Category : Children

Rod Dreher–Face It, Parents of Faith: There Is No Peace in the midst of the current culture

I write in this space quite a bit about how conservative Christian parents (and others) are largely — and willfully — clueless about what’s going on in this post-Christian culture, and how they ought to be thinking about it and responding to it. When I talk to pastors, educators, and others about what they’re seeing on the ground, I find this view of mine affirmed with depressing regularity. We are in a terrible crisis, but insofar as far too many Christian parents think, it’s a crisis of a threat from Islam, or from liberal elites, or homosexuals, or any number of villains that are easy to identify. I don’t deny that all of these groups, and many others, do pose a challenge to the Christian faith, but by far the most important and neglected challenge is that posed by the widespread failure of parents and church communities to pass the faith on to their children.

This is not a problem you can address by voting, or by judicial rulings, or by restricting immigration, or by watching more Fox News. Nor is it a problem you can address by going to church on Sunday, dropping your kid off at youth group mid-week, and leaving it at that. Nor is it a problem you can address by simply affirming the correct set of propositions.

Over and over, I hear from pastors and Christian educators that the biggest obstacle to forming the hearts and minds of the community’s children in an authentically Christian way are parents. Parents who want to outsource the job to the school and the church, versus working in harmony with the school and the church to accomplish this mission. Parents who get mad at the school or the church for being demanding of their children (and of them). The plain fact, amply demonstrated by the sociology of religion, is this: there is no single factor more important in determining whether or not a child will keep the faith than the example set by parents.

Read it all (emphasis his).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Secularism, Seminary / Theological Education

A Picture is Worth 1000 words–The baby Boombers are Reaching Retirement

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Budget, Children, Economy, Health & Medicine, History, Marriage & Family, Medicaid, Medicare, Pensions, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Social Security, Taxes, Young Adults

(NYT) Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But unlike depression, with which it routinely occurs, anxiety is often seen as a less serious problem.

“Anxiety is easy to dismiss or overlook, partially because everyone has it to some degree,” explained Philip Kendall, director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Clinic at Temple University in Philadelphia. It has an evolutionary purpose, after all; it helps us detect and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Highly anxious people, though, have an overactive fight-or-flight response that perceives threats where there often are none.

But sometimes there are good reasons to feel anxious. For many young people, particularly those raised in abusive families or who live in neighborhoods besieged by poverty or violence, anxiety is a rational reaction to unstable, dangerous circumstances. At the Youth Anxiety Center’s clinic in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which serves mostly poor and working-class Hispanic youth, teenagers would object to the definition of anxiety I heard often at Mountain Valley: “The overestimation of danger and the underestimation of our ability to cope.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Teens / Youth

Church of England Statement on the Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Hearing

Found there:

“We welcome todays detailed update on the investigation into the Anglican Church in England and Wales focusing on the Chichester case study to be heard in March 2018. The Inquiry acknowledged and welcomed the contributions from all core participants in responding to its detailed request for information.  It is clear that there will be a real focus on learning to make the Church a safer place for all and we will continue to work cooperatively with IICSA. First and foremost our commitment must be to listen to survivors who take the courage to come forward and who will play a vital part in the Inquiry.”

Bishop Peter Hancock, Church of England’s lead safeguarding bishop

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Violence

(PA) Growing social media backlash among young people, survey shows

Almost two-thirds of schoolchildren would not mind if social media had never been invented, a survey has indicated.

The study provides evidence of a growing backlash among young people disillusioned with the negative aspects of the technology, such as online abuse and fake news.

As well as the 63% who would not care if it did not exist, even more pupils (71%) said they had taken temporary digital detoxes to escape social media.

The survey of about 5,000 students at independent and state schools in England was commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents the headteachers of independent schools around the world.

Read it all.

Posted in --Social Networking, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology

(CEN) Andrew Carey on Archbishop Welby’s GQ Interview–He was in a no-win situation

Perhaps more dangerously, the Archbishop sounded an uncertain and rather weak note on the substance of the matter. Now, it is clear that for a small minority of people suffering from gender dysphoria there are difficult issues at stage, but that is no excuse for damaging a child’s early development by shoe-horning them into a politically correct campaign over transgender rights.

And the Church should be much more robust about the issues. Adults have the right and freedom to dress in whichever clothes they wish, but children can still be guided and helped even as they develop, grow and experiment. By stereotyping children as somehow transgender, when they are just going through a phase, we risk doing them very real harm.

And it is here that the Rowes are right to express their disquiet about what the school has done, though I don’t believe they explained themselves very well to the media.

Schools and public authorities sometimes need to challenge the confused parents of confused children. They should let their children be until they are old enough to express considered opinions preferably after puberty.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(NBC) Parents of Toddler Killed in Disney Resort Alligator Attack Launch Foundation to Help Families with Children in Critical Medical Need

The parents of Lane Graves announced that the foundation, named in honor of their son, would help other parents pay expenses like electrical bills or the mortgage, while their children endure organ transplants.

Watch it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance & Investing

(Marketwatch) Why American teenagers are not interested in adult activities like sex, drinking — or working

Kids today are in no hurry to grow up.

Teenagers are increasingly less likely to engage in adult activities like drinking alcohol, working jobs, driving or having sex according to research from San Diego State University and Bryn Mawr College published in the peer-reviewed journal Child Development Tuesday…[of last week].

With smaller families, longer life expectancy and after-school educational activities, today’s 18-year-olds are looking like 15-year-olds once did, according to Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and the lead author on the study. She calls it a “slow-life strategy” where parents have fewer children, “but nurture them more carefully.”

The number of teenagers who tried alcohol between 2010 and 2016 dropped to 67% from 93% between 1976 and 1979. And the number that had earned money from working dropped from 76% to 55% over the same period. Teens who had engaged in sexual activity by the end of high school dropped 12% between 1994 and 2016. The declines in adult activities were consistent across demographic groups, including gender, race, socioeconomic status, region, and in both urban and rural areas, suggesting a major shift is taking place.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Children, Marriage & Family, Teens / Youth

A Story of Hope for a Friday–this Wonderful Lady provides Birthday parties for children who have never had one

Watch and enjoy it all.

Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Poverty

(Church Times) Dire state of Religious Education laid bare in analysis of Government census

A quarter of all state secondary schools are struggling to meet their legal obligation to teach religious studies, data obtained by the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE) has shown.

Its analysis of the previously unpublished School Workforce Census, obtained from the Government by a Freedom of Information request, found that, out of the 2793 schools that took part in the census, 28 per cent (787 schools) said that they gave no time to religious education (RE) in Year 11, the GCSE year.

This equates with 800,000 pupils, NATRE estimates in its report, The State of the Nation: A report on Religious Education provision within secondary schools in England, published on Monday. And, of the schools claiming to offer non-examined RE to Year 11 pupils, 83 per cent admitted that their students received zero minutes of teaching per week, meaning that, in practice, it was not on the curriculum — what the report calls a “tick-box exercise”.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(NYT Op-ed) Steve Silberman–The Police Need to Understand Autism

Diane Craglow was caring for a 14-year-old autistic boy named Connor Leibel in Buckeye, Ariz., one day in July. They took a walk to one of his favorite places, a park in an upscale community called Verrado. She was not hesitant to leave Connor alone for a few minutes while she booked a piano lesson for his sister nearby, because he usually feels safe and comfortable in places that are familiar to him, and he learns to be more independent that way.

When Ms. Craglow returned, she couldn’t believe what she saw: a police officer looming over the now-handcuffed boy, pinning him to the ground against a tree. Connor was screaming, and the police officer, David Grossman, seemed extremely agitated.

As Ms. Craglow tried to piece together what had happened, more officers arrived, spilling out of eight patrol cars in response to Officer Grossman’s frantic call for backup. Soon it became clear to Ms. Craglow that the policeman was unaware that Connor has autism, and had interpreted the boy’s rigid, unfamiliar movements — which included raising a piece of yarn to his nose to sniff it repeatedly — as a sign of drug intoxication.

As a graduate of Arizona’s Drug Evaluation and Classification program, Officer Grossman is certified as a “drug recognition expert.” But no one had trained him to recognize one of the classic signs of autism: the repetitive movements that autistic people rely on to manage their anxiety in stressful situations, known as self-stimulation or “stimming.” That’s what Connor was doing with the string when Officer Grossman noticed him while he was on patrol.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Psychology, Teens / Youth

(NYT) The Children of 9/11

“We’ve committed to filming every single 9/11 kid that wants to be filmed,” she said. So far, they’ve interviewed nearly 70 of the more than 3,000 children who lost parents in the attacks, many of whom she was able to reach through the organization Tuesday’s Children. The current participants range in age from 15 — children whose mothers were pregnant then — to 52.

“A lot of the kids felt as though they needed this now — they finally wanted to share their stories and to help other people,” Ms. [Delaney] Colaio said. “They don’t want the suffering to victimize them anymore.”

The project has been an “emotional roller coaster,” Ms. Colaio said. “What I’ve learned about myself is that it’s O.K. to not be O.K. all the time — I never cry, ever, but through this process, I’ve cried almost every week — and allowing myself to feel all of those feelings was a big personal growth that I’ve had.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Terrorism

([London] Times) Judge rules child must leave Muslim foster home

A girl at the centre of a care dispute was removed from her Muslim foster parents yesterday and reunited with her family as a judge urged councils to seek “culturally matched placements” for vulnerable children.

The five-year-old, a native English speaker from a Christian family, was taken to her grandmother’s home after a court ruled that she should not remain in the placement organised by the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Judge Khatun Sapnara, a practising Muslim, said it was in the girl’s best interests to live with a family member who could keep her safe, promote her welfare and meet her needs “in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion”. The judge ordered the council to conduct an urgent investigation into issues reported by The Times, saying that the newspaper had acted responsibly in raising “very concerning” matters of “legitimate public interest”.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Tower Hamlets council told to explain why Christian girl was fostered by Muslims

A council that placed a child with a foster family whose use of Arabic confused and upset her is to be forced by the children’s commissioner to explain its decision.

The Times revealed yesterday that the five-year-old girl, a native English speaker from a Christian family, has spent six months with Muslim foster carers who allegedly removed her necklace, which had a cross, and refused to allow her to eat bacon.

A social services supervisor for Tower Hamlets in east London described the child sobbing and begging not to be returned to the foster family because “she doesn’t understand the Arabic”. The girl is also understood to have said that she was regularly expected to eat meals on the floor.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Children, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(ABC Nightline) One Nation, Overdosed: Snapshots of Americans struggling under the opioid crisis

In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses, according to the CDC, which says preliminary data from 2016 suggests the total number of overdose deaths will increase.

Daniel Ciccarone, an associate editor for the International Journal of Drug Policy and professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, said the lag time of a year is an improvement from how data was collected a few years ago, but it’s still a problem for understanding the scope of the current epidemic.

“The numbers are extraordinary and it’s easy to get kind of numbed when you’re in that kind of event when you say, ‘well, this has had more deaths than the Vietnam War, this has had more deaths in a given year than HIV-AIDS,'” Ciccarone said. “We’re reached epidemic levels because this is of crisis proportions. It’s going to require a crisis response: resources, time, effort, humanity, compassion of a historic proportion.”

Read it all or you can watch the full video report here (just under 11 minutes).

Posted in America/U.S.A., Children, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family