Tag Archives | Children

Study Shows Suicides Among Black Children Rise as Rates for Whites Drop

Don Gunn (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Don Gunn (CC BY-ND 2.0)

A recent study published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, has found that suicide rates among black children have nearly doubled over the last two decades. Whereas the suicide rates of white children has dropped. The study focused on children aged 5-11 in the US.

Liz Fields writes at Vice:

The study, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, highlights a surprising trend and “potential racial disparity that warrants attention,” researchers said of the the findings.

While overall suicide rates remained steady among 5-11 year-olds during the 19-year-study, conducted from 1993 to 2012, suicide rates among black children in this age group jumped from 1.36 to 2.54 per one million children, while white suicide rates in the group dropped from 1.14 to 0.77 per 1 million children, according to the study.

The researchers noted that for children aged between 5-11, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death.

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The Ethics of Having Children: Deontological Arguments

parents and children

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

The having and begetting of children is central to human life. For many, it is a natural and unqualified good. The belief that your life is somehow incomplete or inferior if you do not have children persists in many cultures. Most people never question whether it is ethical to have children. But when you think about it this is pretty odd. A child is a sentient being who is highly dependent on the care of other human beings (typically its biological parents). So if you do have children, you are voluntarily taking on a significant moral responsibility and entrusting into your care a being capable of suffering great moral harms. This is not something to be taken lightly.

Consequently, it seems legitimate to ask the question: is it (morally) right to have children? In other words, is the having and begetting of children morally permissible, impermissible, obligatory or supererogatory?… Read the rest

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Treating Child Refugees as National Security Threats

Takver (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Takver (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Laura Carlsen writes at CounterPunch:

Mexico City.

When the crisis of unaccompanied minors migrating to the United States burst onto the front pages last summer, it seemed at last the U.S. government would come to grips with its legacy of disaster amid the current havoc in Central America.

The United Nations documented that most of the children were fleeing violence — violence caused in part by the failure to restore constitutional order following the Honduran coup of 2009 and the unfinished peace processes after the dirty wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, where Washington propped up right-wing dictatorships for years.

The governments of those three countries — known as the Northern Triangle — certainly share some of the blame for the mass exodus, which is not as new or unprecedented as the press made out when it sounded the alarm.

But in the end, the problem isn’t one of assigning blame, but rather helping children in conditions of extreme vulnerability, right?

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How to Discipline Your Children without Rewards or Punishment

Discipline is necessary for children, but we need to teach them to self-discipline, not bribe them to be good. Emiliano, CC BY-SA

Discipline is necessary for children, but we need to teach them to self-discipline, not bribe them to be good. Emiliano, CC BY-SA

Might parenting be one of the reasons so many people grow up to be obedient worker/consumer/sheeple?  Rebecca English writes at the Conversation.

Rebecca English, Queensland University of Technology

Many parents are moving towards “gentle parenting”, where they choose not to use rewards (sticker charts, lollies, chocolates, TV time as “bribes”) and punishments (taking away “privileges”, time-out, smacking) to encourage good behaviour, but encourage good behaviour for the sake of doing the right thing.

Gentle parents argue that to offer rewards and punishments overrides a child’s natural inclination towards appropriate behaviour by teaching them to behave in certain ways purely to receive a reward, or to avoid punishment.

What is discipline?

For most people it would seem impossible to discipline without rewards and punishments. However, it depends on your understanding of “discipline”.

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The Politics of Spanking

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

Dr. Susan Block, writing at CounterPunch, from 2011:

“I got so mad at my wife,” Oswald told Charlie in their Grand Ole Opry routine, “I turned her over my knee and lifted up her skirt to spank her. Then I forgot what I was mad about.”

Did Oswald go on to actually spank his wife or did he switch gears and have sex with her? It really doesn’t matter. What makes this old joke timelessly funny is that we all recognize the inherent eroticism in spanking an upturned, ceremoniously unveiled, bared butt, as well as the innate absurdity of the old-time “wisdom” that spanking will solve a real problem? Or whatever it was that made Oswald “so mad.”

What is it about spanking, and/or being spanked, that turns so many of us on so much?  Why does spanking have the power to revive an otherwise jaded libido and/or destroy a robust career?

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Some Things Hugs Can’t Fix

ybs (CC BY 2.0)

ybs (CC BY 2.0)

via Duke Today:

A loving mom can’t overcome the anxiety and aggression caused by corporal punishment, and her otherwise warm demeanor may make it worse, according to research led by Duke University that was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

“If you believe that you can shake your children or slap them across the face and then smooth things over gradually by smothering them with love, you are mistaken,” wrote lead researcher Jennifer E. Lansford on the Child and Family Blog. Lansford is a research professor at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. “Being very warm with a child whom you hit in this manner rarely makes things better. It can make a child more, not less, anxious.”

The blog is a joint project of the Future of Children at Princeton University and the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group at the University of Cambridge.

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No, Pope Francis, There’s Nothing ‘Beautiful’ about Hitting a Child

"Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)" by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped)” by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Photographer name). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Dr. Stacey Patton writes at Al Jazeera America:

Pope Francis has officially lost his revolutionary cred. Known for his willingness to challenge church doctrine, to bring religion into the 21st century and to speak truth to power, he clearly hasn’t gotten an updated parenting manual. He appears to still be reading from a 17th-century edition that advised Europeans that children could be possessed by a devil that should be driven out with a rod of correction.

During a recent general weekly audience, the pope decided to offer some advice to the world’s parents. “One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say, ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face, so as to not humiliate them,’” he told the audience.

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New Analysis Shatters Narrative of Charter School Success

A 2010 protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

A 2010 protest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/cc)

Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:

Public schools are outperforming charter schools in Minnesota, in some cases “dramatically,” according to a new analysis by the state’s Star-Tribune newspaper.

In addition, many charter schools fail to adequately support minority students, close examination of the data revealed.

Journalist Kim McGuire looked at 128 of the state’s 157 charter schools and found “that the gulf between the academic success of its white and minority students widened at nearly two-thirds of those schools last year. Slightly more than half of charter schools students were proficient in reading, dramatically worse than traditional public schools, where 72 percent were proficient.”

Between 2011 and 2014, McGuire reported, 20 charter schools failed to meet the state’s expectations for academic growth each year, “signaling that some of Minnesota’s most vulnerable students had stagnated academically.”

Charlene Briner, the Minnesota Department of Education’s chief of staff, told the newspaper that she was troubled by the information, “which runs counter to ‘the public narrative’ that charter schools are generally superior to public schools.”

“Minnesota is the birthplace of the charter school movement and a handful of schools have received national acclaim for their accomplishments, particularly when it comes to making strong academic gains with low-income students of color,” the Star-Tribune claims.

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Thousands of US Children Eat Laundry Pods Yearly

Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Credit: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Yum?

via Live Science:

Thousands of young children in the United States have ingested laundry detergent pods in recent years, and now researchers are calling for safer packing of the colorful capsules, according to a new study.

From 2012 through 2013, U.S. poison control centers received more than 17,000 calls related tolaundry pods with children younger than age 6, the new study found.

About 80 percent of the calls (more than 13,000 cases) were for children who had ingested the pods. In other cases, some children had burst open the pods and exposed their eyes to the chemicals, while others inhaled detergent from the pods.

Most calls (two-thirds) involved children who were 1 or 2 years old, the study found. These are the ages at which children are becoming mobile and commonly place objects in their mouths, according to researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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