Monthly Archives: February 2011

Interview with Country Singer Craig Morgan on Heroism

What does it mean to be a ”hero,” and why do some people jump right in and others stand on the sidelines?

Country Singer Craig Morgan is best known for his songs: “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “International Harvester” among others. He’s been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and is the star of the reality series: “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors.” Craig also spent 10 years on active duty in the U.S. Army and is a tireless supporter of U.S. soldiers and their families. 

Craig very recently rescued two small children from a burning house in his Tennessee neighborhood.  Yet he says he’s NOT a hero.  There are reasons why some “ordinary” people end up doing extraordinary things when the chips are down.  Listen to the Interview

Quote of the Week

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
                 – Ralph Waldo Emerson
                    American Transcendentalist author
                    1803 – 1882

Hero

Interview with Dr. David Velkoff on Autism and ADHD Treatment

So many kids today are getting diagnoses of some form of attention-deficit disorder, and their families are confused about the treatments that are recommended.  So I invited Dr. David Velkoff, the Medical Director of southern California’s Drake Institute (and an advertiser on my program) to sort through the options for ADHD and autism.  Dr. Velkoff is a leader in non-drug, behavioral therapies, but he also discusses the range of treatments available.  This is “required listening”  for those who have family members diagnosed with one of these disorders, and even if you don’t, Dr. Velkoff clears up a lot of misconceptions about treatment.  Listen to the interview.

Bullies CAN Be Stopped!

If it seems to you that bullying is getting worse, you’re right.  It seems to be happening at earlier ages, with more frequency, and now we’ve got “cyberbullying” so the entire universe can get in on humiliating someone.  This is not just about kids – “poop” rolls downhill and kids are the last stop.

If you look at our society, you can hardly find a place where there isn’t bullying.  Kids hear about the drug cartels coming into the United States and being in the hills in Arizona and other places bullying and threatening others. 

I also made a decision recently.  My decision is it will be extremely rare for me to ever be interviewed on television again, because it’s mostly a format for bullying.  When I started out 35 years ago, and you were invited to a TV show, basically, they wanted to learn something from you, so they’d ask questions to get information.  There are almost no journalists left – because TV is basically a pulpit for bullying.  Talk radio has become that too.  The tons of yelling and screaming and name-calling and beating people up who can’t defend themselves is just standard.  Then there’s music – the music that many young people listen to is ugly, mean and threatening.  Look at the videos – they’re all “macho:” threatening, mean or hyper-sexed, or hyper-sexed and threatening and mean.  There’s hardly a place kids can turn.  It’s become abusive.  Our society is largely abusive, so I’m not surprised that we’re seeing kids acting it out. Our kids are a product of this culture, which has gone to hell in a handbasket, in my opinion.

I have a bunch of statistics about this stuff, and then I’m going to tell you what will stop all the bullying.  Unfortunately, I don’t think what will stop bullying will ever actually happen.  Here are some eye-opening facts:

  1. The top 5 states for school bullying are California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington.
  2. 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, and physically, and half of these incidents go unreported, because nothing happens if it is.
  3. Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on a playground.  Adult intervention?  Only FOUR PERCENT of the time.  No intervention? More than 85% of the time.
  4. 46% of the males and 26% of the females reported that they had been in physical fights, according to school bullying stats.  Keep in mind this is not conflict, yet they keep introducing “conflict resolution” into schools.  There IS no conflict in a bullying situation.  There’s a bully and a victim.  Only one of them has aggression in mind.  In a conflict, both of them do.
  5. Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society.
     

The impact on the victims is horrible.  In middle school, I was bullied because a mother was an immigrant – a legal immigrant, but that didn’t matter.  I got bullied anyway.  A couple of times I got into a fist fight when someone called my mother a name, but it was nothing like it is now. 

So they tell kids if they’re a victim, avoid the perpetrator; avoid areas where there are no teachers around (only 4% of them intervene anyway, so what’s the point); never go into the locker room or bathroom by yourself, sit in the front of the bus, and on and on.

What the hell is this?  Telling a little kid that he or she has to be completely paranoid? 

Hell no!  You need to take them to martial arts and teach them self-defense.  All children should learn self-defense.  One thing bullies of any level enjoy is that good people tend to be total wusses.  Frightened, passive wusses at that.  So teach your kids to stand up for themselves and other people.

I want to go back to those numbers about people who intervene – 85% of the time no one intervenes, and 4% of the time someone intervenes (I’m not sure what the other 11% do).  Usually, other kids just stand by.  That’s why there are bullies. You can say all you want, but bullies aren’t important because they’ve done good deeds or are the best students in the class.  They’re important because they’re considered dangerous.  And the reason there are bullies is because other people do nothing, so they get even more dangerous.

Bullying would stop if the kids who stand by are taught by their parents to intervene, whether physically or verbally.  Bullies need to be shown they’re not getting the fear or the respect they think they have (in their own minds of course).  But I know this will never happen. 

Do you raise your kids to take on “pieces of garbage” bullies?  I bet not.  It’s the job of each one of us to stand between evil and the innocent, but that’s not how we bring up our kids, is it? 

I’ve said many times:  “You don’t swim with the sharks and you don’t feed the sharks.”  So the reason bullying will continue to grow is because we’re producing more “piece of garbage” kids, we defend them, protect them, show sympathy for them, and don’t stop them.  So I’m not surprised bullying is growing – that’s all kids see around them. 

Teach your kids how to defend themselves physically and how to be stronger against verbal nonsense, while teaching them to pound the heck out of bullies one way or another.  Report them.  Reward kids who report them.  Reward kids who stop them.  It’s time we started rewarding people who put themselves in harm’s way to protect someone else instead of just saying “Oh, we have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy here,” which only forces people into not responding.

Quote of the Week

…if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter…reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.
               – General George Washington
                 Commander in Chief of the Continental Army (1774-1783) and
                 First President of the United States
                 From a speech to the Officers of the Army at Newburgh, New York
                 March 15, 1783

Moms Have Some Control Over Rise in Childhood Obesity

A good two-thirds of our population is fat or obese and that also goes for our kids..  Fat and obese.  And there is more and more evidence coming out as to why.  Poor eating habits, poor activity habits, and not genetics are the underlying causes for adolescent obesity according to a new study in the American Heart Journal.

In 1980, 6.5% of US children, from 6 – 11 were considered obese.  That rose 20% by 2008. 

Only one third of all kids were reported as exercising a minimum of 1/2 hour for 5 days during the prior week.  Do you realize…only one third of all kids were reported as exercising only 1/2 hour for 5 days.  What is that?  Kids don’t need to exercise — they need to go out and play.  Formal exercise is not necessary.  They need to go out and play. 

Obese kids were less likely than non-obese kids to participate in regular exercise.  No kidding — don’t you love research like that?  A lack of sleep is linked to obesity.  Giving babies solid food too early is linked to obesity later on, except if kids are breast fed for a minimum of four months.  Breast feeding seemed to fix that.

The most important part of this study is the part that gets people mad.  Well, it gets moms mad.  Children’s chances of becoming fat rises the longer mothers work outside the home.  Weight problems among children have soared in the past 3 decades as more women have joined the workforce. 

A consortium of researchers at American University examined the relationship between kids’ weight and mothers’ work schedules and what factors about a woman’s work might contribute to fat kids.  They used data from 990 school-aged children in the study of early childhood and youth development.  The longer the woman worked, the higher the likelihood her kids would be fat. 

 I’ve gotten so many calls from moms upset their overweight kids, are getting razzed at school about being fat or obese.  And they want everybody to stop commenting on it.  My suggestion is to make sure your family is not fat or obese anymore and the comments will stop!  It’s a voluntary condition. 

Just do this little bit of anecdotal research:  go to any restaurant (lunchtime in particular).  Look at the thin people and see what they order.  Look at the fat people and see what they order.  By and large (pun intended) you will literally see why one is heavy and one is not.  Last week, I went to a family-style restaurant and I got myself a salad.  Salads can be very fattening if you put on dressing, so I always have the dressing on the side and take a little on the fork and drizzle it around..  I always get salads that have a little fruit in them because that keeps it moist.  And I look over at the next table and what do I see? A huge cheeseburger and French Fries.  I couldn’t believe it in this day and age. 

But the main problem children have is the inattention of their mothers, because their mothers are burning the candle from one end to the other and all along the middle.  Because women have been bullied by the feminist mentality, they no longer believe  being a mother and a wife and a homemaker is an adequate thing for anybody to do.

So they have full-time jobs, kids and a husband.  They can’t adequately take care of their kids to make sure they exercise and eat right.  I think it was 60% of what people spend on food these days is spent on fast food.  Well fast food tastes good because it’s high in sugar, salt and fat.  That’s what makes it taste good.

So when you think  “oh that piece of fish is so buttery,” it is!  God didn’t make that fish that way.  Whoever is in the back with the chef’s hat did it..  Yet mommies aren’t taking care of their families.  They are too busy feeling they should work or they are meaningless human beings.  They don’t feel like shopping and cooking fresh dinners for their kids.  And the whole family is sedentary because everybody is tired. 

So kids are fat.  And yeah, it’s primarily mom.  Sorry, I’m a woman.  I’m looking at this and remember that I always made sure we had proper food.  As far as exercise; my kid was always up and out and running.  That’s what kids should be doing. 

I am frustrated so many of you women have underestimated your importance.  What studies like this show is how important you are to the well-being and health of your children.  Being told you can dump them in day care and just shove any kind of food and put them into bed and that’s it, as long as there is money in the tiller, belies the fact that you’re really very necessary for their health and welfare, happiness, structure, religion –  all of this.  We call it “Mommy Power.”  And so many women are willing to give up mommy power for some job, for some money.  Even in this economy, it is very important we take care of ourselves as a family. 

Interview with Parents of Most Cyberbullied Kid in the World

Brent and Phelicia Hatch are the parents of McKay Hatch, the teen who instigated the movement toward “No Cussing Clubs” in schools.  McKay has been called “the most cyberbullied kid in the world,” so I wanted to talk to his parents about what that did to the family and how they dealt with some unbelievable harassment.  In case you missed it, or you just want to hear it again, here’s the audio of the interview.