an infant doesn’t just mean meeting his or her needs by providing food, clothing and diaper changes. Results from the still-face experiments led by famous child development researchers in the 1970s highlighted the potentially harmful emotional, social and developmental impact when a mother stops responding to her baby with appropriate facial expressions. Since then, other studies have further shown that affect mirroring, in which the mother interacts with her child with high levels of “attention maintenance, sensitivity and responsiveness” resulted in babies that ranked “high on prosocial behaviors and social expectancy, whereas infants whose mothers ranked low on affect mirroring ranked low on these measures.” Think about the blank stare you give your cell phone. How often might your baby be looking to you for a response when your own face is non-expressive or clearly reacting to something else?
Children seek contingent responses. They start mirroring parents’ facial expressions almost as soon as they’re born. They stare into their caretaker’s eyes, looking for a reaction. This response is what enables their brains to fire and wire. An attuned response from a parent or caretaker allows them to feel both seen and secure, while also helping them to formulate their own social skills. A lack of response (perhaps from parents who are persistently on their devices), could lead to ruptures in their attachment patterns. Attachment styles are built in early childhood attachments and later serve as working models for adult relationships. A person’s model of attachment influences how he or she goes about getting his or her needs met. Children who are ignored or not responded to (as in the still-face experiment) or whose parents are often mis-attuned may form less-than-ideal attachments that will hurt them in their later lives.
Sadly, parents who are distracted by their devices are hardly attuned to their children. They may very well miss the hurtful effect they are having by ignoring their child’s emotions. They may even be hurting the child’s self-esteem. In interviews, children expressed feelings of being boring, because they are unable to compete with smart phones for their parents’ attention. Their feeling toward the phones waiver between hostility (calling them “dumb” phones) and desire (competing with parents for the phone itself). The children observed in the fast-food study became considerably agitated, growing rowdier and misbehaving to turn their parent’s attention. And what do parents often do in response to their child’s frustration? Unfortunately, they tend to hand their child the device, teaching them, in turn, to de-tune and disconnect, just as they have been doing.
The Great Vaccine Debate
2012, In Vaccine Truth, by Angela C
Informed Mother shares her Research
Shortly after getting a positive pregnancy test, modern American families are flung into the midst of an ongoing battle regarding the future health of their children. For mothers who give birth in the hospital, one of the first things they will be asked to do is sign a consent form permitting the hospital to inoculate their newborn baby against a form of sexually transmitted hepatitis. Due to pressure from hospital staff, pediatricians, and social workers parents are often uninformed on the actual risks of vaccination and unaware of the fact that they do have the right to make an informed decision regarding when and if their child will be vaccinated.
The truth is that vaccinations are risky at best. Recently, talk show host, Dr. Ward Bond and homeopathic practitioner, Robert Scott Bell sat down to talk about the facts behind these dangerous vaccinations.
Vaccines operate as dangerous serums that set us on a path of dependence to pharmaceuticals for life by weakening our natural immunity and making us far more susceptible to illness. As a result, the vaccinated need to see the doctor more and require more antibiotics, so on and so forth.
There is substantial evidence to support the belief that vaccines set us on a path of destruction. Recent studies have shown that children who receive vaccinations have 200-500% more chronic illnesses in life than non-vaccinated children. Furthermore, recent outbreaks of common childhood illnesses amongst vaccinated populations show that these inoculations are not nearly as effective as we have been led to believe.
Simple biology provides us with a good deal of evidence against routine vaccination, especially when it comes to young children. Children have an immature immune system before the age of two. The use of vaccinations in children this young and with such a high level of doses alters the child’s natural immunity and neurological conditioning in a dangerous way.
Of the dozens of vaccines that children are routinely exposed to, four stand out from the crowd as being the most controversial. One of these is the polio vaccine, which uses an inactivated strand of polio to create an immune reaction in young children. Despite the fact that polio was once a widespread and dangerous disease, expert studies show that it was on the decline when the vaccination was introduced. As with the natural ebb and flow of epidemics, it likely would have faded out as more people became exposed and immune. Furthermore, even at its height most individuals who acquired polio showed no symptoms at all. Serious, paralytic illness was only found in around 1% of cases. There is a chance that the vaccination does not do anything to actually prevent polio, but instead we just developed a natural immunity as a society.
Another controversial vaccine due to heavy indications that ingredients used in its development may contribute to the dramatic increase in autism over the last two decades is the MMR shot. This combination shot is meant to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. Children receive one dose soon after their first birthday, followed by two subsequent “boosters” in early childhood. The multiple shots are required since the child’s still-developing immune system will fight them off if not routinely exposed. Yet in a recent outbreak of mumps, over 70% of victims were previously vaccinated using this exact concoction. Though makers of the drug reluctantly admit a small failure rate, it is nowhere near 70%. Statistics like these certainly leave skeptics wondering if vaccinations of this type are of any value at all.
Yet another inoculation that is prescribed at birth, though there is no indication that it is necessary in the average American home is the hepatitis B shot. Though the odds of a child developing hepatitis B, a disease typically spread through dirty needles and promiscuous sex, as an infant are extremely rare, the vaccine is associated with a risk of irreversible brain damage in some children.
Finally, we come to the HPV vaccine. This vaccine is being heavily marketed all over the country right now as a way to prevent cervical cancer. Children as young as twelve years of age may obtain the HPV vaccine in certain parts of the country without their parent’s consent. However, it has been shown to have numerous dangerous side effects, such as chronic seizures, brain damage, and even death. Yet many researchers question if the virus is even inherently related to cervical cancer as the American people are being led to believe.
It is critical that parents study the dangerous side effects associated with common childhood vaccinations and carefully weigh them against the risk of disease. In many cases, you may come to find that a few weeks of chickenpox or the measles is a small price to pay when it comes to potentially avoiding a lifetime of debilitating neurological damage and illness.