All posts filed under: Family

England's Big Ben at dawn Credit: Chris Goldberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Cuts to sex education classes in England results in fewer teen pregnancies

A recent study has stunned the liberal world of sex education. When England announced it would cut funding to its sex education classes in 2010, activists and Liberals alike warned there would be a dramatic rise in unwanted pregnancies as a result. However a recent study conducted by researchers David Paton (Nottingham University Business School) and Liam Wright (School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield) said the exact opposite happened. Teen pregnancies actually dropped after the cuts. In their study reported in the Journal of Health Economics, the two researchers looked at the statistics of 149 municipalities between 2009 and 2014. They discovered during this period where there were cuts to sex education that overall teen pregnancies dropped 42.6% and are now down to levels last seen in 1969. Ironically, they also noted the biggest decreases took place in municipalities with the highest cuts. The two stated in their report: “Contrary to predictions made at the time of the cuts, panel data estimates show that expenditure cuts are associated with a small reductions …

Children need married parents to thrive Credit: buck82/Flickr/Creative Commons

Children do better when parents are married versus living together

A recent study by the Institute for Family Studies found that children raised in a family where parents marry have the best chance of success. The study reported in The Federalist analyzed data from 100 countries. The study found that where there is no marriage commitment — this included situations where both of the child’s biological parents were living together — there was a greater chance the child would face a union transition. This takes place when parents end their relationship and start a new sexual relationship. These types of transition create a major time of instability for children often resulting in emotional and behavioral problems, educational difficulties and even a higher risk of death for the child. The report stated that “[C]ohabitation continues to confer a stability disadvantage on individual children even as cohabitation has become more normative.” The report disputes those who suggest that because of the rise in rates cohabitation it should be looked upon as the new form of marriage. Writing for The Federalist, Holly Scheer said: “Couples who commit to …

Is divorce a violent act? Credit: --christophe--/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does divorce impact a child’s spirituality?

One of God’s clearest denunciations of divorce is found in the book of Malachi. Speaking on behalf of God, the Prophet thunders: “For, I hate divorce.” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) Then God declares divorce an act of violence. “and him who covers his garment with wrong, (literally violence)” When the Lord says that I don’t believe He is describing the acrimony that often occurs between a man and woman when they divorce. The couple divorcing could still be friends, but the act of divorce itself is inherently violent. In the previous verses we discover the reason: 14 You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. 15 Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth. (Malachi 2:14-15 NIV) In …

Credit: Chris Goldberg/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does this study confirm Proverbs 22:6?

In a report published in Psychological Science, researchers in a study associated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA have concluded a person’s home environment as a child has a profound affect on them over 60 years later. In this study, that has been ongoing for 78 years, researchers followed a group of people starting at adolescence into late life. It was a unique study as it required adding new team members to continue this multi-decade analysis. This particular aspect of the study started sixty years ago and involved 81 men, 50 whose family were connected with Harvard and 31 from an inner city area in Boston. During their early adolescent years, the selected members of the study group went through an in-depth interview, where earlier researchers gathered information on their home environment, relationship with their mom and dad and general family life. They also interviewed the parents. From this, the researchers created a profile of each person and a measurement of how nurturing their family life was. The research group interviewed these men throughout …

Marriage offers protection. Photo: angelo23/Flickr/Creative Commons

Study: Marriage increases cancer survival rates

A new study published by Fremont’s Cancer Prevention Institute of California and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine may have unlocked why married people have a better chance of surviving cancer. Over the years, several studies have shown that married people have higher survival rates than their non married counter parts when it comes to dealing with this disease. In this particular study, researchers looked at 783,167 patients and determined that unmarried men were 27% more likely to die from cancer than their married counterparts and unmarried women 19% more likely. The group then decided to remove other socio-economic factors such as finances that could potentially affect a person’s ability to survive cancer. In America, it can impact the type of health insurance a person can buy. Once these factors were removed, they discovered that an unmarried man’s chances of dying from cancer was still 22% higher than his married counterpart and for unmarried women it was still 15% higher. The researchers concluded that though other socio-economic factors contributed to a person’s …

Families are the happiest when attending church.

Study: Marriages are the happiest when couples attend church

A study released by the Institute of Family Studies concluded that marriages are the happiest when both members of a couple attend religious services or if the husband does. In contrast, the least happiest are those where neither person attends or the just the wife does. The study entitled Better together: Religious attendance, gender and relationship was written by W. Bradford Wilcox of University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and Professor Nicholas Wolfinger from the University of Utah. For their report the two analyzed data from the National Survey of Religion and Family conducted in the US in 2006. After accounting for other factors such as economic well-being and education, they discovered: 78% of couples when both or just the husband attended church considered themselves “very” or “extremely” happy. 67% of couples considered themselves happy when neither attended services. Only 59% of couples said they were happy when just the wife attended religious services. The two stated that the reason they believe religious services are a contributing factor to successful relationships is because they are …

God ordained one man, one wife. Photo: Jose Carlos Castro/Flickr/Creative Commons

Was it Christianity’s insistence on monogamy that led to successful societies?

In a recent article in the National Post, Barbara Kay discussed a book, Marriage and Civilization, written by William Tucker. In it, Tucker argues that what made certain civilizations more successful than others was their insistence on monogamous marriage — one husband and one wife. He does not suggest that nations pushing monogamous marriage were perfect, but they tended to be more successful than those that practiced polygamy. He attributes Christianity for being the major reason for the acceptance of monogamy. Despite having a secular view, he described Christianity as “the most powerful force for implementing monogamy in Western Civilization.” Tucker states one of the hallmarks of a polygamous society is that it is often in conflict. He says “everywhere polygamy is practiced it creates conflict” which hindered the culture’s development. And there is a very good reason for this because “there is always a shortage of women” in a polygamous society. As a result, men would raid other groups in search of women for marriage. A second thing also happened. Due to the lack of …

Wall of a kindergarten class in Nymegen, Holland. Photo: Bruno Casonato/Flickr

The gift of time

One of the big mistakes a parent can make is pushing their children ahead of their years. We want them in kindergarten at an earlier age and as a result they end up in school being the youngest child in their class. In these situations, children can often be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and are prescribed medication to try to control it. However, the problem may simply be their age. Put them back a year, and they would completely fit in. A recent study by Stanford Graduate School of Education says holding a child back one year before entering kindergarten can “dramatically” improve a child’s self-control in later years. In the US, children traditionally enter kindergarten at age 5. The study was co-authored by Professor Thomas Dee of Stanford University and researcher Henrik Sievertsen from the Danish National Center for Social Research. They added that holding a child back one year in kindergarten can show beneficial results for a child up to the age of 11. It could even have positive benefits …

Has persecution come to the schools of America?

God is a ‘myth’ controversy at Texas school heats up

In an earlier post, I reported on Jordan Wooley, a seventh grader who attends West Memorial Junior High School in Katy, Texas. She alleged on Monday, October 26, 2015, her reading teacher gave the class a poll assignment which included a question asking if God was “fact, opinion or myth.” The teacher told the students that the only correct answer to the question was “myth” and that they would lose marks with any other answer. Jordan alleged this resulted in a heated discussion in class as students challenged the answer. The teacher refused to back down and Jordan refused to back down from her faith. Later that evening, Jordan made a presentation about what happened in her class to a school board meeting. The superintendent said the administration would look into the allegations. On Wednesday, the superintendent released a statement on the controversy. Though stating the assignment was “ill-conceived,” the school had interviewed several students and none verified Jordan’s story. He added that there was a question about God in class, but the word myth …

Marriage is a balancing act Photo: kylesteed/Flickr

Study: Thankfulness is the key to a successful marriage

A survey conducted by researchers with the University of Georgia concluded that thankfulness is a key to success in a marriage relationship. They even suggested that thankfulness will actually protect a marriage from divorce. The researchers gathered this information through a telephone survey of 468 married people. They quizzed them in several areas including financial, feelings of gratitude and communication. They discovered that gratitude or thankfulness was the most important indicator of the quality of the marriage, even exceeding good communication. They found that  during times of marital conflicts involving fighting and other forms of negative communication that expressions of thankfulness can counteract these feelings. Speaking on behalf of the group, Allen Barton, a postdoctoral research associate at the university’s Center for Family Research, said: “It goes to show the power of ‘thank you.’ Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other area, gratitude in a relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.” The researchers found that financial stress in particular can lead to criticism or nagging which can cause the other …

Sleeping on paper and pavement in 40 degrees. Photo Graf Spee/Foter/CC BY

What is the biggest cause of homelessness?

It seems we regularly hear calls by activists and politicians to end homelessness and frankly governments have been trying to do it for years, without success. To effectively deal with homelessness, you have to find its cause and cut it off at the root. I was surprised, and then I wasn’t, when I read Emma Woolley’s article on her thoughts on the reasons for homelessness. Woolley writes for the Canadian arm of Homeless Hub that looks for solutions for homelessness. Many people point to the obvious — job loss, drug and alcohol addictions and mental illness as key reasons for homelessness — and though these are major contributors, oddly those who specialize in the care of homeless people do not consider them as the number one reason for homelessness. In her article What are the statistics on homelessness due to divorce?, Woolley pointed to two organizations Homeless Link and Crisis who both stated divorce or relationship breakdown was the number one cause homelessness. This can be between spouses or children and the family resulting in …

Is divorce a contributing factor to homelessness? Photo Ted McGrath/Flickr

The impact of divorce on adult children

I have posted two articles already on a 2001 report on the impact of divorce on children written by Rebecca O’Neill. In the previous articles I looked at how divorce negatively affects children and teens. In this post, I want to look at how divorce affects children as they become adults. At the time she wrote the report, Rebecca worked for the Institute for the Study of Civil Society based in London, England. In her paper, entitled Experiments in living: the Fatherless family, she compiled the statistics of many studies that analyzed the impact of absent fathers on children. While many of these studies looked at the consequence of divorce on children others simply researched the fallout of mothers raising children on their own — some being unwed mothers. Since divorce usually ends up with a mother raising a family alone, the consequences are often the same in both cases. In this last in my three-part series I look at how divorce negatively affects children once they become adults. In many instances the researchers tried …

When ‘cool’ kids lose their ‘cool’

When our children attend school parents are in immediate competition with the ‘cool’ kids for influence. It can be a tough battle. At other times, it is hard to watch your children facing the rejection that comes with not being part of the school’s ‘in’ group. A new study is showing that being ‘cool’ in school does not translate into success when you are older. The study conducted by Psychology professors Joseph Allen and Hugh Kelly from the University of Virginia found that kids perceived to be ‘cool‘ in their early teens lost much of their sheen by the time they reached their early 20s. In their study, published in the Journal of Child Development, the researchers followed 184 13-year-old teens (grades 7 and 8) for ten years until they were age 23. They found in the early teen years ‘cool’ kids gained their popularity by hanging around with the good-looking kids at the schools. The ‘cool’ kids also acted older than they really were, which their peers found strangely appealing.  This included earlier participation …

Photo: jbdodane/Flickr

Impact of divorce on teens

I was reading an article about a young teen, William Cornick, 15, from England who stabbed his teacher to death in front of his classmates in 2014. The incident shocked people across England. William was doing exceptionally well academically. He seemed like a normal, well-adjusted boy. Police found the family to be loving, caring and involved in William’s life. They could find no reason that would explain the murder of a teacher. I had to read several articles before I discovered a single line, buried at the bottom of an article that said his parents had divorced. Is it possible, this one fact hidden in dozens of pages written on this horrific attack was the reason for this violent murder? In a previous article, Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children, I looked at the impact of divorce on children from a report written by Rebecca O’Neill in 2001 for England’s Institute for the Study of Civil Society based in London. O’Neill looked at the vast amount of research on the profound impact absent fathers …

Matthew McConaughey and Camila: Getty Images

Matthew McConaughey: A modern day covenant

[by Linda Wilson and Barb Smith] There was an intriguing article in The Christian Post last fall about Matthew McConaughey and his girlfriend Camila making a covenant with God. McConaughey and Camila Alves, a Brazilian model, had been together since 2006 and they had two children by the time they married in 2012. McConaughey admits that Camila put some pressure on him to get married.  He says he was open to getting married but not because it was expected of him. “We talked about it spiritually” McConaughey explained to GQ magazine,  “We did a lot of reading and talked to a lot of people that had been divorced, a lot of people that had been happily married.  We talked to our pastor.  In the end our understanding was, let’s go make a covenant, with you, me, and God.” Matthew has Christian roots. According to reports the reason you never hear him referred to as “Matt” is because his mother named him after the Gospel writer Matthew in the New Testament. Because of that, she told …

Divorce has a negative impact on children.

Studies reveal the negative impact of divorce on children

While the Old Testament Law provided for divorce, Jesus was adamant God only allowed it because of the hardness of people’s hearts (Mathew 19:7, 8). In the book of Malachi, the prophet expresses God’s true feelings on divorce: “‘For I hate divorce,’ says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘and him who covers his garment with wrong,’ says the Lord of Hosts. ‘So take heed to your spirit that you do not deal treacherously.’” (Malachi 2:16 NASV) This verse not only says God hates divorce, but explains one of its byproducts through the phrase “covers his garment with wrong.” The NASV translated the Hebrew word “chamas” as wrong, but the word actually means violence and by implication wrong. A garment was an idiom used to describe the covering and protection the husband provided the family. Through divorce this covering turned from one of protection to one of violence. We see further evidence of this in the Hebrew word for divorce ‘keritut” or more specifically its root “Karat” which means: “to cut off part of the …

The unseen violence of divorce

[by Dean Smith] A brutal murder which took place on April 28, 2014 was one of the most disturbing in England that year. It caught the media and public’s attention like no other. Ann Maguire, 61, a school teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, England was teaching a Spanish class at the school. It was supposed to be her last year as she was looking forward to retirement in the fall. She bent down for a moment to talk to one of the students in the class.

Who has the most worthwhile job? Believe it or not, survey says stay-at-home moms

[by Dean Smith] Years ago, I attended a political meeting, when a young stay-at-home mom nervously approached a mike in an open session to address the several politicians, including the party leader, sitting at the front. She expressed her desire to be at home looking after her young children. She believed it was an important job, but government policies including higher taxation rates were making it increasingly difficult for her family to do this. It seemed everyone, in this largely conservative gathering, applauded her statement. Well, everyone I guess, except one.

The long-term effects of divorce on children

[by Dean Smith] A 25-year study by sociologist Judith Wallerstein from the University of Berkley discovered the problems children encounter when their parents’ divorce often don’t show up until later — when the children are between 20 and 30 years of age. In her study entitled, The unexpected legacy of divorce: A 25 year landmark study, Wallerstein followed 100 children over a 25-years period commencing in 1971 when California liberalized its divorce legislation. Wallerstein stated the results surprised her. It was clear the delayed, negative impact of divorce on children was more far-reaching than first anticipated.

Study says if you are looking for gore and horror turn on a children’s show

[by Dean Smith] If you are looking for films with a bit of death and gore, you may find exactly what you want in the cartoons set aside for your children. According to a report released in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this past December, children’s cartoons and movies are full of death often surpassing levels found in adult dramas. The research team, led by Ian Colman, associate professor of epidemiology at Canada’s University of Ottawa, used a “Kaplan-Meler survival analysis” to compare when the first death occurred in a group of top 135 grossing movies — 45 considered children’s entertainment and 90 adult-themed.

Report: By age 17, 83% of black children are living in broken homes

According to two reports released by the Family Research Council, (FRC) by age 17, 83% of Black children are living in broken homes. By the same age, 46% of white children are no longer living with both biological parents. Over the last 60 years, the problem has steadily worsened with an increasing number of children being affected by broken families. Between 1950 and 2012, the number of black teens aged 15 to 17, who lived in a family made up of both biological parents had declined by 21%. For white children, the decrease was 13%.

Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance should encourage parents to pray for their children

[by Dean Smith] I am sure the Christian parents of mega-pop star Katy Perry have struggled as they watched their daughter climb the heights of stardom while seemingly walking away from her faith. Katy’s parents, Keith and Mary Hudson, are Pentecostal pastors now based in Santa Barbara, CA. They minister through the US preaching the Gospel. Katy grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school and for a time even sang Gospel music. But as her popularity grew, she walked away from her faith. In a 2013 interview with a woman’s magazine, Marie Claire, Katy stated she no longer “believes in an old man sitting on a throne” and certainly her lifestyle would back up that statement. But things are never as cut and dried as they seem and this applies to all children of Christian parents.

The real problem is fatherless boys?

[by Dean Smith] After the unfortunate shooting of Terrance Walker, 21, by a police officer, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke went on Fox News to explain the situation. He was responding to criticism by a local chapter of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) that described the incident as a “shoot first, ask questions later” killing of another young black man. Police allege Walker had a gun and was stalking his girlfriend. A pastor, officiating a wedding, called police when Walker showed up outside the church.

A husband’s love

[by Earl Blacklock] Leprosy is a chronic bacterial infection which causes disfiguring skin lesions, blindness, and absorption of bones and cartilage. Formally known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is only mildly communicable. Nevertheless, over a period spanning thousands of years, it has been a disease that has meant fear, rejection, and personal terror. Since its first diagnosis in the United States, thousands of people contracted the disease. Those diagnosed with the disease suffered shame and sorrow. Starting in 1921, public health authorities in the United States sent patients diagnosed with leprosy to the Public Health Service Center in Carville, Louisiana for isolation and treatment. Mail to the outside could only be sent by a staff member, after sterilization.

Marriage success not defined by wedding expense

[by Dean Smith] A study by two economic professors, Hugo Mialon and Andrew Francis, from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia discovered there is an inverse relationship between how much was spent on a wedding and the success of the marriage. One would typically think the more you spent on the wedding the longer a marriage would last. In fact, the opposite is the case. According to an article on CNN, they found divorce rates for weddings costing over $20,000 were 1.6 times higher than for weddings ranging between $5,000 and $10,000. Weddings costing less than a $1,000 were also more successful than the average marriage.

For 12 years, everyone thought he was in a vegetative state, but he wasn’t

When he was 12 years old, doctors diagnosed Martin Pistorius with Cryptococci Meningitis. Meningitis involves the inflammation of the meninges which covers the brain and spinal cord. This particular form is caused by Cryptococcus neoformans a fungus found in bird droppings in the soil. Untreated, it can lead to brain damage, coma and ultimately death. The unfortunate part is that the symptoms initially develop very slowly, making it difficult to detect. Shortly after diagnosis, Martin stopped speaking and moving and entered a vegetative state. The doctors told his parents, Rodney and Joan Pistorius, there was nothing that could be done. Martin was sent home with the expectation he would soon die.

Survey shows divorce often doesn’t end well — for children

[by Dean Smith] There used to be a time, a long time ago, when parents in troubled marriages stayed together for the sake of their children. Sometimes those marriages actually turned around. Other times they struggled through. But those days are long gone. Today divorce is easy. If the billboards in North America are right, you can get a simple divorce for $399 and sometimes they go on sale. But those prices are deceiving because for children, depending on their age, the cost of divorce can sometimes be very expensive. Some end up paying for their parents’ divorce the rest of their lives. Resolution is an English legal organization made up of 6,500 lawyers who specialize in family law. They recently commissioned a survey to find out how divorce affected children. They surveyed 500 kids (aged 14 to 22) in England and Wales asking them pointed questions on the impact of their parents’ divorce.

Parents: Study shows the faith you developed in your children was not in vain

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV) [by Dean Smith] The Book of Proverbs gives a word of encouragement to parents about their children. The Bible tells us if we train a child in the ways of God that this faith and beliefs would continue to influence them well into old age. But notice how it says “when they are old” they won’t depart. In between, we can watch, often with concern, as our children seem to grow cold to their faith and in some ways even back away from it or even fall away. But Bible says the faith developed in their hearts as a child is still there and as they grow older it will begin to reassert itself. Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, have discovered a very interesting thing about beliefs. They found that despite what university students were saying openly about God or heaven, the beliefs of these students were very …

There is no good divorce, for children

A study led by Indiana University’s Dr. Jonathon Beckmeyer has concluded there is no such thing as a good divorce when looking at its impact on children. The study disagrees with a widely held view that divorces where the parents have a friendly relationship are less damaging on children than those where the parents are in conflict. Studies have shown that divorce can have a negative impact on children leading to increased rates of drug use, behavioral problems at home and school and increased problems with depression and anxiety. The study published in Family Relations, an academic journal, looked at the impact of divorce/separation on the children of 270 parents who divorced or separated between 1998 and 2004. Of the families studied, 31% classified the relationship with their ex as “co-operative,” 24% described it as “conflictual” and the rest (45%) described it as somewhere in the middle.

Over 50% regret their decision to divorce

According to a survey — conducted in conjunction with the DVD release of a movie called The Love Punch — 54% of people who had divorced said they had second thoughts about their decision. The survey was reported by the Daily Mail. The Love Punch, starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson, is a comedy about a divorced couple who are brought back together to try to recover a retirement fund stolen through fraud. During this process, they realize their love for each other had not died. The survey questioned 2,000 UK men and women who had either been either divorced or separated from a long term relationship for over five years.

Swiss study shows fathers are important to a child’s church attendance

In England, the feminist message is fully embraced in the Church of England where separate offices have been set up for feminist theologians. The church’s liturgy has been emasculated changing references to God from Father to mother. The Bible is being rewritten to engender sexual neutrality. The fruit of this transformation is showing up in church statistics. The ratio of men to women in the Church of England has sunk from 45% men and 55% women prior to 1990 to 37% men and 63% women today. At the same time, attendance in the Church of England is in a steady decline. But if a study done in Switzerland is any indication, this feminist influence in Liberal churches may be one of the reasons why church attendance is in a downward spiral.

Are the lies about divorce leading to divorce?

In her book, The Good News About Marriage, author Shaunti Feldhahn reveals some interesting stats she uncovered about marriage and divorce that counter the perception most marriages are doomed to fail. Feldhahn says this type of information is important because she believes most marriages fail because people are convinced divorce is not only inevitable, but almost expected. She says there is a culture of “futility” about marriage and this causes people to not fight through hard times that invariably come in a marriage.

Is England on the verge of criminalizing parenting?

If you want to see the future for North American watch what is unfolding in the United Kingdom. There are disturbing things happening in that country and when it happens there, its next stop seems to be North America. The Christian Institute is warning about recent legislation proposed for England redefining child neglect. If passed, it could potentially turn every parent in that country into a criminal. The Institute says the legislation will be introduced in the Queen’s speech on June 4, 2014. In this speech, English governments traditionally present their legislative goals in the upcoming session of parliament. According to a law passed in 1933, child neglect is limited to areas of providing basic care such as food, clothing and medical aid. Failure to do that could result in charges. However, the new legislation is expected to include emotional care in the list of abuses.

After being pronounced dead, a preemie baby comes back to life lying on his mother’s chest

Jamie along with his twin sister were born at just 27 weeks. Each weighed just two pounds. However, when doctors were unable to resuscitate Jamie after 20 minutes, they pronounced him dead. In tears, his mother, Australian Kate Ogg, asked if she could hold Jamie for a bit to say her last good-bye. She unwrapped Jamie from the blanket and held him against her body skin-to-skin. And for the next couple hours she held and cuddled him. She told Jamie his name and told him that he had a sister. Jamie coughed once early, but doctors said it was just a natural reflex and assured his parents that he was dead.