It’s something I’ve definitely wondered about before – what makes a child either take on or resent the faith of their parents? There are so many possible factors at play in a child - their temperament, school, friends, and interests. But according to a recent article, research (and a new book) by Professor Vern L. Bengston show that there are a few major influences.
Leading by example. This may seem like a common-sense finding, but it’s important - if parents actually live out their faith, their kids are more likely to appreciate the beliefs. Even if on a subconscious level, kids can definitely sense the duplicity of saying one thing and doing another. Also, this factor is made stronger if both parents hold the same beliefs, which gives more unity to the upbringing of their children.
We have to bring children back into orbit around the adults who care for them. Kids should also have some responsibility for younger children. This creates a natural hierarchy, so that kids don’t substitute their own peer hierarchy.
If a bully spends enough time with an adult who genuinely cares about them – who is caring but also firm – their heart will begin to soften. When that happens, the bully can even become fiercely protective of other kids.
According to Dr. Neufeld, when a child feels vulnerable, they become hardened to their own feelings. Once that happens, the natural instinct they have to take care of others gets warped – into a desire to dominate them.
Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a renowned Vancouver-based developmental psychologist.
The News Story: More religiously conservative protestants? More divorce, study finds
In an effort to discover why red states have higher divorce rates than many blue states, researchers from the University of Texas and the University of Iowa compared select county divorce statistics against information on Protestant congregations in those counties. They discovered, according to the LA Times, that “Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them.” The researchers blame this in part on young marriage, which they say occurs more often in conservative Protestant counties where “[p]harmacies might not give out emergency contraception” and “[s]chools might only teach abstinence education.” W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and editorial advisor for The Family in America, commented that the findings were “surprising.”
Whether or not you agree with Barack Obama’s policies, there is definitely something to be said for his parenting style. According to a recent article, the Obama family puts a big emphasis on structure, which could only be valuable in as rare a family situation as theirs. Here are some examples of how they roll:
Sunday is family day. We have the same consensus in my family but considering how hard it can be to coordinate, I can’t even imagine what it's like for the US President! However it's a good idea for many reasons. For one, it conveys to your children that family values are important, and that a happy family requires time and effort. It also encourages spending time with one another instead of tucked away in your own room, as well as some time for relaxation before the start of another week.
The News Story - White House seeks ways to get poor kids through college
President Obama has made college attendance for the low-income a top concern in his administration, and an NPR story this week covers the ways that American colleges and universities are trying to recruit such students—and keep them until graduation.
Bryn Mawr is one college that has come up with creative recruitment methods. Every year, the school actively searches for 10 low-income students from Boston, and provides them with financial aid. Other schools are following suit, but the “dirty little secret” of American higher education, says Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation, “is that universities care about racial diversity and do a good job of trying to promote that, but they completely ignore the issue of socioeconomic diversity.” One reason, of course, is that economic diversity is a much more expensive proposition for…
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Money might not be the first thing to come to mind when considering getting married – thankfully. Yet, economics can help explain why some folks tie the knot while other couples do not.
At first glance, the cost of a wedding alone might cause couples to reconsider. The estimated average cost of a wedding in 2013 was $23,458. At even half that amount, the cost might delay or deter getting married. While couples bemoan the price tag (for good reason), larger economic forces are also at play.
There is no doubt that financial insecurity is holding some people back from entering marriage.
Economic barriers to getting married
American-based sociologists Pamela Smock, Wending Manning and Meredith Porter interviewed working and lower middle class cohabiting couples. They asked them about transitioning to marriage.
In the last couple of weeks, I have spotted three articles that are predicting the decline of Facebook among young people. At the first I thought that the author was crazy, but a further two reports later (including one that claims that even Obama is aware of this trend), I have to admit that I’m wondering – could it be?
Apparently, more than 11 million young people have left Facebook since 2011, and the research shows that they are starting to prefer more simplified social networks such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Obviously, these are no match to Facebook in terms of functionality and more “holistic stalking” (if there is such a thing, and for want of a better phrase). However with their forever ongoing updates, they certainly do fulfil the immediate-gratification needs of the generation, which could explain their rise in popularity.