Posts Tagged ‘Monash University’

Toddlers are Using Bad Language. Should we Really Care?

June 11, 2012

Unfortunately swearing has become part of our vernacular. Curse words are no longer seen as rude or unsociable and parents are less conscious of avoiding sprouting certain words around their children. Many will not see this as a problem. They will argue that swearing is harmless and a popular fixture of everyday conversation.

I do not find swearing offensive per se, but I am grateful that my parents brought me up to express myself in a more dignified way. It would greatly upset me if my children swore, like many children are nowadays:

CHILDREN as young as three are swearing – and it’s not just “bloody” coming out of the mouths of babes either.

“F—” and “s—” are the first naughty words that toddlers usually let fly.

They pick up swear words from the playground, at home and on TV and they do it because it gets them “maximum attention”, linguistics expert Kate Burridge says.

“In the old days they might have had their mouths washed out with soap or been sent to the bedroom with no supper,” Prof Burridge, of Monash University, said.

“But (now) they get maximum attention and learn how potent these word are.”

Parents say almost 60 per cent of children swear by three years of age and that by kindergarten more than 90 per cent of children have uttered their first rude word, an exclusive Herald Sun survey found.

Etiquette expert June Dally-Watkins said the level of swearing on TV and in public was unacceptable.

“I think it is disgusting,” she said.

“Parents should not permit it.”

Most parents agree with Ms Dally-Watkins – 70 per cent believe schools and parents should do more to crack down on swearing.

But parents (52 per cent) admit their children often hear their first curse at home.

Second was the playground (48 per cent) at school or pre-school, followed by TV (31 per cent).

Most parents (78 per cent) still actively discourage swearing.

Prof Burridge advises parents not to panic if their child swears.

She says: “It is probably best to treat these as ordinary words, because they are.

They have always been an important part of the Australian vernacular.”

Experts: Medicate Your ADHD Kid or We’ll Report You To The Authorities

November 21, 2011

I suppose it was only a matter of time.  The writing was on the wall earlier this year when experts were outraged when a mother, Christie Haskel, claimed that coffee had cured her son of ADHD.  The medical experts came out in force against Ms Haskel.  How can this woman treat her child with something other than a drug with pharmacological effects that resemble closely those of cocaine and amphetamines?  And coffee? That could damage the poor child’s health!

Now it seems they have taken their pro-drug, anti-choice platform a further step into the ultra-extreme. Now they are threatening parents – take the drugs or you’ll be reported:

EXPERTS have warned that parents who don’t medicate children with ADHD could be referred to child protection authorities under controversial draft guidelines being considered by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The practice points, to guide doctors who treat the disorder, were drawn up by an NHMRC expert working group to address community concern over the use of stimulant medication to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. They state: “Consideration should be given to the ability of the child/adolescent and their caregivers to implement strategies. As with any medical intervention, the inability of parents to implement strategies may raise child protection concerns.”

Child psychiatrist and Monash University lecturer George Halasz says the situation should not be seen as unique to ADHD and parents who fail to manage serious conditions such as their child’s asthma or diabetes could also be considered to be failing their duty as a parent.

Dr Halasz said the new guidelines were a step in the right direction because they asked doctors to first try to find other explanations for a child’s behaviour before they diagnosed ADHD.

Firstly there is a gulf of difference between a parent’s decision not to administer ADHD drugs and a decision not to treat a child for asthma and diabetes. Secondly, this move does not promote trying alternate methods but reinforces what many suspect; that Ritalin and it’s type have become a one-stop fix for a condition yet to be fully proven.

The British Psychological Society said in a 1997 report that physicians and psychiatrists should not follow the American example of applying medical labels to such a wide variety of attention-related disorders: “The idea that children who don’t attend or who don’t sit still in school have a mental disorder is not entertained by most British clinicians.”

Another problem I have, is how can you even consider reporting parents for not giving their children a drug that has the following possible side-effects:

How about we report lazy doctor to the authorities who prescribe this drug without due process? How about we report bullying tactics by so-called experts? How about we let parents decide for themselves what is in the best interests of their children?

How about you think about the consequences of drugging such a large proportion of our young?

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