Posts

Good News: Two Young Newscasters Have a Warning for People in their Hilarious Fake Broadcast

In a fake but adorable broadcast of the so-called VCN breaking news, pint-sized presenters claim that the country of Canada is dangerous. This show, produced by the husband-and-wife team of Black Hat Media Utah, has been watched over 30,000 times. Nieces Libby, 7, and Sarah, 5, toss back and forth on “right now’s news,” reading without a prompter. The girls apparently got a green screen and wanted to play around with the technology. But why the Canada bashing? you ask. A weather specialist came to Libby’s school and left a big impression of the country on her. Click here to see these aspiring news anchors in action!

Good News: Brooklyn Eighth-Graders Get Sony Record Deal

A trio of friends from Brooklyn, N.Y., who are not yet out of middle school have signed a record deal with Sony. Guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, bassist Alec Atkins, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, are the three members of the heavy metal band “Unlocking the Truth” from New York City. While other kids may be spending the summer at camp and preparing for eighth grade, these three musicians will be figuring out the logistics of their potential $1.7 million deal with Sony. “The record deal is awesome,” Jarad told ABC News. “This is something we always wanted.” Click here to listen to this up-and-coming band and hear how the three came together!

Time to Cut Back

Your pre-teen–in front of a screen.  Is it time to cut back?

According to a new stats, only one out of four kids between the ages of 12-15 meet the doctor recommended limit of two hours or less of screen time each day.

USA Today is reporting on the survey, which found that 7% of kids this age range reported watching five hours or more a day of TV, while 5% said they used a computer for five hours or more each day.

The lead author of the report, Kirsten Herrick, at the National Center for Health Statistics , says getting an accurate read on the true extent of kids’ screen-time is complicated by all the new technologies now available.

She says “We don’t know, for example, how kids would have categorized watching TV on a cellphone. Technology has outpaced our ability to capture (usage), so we might have an overestimation or an underestimation. We’re really not sure.”

As you may have heard me mention before on these reports, excessive screen-time use has been linked to elevated blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and being overweight or obese.  And screen-time habits established in adolescence have been shown to continue into adulthood

As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics says children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and the media content should be of “high quality.” The AAP says that children under age 2 should get no screen time.

By the way, the new report also found that NCHS report:

99% of teens said they watched TV daily, and 91% reported using the computer daily outside of school.

Although there were no significant gender differences associated with the amount of TV viewing, boys were more likely that girls to report using a computer for more than two hours a day.

If this has become a problem in your home, check out some of the great articles on Focus on the Family’s youth culture website, PluggedIn.com.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Deadly Mistake

Today I want to tell you about a heartbreaking, completely preventable tragedy in this country. This year, it’s estimated that almost 40 kids will die in hot cars. Many others will suffer serious injury.

According to a recent survey published by SafeKids.org,

• 14% of parents have intentionally left their children in a parked car.

• 11% of parents admit to forgetting their child in a car.

• Nearly 1 in 4 parents of a child younger than 3 has forgotten the child in a car.

• Dads are nearly three times more likely than moms to leave a child in a parked car.

By the way, not all hot car deaths are caused because people forget. Some parents believe cracking the window will make the car cool enough. On a hot day or in direct sunlight, it’s not.

Some deaths are caused because kids get into cars to play, are trapped and die before anyone discovers them.

But more than half of all child heat stroke deaths in cars were caused because a parent forgot their child was in the car. The parent is distracted, preoccupied or running on autopilot, like many busy parents of babies and toddlers. The child falls asleep. The parent gets out of the car and leaves the baby behind.

A story in USA Today recommends one simple way to make sure that never happens: leave something you need in the back seat.

If you are driving a child, after you put them in a back seat — in a car seat, booster or buckled in with a seat belt — put your left shoe back there, too.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Good News: “Let it Go” Daddy/Daughter Duet

A 3 year old girl and her daddy were caught on camera singing “Let it Go” from Disney’s new movie Frozen.  Although he may have heard this song 1,000 times already, he jumps right in to sing along with his kiddo! They may not have gotten all the words just right, but it is too cute not to share! Click here to see the two singing their hearts out!

Celebrities and Their Effect on Kids

Two well-known celebrities have gone public about their decision to remain sexually pure until marriage.

 

Bethany Hamilton, the subject of the movie Soul Surfer, says “Growing up I was blessed to have parents that stayed together, and to have that husband and wife image.  I wanted an awesome husband that would love and support me until I die.

 

Bethany says “I also wanted to honor God with the way that I approached [marriage]. I definitely was patient and I didn’t mess around.” In fact Bethany says her husband is the only guy I’ve ever kissed.”  By the way, Bethany has a new book out that talks about some of those issues.  It’s called Body & Soul: A Girl’s Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life: 

And a well-known male TV star is talking  about his decision to remain abstinent until marriage. 

 

Duck Dynasty’Jase Robertson says  “I’m proud [that I was a virgin when I got married]. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my entire life.

 

In an interview with Fox News, Jase said “What I did was when I started dating girls I would quickly tell them on the first date as soon as they got in the car. I’d say, ‘Look I will not treat you inappropriately at any point in our relationship.’

 

According to Jase, when he said that, a couple of girls actually got out of the car! But he says, “My wife, [Missy], she really loved the idea that she felt secure with me, like I had a direction I was taking.”

 

By the way, if you’re a parent with teens or pre-teens at home, an excellent book on this topic is called “Pure Excitement: A Godly Look at Sex, Love and Dating.”

 

If you have younger kids, I’d recommend the series “God’s Design for Sex” by Stan and Brenna Jones.  That series features a different booklet for each stage of development, starting with 0-3 year-olds and going all the way up to the teen years.

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Are Kids With ADHD More Likely to Use Drugs?

If your kid has ADHD, is he more likely to use drugs as a teen or young adult?  Yes—and no.

CBS News is reporting on a new study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital that found that children suffering with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more than twice as likely to try and abuse drugs

However, if kids are treated properly—including with prescription medications, they may actually be LESS likely to use drugs when they get older.

Dr. Sharon Levy at Boston’s Children’s says “one of the main points [of the research] is that treating ADHD both with behavioral techniques and medications seems to lower the risk of substance abuse,”

Dr. Levy did caution that stimulant medications such as Adderall and Ritalin can sometimes be misused. The researchers found that almost 1 out of 4 school-aged children are approached to sell, buy or trade their ADHD medications

Dr. Michael Duchowny at Miami Children’s Hospital recommends that children with ADHD should be counseled about the risk of substance abuse.

Although the association between ADHD and the risk of substance abuse is known, the reasons for the increased risk aren’t,

It’s possible that the same biology that causes ADHD also puts some children at a higher risk for substance abuse, he added. Other social factors may also contribute to increased risk.

For example, kids with ADHD are more likely to struggle in school and turn to drugs or alcohol to escape anxiety about their difficulties.

For more information on ADHD, its diagnosis, and proper treatment, go to chadd.org.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Emotional Son

Dear Dr. Bill,

 

We have a very emotional 8-year-old boy.  He often cries about little things and gets upset at my husband and me constantly.  He has a 2-year-old sister, and I wonder if their age gap has caused some kind of strain for him.  What do you suggest?

 

–Joy

 

Dear Joy,

 

Every child is wired differently from the start—each with his own unique personality and disposition.  Some are more laid-back, some are more high-strung.

As parents, one of our jobs is to help our kids capitalize on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.

 

Without directly observing your family, I can only speculate about what’s going on, but could it be that you and your husband are unintentionally reinforcing your son when he cries and throws tantrums?

 

Many parents believe the most loving thing to do is give in to their child’s demands and emotional outbursts—they want their child to like them and they don’t want to do anything to cause them to be unhappy.

 

Unfortunately this sets up a negative pattern that will cause a child to struggle in his relationships with classmates and teachers—and later with dating partners and employers.

 

It sounds like things have gotten worse since your daughter was born.  My guess is that your son has been used to getting his way and being the center of attention for years, and he doesn’t like sharing mom and dad with this little “intruder.”

 

If this description rings true, you and your husband will need to start setting firm limits with your son and implementing consequences for negative behavior.  You’ll also need to teach him more appropriate ways of responding when he is upset, frustrated or angry.

 

For some great guidance on this, check out the book “Boundaries with Kids” by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Help—My 6-Year-Old is a Habitual Liar—What Can I Do?

Dear Dr. Bill,

 

Ever since my second daughter could walk and talk, she has been sneaky and a little deceitful.  She’s now almost 6-years-old and is very smart and sweet, but her tendency to lie continues to baffle me. I’ve tried reading children’s books to her about telling the truth, and reviewing Bible verses that back up what I’ve been teaching her — but the problem persists. What should I do?

 

–Nicole

 

Dear Nicole,

 

Young children tend to respond more effectively to actions, rather than words. Although explaining the importance of truth and sharing Bible verses with your daughter are important, you’ll find that firm, decisive actions are the best teacher.

 

My guess is she has found that lying works for her—at least some of the time. She’s learned that telling a fib helps her to avoid or at least delay punishment. So you need to make the consequences for lying more severe than for other types of misbehavior.

 

For example, if she deliberately breaks one of her sister’s toys, she will receive a consequence, but if she LIES about it, her punishment will be considerably more painful.

 

Clearly explain this to her, so she knows in advance that she’s much better off telling the truth and admitting to an infraction, even if she does experience a negative consequence for her misbehavior.

 

In addition to consistent, powerful consequences for lying, you should also begin praising her when she tells the truth.

 

Many parents find it helpful to use a sticker chart or token system to reinforce positive behavior and discourage negative behavior.

 

You can learn how to set up such a system in Dr. James Dobson’s book “The New Dare to Discipline.”

 

Thanks for writing Nicole!

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

Could Your Kids Be Packing Pounds This Summer?

Could your kid be packing on the pounds this summer?

 

As you probably know, school districts across the country have been banning sugary drinks and fatty lunch foods in order to help curb childhood obesity.

 

But a new study suggests that SUMMER is the time when kids are more likely to gain weight.

 

NBC News is reporting on researcher done by the Harvard School of Public Health. It showed that many kids gain weight during the summer, particularly black and Hispanic kids and children and teens who are already overweight.

 

Rebecca Franckle, a Harvard doctoral student who led the study, says “It’s especially those kids who are already at risk who are the most at risk during the summer.”

 

About a third of children and teens in the U.S. are either overweight or obese, and piling on extra weight at a young age can lead to serious health problems later in life.

 

The researchers aren’t certain what is behind the summer weight gain, but they suspect that it’s less structure, extra snacks, boredom and more time spent in front of a screen.

 

More research is needed to determine the best ways to curb weight gain over the summer, but Rebecca Franckle at Harvard suggests that parents worried about extra pounds should look to the school year for suggestions.

 

She says engaging kids in sports or camp programs is a good idea. She and her colleagues also believe that expanding access to summer food programs for low-income children may help.

 

For more suggestions on keeping your kids healthy this summer—and all year long–go to healthychildren.org.

 

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.