Had something really interesting happen in our own home a few years ago that I thought would be really helpful to other parents who deal with behavior and information processing problems with their kids. My disclaimer here is that it is not hard science-just an interesting connection I noticed, and if it can be helpful to other parents, I am happy.
I consider our kids to have behavior and processing levels commensurate with their age levels and they are very good kids. The 2 older ones had much better progression with their processing skills then the 3rd and like all parents we try to provide help. We just thought it was a difference in the kids and never thought anything different.
One night, I went into the kid’s room (they all like to share) after they had fallen asleep, and I noticed that even with the blinds shut completely tight, the street light was shining through the openings and creating a lot of light on the walls. Although I had seen it before, I had not really noticed how bright it made the room and how it aimed right at our youngest's bed. Since I had just read about the benefits of totally dark sleep and the negative effects of sleeping with light in the room ( I am an avid reader of things that can effect behavior and processing in kids), I thought this might be important, so I decided to try an experiment that had some interesting results.
With or without the light in the room, our 3rd child’s sleep was definitely not the same as the first 2 as they were so close in age, that they got lots of sleep. Having a 3 year separation between the 2nd and 3rd made for a more difficult sleep set up for the 3rd since of course the first 2 would want less sleep and the 3rd was all too glad to help that cause. We would enforce 10 hours a night according to lots of sources I had read, and it was successful most of the time, but not always easy to attain.
Anyway, we went out and bought a simple, dark brown, thick curtain to go over the blinds, and put it up to block out all of the street light. Within just a few days, the changes floored me. Our 3rd who seemed overwhelmed a lot of the time, and more apt to have tantrums and shut down faster, as well as having some communication issues, was all of a sudden more patient, communicating better and not as fast to tantrums. Much more smiles! As the days went further, we saw more changes. He seemed to mature 2 years in a couple weeks. We hadn't changed anything else.
We were thrilled with this and it made me think about all the parents I had talked to in my practice about these very issues for years. I’m not trying to trivialize behavior or processing problems and certainly it isn’t always just this simple. It’s also not the same for every child, however, having been as interested in helping parents and kids with the effects of sleep, diet, and exercise on behavior/processing as I have been for years, this excited me and I wanted to share my experience with other parents.
My reading supports this change:
According to Dr. Vincent Ianelli, M.D. from About.com Pediatrics: "Experts are recognizing that not getting enough sleep can have significant effects on children. In addition to appearing sleepy, they may have a short attention span, be hyperactive, or irritable. People should sleep in the dark or in a dimly lit room. The reason is that melatonin, a natural hormone that our body produces and which helps stimulate our going to sleep, can be inhibited by light."
If the behavioral part doesn’t worry you enough, chronic exposure to light can cause health consequences too. Researcher Joshua Gooley, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston supports that concept. "Given that chronic light suppression of melatonin has been hypothesized to increase relative risk for some types of cancer and that melatonin receptor genes have been linked to type 2 diabetes, our findings could have important health implications." Gooley says.
It may seem, like a "no brainer" to provide enough sleep for your kids, like we were trying to do, but when there is light in the room either accidentally or a bright night light, it seems it can contribute to some troublesome things.
Many parents ask me about the child who is afraid to go to sleep in the dark? My suggestion would be what we used to do when it came to night lights. We would have them on until everyone was asleep and then turn them off. It was painless.
I would love to hear your comments and stories of change below if something like this works for you ...
This Nature Valley Ad hits you between the eyes about kid's addiction to technology and what they are missing
THE VIDEO BELOW WILL HIT YOU HARD...
As a mom who is very good about making sure our kids spend most days out in the world and moving around, this video brought tears to my eyes. I wonder what the future will be like for people who communicate better with machines then with other people. For those who would choose a screen with pixels over the colors and grandeur of the outside world.
I don't know if it is applicable, but I have seen many behavior changes in kids, that seem related to this addiction to technology. We were eating out and it was a place where kids could run, which was fine. We noticed that lots of the kids seemed to have a problem knowing where they were in relation to others. One of the girls who was definitely old enough to know better was playing ball almost sitting in my daughter's lap as she sat and ate her pizza, almost as if the girl didn't realize my daughter was there. Like she was still in a video world and no one around her was real or would respond. I believe there is something related to the cyber world about this. A world where characters don't respond in a human way.
I remember watching the first editions of the Wii games coming out and in particular, the Disney Pixar "Cars" game where the cars would crash and just bounce and there was no damage to the car or anyone else. I remember thinking about how dangerous it was to have kids repetitively playing a game where you could run over people and things and you had no damage. I brushed it off after thinking it until I heard my 8 year old tell me , while we were sitting at a stop light, about how I should just go through the cars. We had a really good talk after that statement when my worst fears about that game world were confirmed and our kids don't spend that much time on their screens, but that programming still got through.
We had the video games in the 70's and 80's when I was a kid, but the car crash showed damage and your car was destroyed along with one of your turns. You did not get to roll over others or crash into them on purpose. At least I don't remember that. I think this lack of reality they live in in the screen world, and lack of consequences in that world is dangerous and very destructive.
What about communication. Kids have gone from the playground and riding bikes and running around to playing Minecraft as on screen presences and talking to each other without looking at each other's faces. Again, this is not how humans are supposed to communicate. Is it awesome that we have that tech to be able to do this? Sure it is, but if it becomes the only way someone communicates or the most prevalent way, we are no longer social beings, but rather just become pixels on a screen as well.
Don't even start me talking about the point of view shooter games. I think there is a big reason why there has been such an increase in violent kinds of behavior especially among kids. It is not about guns. It is about constant point of view training of how to shoot as many people at once in these games as possible, without any consequence or damage again. The element of human reaction and emotion is taken out and replaced with points and laughter. Not cool! These games remind me more of simulators for how to kill. I wrote an article called "Innocent Games or Murder Simulators" many years ago and since that time, the games have become more vivid and the violent acts have increased as well.
I completely value the boon that computers have been to all of us. The ability to research something without getting up to have to go search microfiche is awesome, especially for a visual migraine sufferer who would get dizzy and sick for the rest of the night after scrolling on those awful machines. That said, people are not built for living in a virtual world. We have been provided with a beautiful, real world around us, with so much to see and do. This video shows the stark differences in what is happening to our humanness and our connection with that world around us and while I know that in many places it is too cold to touch nature right now , it is so important to balance things for kids so they have more than just a cyber world to live in.
Next week...Find out why quitting activities is not ever a bad thing for kids...
Happy New Year to all! Hope your Holidays were great. To start 2016 I wanted to put some things in perspective. I heard a song recently that made me cry. I was waiting in the car for my husband to come out of a store and this song by Billy Dean came on the radio. Yes it is older, but I listened to it and looked at my kids and I was overwhelmed with feelings. This song is a country song and whether you like Country music or not, I think the message of this song is universal or should be universal.
Too often, we get lost in the rat race and push our kids too hard too fast. Too many activities. Worrying too much about their activity level and whether they have attention problems. Wanting them to be smarter or faster or better than the next kid. Putting them in school too soon. Getting mad at them too often. Sending them back to bed too soon after a nightmare because they need to learn to be tough.
We all want the best for our kids, but sometimes (me included), we don’t look at the big picture. This song really helps put in perspective the big picture. I am going to print Billy Dean’s wonderful lyrics here and encourage everybody and anybody who has kids to get this song and listen to it at least every once in a while if not daily.
"I can remember when you fit in the palm of my hand
Felt so good in it, no bigger than a minute
How it amazes me, you're changing with every blink
Faster than a flower blooms they grow up all too soon
So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little
I've never felt so much in one little tender touch
I live for those kisses, prayers and your wishes
Now that you're teaching me things only a child can see
Every night while we're on our knees all I ask is please
Let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little
So innocent, a precious soul, you turn around
It's time to let them go
So let them be little 'cause they're only that way for a while
Give them hope, give them praise, give them love every day
Let them cry, let them giggle, let them sleep in the middle
Oh just let them be little
Let them be little"
In 2016 resolve to love them, nurture them, let them play, put the work aside for them and you and spend some time just being and having fun, take care of them and put them on the right path to knowing how to balance their own lives!
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These days it seems that everyone is either on a medication or recommending one. NOT ME. I may be in the minority, but I beleive that most problems we face these days are ones of lifestyle that can be reversed through lifestyle choices as well. I especialy get upset when I see young kids being labeled and medicated for behavioral or attention related issues, even at super young ages.
Let's cut to the chase. Meds are cheaper and faster especially in the insurance world. If meds stop the problem immediately, that person doesn't need sessions to work it out. Finding out what the core habit is that supports the symptoms and working it out is rare these days. It takes time to change habits that people get stuck in and sometimes those habits feel safer or people are used to them and don't want to stop doing them so meds feel easier, especially with the promises made on the non stop commercials we see every 2 minutes on tv. Of course, if you listen carefully to the list of side effects, once you stop laughing or crying, as the case may, be from listening to the quivering pile of bleeding jello you can become from their list, you realize the symptoms you are trying to get rid of, are part of that list of side effects, but it is at the end of the list and who can keep up with the fast talking to find that out?
The sad part is that the lifestyle changes I speak of are mostly easy and not as big as people think. Actually the problems I have seen people go through switching meds and dosages have been much more stress and more difficult then making the right lifestyle choices to get the symptoms to stop.
After meeting with literally 100's of families over 30 years of practicing, sleep deprivation/ interruption, food choices and 1 other thing that I will get to shortly are 3 of the top problems in my mind, that cause the very attention, behavioral and anxiety problems parents see and want to help their kids with so intensely. But the super interesting part is that these parents see the problem as some biological issue causing the interruption in sleep rather than the lack of sleep causing the symptoms. Too many people do not know about how to make a child and a room conducive to good sleep and therefore have no other choice but to think that it is biological when it might not be. Did you further realize...
...that food choices and especially at school can cause the symptoms and also the sleep problems. Have you seen the choices for school breakfasts and lunches? I have. There is no doubt in my mind why kids are easily labeled as having attention or anxiety problems when maybe they don't. More later on this...
Here is that 3rd mystery thing I mentioned earlier...Are most kids allowed to exercise and move around like they are supposed to...BUILT FOR... or are they kept in a fluorescent box all day long made to sit still and quiet, and in structured after school activities with the same fluorescent lighting. Lighting that, by the way, can cause attention and behavior problems by itself?
Many say these meds r safe with no dangers. Ok so if that's the case, then why do the names of the meds constantly change and why do you see lawsuit commercials on a daily basis? Do we know for sure that a child's brain goes back to normal chemistry if you try a drug and then go off of it or is there some alteration that stays? Many parents I have met and worked with feel that is enough to steer clear of anyone who recommends meds. All the violent mass acts being committed these days mostly by young people and mostly by young people on lots of meds. Do we know for sure that this is not a causative factor or at least part of it? All questions that parents have brought up to me when they have left the therapist they were with who recommended medication, or worse, refused to work with a child without that child on meds, and those parents wanted no part of it. and came to me, someone who does not do that and instead focuses hard on all the lifestyle things that could be changed to get symptom reduction.
The truth is there are 2 kinds of parents out there and I don't judge either kind, but truly think that one needs to know more about what ELSE is happening. The first parent is one who trusts in meds and wants a super fast and cheaper alternative to taking the time to change the lifestyle habits and the second parent is the one who wants to do it through lifestyle changes. I happen to be about the 2nd option and always have been. Some parents would get angry at me for saying this and would tell me that I don't understand the lifetime of stress the child has created for them and how it is the last option they have and they have to use it.
To them I would say, that as a mom of 3 with one of mine being on the spectrum and also having an everyday education into researching lifestyle habits and how they effect these kinds of symptoms, I DO know and I have helped many people to change that perspective too. Maybe they have just not looked at an option that educates them on how to change the lifestyle the right way for results.
For example, did you know that most kids are not sleeping long enough hours and that some of the food they eat can keep them awake at night or not in deep sleep which by itself can create really nasty symptoms? Just that for 1 night can create horrible symptoms that would send any parent running for the hills. Did you also know that if you feed a child the wrong kinds of foods in the morning for breakfast, let's say for school breakfast, that this child can have a severe blood sugar drop afterwards that can look a heck of a lot like an attention problem? Adults get the drop too when they eat cake for breakfast. Whoops did I say cake? I meant, a waffle or pancakes. Same thing ya know! The difference between the adult and the kid is that the adult is not strapped into a chair in school, forbidden to move and being watched and scrutinized for any hint of biological disorder to pop on meds. Unfortunately these days the adults are doing it to themselves.
I'm not railing against all meds and I am certainly not advocating or recommending to take or not take meds. I am also not suggesting that those with a verified biological condition stop taking them. People on heart or diabetes meds need them to survive. That's different. I just think that for kids, behavioral, anxiety or attention based issues, medication should not be the first thought, the first action or the rush to judgement before doing a thorough examination of all lifestyle habits to see what can be changed, especially just bc it is the shorter term or cheaper option.
See what lifestyle changes you can make for your child...
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by MARCO TORRES
As a child who grew up in the seventies, I’m flabbergasted at the degree of generational differences in health, medicine, food, safety, and general well-being of children. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and all the advancements we’ve made in several areas, but at the same time when you break it down to the simplest ways of managing human lives, we’ve taken one step forward and three steps back. The level of fear we currently exhibit as parents and as a society towards children is at an unprecedented level. When comparing the two time periods, an element of certainty exists where we have now immersed our most precious assets into an toxic, overly hygienic, medicalized, obsessive compulsive, paranoid, anxious and at the very least, a “cowardice culture” where children are being trained and almost indoctrinated into a world where “the norm” is to fear everything and everyone.
1. OUR ENTERTAINMENT WAS EACH OTHER
We had no internet, cell phones, computers or video games. Not only were our lives free of close proximity electronic devices and their constant electromagnetic radiation, but this allowed us to entertain ourselves through peer interaction and physical activity. You’re talking about a dramatic decrease in the level of physical activity from just 40-50 years ago and it’s manifesting itself in obesity, insulin resistance, and precursors to diabetes in children as young as ten years old. We didn’t have these distractions taking us away from each other’s presence, which allowed us to interact, manage and entertain our emotional states with friends. Texting, instagraming and facebooking has turned our children into a generation of mindless drones who can only interact when they’re behind a keyboard, earpiece, speaker or headset–anything else is just too scary.
2. PLAYING OUTSIDE WAS NORMAL, NOT PROHIBITED
Most people who pass by a park today and see 10-year old children playing alone, think “why” as fear strikes a chord. Why are they without their parents? Why are they playing alone without supervision? This was normal and just a way of life in the 70s. We stayed outside until the lights turned off in the summer or heard our parents screaming to come inside. Nobody called the police because a group of kids were playing alone on their street or in the park. When parents had people over, we were expected to go outdoors. We didn’t live in nanny state where unsupervised children were seen as having negligent parents. We should all be ashamed of creating a society where children are prohibited from playing outside with their friends after 6pm or chastising parents for allowing them to. And yes, we had child murderers, molesters, kidnappers back then too. We just didn’t freak out about the “what ifs” at the expense of our children’s freedom and expression of
who they are. Now we have them cooped up in front of iPods, iPads, playstation, xbox and any other device that can lock their attention to a screen as long as they’re at home and our perception of security is at ease. Some people call that technological progress, but it’s nothing more than a safety net to ease our conscience and societal expectations gone adrift.
3. CHILDREN WERE NOT LABELED AS ADHD, ADD, OR HYPERACTIVE. THEY WERE JUST KIDS BEING KIDS
Children today are being medicated at alarming rates for what appears to be normal childhood behavior. Yes, there are some children with legitimate behavioral issues but they are an extreme minority and none of these issues are solved by medication. The big problem is that we’re diagnosing and labeling common temper outbursts and other disruptive behavior in millions of children as attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you took a subset of 3-year old children from 1970 and transported them to our current timeline, you would see that not much has changed , however the way we deal with them has. We are putting kids on long-term stimulants as if it was candy. A nationwide CDC survey found that 11 percent of
children ages 4 to 17 have received a diagnosis of ADHD, and about one in five boys. A vast majority are put on medications such as methylphenidate (commonly known as Ritalin) or amphetamines like Adderall which cause growth suppression, insomnia and hallucinations. About half a trillion US dollars is being wasted on unnecessary medication of young children for ADHD, of which almost 100 million is funded by Medicaid. The youngest kindergarten kids are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the oldest in the same grade, and also, by the time those groups reached the fifth and eighth grades, the youngest are more than twice as likely to be on prescription stimulants. We’ve taken all “hard to control” kids and lumped them into a couple of
diagnostic categories of what we perceive as mental illness. That’s ridiculous. Let’s stop targeting children and start being present with them with new activities, adventure, and change. They need balance with activities that are calming, relaxing, and nurturing. Only then will these children respond to a support system that cares about their development rather than a pill to suppress the symptoms.
4. TOTAL ACCESSIBILITY TO CHILDREN WAS NOT A NEED AND NEITHER WAS THE INCESSANT NATURE OF CONSTANTLY HOVERING OVER THEIR SAFETY
If you took a survey of how many 10-year olds today have cell phones, the results would probably shock most people. More than 60 percent of kids between 11 and 14 own a cell phone. The rise in cell phone use by children mostly stems, at least in part, from the incessant nature of wanting to constantly connect with our children. We want to know where they are at all times. This wasn’t a problem in the 70s because there were no cell phones. But cell phones are not really the source of the problem. The problem is the parents who operate those cell phones. Helicopter parents in the 70s were a Mom a Dad who had a license to fly a helicopter. Today they are parents who are so attached to their kids that it’s almost impossible to focus on anything else; daily activities, constant
conversations and every ounce of effort is reserved for the children. They fall for all the “gimmie” traps. They feel obligated to provide all the cutest clothes and latest gadgets and they’re terrified of their child making a mistake. They don’t want their children to know what it feels like to reap the consequences of their actions or deal with conflict. They criticize teachers for all the shortcomings within their children’s education. They’re germaphobes and don’t want their children exposed to anything, even the simplest of colds. They harbor a huge amount of guilt and are so overprotective and over-prepared that you can spot their kids a mile away with an overstuffed backpack, knee
and elbow pads, a four-course meal along with a miserable expression. These types of parents did not exist forty years ago because our parents gave us more freedom in our decision making processes. They didn’t feel they had to cater to our every whim to please us. They knew we loved them regardless of the gift giving or brand named purchases. They let us make our own mistakes no matter how painful it was for them. They allowed us to accept responsibility for our actions and deal with the consequences. Most of all, they were more present for us, playing less of an enabler role and more of a supportive role. 1970s parents could school many of today’s helicopter parents in ways that would radically transform the way they think of themselves and their children.
5. IT WAS OK TO GET HURT AND WE DIDN’T CALL EVERY PERSON THAT HURT US A BULLY
Not only was it ok, but it was expected. Kids get hurt, both physically and emotionally. Get over it. They’re kids. We got bumps, bruises, cuts and were roughed up on a regular basis. Our feelings were hurt and we somehow had the support systems in place to overcome this adversity. We didn’t have the need for a closed room meeting with a child, their parents and teacher and possibly litigate because a child was pushed or shoved. We didn’t make a big deal about avoiding bullies…we dealt with them We just worked things out. We think we have a nation of responsible, justice-minded adults when all we are is a bunch of whiners. Anti-bullying programs and campaigns don’t work! You will never address a problem by addressing its symptom. We live in a world run by short-sighted, trigger happy, control-obsessed, illogical people who don’t understand a thing about human wisdom. Would you like to empower children with the wisdom to be responsible for their
own actions based on solid moral principles and empathy, or would you prefer teaching all kids to fit into a behavioral template and abide by certain rules to create a completely safe utopian environment in which everyone is always nice to each other by default, without moral responsibility and the wisdom to know the difference? You can’t have both.
6. THE SUN WAS OUR FRIEND AND WE WEREN’T TERRIFIED OF BEING EXPOSED WITHOUT LATHERING SUNBLOCK
This is perhaps one of the biggest misinformation components of primary school curriculums that needs reform immediately. We were never taught that sun was the enemy. What a coincidence that the more studies that surfaced on the benefits of Vitamin D from sunlight, the more it was demonized in school curriculums. The risk of the sun’s rays had nothing to do with the myth about a dangerous ozone. When traveling from either pole to the equator, UV exposure increases up to 5000% whereas ozone depletion only increases UV exposure by 20%. If UVB exposure and ozone depletion were the cause of skin cancer, those populations living closest to the equator would be diagnosed with malignant melanoma at a phenomenal frequency. The opposite is true. We spent hours out in the sun all day every day. We had less incidence of skin cancer everywhere. Millions of children are slowly relearning the sunlight is not our enemy. In fact, using sunscreen leads to mental health disorders and critical illness. It’s time to set the facts on sunlight exposure straight
in schools and once and for all teach kids the growing body of evidence which shows that blocking the sun’s rays from reaching our skin dramatically influences our optimal vitamin D levels, leading to higher mortality, critical illness, mental health disorders and ironically, cancer itself.
7. THERE WERE NO CONSTANT PROMOTIONS FOR DRUGS AND VACCINES FOR EVERY HUMAN SYMPTOM THAT EXISTED
In the 70s we still had significant trust within the medical and pharmaceutical industry. That’s probably because we didn’t have a drug or vaccine being shoved down our throats for every human symptom. In the early 70s there were about a dozen vaccines administered to children for seven different diseases in the United States. By 2013, if you followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) endorsed annual childhood vaccine schedule, your child would have received over 36 vaccines by the time they were 6 years of age! That’s 36 vaccines filled with detergents, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, immunotoxic, and infertility agents at a time when a child’s immune system is at its most critical point in development. We trusted vaccination because we weren’t fully aware the false statistics that were produced by pharmaceutical industries and we certainly were not aware of the lies and questionable contribution of medical measures relating to mortality
that we know of today. To those who inform themselves through diverse research interests,
there is only one conclusion that drugs and vaccines are currently more risky than beneficial to human health. No longer is there a unified trust of the medical system among the population. We now know that most scientific studies on drugs and vaccination is not true science but industry funded propaganda. When we examine how medical science will cut, poison and burn via surgery, chemotherapy and using CT scans and radiation to diagnose and treat cancer, or if investigate how the use of psyche drugs to manage symptoms are usually at the cost of interfering with other precious physiological functions in young bodies, or any of the other myths medical doctors have been parroting for the last several decades, it’s a no brainer that children must be further educated on the downfalls of a system which is designed to keep us sick rather than healthy.
8. WE PLAYED IN DIRT AND WIPED OUR HANDS AND FACES WITH SOAP AND WATER, NOT ANTIBACTERIAL NONSENSE
What ever happened to soap and water? Who was the genius that started convincing parents
to keep their children out of the mud and dirt and keep them saturated in chemical concoctions to remove bacteria? Antibacterial soaps didn’t exist in the 70s and the incidence of allergies was quite infrequent among children. Today we know that parents who adopt and overly hygienic lifestyle for their children are at an increased risk of developing asthma, allergies and eczema. When babies’ exposure to germs is so limited, their immune systems are deprived of the opportunity to learn how to fend off pathogens properly. Consequently their immune systems become so sensitive that the babies develop allergies. Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have at least partially admitted that anti-bacterial soaps may pose a threat to human health. The widespread use
of these products containing the antibacterial agent triclosan are promoting growth of dangerous superbugs that didn’t exist several decades ago.
9. CHEMICAL TOXICITY IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS WAS STILL LOW COMPARED TO TODAY
BPA, fluoride, parabens, phthalates, PFOA, fiberglass, oxybenzone, BHA and dozens of other chemicals makes up a very long laundry list of environmental toxins which didn’t affect every households in the 70s as they do today. Combine this with geoengineering initiatives polluting the entire atmosphere with toxins, and you have a toxic planet from soil to sky. Developing children are at even greater risk than adults for harm from the above chemicals. A child in the 1970s was far less poisoned overall than children are today. Current generations are exposed to toxic effects which are far reaching affecting almost every body system, so it is imperative that they learn how we must change our planet into one that is environmentally friendly with consumer products that benefit the planet and all its organisms rather than destroy it.
10. THERE WAS NO GLUTEN-FREE, SUGAR-FREE, FAT-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, GMO-FREE, ETC.
The 70s and 80s became the downfall of modern agriculture in terms of toxicity. We saw the introduction of the world’s greatest selling and most toxic herbicide glyphosate, which entered the marketplace in 1974. The herbicide quickly established itself as a mainstream product for widespread agricultural and consumer use. Monsanto quickly began manipulating plant genomes to develop genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) that not only tolerated glyphosate-based pesticides, but required their use. Up until the mid 70s we still had an amazing diversity of organic farms with very minimal pesticide use. The nutrient content of foods was still very high compared to today. With the advances in modern food technology came extended shelf life which added a tremendous diversity of emulsifiers, preservatives, artificial sweeteners to replace full-fat in dairy products, which led to low-fat and sugar-free products being introduced thereafter at the expense
of our health. Only then was there an influx of dozens of harmful ingredients that were incorporated into many foods. It was also at this point when wheat, the world’s most
popular grain became the deadliest for the human metabolism. At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from it’s prehistorical genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes. The concept of gluten being a very dangerous protein was then investigated and hence today, many foods are gluten-free. Dairy-free is another term that was absent from food labels. As milk became more harmful to human health through the introduction of more antibiotics,
growth hormones and pasteurization, more people became increasingly ill in the 80's and
onwards as factory milk farms created a liquid devoid of practically all nutrition. Besides the popularity of veganism today, more people are choosing dairy-free products due to what is now the inherent toxic nature of all processed cow milk.
I have fond memories of the 1970's and I’m sure people who grew up before this time also enjoyed even greater health and abundance. We must realize that with every passing decade comes a cycle of change. We can never go back to who we were and our focus should be on making our future better for ourselves and our children. We can continue on this cycle of fear and raise a generation of timid and paranoid children, or we can empower them to become all that they can be, accepting consequences and responsibility of becoming mature, benevolent, conscious and loving beings. When love is in the equation, fear usually takes a back seat. At that point, anything is possible.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.
Dr. Sherri's two cents...
As a professional who tries to provide all natural solutions to bring back and improve lost or damaged processing skills for the kids and adults I work with, I found this article to be very interesting and spot on with 2 exceptions.
First, regarding the disdain for "Helicopter Parents", I believe that there are real and present dangers that exist in our world now, that were either at a much lower risk or non existent in the 70's. Many parents are feeling that risk tremendously now and have a natural instinct to protect their kids. I see nothing wrong with that and feel that those who live like it is the 70's without that instinct are actually off and providing the criminals with children to use.
Second, regarding the same issue, while I do agree that kids do not need every gadget and new tech thing that has come on the market and while I also agree that parents need to have balanced focus on their kids and other things in their lives, many parents enjoy their time with their kids a lot and that relationship goes a long way towards healthy, good self esteem and kids who are happier about themselves. I tend to find that the kids who spend little time with parents and most time with other kids, tend to define themselves by their peer group and that can be a dangerous thing as well. Kids can then start to do activities that the other kids deem appropriate and I think in this world we are seeing the results of that and not in a good way. Of course, this depends on the way the parents respond as well.
I will even go as far as saying that I believe that most of the problems that we face as a society today goes back to lives that are not being lived the way we were built to live them. We currently live in a society of electronics, fluorescent lit rooms, tightly boxed education, faux food and very little movement. Early man was not any of these things. He was a hunter gatherer. A farmer. A grower and hunter of real untainted, non chemical food. He worked physically all day outdoors. Asking children to live within these constraints with little to no movement, fresh air, real food or sunlight in exchange for 6-8 hour days sitting on electronics and under artificial light, is the only answer there is to why there is so much illness and so many diagnoses these days. It is not logical to think anything else. We need to get back to a more natural life and many parents are doing that very thing now. I say good for them. What do you think?
Link to original article here
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If This Video Doesn’t Convince You To Put Down Your Phone, Nothing Probably Will…
We have become more connected then ever before with all of the great new technology, but does it sometimes make us LESS connected...
For those who are across the country from loves ones, being able to connect with those who are not living right where you are, I still think these technologies are very good. Without Skype, Facebook and other social media, sharing experiences with those far away would be very difficult. But it does make me so sad when I see families out together and everyone has their screen and no one is talking to each other. I see it often.
Our family has a rule of no screen time when we are out together. In the car on the way is fine, but once we are out walking or eating or whatever we are doing, the screens are stowed safely away and we interact as people without abbreviations. We have gone so far as to only have a cheap phone that we add minutes to by the month for only emergency calls. No texting, no internet, no checking email or Facebook. Only when we are back home and only during certain times.
I do remember all too well when long distance calls were a huge expense so in that sense, staying connected with those far away and not going broke is an amazing thing. I remember a $900 monthly phone bill in College from me making calls to my boyfriend at a different University and I am glad to be away from that expense.
So if it is used in limited amounts and it isn't your whole life, and you know how to put it down when you are out with people, and most importantly, you realize what is what is right in front of you is what is most important right now, I think there can be a good mix.
We have all heard, "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." What happens when you don't succeed, though? Do you really try again? Or do you give up?
A new study by French researchers found that children who were told learning can be difficult, and that failing is a natural part of the learning process, actually performed better on tests than kids not given such reassurances.
As a Psychologist who works with success and the benefits of failure every day, I believe there is no better way to take the punch out of failure and keep a kid going on work than to train them to fail with grace.
In the study, they focused on a widespread cultural belief that equates academic success with a high level of competence and failure with intellectual inferiority.
We place so much emphasis on being first or being the best and the fastest. The truth is that most of the kids I have met throughout the years didn't have academic problems and didn't have intelligence problems, although they presented as though they did, and their school reports said as much. Their main problem was that they did not know how to keep going once they did something wrong, so they would give it up, become frustrated and then try to do anything and everything else but the work. At the end of the day, they would miss out on material because of that avoidance. Work avoidance, lost homework, hidden homework. All of these are common problems, but the underlying issue is not always about academics.
Most parents bring their kids in for help because they either refuse to work or seem to have a learning problem. After years of watching what fear of failure does to kids, I believe that practicing the process of how to fail with grace, taking the emotion out of it and getting right back to the work is the key to doing well. If frustration has the ability to take a child away from work and make him never want to go back, then it is my job to help him learn how to tolerate the frustration and move on. Teaching them to get back in the "game" after failing or making a mistake is an important psychological part of helping them succeed. Over time, doing that takes the emotional punch out of failing and helps kids learn that it is a natural part of learning. Without it, they don't stay with the process of learning. It's not something to run away from but something to be embraced and taken on. Once they learn how to just go back and try again automatically, they can begin to do that on everything they take on because it can become habit.
While working with the academics, one must also make sure to pay attention to the psychological patterns and expectations or you could see no movement at all.
"By being obsessed with success, students are afraid to fail, so they are reluctant to take difficult steps to master new material" says Frederique Autin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Poitiers and the author of the study published in the American Psychological Association. "Instead, acknowledging that difficulty is an important part of growing intellectually and mastering new skills, could stop a vicious circle in which difficulty creates feelings of incompetence that in turn disrupts learning," Autin added. An understanding that all things will not be an immediate success and that learning will take time and involve some mistakes, can help to keep a child's expectations at a realistic place and keep them working after setbacks.
Failure can be motivating. Keep in mind that some of the most famous, wealthy, successful people we have known have all failed at one time in their lives, including: Henry Ford, R.H. Macy, F.W. Woolworth, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Harrison Ford, Jerry Seinfeld and Albert Einstein. Walt Disney was actually told that "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas" by a newspaper editor. How's that for a perspective changer? Just imagine if these people had stopped trying! The failure was a gift -- shaping them into what they were really supposed to be doing.
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The kids are going to love it. It is something that all of us have wanted and asked for throughout our time in school. No homework! Have the Gods of forgiveness shined down upon the kids to finally let them have time away from school work? The schools doing this have cited reasons of allowing more time with family and with friends, but I am cautious and pessimistic about that.
As a professional who trains better processing skills, I have been very up close and personal with many families over the 28 years I have been doing this work. I know that the fights over getting homework done, tops the list of issues between parents and kids. As one of the more common things I would help parents solve, I knew that it was a way that parents could know what their kids were doing at school.
When I first heard the teaser about this story coming up while watching TV, the first thought I had was about Common core and the anger it has caused in many of the parents I talk to as well as the postings I see on various social media. None of those are positive and most are very critical. I have also talked to many friends of mine who feel the same way about their own kid's schools. I couldn't help but wonder if this was a way for what happens in school to stay in school. You know, like the ad for Vegas. What better way to tone down the battles and stop the opposition from the parents who are livid about the changes to their kid's day and school life? Common Core and maybe more with no pushback from parents.
When the clip came on, It confirmed my thoughts. What better way for parents to be cut out completely from what their kids are being taught and how. The hard part for me, is that most parents want to know what their child is doing in school. They want to be sure that the information being taught is good for their child and also appropriate. If this becomes normal operating procedure for all schools, I wonder how that will be possible?
As a parent, what do you think about this change? Share/comment above or below to get people talking and learning about what is happening.
A Blind Woman Using Martial Arts Training to Build Her Skills, Reminds Us All that We Can Practice Ourselves to Better Skills of Any Kind
"Wax on Wax off." Mr. Miyagi's famous line from a movie long ago...The Karate Kid is brought to mind with this story. As an expert who trains processing skills to be better and stronger, I have always promoted the idea that practicing the right way can bring people to a place of improving disabilities and that cognitive, processing and even motor skills can be improved significantly through repetitive movements and exercises. The Karate Kid is a movie that for all the years I have trained people, I have asked my clients to watch prior to training with me, to create processing excellence skills, so they can understand the concept of how to make that work the right way,
In a society that all too often sadly believes that the deck of cards you get dealt, is what you have to live with, and that many times, medication is the only way to help, this story is breath of fresh air! Amanda apparently never got that message and how great for her!
Here is the original article and the links to the story and the Sensei and Dojo that is helping her...
From Channel 13 News
Amanda Shevitski enjoys learning martial arts.
The 28-year-old Pinellas Park woman is blind and has cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let her disabilities slow her down.
Shevitski has been taking lessons atRyan Dean’s The Dojo in Largo for about nine months, learning an Okinawan-style karate called Uechi Ryu and a Japanese art called Jujutsu
Sensei Ryan Dean said he takes a hands-on approach to teaching Amanda and relies on verbal instructions instead of demonstrations.
“I also will hold her in positions where she feels the correct positioning," Dean said.
Regular lessons include learning everything from strength training and stretching to kicking and pushing techniques.
"I rely on verbal cues, environmental factors, senses of feel and hearing," Shevitski said. "It really does help you learn balance and strength and it helps you also to heighten your senses more than they already are."
Dean, a seventh-degree black belt, said he's inspired by his student.
"She never gives up, and she works really hard," Dean said."
This lady is an inspiration to all of us. Having any disability is very hard, and the tendency to feel a lack of control around that is all too common. She chose to fight it, and make a difference in her own life. Kudos to her and to this wonderful Sensei who is doing custom training to help her get to her goals.
Dr. Sherri Singer is a Processing and Motivation Skills Excellence Coach who works with you in person, 1 on 1, live via webcam. Contact Dr. Sherri
I wish I could take credit for what you are about to read, but I can’t. My husband pulled this off of the internet and thought it was really cute. I agree and want to share it with you. I would like to give credit to the writer, however, there was no name attached to it. So, to whomever wrote this, credit is due! Enjoy…
"I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year old again.
I want to go to McDonald’s and think it’s a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks. I want to think that M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer’s day.
I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care! All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.
I want to think that the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.
I want to live simple again. I don’t want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month that there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness and loss of loved ones.
I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow.
So…here’s my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cause, Tag!… You’re it!"
If we really want to, it is possible for each and every one of us to appreciate these kinds of things as adults. We may not be able to go back completely, but if we take time out to have the right focus, we can have those simple pleasures again.
Dr. Sherri Singer is a Processing and Motivation Skills Excellence Coach who works with you in person, 1 on 1, live via webcam. Contact Dr. Sherri
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