DA*DI's Poster:
Kids Without Dads

Dr. Wade Horn
on kids :

  • Terrible Twos Signify Time of Important Growth

  • Go To Sleep

  • Sibling Fights

  • Just Say No!

  • Do you have
    a "class clown"?

  • Developing

  • Shacking Up

  • A Silly, Dangerous Book

  • Parental Rivalry

  • Failure Breeds Self-Esteem

  • The best prevention for domestic violence: Dad at home.

    Dr. Sal Severe:
    Kids and Divorce

    Larry Elder:
    To Spank or
    Not to Spank?

    Linda Chavez:
    Teen Sex:
    The Revolution is
    Just About Over

  • Fetus at 4.5 months:

    The fetus is about 7 inches in length; when the thumb comes close to the mouth, the head may turn, and the lips and tongue begin their sucking motions.

    Infancy: 0 - 12 months:

    A sense of trust requires a feeling of physical comfort and a minimal amount of fear about the future. Infants' basic needs are met by responsive, sensitive parenting.

    Infancy / Toddler: 13 - 24 months:

    After gaining trust in their parents, infants start to discover that they have a will of their own. They assert their sense of autonomy, or independence. If infants are punished too harshly, they are may develop a sense of shame and doubt. Paradoxically, in order for toddlers to develop a stable sense of security, their parents must first make them insecure. Parents do this by firmly, but gently dismantling his egocentric point of view and bulding, in its place, one based on the premise that they run the show.

    Early childhood: Preschool years; ages 3 - 5 years.

    Children are now asked to assume more responsibility as they encounter a widening social milieu with greater challenges and the need for more purposeful behavior. At this point it is the parents' challenge to inspire initiative without fostering excessive guilt. When parents learn to say "no" much more often than they say "yes", thereby "creatively depriving" their child (cf. John Rosemond), the child must become resourceful in solving problems.

    Middle childhood: early elementary school years; ages 6 and 7 years.

    As children move into the elementary school years, they begin to direct their energy toward mastering knowledge and early intellectual skills.

    Middle to late childhood: the 7 - 11 year split.

    At no other time are children more enthusiastic than at the end of early childhood. And it is at this time that children emerge from the cocoon of symbolic, concrete thinking to the operational phase of thinking logically about things, and their order in the universe of things.

    This stunning change in childrens' thinking has been quietly recognized by the Catholic church for many years, in that this is the time that catechism classes - and teaching the fundamentals of right and wrong and good and evil are typically begun. In Catholicism, this is the pre-stage to what in Judaism is the Bar Mitzvah.

    And here are where the ominous choices of industry versus inferiority, optimism versus pessimism are rooted.

    We adults have become inured by the nightly onslaught of TV sensationalism that report daily tragedies, and in so doing, have lost our capacity for genuine empathy - not to mention the transmogrification from horrified to titillated when witnessing brutal murders at the hands of the contemporary Schwarzennegered hero. Murder and mayhem are no longer the last-ditch response of the trapped and desperate, but rather the first recourse of the stylish iconoclast - and set to the tune of a captivating beat and the "cool" style of the rabid rapper.

    Its not just the frequency of violence, but the dramatic alteration of its nature and regard.

    And kids immersed in this virtual bloodbath - and ultimately those who fantasize murder or just shooting people to make a point - cannot begin to appreciate the enormity of physical and emotional pain that are involved in such inhuman acts. That's where we may have overlooked the value of spankings and playground fist fights, and warding off schoolyard bullies. These are abject lessons in the frailty of the human body, the power of power, and the palpable brutality of the fist that is stopped in it's forward momentum by a fleshy jaw, and the semi-rigid teeth behind it.

    Kathleen Parker recently wrote of her particular concerns with the gender engineering that is now taking place in America's schools. In lamenting the gender-equity diminishment of male youths she said: "Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America: A Call to Action was the driving force behind the bureaucratic boondoggle known as the Gender Equity in Education Act. The AAUW studies found, for example, that girls suffer because boys are called on more often.

    Specifically, the study said that boys call out in class eight times more than girls and get teacher's 'respectful' attention. Christina Hoff Sommers, feminist philosopher, professor and author, ('Who Stole Feminism?') analyzed the 'data' behind this claim and found the AAUW had misstated a 1981 study, which actually said this: 'Boys, particularly low-achieving boys, receive eight to 10 times as many reprimands as do their female classmates. When both girls and boys are misbehaving equally, boys still receive more frequent discipline.' Such misleading interpretations make mature, well- adjusted adults seethe.

    What happens to boys, weaned on violence and starved for male role models, when such factoids are further spun into social policies that cultivate special status for girls? Negative boy messages are everywhere, from a divorce culture that negates the importance of fathers, to television shows that make men look like ineffectual dolts, to 'Take Our Daughters To Work Day,' which says unequivocally that girls, not boys, are special.

    ...We need to deconstruct the gender monolith we've erected in the face of America's youth and stop insisting that one sex is more deserving than another. The disenfranchised will always find ways to express their rage."

    This a very well developed theory and premise - particularly when taken in context with my earlier comments. I would add that we are just beginning to see the effect of Roe v Wade. At ages 7 - 10 years, our kids experience a marked transition in the qualitative way in which they think about things and events. We have no idea how they regard or internalize the ongoing debate over partial birth and other abortions. My guess, especially for the kid who is experiencing some transitional discomfort, is that it is exacerbated by the perception that they are also expendable. They may be seeing themselves as valueless - only to find ample justification, as boys in a gender-focused classroom, in their perceptions of men as portrayed by media, and in being shuffled off to daycare - hohum.

    Parents have good reason, "these days" to be more afraid of, than afraid for their kids. The movie Frankenstein was loosely based on the popular fear of emerging medical technology. If the movie Frankenstein is ever recast, today's parent-child experiment would provide a more contemporary, reality-based horror story.

    Taken together with the tragedy of Fatherlessness in America, I think we are profoundly on target for projecting the real issues of the millenium. It isn't Y2K, it's ADK - About Destroying Kids, within and without.

    As to simplistic versus complex theories of child-raising, I commend simplicity and intuitive parenting. When someone comes to me with a complex solution, I always wonder what they are trying to sell. Case in point - the reconstruction of education has been based largely in the theories of Jean Piaget, a hugely complex and largely untested series of hypotheses that has ultimately served to indulge the egos of educational sophists.

    Piaget provided a valuable model for how a child's brain and intellect evolve through their interaction with the environment. But it told us nothing new about teaching and learning in the basics of language skills and math. We don't need Einsteinian approaches to teach a kid to read and count; we need a dedicated teacher who is able to present drill and repetition so that basic concepts are instilled.

    Professor Piaget would be terribly disappointed to learn that his theories and observations have become an excuse for incompetent teachers and methods who justify their poor performance by laying it off on the kids as a failure to mature, or to advance to a hypothesized learning stage.

    When your kid has done something wrong, and when asked why, launches an extended dissertation on the this and that of the etcetera, isn't simplification the goal of your inquiry?

    The most important lesson of childhood is discipline: disciplined behavior, disciplined thought, and discipline based in the morality of right and wrong, good and bad, and clear rules for human interaction. If we are looking for the fount of self-esteem, we might begin at the early rewards of self-discipline, and achievement through demonstrated competence in basic skills.

    "I think we have reached the point where we have to realize that what we are actually dealing with is the consequences of a breakdown of that internal regime of self-discipline and self-control which is the best preventative for crime in the first place; known variously as "character" or "moral discipline," it actually prevents people from committing crimes, because they no longer have the mindset of the lawless.

    And what is that mindset? Well, I think it's basically a mind that says that you do whatever you can get away with. And that understands that success that is, getting away with it is the only measure of whether what you have done is wrong. Because, of course, in this context the word "wrong" has no moral connotations. It simply means that you made an incorrect move, and got punished for it: sort of like a chess game in which you make a false move and your opponent takes advantage of it and checkmates you.

    ... That sense that there is no fundamental distinction to be drawn in action between right and wrong except that which is determined by the consequences is, I believe, the real key to understanding the difference between those who are law-abiding and those who are not. "
    - Dr. Alan Keyes

    Dads Against the Divorce Industry Dads Against the Divorce Industry