There is a large body of research that has focused on child abuse, and the vast majority of cases are seen in poor family environments with parenting problems. These parents have generally a diminished capacity to cope with stress in the parenting task coupled with an extreme reaction to stress in general. High concentrations of poor families and material disadvantage characterized by lone parenting, low income, unemployment, high mobility are key correlates of parenting problems.
It’s important to note that all of these families are “in need”, but only some are “at risk”, many families in this category are coping successfully with these hardships. Studies aimed at prediction and prevention of child abuse point to social inequality and social deprivation exacerbating psychological predispositions resulting in parenting breakdown. Poor environments may be deficient in support for parents, the kind of support that arises naturally from networks of families, friends and neighbors. Poor environments can suffer from social fragmentation and lack of community cohesion and these families are more isolated and less supported than families elsewhere.
There is growing interest in resilience, the ability of some individuals to maintain healthy functioning in spite of a background of disadvantage commonly associated with poor outcomes.
The old adage “It takes a village to raise a child” was never more true. Generally families with social and family networks can help parents cope with stress, government programs are effective in this regard but can only do so much.
Want to fight crime? You don’t need a gun or a cape, you need to be a mentor or a community organizer or be part your church’s youth counsel.
Find something in your community, participate, it will help your mental health as well as your community.
Video games can improve your kid’s decision making speed. People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy, according to a study from the University of Rochester. Other studies suggests that most expert gamers can make choices and act on them up to six times a second—four times faster than most people, and can pay attention to more than six things at once without getting confused, compared to only four by the average person. Surprisingly, the violent action games that often worry parents most had the strongest beneficial effect on the brain, according to cognitive neuroscientist Daphne Bavelier, who studies the effect of action games at Switzerland’s University of Geneva and the University of Rochester in New York.
Kids are not necessarily drawn to video games because of their violence. The attraction lies in their being rewarded by awesome displays of explosions, fireworks, and yes, blood splattering. Also, violent games have the most emotional appeal for kids. But these factors are only secondary to what kids actually enjoy in these games – the opportunity to develop and master skills and have the freedom to make choices in the game universe.
Violent video games may act as a release of pent-up aggression and frustration of your kid. When your kid vents his frustration and anger in his game, this diffuses his stress. Games can provide a positive aggression outlet the same way as football and other violent sports.
Playing video games is safer than having your teens do drugs, alcohol and street racing in the real world.
Most of the bad effects of video games are blamed on the violence they contain. Children who play more violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping.
Too much video game playing makes your kid socially isolated. Also, he may spend less time in other activities such as doing homework, reading, sports, and interacting with the family and friends.
Many experts including Henry Jenkins of Massachusetts Institute of Technology have noted that there is a decreased rate of juvenile crime whch coincides with the popularity of games such as Death Race, Mortal Kombat, Doom and Grand Theft auto. He concludes that teenage players are able to leave the emotional effects of the game behind when the game is over. Indeed there are cases of teenagers who commit violent crimes who also spend great amount of time playing video games such as those involved in the Columbine and Newport cases. It appears that there will always be violent people, and it just so happen that many of them also enjoy playing violent video games.
Academic achievement may be negatively related to over-all time spent playing video games. Studies have shown that the more time a kid spends playing video games, the poorer is his performance in school.
Kindergartners that have turned into monsters. The previously sweet, compliant children have turned sour, temperamental and belligerent. Many mothers tearfully admit that they are worried that something as traumatic as bullying or abuse has occurred and wonder if they should pull their child from the classroom. So dramatic is the change in their sweet angel’s personality that many parents feel like the tumultuous teen years have arrived ten years early.
Here’s what happens. With great anticipation and excitement, the child goes off to kindergarten. When she gets to school, she listens for long periods of time, refrains from yelling, sits quietly in circle time and keeps her place in line when she is lead to the cafeteria for lunch. Then, she gets off of the school bus, walks into the familiar kitchen and her internal release valve bursts open. She can relax from being good and let her frustrations rip.
We adults forget that behaving for six or eight hours at school requires a lot of energy for kids. They simply aren’t used to concentrating and keeping their behavior in check for such long stretches. And there’s another factor at work. They are growing. Combine these two issues and by seven o’clock at night, every kindergartner will be exhausted.
So what’s the solution for our 5 year-old angels-turned monsters? Sleep. And more sleep. The majority of young people simply aren’t getting enough down time or sleep and it is costing them mentally, emotionally and physically.
The average 4-6 year old requires at least 12 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, so let’s help our little ones get some fun back into their lives and make sure that they nap and get to bed earlier. And they won’t be the only ones who will be happier.