Curiouser & Curiouser Part II

More Family Facts & Figures

• Children of depressed moms are more likely to be anxious or depressed or to engage in disruptive behavior. (Parenting Magazine, Dec. 2007) I imagine this would be true for depressed dads, too. I include this statistic not to create more depression, but because I believe the current trend has been to negate state of mind in favor of “biochemical” causes for almost all untoward behavior on the part of children. I do believe that the feeling state in the home has a foundational impact on children in the home. If there were no way to change one’s state of mind, this would be distressing news indeed. However, as Sydney Banks (“The Missing Link,” “Second Chance,” “The Enlightened Gardener,” and et. al.) has said, mental health and happiness for every human being on the planet is “just one thought away.” Take care of yourselves, Moms, Dads, Foster Folks, Grandfolks, Loving Others! … You will find a way.

• There is no greater risk for emotional problems among adopted kids (adopted as infants) than among non-adopted children. In fact, adopted teenagers scored higher than their non-adopted siblings or samples of their peers in connectedness, caring, social competency, school achievement, optimism and “support” (available support from others) measures. Search Institute, Minneapolis, 1994.

• Less Guilt! There is no correlation between time spent watching TV (for children) and time spent exercising, playing sports, or engaging in other types of physical activity. In other words, there is no negative correlation. In other words, “there was no statistically significant difference in the amount of time light, moderate or [even] heavy TV viewers reported spending in physical activity.” Actually, heavy TV viewers registered nearly 10 minutes more physical activity per day than light TV viewers. However, in both 1) houses with TV “rules” or 2) without a TV in the home, kids on average, engaged in reading 16 minutes more per day. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2005, www.kff.org, see executive summary #7250 or full report #7251.)

• The Kaiser study did find a correlation linking kids who reported as “discontented” and/or kids not doing well in school to increased/high media use, including playing video games (one to two hours more, on average, per day). This makes perfect sense to me—an escape. Overall, despite increasing and more variegated media use, “most young people report being largely happy and well adjusted.” Hurrah! (They’re not just saying that, are they?)