Parents: Should You Ignore Potential Mental Health Issues in Your Kids?

BY: - 21 Jan '16 | Parenting

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TNMFamilySonSadCouple_feature

My four year old loves his school.He loves his teachers. He has friends he looks forward to seeing everyday. His teachers love him, but more than that, they actually give a damn about him. Some schools churn out students like a candy factory, but we’re lucky enough to have a caring staff who truly adapt their methods to the students.

At the age of four, he’s reading simple books, extremely self-sufficient, doing decimal addition, loves Ninja Turtles, and since last month, has been physically threatening his teachers and classmates.

It’s got his mother and myself totally messed up mentally.

Within a month he went from a rambunctious, but participatory, little learner to an active disturbance and verbal aggressor of physical well being. I know, it’s easy to blame us – the parents. Believe me, between my wife and me, we’ve got the blame game covered.

Too much attention at home? Not enough? Too many viewings of the Ninja Turtles reboot? He didn’t get the Christmas gift he wanted? Too much punishment for misbehaving at school? Not enough – or not the right kind of punishment?

Google wasn’t helping.

After speaking with his teachers and school administrator, they quickly suggested we don’t attempt to assign blame, and it was entirely possible this wasn’t anyone’s fault. Some kids behave differently in different environments at different times.

TNMFamilySon

They did however suggest we follow through with one of the potential plans we shared with them. To make an immediate appointment with a behavior specialist. It was important to curb the behavior quickly.

I’ll admit, it’s rather daunting to admit my wife and I may not be able to satisfactorily curb our son’s behavior, but we also have to admit we don’t know anything about parenting. He’s our first – our only.

Our natural instinct and upbringing wants to physically strike the boy into submissive behavior, but our grown sense asks how truly effective is striking your offspring. The goal is to exhibit the behaviors we want him to emulate, right?

All I know is parent shame is a real thing. Whether you’re taking your child to see a specialist, not buying them the correct brands; whether they’re the school bully, or the overprotected bookworm – someone is bound to have an opinion on the way you operate as a parent.

And I’m not about to let other’s opinion of us seeing a specialist as soon as possible deter my son from getting the proper care he may need. As an adult, we have to know when to get out of our own way. We have to put our egos aside to do what’s best for those closest to us.

Like family is supposed to do, my brother suggested we beat him one good time. If he stops his behavior, mission accomplished. If he doesn’t, well then, we’ll know it didn’t work – and just never do it again. Naw, bruh. Can’t even do it. We have to be above the influence. However you choose to run your house is how you choose.

Under our roof, we’ve decided not to ignore the signs of a potential mental health issue to avoid stigmatizing the cause. I can only imagine what percentage of the black population have attempted to beat out mental issues in our families due to lack of access to adequate care.

We’ve decided to break that cycle. Maybe our son is just a bully. Maybe he has seen too many Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe we should tell him we love him 5 times a day instead of 4. Maybe he needs another week of grounding without any of his toys.

Maybe it will take 39 more face to face lectures and conversations. All I know is, we’re committed to trying everything we have the resources to try. Not just his behavioral ones, but all of them.

Because that is what parents do. It’s our burden to figure it out – and get help when we can’t.

BMWK, are you willing to get help for potential mental health issues?

About the author

Isom Kuade wrote 70 articles on this blog.

Isom Kuade is a father and a husband, resting his head in the middle of Texas. He's doing his best to adult with purpose and sneak in some good meals along the way. He and his wife tell stories of their triumphs, failures, and biased opinions at pancakesandcider.com.

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Parents Wake UP! 5 Shocking Facts You Need to Know about the Music Your Kids Are Listening To!

BY: - 25 Jan '16 | Parenting

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TNMMotherSonFamilyFeature

Does your kid’s playlist truly match your family values? In all honesty, does yours?

If your kids spend any time listening to today’s most popular songs on the radio then, you definitely need to know what a study of the most popular 279 songs says they are hearing.

Here are 5 shocking facts that you need to know about the music your kids are listening to:

Fact #1: Kids are listening to more than 2 hours of music each day.

It’s how your kids spend time – kids age 8 to 18 listen to music for an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes each day! Music is one of the only things that engages the whole brain. The lyrics are replayed by the mind and their heart rate adjusts to the beats per minute.

Fact #2: Radio edited songs don’t hide anything!

Through music, a song’s message engages the whole brain in a way that lasts; kids remember lyrics and sometimes repeat the message.

Let me give you an illustration:

Radio edited songs do not hide a reference to sex, drugs or alcohol. Their brain is awesome and just like you can read the sentence below – their brain still receives the full suggestive message of an edited radio song:

Aoccdrnig to a rseearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

I bet you were still able to read it as:

According to a research team at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place.

A child’s brain is able to subconsciously do similar magic with songs that have words bleeped out, the full message of the song minus that one word still comes through and can be replayed by the brain over and over. This is what happens when a song is stuck in your head, the brain is actually replaying it.

On a broader scale – over 2 hours of listening per day is a lot of time influence on your kids. Pay attention to the words in the songs your kids choose, as well as to the words in the lyrics of those songs that you choose to listen to with your kids in the car.

Tip: Giving your kids music with lyrics and a message that lines up with what you are teaching as a parent can go a long way in not having to repeat yourself so often. More information is below on a new tool, Kidz Mic, created by kids for families to have the cool beats you have loved for years with the positive message your family really wants. Thanks to the innovation of some cool kids, now you can have both!

Fact #3:  The right music can reduce stress for you and your kids.

Positive music matters medically. A 2013 study by AAP Pediatrics suggests that some sounds, such as positively calming music and lullabies, may soothe pre-term babies and their parents, and even improve the infants’ sleeping and eating patterns, while decreasing parents’ stress.

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There’s a growing movement of music therapists and psychologists who are investigating the use of music in medicine to help patients dealing with pain, depression and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease. Gone are the days of “it’s just a beat.” Doctors are finding that what you hear actually affects you.

Tip: Surround your kids with positive healing music; it will decrease your stress and theirs.  And to be safe, give your kids positive music like Kidz Mic; more about it is mentioned below.

Fact #4: Their music promotes drugs, alcohol and degrading their bodies.

You spend a lot of time teaching your kids what is right and generally to stay away from drugs and alcohol. But in a study from 2005, only 4% of the top 279 songs contained an anti-drug or anti-alcohol message.

And as of 2005 (surely it is higher now) 14% of rock songs and a whopping 77% of rap songs contained reference to drugs and alcohol. Watching a music video or getting a song with those images stuck in your head is the biological equivalent to replaying a commercial for it over and over again.

Right now, there is an entire movement underway to remind young people and the world that their lives matter. We can give kids images and sounds that say they are valuable, worth protecting, or we can choose to give them music that says they are worth less… a lot less. – Kidz Mic

Fact #5: There are positive alternatives that have the cool beats that your kids love.

Music represents a big impact to the minds and hearts of our youth, but the good news is that there is something parents can do about it.

kidzmic graphic

Finally, positive music by Kids for my Kids! Kidz Mic gives my family the cool beats we love, with great messages for kids!

Every time you turn on the radio, download a song, or watch a video, you are voting with your dollars for more content like the type you see.  Why not use your time and attention to invest in media messaging that matches your family’s values.

Why not use your time and attention to invest in media messaging that matches your family’s values.

Right now, there is an entire movement underway to remind young people and the world that their lives matter. We can give kids images and sounds that say they are valuable, worth protecting, or we can choose to give them music that says they are worth less… a lot less.

Help Your Parental Values Stick Through Music

Kidz Mic Founders

Kidz Mic founders – 8 year old Lil’ Jazz and 6 year old Sonic

One little girl had this same sentiment on making values stick and decided to do something about it. Meet 8 year old Lil Jazz. Along with her 6-yr old brother, Sonic, she is the founder of Kidz Mic a new innovative musical resource to help parents like you. Parents around the country are loving the effect that Kidz Mic has on their kids!

You may not have heard of Lil’ Jazz, yet, but you almost certainly have heard of the music her grandfather played as the drummer for the legendary Isley Brothers, as well as the music her aunt, and grandfather’s eldest sister sang as a pioneering member of George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic. Perhaps you heard of a certain gospel singer, Kirk Franklin whom their father DJ’d for until he turned in the turntables and tour suitcases to marry the love of his life, their mom.

Unlike most kids, Lil’ Jazz and her savvy brother Sonic have been backstage and on the side of the stage listening to some of music’s greatest legends send love out to audiences that reach into the tens of thousands for most of their life.

Recently, Lil’ Jazz heard some popular  music that is regularly played on the radio and Jazz went to her mother in shock, wide eyed and stunned and said:

“They aren’t saying nice things, and kids hear this Mommy…they are not saying nice things”.

A conversation ensued about how their family could help and Kidz Mic was born. Lil’ Jazz, Sonic, and eight friends went to Billboard Studios where the same team that records Keyshia Cole, Jazze Pha, Isley Brothers band members, and producers behind the music for America’s Top Model music helped them re-record several positive hit songs for kids intertwined with positive affirmations for kids to say along with them.

Kidz Mic Studio Session

Kidz Mic founders Lil’ Jazz and Sonic are in a studio session.

The themes of Kidz Mic are self-esteem, encouragement, empowerment and celebration with positive hits from Lauryn Hill, Nas, Common, John Legend, Alicia Keys, and more to provide beats you already love with messages kids need as a great birthday party gift, Christmas gift, or everyday playlist for families with kids.

Lil’ Jazz and Sonic are choosing to give your kids a great boost of positive peer pressure in their ear.  And even more than that, Kidz Mic will give you a break while giving your family hours of fun for time to come.

Get your copy and plan a positive posse party this weekend! Kidz Mic is available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and with free shipping on the Kidz Mic store http://www.kidzmic.com/music-store.html.

People in our community say we want the music to get better.  Well…these kids are doing way more than most of us to be a part of the solution every day. Get the CD to give them some encouragement and to give you some help!

Stay in the loop!

The Kidz Mic founders are always on the move,  so please check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And sign up for free positively creative cool family resources on their site and keep the soundtrack of life going in the right direction – supporting what you teach!

BMWK Family: Kidz Mic and positive media is here to serve as a helping hand, to give you a break! Check out the CD and enjoy peace of mind when your kids sing along. And please help us spread the word by sharing and tweeting this article!

Check out what parents are saying about Kidz Mic:

“My girls love the CD!!! My oldest wants to write a song now. Thank you guys for your vision and creativity!” — T. Faxio

“I love Kidz Mic, I’m in dying need of another cd it has been misplaced and my kids are like mom can we listen to to kids Cd… (8 min. later, they posted – “Just got another one, yay!!!”)” –R. Drumwright

“Thanks for the super fun and positive cd, Kidz Mic! Our kids at NightLight Atlanta are going to love it!” – K.Tingle

“We started our day in a GOOD WAY!!” – T. Carlton

“We have to listen to Kidz Mic, everyday! We get our morning started right with Good Day – thank you for making this!! It is soooo an amazing new part of our routine, thank you Kidz Mic!!” – M. Johnson

“Look what I got in the mail!!!! (posted pic of mom holding Kidz Mic CD) I bought it for my son but I couldn’t wait until he got off school to listen to it lol I love it!” – D. Dillard

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kidz Mic to spread the good news about the positive and encouraging music that they have for your children.

About the author

BMWK Staff wrote 1227 articles on this blog.

Content and articles from the staff and guest contributors of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com

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