Welcome to the William Gladden Foundation library of educational materials about Family and Parenting Issues. These publications are FREE to read on-line or download to hardcopy and reproduce.
We live in a society where over half of all children are born to single-parents or into marriages that end in divorce. There is no doubt that the rising tide of single-parent households, divorce and family dysfunction carries with it the growing wave of boys and girls whose confused emotions and problem behaviors put them at risk. Family is a sacred institution, the backbone of American society, and our children are telling us through their behaviors that our collective health is in jeopardy.
Drug abuse, crime, delinquency, violence, suicide, running away, dropping out of school, myriad emotional and behavioral disorders are symptoms of much deeper issues, symbolic expressions of confusion and discontent that turn innocent babies into rebellious teens and dissocial adults. We must stem this tide of family and parenting problems; otherwise, we condemn out children - and ourselves - to lives less satisfying and fulfilling.
William Gladden Foundation believes that parents love their children and want the best for them, that understanding - not desire - is why families fall apart and children suffer the consequences. We further believe that parents armed with knowledge will make the right decisions on behalf of their loved ones, for that is the essence of parenting. The following information is designed to help parents strengthen their families and raise healthy children.
Parents concerned that their children may have undiagnosed behavioral and developmental problems may wish to have their children take the following online tests. The Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) provides online screening for childhood developmental and behavioral problems and Autism Spectrum Disorder. There is a cost of $9.95 to cover the expenses of analyzing the test results. Written and researched by Frances P. Glascoe, Ph.D., and the faculties in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt and the Pennsylvania State Universities, these tests can help concerned parents learn if their children do indeed have problems that would profit from medical attention www.forepath.org.
Adopting A Child, by Carle F. O'Neil, M.A., M.S.W., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,612 words, 16 pages. Adoption procedures are established by state laws that can differ from one state to the next. Nonetheless, there is uniformity of basic principle in the adoption laws of all 50 states. The welfare of the child shall be considered and children shall not be treated as commodities to be bought and sold. Generally, adoptions are arranged in one of two ways: 1) through agencies licensed by the state for conducting adoptions and 2) through independent adoptions. These two general approaches are often quite different in areas such as cost, supportive service and the number and type of children available for adoption. They also tend to differ in the minimum qualifications that they require of adopters. In most counties, there is at least one agency, organization, association or professional that specializes in adoption. In many places, there also are support groups and community services available to adoptive parents. Persons considering adoptions should learn about the many aspects of the process BEFORE pursuing adoption.
Aggression And Violence In Youth, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., Thomas A. Newnam, B.A. and Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 4,628 words, 18 pages. The American family is experiencing tremendous stress. For example, nearly 60% of all marriages end in divorce and over 25% of America's children currently live in single-parent homes. Furthermore, domestic violence is on the rise with almost two million cases of battered women reported each year; two million cases of children abuse and neglect reported each year; and the number of reported cases of elderly abuse growing at an alarming rate. However, the rise of aggressive and violent behaviors also includes other social institutions. For example, the number of gangs, cults and other radical youth groups continue to grow. Television, movies and cartoons bombard viewers with physical and verbal conflict. Hostile and violent themes fill rock music with negative messages. Aggression and violence bombard American children, both within the home and throughout society. Given these facts, is it any wonder that hostile and disruptive behaviors are increasing in America's youth population.
A Parents' Guide To Establishing An Effective Parenting Partnership, by Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D., 4,823 words, 16 pages. That it takes two people to make a baby is a fact of nature. That two people are required to raise a baby, however, is not a fact. Nevertheless, it definitely is a good idea to have both mother and father actively involved in childrearing. Of course, many single parents get their children off to an excellent start in life, and many married parents do a fine job when forced to fly solo much of the time. However, in general, the process appears to go better when pursued as a partnership. First, contrary to what Hollywood might lead one to believe, raising a baby involves a lot of hard work and often induces a great deal of stress. The more evenly the difficult duties can be distributed between two people, the easier it will be on each. Second, raising a baby brings about some of life's sweetest pleasures and richest rewards. Furthermore, such things tend to be magnified and more appreciated when shared. Finally, mixing the personalities of two different individuals into the parenting process has a beneficial effect similar to the one that comes from combining separate sets of chromosomes. As is the case with genetics, a weak link in one parent can be cancelled by a strong trait in the other, and when two strong traits are intertwined, the result can be superior to either one alone.
A Parents' Guide To Raising An Only-Child, by Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D., 5,104 words, 16 pages. Raising an only-child is a special experience shared by an increasing number of parents. Whereas biological conditions have always dictated that some couples would have just one child, various other, more conscious, factors have now entered the picture as well. Raising even one child in today's world can be quite expensive. In addition, many mothers and fathers are waiting until later in life to begin their families, and many are unable or unwilling to take on rigors and responsibilities beyond those required for a single offspring. However, while raising an only-child is no longer such an unusual experience, it does remain a relatively stressful one. There are no set expectations concerning what circumstances might be encountered, and there are no rigid rules for raising an only-child. Every child is unique, and every family has its own distinct dynamics. On the other hand, child development professionals and experienced parents do have some relevant insights and suggestions. Armed with this information and advice, along with some solid knowledge regarding standard childrearing policies and practices, mothers and father can ensure that the experience of raising their only-child will be as enriching and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.
A Parents' Guide To Raising Twins, by Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D., 4,760 words, 15 pages. Being a multiple is, in itself, neither beneficial nor detrimental. Depending upon the degree of physical resemblance and the attitudes and expectations of the people around them, twins may or may not enjoy advantages and may or may not suffer hardships. Their parents will have the greatest impact when it comes to tilting circumstances and events toward either side. Unfortunately, there are no simple, universal rules for coping with multiples, as the configuration of each family is different and the personalities of family members are unique. However, experts on child development and experienced parents do propose some general guidelines and specific suggestions. These, along with fundamental childrearing tenets, can help mothers and father formulate strategies that will make raising multiples more pleasant and less stressful for everyone involved. The essential ingredient for success seems to be to strike a balance between fostering a sense of individuality in each child and encouraging the mutually supportive relationship the children are naturally inclined to establish with each other. As the years go by, the particular problems that confront parents and their multiples change in form and content, and the level of difficulty often depends upon genetic makeup (for instance, whether the children are identical twins or different-sex fraternal twins), but the importance of promoting both individuality and a special bond remains constant.
Adolescence: A Time Of Change, by William S. Meyers, Ph.D., 4,027 words, 16 pages. Adolescence is a time of change, a transitional period in human development during which an individual gradually moves from childhood to adulthood. Beginning in puberty, children undergo many physical, psychological and social changes that help them mature. During this process of growing up, their bodies, minds and relationships stretch in many new directions. As a result, their world - and that of those around them - seems to be upside down. Adolescence is often a time of hurt feelings for parents and kids. Teens struggle to free themselves from the control of their parents who, in turn, fight just as hard to keep control. Because this struggle may reveal a side to kids that parents did not suspect, parents often feel a sense of shock and betrayal. Beginning in puberty, kids become more outspoken in their views, more critical of parents' values and more demanding of control over their lives. Parents may regard their teens' assertiveness as disobedience, insolence or disrespect. Teens may take their parents' criticisms as a refusal to grant them the freedom they seek. Neither side is probably aware that a battle for control is going on. Instead, both may engage in blame and criticism. For this reason, the potential for severely damaged parent-child relationships is strong during adolescence.
Blending Families With Children, by Carle F. O'Neil, M.A., M.S.W., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,139 words, 17 pages. The nature of the American family has changed significantly. A century ago, divorce was uncommon. Families were usually only "broken" by death from accident or disease. Children went to orphanages, were adopted or taken into families of surviving relatives. There were problems and unhappiness in such outcomes, but the economic realities of the time required that individuals in thrown-together families make it together because other alternatives were few or none. Today, however, more than half of all first-time marriages with children end in divorce. Most divorcees than go on to second or third unions with new partners, bringing together children of previous marriages and forming "blended" families. Such mergers can be the most challenging of all family arrangements. Not only does the new marital couple have to establish a harmonious relationship with each other, but each also must build relations with his or her stepchildren. Furthermore, the children must find ways to make it together, hopefully, with the love, support, guidance and nurture of the parents/stepparents. Not all attempts to blend families are successful. However, many of them, with resulting close ties, offer rewarding relationships, rich memories and the satisfaction that comes from challenges met and survived. The more thoroughly the families prepare for the merger, the more manageable the inevitable surprises and the greater the likelihood of success.
Building Children's Self-Esteem, by Amy R. Vigilante, Ph.D., 4,128 words, 16 pages. There are many reasons why the development of a child's self-esteem may be hindered. They range from very real problems, such as physical handicaps, to less clear issues, such as emotional problems stemming from parental divorce. Despite the particular difficulties that children may encounter, their self-esteem can grow and flourish - with the right support. Unfortunately, there are many potentially negative results when children do not develop healthy self-esteem. Possible outcomes range from general unhappiness to deep depression, to dropping out of school, to robbery and even to violence. Building children's self-esteem does not require special materials or complicated techniques. Rather, parents and teachers can rely on sensitivity and basic communication skills to understand and help children believe that they are competent and valued. The information presented in this publication explains how adults can influence the growth of a healthy self-image in children.
Building Family Communication, by J. Denis Mercier, Ph.D., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,180 words, 16 pages. Perhaps the greatest problem leading to family dysfunction and marital break-up involves communicating honestly, openly and lovingly BEFORE having children. The couple gets to know one another better and establishes a mature, trusting relationship that will improve after children are born. However, this is a rare case. Most often, partners withhold vital information (fail to reveal feelings about certain issues or matters, for example) and are virtual strangers to each other. Of course, this is a most unpromising start to communication within the family. Common knowledge argues that couples should never stay together "for the sake of the children," but a communicationally dysfunctional couple should not even consider having children! For those couples who have children, building a family and "being" a family requires communicating well. Otherwise, they are just a group of people sharing the same residence. Many legally defined families do not or cannot communicate, and end up dysfunctional. Is it any wonder? No group can function effectively as a unit without its members communicating with each other. Improving communications within the family is the best way to turn around problems. Building family communications is the classic "win/win" situation: every member of the family is more secure with one another and ready to deal with the world outside. In addition, society itself improves with more family units achieving stability. If a strong family is important to you, keep reading. You and your family (or families you know) will benefit immediately by learning how to communicate.
Children Of Alcoholic Families, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., Thomas A. Newnam, B.A. and Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 4,013 words, 16 pages. Some experts estimate that 30 million American children live in alcoholic families. Many of these children will be so dramatically affected by growing up in an alcoholic household that they, too, will become tomorrow's alcoholics and their children, like themselves, will suffer the consequences of growing up in an alcoholic family, and so on and so on, from one generation to the next. The early identification and treatment of children of alcoholic families is a crucial challenge for everybody who works with or cares about the future of children, the family and American society. The information contained in this publication attempts to meet this crucial challenge. The application of this information can make an important difference in determining the effects of alcoholism on children of alcoholic families.
Controlling Your Child's Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 759 words, 3 pages. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a disease; it is a collection of symptoms. ADHD children have ongoing and excessive symptoms of movement, distractibility, impulsivity and excitability that cause school, social and emotional problems. Other terms used to describe ADHD are "hyperactive child syndrome," "attention deficit disorder," "hyperkinesis" and "hyperkinetic child syndrome." ADHD children usually show signs of serious "perceptual integration problems," problems translating what they see, hear and think into how they are expected to act. In other words, ADHD children have poor self-control because they cannot completely understand HOW they are supposed to act.
Developing Healthy Attitudes In Children, by Ronald E. Sharp, Ed.D., 4,376 words, 16 pages. There is plenty of documentation about importance of attitude in shaping the child's perception of the world. For example, an interesting research study provides a clear and convincing example of the power contained in a youngster's belief about himself. An elementary school teacher told her students at the start of the school year that blue-eyed students are smarter than those with brown eyes are and therefore would get much better grades. At the end of the first marking period, the students with blue eyes had done much better than had the students with brown eyes. The teacher then told the students she made a mistake, that brown-eyed students are actually smarter than blue-eyed students are and therefore would do much better in school. When the next marking period ended, the students with brown eyes had higher grades than those with blue eyes had. As a final part of the experiment, the teacher told her students that eye color had nothing to do with intelligence or achievement in school. At the end of the next marking period, there was no significant difference between the grades of blue-eyed and brown-eyed students. This example illustrates the importance of a child's attitude. Since the attitude developed by children is critical to their mental, emotional and social development, parents and others who work with young people need to understand how they can help in the development of a healthy attitude.
Effects Of Divorce On Children, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,518 words, 16 pages. America's children reflect the effects of what is happening to the American family. Never before have so many children faced so many problems: physical and sexual abuse, crime and delinquency, depression and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulties, school problems, dropping out, poor grades, running away from home, pregnancy, abortion and venereal disease. Sometimes these problems result from unhealthy social or family relationships. They also may arise as a byproduct of an unhappy marriage or a damaging divorce. Divorce can be a very painful and disruptive experience for children, with long-term effects. Some children manage to survive their parents' unhappy marriage and painful divorce and grow past it; other children suffer from the effects for years. How children are affected by divorce largely depends on their personality, the circumstance surrounding the divorce and the parents' sensitivity to their children. It is toward a better understanding of how parents can be more sensitive to their children during the divorce process that this publication is dedicated. When parents put the needs of their children first, and are aware of how their own behavior can either harm or help their offspring during this time of turmoil, it is possible to reduce the negative EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ON CHILDREN.
Effects Of Domestic Violence On Children, by Ronald E. Sharp, Ed.D., 4,153 words, 16 pages. The National Crime Survey (conducted by the Department of Justice) reported the following: 1) about 1.5 million cases of domestic violence involving children are reported each year; 2) another million cases go unreported and 3) between two and five thousand children die each year because of domestic violence. Domestic violence involving children is more than doubling every decade. While some of this huge growth can be attributed to increased reporting and better record keeping, domestic violence against children is reaching epidemic proportions. These statistics include only those incidents in which children were the "direct" target of domestic violence. Millions of other young people endure the "indirect" results of family violence. Because of these experiences, children can suffer from anxiety, depression, guilt and fear. These feelings can follow the child throughout his or her life and the effects can be devastating. Many of these young people mistakenly feel responsible for the violence and some go on to commit domestic violence when they become parents.
Effects Of Racism And Prejudice On Children, by Warren A. Rhodes, Ph.D., Marylene Saunders, M.S.W., and Marylee Sanders, 3,683 words, 16 pages. Because of the dramatic change in America's population, it is likely that when children go to school, the mall or the park, they will meet children who are racially or culturally different. These differences may be visible in skin color, hair texture, dress or some combination of these or other characteristics. Unfortunately, racism and prejudice too often influence how children relate to people they view as different. Prejudiced children have a self-imposed limitation on their educational, social and political development. Prejudice interferes with the learning and development of healthy relationships and can lead to psychological, social or physical harm to others. In essence, the effects of racism and prejudice on children affect both individual and societal potential, thus limiting us all.
Enhancing Your Child's Self-Esteem, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 760 words, 3 pages. Building self-esteem is a life-long process that begins in childhood. Skill mastery and the approval of others are the building blocks of a child's developing self-esteem. By successfully completing tasks and learning new skills, children establish a source of pride and self-respect that forms their confidence. Recognition, approval and the acceptance of others further enhances how they see themselves. A child's developing self-esteem forms in association with many activities, but family relationships form its foundation. Parents play a main role in determining what their child's self-esteem may be. How parents feel about their children (and how they express their feelings) greatly influence how children feel about themselves.
Helping Children Cope With Moving, by Thomas T. Olkowski, Ph.D., and Lynn Parker, L.C.S.W., 4,963 words, 16 pages. According to the Census Bureau, over six million American children move every year. For most of these youngsters, a family move, whether it is just down the block or to a strange, new city, is a difficult and trying experience that usually involves a degree of sadness, apprehension and emotional upheaval that some authors have compared to dealing with death or divorce. For adults, moving to a new home or apartment may be an accepted fact; but for children simply moving to a new school ranks among their 20 most stressful life experiences. Furthermore, school-aged children who move to a new community often encounter no less than eight of the 42 items listed as potential stressors on "The Social Readjustment Scale," giving them a 50% greater risk of suffering a stress-related illness if the stressors are not alleviated.
Helping Children Understand And Cope With Death And Dying, by June M. Brinkman, B.S., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,028 words, 16 pages. Teaching children about the subject of death should not be avoided; rather, children should be helped to understand the many aspects of this potentially painful and disturbing event. Children with this information are better prepared to cope with the various ceremonies and emotions surrounding death. Most experts agree that child SHOULD NOT be discouraged from grieving and asking questions about death; rather, it is important to deal with the child's questions honestly and directly. Studies show that children who actively participate in ceremonies at a time of death (including attending the funeral, private viewings of the body, even at-home care of the dying) are able to grieve and return to a normal living routine much easier than children excluded from such proceedings.
Helping Your Child Adjust Successfully To Divorce, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., & Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 893 words, 3 pages. The process of your child making a successful adjustment to divorce takes time. The amount of time depends upon many factors and differs from one child to the next. In essence, successful adjustment means "coming to terms with change." Children often are "caught in the middle" of the parental conflict. This can be quite painful for children, as their emotions may be "stretched" in many directions. Emotional and behavioral problems can result. Keep children out of the parental conflict to safeguard their mental and emotional health. Divorce can cause some children to experience emotional or behavioral problems. When such problems arise, contact a child psychologist, counselor or therapist for help. It is important that parents realize some children of divorce suffer deeply from the loss, and that unresolved emotional or psychological problems related to the trauma of divorce can persist into adulthood.
Helping Your Child Cope With Stress, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 695 words, 3 pages. STRESS is the body's response to the demands of life, an internal reaction that allows humans to adjust to or resist changing stimuli. STIMULI are simply the many and varied events of life. STRESSORS are the events that trigger the body's reaction. Some stressors are environmental (being too hot or too cold). Other stressors are attitudinal (reacting to a homework assignment or test). Still other stressors result from relationships (a kiss or a fight). Stressors can be small or large events. Family problems are the biggest cause of stress among children, and family relationships influence how they handle life's obstacles. Children who feel emotionally secure within the family, and whose parents display healthy ways to handle problems, are usually able to handle stress.
Improving Your Child's School Attendance, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 879 words, 3 pages. School absenteeism includes all excused and unexcused forms of non-attendance, such as students who are truant, suspended or expelled, delinquent, chronically ill, pregnant, runaways, tardy or belong in school but have never enrolled or attended. Students are truant when they are absent from school without legitimate reason or without permission from home or school. The main concern is chronic truants (students who frequently stay out of school without permission). They are potential dropouts. Potential dropouts can be identified by the third grade. Students who are constantly late from school, idle away too much time, linger on tasks and find excuses to stay home from school are showing signs of becoming truants and potential dropouts.
Latchkey Kids, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Newnam, B.A., 4,519 words, 16 pages. Economic and social pressures are forcing more and more parents into the workplace at a time when children appear to most need adult guidance and supervision. These children are, in turn, facing a growing number of problems on their own. Sometimes they are able to resolve these problems by themselves and sometimes they are not. Many of these "latchkey kids" experience stressful, even dangerous, situations without ready access to adult guidance and support. We realize that most parents of "latchkey kids" worry about their children when they are not able to provide direct supervision. We also know that most working parents do not have the financial luxury to quit their jobs so that they are always available to supervise their children directly. We have written this publication to reduce the stress and worry felt by working parents and to increase the potential for children in self-care to have safe and happy lives.
Missing And Runaway Children, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 3,739 words, 16 pages. Between two and three million American children are missing or run away each year. Around three-quarters of a million are classified "missing children" and about two million are "runaways." The precise number of American children in these two categories is unknown. Some missing children turn out to be runaways and some runaways are missing children. Parents do not always report their runaway children. Missing children are lost or victims of abduction. They tend to be younger than are runaways, usually under 14 years of age. Strangers kidnap less than 20% of these children. Family members, most often the non-custodial parent, abduct the majority of missing children. Separated or divorced parents who do not have legal custody may "steal" their own children. Children who are the victims of abduction, either by strangers or by family members, are likely to suffer emotional damage because of the experience. Families of missing and runaway children face many problems. Parents of missing children feel guilty or responsible for their child's abduction. They also can suffer from fear and anxiety about what may happen to their missing child. Parents of runaway children also may experience the same or similar concerns. Not knowing the whereabouts or condition of a child can create stress for all family members.
Planning And Building A Stepfamily, by Carle F. O'Neil, M.A., M.S.W., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,553 words, 16 pages. Stepfamilies are commonplace in the United States and their number continues to grow. While stepfamilies vary widely in their make-up, they are all comprised of a parenting couple and children, one or more of whom is of a previous union. Such combinations of his kids, her kids, and then, possibly, kids of the new union make for complicated and often trying difficulties, more challenging than those of traditional families. Since stepfamilies involve more people and, consequently, more potential problems from the start than do childless new marriages, it is wise for the couple to do some careful planning prior to marriage. Not only do the prospective marital partners need agreement about their own careers, life goals, finance and special interests, they must also prepare for new relationships with the children and attempt to accommodate their individual needs and feelings. Furthermore, there are often the rights of other relatives to consider. By their very nature, stepfamilies often are complicated by past events that give rise to ambivalent loyalties, lingering hurts, fears, feelings of guilt and unrealistic dreams. The difficulties that arise within the stepfamily are human and understandable. However, there are ways to confront and resolve them. For example, support groups and professional counselors are available in most communities to provide help and guidance when communications bog down and problems seem overwhelming.
Raising Drug-Free Kids, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 896 words, 3 pages. Drug-free kids are young people who understand the effects of drugs on the mind and body, and who know how to refuse drugs when offered. They are boys and girls who do not need to alter or escape reality because they suffer from problems with which they cannot cope. Drug-free kids are the result of your efforts to give them this critical message through your words and deed: "My love for you is stronger than any drug." Parents, grandparents and others who are committed can raise drug-free kids. Working parents, single parents, split-custody parents, welfare parents, parents with handicaps - all parents can raise drug-free kids if they make a personal commitment to set and follow basic rules of family conduct. The level of caring and commitment determines the level of success.
Reducing Children's Risk for Suicide and Depression, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 562 words, 3 pages. Children tend to become depressed or suicidal when they 1) feel overwhelmed by their problems, 2) do not know how to cope with stress and 3) believe they are alone in their struggles. This publications details how to reduce your children's risk for depression and suicide, as well as identifying emotional and behavioral cues that may indicate your child is at risk for depression or suicide.
Reducing Your Child's Risk For Drug Abuse, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 752 words, 3 pages. Although the sale, possession and use of non-prescription drugs are illegal, the availability of drugs is so widespread that ALL children are at-risk of using them. Even elementary school children have access to drugs and use them. Studies show that nearly 60% of all high school seniors have experimented with drugs; about 30% regularly use marijuana and over 5% use drugs on a daily basis (mostly alcohol and marijuana). Furthermore, there are many reasons why children use drugs. In the "experimental stage," some reasons are curiosity, a desire to experience a "high" or the need to take risks. However, motivation changes as the child becomes more involved with drugs. In the "social stage," the child reacts to pressure from peers and the need to feel part of the group. In the "dependent stage," the child may feel an emotional or physical need that is temporarily relieved through further drug usage. In the "chronic stage," the need grows so strong that the child's main interest is in getting and using more and more drugs.
Reducing Your Child's Risk For Underage Drinking, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 745 words, 3 pages. A high percentage of children admit to "experimenting" with beer, wine or liquor. By their teens, many children have "tried" alcohol either with or without their parents' consent. Because alcohol is often easy to obtain at home or the home of a friend, preventing children from trying alcohol before they reach the legal drinking age can be difficult. Children often learn their behaviors and attitudes about alcohol by listening to, observing and copying their parents. Parents' behaviors and attitudes about alcohol can affect their children in the following ways. Children whose parents regularly or excessively consume alcohol are likely to copy their parents' behaviors and abuse alcohol themselves. Children whose parents have an "extreme" attitude toward alcohol (either for or against) are at increased risk to have alcohol-related problems. Children whose parents drink alcohol only occasionally and moderately tend to use alcohol in a similar manner when they become adults
Resolving Interstate Child Custody Issues, by J.O. Williams, J.D., 3,794 words, 17 pages. Because many mothers and fathers move from one state to another, some parents encounter issues related to interstate child custody issues. Typical problems include child custody, visitation rights, child support and enforcement of court orders. A particularly difficult situation arises for parents who move from the community in which the legal action was initiated. The court in that community is the "court of original jurisdiction." That court retains certain authority and power, even when it is inconvenient for one or both parents to continue using it. A common situation arises when non-custodial parents move from the state in which they were ordered to pay child support - but refuse to pay. Custodial parents face a problem. The local court can make an order to help them, but the order is likely to be ineffective. This is because the local court does not have the power to enforce its order in another state. The legal term used for another state is "foreign jurisdiction." For parents trying to enforce a child support order of one state in another state, it can truly seem like they are attempting to have something done in a foreign country. An even worse situation can occur when no legal proceedings were initiated before one or both parents moved from the state in which they were associated. One parent may initiate a proceeding in a foreign jurisdiction that does not serve the best interest of the child. To correct this problem, a complex process is begun to determine which court will accept jurisdiction of the case. The process can be VERY time consuming and expensive.
Secrets of Successful Stepparents, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., & Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 927 words, 3 pages. Although being a stepparent can be quite rewarding, at first, the frustrations may seem to outweigh the rewards. This is particularly true when multiple or older children are involved. There is much to learn about each other and numerous obstacles to overcome (many of which have to do with the former family situation). A fundamental ingredient of being a stepparent is love, but love, alone, is not enough. Certainly, love is the cornerstone upon which all parenting relationships are built, but there is much more to being a stepparent.
Successful Single Parenting, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,562 words, 16 pages. The number of children in the United States living in single-parent homes is steadily climbing. From 1975 to today, the figure has more than doubled. Currently, of the over 60 million children under age 18, about 25% live in single-parent homes. More than 50% of America?s African-American children, 25% of its Hispanic children and 15% of its white children live with only one parent. In about 90% of all single-parent homes, the parent is the mother. Single parenting is a complicated issue for parents and children. This publication contains helpful information for single parents and others concerned about single parenting. It addresses many common problems faced by single parents. Lists are included as practical tools to help single parents identify specific areas needing changes. This publication reassures single parents that they can be effective parents and provides advice about how they can develop and maintain a stable and healthy family environment for their children.
Talking With Your Kids, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., & Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 872 words, 3 pages. Communication involves at least two people, the "sender" of a message and the "receiver" of that message. When the sender fails to get the message across, or the receiver does not understand it, "miscommunication" occurs. Miscommunication is often the cause of parent/child conflicts, creating stresses and strains between family members. Parents who learn to be good communicators will not only strengthen family ties, they will also send their message efficiently and effectively - without talking until they "turn blue in the face."
Teaching Children How To Succeed, by Bruce W. Tuckman, Ph.D., 4,748 words, 15 pages. No one is born with guaranteed success. Succeeding is something we learn to do as children, based on our experiences. The key ingredients to learning to succeed are our self-beliefs and how well learn to control and change our own behavior. Just as we learn to drive a car or solve a math problem, we learn to succeed. Children must learn to succeed at many activities, including school, sports, socializing and handling personal and family problem. Each of these activities requires skills that are specific to the activity at hand, but there also are some "general" qualities required to succeed, especially those that have to do with coping. Perhaps the most important general quality is the belief that we "can" succeed. This essential belief is not innate. It is learned as a by-product of each little success, every one causing the belief to grow.
Teenage Pregnancy, by Charlotte G. Garman, Ed.D., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 4,680 words, 16 pages. Over 500,000 American babies are born each year to unmarried girls under age 18. Pregnant teens find themselves in a situation for which they are seldom prepared, either financially or emotionally. Many of these girls drop out of school, leave home and become dependent upon public welfare. If they try to find employment, they usually can get only the lowest-paying jobs, because they lack an education or do not have marketable skills. Perhaps the saddest result of teenage pregnancy is the loss of human potential. Many mothers who became pregnant during their teens look back and wonder, too late, what their lives might have been had they not become pregnant so early in life. Their children, too, often have to struggle and find their potential likewise limited. Parents often fail to explain the "facts of life" to their children. Some schools do not emphasize sex education to their students. As a result, many teens have learned myths rather than facts about sex and its consequences. Young people end up experimenting with and learning about sex on their own. This lack of information and understanding often leads to teenage pregnancy.
The Gifted Child In Family Turmoil, by Ruth P. Arent, M.A., M.S.W., 5,898 words, 16 pages. Gifted children seem to be particularly vulnerable to family turmoil. They are acutely aware of what is happening to others and may be unaware of their own feelings. Their reactions to family turmoil may harm their growth and development. The resulting damage to their self-esteem inhibits their learning and relationships and may later affect their career choices and successes. When gifted children lose, so does society. Therefore, whatever adults can do to support the children will have a payoff that goes beyond the child's personal adjustment and success to the benefit of the greater society. The loss of a child's potential is a high price to pay for family turmoil. The three main areas of family turmoil that affect gifted children include: 1) divorce, 2) death and 3) violence. We can add a fourth, although somewhat unrelated area - serious illness in the family. How can we help the gifted child in family turmoil? How can we help reduce stress and give these children a sense of confidence when sad and scary things are happening? We must answer these questions. Remember that the age and personality of each child will determine how he or she handles the situation, and how receptive the child will be to your input.
Tips For Single Parents, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., & Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 623 words, 2 pages. As single parents all-too-well know, raising children alone is a difficult and stressful experience. This brief publication explains some of the basics to being a more competent single parent. Topics discussed include consistency, privacy, finances, employment, time management, childcare, self-confidence, leisure time and social contacts.
Understanding Your Child's Aggressive Behavior, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., & Robert M. Wilson, Ph.D., 668 words, 3 pages. Aggression is any hostile action that is an attack on a person or object with the purpose of hurting, damaging or destroying. The two ways of expressing aggression are verbally and physically. Children are natural "copycats." A child regularly exposed to aggression or violence in the family, among peers, on television or video games is at-risk of behaving aggressively. Children generally have less self-control that do adults and they tend to use aggression in response to fear or stress. They are especially at-risk for aggressive behavior when they suffer from family, personality or social problems.
Understanding Your Child's Growing Sexuality, by Carle F. O'Neil, M.A., M.S.W., and Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 5,068 words, 17 pages. Children learn by watching, by listening, by questioning and by formal instruction. Curiosity about sexuality is a focus of interest in childhood, especially during the teens. An important and at times difficult challenge for parents is to be instructive about sexuality. Adding to the challenge are the misinformation, confusion, mystery and taboos that surround this topic. Parents must have accurate knowledge about sexuality. They also should be confident and at ease with the topic. Likewise, it is desirable that parents be clear about their own sexual values. Lack of accurate information, as well as uncertainty about how to instruct their children in this area, can prove frustrating to parents and confusing to their children. Some parents fear their child's emerging sexuality. Unsure of themselves or embarrassed by the topic, they may turn silent or make threatening responses, leaving their offspring to gather information on their own. Children are perceptive of parental attitudes. Avoidance of the topic or gestures of distaste or silence in response to questions are powerful ways to communicate to children that sexuality is not open to discussion. What are "normal" sexual impulses for children to have? At what ages do these impulses begin? From where do they originate? How should they be regarded, explained, controlled, forbidden? What does a concerned parent need to know? How do parents understand and teach their children about the functions of their bodies and guide them toward the fulfillment of responsible adult sexuality? Answers to these questions offer a starting point.
When Your Child Is Home Alone, by Waln K. Brown, Ph.D., 871 words, 3 pages. Millions of American children under age 16 routinely stay at home for long periods without adult supervision. Sometimes called "latchkey kids," they are usually without parental supervision during non-school hours, such as before and after school, and when school is not in session, such as holidays and summer vacations. If you must leave your child or children at home alone, the information in this publication will help make your absence safer for them and less stressful for you.