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What Do You Think About Children’s Bad Behavior?

“Boys Will Be Boys” and “Children Don’t Always Do As They Are Told”

We all have these phrases at one time of another in our lives. As a martial arts instructor, I have seen many hundreds of children over the past 20 years and in my experience the phrases are true. I’m sure most school teachers will say the same.

Both phrases may be correct at the same time be an improper attitude by the parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, care givers, etc. That attitude gives way to they are just children and that is what children do. I’m not talking about a child being silly, goofy, or having a wild imagination. Nor am I talking about children under 3 years of age. What I am referring to is the constant poor behavior that is not addressed properly of excused away.

Cultural Shifts

Today and for the past forty years a cultural shift has taken place. Throughout time this a normal situation. One generation will change the next especially with a globally connected world. This article refers to both the economy and the village that once existed. With both parent working, 25 to 50 miles or more away from home, there is less structures time for the parents to “Parent” or even develop parenting skills.

Parents come home after working all day and are tired and stressed. Fast food is more often the dinner. Video games and live streaming have taken the place of quality parent to child interaction. Today most parent don’t get to see their child interact with other children outside of a brother or sister, or even other adults.

Most if not all children want to please their parents to gain favor or attention. They have fun at the theme parts, the movie theaters, and other weekend activities. The problem they don’t get to see the behavior around other children much. They will correct their other behavior when with parent to get what they want. But, sooner or later the problems show up if the parents are paying attention.

God Help The Teachers

The teachers or guidance councilors send a note home to mom and dad about a problem at school. The parent says to themselves, “boys will be boys or kids will be kids”. The child may be disruptive in class or acting out, or their grades are not what they can be. The parent sits down with their child and has a discussion and all is fine. This may be just a warning sign and should not be disregarded.

Weeks later more notes come home with the child, or worse yet the dreaded “phone call”. Now you need to go to the school for a conference with the teacher or a neighborhood parent. You find out that your child’s social skills are lacking and something must change. You’re concerned but don’t exactly what to do.  This time you have a stronger talk with your child and threated to taken some privilege away from them (video games, TV time,) as a form of punishment. Everything is great for the next several days.

WHAT IS CAUSING THE PROBLEM?

Many parents never want to look inside the family dynamics for a possible problem of the child’s constant bad behavior. A divorce will have a profound effect on a child (parent never learned what a good relationship is and married the wrong person from the beginning). Never think this is not big issue and your children will adjust well to divided home. The increased divorce rate is another cultural change that affects children and their behavior.

Not all parents have the same parenting style. Some don’t use corporal punishment of any kind. There are others who use physical discipline to excess. The school systems used paddling decades ago. The question is, is one style better than another? Some children will respond to either and others will not. Consistency in discipline is crucial. Parent must agree as how and how much; sarcastically, if they can agree on anything!

MANY FACTORS THAT CAUSE CONSTANT BAD BEHAVIOR

  1. Parents who ignore bad behavior.
  2. Parents who are un-involved with their children.
  3. Contradictions in discipline methods between parents.
  4. The environment they live in.
  5. Bad peer pressure.
  6. Bad diet or the food the child consumes (obesity).
  7. An actual imbalance in the body chemistry, could be genetic.
  8. Poor academic skills caused by reading problems from bad eyesight or poor hearing.
  9. Bad parent behavior (child’s family life sucks).
  10. Divorce, drug use by parents, not enough money to support children, etc.

The above list most issues, by not all. Most of the problems can be resolved with good parenting skills and proper medical visits.

Parenting is more than just having children. It is loving your child enough learn how parent well. All women have the genetic makeup to protect their children but not to raise them. Humans must learn how to be a good parent by watching others, reading, asking questions, researching or any other number of ways. Good parenting is a learned skill and not the ability to procreate.

Children Change With Age – Good and Bad

We all know a 3-year-old is not the same as a 7-year-old and 7-year-old is not the same as a 14-year-old. With all the information, available why are so many parents failing at developing parenting skills as their child grows? Parents with an understanding of child development at different ages is just the start. Ask any teacher if they have student (kids) with behavior problems. Most will respond with “we don’t have kids with problems we have parent problems”. Reading a book once every 3 years about parenting would put you above the grade curve.

Go to any community ball field that has baseball, soccer, or football, etc. Most of the parents are involved with their children enough to sign them up, pay the fee, and at least drop them off at the field. Some stay for practices and the games. Many do not. No, I am not going to talk about the parent bad behaviors at the games.

Other way parent get involved with their children is through dance, gymnastic, music, PTA, scouting and others. But for every child that has a parent involved there is another child whose parent comes home from work feeds them fast food, doesn’t check homework or even tries to understand how their child is doing. Some kids get the video game out or streams some movies for rest of the night.

The Involved Parent

The involved parent will spend time at the movies on weekends or go bowling. Other involved parents will go to the soccer game or a local theme park. The caring parent will spend time in fun, laughter, and silliness with their children doing some activity together. This is while watching their child grow emotionally, physically and mentally. The involved parent is always correcting disrespectful and deviant behavior, at the same time setting a good example.

Most all, if not all, will say they love their children and want the best for them. At the same time, some of the parents curse at their children and each other and not want their children to do such a thing. The parent will argue, as most parent do, but the kids don’t get to see them make up and forgive, if they even do.

Divorce

Kids watch their parent divorce and start dating someone else (this is hard on children). Deadbeat DADS (irresponsible father) are getting to be more common as the years’ pass. This leaves society to pay for the child’s upbringing. Many times, this lead to the entitlement mindset by the mothers and children. Every day I see kids whose parent aren’t married and don’t support the other children they have from a previous relationship. This is irresponsible as we all know. The social welfare system pay for the children’s need when the parents can’t or won’t. It seems that having children, of which you can’t afford, is rewarded by social programs. Your tax dollars are hard at work to serve the irresponsible.

This problem spans all races, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. The problem gets worse year-after-year. Don’t misunderstand me, we need to help those who can’t provide for themselves, the children. The answers must start with the individual and our society.

If you have read up to this point you either agree with me or you are concerned about your own children. Parenting is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs a couple or a person can have. If you love your children, and I assume your do, keep learning with an open mind. Sorry but love does not conquer all. Love is not an emotion, it is a commitment. Therefore, many marriages and relationships fail. Many want to feel (selfish) their relationship and are not committed to making it work. Life, work, individuals and relationship dynamics change. Without a strong commitment and personal growth things, and life will fall apart.

WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

We all know there is no one answer to problem children so let’s start with asking some basic questions about yourself. The answer to the questions my give incite to what needs to be done.

  1. Do you spend enough time with your children? More than one child requires more time for individual interaction.
  2. Have you read at least one or two books on parenting? Education is more than just a high school diploma. We all need to develop specific skills this is especially true in raising children.
  3. Do you get drunk in front of your children? (BIG ONE) Bad example to set. Children can see the differences from one drink to relax and being buzzed. We all need to relax but some overdo it.
  4. Do you curse at your children because of their bad behavior and then expect them to not use the same foul language?
  5. Do you discipline your children with consistency and love?
  6. Can your children come home and feel relaxed (stress free) and safe?
  7. Do you argue or have different opinions about child discipline with your spouse or significant other?
  8. Does child feel safe around the “exes” boy/girl friend?
  9. Does your child bully and tease other children? This is a sign of anger problems and you should find out why they are angry and taking it out on others.
  10. How many times have you or your exe’s been married or in and out of relationships that effect your children?

These 10 questions are only a starting point to help with good parenting. I did say good because no one is perfect and mistakes are made. There are many other factors to consider in developing your parenting skills. Telling your child, you are sorry when you make a mistake is a great example for children to learn. It teaches them no one is perfect and mistake happen.

Research has shown that most children under 10 don’t have a logical brain. They feel and live by emotions. They see mom and dad as “god like”. Mom and dad, even if divorced, give boundaries to children. Children learn who is in charge and how far they can push to get their own selfish way. This is unless trust and authority were not set in place from a younger age (3-7 years old). Children need boundaries and must be taught respect for rules and authority.

Respect

The respect for authority will carry on in later years for most children. Pleasing mom and dad carried into respect for teachers and coaches. The respect for rules carries into the classroom and playing field. Of course, some corrective disciple will be needed along the path toward adulthood. If early childhood discipline was not taken seriously them the path may be very difficult and wearisome for all involved.

OMG The Teen Years

The teen years is the time for exploration of mind and body. That subject could fill volumes. Teens will test boundaries of their choices. If they were taught the importance of respect, self-discipline, manners, good character, and authority they will grow up fine. Did I mention all this will require a tremendous amount of work and time on your part as a parent? The rewards can last the rest of your life.

All said and done we as a people chose which path we take in life. All of us can make choices of improving ourselves both mentally and emotionally. We have the right to improve our character and attitudes. Parents can give their children a great start on personal progress by instilling values of honesty, kindness, forgiveness, respect and humility (the painful one). But to influence children you must spend time with them to cause the change you want. Get involved with your child in a meaningful way or don’t have them.

Thank You For Teaching Your Children The Small Things

For those parents who do spend time teaching children to tie their shoes, pick up their mess, and be respectful, … etc., thank you for doing your job well. If the children are our future then we all need to help them grow mentally, physically, and emotionally in direction best for them. We all have different ways of accomplishing things (parenting). There is no one best way to rear children but you need to find what works for your child/children.

My final words are, spend time with your children and their activities. Listen to their teachers. Watch how they interact with other children. Make necessary adjustments in your child’s behavior as needed. If you don’t know how to rear children, then learn. There is plenty of resources available. Teach them what respect for people is and why. Be consistent in discipline and don’t let them wear you down and take control. Learn what it takes to raise children to a young adult and do not guess at it.

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Self-Defense Weapons

Good-Bad-Indifferent

The first thing people think about when choosing a self-defense weapon is the gun or knife. Others may choose a stick, pole or some non-lethal object. Any weapon of self-defense chosen has its limitations. My suggestion to all is to start with the self-defense weapon we were given by nature. The built in weapons that most all of us have are elbows, hands, feet, and most importantly the mind. All the weapons work well if we are trained to use them properly. Sure there are many other weapons that can be used if necessary. I will state it again. All useful weapons require training to be of any good to the user.

The Gun

The gun is what most people think will choose to save their lives in the event of a violent attack. The idea that the bad guy will just back down and run away, or worse case you shoot the attacker. There is always more happening then what meets the eye when using a gun for self-defense.

Today it seems like anyone can own a gun. The bad guy’s own guns and use them often. We do have a First Amendment right to own a gun and use it for self-defense. But now law abiding citizen and criminals have access to weapons. Gun are everywhere and more need to be done, but this article is not for that purpose. What bothers me is that drunken, emotional angry people on anti-depressants own guns legally. Well any way, guns are a great deterrent if an attacker knows you carry a weapon. Remember bad guys generally don’t have the fore knowledge of you carrying. On a side note, I personally like target practice with my weapon because it challenging and plain fun.

No Such Thing As A Quick Draw

The main problem with guns in general as the primary weapon of self-defense is the time required to deploy the weapon. Most state laws require gun owner to have a concealed permit if they are going to carry the weapon with them. The key word is concealed. Brandishing a weapon is another no-no in the eyes of the law. So you carry the gun somewhere on your body that can’t be seen under ordinary circumstances.

The time it takes you to get the gun out, if you are carrying it on your person, can be problematic in a slit second emergency. If you are fast at reaching for your gun, then pulling it out of the gun sleeve, chamber a round, taking off the safety and then aim and shoot, you may hit the target. This operation could take three to four seconds if you are well practiced. Most gun owners with a concealed carry permit don’t go to the gun range or practice deploying their weapon.

The point to this section on guns as a primary weapon of self-defense is the time it takes to use it in an unexpected attack. If you are face-to-face with a violent threat you must have the skill set to deploy the weapon with great speed. In this type of situation getting out the weapon may more difficult than you practiced, if you practiced at all. Fear causes an adrenaline dump which causes your heart rate to increase. This in turn will make getting the weapon out slower than you trained for. Unless less you trained for this type of situation many things can go wrong for you. The attacker may even end up with your gun. So what are you supposed to do?

Buying Time

The ability to “buy time” in order to get the gun out, get one round in the chamber, and disengage the safety can be a matter of life and death. To buy time is to gain those precious few second you need to react to a sudden attack. The three to five seconds your brain needs to comprehend what is happening and react properly to the unexpected requires self-defense training, not just a gun.

If the gun is the preferred weapon of self-defense it may not be the best choice. Most stated in the United Stated require gun to be registered and concealed if you are going to carry it for self-protection. In a sudden violent attack, the time it takes you to remove your gun from its holster the weapon and fire it is of critical concern. Knowing survival self-defense techniques can save your life as a gun owner. Combat self-defense is another name for the same thing.

Many gun owner think they are safe when carrying their gun. The may feel safe but the reality is safety is in being able to use the weapon correctly. With lack of survival self-defense and practice in deploying the weapon under pressure safety is just a feeling and not a reality. Owning a gun is just the first step in greater security.

The Knife

There is an old saying the everyone knows “don’t take a knife to a gun fight”. Of course a knife doesn’t stand on its own facing a gun. If someone has a blunt instrument in their hand a knife (multi-directional weapon) may be a good enough deterrent to stop an attacker. This is all depending on whether you have training on the use of a knife. The gun is a single direction weapon unless using the gun as a blunt object. Is one better than the other? Depends on training and skill level of each weapon.

The knife as a deterrent works well if some is threatening to beat you to death with their fist, bat or tire iron. But like any self-defense weapon, training is necessary to use it correctly. The knife will strike fear into most attackers using a blunt force object. But the fear alone may not stop them. The proper use of a knife may take as much training to use as the gun. The knife may be enough to stop an attack threat. But you better know how to use it.

The use of a knife to survive an attack (not with a gun) is a skill set that should be learned and practiced if you carry a knife for self-defense. The use of a knife for self-defense is a specialize skill that can be learned by most any person. I am not talking about knife fighting. That is another whole world to be discovered and avoided if possible.

Never Get Into A Knife Fight

Never think it is easy to defend against an attacker with a knife. There is a big difference between someone threating you with a sharp object to rob you and someone who wants to kill you. If a person is viciously trying to stab or slice you a knife fight is not where you want to be. Your best bet is to run as fast as you can. If you can’t run grab a chair, a long hard abject, or a gun you will increase your chances of survival. In survival a knife fight doesn’t make any real sense. Knife fighting is not survival self-defense but it can happen and escape is the best conclusion. Tactical knife fighting takes an extreme amount training and practice.

The blade is a good deterrent against threat of physical violence such as a folded fist. Of course it is not good against a gun. When facing an attacker who want to stab you an environmental weapon is the best choice in my opinion. This is other than running like hell.  A knife on knife fight is messy and should be avoided at all cost if possible. The knife is easy to carry most everywhere but there are legal concerns in many localities. It comes in handy in many other situations like cutting and opening boxes and such. It is a good weapon of self-defense is you are trained to use it.

The Environmental Weapon

This is a large group of weapons in this category. Just about everything can be used as a weapon if you can pick it up. These weapon should never be over looked in a situation of balance of power in a violent attack. Like any weapon some training is necessary to use properly. There are generally one or two ways to use a gun of knife effectively. On the other hand many of the objects around can increase you survival chance if you don’t carry a self-defense weapon on you.

Let’s stick with the basics on this subject. In a self-defense survival situation, you want to escape to a safe place. No one in their right mind really want to fight. Fighting can be fun if there are rules, refs, and rings, but not in a violent “going to kill you” place. A real fight is dangerous and possibly lethal. A car or table can be used a shield prevent the attacker from have easy access to you.

Objects Easy To Pickup

With a stone, brick, or hard object you can hit the attacker harder. Dirt, lamps, books, and any hand held object can be thrown to buy time to escape the area you are in. Broom or mop handles work well if you have some training with short stick defense. Also knowing where to strike is an issue with any weapon. Hitting someone in the arm or chest may not get you the result you are looking for. Environmental weapons (anything thing you grab, throw, or cause a barrier effect between you and the bad guy) like a gun or knife must be used in a manner that will cause the most physical damage.

Environmental weapons are everywhere. In a sudden attack your brain doesn’t have the time necessary to grab an object and use it effectively unless you have some training and practice in its use. In reality self-defense an environmental weapon can give you the advantage that may be needed against a larger and stronger attacker. Almost anything can be used as a lethal if applied with skill. If you have noticed, I keep mentioning training or skill no matter what weapon you prefer.

The Body as a Weapon

If you haven’t figured it out by now I am a proponent of learning self-defense. Using your body as a weapon is should your first line of self-defense in a sudden violent attack. This is outside of using your mind to prevent an attack by awareness, alert, and alarm. Self-defense training can be fun, exciting, enlighten and could save your life.

In a sudden violent attack time is not on your side. You must respond quickly or make the other person react to you. The only thing outside of being able to flee the area is to severely damage the attacker and then flee. Your body is equipped with multiple weapons to use at any time. But like any weapon training is needed. The more you train the better you become at the God given defensive weapons on you.

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert

Okay, you don’t have to earn a black belt or have to become some sort of self-defense expert. In all reality that is not necessary for most people who just want to learn self-defense. The object in reality self-defense is to defend (survive) and walk away. Sophisticated self-defense techniques aren’t needed to defend yourself. Even among self-defense experts the phrase “keep it simple stupid” rings true.

Simple physical techniques are easy for most people to learn. With some repetition and scenario training almost anyone can gain competent skills in self-defense. Remember the main outcome in self-defense is to stop the attack and escape. It is not to “fight” with the attacker.

Your body has many built in weapons (with proper training) to stop an attack or buy enough time to run or deploy another hand held weapon. Buying some to escape, run, or shoot the attacker if they continue in the actions of attack. Body weapon like palm strikes, eye gouges, elbow strikes and the like are easy to do, learn and remember. They are out in front of you like a shield and can be put into action quickly.

Conclusion

There are many different weapons that can be used against an attacker. That is weapon that can neutralize or at least equalize the attack. This article only addresses the gun and knife as a defensive tool. All said and done I believe that the best weapons against a sudden attack are the ones you were born with.

The hands, elbows, and knees are readily available and accessible in an emergency scenario. Using any weapon of self-defense requires training and practice. The gun, knife and human body can be a very efficient means of self-defense and all need specific focuses training to be useful. Specific focused training implies a survival outcome in a violent personal attack. I firmly believe everyone should take a self-defense course and gun owners a gun safety course with shooting tactics. Until the next time, keep training.

 

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