THIS PEOPLE NEVER ANGRY

15619803537592179922344463155949.jpgBriggs recollected in her landmark 1971 book “Never in Anger,” about how calm and collected everyone was jarcontrast that created against her own unruly emotions. Even when some truly rage-worthy things happened like a teapot falling and smashing against floor the Inuit never betrayed a hint of anger. An “Emotional control is highly valued among Eskimos,” she wrote in the book. Indeed, maintenance of emotions under trying circumstances is essential sign of maturity, of adulthood.” Why so calm, she wondered? And more importantly, how can the rest of us get there? For the answer, Briggs looked to how children responded in difficult circumstances appeared to be something they learned from their parents. An simple parenting technique of Inuit is “Never scold child.” It became clear to Briggs when a young boy threw rock at her, related in a CBC interview, she didn’t berate him angrily, rather told him calmly it hurt. Instead of rage she told him real consequences of his actions caused her pain. Decades later, the writer Michaeleen Doucleff followed in Briggs’ footsteps in visiting Iqaluit, Canada, “in search of parenting wisdom. Said that teaching children to control their emotions is very important she writes in NPR. Doucleff found that a common strand among Inuit parents is: Across the board all mothers mentioned One Golden Rule: Don’t shout or yell at small children.”20190701_130919.jpgAmong Inuit Arctic community Doucleff found the people practiced the theory that screaming at a child only teaches the child to scream. It is a vicious circle, the University of Pittsburgh researcher Ming-Te Wang noted in a 2013 study. “It is tough call for parents because it goes both ways: the problem behaviours of children create the desire to give harsh verbal discipline. That harsh discipline may push adolescents toward the same problem behaviours.” The Inuit society seems to have learned lessons long ago, and managed to break the cycle. And so  “Traditional Inuit parenting incredibly is nurturing, gentle, tender,” as Doucleff writes. “If you took all parenting styles around the world and ranked them by their gentleness, Inuit approach would likely rank near the top.” What kind of children does that society produce? The kind who live harmoniously in world’s harshest climates often with threadbare resources. Survival hinges on making the most efficient use of natural world yet group still manages to be at peace with itself and with others. Maybe that’s because it’s also the kind of society that teaches kindness above all else. Jesus said do not let the sun radiate or set on your anger. Let it go for peace of mind.

Inuit simple way of teaching children to control anger

Christian Cotroneo

CHRISTIAN COTRONEO

Article from March 26, 2019, 2:08 p.m

DO TOYS DISTRACT FOCUS?

Children become distracted when they are surrounded by toys Too many toys are bad for children as a study suggests that the children become distracted when they are surrounded by too many toys. This is what the parents have suspected all along. Children who have too many toys are more also easily distracted so do not enjoy that quality playtime with other children as the new study suggest. Researchers at University of Toledo in Ohio, US, recruited some 36 toddlers and invited them to play in a room for half an hour, with either four toys, or 16 toys. They found youngsters were far more creative when they had fewer toys to play with. And they played with each for twice as long, thinking up more uses for each toy and lengthening and expanding their games. The authors conclude parents, schools and nurseries should pack away most of their toys and just rotate a small number regularly, to help encourage the children to become more creative to improve the attention spans of the children. This study sought to determine if the number of toys in a toddlers’ environments influences their quality of play,” said the lead author Dr Carly Dauch in journalInfant Behaviour and Development.“The higher number of incidences of play in 16 toy condition did interfere with duration and depth of play. Other toys present created their external distractions. “During toddler years, children develop but not master, higher levels of control over attention. And their attention plus their play was disrupted by factors in an environment present with distractions. The results of the present study suggest an abundance of toys create distractions. But provided with fewer toys in their environments the toddlers engaged in longer periods of play with single toy allowing better focus to explore, play more creatively.”Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, say researchers Getting rid of toys encourages children to read more or paint, says researchers. Britons spend more than £3 billion each year on toys and surveys shows that a typical child owns 238 toys in total but parents think they play with just the 12 ‘favourites’ on a daily basis making up just five per cent of their toys. It is not the first time research suggested that too many toys distract children. In the 1990s the German researchers, Elke Schubert and Rainer Strick conducted experiment where the toys were taken away from Munich nursery for three months. After a few weeks, the children re-adjusted and their play became far more creative and social. The published research of their findings in their book, called, The Toy-free Nursery. In another book, ClutterFree with Kids the author, Joshua Becker also argued fewer toys are better for children because a sparse playroom encourages creativity to help children develop attention span and to teach youngsters about taking care of their possessions. “A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there countless options are still remaining on the shelf behind them,” he said. “When children have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. And they will not learn to value them if there is their replacement ready at hand. “Fewer toys causes these children to become more resourceful by solving problems with only materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited practical uses in their futures.

The research is published in the journal Infant Behaviour and Development. The conflict of interest of the toy companies advertising children playing with many latest toys makes parents feel obliged to buy them for the children not to feel left out. Children display their toys online on social media to compare with each other including the addictive games that stop children learning, doing homework assignments later in college, university or focus at work. Lack attention span or focus from childhood affects the adults today unable concentrate for few hours to complete tasks at hand. Christmas is around and parents must not let a child manipulate them emotionally to buy a toy without teaching them first value of essential basic reading at level. Children can get a few educational toy to reward them to do exceptionally well in a field of academic achievement at school. The development steared towards a specific direction of any future career requires relevant toys to influence natural gifts, talents and abilities. Otherwise parents unintentionally make children victim of success by their ability to buy too many toys they can afford. Just because it is possible to buy things seen on the TV in adverts does not mean it enhances their specific development. Parent knows the children best, whether they are trained experts or not must help child learn not to depend only on school to learn. Early learning through practical play is now rapidly eroded by virtual reality keep children cocooned online. So important to carefully reflect before Christmas on piling up toys to “prove” your “love” of your children to the world overloading them with too many toys. Experience shows most children are just so happy playing with the box, not expensive toys boosting their parents ego. Millennium children are suffering from the lack of a social understanding or interaction due to isolated attachment to toys valued as more precious than engaging with each other. Time consumed worrying about their toy possessions makes them miss out on appreciating fellow human being as adults due to learned behaviour. The competition among children, teenagers over toys leads further to threats of the perceived anger of friends loving them only for their material possessions. The toys must not take over to babysit their children without adult supervision and input. One of the best ways to bond with children is play with them sometimes to help them value the adults in their lives.

ASHAMED OF POOR PARENT?

Mother with empty piggy bank

“Wondered what it’s like to live in poor area,” the girl from a posh part of town whispered across classroom table. Even at a small comprehensive in Yorkshire, the divide between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ was clear. At 10 years that time we with two older brothers living in house with mum knew exactly what it was like but said nothing. That night after school burst into angry tears on the mum’s lap. Both parents from working class back grounds: one from family where seven siblings shared two beds; the other started out in one of Leeds’s roughest estates. They grew up wanting a better future, and gradually worked their way up together to become homeowners. At

five parents split up with siblings lived full-time with mum. Suddenly became very aware of money because we just didn’t have any. Our family home was sold to pay off debts. For my mum, the life she’d spent years piecing together, moving away from the estate she grew up on, crashed down around her and it all seemed to happen overnight. The first piece of furniture in council house living room was an old sofa bed that we all crammed ourselves on, given by a kind family friend. So with little money spent evenings by candlelight when the electricity meter ran out, borrow money to top up pre paid card next morning. If

it means poverty according to standard of the time were officially living below the poverty line as a child. By today’s measures, a couple with two children need to earn at least £18,900 (£363 a week) each to achieve the minimum income standard. Since I’m one of three and mum was on her own, this means if I was growing up now and my family was in the same situation, we would still be in poverty.Housing differencesWhen 13, mum started privately renting a house on more affluent side of town, in order to send us to a good secondary school an hour’s bus journey. Mum had a new job, which helped, but she was starting over again after several years of looking after us all at home and her wages barely covered our rent, bills and food for three young kids. Renting is unstable your landlord calls the shots – so lived with constant fear of losing our home if our landlord put the rent up or decided to sell up. It was difficult at my new school, I felt like I didn’t belong at first. I had one friend who had a similar background; she was the only person who I confided everything in. Everyone else received edited versions of my life – nobody knew my uniform was bought with tokens. I dreaded the obligatory McDonald’s pit stop when we went into town, because I just couldn’t afford it.

I remember feeling upset when one of my closest school friends said she was fed up of having to ask her mum to take us places and always inviting me round to their house. She wanted to know why my mum never gave us lifts anywhere and why she was hardly ever invited to mine after school. The truth was I was embarrassed. Despite living in the ‘nice’ side of town, never had enough petrol in car, and friendsallowed round on payday, when there was food in the fridge and enough electricity on the meter. How could I tell her the truth? I imagined my friend’s parents gossiping about my family “not pulling their weight” and looking down at us. The reality was my mum didn’t invite her own friends into the house because she couldn’t afford the extra food.Shabby school uniformFor a long time after leaving school, I continued to try to hide the truth about my background. I can dial my Yorkshire accent up or down depending on my audience. But, the fallout of being such a class chameleon is that I feel ashamed about not being proud of my roots. This follows me no matter where I go or what I do. And it seems I’m not alone in having grown up feeling like being from a poor background is something to be ashamed of. The number of children living in poverty is on the rise but conversely the number of kids claiming free school meals (excluding the universal infant free school meals) is in decline according to a government report. How does that work? Now, I’m ashamed to say that, despite being eligible, I never took free school meals and mum and I regularly rowed about it. I didn’t want to be shamed or, worse, pitied. I knew full well that it would have helped my mum out massively. Instead, she scrimped to put together a packed lunch or dish out the last 50 pence in her purse. Looking back, it makes me cringe. So may think I sound like an ungrateful brat who refused the help offered, just a kid who wanted to be like everyone else. As older, going to uni was something I never considered. At school, I felt like it was just assumed that most people would go but I was scared we couldn’t afford it. A teacher explained the grants and loans that were available and suddenly it seemed like a possibility. I liked studying – I dreamed of one day being a writer and my mum was really excited for me so I applied to study Journalism at Leeds Metropolitan University and got in.

I felt overwhelmed by the amount of money I could borrow from the Student Loan Company. I took loan of £24,000 to cover course and received a grant of just under £3,000 a year. Paying my loans back felt like a lifetime away, so it was easy to ignore the reality that I was getting into serious debt. It seemed like we were all on the same level in our student halls, regardless of where we’d come from. Every time holidays rolled around my new friends disappear back to their family homes or head down to London for exciting-sounding but did unpaid internships. By this point, my mum was renting a house that didn’t have a spare room. If I went back, I’d be on the sofa. I couldn’t afford to do an internship so instead I worked in the local branch of a shoe shop, selling trainers I could never afford, so I could keep paying rent on my student house.

After graduation, I got a lucky break. My shoe sales job led to a full-time role editing the company’s website at their head office in Edinburgh. I found a really cheap flat share and moved there. I was nervous about how I would pay my rent but I felt like I was, at least, making progress because I was getting away from my upbringing and all the stigma and shame that, in my mind, came with it. The sad truth, though, is that not everyone from a background like mine gets a break. A Prince’s Trust report from 2016 found 44% of young people from poorer backgrounds don’t know anyone who can help them find a job, compared to just 26% of their more advantaged peers. Anyway, if you do manage to go to uni and get a graduate job, your social class doesn’t change overnight. In fact, the advantages of other people’s privilege only become more apparent. I was so excited when I got my first job, but underlying that was a constant sense of unease that if something went wrong and I got fired or was made redundant I had no safety net. There was nothing to fall back on and that thought would often keep me awake at night.Bank of Mum and DadSoon after we graduated, some of my friends started buying their first flats, with help from their parents. Last year in the UK, for the lucky ones able to get on the property ladder two thirds (62%) of under-35s received help from family and friends to buy their first home. Around the same time that they were getting on the property ladder, I began earning a bigger salary than all my family members and even helped one of them to pay their rent. When my mates talked about raiding the fridge full of food when going home for Christmas, I quietly set aside money to pay for the supermarket shop and the repairs for my mum’s battered old car. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m privileged in some ways. I’m white, for a start and I know that gives me certain advantages. But, conversation to start somewhere and, with 51% of journalists being part of the 6.5% of the nation who receive private education, it’s important to listen to anyone who doesn’t fit in that statistic. You see, being poor isn’t just having no money it’s lacking a basic confidence in who you are and what you deserve. Considered self ‘lucky’ to land a graduate job rather than putting it down to having talent and working hard. When I went into my first work meeting and felt like I knew less than the guy with 10 unpaid internships under his belt. When I met a nice guy who invited me to meet his posh parents and I cancelled because I was worried about what they might think of me. These days, I make a living doing a job I love. I rent a small but cute flat share with two friends and I can even afford the odd trip to the seaside.

I make sure I always have a little pot of money to fall back on, because my only alternative is sleeping on my mum’s sofa if things slip. After years of skirting the issue, I’m finally talking openly about our situation with my mum. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to wipe tears away from daughter’s face after she’s told you how embarrassed she is of the life you’ve always worked so hard to make better for her. The real shame is neither of us will ever be able to gloss over. So do not let shame stop you to say  no to free school meals and starve or not invite friends over. Life is not made up material things according to Jesus it is your heart for loving others that counts most. 

 

Hollie Richardson

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This article was originally published on 2 October 2018.

BUILDING A BABY’S BRAINS

pastedImageTop 10 tips to building a baby’s brain as Blackpool Better Start believes, building a brain is a lot like building a house and so must have strong foundation. Strong foundation builds the stronger resilient communities to help parents, essential for healthy structure of child’s brain.”

1) Support

Get support to create a solid foundation by ensuring that parents and caregivers have the right information and support available to meet a baby’s needs. In UK, Blackpool and other parts of country, having parents attend their antenatal programme and being involved with your health visitor, midwife and other people are there to support you through your pregnancy is really important during that transition into parenthood.Reading_800x534

2) Positive nurturing interaction

Developing a brain is an interactive process. ‘Serve and return’ activities can help with this – that’s the “goo goo” and “gaa gaa”, when you respond to what your child is saying to you. It’s like a tennis match. Maybe your child gives you a tissue, you take is and say “thank you”. Embracing those ‘serve and return’ opportunities helps build those interactions.

3) Read, read, read

Research shows us how beneficial reading is to a child’s development. The evidence we have proves children who are read to, by parents or caregivers do better in school. The have higher self-esteem, develop better relationships with other children and are better behaved. We recommend reading 15 minutes a day to your child – that does make a difference to their development.

4) Talk to Babies Early

When adults interact and elaborate what the child is saying to them – like asking questions, sharing rhymes and songs – then children start to develop those cognitive skills and the tools they need to succeed. Even when the child is saying something that’s not particularly intelligible, start a conversation with your child and let them recognise that you will interact with them in that way.

5) Managing stresses

We know that some stress is considered to be good – like meeting a new person, that can be good for a child. It’s for children who grow up in chronically stressful environments, they might be subject to violence, abuse and neglect. Those children experience ‘toxic stress’ and we talk with families about what toxic stress looks like and the impact is has on that child. Caregivers should be aware of the environment a child is in, be able to comfort them when they’re upset and calm their emotions. Helping a child’s stress response system come back to normal levels is really, really important.Family_Singing

6) Be attuned, responsive

The relationship between the main caregiver allows the baby to grow physically, emotionally, intellectually. We know that babies and children need to feel safe, protected and nurtured by caregivers, to identify responds to the child’s needs. Unresponsiveness lead to difficulties socially, behaviourally and emotionally which may affect the child’s physical and emotional development.

7) Outdoors

Remember the importance of outdoor play by using open spaces, parks and other outdoor settings. Look for outdoor opportunities which are vital for brain development and we know that play is essential for a child’s learning and well-being. It can help the parents too. Being outside as a family, particularly if you live in a small house or don’t have much space, getting outside and doing some activity can make you feel better, is good for the child and it’s free!

8) Nutrition and diet

A poor diet can negatively affect a child’s brain development and nervous system. But for us, it’s supporting parents getting their child into solid food. We know breastfeeding is really good for nutrition, because the milk in a mum’s body changes everyday to give the child what they need. We also know that once you move on to solid food, it’s about looking at what kind and how you serve the food to a child. There needs to be a good range of foods that will address their nutrition and diet.

9) Mum & dad take care

Obviously a expectant mother needs to be taken care of during pregnancy, because that vital for the wellbeing of the baby, but that continues well after birth. Establishing regular routines for sleep helps with brain development and stress, as does physical activity. Being physically active for 60 – 90 minutes a day helps strengthen brain connection with motor skills, balance, vision and other abilities. It also helps combat stress for mum. We think mums who have good nutirion, who are acitive during pregnancy are able to have a healthier birth.4-ways-to-nurture-your-childrens-growing-brain-2

10) Communities

We talk about communities a lot, because it’s not just the parents that help grow the child, it’s the whole community and extended family. Studies have shown that children tend to do better from strong, supportive communities. Everything we do is based around gearing up communities and parents to do more for themselves, by giving the community members skills, making them more understanding about child development and what they can do to support that. Children centres, peer supporters and trained volunteers can offset poverty and other risk factors in early development.

ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?

Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I have been half expecting. With a slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’

Are you an only child and did you know why you became one literally? Perhaps it is a health or a financial circumstance beyond parent’s control or unfortunate situation of loss of parent making it not possible to have siblings. The parents of an only son have written a letter to him explaining their choice and decision to him alone. The letter stated that mother found out ‘last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked a question Daddy and was half expecting. With slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’ I kissed the top of your head, squeezed you closer and momentarily panicked about how on earth to answer. At four years and four months, you are clearly starting to notice many of friends at nursery talk of siblings or babies. And thankfully this time, you gave me a reprieve turning your attention straight to dinosaur story read to you.’ Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I half expected. With a slight ripple across your brow and blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister? But I know one day the ‘why’ will become more persistent. Daddy and I are far from alone in deciding to stop at one child. Apparently by 7years, half of all families in this country will only have one offspring. Not that it stops me from feeling occasional pang of guilt. I know there will be many positives to decision like our undivided attention for starters so you never know a prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives. How about sibling rough and tumble you’ll miss out on? A constant companionship for better or worse? I cannot pretend it hasn’t been a real dilemma. Yes, there have been moments when my resolve wobbled particularly as you get closer to starting school so baby no more. Who doesn’t get broody when they see a tiny newborn enfolded in a mother’s arms. But deep down, I know we’ve made the most responsible choice. I just hope, as you grow older, you agree. The truth is Daddy and I would loved another child but quite simply are too old. We liked the idea of two or maybe more, Daddy even hoped for twins! We imagined you all together and nobody ever short of a playmate, bundling you all into the bath after a day at the beach or the park. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years. Will you wonder what we were doing all that time? know many positives to our decision of undivided attention, helps you thrive. But I turned 44 last year, a day you and Daddy helped me devour the birthday cake I’d made. ‘That’s REALLY old!’ you exclaimed. In terms of having another baby, you were right. More women are have babies well into 40s and beyond but risks proven to be grater for mum and baby not least Down’s Syndrome or other birth defects. I wonder if we left it too late to start family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years so wondering what we were doing all this time? We met through mutual friends in our mid-20s, drawn together by similarities: we’re both driven, determined, sociable and aspire to wring the most from life. But like many of our generation, chose naively it turned out to let time slip by. Distracted by careers, Daddy as a chartered surveyor and board director, and me as a journalist, we saved like mad for our future, bought property, played hard and enjoyed exciting holidays all over the world. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. For 19 years prepared in advance for your arrival. Family and friends badgered us about settling down but we felt buying a home together was the greatest commitment. I know there will be many positives to our decision — all that undivided attention, for starters, and you’ll never know that prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives There were the more important things paying off a mortgage, for example than a wedding to spend money on. As for having a family, conscious of getting older, of course, honestly didn’t think leaving it to late 30s was a problem. After all, many friends in a similar situation. And in February 2011 of 12 years together, finally married at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire. By then we were financially secure, happy, had bought a spacious barn conversion and wanted nothing more than to have a little family. But three months after our wedding, early one cool, grey May morning, my own beautiful, adoring mummy your granny died. She’d had cancer for four agonising years, and in the end the doctors and nurses couldn’t do anything more to save her. If I had just one wish in life it was that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile traits you share with her. Losing her made me all the more desperate to become a mum. I wanted to love and nurture another little person the way she’d always loved my brother and me. I longed to watch her warmth, wisdom and trademark cheerfulness live on in her grandchild. Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months.Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months. I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway 

I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, after almost two years of trying to have a baby, doctors confirmed that the shock of losing Granny had caused my body to shut down. I was almost 40 by so we referred for IVF. That’s when something magical happened against all the odds. In late January 2013, I went to fertility clinic in outskirt of Nottingham for some initial scans before starting a treatment. After minutes, sonographer took off her glasses, wiped a tear from her eye and said: ‘You’re not going to believe this you are already pregnant!’ I was around five weeks, but there you were on the sonographer’s screen, a microscopic dot. I cried, and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy. We were elated you arrived in September that year by a planned Caesarean section. I adored you in an instant with your cute little face and love of a cuddle. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile 

But I admit I struggled emotionally for a long time. Within a space of under two and a half years went through the two significant events in a woman’s life losing my mum and having a baby of my own. Not having Granny around at that time was heart-wrenching. During the three days that you and I were in hospital, I longed for my mum to walk in, beaming and saying: ‘Aren’t you a clever girl? He’s absolutely gorgeous!’ When Gramps came alone to meet you for the first time, he hadn’t seemed more solitary since Granny’s death. In the months that followed, I’d take you for seven-mile walks in pram along the canal paths and country trails close to our home and tears would roll down my cheeks as I daydreamed about Mum walking by my side. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile  What I’d give to have just one photograph of her cuddled up cheek-to-cheek with you. Daddy was wonderfully sensitive and supportive. But at times I felt very alone, as many women do after having a baby. The impossible sadness was juxtaposed by the unrivalled joy you brought to Daddy and me.I know that watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking 

You make us laugh uncontrollably often every day with your funny little ways and your constant chatter and wonder at the world around us. I was 40 by the time I had you. You’re as affectionate and loving as you are boisterous and wilful, destined to be strong-willed given our own personalities! And even when you’re throwing a tantrum we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking. After all, there are so many couples who’d give anything to have just one child. And who’s to say it would have happened a second time, given how long it took us to have you? Plus, at what point do you draw a line under the disappointment of trying and failing? Besides, we’d found being a family of three suits all of us. I am still able to do a job I love while you’re at nursery three days a week. More importantly, Daddy and I are able to focus our attention on you rather than feeling torn between more than one child. Your energy knows no bounds and I have to run you like a dog every day to expend it. I’m not sure I could cope with another little one fizzing with such effervescence. You have always loved your sleep, too: And imagine if you had a sibling who wailed all night for months. That said, I can’t deny the occasional well of sadness: the ‘what ifs’ and fear you’ll miss out on the fun of having a sibling. If I had just one wish in life it would be that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile — traits you share with her Since I’ve always been so close to my own little brother your uncle Robbie, 42, who loves to tickle and dangle you upside down. Daddy and I have often looked wistfully at our friends with four kids: they’re never without a ready-made playmate. On the other hand, we know siblings who fought terribly as children and barely speak as adults. We know lots of gloriously happy, and well grounded, sociable, selfless children including your brilliant cousin, Saffron, who’s five years older than you. It was adorable watching you playing together on the beach and in the pool on a recent family holiday in Spain. How I chuckled listening to the two of you animatedly discussing favourite or not vegetables in back of car. Nobody ever questioned our decision although there are friends who still tell us: ‘Go on, have another!’ Some people assume things of an only child that they are spoilt because they don’t learn to share. Or they miss out on so much. But Daddy and I will ensure you never feel isolated or become spoilt. Bracing ourselves to hosting lots of play dates sleepovers. We’ll do everything to encourage you to continue to be sociable caring confident little boy you already are. What I’ve realised more than anything is there is actuala much shorter answer to your question. Quite simply, Daddy and I feel enormously fortunate to have one healthy, happy, hilarious little boy who fills our lives with magic every day. We have never been left wanting more.

 

EARLY ADOLESCENT KIDS

kids-circleAdolescence starts earlier in modern generations than previous ones lasting twice as long as it did in the 1950s. So children are hitting puberty earlier than ever before said Psychology professor Laurence Steinberg who explained why to BrainwavesAdolescence is a period of life between starting puberty and becoming stable, independent adults. This time is being extended because some children begin puberty earlier.Kids-Diverse-1

Adolescence is three times as long as it was in the 19th Century and it’s twice as long as in the 1950s.
Professor Laurence Steinberg

According to Professor Steinberg, in the western world adolescence runs from age 10 or to about age 25. Professor Steinberg attributed this phenomenon of lengthening of adolescence to several surprising factors as follows:youth-world-header-large

Obesity & Man-made Chemicals

The first and most important is obesity. The kids who are fatter go through puberty earlier than the leaner kids he said. Man-Made Chemicals. There are other factors as well. One has to do with the exposure of children to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the man-made environment. The chemicals are not just in food, they’re in cosmetics, they’re in plastics, they’re in pesticides they’re ubiquitous.” “When people are exposed to these endocrine disrupters it alters their hormonal development and many chemicals lead to earlier onset puberty mostly in girls.”hot

More SunLight exposure

The third factor that’s been discovered fairly recently has to do with exposure to sunlight.” It turns out that kids who grow up near the equator go through puberty earlier than kids who grow up near the north or south pole and that’s because, when you grow up near the equator, you have more exposure to sunlight over the course of childhood years.” While it may not be of too much concern to parents in northern Europe, recent research suggests a final factor which applies to many children here.

“Scientists discovered recently the light emanating from tablets or smartphones or computer screens can affect onset of puberty by disrupting brain’s melatonin system. Kids who spend more and more time in front of these screens especially in front of the blue light emitted by the devices probably contributed to earlier puberty as well. Light from the phones impacts brains of kids and adults.“World-Population-889x591.jpg

Adolescent Brainwaves

Brainwaves of the adolescent brain as Pennie Latin examines is relatively a young field of teenage neurology. It has revealed lack of frontal cortex ability to understand risk and consequences. And so although adolescent children may hit puberty earlier, they may not be able to handle the harsh realities of the trauma of war years, distress, rations, famine, lack of tough physical life forced upon previous generations. They worked in factories, chimney sweepers, railway as tracks as children making them more mature. They develop faster on growth spurt but face challenges of the modern generation.

DEPRESSED MUMS SINGING

Mum singing to babySinging speeds up’ recovery from post-natal depression. Singing helps mothers recover from post-natal or post partum depression more quickly study suggests. Researchers found women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. And previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression. The women were placed into three groups:Mother and baby music group
  • one took part in group singing
  • another took part in in creative play sessions
  • a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness

The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks, singing group already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. The Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. “Post-natal depression is debilitating for the mothers and their families. As research indicates some women think accessible singing with their baby helps speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she said. The lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London, said singing is another useful therapy to offer women. babies with musical instrumentsMany mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low,” she said. “These results are really exciting as suggests something as simple as referring mothers to this community activities could support their recovery.” Dr Trudi Seneviratne, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Faculty, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the growing evidence base for novel psychosocial interventions like singing to facilitate a more rapid recovery for women with post-natal depression. “I look forward to more work in this area in the future, as it will be enjoyed by both mothers and their babies.”Since the study, Breathe Arts Health Research has started running singing workshops in partnership with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for women with post-natal depression across the south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Community and socialising helps overcome isolation and loneliness of new mothers. The feel good factor of singing with the babies is definitely a win- win situation lifting the mood and going out of the home helps to lift their spirit too. Isolated mothers can organise own singing sessions with friends in communities and their babies benefit too from a calm, happy, relaxed mother. If child raising is recognised or considered as a valid hardwork and to celebrate mothers and carers the world will become a better and safer place. So families must be prioritised and to help mother’s like Finland pays both parents to raise their children. Depression is caused by loneliness, pressure, stress of modern living without extended family support and children become depressed too. So it is good news to help mother’s and also to improve motherhood as an honourable collaboration with God’s idea to multiply to replenish the earth.