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 Newsbytes - latest news for parents of adolescence

Guns don't kill people — our sons do
Use a Gun, No More Fun
Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200
The Warning Signs and Major Risk Factors of Teenage Suicide
Body Image and Young Girls
Teen Violence
AIDS and Youth
A Puppy Called Puberty
Age of Discontent
Bend It Like Beckham
Manga Books for Young Women
What is Beauty in the Media
11 Facts About Teens and Self Esteem
Missing Children
Emergency Numbers
Related Issues:
Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, California Teens, Adolescence, teen health, teen sex, testicles, kidstuff, children, fathers & sons, fathers & daughters and fathers stories
Other related issues: circumcision, fraternities, gangs, guns, hazing, sexuality-general, smoking, body piercing, tattoos, suicide, tv violence.
Resources on gangs, families, parents, father's rights, urgent, youth. Also the Facts of Life Line
Websites for Girls
Books on: adolescents, 13th generation, children, circumcision, communication, divorce-general, families, fathers-general, fathers & stepfathers, fathers & daughers, fathers-single, fathers & sons, marriage, parenting-general, parenting-single, relationship, ritual-initiation, sexism, sex roles, sexuality-general, gangs, abuse-boys, abuse-child, sexual-incest, abuse-ritual, abuse-sexual, violence-rape, violence-sexual
Slide Guides: Gangs, Testices, STDS, AIDS, Safe Dating.
Journals - on Child, Emotional, Religious, and Sexual Abuse and Trauma

Guns don't kill people — our sons do

We need to find ways to stop the childhood injuries that lead boys to murder.

Our daughters do not kill. Why the difference? For boys, the road to successful manhood has crumbled. It's time we go beyond fighting over guns to raising our sons.

After Newtown, Connecticut, parents cried out, "What's making our children kill?" But it is not our children who are killing. It is our sons. All but one of the 62 mass killings in the past 30 years was committed by boys or men.

We respond by blaming guns, our inattentiveness to mental health, violence in the media or video games, or family values. Yes, all are players, but our daughters are able to find the same guns in the same homes, are about as likely to be mentally ill, have the same family values and are exposed to the same violence in the media. Our daughters, however, do not kill. Why the difference?

Start with suicide. Each mass murder is also a suicide. Boys and girls at age 9 are almost equally likely to commit suicide; by age 14, boys are twice as likely; by 19, four times; by 24, more than five times. The more a boy absorbs the male role and male hormones, the more he commits suicide.

No manly model.

For boys, the road to successful manhood has crumbled. In many boys' journey from a fatherless family to an almost all-female staff elementary school such as Sandy Hook, there is no constructive male role model..

Adam Lanza is reported to have gone downhill when divorce separated him from his dad. Children of divorce without enough father contact are prone to have poor social skills; to struggle with the five D's (depression, drugs, drinking, discipline and delinquency); be suicidal; be less able to concentrate; and to be aggressive but not assertive. Perhaps most important, these boys are less empathetic.

And just while their bodies are telling them that girls are the most important things in the world, these boys are locked into failure. Boys with a "failure to launch" are invisible to most girls. With poor social skills, the boys feel anger at their fear of being rejected and self-loathing at their inability to compete. They "end" this fear of rejection by typing "free adult material" into Google and working through the quarter-billion options. Online "success" increases the pain of real world failure.

Fragile fantasy success.

So, too, with these boys' relationships with video games. While girls average a healthy five hours a week on video games, boys average 13. The problem? The brain chemistry of video games stimulates feel-good dopamine that builds motivation to win in a fantasy while starving the parts of the brain focused on real-world motivation. He'll win at Madden football, but participate in no sport.

It's time we go beyond fighting over guns to raising our sons. With one executive order, President Obama can create a White House Council on Men and Boys to work with the Council on Women and Girls he formed in 2009. Why? No one part of government or the private sector has a handle on the solution.

A coordinated strategy is best developed at the White House level. The mere formation of such a council by the president alerts foundations, companies, families, teachers and therapists that our sons' "failure to launch" needs to be on their agenda. And politically, an effort to go beyond the rote ideological disagreements of the two parties could help build the unity to actually do something instead of fight to a standstill in a closely divided country.

There are few things a culture does as important as raising children. We can't continue to fail half of them.
Source: Warren Farrell is author of Why Men Are the Way they Are. He is co-authoring a book with John Gray, titled Boys to Men.

Use a Gun, No More Fun

In California, if you're 14 years or older and use a gun in conjunction with a crime, you'll get 10 to life. Life if you shoot someone with it. 20 years if you fire and miss. And 10 years just for using it without firing it.

Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

In Oregon, Measure 11 that went into effect April 1, 1995 says: If you are 15 or older and if you do any of 21 crimes in Oregon, you must go to prison for a long time! Murder is just one of the crimes. Some of the others are done everyday. Here are some everyday situations not longer falling under the "Boys Will Be Boys" category of innosence:.

Here is a list of all the Measure 11 crimes and how long you will stay in prison if you are found guilty. No probation!  No parole!  No early release!  Just prison. (Yrs/Mos):

Think first!  Remember, no probation, no parole, no early release!  Just prison

Body Image and Young Girls

Books, videos, and other resources to encourage a more positive body image among young girls. She then posted the following message containing the responses she received:

Hi everyone. A long time ago, I posted a couple of requests, with promise to post responses to the list. Sorry it has taken me so long to get to this. Busy summer.

Because it has been so long, I am re-running the request and the replies follow it. Thank you so much to everyone who responded!

THE REQUEST for little girls/body image was: I am looking for suitable books, videos, etc., that encourage more positive body image among little girls (elementary school--2nd or 3rd grade, for ex.), especially among little girls who do not "fit" into society's narrow and narrowly-defined standard of normalcy.

I'm especially interested in materials that can help the little girls through incidents in which they are made fun of for their body shape. (My mom's advice to me, as a fat child, was "people are going to say these things to you. You might as well get used to it.") I am also interested in materials that can help parents and teachers deal better with these incidents. I am _not_ (of course) interested in materials that teach us how to help children lose weight. The parents & teachers w/ whom I am working already have too many of those.

The Replies

Gillian Rodger: My absolute favorite source for all things related to body shape is a book by the Australian journalist/author Kaz Cooke called *Real Gorgeous* (Allen & Unwin, 1994). It may be aimed at a slightly older audience than the one you're dealing with but I think its pretty accessible. It deals with everything from what is normal to providing a fabulous critique of the fashion industry. It may also be a little too Australian--like many of us it's very blunt and straightforward.

Jacqueline Haessly: The book, Mothering Teens, edited by Dr. Miriam Kaufmann, and published by Gynergy Press, has some thoughtful essays that would be appropriate for your project. While the focus of the book is on teens, the material has a lot of applicability for all ages. It also includes an excellent chapter on parenting special needs children, who may or may not have "body image" issues to contend with.

Letician Lopez: Check out the classic Free to Be You and Me productions, both the video(s), books, and wonderful soundtracks; "People" is a animated video production/excellent soundtrack on diversity and has a song on different bodies; Joanie Blank's workbook for girlz on sexuality issues generally "A kid's first book about sex" (not about reproduction); Sol Gordon writes wonderful sex ed books for parents and may include activites?; "Fat girl dances with rocks" is for teens, but is specific to your concerns;Period deal with menstuation and body image for pre-adolescents, and New Moon magazine for 8-14 is a good general resource and I would check out their website and contact them.

Cindy Miller: I love Belinda's Bouquet, written I think by Leslea Newman. If you haven't seen it, it is about a little girl who is made fun of because she is fat. She talks about going on a diet. The mom of one of her friends tells her a story about her partner (also a woman, an added benefit to the book!) who (allegedly) tried to make all the flowers in her garden look the same by "putting some on a diet." They died, of course, which leads them into a discussion of what bodies need to survive. When you give bodies the same amount of nourishment, they will naturally develop into different shapes, just like when you give flowers the same amount of nourishment, they will develop into different colors and shapes. And, just as different shapes and colors of flowers make a garden beautiful, different shapes and colors of people make humanity beautiful. The only problem from your perspective is that is may be geared for kids younger than you are interested in. Good luck.

Judith Harlan: My book contains a chapter on "fashion", which challenges girls to develop their own positive body image. For info on it, please see my site: http://www.west.net/~jharlan .Have you thought of the magazines for girls such as New Moon and Bluejean Magazine? Or New Girl Times? They encourage positive self image, including body image. A good website that focuses on body image is: About Face. Most of the web girl clubhouses encourage positive self images, too. One I like (and am involved with) is A Girl's World -- but there are several others. A good list of them can be found through the Feminist Majority internet gateway.

Alena Ruggerio: The book _Style is Not a Size_ (published in 1991, I don't remember the author) is really two books. The first section traces the history of the "norm" in women's body shapes -- goes through the Renaissance painters and the eighteenth century use of weight as a sign of affluence, and gleefully describes the fluctuation of the "scientifically healthy" optimum weight for a woman, etc.

The second half [is] an exhaustive description of the fabrics, silhouettes, undergarments, and accessories that are most flattering to women sizes 14 and up.

Although I am still a seeker and not an expert, I do know that several posts from the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (their web site is at http://naafa.org/) have alluded to a FAQ list directed explicitly at school-aged children. Again, I think they're aiming at teenagers here, so I don't know how helpful this would be for you, but I do know that their resource lists have been invaluable in my own quest to discover body confidence.

There are also many fashion magazines out there directed explicitly at plus-sized women. Check out the new one, MODE, at any Lane Bryant store. There is also one called BBW (for big, beautiful woman) and another really popular one I can't think of right now. The last few pages of BBW and MODE also would point you to more resources to pursue.

Barbara Inselman-Temkin: Phifer, Kate Gilbert. Growing up small: A handbook for Short People. Paul S. Eriksson (publisher), Middlebury, Vermont, 1979.
Source: userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/bodyimage.html

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