Archive for November, 2011

Teaching kids and teens gratitude

In these extraordinary times many are feeling fearful, sad, depressed, anxious, lonely and many other emotions. 

Yet, it is important to remind ourselves what we are grateful for. And that’s something we should be teaching our children and teens.

Gratitude, thankfulness, or appreciation is a positive emotion or attitude in acknowledgment of a benefit that one has received or will receive.

Children can be taught to look for the god things in any situation and to appreciate these opportunities or circumstances in their lives.

Those small or overwhelming obstacles could be a lesson or an experience that will open the door to new and wonderful experiences.

By teaching kids and teens gratitude for the good and the bad, you will be raising healthier and happier kids and boost their self esteem.

  • Set a good example
  • Role play
     
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Introduce your kids and teens to volunteerism and reaching out to others who need help
  • Show them what they should be thankful for even if they don’t have something they want
  • Teach kids and teens to see the good in others regardless of whether they like them or not (this is also a good way to educate about bullying prevention)

Parents should model behavior they want their children to have. Make gratitude an everyday practice. Take steps to teach gratitude to your kids and teens and watch them grow up into wonderful adults. 

Thanksgiving day is the perfect time to show gratitude. What are you grateful for?

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Penn State Students Riot Over Firing of Football Coach Joe Paterno

         
  

The fact that this story is being written shows us what seems to be more important in the minds of Penn State students – and it’s not the fact that innocent children have been sexually abused and the abuse was covered up. It’s all about money-making college football.

Last night thousands of Penn State students rioted after hearing about the firing of 84 year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Students screamed and chanted “We want Joe.” They threw rocks and bottles and tipped over a news van.

A 20-year-old junior from Scranton, PA and an 18 year-old freshman from Baltimore told news sources that they thought the decision was a little harsh and said they are just allegations.

Do these students not understand that it is against the law NOT to report child abuse? Are students that immune to horrific and immoral behavior against children, that they would rather see a football coach keep his job?

Do they not understand that child sexual abuse is as bad as it gets? That an adult who took advantage of young boys and took away their very foundation?

What are the parents of the rioters thinking?

There was a witness to the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy by coach Jerry Sandusky who told Joe Paterno about the abuse. And many more victims have come forward. Paterno did nothing. He might as well have abused the boys himself.

Paterno, Penn State President Graham Spanier and Penn State have been under great scrutiny since former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was charged last weekend with 40 counts of sexual abuse of children. I repeat 40 counts of child sexual abuse.

Sandusky was arrested last Saturday on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youths. Two high-ranking Penn State administrators also face charges they lied about knowledge of the crimes to a grand jury.

It’s no mistake that child sexual abusers choose careers that deal with children. The Second Mile began as group foster home to help troubled boys.

The grand jury report Read the grand jury report is startling and portrays the actions of a typical child molester.

As a child advocate for over 20 years, it is appalling enough to read the grand jury report because our weakest ones have been egregiously abused, hurt and taken advantage of. Yet to see young adults take the side of Paterno and riot over his dismissal because football is more important – because Penn State will somehow not be able to go on without Paterno leaves one shaking their head in complete disbelief and anger – because where have we as a society gone wrong with teaching our young adults values and morals?

The behavior of the rioting Penn State students needs discussion, education and awareness. The silence of Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier needs criminal investigation. And the audacious acts of Jerry Sandusky need a trial that will convict him of being the child molester he is.

As far as college football, I don’t really know much about it or care to, but I am told there is quite a bit of money to made from this sport.

We’ve been dealing with corporate greed and now it’s come down to the greed of a football coach who made millions and who kept silent for a football team and a college and allowed young boys to be sexually abused.

What does that say about our society and how can we explain this to our child victims?

Ross Ellis
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Love Our Children USA

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