child

All posts tagged child

condominiums spaces

Published August 15, 2013 by Tony

Let children play alone

The City of Milan has proposed an amendment to the regulation of the municipal police, which would allow use of the spaces inside the condominiums to residents, for letting children play or other purposes, in compliance with the provided time slots.
A good news indeed, if we consider that, especially in the North, the condos are closed and “sad” spaces, sometimes very big that do not have a real utility. Therefore, it is nice to know that these collective microworlds can find their own arrangement, like to be used by children to play or dwellers to organize  little parties, without having to rent a special “site” to do it.

Today, many parents are forced to accompany their children in small playgrounds or prohibit the young teenagers to go out alone. They look like prisoners who are brought out in small confined areas and watched over.
Years ago, everything was simpler and no big concerns, our kids could play in the yard or even in the street. Fortunately, in the South this “custom” still remains in many countries. I have already had the opportunity to talk about this subject in some previous posts, and I am of the opinion that, at least for kids, this is the best way to socialize and make friends…. oh gosh yea! a lot better than Facebook!

CHILDREN WITHOUT FATHER

Published July 22, 2013 by Tony

FATHERHOOD

Fatherhood by Ruth Bloch

Among test-tube babies, single mothers and divorces, the “father model” is in crisis, as the concept of “family” itself.
In 1990, 65% of Americans were happy to have children, today the percentage has dropped to 45. Over the past 10 years in Spain the number of marriages has dropped from 270,000 a year to 160 thousand. Even in Brazil, the birth rate fell from 4.3 children per woman to 1.9.
I would my father back home,” this is what Telemachus, son of Odysseus, says in Homer’s Odyssey, while scanning the horizon.
Not many things have changed since then, because today, the father figure is often missing and his absence is felt by a lot of children.
This has created a cascade of social and psychological effects not very positive.
Today, Telemachus can be compared with a child got by artificial insemination, then facing an odyssey in search of his biological dad. For a lot of them it is not enough to know that he/she has been conceived through a sperm donor whose specimen is identified by a simple number.
In this regard, the documentary “Anonymous father’s day” by Jennifer Lahl, is very comprehensive, describing the “genealogical confusion” and the adolescents trouble, dealing with the uncertainty of their origins.
To many the father figure may be the future, which through the comparison by meeting and clashing life gets “new force”, while children deprived of their father feels as if they fled the test of life that would make them be adult. Without a dad they lose the sense of pain and the memory of who they are. Parents death leads to make sense of destiny and give continuity to the progeny. It is a way to conquer death, and know where we go.
It was once said that young people psychologically unstable or inclined to become gay, were those who grew up without the presence of a male figure.
According to David Brooks, who writes in the New York Times, people are better if they have family and children. The commitments deriving therefrom, leads them to take care of people and future of the nation.
Also, according to some statistics of some American “advisory council”, family where the father is lacking, they are more poor and a risk factor for children (health, drugs, delinquency). Not for nothing Obama said, “….doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one….”
Obviously, there are also those who do not want to hear about fatherhood, for whom it means pain, loss, lack of care, violence, a sort of cultural heritage from the past better to get rid of. The opposite of the efforts in the work of Robet Bily through his writings and the movement “The mythopoetic men’s“, considered a “revolutionary” by liberals.
Because in the end it is easier to speak evil of the father than do without him.

INTERNET and CHILDREN

Published February 10, 2013 by Tony

INTERNET RESTRICTED FOR CHILDREN?

PARENTAL CONTROL

For years now, the controversy whether children must have free access to Internet is going on. Months ago, there were rumors about the new technology developed by Facebook that would allow (officially) the registration also to under 13. I put the word “officially” in brackets because we know that millions of kids already attend social networks regularly, inputting a false date of birth. From long, Windows gives the possibility to add filters to the browser (for blocking adult contents) or restrict access to the computer by using the users account.
But the question remains, restriction or not?!
As always, various discordant opinions about, and  now I will have my say.

As with everything, it takes common sense, as we must reason with knowledge of the facts and free from any bias, without getting caught by excessive obsessions or easy generalizations.
The first thing that sounds unpleasant here is the word “limitation”, which indicates lack of freedom.
From time immemorial, any “prohibition” and “censorship” were always fought hard, from the freeing of the slaves, to the free sale of alcohol.
How many other things  were “banned” until the last century? Rock music, for example, which for many was considered sinful, encouraging sex and drugs. Woodstock was our reply.
Today it is said that Internet is dangerous for children because of pornography, for talking to strangers and, even worse, for case of enticement. Ok, let’s talk…..

1 – It is well-known that every “no” always gets the opposite effect, increasing curiosity and the desire to transgress. But, let’s analyze the situation in detail, because in addition to the downside, you should consider other possibilities.
2 – In addition to the computer, nowadays internet is easily accessible via tablet, ipad, iphone and any mobile phone. So every parent also should monitor the use of these devices or limit their use, where this could be possible.
3 – Our children are not always at home and, street or stores apart, they are often at classmate and friend’s home. With this in mind, then should parents also forbid to go out or meet up with their friends?
4 – Today, about IT-based, kids are in most cases better prepared and skilled than their parents, so any “block” could easily be removed and put back without anyone noticing.
5 – With regard to the pornography, porno magazines have always existed and will continue to exist, thus obscuring Internet the problem is not entirely solved, provided that the porn is. Millions of kids in the past, myself included, have watched porno magazines and not for this old generations were traumatized or became sick.
6- The last concern, from what I read around, is the soliciting of minors. Apart from the fact that statistics in hand, cases of solicitation over internet represent a very small percentage, but do you relatives really believe that if an adult wants to lure your child he/she can do it only via internet?! Adults that eventually your child can meet on internet are infinitely less than those meet every day at school, on the street or on the bus! The world outside our windows is full of sex, drugs and bad affairs, useless to blame internet. To me it is absurd that parents filter internet and not talk about sex with their children, for instance.
7 – Finally, my last point concerns the nature of your children. Restrictions and prohibitions are of little use if they have a strong and determined character, and if they have made up their mind to do something. By Internet or not, stubborn kids usually manage to experience what they want do, in one way or another. Every parent knows their children, and if the family is healthy and the child has always received a sound education, whose parents are an example, needless to worry. Children already know what is good and what is bad. If we give them confidence in everything they usually do, we must also give it in respect of internet.

For me, every complaint about internet is misplaced and anachronistic. Today, Internet (including social networks) is the opposite of loneliness, boredom, silence and ignorance. Internet, as well as a way to get knowledge, is a window on the world, but please do not forget that  you have others windows at home that are real!
Fortunately, although for parents their children always seem candid, naive and childish, they generally are smarter and more mature than people think.
For comparison, for me restricting the use of the internet is like if we wanted to limit the number of murders by limiting the sale of bullets!
If these 7 points are enough for you, then please, let kids alone, and let’em live their own life without prohibition, limitation or deception.

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Children Embarrassing Questions

Published October 6, 2012 by Tony

Things we should say to our children

We are not born as parents, but we try anyway to become one even if at school “parenting” is not a subject of study.
Parenting is not an easy task, for many.
Apart from the usual problems that all children give, what many find difficult and embarrassing are some questions that children often submit them. About, there are different philosophies, with those who believe it is better to evade the questions, partly because unprepared to provide the right answer, and those who, a few actually, believe it is opportune to discuss everything.
One thing is certain, the children are not as unprepared or unready to assimilate certain subjects. On the contrary, for some topic it is best to deal in advance and be clear with them.
In all honesty, when my offspring were children, I do not recall having received embarrassing questions but, if they did I think I would have tried to answer using words appropriate to their age and knowledge.
Depending on the age of the child, it could happen that he/she tries to find elsewhere the answers to the questions that parents were unwilling or unable to respond. Still, it’s likely that children no longer will ask for those questions, even if they have not found answers.
Our children are more mature than we suppose, and why take the risk that they acquire erroneous concepts by third parties, or that they remain unprepared on topics that, who knows why, many still find inopportune and embarrassing. War, violence, religions, quarrels, sex, relationship, illnesses, addictions  and discrimination are part, as always, of our lives, for better or for worse, so why should we refrain from talking about these important issues?
If  children does not grasp some concept, parents can say that they will understand more over time, but at least we tried to explain things and they will have had an inkling of what it is. Better a poor explanation than silence or embarrassment that, on the contrary, will turn on the child’s
imagination and curiosity. This because, as said,  many parents underestimate the insight and sensitivity of their children!
It may be that my children have not put any question about sex when still 
babies because I bought the “Encyclopédie de la vie sexuelle” by Cohen and Nathan Kahn, divided into 5 tomes, each targeted to an age group and starting from 7 years. The first two books, designed for children aged from 7 to 9 and from 10 to 13, speak of a family with a son and a daughter. The first volume, as a little story, is about two people who meet, get engaged, married and then having two children. Through simple drawings the human body is shown, its physiology, its development, the sexual act till conception. The second volume, although similar to the first as a structure, is more exhaustive and instead of drawings shows real images of the family. Each topic is covered in the different tomes and by numerous images nothing is seen as inconvenient or embarrassing. Just everything kids need to know about sex. I do not know if my children have read these books, but if they did it, they had the first right approach to sexuality.These books or similar ones can help some parents to give the answers that surely their kids will ask them, such as the classic and evergreen question:

How babies are made?” – or,  “What sex is?” – and unless you are addressing a very young child, please do not say that he/she “is brought by the stork” or “was born under cabbages” in the garden!!

If they ask you what the “willies” or the “pussy” is,  with confidence you can say that it is our sexual organ by which in addition to pee, when they grow up and get married, will allow them to have children. Of course, much depends on the age of the child and in case of a teen or pre-teen asking for these questions, the answers should be more detailed and in-depth. In fact, at that age the sexual development has begun and there also are other important issues such as lust, masturbation, erection, ejaculation, menstruation, conception, STDs or condom which should be treated, even if in a simple and concise way. There are many men who when teenagers have discovered by themselves – not without trauma – what the erection meant, while the ejaculation led them believe to be sick even!
Unless you’re a puritan with narrowness of mind, make your children understand that sex, regardless of gender, is a natural thing…. already there are too many bullies and homophobes around, please try not to train another one!

Here are some images captured by these books.

Nong Youhui

Published May 4, 2012 by Tony

THE BOY WITH CAT EYES

The case of the “catboy”  has come to the fore again.
Time ago the news of Nong Youhui, a child born in the Chinese region of Guangxi with light-blue eyes, went around the world. Why?
Because it’s a very rare event for Asians to have eyes colored different from black or brown and, more surprisingly, because later the baby was able to see in the dark, just like cats.
The newborn’s parents, worried about the unusual color, took the child to hospital, but doctors told them not to worry because with the growth things would become normal.
But things did not change, instead over time the child improved his ability to see in the dark and for this he was subjected to various experiments to determine how effective his eyesight was. In a completely dark room, doctors asked him to write a few words and do some simple operations, and he performed the task flawlessly, following the lines. In front of cameras of the local TV, the child passed another test, described by journalist Bi Donglei: “We put him in complete darkness. I could not see the people next to me. We showed him some playing cards and he gave us the correct answer immediately”.
Quingji Ning, his schoolteacher, amazed and amused said: “They told me that his eyes were like cat. In fact, when in the dark his eyes are illuminated with a beam of light, they shine. So I asked him if he really could see in the darkness and he said yes. Once I invited him to catch the crickets at night and he said he could do it without the need of light”.

Nong Youhui
Today Nong is six and despite the attention and curiosity surrounding him, he seems a normal boy.
Doctors do not have a precise answer about the reason for this anomaly, and someone supposed to be a sort of luekodermia which in this case has affected the eyes only, making them more sensitive. The luekodermia, a sort of vitiligo, is a disease that causes more or less extensive patches of lighter skin (depigmentation) on the body.
Obviously about this case around and on the web arose curiosity and fanciful hypotheses, with those who said he is a human-alien crossbreed or a Starchild, those who thought he is a  “crystal child” with super capability and those who talked about genetic mutation. For others, the most skeptical, apart the color, it is a hoax propagated by the poor family looking to make a quick profit by selling the news to the media. Who knows!