Posts tagged positive parenting

Child Abuse: Who will help our children?

ImageWith child abuse prevention month around the corner these stories serve as a wake-up call to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.

Two women were arrested after police in Salinas, CA after police found three malnourished and abused children. According to authorities, one of the children was found chained to the floor. The children were so emaciated, one was compared to a person found in a concentration camp. The home was in great squalor as well …

A one year-old girl was found In apartment building lobby in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood …

A Silver Spring, MD man has been accused of abusing his infant son so badly that the boy will have to be placed on a respirator the rest of his life …

A Chelsea, OK couple were arrested on allegations that they locked a 4-year-old boy in a dog cage for several hours a day and abused and neglected two other children …

A Grand Forks, N.D. woman faces 13 counts of child abuse or neglect is accused of taping a 4-year-old boy’s eyes shut to force him to sleep and taping them open during the day so he would stay awake. Court documents show that she forced children ages 4 -9 to eat spoonfuls of hot sauce. She’s also accused of stitching up a cut on a 5-year-old’s head …

A Los Angeles Police Department officer has been charged with child abuse for allegedly repeatedly striking a young teen male relative, leaving welts and bruises, for poor grades …

An 8 month-old baby girl in Salt Lake City, UT remains in critical condition with head and brain trauma and extensive bruising. The baby’s mother left the baby in the care of a male friend who admitted to having “spanked” the infant hard, throwing her onto a mattress and repeatedly banging her head against his shoulder over several days …

These few stories are enough to make anyone sick and angry. And they should be enough to make you want to get involved and raise awareness so that all children are safe.

A recent study shows that child abuse may dramatically infect the mental health of a child’s future. And besides emotional and behavioral issues, it can also increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders in adulthood.

The findings also suggest that stress experienced during childhood can lead to long-term hormone impairment.

Researchers recorded levels of the weight-regulating hormones leptin, irisin and adiponectin in the blood of adults who suffered physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect during childhood.

As leptin has been linked to body-mass index and fat mass that helps to regulate appetite, adiponection helps to lower bodily inflammation. On the other hand, irisin gives our metabolism more energy.

The latest findings revealed that adults who endured childhood abuse showed dysregulation of these hormones.

“This study helps illuminate why people who have dealt with childhood adversity face a higher risk of developing excess belly fat and related health conditions,” said researchers Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, DSc, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System, via a press release. “The data suggest that childhood adversity places stress on the endocrine system, leading to impairment of important hormones that can contribute to abdominal obesity well into adulthood.”

As National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month begins on April 1st, think about America’s children and the impact that child abuse has on them mentally and physically.

ImageAs the “Blue Ribbon” is the symbol for child abuse prevention, Love Our Children USA urges every person across the country to GET BLUE. By wearing a Blue Ribbon pin or Love Our Children USA’s Break The Cycle Blue Silicone Bracelet during April and throughout the year, individuals can:

    • Help educate families, children, neighbors, organizations and communities on how to prevent child violence and neglect
    • Encourage community and individual involvement in recognizing and preventing child violence and neglect
    • Assist families in achieving healthy parenting practices through education and resources
    • Empower individuals to report child victimization and intervene in situations where violence and neglect harm children.

Please be sure to GO BLUE and raise awareness for child abuse prevention.

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Online Safety: Bad things can happen to Good children

By Guest Blogger Christopher Burgess

In David Schwimmer’s TRUST, bad things happen to Annie, a good child.  She is by all appearances a typical teenager – totally wired, online and available, 24/7/365.  As the typical teen, the online interaction includes those with whom she has a personal relationship with a physical quotient: her best friends, family members, and school acquaintances.  She also has availed to her an increased circle of acquaintances about whom her knowledge is limited to their projected online personas.

In the physical world, parents see with whom their child interacts.  As the parents witness this interaction they are able to help guide and influence their child’s choices.  Overtime, the maturation of the child’s decision making skills demonstrates absorption of the lessons, principals and ethics of the parent. The child displays good decision making skills and the level of trust bestowed upon the child and their range of movement may be increased.

Within the online world, it isn’t that different.  The parents continue to have the responsibility to see with whom their child interacts both within their own community and beyond. Though alien for so many parents of today’s teens and tweens, the totally wired child is interacting at a pace which far outstrips the physical world interaction, while not being as easily observable by the parent.

Parents must assist their child online as they do offline.  Parents must be able to note whom their child is engaging and perform the necessary due diligence on the individual.  The parent must also be able to note the frequency and modes of this communication with the “online friends.”  The most important rule to follow when navigating between the online and physical world is when the online friend suggests moving the relationship from virtual to physical.  The number one rule for every family: “The child must not engage in any personal meetings with an individual whom they have only met online without explicit parental permission.

It is not espionage to know who is reaching out and engaging your child.  When you have a friend pick up your child at school, there is a high likelihood that challenge-words are used between the child and the friend to provide assurance to the child that they can safely get into the vehicle with the parent’s designee.  If an individual approached your child without the challenge-words, your child would react in the manner in which you instructed: “shout and run to the largest number of persons in proximity.”  In the online environment the opportunity for private engagement with your child by an unknown individual is increased by an immeasurable capacity.  The individual child can be engaged by anyone in the world, with an internet connection.

So many attribute their lack of desire to look into what their child is doing online to their desire to trust their child.  One should trust their child, but that level of trust shouldn’t extend to an individual about who so little is known – the online acquaintance and their online persona.  Parents can and should do their own due diligence on those at the other end of the online connection.  Parents can observe and monitor frequency and modes of contact.  In addition to the “no meeting” rule, the next most important rule is all online interaction will occur from a centralized (observable) locale (the laptop in the bedroom should never occur).

The parent can also advantage themselves to any of the numerous software offerings which will provide the internet protocol (IP) addresses with who their devices are engaged.  In this manner, the parent can note all interactions and highlight those worthy of further investigation. If your child’s interlocutor is coming into contact with your child from a variety of geographically diverse locales, that should be considered anomalous and worthy of deeper inspection.  If the child has their own device (laptop or desktop), then you may desire to put a time limit on when the device is allowed to access the internet (in the physical world, when the child leaves the home the parent knows where they are going, who they will be with and when they are expected to return) via regulating the router access.

Mobile telephony is often overlooked.  This is a means by which a child may circumvent the safety net provided by their parents within their home.  Text (SMS) messages, video messages, photos, emails, and chat are all a part of the normal offering from today’s smart phones and warrant the same level of observation provided to the devices within the home.  With respect to mobile devices one can review the device itself and also review the billing and call records in the same manner one would for the IP addresses.  Again, there is available a plethora of applications designed to lock-down and regulate the areas of the accessible internet writ-large for mobile devices.

The protection of your children is important.  You can honor their privacy and enhance their protection by guiding your child in the online world just as you would in the physical world.  In doing so, you will greatly reduce the opportunity for a malevolent person from making the adage “bad things to happen to good children” a reality.

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The baby is coming …Dr. Jeff Gardere educates young fathers to be on VH1 “Dad Camp”

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 women get pregnant each day.

Where are the fathers?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (65%) African American children live in father-absent homes. Over 1 in 3 (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes.

Last year, President Obama challenged young men to step up as fathers, urging them to recognize that their “responsibility does not end at conception.”

VH1 and Dr. Jeff Gardere are coming to the rescue with their new show “Dad Camp.”

Dr. Jeff Gardere is a licensed psychologist and national relationship expert in New York City who prepares six young twenty-something young men for fatherhood in this VH1 eight-episode series.

Here the young fathers will face reality: A baby is on the way! Through parenting classes, personal challenges and powerful couple and group therapy, these young couples will learn about responsibility and the dedication, commitment and importance of selflessness that they must make to their children … because it’s the right thing to do and because fatherhood can be a positive and rewarding experience.

In each episode, Dr. Jeff offers intensive parenting lessons and challenges to prepare these young men for fatherhood. They’ll learn about parental nurturing, conquering their fears and commitment.

“Dad Camp’s” goal is to educate these young men and turn them into responsible fathers, when they’d much rather be out with their friends and other young women, spend time playing video games, drinking, using drugs, etc.

Dad Camp also addresses many of today’s societal issues, including the importance of male role models, absent fathers and the struggles of being a young parent.

The degree of risk to children of very young parents may be determined by the financial, social, and emotional stresses these families face. Yet, few participate in parenting education.

Click here to read more

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