TODAY THE WORDS are COLORS OF LAW. Where can I go with this topic, you may ask. In courts, we have heard over and over, the law is clear, and it is either black or white. It is defined by the letter of the law. We have used the terminology to express some event or thinking as black or white. Judges speak out after the media hyped cases they had to make their rulings, decisions, or what evidence was entered based on the way the law reads and not their personal beliefs. This is truly stating the black or white description of the law. However, when did moral “laws” become gray? In today’s world, we see a blurring of the moral codes in so many fashions. When children dress so inappropriately, pierce, or tattoo themselves to the point of embarrassment, it seems society has decided these are gray areas and use the terms, “they are just expressing themselves”. I realize, as I can imagine so many of the readers are reacting to my statements as judgmental. I would apologize but I go back to my upbringing which was a strict life, but a good life. My parents would not have allowed me or my sister to have gone out of the house with inappropriate dress or makeup. They would not have allowed language I hear children using which is not flattering to them. For the life of me, I don’t even have a clue as to what they would have thought of body piercing except for “freaky”. I understand I am stepping on toes, but here is the point, not my point, but an observation. If you expect your children to respect you as a parent, have you thought if they don’t see black and white they get confused on what is acceptable or not.
Children look to their parents and yes, they are influenced by celebrities but that isn’t to be used as okay, as all of you can remember we had celebrities too. Thank goodness, most of them kept their clothes on. The gray area is where children get confused and I think parents do too. The point of grayness is controversial and it is still up to the individual parent to voice their approval or disapproval. Why are parents so hesitant about guiding their children or is it a lack of interest? Have parents become distracted from being true parents? Are they occupied with their interests and let the children loose? Have you thought they may be trying to get your attention with their actions? I may be sounding harsh, but my thoughts are some of the actions may go away with age but it is our job as parents to nourish our children and not only with food.
Love will become more important if a child feels respected, loved, cherished, and honored. If they respect you; they will follow “most” of your values. Parents earn this respect and have to maintain a black and white rule of developing moral values in their children. Live life, love life, and live life to the fullest with a clear set of moral values and displayed with love.
Social Media and Kids: Some Benefits, Some Worries
Pediatricians are adding another topic to their list of questions for visits with school-aged and adolescent patients: Are you on Facebook? Recognizing the increasing importance of all types of media in their young patients’ lives, pediatricians often hear from parents who are concerned about their children’s engagement with social media.
To help address the many effects—both positive and negative—that social media use has on youth and families, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new clinical report, “The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families” in the April issue of Pediatrics (published online March 28). The report offers background on the latest research in this area, and recommendations on how pediatricians, parents and youth can successfully navigate this new mode of communication.
“For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” said Gwenn O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP, co-author of the clinical report. “A large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones. Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world – and comfortably parent in that world.” See Dr. O’Keefe discussing social media at the following links:
Balancing media use with other activities
Today’s digital kids
Don’t fear social media
According to a Common Sense Media poll from August 2009, 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day. Seventy-five percent of teens now own cell phones, and 25 percent use them for social media, 54 percent for texting, and 24 percent for instant messaging.
The new AAP guidelines include recommendations for pediatricians to help families navigate the social media landscape, including:
Advise parents to talk to children and adolescents about their online use and the specific issues that today’s online kids face, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and difficulty managing their time.
Advise parents to work on their own “participation gap” in their homes by becoming better educated about the many technologies their children are using.
Discuss with families the need for a family online-use plan, with an emphasis on citizenship and healthy behavior.
Discuss with parents the importance of supervising online activities via active participation and communication, not just via monitoring software.
The AAP report outlines the positive effects of social media. Engagement in social media and online communities can enhance communication, facilitate social interaction and help develop technical skills. They can help tweens and teens discover opportunities to engage in the community by volunteering, and can help youth shape their sense of identity. These tools also can be useful adjuncts to—and in some cases are replacing—traditional learning methods in the classroom.
But because tweens and teens have a limited capacity for self-regulation and are susceptible to peer pressure, they are at some risk as they engage in and experiment with social media, according to the report. They can find themselves on sites and in situations that are not age-appropriate, and research suggests that the content of some social media sites can influence youth to engage in risky behaviors. In addition, social media provides venues for cyberbullying and sexting, among other dangers. Youth who are more at-risk offline tend to also be more at-risk online.
“Some young people find the lure of social media difficult to resist, which can interfere with homework, sleep and physical activity,” Dr. O’Keeffe said. “Parents need to understand how their child is using social media so that they can set appropriate limits.”
Parents also should educate their children about the ways social media sites can capture personal information about users, Dr. O’Keeffe said. Young people can harm their reputations and safety by posting personal and inappropriate information. And information about sites they visit may be captured and used to target them with advertising.
The report includes a link to parenting tips, “Talking to Kids and Teens About Social Media and Sexting”.
Editor’s Note: The AAP offers additional resources about online safety for children and teens, including its Internet Safety Site at http://safetynet.aap.org and www.healthychildren.org.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.
DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
(c) copyright 2012-2016 Arline Lott Miller. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission.