All posts tagged: Children

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 …

Photo: Giuseppe Milo www.pixael.com /Flickr/Creative Commons

How unrealistic expectations trip up your child

One of the biggest regrets my husband and I have is the expectations we placed upon our kids especially our son in his younger years. None of the expectations had anything to do with him and everything to do with what we wanted and how we wanted to feel. Expectations are good. Unrealistic expectations are not and do not leave room for flexibility or change. Clinical Psychologist Selena Snow says,  “unrealistic expectations are potentially damaging because they set us and others up for failure.” It took awhile for us to realize that our expectations were unrealistic and taking a toll on our son. Life wasn’t fun for him anymore. He felt trapped and did not want to make a mistake for fear of losing our approval. Taking risks was no longer an option for him. When it comes to our family, our expectations must be placed in God, not our children. Putting our expectations upon our children especially at a young age can create all kinds of frustration, anger and resentment, not just for the …

Children playing in Thailand Photo: Khanh Hmoong/Flickr

What is the most important thing you can do for your child?

The Bible is full of advice on child-rearing. Experts in the field have written hundreds of books and I hate to even delve into this area. Admittedly what I will be sharing doesn’t receive the same press as many popular theories, nevertheless it may help your child develop a proper Biblical view of our Heavenly Father – that God loves us and only has our best interests at heart. To understand this principle, we must look at Genesis 1: 26, where God says, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” The word ‘image’ (Hebrew tselem) means to be a representative figure. It is used throughout the Old Testament to describe idols or as the King James version quaintly called them ‘graven images’ (cf. Isaiah 45:20). This means humans functioned as idols of God, not those cut from stone or hewed from wood. But the choice of “tselem” is curious because it begs the question — who were men and women supposed to represent God to? If we are all created in …

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 …

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 …

James Dean in the 1956 movie "Rebel without a Cause" pictured the 'cool' kid in school who teens idolized Photo: Flckr/insomnia cured here

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 …

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 …

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 hidden cost of divorce is paid for by the children. Photo: zyphichore/Foter/CC BY-NC

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.

Actual photo from Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia of home cut in half as couple decide to separate. Image khucgigia/Foter/CC BY-SA

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.

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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.

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.

What Britney Spears teaches us about parenting and planting seeds

In a Twitter question and answer to promote her latest CD “Britney Jean,” pop star Britney Spears caused a stir when asked what her favourite book was. Britney tweeted “Anything by Max Lucado.” Lucado is a preacher and prolific Christian writer. He ministers at Oak Hill Church in San Antonio, Texas and has written 100 books including “You’ll get through this.” Britney’s choice of Lucado proved controversial among Britney’s gay followers as Lucado publicly opposed gay marriage. Though her interest in Lucado seems surprising, it shouldn’t. Britney comes from a Christian home.

The consequences of “time poverty” in single parent families

A study conducted in Sweden in 2002, presented a disturbing picture of the struggle facing single parents. The study — released in a medical journal called The Lancet in January 2003 — reported children in single parent families were: Twice as likely to have “psychiatric disease” Twice as likely to attempt or commit suicide Up to Four times as likely to abuse alcohol and drugs (boys four times, girls three times) The study compared the medical and death records of 65,000 children from single parent families with 920,000 children from two-parent families between 1985 and 1990. 

Study shows words can have a damaging effect.

The damaging power of words

A playtime children chant “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me” leaves the impression words are harmless.  But in fact words have power and the Bible speaks clearly on the damage words can inflict on a person’s heart. There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword. (Proverbs 12:18a NASV) The Hebrew phrase “speaks rashly” refers to a word spoken “rashly” or “thoughtlessly.” It refers to words spoken with emotion. Words spoken in anger. Such words are compared to thrusts of a sword in the way they can inflict “internal wounds.” A study conducted by the researchers from the University of Michigan and University of Pittsburgh shows parents can inflict