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Let your child learn about manipulation

News Herald – Juliann Talkington


Manipulation is rampant in the digital age. It is easy for young people to be sucked into toxic personal relationships, political and social causes that are fronts for individuals and/or corporations that are attempting to gain power and money, and job situations where bosses or coworkers take advantage of them.

Most parents want to shelter their kids from these situations. Sheltering kids, however, may not be the best strategy. Instead it is better to empower kids, so they are not victims.

First, parents need to make sure their kids are confident, since it is harder for self-confident kids to be manipulated. Self-confidence is earned, not given, so is important to encourage children to explore many things and urge them to continue the activities that they enjoy and do well. In addition, it is essential that they learn the value of hard work. Also, it is imperative that the activities they selected are building self-confidence. Sometimes kids need to change activities as they grow to maintain healthy self-confidence.

The next step is to teach children how to identify a manipulative person, how to keep an emotional distance from such a person, and how to avoid personalization and self-blame. Then children need to learn how to turn the tables by asking probing questions and using time as a delay.

Finally parents need to allow controlled exposure. As counterintuitive as it sounds, kids need exposure to manipulators in safe environments, so they know when someone is trying to control them. In addition, kids need practice disarming a manipulator.

This means parents need to create learning opportunities. For example, a parent could consciously avoid speaking to school officials when a child’s classmate is “mean” on the playground, and instead help their child figure out how to handle situation him/herself. This playground practice should help prepare the child with more insidious manipulation that occurs when he/she is older.

As the child becomes more skilled at detecting and diverting manipulation, parents can gradually provide more exposure. By the time kids reach the teenage years, parents should expect them to discuss absences, homework, performance, and goals with coaches and teachers. In these conversations where will be many opportunities for the child to experience subtle and overt manipulation and to learn ways to remain in control.

Obviously there will be times parents have to step in, especially as when kids beginning interacting with adults, but parents should not be so protective that kids do not have an opportunity to learn.

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“When the future of the planet is tied into decisions the younger generation make today, it’s crucial to have classroom conversations about the environment. But how do we talk about such complex issues, bound up with science and politics, in an engaging way? Books with a green theme can provide a useful starting point in these discussions. Here are some of our favourite options, for children of all ages.”(more)

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The Star – Mark Cullen

“Mindfulness. Prayerfulness. Meditation. All good ideas. I have a better one: a walk in the park. Remember when your mom shoved you out the door and said, “Go play”? There is now growing evidence she was doing us a great favour. According to Michael Grothaus, an American journalist who lives in London, England, there is much to be gained by taking a daily one-hour walk in the park. After reading about the benefits, and exposure to nature generally, he started to walk in the green parks near his central London home every day and has experienced the physical and mental benefits, including:.”(more)

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The Guardian – Justine Larson

“A creative study in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry examined levels of aggression in 1,287 twins and triplets in Southern California born between the years of 1990 and 1995. The authors used satellite imagery to find an aggregate measure of vegetation called the Normalised Differential Vegetation Index (NVDI) surrounding the home. The study found that both in the short term (6-months to 1-year) and the long term (1 to 3 years), having greenspace within 1000 meters was associated with reduced aggressive behaviours in this group of 9 to 18 year olds. Even when authors controlled for things like socioeconomic factors, age, gender, race, self-rated neighbourhood quality, maternal depression, traffic density, and even ambient temperatures, the difference in aggressive behaviours remained. In the sample studied, boys, people with lower perceived neighbourhood quality, children born to mothers who smoked, and those with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to be aggressive.”(more)

Genes Vs. Environment: What Influences Your Intelligence Most?

Medical Daily – Dana Dovey

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Boise students trade dodge ball for camping in P.E. class

The Idaho Statesman- Bill Roberts

“Lauren Lanfear and Kate Goulet knelt in the middle of a dirt road trying to coax fire from some dry weeds, and cattail duff without the help of matches. The 13-year-olds from North Junior High scraped magnesium shavings onto a cotton ball daubed with Vaseline, then created sparks. In moments, their small pile of tinder was ablaze. “Be careful, you don’t want to kill it,” Lanfear told her eighth-grade classmate. “I’m going to grab some more cattails.” “We need a lot more,” Goulet told her. The two were among 40 students from North Junior High and Timberline High School who spent two school days in the forest outside Garden Valley recently putting to work skills they’ve been studying at school, from fire-starting to knot-tying to harness-rigging as part of a physical education class. That’s right: P.E. without laps, jumping jacks or volleyball.”(more)