A poster listing sex acts isn’t appropriate for 13-year-olds, says a Missouri father. The school says it’s part of the sex education curriculum.
. . . teenage viewers tended to look up information about sex in order to better prepare for it. The paper estimates that the shows have helped to reduce overall teenage pregnancy by 5.7 percent since soon after they began running.
Well, maybe not, reports Ed Week.
And yet less than a week before NBER released its study, researchers at Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Utah released a different study of the same shows and found that they actually lead to greater numbers of misinformed teens, who watch “Teen Mom” and think that teenage motherhood is like like living on Easy Street.
“Heavy viewing of teen mom reality programming positively predicted unrealistic perceptions of what it is like to be a teen mother,” they wrote. The study based its conclusions off of interviews with 185 high school students about perceptions of reality TV and teen pregnancy.
Teen Mom made Farrah Abraham a celebrity, the second study complains. Now 22, Abraham is earning a living through a sex tape with a porn star, a line of sex toys, etc. You might say she’s a professional slut. Will that look like an attractive lifestyle to teen girls? I certainly hope not.
Give your brain a break and achieve inner peace with Matthew Johnstone’s illustrated guide to meditation. I love the opening graphic.
There is no lunch hour in public schools any more, reports NPR. By the time they actually get their food, “kids are lucky to get more than 15 minutes to eat” and some get less.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least 20 minutes for lunch. That’s time to eat, not time standing in line.
At Oakland High School in California, more than 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The lunch break is 40 minutes — but some kids get only 10 minutes of table time, says Jennifer LeBarre, the district’s nutrition services director.
In a new poll, 20 percent of parents said their elementary school child gets 15 minutes or less to eat.
Fed Up displays school lunch photos submitted by students across the country. The “ground beef sandwhich” in the photo comes from Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Connecticut.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses are surging overseas, as well as in the U.S. Children may be taking powerful drugs needlessly, warn researchers in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
In Australia, prescriptions for the stimulant Ritalin and other ADHD drugs rose by 72 percent between 2000 and 2011, while in Britain and the Netherlands prescriptions roughly doubled between 2003 and 2008, said the paper.
According to the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in 11 American children aged 13-18 and one in 25 adults are affected by ADHD.
Ritalin and other drugs are appropriate only for “severe” ADHD symptoms, which occur among about 14 percent of children with the condition, the study noted. Yet 87 percent of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD in 2010 received medications.
“Community colleges in New Jersey used to offer cheap health insurance for hundreds of dollars a year” but cancelled coverage because the new federal health care law bans barebones policies, reports CBS New York. Students are struggling to navigate the Obamacare web site in hopes of qualifying for subsidized coverage.
Nothing is more horrifying than Halloween without candy proclaims an ad featuring a focus group of children fed healthy treats such as veggie fruit chews and “tofu ghost mellows.” The message from Crest and Oral-B: Let kids eat candy and then brush their teeth.
The letter states: “You child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.”
It continues: “My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.”
The quality of “tricks” must not be very high in Fargo.
Many children diagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may simply be slow to grow out of “normal childhood narcissism, writes psychologist Enrico Gnaulati in The Atlantic.
In the 1970s, a mere one percent of kids were considered ADHD. By the 1980s, three to five percent was the presumed rate, with steady increases into the 1990s. One eye-opening study showed that ADHD medications were being administered to as many as 17 percent of males in two school districts in southeastern Virginia in 1995.
ADHD symptoms — “problems listening, forgetfulness, distractibility, prematurely ending effortful tasks, excessive talking, fidgetiness, difficulties waiting one’s turn, and being action-oriented” — aren’t all that different from normal childhood challenges, he writes. In the past, a distractible, fidgety child would have been considered slower to mature and learn social skills. Now that child is quickly diagnosed with ADHD.
The core symptoms of ADHD resemble childhood narcissism, which is characterized by “overconfident self-appraisals, attention-craving, a sense of personal entitlement” and weak empathy for others, writes Gnaulati.
“Jonah” falls apart when he can’t master a task immediately. It could be a symptom of ADHD, writes Gnaulati. Perhaps he can’t retain the information needed. But it could be the “magical thinking” common for young children.
He believes mastering tasks should somehow be automatic—not the outcome of commitment, perseverance, and effort. Jonah’s self-esteem may also be so tenuous that it fluctuates greatly. For instance, when Jonah anticipates success, he productively cruises through work, eager to receive the recognition that he expects from parents and teachers. He is on a high. He definitely feels good about himself. But in the face of challenging work, he completely shuts down, expects failure, outside criticism, and wants to just give up.
“Parents who think their kid has ADHD often describe scenarios at home where the kid reacts to minor setbacks with bloodcurdling screams or to modest successes with over-the-top exuberance,” writes Gnaulati. For kids who really have ADHD, completing homework can be torture. But, for others, “dramatic displays of emotion are attempts to get out of tasks that warrant commitment, application, and effort.”
If parents give in, “these kids often do not acquire the emotional self-control necessary to buckle down and do academic work independently.”
I think the technical term is “spoiled brat.”
Gnaulati is the author of Back to Normal, which is subtitled “why ordinary childhood behavior is mistaken for ADHD, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorders.”
Brainy, introverted boys are over-diagnosed with autism, he writes in Salon. “If we don’t have a firm grasp of gender differences in how young children communicate and socialize, we can mistake traditional masculine behavior for high-functioning autism.”