(Humor Poem) The Apple (Granny’s Dark Side)

THE APPLE (GRANNY’S DARK SIDE)

 

 

Was it given by Eve

Did it make us all die

Is it now baked in Hell’s ovens

Do the Demons enjoy a tart pie

Are you really the apple of your Granny’s eye

 

Thanksgiving meal or 4th of July pie

Tempered with arsenic or cyanide dye

Grandma Eve, your Grandpa long ago died

Little children be careful what you eat

If Granny’s got burning embers in her eyes

 

Will an apple a day really keep evil away

Depends on the cook and if today is your day

Little green apples turn the bowels into knots

Red rotten baked with dead worms in the crust

Granny turned all the little monsters back into dust!

Autism Rates Have Stabilized in U.S. Children

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

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By AMANDA MACMILLAN

January 2, 2018
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

Rates of autism spectrum disorder among children in the U.S. remained stable from 2014 to 2016, according to new research—a change from previous studies that found steady increases over the past two decades.

The new research letter, published in JAMA, looked at survey responses from a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 children, ages 3 to 17, and their families. From 2014 to 2016, adults in each household were asked if a doctor had ever told them that their child had autism, Asperger’s disorder, pervasive developmental disorder or autism spectrum disorder. Data from the study was then adjusted to account for differences in people’s age, gender and ethnicity.

The researchers found that in 2014, 2.24% of participating children were reported to have an autism spectrum disorder. That number rose only slightly in 2015 and 2016, to 2.41% and 2.58%, respectively—an increase that was not statistically significant.

Autism rates did vary by sub-group. Over the three-year period, 3.54% of boys were reported to have an autism spectrum disorder, compared to 1.22% of girls. Prevalence was 1.78% in Hispanic children, 2.36% in black children and 2.71% in white children.

The overall estimate for autism prevalence among children in the analysis—2.4%—is higher than another recent estimate, from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, of 1.46%. The discrepancy may be explained by differences in study design, the authors note in their report. For example, the new study asked parents if their child has received a diagnosis, while the previous study looked at education and health-care evaluations.

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The current study did not gather information about possible causes for autism and how those factors may (or may not) have changed over time. And, although the survey the researchers used has been going on since the 1960s, the question about autism was changed in 2014—so it cannot be used to estimate change in autism prevalence rates during earlier years.

Several large studies have suggested that autism rates have risen steadily in the last 20 years, but this new report suggests that rates may be leveling off. The ADDM Network’s estimated rates also plateaued between 2010 and 2012 (after increasing roughly 123% between 2002 and 2010), but then jumped 30% from 2012 to 2014.

Changes in diagnostic criteria, an increase in public awareness and more children being referred to physicians have all been suggested as possible causes for the previously documented rise in autism rates, the authors wrote in their report. So have potential changes in genetic and environmental risk factors. “Continued monitoring of the prevalence and investigation of changes in risk factors are warranted,” they concluded.

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Woman Calls Cops on Mom Hitting Screaming Son in Car

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FAITH-IT) (THIS ARTICLE WAS SENT TO ME ON FACEBOOK BY A CLOSE FRIEND OF OURS)

 

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Woman Calls Cops on Mom Hitting Screaming Son in Car—3 Yrs Later, Her Big Mistake Comes Full Circle

Once upon a time, parenting meant letting your kids play hide-and-seek outside with the neighbors while you did the dishes in the kitchen. Do that in front of the wrong set of eyes today, and you best prepare yourself for a full-blown police investigation and visit from DCFS.

One thing’s for sure, today’s society is full of first-class parent shamers—professional mommy watchdogs ready to pounce on the first sign of a stranger’s neglect. As the decades pass, it seems we’ve all become experts on how to raise other people’s children.

Nobody could be more familiar with this tendency than Megan Orr Burnside, a sweet mama who learned the hard way that what our world needs is a little more compassion, not judgment.

While witnessing what she perceived to be a physically abusive situation at a Tennessee gas station, she instinctually called police to report the mother’s violence. What she quickly learned from authorities was that this mom had really struggled with her autistic son in the past and had even called the cops many times on her own, asking for help to deal with his violence.

That apparently ‘violent’ mother was actually a loving parent doing the very best that she could. And instead of helping, she turned her in.

Megan’s foot was lodged firmly in her mouth.

The “overwhelming realization of [her] mistake” sat with her for years—but little did she know, it was a life lesson that would come full circle in cultivating just the compassion she needed to help another struggling mother, at a time when she needed it most.

And it left her with an essential takeaway message that every parent in America needs to hear.

Read Megan’s powerful story in her viral Facebook post that has since been shared over 20,000 times on her personal page and Love What Matters:

“I have something weighing on my heart this morning.

A few years ago I was in Tennessee with my husband at a training event. We were at a gas station when we saw a woman with a boy of about 10 years old, struggling to get him in the car. He was screaming and she was so angry and frustrated. We watched her get him in the car and there was a lot of physical fighting in the car. It looked like she was hitting him as well, so we called the police. They came and we left. We then got a call and they told us that the boy was autistic and she really struggled with him, and she had even asked for the police’s help in the past to deal with him because he was very violent. They said they have been helping her and she’s doing the best she can.


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I had the most overwhelming realization of my mistake. In my eagerness to protect the child, I neglected to offer help to the mother. Instead I “turned her in” to the authorities. We sat and watched her struggle and called her in. I have felt guilt even years later that I didn’t get out of my car and offer her some help. If I had helped in that moment, it may not have led to more violence.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I was at a thrift store and a woman with two kids were in line to pay. One toddler boy was fussing and the other boy was asking his mother to buy things. She was so angry and explosive at both of them, the whole store was aware of them. People stood there and watched them struggle in the line. I remembered the experience I had in Tennessee and walked over to talk to the little boy and put my hand on his foot. He calmed down. The mother was so frazzled and apologized. She told me she worked nights and she couldn’t even think in the day. I know there were other things going on, but in that moment I told her I understood what it’s like to be overwhelmed. I told her she was a good mom. I told her everything was going to be okay. She cried, guys. She CRIED as everyone else watched her struggle with her burden. Years earlier I would have been holding my cell phone ready, watching to see if she did anything that I should report.

I know there’s a place for the authorities to step in, but I feel like we have become a culture who watches for faults instead of opportunities to help. We have become more separated and condemning, instead of compassionate and loving and serving. If we helped more, we would have to call the authorities less.

This has come up for me today because someone called DCFS on my dear friend. I have spent many hours in her home and she is the kind of mother I want to be like. I have observed the love and patience with which she helps her children do their chores and the way she listens to them tell their stories. I seriously aspire to be like her. When authorities were called by someone no doubt thinking they were “helping,” she was very sick in bed with a respiratory infection. I don’t know what this person observed that they thought was a problem. Maybe her kids were running around without parental supervision? Maybe a parent wasn’t feeding them so they were foraging for themselves? I am sad that the person who called her in didn’t ask how they could HELP HER.

It’s time to stop judging each other and start helping each other, or we will only perpetuate isolation, depression, addictions, violence, and suicide. When people are overwhelmed they need help, not condemnation. I know I have been guilty for doing this very thing and I see clearly how I probably perpetuated the problem instead of helping to uplift and assist others.

I am grateful for reminders (even painful reminders) that we are not that separate. We are not that different. True change comes when we are given love and help, not condemnation.”

Megan’s humble teaching moment at that Tennessee gas station was a painful memory to relive, but she couldn’t be more grateful for the blessing of parenting perspective it gave her to share with the world.

The next time we think about slamming down the Judge-Judy gavel on a parent who appears to be in the wrong, I pray we take a moment to first offer a helping hand…because maybe—just maybe—that ‘horrible mother’ is simply a struggling mommy doing the best she can to raise her baby in a broken world, just like you.

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THRIVE GLOBAL)

 

Mentally Strong Kids Have Parents Who Refuse to Do These 13 Things

Give up the bad habits that rob your kids of mental strength.

by

Raising a mentally strong kid doesn’t mean he won’t cry when he’s sad or that he won’t fail sometimes. Mental strength doesn’t make you immune to hardship and it’s not about suppressing your emotions.In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mental strength is what helps kids bounce back from setbacks and it gives them the strength to keep going, even when they’re plagued with self-doubt. A strong mental muscle is the key to helping kids reach their greatest potential in life.

But raising a mentally strong kid requires parents to avoid the common–yet unhealthy–parenting practices that rob kids of mental strength. In my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, I identify 13 things to avoid if you want to raise a mentally strong kid who is equipped to tackle life’s toughest challenges.

1. Condoning a Victim Mentality

Striking out at the baseball game or failing a science test doesn’t make a child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are a part of life.

Refuse to attend your kids’ pity parties. Teach them that no matter how tough or unjust their circumstances, they can always take positive action.

2. Parenting Out of Guilt

Giving into guilty feelings teaches your child that guilt is intolerable. And kids who think guilt is horrible won’t be able to say no to someone who says, “Be a friend and let me copy your paper,” or, “If you loved me, you’d do this for me.”

Show your kids that even though you feel guilty sometimes–and all good parents do–you’re not going to allow your uncomfortable emotions to get in the way of making wise decisions.

3. Making Their Kids the Center of the Universe

If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they’ll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them. And self-absorbed, entitled adults aren’t likely to get very far in life.

Teach your kids to focus on what they have to offer the world, rather than what they can gain from it.

4. Allowing Fear to Dictate Their Choices

Although keeping your kids inside a protective bubble will spare you a lot of anxiety–playing it too safe teaches your child that fear must be avoided at all times.

Show your kids that the best way to conquer fear is to face those fears head-on and you’ll raise courageous kids who are willing to step outside their comfort zones.

5. Giving Their Kids Power Over Them

Letting kids dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner or where the family is going on vacation gives kids more power than they are developmentally ready to handle. Treating kids like an equal–or the boss–actually robs them of mental strength.

Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders, listening to things they don’t want to hear, and doing things they don’t want to do. Let your kids make simple choices while maintaining a clear family hierarchy.

6. Expecting Perfection

Expecting your kids to perform well is healthy. But expecting them to be perfect will backfire. Teach your kids that it’s OK to fail and it’s OK not to be great at everything they do.

Kids who strive to become the best version of themselves, rather than the best at everything they do, won’t make their self-worth dependent upon how they measure up to others.

7. Letting Their Kids Avoid Responsibility

Letting kids skip out on chores or avoid getting an after-school job can be tempting. Afer all, you likely want your kids to have a carefree childhood.

But, kids who perform age-appropriate duties aren’t overburdened. Instead, they’re gaining the mental strength they need to become responsible citizens.

8. Shielding Their Kids From Pain

Hurt feelings, sadness, and anxiety are part of life. And letting kids experience those painful feelings gives them opportunities to practice tolerating discomfort.

Provide your kids with the guidance and support they need to deal with pain so they can gain confidence in their ability to handle life’s inevitable hardships.

9. Feeling Responsible For Their Kids’ Emotions

Cheering your kids up when they’re sad and calming them down when they’re upset means you take responsibility for regulating their emotions. Kids need to gain emotional competence so they can learn to manage their own feelings.

Proactively teach your child healthy ways to cope with their emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. Preventing Their Kids From Making Mistakes

Correcting your kids’ math homework, double checking to make sure they’ve packed their lunch, and constantly reminding them to do their chores won’t do them any favors. Natural consequences can be some of life’s greatest teachers.

Let your kids mess up sometimes and show them how to learn from their mistakes so they can grow wiser and become stronger.

11. Confusing Discipline With Punishment

Punishment involves making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline, however, is about teaching them how to do better in the future.

Raising a child who fears “getting in trouble” isn’t the same as raising a child who wants to make good choices. Use consequences that help your kids develop the self-discipline they need to make better choices.

12. Taking Shortcuts to Avoid Discomfort

Although giving in to a whining child or doing your kids’ chores for them will make your life a little easier right now, those shortcuts instill unhealthy habits in your kids.

Role model delayed gratification and show your kids that you can resist tempting shortcuts. You’ll teach them that they’re strong enough to persevere and even when they want to give up.

13. Losing Sight of Their Values

Many parents aren’t instilling the values they hold dear in their children. Instead, they’re so wrapped up in the day-to-day chaos of life that they forget to look at the bigger picture.

Make sure your priorities accurately reflect the things you value most in life and you’ll give your children the strength to live a meaningful life.

Originally published at www.inc.com

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The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!

‘Please stop having children you aren’t willing to raise’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Sen. John Kennedy: 

Imagine that you’re the parents of four children under the age of eight. Your home is strewn with stuffed animals and sippy cups. And, if you’re a couple named Colby and Lacey (a real couple from Utah), you keep drug paraphernalia next to the bassinet and smoke heroin in front of your children.For the life of me, I don’t know why anyone who is an addict would decide to become a parent and bring an innocent child into his or her sick drug den. My only conclusion is that some parents figure someone else will raise their children while they do drugs, drink, party, commit crimes, Snapchat, plant fake crops on FarmVille, and do anything but parent. They’d rather have the latest and greatest iPhone than help their children figure out eighth-grade algebra.

Thankfully, that’s not most parents in Louisiana, but it describes too many.

Life is precious. Anyone who’s looked into a newborn’s innocent eyes should realize how incredible it is to be blessed with a new life. That couple named Colby and Lacey allegedly gazed into their newborn’s eyes and then rubbed drugs into the child’s gums to hide the fact that she had been born addicted to heroin. Nurses say some parents do this all the time to hide their infant’s withdrawal symptoms.

Here’s my advice to couples like Colby and Lacey: Stop having children if you don’t plan to raise them.

A lack of good parenting sense isn’t just a problem for Colby and Lacey. Last month, an eight-year-old girl tested positive for cocaine in Baton Rouge, La., after a relative brought her to the hospital because her mother refused to do so. When authorities located the mother, she had cocaine and drug paraphernalia in her possession.

My heart aches for that child. At eight years old, you should be playing games, painting your fingernails purple, getting glitter on everything, and learning how to bake cookies. The last thing you should be doing at that age is testing positive for cocaine.

I don’t know that mother’s story, but I do know that she failed her child.

Too many parents are failing their children these days in Louisiana. Thousands of children are in the state’s foster care system. A woman in West Monroe was just honored for mothering 100 foster children over the years. Think about that: That one woman had to do the parenting for countless parents.

Too many people treat parenting like it’s the 20th item on their to-do list. Their social life, drug habit, and sleep schedule matter more to them than their children do. Talk to teachers and they’ll tell you: Children show up unbathed, unfed, and unprepared at school when they show up at all. Sometimes the system catches them and shuffles them into a foster home. Tragically, sometimes the system fails them like their parents did.

It’s not fair to those children, and it’s certainly not fair to our communities. Those children grow up broken. They don’t glue themselves together and get a scholarship to Louisiana State University. They often drop out of school, do drugs, commit crimes, and hold down minimum-wage jobs. They’re flushed down the toilet before they’re potty trained, and then taxpayers are left to take care of them.

Studies of high-performing schools tend to find a common thread: parental involvement. Those same studies show that the more interest you have in your children’s education, the better they do in school. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory found that a family’s income does not determine how well kids score on tests or how often they show up for school. The determining factor is parental involvement.

Abraham Lincoln is a good example of the benefits of parental involvement. Lincoln easily could have died an illiterate farmer. He grew up on the frontier, where schoolteachers made sporadic appearances and lost his mother at a young age. An uneducated woman named Sarah Bush turned the tide for him. Sarah married Lincoln’s father and encouraged a rather feral Lincoln to nurture his love of reading. She thrust books in front of him. She ensured that he had a comfortable home and treated him like he was her natural child. That’s good parenting, and it helped shape Lincoln into one of this country’s greatest presidents.

But you don’t have to raise a future president. You just have to raise a child who has a little common sense, graduates from high school and stays off the road that leads straight to prison and drug addiction.

We launch public awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle their soft drink cans, stop smoking and wear seat belts. Maybe we need to launch campaigns to encourage people to raise their children. Most Louisiana parents don’t need that encouragement. But if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that some do.

Having children is a blessing. Treat your children like the blessings they are or don’t have them at all. Our foster care system and jails already are at capacity. There’s no more room at the inn.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was elected to the Senate in 2016. You can follow him on Twitter: @SenJohnKennedy

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