Parenting Classes Waterbury CT
Dr. Roger McIntire
Not Just for Children
You might think a survey called Reading at Risk would be about how children are doing in school, but the report this week is about adults way past their school days.
Every 10 years The National Endowment for the Arts asks over 17,000 adults from 18 to over 75 if, during the past 12 months, they read any novels, short stories, plays, or poetry in their leisure time (not for work or school).
In the latest 2002 survey, barely half said they read any book in the last year, and less than half read any literary book - the proportion is down from 56 to 46 percent since 1982. Men are down to 37 percent and women are down to 55.
The lower the age, the lower the reading habit and the faster it is dropping. In the 18 to 24 age group, reading is down 28 percent since 1982. The electronic age is taking over, and most of it is a mindless squandering of time.
At school, reading level is one of the best predictors of success, but getting students to take up the reading habit has always been a challenge for teachers and parents alike. If a student's reading assignments or his reading skill doesn't keep up with his growing interests, regular reading drops off.
Both parents and teachers can become tired of cajoling a balking student. Many students will never pick up the skills and will go through life hiding their lack of reading skills and maneuvering around embarrassing situations that require reading.
There is help for poor readers of all ages. Our community libraries and schools have programs that encourage and help both good and poor readers. If you'd like to volunteer as a tutor, ask at your library for the name and phone number of the nearest Literacy Volunteers agency. For disadvantaged students, mandatory testing can be discouraging and the emphasis on standardized learning may discourage important creative learning. But the frequent specialized quizzes of the reading programs provide a motivation for students to seek out books to read and faraway places to visit through literature.
The extra benefit will come in meeting the demands of future jobs and daily life. Improved reading skill leads to creative thinking habits that will help your child correctly evaluate the slogans of advertisers, political candidates and used car dealers.
Become aware of what your child's school is doing to promote general reading, and what suggestions teachers have for your son or daughter. Keep a ...
Second Marriage Child-Rearing
When a parent with children marries a second time, family circumstances can be complex. The stepparent in most states is a “legal stranger.” That means the stepfather (if Mom brings the children into the marriage) has no legal right to the minor child’s discipline no matter how involved in the child’s life he may be. If Dad brings the children to the marriage, Mom is the “legal stranger.”
The rights and privileges remain with the biological parents. The legal stranger, though married to one biological parent, has no rights concerning the child unless he is assigned them by an adoption agreement with the biological parents. And, of course, the package includes responsibilities such as child support and educational necessities. Even if one biological parent is a “non-custodial parent,” that is, no longer in the picture, he or she retains specified rights as well as responsibilities.
Married or not, partners in a long-term relationship must cooperate in parenting. This requires talk and negotiation with and without smaller ears listening in. Both parents have to back up each other when one steps in to do his part.
When I was counseling Jason’s mother through some tough times, 13-year-old Jason asked her for money to buy a video game. She said, “Ask your father.”
Going-on-14 said, “You mean Franklin? He’s not my father.”
Mom said, “He is in this house, go ask him if he will help you.” Franklin said no to the violent video game but offered to buy Jason his second choice, a GPS “app” for Jason’s phone. Jason was learning something about the good side of Mom’s effort to rebuild her social life and about his place in the family.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, over 50 percent of the 60 million children under 13 are living with one
biological parent and that parent’s current partner. Whatever these children do is likely to get some parental or
current partner reaction. It will be negative or positive or the parenting powers will react with indifference.
Since both “old” parents and new ones know the bad behaviors when they see them, they may be less clear about the good behaviors and react to them less often. Newcomers in this parenting situation can easily overlook their responsibility to admire good things of their new “offspring.” They may presume that parent number 1 should do that. The relationship with kids will change fast when the positive reactions are left out. To correct the situation, let’s start with two good family rules the new couple should talk over frequently.
Rule 1: Find the good behaviors. New Dads seem to...
Time and Money
Dr. Roger McIntire
Yes, money does matter, but most preschoolers only beg for it when they think it’s necessary, grade schoolers will hoard it but don’t know the price of groceries—even the ice cream they like—and most teenage mall-shoppers cannot come close to guessing the balance on the card they are handing to yet another sales person.
With so little education, it is not surprising so many get money matters all wrong when they become adults.
Larry Winget teaches tough lessons on Big Spenders, a TV program about young adults who have gone off the deep end of debt. Spending hundreds more a month than they earn and shopping impulsively, they regularly beg their parents and friends to bail them out.
One big spender had talked Mom and Dad into a new equity loan on their house to pay off her credit card only to charge the balance right back up and leave her parents with another mortgage to pay.
Our children receive few school lessons about money management, yet they deal with more money than we ever saw. Chicago’s Teenage Research Unlimited estimates that today’s teenagers spend $175 billion each year without much thought.
My first parenting lesson on this topic came when my 7-year-old asked for candy at our local convenience store. I knew my “yes” was wrong when she picked up the candy and started to walk out, leaving me to clean up the details. I stopped her and asked her to figure out how much her candy was. Then I gave her the money, asked her to pay for it and count the change. She might as well start learning how all of this happens.
I was prepared for this little lesson because I heard a mother at the food store ask her 12-year-old son, “Is the $3.39 cereal box size really a saving over the $2 size?” I could almost see smoke rising from his ears as he wrote numbers on the back of Mom’s shopping list to divide the quantities written on the packages by the prices. Great question.
Share financial information with your children as you can and teach the basics of a checking account and debit and credit cards – including the reports and bills they produce.
When one mom asked her son to sit down with her on bill-paying day he said, “Mom, I don’t want to know about that, it’ll just stress me out.” Yes, but it is a stress we all need to learn to endure.
Having the kids watch and do arithmetic while you pay monthly bills is a good dose of re...