She's Spoken

Advice, opinions, and critical thinking all in one place!

Archive for parenting

How large is your child’s Social Networking Footprint?

I have read a few a good stories her lately about cyber-bullying and the devastating effects it seems to have on mostly young girls. In both the cases I read the families are alleging their children’s deaths were caused by other online goers. My question is this, why did these children have so much exposure to the internet? To social networking sites that clearly have age limits that are often broken and side stepped? I am not saying that the families caused these suicides or that he bullies were completely innocent just that all parties need to be held equally responsible. Too many teens have cells phones, iPods, netbooks, and other mobile devices that have web access and this leaves them open for constant exposure to this social networking sites and other mostly inappropriate internet arenas.

Instead of paying attention in class these kids are updating their Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages as often as they breathe. Children today have too much free and instant access to way too many social venues and not all the children with access are emotionally, intellectually, or psychologically fit enough to be engaging in activities hosted at these sites. Bullies are nothing new; they are as old as the institution of uniform education. But the avenues change and as parents we need to be more aware. I mean these kids aren’t buying their own cell phones or paying their own internet bills. We as parents have to take more measures to check our children’s social networking footprint. If half of you checked your child’s current Facebook or MySpace status you would be very shocked if not mortified. The lack of communication that exists is astronomical. We have to be more aware and take advantage of parental controls. If you allow usage of social forums monitor pages, have access and check it often. If you see red flags shut it down.

In one case the mother admitted to experiencing some red flags, which should have been enough. She saw some of the cruel messages that were being posted; she should have stopped the access immediately. Nothing positive could come from those messages. Even more so on the flip side parents of bullies you should be more proactive and less reactive in terms of your children too. You know when your child’s mood changes or if their aggression levels change, you hear the comments about peers and you see the little things. STOP ignoring them. You have the ability to stop things like these suicides before they occur. Blaming others does not restore life. Monitoring initiatives should be proactive not vice versa.  Death should not be the cause of responsible parental action or the introduction of civil measures of protections. We have to do all that we can to protect our children, to make sure that they are exposed to the right types of attention and social forums. Use those parental blockers and stop being afraid to ask questions, check social forums, access text messages, and when necessary cut access to these arenas. You are responsible for your children’s safety. In some cases it is us that is enabling these harmful forms of communications and obsessive and constant access by supplying our kids with the latest and what is raved as the greatest Technology. Children DON’T NEED INTERNET ACCESS ON A CELL PHONE! CHILDREN DON’T NEED LAPTOPS IN THEIR BEDROOMS AND WE NEED TO MONITOR MORE!

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Stop Procreating…

I have come to the conclusion after reviewing the current data available regarding child abuse cases, number of young mothers and my own recent run-in that not all women deserve children, just as not all men are good fathers. I am especially perturbed at these women who continue to procreate knowing that they are far under equipped emotionally and financially to do so. Yet they continue to lie on their backs and engage in unprotected sexual acts that create these innocent children will suffer due to their lack of parental skills and lack of means to support them. As a result of the mom’s deficiencies many of these children are abused, neglected, or even in some cases just dropped off at the local child protective services office. Well, news flash ladies, birth-control and contraceptives do exist. I also hear that abstinence works well too or perhaps maybe a surgical procedure that will help eliminate the possibility of you ever rearing children again.

We have so many children suffering and in foster care because their parents failed them miserably. The only losers in this situation are the innocent children. I am a firm believer that this country needs to reevaluate its birthing regulations. What I am going to say will offend some of you, maybe even many of you but it’s worth that risk. I think that women in the following categories: single-mothers, repeat conceivers, mothers under 21, first time mothers and mothers with a drug and alcohol abuse history should be REQUIRED as part of their prenatal care to take parenting and substance abuse classes where appropriate. They have classes on breastfeeding and bottle making but nothing on how to raise your children.

There are too many children out there joining gangs because they lack a sense of familial belonging, killing women because of their motherly issues, and just running a mock because their parental unit has given up or refuses to perform the task of raising her children. These women receive state aid, but no parenting or structure classes. They should be required to take parenting and proper punishment classes. I also believe in some cases counseling is necessary and should be undergone.  Here are some stats, and if after reading these you still disagree then maybe you and I should have a one-on-one. According to the department of Child Welfare there are approximately 1,760 child DEATHS caused by abuse or neglect, and that was as of 2007. In addition, of that number 34% were the direct result of abuse or neglect.  There are over 3 MILLION REPORTED cases of child abuse each year. In 2008 there were 463,000 children in foster care according to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, and of those 463,000 kids 47% were placed in none relative foster care homes, 10% in facilities and 6% in group-homes. Those numbers are much higher today, about 600,000. There are 4 million US births each year, and of those births about 425,000 are teens ages 15 to 19! Even more alarming is that 40% of those births are new mothers. The U.S. Census indicated that 7.4 million children were living with single moms that were unemployed or simply just not in the labor force. That is just sad. This means that you and I are supporting these kids. We are able to contribute financially to what we hope is there well-being but, we are not good enough to have our say so in ensuring that they are raised to be productive and successful citizens? So, we are essentially funding lazy, unemployed, baby-making, neglectful mothers? I am not okay with that. I think we need to review our welfare system and our birthing regulations altogether.

 ** Census stats can be retrieved from: http://www.census.gov/prod/3/97pubs/cb-9701.pdf

Child Abuse stats were retrieved from: http://www.childhelp.org/resources/learning-center/statistics & http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/fatality.cfm#children

 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services data retrieved from: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report16.htm **