Tag Archives: Bad Behavior

Digital Dads: Together Time App For iPhone

Playtime with your little dude is the best time.

No matter how much time you dudes are able to spend with the little dudette, it’s never enough to have all the fun you want to show her.

Oddly enough, though, there are some dads who get stage fright when it’s time to play. They’ll sit down, face the little dude and then go completely blank, with absolutely no idea whatsoever to do.

Which explains the continuing popularity of television as a babysitter.

Fortunately for those sorts of dudes, the folks at 7Potato have put together a little iPhone app to help you over the rough spots.

This is from their release.

Parents everywhere have superpowers! Unfortunately this power is often dormant because most parents don’t even know they have it. No, it’s not flying or shooting spider webs from wrists, but it does involve spiders of another sort: “Itsy Bitsy Spiders.” As handy as flying and web spinning would be for wrangling little ones, parental superpowers are far better and have a greater impact on the world.

 The Power of Play

The superpower that all parents have is play; it is something that we all share, but like Peter Pan, parents often forget how to play. If only there were an app for that. Well, now there is: Together Time with Song and Rhyme is a new app that helps parents bond with their preschoolers through fun, tickles, songs, and rhymes that support early childhood development.

 “Together Time makes parents more FUN for kids,” said Laura James, the app’s creator and founder of 7Potato.com. “Childhood is a once-upon-a-time opportunity, it only lasts a few short years. It’s easy for parents to spend too many of those years focused on trying to getting kids to behave in our adult world, when we could be using our superpower to make us child-like again.”

Parents are better served when they practice living in their children’s world and play.

“It’s more of a Jane Goodall approach,” James said, “where you observe and behave like the little creatures, to try and understand kids and their world, instead of trying to make the little creatures fit into your world.” 

Unfortunately, I can’t give you dudes a first-hand report on just how good this app really is, but it’s got 4.5 stars over at the iOS App Store. Just giving it the eyeball test, it sure looks darn good.

It’s only $4.99 at the App Store, which, in my mind, is low enough that you can take a flyer on the thing and see if it’s what you’re looking to find.

According to the release they sent, this sort of creative play can short-circuit bad behavior before it even begins. In looking over their strategy, I’ve got to say that a lot of the stuff they’re recommending is stuff that I used for my little dudes. Well, for the last little dude, mostly because it took until then to work out something that worked better than me gritting my teeth and hoping both of us would live through it.

Does your child refuse to get in the car? Start singing “Windshield Wiper” before you even get out the door. This helps set expectations for where you are going, rather than the seat they have to be strapped into, while giving your child a sense of fun.

 I’ve been talking a lot about jobs here lately. About a dad’s job. About a parent’s job. That sort of thing. One job I have yet to mention is the little dude’s job. And yeah, they do have one.

Their job is play. Playing with objects and people from the world around them will help acclimate them to their new surroundings and teach them how things work, what helps them and what hurts them.

“It supports their ongoing development physically, cognitively, and emotionally. One of the best parts of having kids is that it gives you an excuse to relive childhood. It goes by fast so have fun, play often and connect! If fun is the focus, learning will be the outcome, every time.”

Makes sense to me. If any of you dudes do download this app, please let me know how it works. I’d like to see if it is as good as it looks.

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The Meaning Of Gifted

Attention Deficit Disorder has been called many things: A curse, a disability, a problem, pure bone lazy.

Dr. Kevin Ross Emery, an expert on child and adult ADD/HD, wants to add another term: gift.

“However well intended, society’s collective attempts to medically treat and otherwise manage ADD/HD individuals often negatively impacts their self-worth and self-esteem and significantly hinders their ability to reach their full potential,” Dr. Kevin said. “Indeed, the stakes are high when it comes to finding a successful treatment plan, particularly for children.  Those who face criticism from parents, teachers and others for perceived laziness and bad behavior may face a lifetime of emotional problems.”

Not only that, the researcher and author said in a press release sent to Stately Dude Manor, but that constant harassment, no matter how well intentioned, can have the effect of blunting the sharp edge of the “gift” conferred by their ADD/HD.

“The loss of this population’s insights, brilliance and creativity–their greatness–is all too often sacrificed in order to help them ‘fit in’ to society. We as a culture need to celebrate and nurture those living with ADD/HD as they are so that they can, in turn, love and respect themselves and realize their full capabilities…to the benefit of us all.”

So Dr. Kevin, who actually likes to be called Dr. Kevin, got together with some coders and created the Managing the Gift smartphone app. It’s designed to provide educators, parents and caregivers a better understanding of ADD/HD, so as to counter the more common, negative labels that create such negative presentiment.

According to the press release I was sent: The pioneering Managing the Gift App goes well beyond with highly detailed, custom-tailored reports that help caregivers understand precisely how to best parent, guide, support, feed and educate each specific child living with ADHD, ADD or HD.  To facilitate this, among other features, the App uniquely offers a proprietary, personalized “Paint Your Child’s Portrait” interactive tool that reveals and defines a child’s distinct “ADD/HD personality” and, based on the individualized results, provides an expansive custom report that provides caregivers with valuable behavioral insights to recognize, utilize and maximize what Dr. Kevin calls the child’s “ADD/HD greatness.” The information gleaned from the custom-tailored reports also helps caregivers make critical decisions about diet, guidance and other common areas of concern and confusion, while also providing tools and techniques to help ensure the child flourishes amid the unique capabilities and aptitudes identified through the App.

The Managing the Gift App is compatible with any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 5.1 or greater and is available for free in the iTunes Store. The optional “Paint Your Child’s Portrait” feature reports are offered through the App for an additional nominal fee.

I’ll be straight with you dudes. I’ve not tried the app. I wish I had, but real life has been kicking a certain dude’s butt quite severely lately.

The reason I’m running this press release is that I love the idea behind the app. All three of my young dudes were diagnosed with ADD/HD and all three of them have been seen in a poor light at times because of it.

But I’ve also seen some amazing bits – some astonishing creativity – that I don’t see in undiagnosed young dudes and dudettes. It’s hard when you’re constantly being told that there’s something wrong with you. I’m all for something that says they aren’t just as good as the other kids in their class, they’re better. And they can get even better than that.

So take this as a qualified endorsement. I love the idea behind the app’s creation. Now it’s up to you dudes to let me know if the app lives up to its promise.

For more information on Emery (a.k.a. Dr. Kevin), or his books “Managing the Gift of your ADD/HD Child” and “Managing the Gift: Alternative Approaches to Attention Deficit Disorder,” you can find him at www.MyDrKevin.com.

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Lower The Lung Power

Sometimes, yelling just feels sooooooo good.

It’s cathartic. Dudes, I’m telling you that, sometimes when I’m screaming, I can feel the tension rushing out my body, through the lungs and vanishing into the echoes.

Screaming my lungs out at a football game not only helps support my team (Go, Gators!), but also helps me to feel a part of something greater, something louder, something (slightly) more obnoxious than myself.

Yelling at my young dudes, though. . . Not so good.

I understand the attraction. I’ve given in to the desire to just release that anger and frustration through yelling at the young dudes. I’ve never thought well of myself after, though. Even as I was doing it, I knew it was wrong. Mostly I managed to stop, take a step back and grab a (not-so-metaphorical) breath.

Mostly.

Yelling at your young dudes never accomplishes anything. Well, anything worthwhile. It can certainly accomplish the not-so-arduous task of making you look like an idiot and making your child feel small, worthless and horrible.

I think we can all agree that this is not a desirable outcome.

In a recent post, Salynn Boyles, a contributing writer for the blog site MedPage Today, writes about how yelling at your children has a quantifiable bad result.

Parents who yell, insult, or swear in an effort to correct bad behavior may perpetuate the behavior and increase a child’s risk for depression, new research suggests.

Unfortunately, parents yelling at their children isn’t a rare thing. In the study, researchers reported that nearly half of all parents (45% to 46% of moms and 42% to 43% of dads) said they used what it euphemistically called verbal discipline with their 13- and 14-year-old children. Mostly, we’d just call it yelling at the kids.

Using a cross-lagged model, the research showed that higher exposure to harsh verbal discipline at age 13 predicted increased adolescent behavior problems between the ages of 13 and 14 (beta=0.12 and 0.11; P<0.001), lead researcher and behavioral psychologistMing-Te Wang, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues, wrote in the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Child Development.

Higher exposure to parental yelling and other forms of harsh verbal discipline at age 13 predicted increased depressive symptoms between the ages of 13 and 14 (beta=0.16 and 0.14;P<0.001).

Well, sure. I mean, if you got yelled at by your mom or dad when you were that age, I’m pretty sure you would have been at least a little depressed. I mean, what is the young dude or dudette supposed to thing? Their parent is screaming at them over some behavior. . . Obviously the young one is a miserable excuse for a human being.

Remember, teenagers aren’t known for their ability to successfully think their way out of a wet paper bag. Add in a healthy dollop of emotional overreaction and you’ve got a recipe for feeling horrible. Which, unfortunately, is something that doesn’t go away as easily as it was brought on.

Psychologist Nadine Kaslow, PhD, who is president elect of the American Psychological Association and who was not involved in the study, said the findings highlight the futility and potential harms of reacting to adolescent behavioral issues with harsh verbal discipline.

Kaslow is the chief psychologist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and a professor of psychiatry at Atlanta’s Emory University School of Medicine.

“It sends the message that when you are mad or upset or scared, yelling is the way to deal with it,” she told MedPage Today. “That is the opposite of the message parents should be sending. Also, shouting and yelling doesn’t really work. It may stop the behavior for a while, but the child will probably be exhibiting the same behavior within an hour or two.”

And, yet, there are those parents who choose yelling at their kids as a peaceful alternative to hitting the young dudes and dudettes. I’m not sure how either of these things could possibly be seen as a better scenario.

The big takeaway from this article, other than the idea that you shouldn’t scream at a misbehaving child since it doesn’t actually work to decrease non-desired behavior, is that it’s better to work with your child, rather than directly imposing your will on him or her.

“Our results support a transactional model of parent-child interaction and suggest that any intervention efforts to reduce both harsh verbal discipline and conduct problems will need to target both the parents and the child,” the researchers concluded.

The next time you feel like you’re about to let loose, try and swallow it, dudes. Save it for the stadium, where it’s a good thing. Instead, take that breath and talk to your teen. You won’t regret it.

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