A mother\’s world

August 4, 2006

Milk hazardous?

Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 10:25 pm

(the following is an article made of bits and pieces of several sites i naviguated from, some have links, some dont, I m sorry I did this a long time ago) 

Dairy products are a health hazard. They contain no fiber or complex carbohydrates and are laden with saturated fat and cholesterol. They are contaminated with cow’s blood and pus and are frequently contaminated with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Dairy products are linked to allergies, constipation, obesity, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America’s leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow’s milk to children, saying it can cause anemia, allergies, and insulin-dependent diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease, America’s number one cause of death.

And dairy products may actually cause osteoporosis, not prevent it, since their high-protein content leaches calcium from the body. Population studies, backed up by a groundbreaking Harvard study of more than 75,000 nurses, suggest that drinking milk can actually cause osteoporosis. Find out more by visiting our links page.


Milk: No Longer Recommended or Required

A substantial body of scientific evidence raises concerns about health risks from cow’s milk products. These problems relate to the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in dairy products, and the inadequacy of whole cow’s milk for infant nutrition.

Health risks from milk consumption are greatest for infants less than one year of age, in whom whole cow’s milk can contribute to deficiencies in several nutrients, including iron, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E. The American Academy of Pediatrics1 recommends that infants under one year of age not receive whole cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk products are very low in iron,2 containing only about one-tenth of a milligram (mg) per eight-ounce serving. To get the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of 15 mg of iron, an infant would have to drink more than 31 quarts of milk per day. Milk can also cause blood loss from the intestinal tract, which, over time, reduces the body’s iron stores. Researchers speculate that the blood loss may be a reaction to proteins present in milk.3 Pasteurization does not eliminate the problem. Researchers from the University of Iowa recently wrote in the Journal of Pediatrics that “in a large proportion of infants, the feeding of cow milk causes a substantial increase of hemoglobin loss. Some infants are exquisitely sensitive to cow milk and can lose large quantities of blood.”3

Although concerns are greatest for children in the first year of life, there are also health concerns related to milk use among older children and some problems associated with cow’s milk formulas.

Milk Proteins and Diabetes

Several reports link insulin-dependent diabetes to a specific protein in dairy products. This form of diabetes usually begins in childhood. It is a leading cause of blindness and contributes to heart disease, kidney damage, and amputations due to poor circulation.

Studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of diabetes.4 A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine5 adds substantial support to the long-standing theory that cow’s milk proteins stimulate the production of the antibodies6 which, in turn, destroy the insulin-producing pancreatic cells.7 In the new report, researchers from Canada and Finland found high levels of antibodies to a specific portion of a cow’s milk protein, called bovine serum albumin, in 100 percent of the 142 diabetic children they studied at the time the disease was diagnosed. Non-diabetic children may have such antibodies, but only at much lower levels. Evidence suggests that the combination of a genetic predisposition and cow’s milk exposure is the major cause of the childhood form of diabetes, although there is no way of determining which children are genetically predisposed. Antibodies can apparently form in response to even small quantities of milk products, including infant formulas.

Pancreatic cell destruction occurs gradually, especially after infections, which cause the cellular proteins to be exposed to the damage of antibodies. Diabetes becomes evident when 80 to 90 percent of the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed.

Milk proteins are also among the most common causes of food allergies. Often, the cause of the symptoms is not recognized for substantial periods of time.

Milk Sugar and Health Problems

Many people, particularly those of Asian and African ancestry, are unable to digest the milk sugar, lactose. The result is diarrhea and gas. For those who can digest lactose, its breakdown products are two simple sugars: glucose and galactose. Galactose has been implicated in ovarian cancer8 and cataracts.9,10 Nursing children have active enzymes that break down galactose. As we age, many of us lose much of this capacity.

Fat Content

Whole milk, cheese, cream, butter, ice cream, sour cream, and all other dairy products aside from skim and non-fat products contain significant amounts of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol, contributing to cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer. The early changes of heart disease have been documented in American teenagers. While children do need a certain amount of fat in their diets, there is no nutritional requirement for cow’s milk fat. On the contrary, cow’s milk is high in saturated fats, but low in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid.


Milk contains frequent contaminants, from pesticides to drugs. About one-third of milk products have been shown to be contaminated with antibiotic traces. The vitamin D content of milk has been poorly regulated. Recent testing of 42 milk samples found only 12 percent within the expected range of vitamin D content. Testing of ten samples of infant formula revealed seven with more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label, one of which had more than four times the label amount.11 Vitamin D is toxic in overdose.12


Dairy products offer a false sense of security to those concerned about osteoporosis. In countries where dairy products are not generally consumed, there is actually less osteoporosis than in the United States. Studies have shown little effect of dairy products on osteoporosis.13 The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study followed 78,000 women for a 12-year period and found that milk did not protect against bone fractures. Indeed, those who drank three glasses of milk per day had more fractures than those who rarely drank milk.14

There are many good sources of calcium. Kale, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables contain calcium that is readily absorbed by the body. A recent report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that calcium absorbability was actually higher for kale than for milk, and concluded that “greens such as kale can be considered to be at least as good as milk in terms of their calcium absorbability.”15 Beans are also rich in calcium. Fortified orange juice supplies large amounts of calcium in a palatable form.16

Calcium is only one of many factors that affect the bone. Other factors include hormones, phosphorus, boron, exercise, smoking, alcohol, and drugs.17-20 Protein is also important in calcium balance. Diets that are rich in protein, particularly animal proteins, encourage calcium loss.21-23


There is no nutritional requirement for dairy products, and there are serious problems that can result from the proteins, sugar, fat, and contaminants in milk products. Therefore, the following recommendations are offered:

Breast-feeding is the preferred method of infant feeding. As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, whole cow’s milk should not be given to infants under one year of age.
Parents should be alerted to the potential risks to their children from cow’s milk use.
Cow’s milk should not be required or recommended in government guidelines.
Government programs, such as school lunch programs and the WIC program, should be consistent with these recommendations.
1. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Nutrition. The use of whole cow’s milk in infancy. Pediatrics 1992;89:1105-9.
2. Pennington JAT, Church HN. Food values of portions commonly used. New York, Harper and Row, 1989.
3. Ziegler EE, Fomon SJ, Nelson SE, et al. Cow milk feeding in infancy: further observations on blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract. J Pediatr 1990;116:11-8.
4. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J CLin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
5. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
6. Roberton DM, Paganelli R, Dinwiddie R, Levinsky RJ. Milk antigen absorption in the preterm and term neonate. Arch Dis Child 1982;57:369-72.
7. Bruining GJ, Molenaar J, Tuk CW, Lindeman J, Bruining HA, Marner B. Clinical time-course and characteristics of islet cell cytoplasmatic antibodies in childhood diabetes. Diabetologia 1984;26:24-29.
8. Cramer DW, Willett WC, Bell DA, et al. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.
9. Simoons FJ. A geographic approach to senile cataracts: possible links with milk consumption, lactase activity, and galactose metabolism. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 1982;27:257-64.
10. Couet C, Jan P, Debry G. Lactose and cataract in humans: a review. J Am Coll Nutr 1991;10:79-86.
11. Holick MF, Shao Q, Liu WW, Chen TC. The vitamin D content of fortified milk and infant formula. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1178-81.
12. Jacobus CH, Holick MF, Shao Q, et al. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. New Engl J Med 1992;326:1173-7.
13. Riggs BL, Wahner HW, Melton J, Richelson LS, Judd HL, O’Fallon M. Dietary calcium intake and rates on bone loss in women. J Clin Invest 1987;80:979-82.
14. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Publ Health 1997;87:992-7.
15. Heaney RP, Weaver CM. Calcium absorption from kale. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:656-7.
16. Nicar MJ, Pak CYC. Calcium bioavailability from calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1985;61:391-3.
17. Dawson-Hughes B. Calcium supplementation and bone loss: a review of controlled clinical trials. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:274S-80S.
18. Mazess RB, Barden HS. Bone density in premenopausal women: effects of age, dietary intake, physical activity, smoking, and birth control pills. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:132-42.
19. Nelson ME, Fisher EC, Dilmanian FA, Dallal GE, Evans WJ. A 1-y walking program and increased dietary calcium in postmenopausal women: efect on bone. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:1304-11.
20. Nielsen FH, Hunt CD, Mullen LM, Hunt JR. Effect of dietary boron on mineral, estrogen, and testosterone metabolism in postmenopausal women. FASEB J 1987;1:394-7.
21. Zemel MB. Role of the sulfur-containing amino acids in protein-induced hypercalciuria in men. J Nutr 1981;111:545.
22. Hegsted M. Urinary calcium and calcium balance in young men as affected by level of protein and phosphorus intake. J Nutr 1981;111:553.
23. Marsh AG, Sanchez TV, Mickelsen O, Keiser J, Mayor G. Cortical bone density of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarian and omnivorous women. J Am Dietetic Asso 1980;76:148-51.

Many Americans, including some vegetarians, still consume large amounts of dairy products. Here are eight great reasons to eliminate dairy products from your diet.

1. Osteoporosis

Milk is touted for preventing osteoporosis, yet clinical research shows otherwise. The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study,1 which followed more than 75,000 women for 12 years, showed no protective effect of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. In fact, increased intake of calcium from dairy products was associated with a higher fracture risk. An Australian study2 showed the same results. Additionally, other studies3,4 have also found no protective effect of dairy calcium on bone. You can decrease your risk of osteoporosis by reducing sodium and animal protein intake in the diet,5-7 increasing intake of fruits and vegetables,8 exercising,9 and ensuring adequate calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables and beans, as well as calcium-fortified products such as breakfast cereals and juices.

2. Cardiovascular Disease

Dairy products—including cheese, ice cream, milk, butter, and yogurt—contribute significant amounts of cholesterol and fat to the diet.10 Diets high in fat and saturated fat can increase the risk of several chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease. A low-fat vegetarian diet that eliminates dairy products, in combination with exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management, can not only prevent heart disease, but may also reverse it.11 Non-fat dairy products are available, however, they pose other health risks as noted below.

3. Cancer

Several cancers, such as ovarian cancer, have been linked to the consumption of dairy products. The milk sugar lactose is broken down in the body into another sugar, galactose. In turn, galactose is broken down further by enzymes. According to a study by Daniel Cramer, M.D., and his colleagues at Harvard,12 when dairy product consumption exceeds the enzymes’ capacity to break down galactose, it can build up in the blood and may affect a woman’s ovaries. Some women have particularly low levels of these enzymes, and when they consume dairy products on a regular basis, their risk of ovarian cancer can be triple that of other women.

Breast and prostate cancers have also been linked to consumption of dairy products, presumably related, at least in part, to increases in a compound called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I).13-15 IGF-I is found in cow’s milk and has been shown to occur in increased levels in the blood by individuals consuming dairy products on a regular basis.16 Other nutrients that increase IGF-I are also found in cow’s milk. A recent study showed that men who had the highest levels of IGF-I had more than four times the risk of prostate cancer compared with those who had the lowest levels.14

4. Diabetes

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Type I or childhood-onset) is linked to consumption of dairy products. Epidemiological studies of various countries show a strong correlation between the use of dairy products and the incidence of insulin-dependent diabetes.17,18 Researchers in 199218 found that a specific dairy protein sparks an auto-immune reaction, which is believed to be what destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

5. Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is common among many populations, affecting approximately 95 percent of Asian Americans, 74 percent of Native Americans, 70 percent of African Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 15 percent of Caucasians.19 Symptoms, which include gastrointestinal distress, diarrhea, and flatulence, occur because these individuals do not have the enzymes that digest the milk sugar lactose. Additionally, along with unwanted symptoms, milk-drinkers are also putting themselves at risk for development of other chronic diseases and ailments.

6. Vitamin D Toxicity

Consumption of milk may not provide a consistent and reliable source of vitamin D in the diet. Samplings of milk have found significant variation in vitamin D content, with some samplings having had as much as 500 times the indicated level, while others had little or none at all.20,21 Too much vitamin D can be toxic and may result in excess calcium levels in the blood and urine, increased aluminum absorption in the body, and calcium deposits in soft tissue.

7. Contaminants

Synthetic hormones such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) are commonly used in dairy cows to increase the production of milk.13 Because the cows are producing quantities of milk nature never intended, the end result is mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands. The treatment requires the use of antibiotics, and traces of these and hormones have been found in samples of milk and other dairy products. Pesticides and other drugs are also frequent contaminants of dairy products.

8. Health Concerns of Infants and Children

Milk proteins, milk sugar, fat, and saturated fat in dairy products may pose health risks for children and lead to the development of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and formation of athersclerotic plaques that can lead to heart disease.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants below one year of age not be given whole cow’s milk, as iron deficiency is more likely on a dairy-rich diet. Cow’s milk products are very low in iron. If they become a major part of one’s diet, iron deficiency is more likely.10 Colic is an additional concern with milk consumption. One out of every five babies suffers from colic. Pediatricians learned long ago that cows’ milk was often the reason. We now know that breastfeeding mothers can have colicky babies if the mothers are consuming cow’s milk. The cows’ antibodies can pass through the mother’s bloodstream into her breast milk and to the baby.22 Additionally, food allergies appear to be common results of milk consumption, particularly in children. A recent study23 also linked cow’s milk consumption to chronic constipation in children. Researchers suggest that milk consumption resulted in perianal sores and severe pain on defecation, leading to constipation.

Milk and dairy products are not necessary in the diet and can, in fact, be harmful to your health. Consume a healthful diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fortified foods including cereals and juices. These nutrient-dense foods can help you meet your calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin D requirements with ease—and without the health risks.

1. Feskanich D, Willet WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. Am J Public Health 1997;87:992-7.
2. Cumming RG, Klineberg RJ. Case-control study of risk factors for hip fractures in the elderly. Am J Epidemiol 1994;139:493-505.
3. Huang Z, Himes JH, McGovern PG. Nutrition and subsequent hip fracture risk among a national cohort of white women. Am J Epidemiol 1996;144:124-34.
4. Cummings SR, Nevitt MC, Browner WS, et al. Risk factors for hip fracture in white women. N Engl J Med 1995;332:767-73.
5. Finn SC. The skeleton crew: is calcium enough? J Women’s Health 1998;7(1):31-6.
6. Nordin CBE. Calcium and osteoporosis. Nutrition 1997;3(7/8):664-86.
7. Reid DM, New SA. Nutritional influences on bone mass. Proceed Nutr Soc 1997;56:977-87.
8. Tucker KL, Hannan MR, Chen H, Cupples LA, Wilson PWF, Kiel DP. Potassium, magnesium, and fruit and vegetable intakes are associated with greater bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:727-36.
9. Prince R, Devine A, Dick I, et al. The effects of calcium supplementation (milk powder or tablets) and exercise on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. J Bone Miner Res 1995;10:1068-75.
10. Pennington JAT. Bowes and Churches Food Values of Portions Commonly Used, 17th ed. New York: Lippincott, 1998.
11. Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Armstrong WT, Ports TA. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? Lancet 1990;336:129-33.
12. Cramer DW, Harlow BL, Willet WC. Galactose consumption and metabolism in relation to the risk of ovarian cancer. Lancet 1989;2:66-71.
13. Outwater JL, Nicholson A, Barnard N. Dairy products and breast cancer: the IGF-1, estrogen, and bGH hypothesis. Medical Hypothesis 1997;48:453-61.
14. Chan JM, Stampfer MJ, Giovannucci E, et al. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 and prostate cancer risk: a prospective study. Science 1998;279:563-5.
15. World Cancer Research Fund. Food, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. American Institute of Cancer Research. Washington, D.C.: 1997.
16. Cadogan J, Eastell R, Jones N, Barker ME. Milk intake and bone mineral acquisition in adolescent girls: randomised, controlled intervention trial. BMJ 1997;315:1255-69.
17. Scott FW. Cow milk and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: is there a relationship? Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:489-91.
18. Karjalainen J, Martin JM, Knip M, et al. A bovine albumin peptide as a possible trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 1992;327:302-7.
19. Bertron P, Barnard ND, Mills M. Racial bias in federal nutrition policy, part I: the public health implications of variations in lactase persistence. J Natl Med Assoc 1999;91:151-7.
20. Jacobus CH, Holick MF, Shao Q, et al. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. N Engl J Med 1992;326(18):1173-7.
21. Holick MF. Vitamin D and bone health. J Nutr 1996;126(4suppl):1159S-64S.
22. Clyne PS, Kulczycki A. Human breast milk contains bovine IgG. Relationship to infant colic? Pediatrics 1991;87(4):439-44.
23. Iacono G, Cavataio F, Montalto G, et al. Intolerance of cow’s milk and chronic constipation in children. N Engl J Med 1998;339(16):1100-4.


Milk – it DOESN’T do your body good

Milk – much vaunted by nutritionists and fitness gurus as a “perfect food” may actually be the most atherosclerotic food in existence. Ah, you say – but I drink skim or low fat milk. It’s the fat in the milk that clogs up the arteries. Well, yes and no. It’s true that dairy fat is one of the more unhealthier fats out there, but it seems that the protein from milk is actually causing more harm.

Stephen Seely, a leading researcher in the field, examined data obtained by the World Health Organization and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development about the correlation of coronary mortality with the consumption of various foods. Guess what topped the list? Not meat. Not eggs. Not animal fats. First on the list was milk protein, second was milk fats, and third was sugar. Milk protein consumption had an almost perfect correlation (r=0.93) to coronary mortality. I know that correlation does not necessarily mean cause and effect, but Seely actually discussed some very plausible theories by which milk protein could cause heart disease.

The first theory is the estrogen theory. Milk is the leading cause of estrogens in our diet. Exogenous estrogen has been shown to be associated with a higher risk of both stroke and heart disease in men being treated with estrogens for various conditions. Furthermore, the liver usually clears away endogenous estrogens from the bloodstream pretty quickly, but exogenous estrogens can linger in the blood for a while, and can thus cause their damage. A second theory is the antibody theory. It is known that the body makes antibodies against milk proteins (especially casein), since they essentially act as antigens. Scientists in Wales observed that men who had heart attacks had higher levels of these milk antibodies than the controls. These antibodies not only activate platelets and thus act as a thrombogenic agent, but also cause inflammation of the artery walls, which initiates atherosclerosis[1].

Other researchers at the NASA Langely Research Center found that the highest correlation of any food to heart disease was non-fatmilk and milk carbohydrates depending on the age group (as an aside, for women under 64, the highest association between diet and heart disease was with sugar intake). Among their proposed mechanisms was: 1. increased homocysteine production from the milk protein, which, unlike meat has low levels of B vitamins, rendering it unable to neutralize the potential harmful effects of the homocysteine, and 2. The lactose increasing the absorption of a concentrated source of calcium promoting calcification of the arteries [2].

To be fair though, despite the high correlation between milk and heart disease, there is no one mechanism that has been proven without a doubt, and so more research needs to be done to uncover what’s going on.

Milk is also a cause of malabsorption disorders[3], may be a cause of some mental illnesses[4],[5], as well as juvenile diabetes[6][7][8], and may promote prostate and testicular cancer[9].

From the perspective of the TBK diet, the above information makes perfect sense. Not only are we the only species to consume another species’ milk, but cow’s milk is meant to foster rapid growth in calves, not to feed adult human beings.

Finally, an important point to be made is that newborns and babies SHOULD be preferably breast fed or at the very least given formula. Although dairy products are not on the TBK diet, hunter-gatherer babies ARE breast fed. Mother’s milk is very important nutritionally for babies, and dairy products are only harmful for children and adults. Children can get any calcium they need from other sources such as fortified orange or grapefruit juices, green leafy vegetables, or, if so inclined, sardines or canned salmon (yummy).


Seely, Stephen, et al. Diet Related Diseases – The Modern Epidemic.The AVI publishing company. Westport, Connecticut. 1985. pp. 43-70.
Grant, WB. Milk and other dietary influences on coronary heart disease. Alternative Medicine Review. 3(4):281-294.
Shils, Maurice E. Olson, James A. Shike, Moshe. Ross, Catherine A.(eds). Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Williams and Wilkins. Baltimore, Maryland. 1999. pg. 1506
Seely, Stephen, et al. Diet Related Diseases – The Modern Epidemic.The AVI publishing company. Westport, Connecticut. 1985. pp. 247-248.
Autism 1999;3:67-83, 85-95.
Saukkonen T. Virtanen SM. Karppinen M. Reijonen H. Ilonen J. Rasanen L. Akerblom HK. Savilahti E.Institution Children’s Hospital, University of Helsinki, Finland. Significance of cow’s milk protein antibodies as risk factor for childhood IDDM: interactions with dietary cow’s milk intake and HLA-DQB1 genotype. Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group. Diabetologia. 41(1):72-8, Jan. 1998.
Scott FW, Norris JM and Kolb H. Milk and Type 1 Diabetes – Examining the evidence and broadening the focus. Diabetes Care. April 1996 19(4):379-383.
Gerstein, HC. Cow’s Milk Exposure and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus – A critical overview of the clinical literature. Diabetes Care. January 1994 17(1):13-19.
Davies TW et al. Adolescent milk, dairy product and fruit consumption and testicular cancer. British Journal of cancerAugust 1996 74(4):657-60.

Excessive Calcium Causes Osteoporosis

The older you get, the higher your risk of osteoporosis.

Obviously, osteoporosis is about aging.

Osteoporosis patients originally had very strong bones, like everybody else.

Osteoporosis is not about the inability to build strong bones, but about premature degeneration of the bones.
What makes the bones degenerate prematurely?
Somehow, osteoporotic bones have degenerated more than healthy bones of the same age. In osteoporotic patients, the bones have obviously aged faster. Osteoporosis is about prematurely aged bones.

So, the key question is:

What accelerates aging of the bones?

All our organs age. In all our organs cells constantly replicate themselves; they wear out and are replaced by new ones. And because the number of times cells can replicate is fixed, organs eventually age. Like the skin eventually becomes wrinkled when there are less cells available to replace the dehydrated old skin-cells.

We all know that if we expose our skin to the sun too much, that we will look older sooner. Excessive sun-exposure accelerates he aging of the skin. It does so because the sun burns the outer skin cells, which must be replaced by new cells sooner. And the sooner cells must be replaced, the sooner the moment will come that these cells cannot replicate anymore.

Accelerated aging of cells is about a higher turnover of cells; new cells replacing old cells more frequently.

What causes old bone-cells to be replaced by new ones sooner?

We know that estrogen is protective. (and androgens to a lesser extent) All bone-scientists acknowledge that if the female body has sufficient estrogen at it’s disposal all the time, osteoporosis risk is far lower.

That is why osteoporosis risk is 3-fold higher in women: In women the estrogen level is far lower every 4th week, and the bones are less protected at that time. And in post-menopausal women, estrogen level is permanently decreased.

If we knew exactly how estrogen protects against premature aging of the bones, we would also know how the opposite process enhances osteoporosis.

So, how exactly is bone-metabolism influenced by estrogen?

Estrogen inhibits both the uptake of calcium into the bones (1) and deportation of calcium from the bones. (See Calcium Hormones)

But how exactly can processing more calcium cause osteoporosis?

The absorption of calcium requires the activity of specialized cells: osteoblasts. These osteoblasts also compose pre-calcified bone-matrix, upon which the calcium can precipitate. Deportation of calcium from the bones requires the activity of osteoclasts.

If more calcium is absorbed into the bones, like due to a lack of estrogen (2), the production and activity of both osteoblasts and osteoclasts is increased (3) (as in hyperparathyroidism). If much calcium is absorbed, much calcium is deported. But 50 to 70% of the composing osteoblasts die in the composition of new matrix. (4) The more their activity is stimulated, the more they die (5). And since estrogen inhibits uptake of calcium, estrogen prevents the death of osteoblasts (6).

If you consume higher amounts of calcium all your life, the replacement of osteoblasts maybe increased all this time; many people succeed in increasing bone-mineral density by consuming more calcium. (7) That is why the average BMD is higher in residents of countries where much milk is consumed.

Since the number of times a cell can be replaced is fixed, the replicative capacity will be exhausted sooner if much calcium is absorbed on a regular basis. And if replacement capacity is exhausted, there will be a lack of new osteoblasts. And since only these osteoblasts can compose bone-matrix, too little new bone-matrix can be composed. But without the matrix, the calcium cannot precipitate, and new bone cannot be composed, while old bone is constantly being decomposed anyway, to be replaced by new bone. Since there is a lack of pre-calcified bone matrix upon which to build, replacement cannot occur, and porous holes will begin to appear.

And this is exactly what happens in osteoporosis: in osteoporotic bone the osteoblasts cannot be replaced adequately anymore, and thus less osteoblasts are available (8) and/or the activity of osteoblasts is at least impaired, (9) like ‘exaggeratedly aged’ bones. (10) In osteoporotic bones there is less matrix available that can yet be calcified than in healthy bones. (11) In osteoporosis dead cells cannot be replaced and micro-fractures cannot be repaired. (12)

Does that mean that dietary calcium causes osteoporosis?

Only if too much calcium is actually absorbed into the bones.

As with all minerals, the body normally absorbs just as much calcium from our food as it needs. Only about 200 mg is absorbed into the blood, on the average, whether we consume 300 mg or 700 mg calcium daily, or sometimes even when we consume up to 1200 mg supplementary calcium daily. (13) In order to absorb the right amount of calcium, absorption rate decreases when we consume more calcium.

But if we consume too much calcium, the absorption rate cannot be sufficiently decreased; about 5% of dietary calcium on top of 1500 mg a day is yet absorbed into the blood. For example: Consuming 5-fold more calcium than before, a group of girls did, in fact, absorb twice as much calcium (as before) into the blood. (14)
But why is this extra calcium absorbed in the bones?

This is to prevent blood-calcium level from rising too much.

Muscles can only function if calcium from inside the muscle cells can be deported outside the cells. If blood-calcium level were too high, this wouldn’t be possible; it would be lethal since breathing requires muscle-action. To save your life excessive dietary calcium is temporarily stored in the bones, prior to excretion. Normally the blood contains a total of 500 mg calcium. The difference between highest and lowest blood-calcium level is only 26%, thanks to the three different hormones that prevent our blood from containing too much (or too little) calcium. After the calcium has been absorbed into the bones two of these hormones stimulate deportation of calcium from the bones, and the third one stimulates excretion of calcium into urine.

But why don’t the bones hold on to that extra calcium?

According to the old doctrine, we can prevent osteoporosis by stacking more calcium in the bones. “The more calcium your bones contain, the longer it will take before they are empty.”

This would be a simple solution if the bones did indeed hold on to that extra calcium, but…

Our bones are built according to a plan – just like a house, and the amount of calcium in the bones has to be according to that plan. Just as piling up bricks in your living room does not make your house better or stronger, stacking extra calcium in the bones is not an improvement either. To be able to watch TV and clean your house properly, you throw the bricks out.

The redundant calcium in your bones is always deported eventually. To preserve redundant calcium in your bones, you have to keep on consuming lots of calcium daily. But no matter how much milk you drink, or supplementary calcium you take (or not at all), your bones always contain less calcium at the age of 70 than at the age of 30.

The problem is that all this extra calcium is processed by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. If you have been absorbing 400 mg instead of 200 mg dietary calcium into the blood daily, these cells have had to process 2.9 million mg more calcium during these 40 years.

Since all this extra calcium is absorbed due to the action of osteoblasts, these osteoblasts die sooner, leaving you with too little new bone-matrix and too many porous holes once you are old. Similarly, excessive vitamin A, and also the administration of corticosteroids (15) and elevated cortisol levels can cause osteoporosis by killing osteoblasts; all prematurely exhaust the capacity to produce new osteoblasts.

If less calcium is consumed, the bone-cells age slower, and a low calcium intake throughout adolescence has been shown to both retard and prolong longitudinal bone growth in rats. (16)

So, yes, you can increase your bone mineral density (BMD) by consuming much calcium, but that will exhaust your bones sooner.

Yes, a high BMD means (temporarily) stronger bones, but not healthier bones. Just as bodybuilders have stronger muscles, but not healthier muscles. Actually, as they grow older, they experience more muscle problems.

The same is true for the bones; the more their aging is accelerated, the sooner their bone modeling capacity will be exhausted

That is why in those countries where the average BMD is highest, the hip fracture incidence is highest too.

Does this mean that a low BMD is preventive?

If BMD is low because you consume little calcium all your life; yes.

If calcium intake is very low, there will still not be a lack of calcium for the calcification of bone-matrix. (17) The only difference will be that the bones will not age prematurely, and that they will not contain redundant calcium.

But if the BMD is low as the result of exhausted osteoblasts; no.

BMD is decreased in osteoporosis due to the lack of new bone-matrix. Holes do not contain calcium.

So BMD can be low in very strong bones and in weakened bones, which is what makes it so confusing for so many scientists.


Supplementary calcium / milk has short term ‘beneficial’ effects on bone-mineral density (BMD) and adverse long-term (lifetime-) effects.

One can increase BMD by a high-calcium intake (7) or not. (18) The average short term effect of extra calcium is the increase in bone-mineral density, and thus strength. That is why average BMD is highest in those countries where much milk is consumed.

If you investigate this correlation, extra calcium will have ‘beneficial’ effects on bone-strength (19) or not. (20)

But this does not say anything about the lifetime effects; it just confirms what initially happens if you consume much calcium; this is just the first effects, not the eventual result.

But is there no other way to find proof?
Yes there is.

Compared to other foods, only dairy products (or supplements of course) can be consumed in such large quantities on a daily basis that their consumption strongly increases calcium intake, which is proven by the fact that average BMD is highest in those countries where the most milk is consumed. There is, in fact, a tradition of consuming high amounts of milk in these countries..

And there also many scientific studies about hip-fracture incidence per country.

If extra calcium eventually has adverse effects, osteoporosis / hip-fracture incidence should be clearly higher in those countries where the most milk is consumed…

And yes….

For example:

In Greece the average milk consumption doubled from 1961 to 1977 (21) (and was even higher in 1985), and during the period 1977 – 1985 the age adjusted osteoporosis incidence almost doubled too. (22)

In Hong Kong in 1989 twice as much dairy products were consumed as in 1966 (21) and osteoporosis incidence tripled in the same period. (23) Now their milk consumption level is almost “European”, and so is osteoporosis incidence. (24)

It is very simple: where the most milk is consumed, the osteoporosis incidence is highest. Compared to other countries, the most milk is consumed in Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and The Netherlands (300 to 400 kg / cap / year), and osteoporosis incidence in these countries has sky rocketed. (25)

Like Australians and New Zealanders, (26) Americans consume three fold more milk than the Japanese, and hip-fracture incidence in Americans is therefore 2½ fold higher. (27) Among those within America that consume less milk, such as the Mexican-Americans and Black Americans, osteoporosis incidence is two-fold lower than in white Americans, (28) which is not due to genetic differences. (29)

In Venezuela and Chile much less milk is consumed than in the US, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, while the hip fracture incidence in Venezuela and Chile is over 3 fold lower. (61)

Chinese consume very little milk (8 kg / year), and hip-fracture incidence, therefore, is among the lowest in the world; hip-fracture incidence in Chinese women is 6 fold lower than in the US. (30) (The average American consumes 254 kg milk / year)

The less milk consumed, the lower is the osteoporosis rate. (31)

In other countries where very little milk is consumed, on the average, as in Congo (32), Guinea (33) and Togo (34) (6 kg / year) osteoporosis is extremely rare too.

In the Dem. Rep. Congo, Liberia, Ghana, Laos and Cambodia even less milk is consumed (average person: 1 to 3 kg a year !!), and they’ve never even heard of age-related hip fracture.


milk consumption per country in 1998
Of course, ‘they’ will say : “that’s because blacks and Asians are genetically different from whites”, but that is rubbish ; Osteoporosis incidence in female Asians is much lower than in Asian females living in the USA (35) just like osteoporosis incidence (and calcium consumption) in African Bantu women (36) is much lower than in Bantu women living in the USA. (37) And both calcium intake and hip-fracture rate is far lower in South African Blacks than in African Americans. (38)

Response on these findings

Alternative hypotheses about osteoporosis incidence;

The excessive-phosphorus hypothesis

Water fluoridation and fracture incidence

Osteoporosis and protein- and soy consumption

Some think it is because of low milk-calcium bio-availability

The magnesium-calcium ratio hypothesis

Osteoporosis and a high-fat diet
Smarter Than Nature

”Nature has made a mistake but fortunately we are smarter than nature, and know how to correct this; Mother’s milk, by mistake, contains far too little calcium, which has to be corrected through giving to humans cow’s milk which contains 4 times as much calcium.”

Of course this is nonsense.

If calcium requirements really were four fold higher, pre-historic infants would never have been able to grow up, and ultimately, to have children. If we really need cows’ milk, man could never have existed.

Why ?

Because we have already been on this planet for millions of years. And we have only consumed milk for a maximum of 0.01 million years. This means that we did not drink a single drop of milk from other animals in more than 99% of human existence; in our entire development from ape to modern human being, we never drank, nor needed animals’ milk.

1.6 million years ago there were already humans well over 6 feet tall (39), with apparently strong bones.

Some argue that our prehistoric diet contained more calcium, but that is not true
Babies’ Food

Of all humans, babies need the most calcium because their bones are still weak and need to be calcified much more. And mothers’ milk does, of course, contain all the calcium (and other nutrients) babies need in their first two years. Babies fed on mother’s milk are perfectly able to increase bone-mineral density (BMD).
So, exactly how much calcium does mothers’ milk contain ?

Not much:

Calcium in mg / 100 g

226 Hazelnuts

140 Egg yolk

132 Brazil nuts

96 Olives, green

87 Walnuts

54 Figs

44 Black berries

42 Orange

40 Raspberries

38 Kiwi

33 Mandarin

32 Human milk

20 Coconut

18 Grapes

16 Apricot

16 Pineapple

14 Plum

13 Salmon

12 Mackerel

12 Mango

11 Watermelon

10 Avocado

9 Banana

6 Muskmelon

What does this mean?
Adults and infants always need less calcium than babies (per kg bodyweight). Food for adults therefore does not need to contain as much calcium (in %) as mother’s milk.

And because our natural foods, on the average, contain about as much calcium as mother’s milk, it is absolutely impossible that these natural foods contain too little calcium.

If they did, mother’s milk would contain too little calcium too, and babies would not be able to increase BMD on mother’s milk.
And because many foods contain more calcium than mother’s milk, the average calcium absorption rate is low, to prevent the uptake of excessive calcium.

Vitamin D

The body needs broad daylight to transform cholesterol into vitamin D. The hormone that increases dietary calcium absorption (calcitriol), is composed of vitamin D.

Some say osteoporosis incidence is, therefore, higher in countries with little sunlight.

However, if you consume some fish and / or egg yolk once in a while, you’ll absorb all the vitamin D you need – even living in Greenland, Canada or Northern Europe.

Is osteoporosis incidence really lower in countries with more sunlight? 

Not necessarily. Though Italy is much sunnier than Poland, hip-fracture incidence in Italy is much higher (40) than in Poland (and Spain) (41), simply because in Italy 25% more dairy products are consumed. (21) Kuwait is extremely sunny, but, nevertheless, osteoporosis incidence in Kuwait is about as high as in Great Britain and France (35), because in Kuwait, also, lots of milk is consumed. (21)

Furthermore, the effects of this vitamin D-hormone can be very different.

This hormone increases calcium absorption from food and absorption of calcium into the bones, (42) and therefore induces death of osteoblasts (43). Calcitriol also stimulates deportation of calcium from the bones into the blood. (See The Calcium-hormones”)
On the other hand, this hormone also inhibits secretion of PTH (excessive PTH strongly accelerates ageing of the bones). (See hyperparathyroidism) Thus, indirectly, this hormone can be protective, per saldo decreasing both uptake of calcium into the bones and deportation of calcium from the bones. (44) (See “The Calcium-hormones”)
However, since supplementary vitamin D / calcitriol increases the blood-calcium level (45), this extra calcium can precipitate in arteries and on the outside of the bones, causing arteriosclerosis and bone-deformities (46). It can also settle in joints and ligaments, and can cause muscle-cramps because the blood-calcium level needs to be low enough to deport calcium from muscle cells. It can even kill muscles cells (if the calcium cannot be deported), eventually causing fibromyalgia.

Osteoporosis is often accompanied with a very low vitamin D level. (47)

This can have multiple causes:

 Osteoporosis is caused by consuming too much calcium year after year. The body tries to counteract this by taking up as little calcium as possible. Vitamin D increases the calcium-absorption rate. So to prevent the uptake of excessive calcium, the body composes as little vitamin D as possible.

· Hyperparathyroidism strongly increases both uptake of calcium into the bones and deportation from the bones, eventually causing osteoporosis. If too little calcitriol is available, the secretion of PTH is not sufficiently inhibited.

· If always very, very little calcium is consumed (less than 300 mg / day which is a very hard thing to achieve), a lack of vitamin D / calcitriol can cause osteoporosis by making it impossible to increase calcium absorption.

In general, it is not a problem at all to have little vitamin D / calcitriol at our disposal. This even protects us against absorbing too much calcium.

In 52% of examined Saudi Arabian females for example, vitamin D level was extremely low (because of clothes that block almost all sunlight), but their bones were not affected. (48)

In alcoholics the levels of the vitamin D-hormones were decreased by3 to 48%, but BMD was not affected. (49)

In general, we do not need much vitamin D to either inhibit PTH secretion or to increase calcium absorption.

In fact, in countries where the people consume high amounts of fish and eggs (which are the only vitamin D containing foods), the hip fracture rates are high too; because when both the intake of calcium (due to consuming dairy products) and vitamin D is high, the vitamin D causes a high uptake ratio of the calcium (accelerating the aging of osteoblasts.

If osteoporosis was about a lack of exercise, all healthy but physical inactive people would have osteoporosis, which is not the case. That is why bone-loss with age cannot be explained by declining physical activity levels. (50)

Loading determines the maintenance of bone-strength. If the bones are not loaded at all (like in space), they rapidly lose calcium. If we are normally active, our bones contain sufficient calcium to cope with incidental falls.

Furthermore, a lack of exercise does not accelerate the aging of osteoblasts, so it cannot possibly be the cause osteoporosis. If one lacks exercise, one can easily increase BMD through exercise. In osteoporosis the lack of osteoblast activity is irreversible. 

Exercise causes microfractures which stimulates the osteoblasts to increase their activity. Logically, then exercise also increases the death rate of osteoblasts. (51) (excessive exercise is detrimental (52))

But exercise can increase bone-strength in elderly, can’t it?

Yes, but only as long as osteoblast reproductivity is not almost totally exhausted. Exercise increases activity and reproduction of the remaining osteoblasts, temporarily increasing bone-strength (exercise does not guarantee future bone-strength (53)), but also accelerating aging of the bones.

If osteoblast reproductivity is almost totally exhausted, one cannot increase BMD through exercise (or extra calcium) anymore, which is often the case in osteoporotic patients. (54) That is why the possible exercise-induced bone mass gain is far less than the disuse-induced bone loss. (55) This is why in osteoporosis exercise only partially (20 – 40%) decreases hip-fracture risk – even in the short term. (56) The later in life, the smaller the effects of exercise will be. (57)

Normal activities are all the exercise you need to maintain bone health. Increased physical activity accelerates aging of the bones. On the other hand, exercising specific muscles can be effective since strong muscles can absorb the shock when falling. (58).






Athletes & Stress-fractures
Overweight & Osteoporosis

That menopause favors osteoporosis and obesity inhibits it, are well-known clinical observations.

In menopause the estrogen level is lower, and adequate natural estrogen levels areprotective because estrogeninhibits uptake of calcium in the bones and bone-formation by osteoblasts. (1)

In obesity the leptin level is elevated (59) and leptin also inhibits bone-formation by the osteoblasts. (60)

Some think that obesity is protective because there is more loading on the bones, increasing their strength, but if that would be the case, osteoporosis could easily be stopped and even reversed by increasing physical activity / loading of the bones. Osteoporosis however is irreversible. Osteoporosis is not caused by a decreased bone mass, but is due to the exhaustion of osteoblasts, which is irreversible since it is about aging. The low bone mass is the result of the lack of new matrix, not the cause.

For related topics, see index
© 2000 Copyright Artists Cooperative Groove Union U.A.
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(44) Sairanen S, et al, Bone mass and markers of bone and calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (Calcitriol) for four years. Calcif. Tissue Int. 2000 / 67 (2) / 122-127.

(45) Sairanen S, et al, Bone mass and markers of bone and calcium metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (Calcitriol) for four years. Calcif. Tissue Int. 2000 / 67 (2) / 122-127. , Gurlek A, et al, Comparison of calcitriol treatment with etidronate-calcitriol and calcitonin-calcitriol combinations in Turkish women with postmenopausal osteoporosis: a prospective study. Calcif. Tissue Int. 1997 / 61 (1) / 39-43.

(46) Giunta, D.L. ,Dental changes in hypervitaminosis D. Oral. Surg. Pathol. Oral. Radiol. Endod. 1998 / 85 (4) / 410-413. , Uehlinger, P. et al, Differential diagnosis of hypercalcemia – a retrospective study of 46 dogs. (duitst.) Schweiz. Arch. Tierheilkd. 1998 / 140 (5) / 188-197. , Qin, X. et al, Altered phosphorylation of a 91-kDa protein in particulate fractions of rat kidney after protracted 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or estrogen treatment. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 1997 / 348 (2) / 239-246. , Niederhoffer, N. et al, Calcification of medical elastic fibers and aortic elasticity. Hypertension 1997 / 29 (4) / 999-1006. , Selby, P.L. et al, Vitamin D intoxication causes hypercalcemia by increased bone resorption with responds to pamidronate. Clin. Endocrinol. (Oxf.) 1995 / 43 (5) / 531-536. , Ito, M. et al, Dietary magnesium effect on swine coronary atherosclerosis induced by hypervitaminosis D. Acta Pathol. Jpn. 1987 / 37 (6) / 955-964.

(47) Le Boff, M.S., Occult vitamin D deficiency in postmenopausal US women with acute hip fracture. J. Am. Med. Assoc. 1999 / 281 (16) / 1505-1511. , Scharla SH, et al, Prevalence of low bone mass and endocrine disorders in hip fracture patients in Southern Germany. Exp. Clin. Endocrinol. Diabetes 1999 / 107 (8) / 547-554.

(48) Ghannam NN, et al, Bone mineral density of the spine and femur in healthy Saudi females: relation to vitamin D status, pregnancy, and lactation. Calcif Tissue Int 1999 Jul;65(1):23-8

(49) Laitinen K, et al, Deranged vitamin D metabolism but normal bone mineral density in Finnish noncirrhotic male alcoholics. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1990 Aug;14(4):551-6.

(50) Rutherford OM, et al, The relationship of muscle and bone loss and activity levels with age in women. Age Ageing 1992 / 21 (4) / 286-293.

(51) Meyer T, et al, Identification of apoptotic cell death in distraction osteogenesis. Cell. Biol. Int.1999 / 23 (6) / 439-446. , Landry P, et al, Apoptosis is coordinately regulated with osteoblast formation during bone healing. Tissue Cell 1997 / 29 (4) / 413-419.

(52) Cromer B, et al, Adolescents: at increased risk for osteoporosis? Clin. Pediatr. (Phila) 2000 / 39 (10) / 565-574. , Judex S, et al, Does the mechanical milieu associated with high-speed running lead to adaptive changes in diaphyseal growing bone? Bone 2000 Feb;26(2):153-9.

(53) Rutherford OM. , Is there a role for exercise in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures? Br J Sports Med 1999 / 33 (6) / 378-386.

(54) Kerschan-Shindl K, et al, Long-term home exercise program: effect in women at high risk of fracture. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 2000 / 81 (3) / 319-323. , Greendale GA, et al, Lifetime leisure exercise and osteoporosis. The Rancho Bernardo study. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1995 / 141 (10) / 951-959. , Jaglal SB, et al, Past and recent physical activity and risk of hip fracture. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1993 / 138 (2) / 107-118.

(55) Chesnut CH, Bone mass and exercise. Am. J. Med. 1993 / 95 (5A) / 34S-36S.

(56) Gregg EW, et al, Physical activity, falls, and fractures among older adults: a review of the epidemiologic evidence. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 2000 / 48 (8):883-93. , Layne JE, et al, The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 1999 / 31 (1) / 25-30. , Preisinger E, et al, Therapeutic exercise in the prevention of bone loss. A controlled trial with women after menopause. Am. J. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 1995 / 74 (2) / 120-123. , Lau EM, et al, The effects of calcium supplementation and exercise on bone density in elderly Chinese women. Osteoporos. Int.1992 / 2 (4) / 168-173.

(57) Rutherford OM, Is there a role for exercise in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures? Br. J. Sports Med. 1999 / 33 (6) / 378-386. , Commandre F, et al, [Physical activities and bone mass in women]. [Article in French] Bull. Acad. Natl. Med. 1995 / 179 (7) / 1483-1491; discussion 1491-1492.

(58) Kaastad TS, et al, Training increases the in vivo fracture strength in osteoporotic bone. Protection by muscle contraction examined in rat tibiae. Acta Orthop. Scand. 1996 / 67 (4) / 371-376.

(59) Chu NF, et al, Plasma leptin concentrations and four-year weight gain among US men. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 2001 / 25 (3) / 346-353. , Szymczak E, et al, The role of leptin in human obesity. Med. Wieku. Rozwoj. 2001 / 5 (1) / 17-26. , Hu FB, et al, Leptin concentrations in relation to overall adiposity, fat distribution, and blood pressure in a rural Chinese population. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 2001 / 25 (1) / 121-125. , Bahceci M, et al, The effect of high-fat diet on the development of obesity and serum leptin level in rats. Eat. Weight. Disord. 1999 / 4 (3) / 128-132. , Milewicz A, et al, Plasma insulin, cholecystokinin, galanin, neuropeptide Y and
leptin levels in obese women with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Int. J. Obes. Relat. Metab. Disord. 2000 / 24 / Suppl 2 / S152-3. , Nakamura M, et al, Association between basal serum and leptin levels and changes in abdominal fat distribution during weight loss. J. Atheroscler. Thromb. 2000 / 6 (1) / 28-32. , Bunger L, et al, Leptin levels in lines of mice developed by long-term divergent selection on fat content. Genet`. Res. 1999 / 73 (1) / 37-44.

(60) Takeda S, et al, Leptin regulates bone formation via the sympathetic nervous system. Cell 2002 Nov 1;111(3):305-17. , Burguera B. et al, Leptin reduces ovariectomy-induced bone loss in rats. Endocrinology 2001 / 142 (8) / 3546-3553. , Takeda S, et al, Central control of bone formation. J. Bone Miner. Metab. 2001 / 19 (3) / 195-198. , Anselme K, et al, Comparative study of the in vitro characteristics of osteoblasts from paralytic and non-paralytic children. Spinal Cord 2000 / 38 (10) / 622-629. , Ducy P, et al, Leptin inhibits bone formation through a hypothalamic relay: a central control of bone mass. Cell 2000 / 100 (2) / 197-207.

(61) Bacon WE, et al, International comparison of hip fracture rates in 1988-89. Osteoporos Int. 199 / 6 (1) / 69-75.

american women outraged from breastfeeding photo

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — womanzone @ 10:12 pm

‘….they were “embarrassed” or “offended” by the Babytalk photo and one woman from Nevada said she “immediately turned the magazine face down” when she saw the photo.

“Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob,” the mother of a four-month-old said.

Another reader said she was “horrified” when she received the magazine and hoped that her husband hadn’t laid eyes on it.”

here is the rest


March 14, 2006


Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — womanzone @ 6:13 pm

Eλαβα ενα μαιλ-απαντηση στο αλλο μαιλ για τα κινητα…μετ'αδειας το δημοσιοποιω…

Αν λαβω κιαλλα, θα ανοιξω τα κομεντς.

Οι συχνότητες των κινητών είναι πολύ υψηλότερες από αυτές που ήταν σε χρήση ως τώρα και κατά συνέπεια μπορούμε να αποφανθούμε με κάποια βεβαιότητα για το ότι είναι ακίνδυνες.

Επίσης, τα κινητά (διαμόρφωση CDMA) χρησιμοπούν πολύ ευρύτερο φάσμα σε σύγκριση με τις μέχρι πρόσφατα διαμορφώσεις, που προβλέπουν "προσεγμένο" στενό φάσμα εκπομπής για κάθε κεραία. Κι ενώ αυτό είναι γενικά θετικό, γιατί σημαίνει μεγαλύτερη διασπορά της εκπεμπόμενης ισχύος, αφήνει ανοικτά τα προβλήματα συμβολής, στατιστικών μεγίστων κι επιδράσεων των επί μέρους συχνοτήτων.

Συνεπώς, τα κινητά έιναι κάτι σχετικά νέο.

Θα ήταν υπερβολικό να παραβλέψουμε ότι οι συχνότητες της κινητής τηλεφωνίας είναι κοντά στη συχνότητα συντονισμού του μορίου του νερού (φαινόμενο στο οποίο στηρίζεται και η λειτουργία των φούρνων μικροκυμάτων). Αυτό σημαίνει ότι πέρα από τις άμεσες θερμικές συνέπειες της ακτινοβολίας των κινητών (δηλαδή τους κινδύνους υπερθέρμανσης συγκεκριμένων ιστών, όπου και βασίζονται τα σημερινά "επίσημα" όρια ακτινοβολίας) δε θα ήταν υπερβολή να επιθυμούσαμε να εξεταστούν ενδεχόμενα κι άλλες συνέπειες μοριακού συντονισμού επί μέρους ιστών και μάλιστα σε αναπτυσσόμενους οργανισμούς (DNA – αρχικά στάδια εγκυμοσύνης;;;).

Δε θα πρέπει να παραβλέψουμε ότι πέρα από τα κινητά καθ' εαυτά, που έχουν μικρή ισχύ, αλλά είναι πολύ κοντά στο σώμα μας, επιπτώσεις της κινητής τηλεφωνίας υπάρχουν κι από τις κεραίες της κινητής τηλεφωνίας, που συνήθως είναι στημένες με έντεχνο καμουφλάζ στις ταράτσες διφόρων κτιρίων ή και πολυκατοικιών, κυριολεκτικά ανάμεσά μας και η ισχύς τους δεν είναι διόλου ευκαταφρόνητη.

Μάλιστα δε, απ' όσο έχω υπ' όψη μου, προβλέπεται κάποια "αποζημίωση" για το κτίριο που είναι εγκατεστημένες, ενώ στην πραγματικότητα, οι λωβοί εκπομπής δε θίγουν τόσο το ίδιο το κτίριο που βρίσκεται από κάτω τους, όσο τα γειτονικά.

Εδώ προκύπτει και το παράδοξο να υφίσταται κάποιος "γείτονας" κεραίας κινητής τηλεφωνίας τις επιδράσεις της ακτινοβολίας της, χωρίς να είναι απαραίτητα χρήστης των υπηρεσιών της (π.χ. να μην έχει κινητό)!

Ένα συναφές θέμα είναι η μεγάλη συγκέντρωση κινητών και μάλιστα σε κλειστούς χώρους (ηλεκτρομαγνητικοί κλωβοί), όπως υπόγεια ή εσωτερικοί χώροι, καράβια, όπου μπορεί να συναθροιστεί πολύς κόσμος, τότε πολλά μαζί κινητά εκπέμπουν στο μέγιστο της ισχύος τους (λόγω ασθενούς λήψης), κι αν λάβουμε υπ' όψη μας ανακλάσεις από τοιχώματα, συντονισμούς αντικειμένων, κ.ο.κ., μπορεί να ξεπεραστούν κατά πολύ τα όποια όρια.

Δεδομένου ότι, όπως τεκμηρίωσα πιο πάνω, η ακτινοβολία της κινητής τηλεφωνίας είναι κάτι σχετικά νέο, δε θα ήταν καθόλου άτοπο να επιθυμούμε τη διερεύνηση ενδεχόμενων "αθροιστικών" ("συσσωρευτικών") επιδράσεων.

5. Αν και ο μέσος χρόνος ζωής ανεβαίνει, χρήσιμο είναι να μην παραθεωρούμε άλλα κριτήρια, όπως το ότι για διάφορα νοσήματα (π.χ. διάφορες παραλλαγές καρκίνου) κατεβαίνει η μέση ηλικία που εμφανίζονται κι ανεβαίνει η συχνότητα. Ακόμα κι ως συνέπειες, δε μπορώ να δεχτώ μόνο τις θανατηφόρες. Αν για παράδειγμα προκαλούνται ημικρανίες, αδυναμία συγκέντρωσης, επιθετικότητα, ζαλάδα, προδιάθεση για άλλα νοσήματα, … θα πρέπει να ληφθούν κι αυτά σοβαρά υπ' όψη.

Γι' αυτά κι άλλα φαινόμενα του είδους, μου φαίνεται μάλλον απλοϊκό να ενοχοποιούμε ή να απενοχοποιούμε μαζικά τους πολυποίκιλλους παράγοντες που επηρεάζουν τη ζωή μας (ακτινοβολίες, χημικά, μεταλλαγμένα, μόλυνση περιβάλλοντος, …), τουλάχιστον χωρίς τη δέουσα προσοχή. Αξίζει να σημειωθεί ότι συχνά έχουν εντοπιστεί συνδυασμοί που βλάπτουν, κι όχι μεμονωμένοι παράγοντες, ή ευαισθησίες ατόμων σε συγκεκριμένους παράγοντες ή συνδυασμούς (π.χ. αλλεργίες).

Το ότι η τεχνολογία δε βλάπτει, καλό είναι να μην το αντιμετωπίζουμε ως αξίωμα στη ζωή μας. Χαρακτηριστικά παραδείγματα η ραδιενέργεια, οι ακτίνες Χ (π.χ. στην εγκυμοσύνη), το σύνδρομο της επαναλαμβανόμενης καταπόνησης (π.χ. από κακή στάση στον υπολογιστή), τα αλογονούχα παράγωγα που καταστρέφουν το όζον, η παραγωγή διοξιδίου του άνθρακα που προκαλεί το φαινόμενο του θερμοκηπίου και γενικότερα κλιματολογικές αλλαγές, η αλόγιστη σπατάλη φυσικών πόρων που συχνά συνοδεύει την τεχνολογική ανάπτυξη, …

Οι συνέπειες είναι συνηθέστερα μεσο-μακροπρόθεσμες.

Συμφωνώ με την άποψη ότι γενικά πρέπει να προσέχουμε τι μας σερβίρουν, διότι δυστυχώς ούτε οι επιστήμονες εκπροσωπούν απαραίτητα την επιστήμη, ούτε οι δημοσιογράφοι την αλήθεια κι η διαφθορά πλήττει όλους τους τομείς της κοινωνίας μας κι οι διάφωρες "φωνές" αυτόκλητων ή όχι "ειδικών" εκπροσωπούν απλά κάποια διαπλεκόμενα συμφέροντα.

Κι η προσοχή αυτή καλό είναι να εκτείνεται προς πάσα κατεύθυνση, χωρίς να θεωρούμε απαραίτητο ούτε το ότι η αλήθεια είναι κάπου στη μέση μεταξύ δύο ακραίων διατυπωμένων θέσεων (η πραγματικότητα μπορεί κάλλιστα να υπερβαίνει οποιοδήποτε ψευδοδίλημμα), ούτε ότι "όπου καπνός και φωτιά".

Τόσο ο εφησυχασμός, όσο κι ο πανικός μπορεί να είναι υποκινούμενα και μπορούν να βλάψουν ή και να καταστρέψουν ζωές. Ωστόσο, μπορούμε να γίνουμε ειδικοί επί παντός επιστητού; Ακόμα και γι' αυτό, μοιραία δε θα πρέπει να εμπιστευθούμε βιβλία, συγγράμματα, μελέτες, διδάσκοντες;

Ελπίζω κι εύχομαι ο φίλος ραδιοερασιτέχνης να δικαιωθεί μεσο-μακροπρόθεσμα από τα πράγματα.

Με εκτίμηση,
ένας Ηλεκτρολόγος Μηχανικός και Μηχανικός

February 5, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 12:47 pm

Αγαπητή Lili

Οι απόψεις σου για τα κινητά τηλέφωνα που εξέφρασες στο
protogala.blogspot.com αναδημοσιεύτηκαν δυστυχώς αυτούσιες από κάποιους
ανεγκέφαλους δημοσιογράφους, στην εφημερίδα της Θεσσαλονίκης
που διανέμεται δωρεάν και διαβάζεται από χιλιάδες. Εξ αυτού ορμώμενος
ήθελα να σε πληροφορήσω (χωρίς παρεξήγηση) ότι όλα όσα ανέφερες στο
σου είναι επιεικώς ΜΠΟΥΡΔΕΣ !!! Και αυτό στο λέω μετά λόγου γνώσεως
διότι το
επαγγελματικό μου αντικείμενο (τεχνικός υπολογιστικών συστημάτων και
και ραδιοερασιτέχνης) μου επιτρέπει να γνωρίζω πέντε πράγματα παραπάνω
σχετικώς με το θέμα. Από όλα αυτά που ανέφερες ΔΕΝ ΕΧΕΙ ΤΕΚΜΗΡΙΩΘΕΊ
ΤΙΠΟΤΑ ! Υπάρχουν μόνο «έρευνες» από κάποιους γραφικούς «επιστήμονες»
απηχούν ΜΟΝΟ τις απόψεις τους και τον διακαή τους πόθο για
επιχορηγήσεις και
μάλιστα σε ένα πρόσφορο πεδίο αφού ΟΛΕΣ αυτές οι «έρευνες» καταλήγουν
σε ένα
και μοναδικό συμπέρασμα: Ότι χρειάζονται και άλλες έρευνες ! Ο νοών
Η αλήθεια λοιπόν έχει ως εξής: Ένα κινητό τηλέφωνο δεν είναι τίποτε
παρά ένας ΑΣΥΡΜΑΤΟΣ όπως οι «μοτορόλες» των αστυνομικών, των
του στρατού, των ταξί, τα walkie-talkies κλπ. Μην σε μπερδεύουν οι
οθόνες, οι κάμερες και οι πολυφωνικοί ήχοι. Η βασική λειτουργία ενός
οποιουδήποτε κινητού είναι ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ ΑΣΥΡΜΑΤΟΥ. Ο ασύρματος εφευρέθηκε
1894 από τον Ιταλό Guillermo Marconi! Η τεχνολογία των κινητών
επομένως υπάρχει εδώ και ΠΑΝΩ ΑΠΟ ΕΚΑΤΟ ΧΡΟΝΙΑ και ΔΕΝ είναι κάτι το
«καινούργιο του οποίου τις επιπτώσεις ακόμα δεν γνωρίζουμε» όπως
ΒΛΑΚΩΔΕΣΤΑΤΑ ισχυρίζονται μερικοί. Στην ίδια αυτή τεχνολογία βασίζονται
άλλες εφαρμογές όπως το ΡΑΔΙΟΦΩΝΟ, η ΤΗΛΕΟΡΑΣΗ, τα ασύρματα τηλέφωνα
όλοι έχουμε σπίτι, τα ασύρματα μικρόφωνα των τραγουδιστών, τα
τηλεχειριστήρια των συναγερμών των αυτοκινήτων, οι ασύρματες κάμερες,
τα GPS
και τόσα άλλα ων ουκ εστί αριθμός. Όσο για την κινητή τηλεφωνία αυτή
εφευρέθηκε και υπάρχει στην Αμερική από τις αρχές της δεκαετίας του 70!
πρώτο μάλιστα κινητό τηλέφωνο κατασκευάστηκε από την MOTOROLA το 1973!
τη στιγμή οι χρήστες κινητού τηλεφώνου παγκοσμίως υπολογίζονται σε δύο
δισεκατομμύρια, (ναι, καλά διάβασες!) χωρίς φυσικά να συμβαίνει το
σε κάποιον από αυτούς από πλευράς υγείας εξαιτίας αυτής της χρήσης. Και
πρόκειται να συμβεί, όπως άλλωστε δεν συνέβη και με τους χρήστες κοινών
συσκευών ασυρμάτου εδώ και πολλές δεκαετίες. Σημειωτέον ότι ένας κοινός
φορητός ασύρματος εκπέμπει 5 Watts συνεχόμενη ισχύ και όχι 1,5 περίπου
ΚΥΜΑΙΝΌΜΕΝΗ που εκπέμπει ένα κινητό τηλέφωνο.
Όσο για τον όρο «ραδιενέργεια», θα πρέπει να γνωρίζεις ότι ΔΕΝ ΕΧΕΙ
ΑΠΟΛΥΤΩΣ ΣΧΕΣΗ με τα κινητά. Είναι είδος ΙΟΝΙΖΟΥΣΑΣ και όχι ΜΗ
ακτινοβολίας (ελπίζω να καταλαβαίνεις τη διάκριση), που αφορά σχάσιμα
όπως ουράνιο, πλουτώνιο κ.λ.π. Έχε υπόψη ότι μη ιονίζουσα ακτινοβολία
εκπέμπουν τα ΠΑΝΤΑ που λειτουργούν με ηλεκτρισμό, από το πιο απλό
έως τις πιό περίπλοκες ηλεκτρομηχανές των εργοστασίων πάσης φύσεως.
Όμως το
προσδόκιμο επιβίωσης ΑΥΞΗΘΗΚΕ από την έλευση του ηλεκτρισμού άρα και
τεχνολογίας και των ακτινοβολιών που την συνοδεύουν και ΔΕΝ μειώθηκε.
Καλά θα κάνουμε λοιπόν εδώ στην Ελλάδα να πάψουμε να συμπεριφερόμαστε
ιθαγενείς Ζουλού που υπακούν στη ψυχολογία του όχλου, να οπλιστούμε με
αντισώματα της επιφύλαξης, της αμφισβήτησης και της κριτικής σκέψης και
σταματήσουμε επιτέλους να καταπίνουμε σαν «γλάροι» ό,τι μας «σερβίρουν»
κάποιοι, όσο «βαρύγδουπους» τίτλους και αν κατέχουν. Κανείς δεν έχει το
αλάθητο του Πάπα, ούτε καν ο ίδιος ο Πάπας! Και εδώ ακριβώς έγκειται το
μας καθήκον ως σκεπτόμενοι πολίτες. ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΑΝΑΖΗΤΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΙ ΝΑ
ΓΝΩΣΗ! ΟΧΙ ΠΑΝΙΚΟ! Να μην υιοθετούτε ασμένως τις απόψεις ορισμένων,
καλή πρόθεση και αν έχουν αυτοί και προπαντός, να μελετούμε και
γνώμες για το θέμα. Και να θυμάσαι ότι οι κεραίες, τα κινητά και η
τεχνολογία γενικότερα ΔΕΝ ΒΛΑΠΤΟΥΝ! Αυτά που σίγουρα βλάπτουν είναι η
άγνοια, η ημιμάθεια και η παραπληροφόρηση.
Ευελπιστώ ότι δεν κατανάλωσα αδίκως τον πολύτιμο χρόνο σου και θα χαρώ
ιδιαιτέρως αν χρησιμοποιήσεις τα στοιχεία που σου παρέθεσα σε
σου δημοσιεύσεις.
Στη διάθεσή σου για οποιεσδήποτε περαιτέρω απορίες και διευκρινήσεις
για το
Ένας αναγνώστης σου.🙂

Να ξεκαθαρισω λοιπον, οτι ΟΥΔΕΠΟΤΕ δεν εδωσα αδεια να δημοσιευτει και μια λeξη στον εντυπο τυπο.
Δεν ειμαι δημοσιογραφος, δεν κανω εκταμενη ερευνα και εκφραζω εδω αυτα που με εκφραζουν η πιστευω.
Στην συγκεκριμενη περιπτωση μπορει το θεμα κινητα να πουλαει, αλλα δεν επιτρεπεται καποιος που λεγεται δημοσιογραφος να “κλεβει” ετσι λογια αλλουνου.
Το κειμενο, το ειχα παρει απο αλλον μπλογκερ και το ειχα γραψει απο κατω…δεν ξερω αν αυτο γραφτηκε, και γιατι δεν πηγαν στην “πηγη”

Αγαπητε, σ ευχαριστω για το μαιλ, δεν ειχε ιχνος προσωπικης επιθεσης και ηταν επεξηγηματικο.
Δεν ξερω αν αυτα που σας μαθαινουν ειναι αληθειες…πριν λιγα χρονια μονο οι γιατροι κανανε ακτινες Χ στις εγκυες για να δουν τα εμβρυα και αυτοι νομιζανε οτι ηταν ασφαλες επειδη ετσι ειχαν μαθει στις σχολες.
Το θεμα των κινητων ειναι ενα ζητημα που δεν το γνωριζω καλα, γιαυτο και εβαλα το μαιλ σου.

November 18, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 1:40 pm

Το κειμενο ειναι εδω

October 14, 2005

Eνα ενδιαφερον site για γονεις.

Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 8:56 pm



Συγκριση μητρικου γαλακτος και τεχνητου…πινακας, και αλλα….

Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 8:05 am


Επισης, εδω θα βρειτε πως μπορουμε να θηλασουμε οταν γυρισουμε στην δουλεια, οταν ποναμε, πληροφοριες για τον καλυτερο θηλασμο κλπ

Τελος, ενα εισαγωγικο ποστ, για αυτα που θα ακολουθησουν…ολα απο το ιδιο σαιτ.

When women look back on the time they spent breastfeeding their babies, what they most remember is the closeness, the intimacy of feeding a baby at the breast. Whether you’re someone who is swept away by the romance of motherhood or a more practical person who feels the milk is there for a reason, the feeling of satisfying your baby’s hunger with your own milk will strike you as incredibly fulfilling.

The closeness between the breastfeeding mother and baby is important. When you feed your baby at the breast, you tap into a valuable resource for mothering and nurturing your baby that is tested and true, as old as time itself. When you choose to breastfeed, you continue the “oneness” that you and your baby experienced during pregnancy. Your body continues to provide nourishment, warmth, comfort and safety, just as it did when baby was inside you. Once you’ve mastered the basics, breastfeeding will make mothering easier.

Breastfeeding is convenient. Food is available for baby within seconds wherever you go. No sterilizing bottles and nipples, and taking the time and effort to prepare formula.
Breastfeeding helps you know and understand your baby. It can affect the way you listen to your child, the way you communicate and the way you respond for many years to come.

Breastfeeding makes discipline easier as your child grows, since a breastfeeding mothers knows her baby well.

Breastfeeding mothers take pride in providing food for their babies, and they feel confident about parenting children they know so well.

How does breastfeeding do all this? To breastfeed successfully, mothers must learn to pay attention to baby’s cues and trust them. Mothers learn to be child-centered, to think in terms of the baby’s needs and how to meet them. The many, many times and different ways in which a breastfeeding mother interacts with her baby make both members of the breastfeeding pair more sensitive to one another’s social signals.

Of course, it’s possible to breastfeed and ignore these lessons in lifelong parenting, but for most mothers and babies (and fathers, too) learning to breastfeed is an important step in building a trusting relationship that extends well beyond the baby years.

Τι ειναι η πειθαρχια?

Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 8:04 am


Giving your child the tools to succeed in life.
Doing whatever you have to do to like living with your children
Discipline is based on building the right relationship with a child more than using the right techniques.
Helping your child develop inner controls that last a lifetime.
One day I was watching a family in my waiting room. The child played happily a few feet away from the mother, frequently returning to her lap for a brief emotional refueling, then darting off again. As he ventured farther away, he glanced back at her for approval. Her nod and smile said “It’s okay,” and he confidently explored new toys. The few times the child started to be disruptive, the mother connected eye-to-eye with him and the father physically redirected him so that he received the clear message that a change in behavior was needed. There was a peace about the child and a comfortable authority in the parents. It was easy to see that they had a good relationship. I couldn’t resist complimenting them: “You are good disciplinarians.” Surprised, the father replied, “But we don’t spank our child.”

Our understanding of the word “discipline” was obviously different. Like many other parents, they equated discipline with reacting to bad behavior. She didn’t realize that discipline is mostly what you do to encourage good behavior. It’s better to keep a child from falling down in the first place than to patch up bumps and scrapes after he has taken the tumble.

Discipline is everything you put into children that influences how they turn out. But how do you want your child to turn out? What will your child need from you in order to become the person you want him or her to be? Whatever your ultimate objectives, they must be rooted in helping your child develop inner controls that last a lifetime. You want the guidance system that keeps the child in check at age four to keep his behavior on track at age forty, and you want this system to be integrated into the child’s whole personality, a part of him or her. If your child’s life were on videotape and you could fast-forward a few decades, what are the qualities you would like to see in the adult on the tape? Here is our wish list for our children:

sense of humor
confidence and solid self-esteem
ability to focus on goals
wisdom to make right choices
honesty, integrity
ability to form intimate relationships
healthy sexuality
respect for authority
a sense of responsibility
skills to solve problems
desire to learn


Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 8:01 am

Raising a moral child means teaching your child to live by the Golden Rule. Before your child can “treat others like you want others to treat you,” he has to learn how to empathize, to be able to think through an action before doing it and to judge how the consequences of his action will affect himself and others. Therein lies the basis of a moral person.

1. Raise kids who care. Attachment parenting is your child’s first morality lesson. Parents are the child’s first morality teachers. Our own observations as well as numerous studies conclude that attachment-parented infants are more likely to become moral children and adults. The one quality that distinguishes these children from kids raised in a detached parenting style is sensitivity. We view sensitivity as the root virtue. Plant it in your child and watch it sprout other virtues, such as self-control, compassion, and honesty. Here’s how to grow a sensitive child.

When a child spends the early years with a sensitive caregiver, this infant develops an inner sense of rightness, a sense of well-being. In short, he feels good. Being on the receiving end of this responsive style of caring plants in the infant trust and eventually sensitivity. The child makes these virtues part of himself. They are not something a child has, they are what the child is, sensitive and trusting. He has learned it is good to help and hold a person in need. He has a capacity to care, the ability to feel how another person feels. He will be able to consider how his actions will affect another person.

This inner code of behavior becomes deeply rooted in connected children. As a result, they develop a healthy sense of guilt , feeling appropriately wrong when they act wrong. To a connected kid, a lie is a breach of trust. When he slips, his well-being is disturbed, so he strives to preserve and restore this sense of moral balance. A connected child can truly do the right things for others because others have done the right things for him.

The unconnected kid. The child who grows up with insensitivity becomes insensitive. He has no frame of reference on how to act. Without an inner guidance system, his values are subject to change according to his whims. One difference between kids who care and kids who don’t is their ability to feel remorse, to be bothered by how their actions affect others. Criminologists have noticed the most significant trait shared by unconnected kids and psychopathic adults is their inability to feel remorse and empathy, and thus take responsibility for their behavior.

A group of five-year-olds are playing and one of the children falls, scrapes her knee and starts crying. The connected child will offer a reassuring “I’m sorry you’re hurt” and show a desire to comfort. The unconnected child may say “cry baby.”

2. Make a moral connection. The connected toddler begins her moral development with the two fundamental qualities of sensitivity and trust. These “starter virtues” make it easier for parents to teach a toddler and preschooler the dos and don’ts of life. A morally-connected parent appropriately points out to the child what’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s expected. The child trusts that whatever the parent says is gospel. If Dad says hitting is wrong, it’s wrong. If Mom says comforting a hurting child is right, it’s right. The parents are the trusted moral authorities.

The first six years is a window of opportunity when a child unquestionably accepts the virtues modeled by parents. Consider what happens when the child receives even one “morality lesson” each day in the early years. For example, Ashley hurts her finger. “Let’s help her feel better.” Your son takes his friend’s ball. “Chris feels sad because you took his favorite ball.” Or “How would you feel if Chris took your ball?”

Initially a child believes behaviors are right or wrong because you tell her so, or she considers the consequences. By five years of age your child begins to internalize your values: what’s right for you becomes right for her. Your values, virtuous or not, become part of your child.

Between seven and ten the child enters the age of moral reasoning. Now the child begins to act right because it is the right thing to do. By seven years of age, most children have developed their concept of “what’s normal.” If sensitivity, caring, politeness and empathy have been standard operating procedure in the child’s home, those are his norms, and he operates according to them. What his parents take seriously, the child takes seriously. Up to this point, he believes his parents to be infallible, so he enters middle childhood with their values as part of himself.

Along come children with other “norms,” who grew up in insensitive, perhaps violent homes, with a distant parent-child relationship. Here is where the morally-connected child shines. Because his moral code is part of himself, the alternative values feel strange to him. They upset his sense of well-being. He becomes morally selective, taking those values which contribute to his well- being and discarding those that don’t.

Not so the morally ungrounded child. He is the product of a home where virtues are not discussed or taught and enters middle childhood like a ship without a rudder or anchor. He drifts in a sea of moral uncertainty, prey to whatever influences come along. Because he has no reference system to use as a standard, he adopts others’ values or he shifts values according to what’s most convenient for solving the problem of the moment. This child drifts into moral relativism : very few things are right or wrong, black or white, but most solutions are shades of gray, and the child takes the path of least resistance or the one that is most popular. This child is at risk because he lacks connection with morally-grounded parents.

3. Model morals. A model is an example to be imitated, for better or worse. In the early years children are totally dependent on their caregivers to show the world to them. Your standards automatically become theirs, because they soak up whatever surrounds them. They make no independent judgments as to the rightness or wrongness of actions. Even if you do something you’ve taught them is wrong, such as hit someone, they assume you are right in what you did and the person you hit deserved it. If they see and hear it from their parents, it’s right, and they store this behavior in their impressionable minds as something worth imitating.

After six or seven years of age the child begins to make judgments about which models are worth emulating and incorporating into his personality and which ones need to be discarded as threatening to his self. This means parents must saturate their children with healthy models in the preschool years, when children are most impressionable, so they can be discerning about models that come along later.

Healthy modeling does not imply perfect parenting , based not on what is right and wrong, but on what is convenient and expedient. Your child will pick up the way of life that she sees you living daily at home. You will inspire your child to follow your example, be it a valuable or a valueless model.

Besides providing healthy models at home, screen outside influences that might leave unhealthy models in your child’s mind. These include substitute caregivers, neighbors, preschool teachers, older kids, and television. Once upon a time persons of significance in a child’s life came primarily from within the extended family, but in today’s mobile society a child is likely to have a wider variety of models. Use these to your advantage and saturate your child’s environment with persons of significance who provide healthy examples so that there is little room left for unhealthy messages.

4. Minimize bad impressions. We emphasize models as one of the prime influences on a child behavior. Parents need to realize that negative behaviors viewed on TV (for example, anger and violence) are easier for a child to copy than positive behaviors (say, kindness). A few examples are all that is necessary to make a lasting impression. Positive behaviors are more difficult to imitate because they require maturity and self-control. These examples need to be repeated often to sink in. Parents should not be lulled into a false sense of security because their child has seen only “a few” violent movies. Nevertheless, you can’t control everything that goes into your child’s mind. To counteract the negative influences that slip in, saturate your child’s mind with examples of positive behavior. Also, beware of what we term “instant replay.” A child’s developing mind is like a giant video library. He stores all he sees for alter retrieval. If the child repeatedly witnesses graphic scenes of violence, this topic gets lots of shelf space in the library of his mind. So, years later when presented with similar circumstances, for example, a rivalry over a girlfriend, the teen or adult instantly replays a similar scene from his video library: He shoots the person who stole his girlfriend. We wonder if the criminals that go berserk (translation: “temporarily insane”) and commit a hideous crime are, by reflex, replaying what they were subconsciously programmed to do.

5. Teach your child to think morally. Take advantage of teachable moments , ordinary events of family life that offer opportunities to talk your child through the process of moral reasoning. One day I saw two eight-year-old neighborhood kids perched on a hillside ready to toss water balloons on cars passing by below. I nabbed them before their mischief began and began this dialogue with one of the boys: “Jason, what do you think might happen when the water balloon hits the car?” I asked. “It would splat all over the car,” Jason responded.”Imagine if you were the driver, what do you think the driver might feel?” I said.”I dunno,” Jason mumbled.”Do you think it might scare him?” I persisted.”Yes, I guess so,” admitted Jason.”He might be so startled that the car goes out of control, he drives up on a sidewalk, and a little child goes splat. Isn’t that possible?” I offered.”I guess so,” he admitted.”You would feel pretty bad if that happened, wouldn’t you?” I went on.”Yes, I sure would,” Jason agreed.

You can discuss people on TV in the same way. You notice your ten-year-old watching a questionable TV program. Sit next to her and in a nonthreatening and nonjudgmental way inquire, “Do you think what those people are doing is right?” Encourage discussions about current events: controversial sports figures, newspaper headlines, social issues. Raise your children to express their opinions. Encourage lively family debates. Respect their viewpoints even if you don’t agree. Studies show that children who come from families who encourage such open discussion are more likely to think morally mature. A California study of a thousand college students looked at the relationship between the student’s level of moral reasoning and how they were parented. Students who scored high on moral reasoning came from families that encouraged open discussion of controversial topics. Other studies have shown that highly-permissive parents who did not expect obedience from their children and gave inappropriate praise produced “me- firsters,” children whose only thought was to satisfy themselves. And the other extreme, over-controlling parents produced conformist teenagers who couldn’t think for themselves. In these studies, families who gave their children a voice in decisions produced teenagers who were able to reason morally. Getting children to preach to themselves becomes the most lasting morality lesson.

Let your child hear you think through the rightness or wrongness of an action. You and your child are at a store and the cashier gives you too much change back. You notice the error and share it with your child: “Oh, the cashier gave us too much money back.” And then you offer a moral commentary as if thinking out loud: “This extra money does not belong to us. It would not be right to keep it. The cashier may be suspended or lose her job for this mistake. I would feel bad if I kept the money…” Your child justifies, “But Dad, everybody does it.” You reply, “Does that make it right? What do you believe is the right thing to do? How do you think you would feel if you kept money that didn’t belong to you?” Then add, “I feel good doing the right thing and returning the money.”

6. Know your child. Know how your child is thinking morally at each stage of development. When situations occur that require a moral decision, involve your child in them. One day our ten-year-old Erin and I were driving by a beggar. Erin said, “Dad, can we stop and give him some money?” Taking her cue, I stopped the car for a teachable opportunity. Testing where she was at morally I suggested, “Maybe he should get a job.” Erin answered, “Maybe he can’t find one.” That told me where she was. We stopped at a nearby store and bought some food for the needy person.

Morals are important to a child because they govern the choices they make. If a child is self-centered, materialistic and lacks empathy, she will often think of her own convenience first and take the path of least resistance. If empathy is ingrained in her, she will make choices that make her a better person to be with and society more caring.

7. Know your child’s friends. Parents, know the values of your child’s friends because some of these will rub off onto your child. One day we witnessed a case of childhood blackmail. Nine-year-old Matthew was playing with eight-year-old Billy who tried to blackmail Matthew into doing something. He told Matt that he would not invite him to his birthday party if he didn’t do it. Matthew, a very sensitive and principled child, was visibly bothered. We used this opportunity to talk to both children. We impressed on Billy that this is not how children should treat each other. We also asked Matt how he felt being on the receiving end of the blackmail. By learning what it felt like to be treated like this, Matt’s principles were reinforced. You can always get positive mileage out of negative situations. Real life provides real lessons.

In our zeal to convince our children of the wisdom of moral living, there is a bit of missionary in all of us. Yet the older children get the more they seem to tune out preaching. That’s why teachable situations , such as those we mentioned above, leave more lasting lessons than anything you say.

8. Send your child off to school morally literate. Ground your child in your moral values day in and day out, and continue to reinforce these values as long as you have an influence on your child. You want your child to do what’s right, not just what’s expedient in a given situation. To do this, he must act from inner conviction built up over many years. Values don’t stick if they are tacked onto the child at the last minute, like a holiday decoration, or changed like a piece of clothing, according to the fashion of the day.

Once children enter middle childhood (ages six through ten), they are on the receiving end of tremendous peer pressure. If the child does not have her own inner guidance system telling her which choice to make, she will more readily become a victim of peer pressure . Children are searching for principles. If a strong guidance system prevails at home and within children themselves, they are likely to conform to their parents’ and their own inner morals. They become leaders among their peers instead of followers, setting their own course, staying on it, and swimming upstream even when the prevailing current is against them.

Teaching your child right from wrong must be done with patience and care. Power or fear morality is not likely to stick because it does not become a willing part of the child’s self: “If I catch you stealing again, I’ll belt you even harder,” yelled a dad who was determined to teach his child right and wrong by the use of fear and force. This child is more likely to spend his energy figuring out how he can avoid getting caught than in moral reasoning about the rightness or wrongness of the act.

One of the goals in raising moral children is to turn out moral citizens. The family is a mini society where a child learns how to live with others and to respect authority. Children who operate with inner controls and not out of fear of punishment make morality a part of themselves. They have a balanced view of authority: they respect authority figures but do not accept others’ values unquestioningly. If the laws are not serving the interests of the people, they’ll be the ones leading the charge to throw out the lawmakers and elect new ones. Raising kids who care is the first step in maintaining a moral society.

Children go through stages of moral development, yet unlike physical growth, moral growth doesn’t happen without some input from parents. To develop into a morally solid person, a child must be given a solid foundation at each stage.

Stage 1 — infancy. An infant does not have the capacity to moralize, other than having a sense of rightness or wrongness as those feelings apply to himself. After nine months of being nurtured in the womb, a baby enters the world expecting that nurturing will continue. Never having been hungry, baby concludes that hunger is wrong; it hurts. Never having been unattended to, baby finds aloneness to be wrong; it’s scary. Never out of touch, baby knows that unresponsiveness is wrong. Being in-arms, at breast, and responded to feels right! Baby feels she is the center of the world and she develops a feeling of rightness that becomes her “norm.”

Stage 2 — toddlerhood. By eighteen months a sense of “otherness” begins. Toddlers learn that others share their world; others have needs and rights, too. The house he lives in has “rules” that he must learn to live by, which is frustrating. The child does not yet have the ability to judge something as “right” or “wrong”; he is only directed by what others tell him, which competes with his internal drive to do what he wants. A child doesn’t yet have the ability to realize he hurts someone when he hits. Hitting is “wrong” because parents tell him so or because he gets punished for it. Depending on how parents convey the behavior they expect, the toddler learns obedience to adults is the norm.

Stage 3 — preschoolers (three to seven years). A major turning point in moral development occurs: the child begins to internalize family values. What’s important to the parents becomes important to him. The six-year-old may say to a friend, “In our family we do…” These are the child’s norms. Once these norms are incorporated in a child’s self, the child’s behavior can be directed by these inner rules — of course, with frequent reminding and reinforcing from parents. Later in this stage children begin to understand the concept of the Golden Rule and to consider how what they do affects other people, that others have rights and viewpoints, too, and how to be considerate. Children from three to seven years of age expect wiser people to take charge. They understand the roles of “child” and “adult” and need maturity from the adult. They perceive consequences and can grasp the when-then connection: when I misbehave, then this happens. The connected child behaves well because he has had several years of positive parental direction. The unconnected child may operate from the basis of “Whatever I do is okay as long as I don’t get caught.”

Stage 4 — (seven to ten years). Children begin to question whether parents and teachers are infallible. Perhaps these people in charge don’t know it all. They have the most respect for those adults who are fair and know how to be in charge. Authority is not threatening to the child, but necessary for social living. They believe that children should obey parents. And, school-age children believe that if they break a rule they should be corrected. This strong sense of “should do” and “should not do” sets some children up to tattle.

Seven-to-ten-year-olds have a strong sense of fairness, understand the necessity of rules and want to participate in making the rules. They begin to believe that children have opinions too, and they begin to sort out which values profit them most — a sort of “what’s in it for me” stage. Parents can use this sense of fairness and drive for equality to their advantage: “Yes, I’ll drive your friends to the movie if you agree to help me with the housework.” These negotiations make sense to this age child. This also begins the stage where children are able to internalize religious values, which concepts truly have meaning for them, and which don’t.

Stage 5 — preteens and teens. These children strive to be popular. They are vulnerable to peer pressure and peer values. As they continue to sort out which values will become part of themselves and which they will discard, they may vacillate and try on different value systems to see which ones fit. This child is more capable of abstract reasoning about moral values and becomes interested in what’s good for society. Children may view parents more as consultants than as powerful authority figures.

From infancy to adulthood the developing moral person progresses from self (“It’s right because it feels right to me”) to others (“It’s right because it’s what we do in our family”) to abstract moral reasoning (“It’s right because it is right”).

Children lie for the same reasons adults do: to be accepted socially, to get attention or status, to hurt someone else, or because they fear the consequences of the truth. But younger children do not understand the concept of truth the way adults do. Let’s get into the world of the child to understand why kids can twist the truth so easily.

1. It’s not a lie; it’s fantasy. One type of childish fantasy is wishful thinking. Witness the five-year-old telling his friend about a trip to Disneyland — where he’s never been. “Why, he’s lying through his teeth,” you think. “What’s wrong with him?” He’s not lying (at least by childhood standards), he’s thinking wishfully — imagining what he wishes had happened. Not only does wishful thinking allow the child the luxury of living in a dream, it impresses his friends and raises his social status. “You really played with Mickey Mouse?” the admiring friends inquire. Children fabricate tall tales for other children, knowing they always have an audience of believers.

If you hear two children spinning yarns, that’s innocent storytelling — not lying. This stage will pass around seven to nine years as imaginative thinking wanes and peers become less gullible. (If it continues past nine, this character trait will not win friends and is probably a sign that there is an underlying problem needing attention.) You can use storytelling as a teachable moment. You overhear the child’s presentation of his make-believe trip to Disneyland, “We went to Disneyland for my birthday…” Don’t label your child a liar. That’s a putdown. Instead, respect his wishful thinking. “You wish you went to Disneyland. That would be fun. Now, tell us what you really did for your birthday.” The child knows you understand and sees you are not angry. He also subtly learns there’s no need to lie. Also, wishful thinking often reveals the wish. “You wish you could go to Disneyland. Maybe I can help that wish come true. Let’s plan a trip…” It’s comforting for a child to know that some dreams do come true.

Preschoolers usually can’t (or don’t want to) distinguish fact from fiction. To a four- or five-year-old, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs exist somewhere. Most children don’t begin to understand truth and falsehood until the age of seven – the age of reason. By eight or nine most children have, or should have, a sense of morality. They feel wrong when they don’t tell the truth and right when they do. They understand what “lying” means and can feel “it’s right to tell the truth.”

2. Fantasy and reality. “I didn’t do it. Toby did it.” Who’s Toby? The child’s imaginary tiger friend who spilled the juice. The preschool child confuses fact and fiction. This is normal. Children often fabricate imaginary characters and enjoy living in their make-believe world. Appreciate your preschooler’s creative thinking and enjoy this imaginative stage while it lasts. Play along with the child’s fantasy. Sometimes children bring imaginary friends along to my office for a check-up. I place an extra chair for the invisible companion and even do a brief pretend exam. We laugh together.

Adults believe that it’s important to be firmly grounded in reality and to know the difference between real and pretend. But these are adult standards. To children, the world is not only what it really is, but what they need it to be. Imaginative thinking can actually help a child cope with the real world. Children periodically retreat into their make-believe world, which they can control, as a way of coping with the adult world which they can’t control.

If your child “lies” by making the fictitious friend the scapegoat (“Toby the Tiger did it”), get into your child’s fantasy: “Tell me exactly how Toby broke the glass.” As your child gropes for details to get himself off the hook, he will quickly reveal his part in the incident. In the meantime, ask yourself why he wanted you to think he “didn’t do it.” Do you tend to react to accidents or experiments too harshly?

Respect your child’s creative thinking by telling him that you understand his viewpoint: “It’s easier if you pretend Tony broke the glass. I understand. But now tell me what really happened. I won’t get angry.” Help your child to feel that the truth won’t hurt — there’s no need to fabricate a cover-up because you will love and accept him no matter what he tells you.

Sometimes a recurrent theme in a child’s storytelling reveals what is truly missing in their real world. A mother of a six-year-old consulted me about her child’s “lying.” Her daughter was telling her friends wild tales of fun things that she and daddy were doing: fictitious yarns about trips to toy stores, airplane rides, horseback riding, etc. The truth was she seldom saw her daddy. He traveled a lot, and because he brought his work home with him, was mentally absent while physically present at home. This child built a world of make-believe in self- defense, to protect her growing self from her loss.

3. Conveniently pleasing. Children want to please their parents. If they sense that lying will please, but the truth won’t, they often choose to lie and believe that’s the right thing to do. Mother will ask her five-year-old, “Did you pick up your puzzles?” and will get an affirmative answer because the child wants mother to smile and say “thank you.” Later when mother finds the puzzles (or most of them) still spread all over, she’ll need to let her child know that the lie is more displeasing than the disorder. A seven-year-old will say “yes” to the toy question because he doesn’t want to inconvenience himself at the moment and go pick up. Eventually, he’ll realize mom is going to go check. He needs to discover that his tactics won’t work. He is responsible for keeping his toys in order, putting them away every night before bedtime. That’s a family rule.

4. The truth hurts. Children develop self-protective lies out of fear of punishment. The fear of punishment wipes away any guilt for not telling the truth. Children who are on the receiving end of a lot of corporal punishment often protect themselves by becoming habitual liars. If the child believes that the broken vase will merit a spanking, he reasons it’s less painful to lie. The same thing happens in children who are given major punishments for minor offenses. This inappropriate correction may hinder a child’s development of conscience. Children who fear punishment will say anything to avoid it.

We have helped our children overcome the fear of telling the truth by making this deal: “We promise we will not get angry “no matter what you did, if you tell us the truth, although you will have to face the consequences. However, when we find you have lied to us, the punishment will be severe.” One day someone left Erin’s bike in the driveway. She told me that Matthew had it last. To discover “who did it” I had to free Matt to tell the truth by assuring him I would not get angry if I heard the truth. “Matthew, the deal is I don’t get angry at truth. I get angry at lies.” If a child is afraid of the consequences of telling the truth, he may become a habitual liar. When he can trust you not to fly off the handle, he will be able to open up and tell you honestly what happened. Listen calmly, be fair, and help him correct his behavior. The best way to encourage children not to lie is to support them as they tell the truth.

5. The child who lies a lot. At some point normal childhood storytelling evolves into purposeful lying, which may become habitual. The child intends to deceive. Many of his social interactions revolve around falsehood rather than truth. The root cause is an angry child who is dissatisfied with his real life and afraid of his parents’ reactions. He doesn’t experience acceptance for normal clumsiness or poor judgment. He has been taught he is bad.

Seven-year-old Charlie’s father disappeared from his life when he was six. To keep from acknowledging painful reality, Charlie created a make-believe world with wonderful father-son stories. Gradually he found that the world of make- believe was more comfortable than the real world. By the age of eight he was lying habitually about other things. Charlie claimed A’s on his tests when he was barely passing and lied to his mother about where he went after school and about where new possessions came from. Lying became a way of life, a protection from his anger and a cover-up for his poor self-image. The cure for Charlie’s lying was to help Charlie accept and learn to cope with his real life. Therapy for Charlie allowed him to accept that his father wasn’t coming back and that he hadn’t caused his father to leave. It wasn’t his fault. His mother learned through support counseling to spend more time with Charlie doing fun activities and listening to him. Charlie joined a soccer team and the coach took a special interest in him. Soon lying was a thing of the past. (See )

By understanding why children lie at times, it is easier to understand what to do. Getting behind the deceitful words (or actions) and into the child’s mind will help you practice preventive discipline. Here are ways to build a truthful child.

1. Practice attachment parenting. Connected children do not become habitual liars. They trust their caregivers and have such a good self-image they don’t need to lie. Even the most connected child will spin a few outrageous yarns at four, try lying on for size at seven, and try more creative lying out at ten. When you’ve caught your child lying once, and you’ve corrected her, don’t automatically assume she’s “lying again” if a similar situation arises. Give her the benefit of checking out the facts or she’ll be hurt that you don’t trust her.

2. Model truth. Create a truthful home. Just as you sense when your child is lying, children will often read their parents’ untruths. If your child sees your life littered with little white lies, he learns that this is an acceptable way to avoid consequences. You may be surprised to learn the lessons in lying your child witnesses in your daily living. Consider how often you distort the truth: “Tell them I’m not here” is the way you get rid of a phone pest. You rationalize that this isn’t really a lie, or perhaps it is only a “white lie,” which, as opposed to a black lie, is really all right because it gets you out of an embarrassing situation. Don’t ask your child to share in your lie by having him say you’re not at home. (Instead, he could say, “She can’t come to the phone right now. May I take a message?”) Don’t tell your child something is “gone” when it really isn’t just to make it easier for you to say he can’t have anymore. Sharp little eyes often see all and you haven’t fooled your child at all. You’ve just lied to him, and he’ll know that, since he knows you so well. Just say “no more now” and expect your child to accept that.

Also, don’t become a partner in your child’s lying. If your child didn’t finish her homework because she was too tired or disorganized, don’t let her convince you to write a note to the teacher saying the printer broke on the computer. These practices sanction lying and teach the child how easy it is to avoid the consequences of poor choices.

3. The truthful self is OK. Convince your child you like her just the way she is. “I like a truthful C more than an untruthful A,” you teach the youngster who marks up her real grades. The child who knows her acceptance in the family is not conditional upon performance is less motivated to lie.

4. Don’t label the child who lies. Avoid judgments like “You’re a liar!” or “Why can’t you ever tell the truth?” Children often use parental labels to define themselves. To them a bad label is better than no label at all. At least “the liar” has an identity. A label can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Better to say something like, “This isn’t like you; you’re usually honest with me.” Don’t ask, “Are you lying?” but rather, “Is that really the truth?”

5. Avoid setups for lying. If your child tends to lie, confront him squarely with a misdeed rather than giving him the opportunity to lie. If you don’t want to hear lies, don’t ask questions. If he’s standing in front of the broken cookie jar with telltale crumbs on his hands, it’s ridiculous to ask if he did it. Of course he did it. Confront him.

6. Expect the truth. Give your child the message “I expect you to tell the truth.” Children should not feel they have choices in this matter. Children are not intellectually ready to deal with situational ethics, which teaches: “You tell the truth when it’s convenient, but choose to lie when it’s not.” They’ll get enough exposure to this kind of thinking in high school and college. When your child knows what you expect, he’s likely to deliver.

7. When your child lies. Always correct your child for lying. Don’t let him think he’s getting away with it. Confront him and let him know you are disappointed. A child with a conscience will punish himself by feeling remorseful. Any further punishment would depend on each circumstance. Any natural or logical consequences should be allowed to take place. Occasional lying will happen, but habitual lying needs to receive counseling to uncover the cause.

8. Encourage honesty. Every chance you get, talk about how important “the truth” is. Don’t wait until you are in the middle of a situation when what you say may be taken as preaching. Comment on broader topics, such as truth in print and advertisements, how truth keeps life simple (lies to cover lies), and how the truth always comes out in the end. Current events and family happenings can be analyzed from the standpoint of honesty. Talk about how truthful people are respected. Have a look at honesty themes in literature, such as “crying wolf.”

9. Teach a child when silence is not lying. Children are delightfully honest, but sometimes at the wrong moments: “Aunt Nancy, your breath stinks” or “You really are ugly.” Teach the child that if the truth hurts someone’s feelings, it is not necessary to say anything. “Sometimes it’s best to keep thoughts to yourself.” While you don’t want to squelch the candor and honesty of children, you do want to teach them to consider others’ feelings. Remember Thumper’s line from Bambi, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

10. Get behind the eyes of your child. “Maybe you just wanted the toy so much that you imagined that Andrew gave it to you. Shall we call him and check?” This gives your youngster a chance to come clean, or maybe Andrew did give it to him. You need to play detective and help him uncover the truth, for you and for him. Young children can talk themselves into believing a pretend story if it satisfies their desires. Once a child reaches the age of seven he is better able to understand the difference between pretending and telling pretend stories that are intended to deceive.

11. Offer amnesty. Sometimes you know that your child has lied to you, and you want to turn a negative experience into a moral lesson. Try offering amnesty. When our son Bob was fifteen he asked to go to a rock concert, which he rationalized would be okay because it was held at our church. We said no, and told him we felt that this particular group modeled values foreign to our family. Conveniently, there was also a team curfew Bob was under because of a football game the next day. Reluctantly he agreed. I had heard about the group, but I wanted firsthand observation so I could be sure of my judgment, so I went to the rock concert. A few weeks later we found out from another source that Bob had attended, too. After getting over our initial shock and anger (this was way out of character for Bob), we called a family meeting and offered “amnesty” to any misbehavior “no matter how awful.” The children were allowed to get any wrongdoing off their chests. Bob confessed. Afterward he shared his relief. (We had worked hard to build consciences that would bother our children when they did wrong — healthy guilt.) We explained we already knew he had gone to the concert, thus teaching Bob it’s unwise to lie. If amnesty hadn’t worked, we would have confronted Bob and there would have been stronger consequences. In this situation, we wanted him to have the benefit of confessing voluntarily so he could experience the reward of deciding to come clean. Bob, now a father himself, fondly recalls this event.

Looking back we realize how our attitude toward something important to Bob actually pushed him to be so uncharacteristically defiant. A highly-principled child from the very beginning, Bob explained he felt we were using the curfew as an excuse to deny his attendance. He was right. We had discussed this ahead of time, before we laid down the rule. We could have asked the coach for an exception or asked Bob to leave early. Bob told us afterward that the whole football team was there, flaunting the curfew. In hindsight, I should have cleared it with the coach and then arranged for us to go together, father and son, to enjoy an outing. Since this whole episode, we’ve watched our teens develop a wholesome discernment in their entertainment choices, and we have broadened our range of tolerance. Martha actually enjoys some of the rock music our children listen to and finds it a window into their world.

If you create an atmosphere in your home and an attitude within your child that honesty is the best policy and the child’s truthful self is really the nicest person to be around, you are well on your way to building trust and avoiding dishonesty.

Little fingers tend to be sticky, allowing foreign objects to mysteriously find their way into little pockets. Before lamenting that you are harboring a little thief in your house, take a moment to understand why children steal and how to handle this common problem.

1. Understand why kids steal. Like lying, “stealing” is an adult term that may not mean anything to young children. Candy found clutched in a sticky fist after going through a checkout line or a toy car that turns up in the pocket of a four-year-old after a visit to a friend’s house is not proof that your child is already a delinquent. To the preschool child, possession means ownership. In a child’s mind he has a right to anything within grabbing distance. Children under four have difficulty distinguishing between “mine” and “yours.” Everything is potentially “mine.” They don’t know that palming a piece of candy at the grocery store is stealing until you tell them so. In the child’s mind he has done no wrong until the parents pass judgment.

Many preschool children can’t curb their impulses. They see the toy, feel they must have it, and take it without any judgment as to the rightness or wrongness of the action. Instead of guilt, they feel relief that their craving is satisfied. The more impulsive the child, the more likely he is to help himself to things.

Around five to seven years of age children develop a hazy notion of the wrongness of stealing. They can understand the concept of ownership and property rights. They come to terms with the reality that the whole world doesn’t belong to them and begin to understand the rightness or wrongness of taking things that don’t belong to them — stealing. Also, by this age the child may become a more clever thief. Still his deterrent is more the fear of adult retaliation than an understanding of the immorality of stealing. Jimmy may recognize that it’s wrong for Jason to keep the baseball cards he “borrowed,” but the next day Jimmy may want to hang on to Jeff’s prized cowboy pistol and bring it home at the end of the play session.

Stopping petty stealing and teaching its wrongness may seem to some like a smallie, but learning honesty in small matters paves the way for biggies later. A child must learn to control impulses, delay gratification, and respect the rights and property of others.

2. Practice attachment parenting. Because connected children are more sensitive, they are better able to understand and respect the rights of others. These concepts sink in deeper and at an earlier age. Connected children feel remorse when they have done wrong because they develop a finely-tuned conscience sooner. It’s easier to teach values to attachment-parented children. These kids have the ability to empathize and understand the effects of their actions on others. And they have parents who are putting their time in, being with their children enough to realize when they stray into these gray zones. Connected kids have an innate respect for maintaining trust between people. Lying, cheating, and stealing violate this sense of trust.

Because attachment parents know their children so well, they can read facial and body language cues that reveal a child’s hidden misbehavior. And because of the parent-child connection, the child is more likely to accept the parents’ advice and values. Because they trust their parents, connected kids are also more likely to come clean when confronted. They find it harder to lie about their actions because they feel wrong when they act wrong and they know that their parents can read that “suspicious look.”

3. Lead them not into temptation. Children will take money from family members almost as though it is community property. They may even rationalize “I’ll give it back when I can.” Teach your children to keep their financial affairs private. Money should be kept in a locked box which is stored in a secret place. Anytime money is lent, an “IOU” should be required to help them remember who owes what to whom. You should also keep your money inaccessible, except for smaller amounts in your purse or wallet that must be asked for. Sure family members trust one another, but give them credit for being human and don’t allow temptation in the path. If someone comes to us and complains “Someone took my five dollars,” we ask “Where were you keeping it?” We don’t bother detecting the perpetrator — as we said above, we know conscience is at work. And, we will not be put in the position of being responsible for the safe-keeping of money for those old enough to do it themselves. Siblings, after all, are not the only possible suspects. Our kids have learned the hard way you can’t trust everyone. This is in itself a good lesson for life.

4. Teach ownership. Toddlers have no concept of ownership. Everything belongs to a two-year-old. Between two and four a child can understand ownership (the toy belongs to someone else), but may not fully believe that the toy doesn’t also belong to him. Even as young as two, begin teaching “mine” and “yours.” During toddler toy squabbles the parent referee can award the toy to the rightful owner, but don’t expect this concept to sink in fully until around the age of four. Look for other opportunities to reinforce the concept of ownership: “This toy belongs to Mary,” “Here’s Billy’s teddy bear,” “Whose shoes are these?” As the child grasps the idea of ownership and the rights that go along with it, teach the logical conclusion that ignoring these rights is wrong.

Correct wishful ownership. “It’s mine,” insists the four-year-old whose detective parents discover a suspicious toy in his backpack. “You wish the toy was yours,” replies the parent. “But now tell daddy who this toy really belongs to.” “Johnny,” the child confesses. Capitalizing on this teachable moment you reply, “If Johnny took your toy, especially if it was one you really liked, you would feel very sad that your toy was missing. What would you want him to do?” The best way to teach lasting values is to draw the lessons out of a child rather than imposing them. You want the “give it back” idea to come from the child if at all possible.

5. Correct the steal. Getting the thief to give back the goods sometimes requires masterful negotiating. Encouraging and helping the child to return stolen goods teaches not only that stealing is wrong, but also that wrongs must be made right. If you find an empty candy wrapper, go ahead and trot the offender back to the store with payment and an apology.

6. Identify the trigger. Find out what prompts the child to steal. The child who steals habitually despite your teaching about honesty usually has a deep-seated problem that needs fixing. Is the child angry? Does he steal to vent the anger? Does the child need money and feel that stealing is the only way he can get what he believes he needs? If so, offer an allowance. Help him get odd jobs. Help the child learn work ethics so that he can earn the toys instead of steal them. Most of the time a child who habitually steals is suffering from a poor self-image and needs to steal to boost his worth or get attention. As in handling all behavioral problems, it’s often necessary to take inventory of your whole family situation. Does your child need more supervision? Perhaps, some redefining of priorities and reconnecting with your child is in order.

7. Identify the child at risk to steal. Watch for these risk factors:

Poor self-esteem
Impulsiveness: strong desire, but weak control
Generally insensitive to others
Not connected
Change in family situation, for example, divorce
generally bored
alone a lot
If you focus on helping your child deal with these risk factors, lying and stealing should subside.

It’s important to get to the bottom of stealing. If the problems behind chronic stealing and lying are uncorrected, they tend to snowball. With repeated misdeeds, the child convinces himself that stealing is not really wrong. He desensitizes himself to his own conscience and to your teachings. The child without remorse is at high risk for becoming an adult without controls. With attachment parenting, even if a child is not “caught in the act,” he will punish himself sufficiently with the remorse he will feel. He won’t want to repeat wrong actions.

8. Praise honesty. The five-year-old finds somebody’s wallet and brings it to you. Praise him to the limit for his action! “Thank you for bringing Mommy the wallet you found. Now let’s see if we can find out who it belongs to. I’ll bet that person will be very happy you found it, just like you would feel if you lost something special and someone returned it.” Avoid saying, “Thank you for telling the truth.” Some children may not even have thought of keeping the wallet, and you don’t want to plant in their minds the option of being dishonest. Whatever praise you give, convey the message that your child did just what you expected.

Children cheat. But like lying and stealing “cheating” is an adult concept not well understood by the child under six. To an adult, cheating is akin to lying or stealing. But a child who is fabricating his own rules as he grows does not yet understand why rules are not supposed to be changed or broken. Best to translate cheating into a positive value — fairness. Even a six-year-old can understand “play fair.” Teach your child that cheating is wrong because it’s unfair to other children in the game. Ask him how he would feel if he played fair but his friends didn’t. Notice as you play games with children from six to ten, they often change the rules to their favor even if they understand them in the first place. There’s no problem with changing the rules, as long as all the players agree before the game begins. This kind of rule change adds creativity to board (or bored) games.

The child who cheats at school is a matter for discipline. Does the child cheat without remorse? Many times the child feels forced into cheating because of parental pressure or the spirit of competitiveness in the class. The desire to please parents with high expectations can override even the most solid little conscience. The temptation to cheat is especially strong in a child with a weak self-image who equates self-worth with accomplishment. If he wins he’s a winner; if he loses he’s a loser. So he must win even if he has to cheat to do so. This unhealthy attitude can develop if you model that winning is all that counts when playing (or working) with adults.

You can help your child avoid the temptation to cheat at school. Take care to put just the right amount of scholastic pressure on the child. Too little and he gets lazy and bored, and becomes unfulfilled and unhappy; too much and he either gives up or cheats to achieve. Try to find the balance that fits your child. We have given our children the message that good grades make you feel good and that they are one (not the only) ticket to success. We tell them that we want them to get good grades first to please themselves and second to please us. They are in control, based on how much work they are willing to do, of achieving their goals. We will be pleased if they sincerely do their best — no one can ask for more.

Apologizing helps your child accept responsibility for a wrong and provides a tool to make things right again. It helps the child dig himself out of a hole. It clears the air, helps heal the relationship, and gives it a new beginning. To teach your child — and yourself — the art of apologizing, try these tips:

1. Model apologizing. When you’ve acted wrongly, admit it. Apologize when you overreact: “I’m sorry I yelled at you. You didn’t deserve that outburst. I’ve had a hard day.” I’ve said this to my children many times. Everyone makes mistakes; that’s life. Everyone apologizes; that makes life better. These are valuable lessons for a child to learn. Saying “sorry” to your child is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. Even “the boss” should apologize if his or her actions are unkind. A child who has never been apologized to won’t understand the apology process, and more than likely he’ll refuse, turning a potentially beneficial moment into a standoff with hurt feelings.

2. Start young. Toddlers quickly learn to give a hug to “make it better” when they hurt someone. If you model hugs for hurts at home, he’ll know just what to do. Once he’s calm and ready to hug, you can verbalize a simple apology and maybe help him say it with a hug.

3. Forgiveness follows apologies. Apologizing and forgiving need to happen after someone gets hurt or offended. For most everyday squabbles we tell our kids that we want them to “make peace” with whomever they are at odds with. It doesn’t need to be a formal apology scene. We leave it up to them to figure out what “make peace” means and how to do it. Sometimes they use words, sometimes they don’t. But we all know if they have or haven’t. In order to live in the same house together, siblings need to be at peace with one another. Apology without forgiveness is an incomplete process. For real healing to happen the one offended needs to “drop the charges” by saying “that’s okay” or “I forgive you.”

4. Say “excuse me.” Children belch, gulp, and fart – excuse me, pass gas. Boys especially delight in showing off their body sounds. If one unintentional belch gets laughter, you can imagine what will follow. But if these sounds meet with silence or mild disapproval from you, they will soon fizzle away. Teach children that, in company, breathing sounds (that is sneezing and coughing) are okay but digestive tract sounds are rude. When your child emits upper digestive tract sounds in your presence, look disapprovingly, and say “excuse me.” Require the older child to excuse himself. Passing gas is especially offending because of the odor accompanying the sound. As your child gets older he will learn he can control this function most of the time and do it in private. If passing gas becomes a habit, the offender will quickly be taught by peer disgust to keep it to himself. As kids mature a bit their gut sounds diminish; these offenses will soon be sounds of the past.

5. Stop manipulating feelings and orchestrate sincerity. Some children learn to parrot an “excuse me” or “I’m sorry” within a millisecond of the offense to avoid being “squealed on” or to get themselves off the hook quickly if parents force apologies. Parents can’t force feelings. Only the child knows how he feels. Forcing feelings can teach your child to fake apologies, that it’s okay to be insincere, or that forgiveness has to be an instant thing which is not real life. Depending on the ages of the children, their temperaments, the circumstances, and the emotions that may be flaring, a cooling-off period before an apology will be needed. A two-year-old who just kicked his sister may need a two-minute time-out on a chair, along with a reminder that kicking hurts, before he’s ready to hug her. A ten-year-old who slaps her sister for vicious teasing must deal with wounded pride before she’ll be able to remember how wrong it is to slap. It’s your job as a parent to make sure the apology happens so both children can start again with good feelings between them. But, you cannot make it happen. What you can do is model and instruct: “When people are at peace with each other they feel better inside.”

Every parent dreams of the polite little child who says “please” and “thank you.” After all, your child’s behavior reflects on you. Manners come easily to some children, others are social flops. Understanding the basis of good manners will help you help your child acquire them. Good manners, after all, are necessary for people to live together in this world. Gracious manners reflect a loving and considerate personality.

1. Expect respect. Believe it or not, you begin teaching manners at birth, but you don’t call them that. The root of good manners is respect for another person; and the root of respect is sensitivity. Sensitivity is one of the most valuable qualities you can instill into your child — and it begins in infancy. The sensitive infant will naturally become the respectful child who, because he cares for another’s feelings, will naturally become a well-mannered person. His politeness will be more creative and more heartfelt than anything he could have learned from a book of etiquette. In recent years it has become socially correct to teach children to be “assertive.” Being assertive is healthy as long as it doesn’t override politeness and good manners.

2. Teach polite words early. Even two-year-olds can learn to say “please” and “thank you.” Even though they don’t yet understand the social graciousness of these words, the toddler concludes that “please” is how you get what you want and “thank you” is how you end an interaction. At least you’ve planted these social niceties into your child’s vocabulary; later they will be used with the understanding that they make others feel good about helping you. When you ask your toddler to give you something, open with “please” and close with “thank you.” Even before the child grasps the meaning of these words she learns they are important because mommy and daddy use them a lot and they have such nice expressions on their faces when they say these words. Children parrot these terms and understand their usefulness long before they understand their meaning.

3. Model manners. From age two to four, what Johnny hears, Johnny says. Let your child hear a lot of “please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” and “excuse me” as you interact with people throughout the day. And address your little person with the same politeness you do an adult. Let your child catch the flavor of polite talk.

4. Teach name-calling. We have always made a point of opening each request by using the name of our child: “Jim, will you do this for me?” Our children picked up on this social nicety and address us by title: “Dad, may I…” or “Mom, would you…” Our son Matthew, now eight, has made all of these language tools part of his social self. Matthew has concluded that if he times his approach for the right moment, looks me in the eye or touches my arm, addresses me as “Dad…,” and adds a “please” or “may I,” he can get just about anything he wants. Even when I know I’m being conned, I’m a pushover for politeness. Although Matthew doesn’t always get his politely-presented wish, I always acknowledge his good manners.

5. Acknowledge the child. The old adage “children should be seen and not heard” was probably coined by a childless person. Include your child in adult goings-on, especially if there are no other children present. When you and your child are in a crowd of mostly adults, tuning out your child is asking for trouble. Even a child who is usually well-behaved will make a nuisance of herself in order to break through to you. Including the child teaches social skills, and acknowledging her presence shows her that she has value.

Stay connected with your child in situations that put her at risk for undesirable behavior. During a visit with other adults, keep your younger child physically close to you (or you stay close to him) and maintain frequent verbal and eye contact. Help your older child feel part of the action so that he is less likely to get bored and wander into trouble. 6. Don’t force manners. Language is a skill to be enjoyed, not forced. While it’s okay to occasionally dangle a “say please” over a child before you grant the request don’t, like pet training, rigidly adhere to asking for the “magic word” before you give your child what he wants. The child may tire of these polite words even before he understands them. When you remind a child to say “please,” do so as part of good speech, not as a requirement for getting what he wants. And be sure he hears a lot of good speech from you. Overdo politeness while you’re teaching it and he’ll catch the idea faster. “Peas” with a grin shows you the child is feeling competent in her ability to communicate.

7. Correct politely. As a Little League baseball coach, I have learned to chew out a child — politely. When a child makes a dumb play (which is to be expected), I don’t rant and rave like those overreacting coaches you see on television. Instead, I keep my voice modulated, look the child straight in the eye, and put my hand on his shoulder during my sermon. These gestures reflect that I am correcting the child because I care, not because I am out of control. My politeness shows him that I value him and want him to learn from his mistakes so he becomes a better player, and the child listens. I hope someday that same child will carry on these ball field manners when he becomes a coach.

Have you ever wondered why some children are so polite? The main reason is they are brought up in an environment that expects good manners. One day I noticed an English family entering a hotel. The father looked at his two sons, ages five and seven, and said, “Now chaps, do hold the door for the lady,” which they did. I asked him why his children were so well-mannered. He replied, “We expect it.”

“Mommy, Andrea was playing with your new dress yesterday…” Parents are often caught up in the tattling trap. There’s something unsettling, almost devious, about the motive of a “squealer.” Yet, some children have such a sense of rightness that they feel any impropriety must be reported. What is the parent to think? Here are some ways to sift through accusations and decide when to act and when to leave well enough alone.

Is it a smallie or biggie? For the sake of your own sanity and the better social development of your children, try not to be drawn into squabbles that are smallies. “Daddy, Daddy, Susie is using her allowance to buy cookies for her friends.” That’s a smallie. (It might be a nice thing to do anyway.) Don’t pursue this case, but don’t squelch the tattler either. Sometimes the reporter is privy to something parents need to know; you do want to hear about the biggies. If it’s a smallie, let the children work it out themselves. Making a big case out of a small issue, especially when the accuracy of the charges is questionable, often causes bad feelings between the tattletale and the accused. The tattler may very well be inaccurate. Beware of a tattler who uses his tale to get even with or belittle a sibling. By the time he finds someone to listen to his story, he may have colored the facts to his liking.

Consider the source. Is the child’s reporting trustworthy, or does he have a history of distorting the truth? Matthew is our family’s “righteous person.” No injustice goes unreported. We always respect his sincerity by listening. We are also aware that this trait gets him bad press among his siblings and peers, even the ones not in trouble at the moment. We are helping Matthew lighten up a bit on being the family’s Department of Justice. He gathers from our response that much of what he reports will be allowed to take care of itself. He is gradually becoming relaxed about the family foibles. When he (or any of the children) does have something big to report, we protect our informant’s identity.

If five-to-eight-year-olds are constantly tattling on siblings or playmates, a good rule to use is: “Unless someone is going to get hurt I don’t want to hear the words ‘I’m going to tell Mom!'” Once habitual tattlers are old enough to write, put up a tattle box and have them write it down. Mellow out the compulsive tattler so he doesn’t carry this trait with him to school. His teachers will thank you.

Children have difficulty sharing, especially young children. This is a normal part of the development process. Knowing and accepting this is the first step in helping your child grow up to be a generous person. Here’s an overview of what’s going on inside that possessive little mind.

1. Selfishness comes before sharing. The power to possess is a natural part of the child’s growing awareness. During the second and third years, as the child goes from oneness to separateness, this little person works to establish an identity separate from mother. “I do it myself!” and “mine!” scream the headlines in the toddler’s tabloid. In fact, “mine” is one of the earliest words to come out of a toddler’s mouth.

The growing child develops attachments to things as well as persons. This ability to form strong attachments is important to being an emotionally healthy person. The one-year-old has difficulty sharing her mommy; the two-year-old has difficulty sharing her teddy bear. Some children get so attached to a toy that the raggedy old doll becomes part of the child’s self. When asked to draw a picture of herself, four-year-old Hayden would always include her doll — as if it were part of her body. Can you imagine convincing her to share this doll with a playmate? It was too important. She could not feel safe and secure if that doll was being handled by another child.

2. When to expect a child to share. True sharing implies empathy, the ability to get into another’s mind and see things from their viewpoint. Children are seldom capable of true empathy under the age of six. Prior to that time they share because you condition them to do so. Don’t expect a child less than two or 2½ to easily accept sharing. Children under two are into parallel play — playing alongside other children, but not with them. They care about themselves and their possessions and do not think about what the other child wants or feels. But, given guidance and generosity, the selfish two-year-old can become a generous three or four-year-old. As children begin to play with each other and cooperate in their play, they begin to see the value of sharing.

Attachment-parented kids may be more sensitive to others’ needs and thus more willing to share, or they may be more aware of their own need to preserve their sense of self by not sharing. It’s easier to share with someone less powerful than you or less threatening, (i.e., someone younger,)—a visitor rather than a sibling, a quiet child rather than a demanding one. Much depends on your child’s temperament. Follow your child’s cues in judging when he is ready to share.

Even at four or five years of age, expect selective sharing. A child may reserve a few precious possessions just for himself. The child is no more likely to share her treasured teddy or tattered blanket than you would share your wedding ring or the heirloom shawl your mother gave you. Respect and protect your child’s right to his own possessions. Kids know kids. At four, Matthew sized up his friend Johnny, an impulsive, curious child who would have been a natural durability tester for a toy manufacturer. Johnny explored every moving part, pulled and twisted them; only the strongest toy could survive this child. Matthew recognized his friend’s destructive nature and hid his more valuable and breakable toys when he saw Johnny coming. We supported Matthew’s wisdom.

3. Don’t force a child to share. Instead, create attitudes and an environment that encourage your child to want to share. There is power in possession. To you, they’re only toys. To a child, they’re a valuable, prized collection that has taken years to assemble. Respect the normal possessiveness of children while you encourage and model sharing. Then watch how your child operates in a group play setting — you’ll learn a lot about your child and about what kind of guidance he’ll need. If your child is always the grabber, he’ll learn that other kids won’t want to play with him. If he’s always the victim, he needs to learn the power of saying “no.” In the preschool years your child naturally goes through a “what’s in it for me” stage, which will progress into a more socially aware “what’s in it for us” stage. Gradually — with a little help from parents — children learn that life runs more smoothly if they share.

4. Get connected. A child gives as he is given to. We have observed that children who received attachment parenting during the first two years are more likely to become sharing children in the years to come, for two reasons. Children who have been on the receiving end of generosity follow the model they’ve been given and become generous persons themselves. Also, a child who feels right is more likely to share. An attachment-parented child is more likely to have a secure self-image. He needs fewer things to validate his self-worth. In taking a poll of attachment- parented children in our practice, we found they needed fewer attachment objects. They are more likely to reach for mother’s hand than cling to a blanket.

5. Model generosity. Monkey see, monkey do. If big monkey shares, so will little monkey. When someone asks to borrow one of your “toys,” make this a teachable moment: “Mommy is sharing her cookbook with her friend.” Let your sharing shine. Share with your children: “Want some of my popcorn?” “Come sit with us — we’ll make room for you.” If you have several children, especially if they are close in age, there will be times when there isn’t enough of you to go around. Two children can’t have one hundred percent of one mommy or daddy. Do the best you can to divide your time fairly. “No fair” may be the single most frequently repeated complaint of childhood. Try to be an equal opportunity parent as much as possible, while teaching your children that other factors come into play in day-to-day life.

6. Play games. Play “Share Daddy.” Placing the two-year-old on one knee and the four-year-old on the other teaches both children to share their special person. Even a two-year-old can play “Share Your Wealth.” Give your two-year-old some flowers, crackers, blocks, or toys, and ask her to share them with everyone in the room: “Give one to big brother. Give one to Daddy.” You want to convey the message that sharing is a normal way of life and sharing spreads joy. Lauren found a piece of chocolate in my (Martha’s) purse the other day. She happily ate it and then showed me a second piece she’d found. I told her that piece was for Stephen and Matthew to share and asked her to go give it to them, thinking to myself she’d just eat it on her way. I didn’t bother to go with her to see the “inevitable.” Bill later told me how cute it was when she walked up and doled out the halves, one to Stephen and one to Matthew.”

A good way to model principles to a young child is through play. Games hold a child’s attention, allowing lessons to sink in, in the spirit of fun. Children are more likely to remember what they have learned through play than what they’ve heard in your lectures. Consider the character traits that are fostered during a simple game: humor, fairness, honesty, generosity, concentration, flexibility, obedience to rules, sensitivity, and the all-American value of competitiveness. And, sorry to say, unhealthy traits such as selfishness, jealousy, lying, and cheating can also be experienced through play. Expect play time to reflect how life is to be lived, and tolerate only principled play.

7. When to step in. While we don’t expect toddlers to be able to share, we use every opportunity we can to encourage taking turns. Teach your child how to communicate her needs to her friends. Say something like, “When Catherine is all done with the car, then you can ride it. Ask her when she will be done” or “Hold out your hand and wait; she’ll give you the doll when she’s ready.” When a toy squabble begins, sometimes it’s wise not to rush in and interfere. Give children time and space to work it out among themselves. Stay on the sidelines and observe the struggle. If the group dynamics are going in the right direction and the children seem to be working the problem out among themselves, stay a bystander. If the situation is deteriorating, intervene. Self-directed learning — with or without a little help from caregivers — has the most lasting value.

8. Time-sharing. Using a timer can help you referee toy squabbles. Johnny and Jimmy are having trouble sharing the toy. You intervene by asking each one to choose a number and the one who chooses the closest number to the one you thought of gets the toy first. You then set the timer. Two minutes is about right for younger children. You can ask older ones to wait longer. When the timer goes off, the toy goes to the second child for the same amount of time (though he has probably forgotten that he wanted it). You may have to sell children on the plan with an animated, simple explanation. Walk them through a cycle, starting with the older one or the one more likely to cooperate. For example, Stephen has the toy for two minutes. The buzzer goes off. Extract the toy from Stephen with talking and encouragement and hand it to Lauren, reassuring Stephen it will be his turn again when the buzzer goes off. It may take several cycles before a child can hand over the toy on her own, smiling because she knows she will get it back. A family in our practice who uses the timer method told us that it worked so well that the older sibling runs to her mother saying, “Mom, set the timer. Suzy won’t share.” External and internal timers help children learn valuable lessons for later life – how to take turns and how to delay gratification.

If the time method doesn’t work, time-out the toy. Put it on the shelf and explain that the toy stays there until they learn to share it. Children may sulk for a while as the toy sits unused, but sooner or later the realization hits that it’s better to share than to forfeit the toy completely. They will learn to compromise and cooperate so that everyone winds up winning.

9. Plan ahead. If your child has trouble sharing his toys and a playmate is coming over, ask the playmate’s parent to send toys along. Kids can’t resist toys that are new to them. Soon your child will realize that he must share his own toys in order to get his hands on his playmate’s. Or, if you are bringing your sharing child to the home of a non-sharing child, bring toys along. Some children develop a sense of justice and fairness at a very young age. One of our children didn’t want to return to a friend’s house because “he didn’t share.” We made this a teachable moment by praising him: “Aren’t you glad you like to share? I bet kids like to come to your house.”

10. Protect your child’s interests. If your child clings to his precious possessions, respect this attachment, while still teaching him to be generous. It’s normal for a child to be selfish with some toys and generous with others. Guard the prized toy. Pick it up if the other child tries to snatch it. You be the scapegoat. Ease your child into sharing. Before play begins, help your child choose which toys he will share with playmates and which ones he wants to put away or reserve for himself. You may have to play referee: “This is Susie’s special birthday toy. You may play with these other ones until she’s ready to share.” Respect ownership. The larger the family, the more necessary it is to arrive at a balance between respecting ownership and teaching sharing. Point out, “That’s Collin’s toy… but this one belongs to the whole family.” And, of course, encourage trading. Children easily learn the concept of family toys, such as television, which everyone shares. The mother of one large family with four close-in-age boys had a policy of the family toy pool — gifts were enjoyed by the new owner for one hour, then they joined the pool of toys. Special toys that needed individual care were set apart in the owner’s room.

11. Give your child opportunities to share. To encourage sharing, Janet gave four-year-old Benjamin a whole cookie with the request, “Please give some of the cookie to Robin.” He broke off a piece and gave it to her. It was good practice for Benjamin and, from his modeling, two-year-old Robin learned about sharing. Oftentimes, you can teach values to your younger children by using the older children as models. In this case, both the teacher and the student got a lesson in values, and Janet breathed a sigh of relief that Benjamin came through with the desired behavior.

Conventional wisdom says that a child doesn’t have a conscience until the “age of reason,” considered to be around seven years of age. Yet you begin nurturing a little conscience from birth. After watching how his models live and processing thousands of interactions during the early years, the child collects a large storage file of “normal behaviors,” a code of how he is supposed to behave. Once the child incorporates these internal codes (his norms) as part of his growing self, it bothers him to deviate from them.

Think of conscience as an internal “bother button” that goes off if a child thinks or acts contrary to the code he’s internalized. There’s also a positive side to a conscience—a child feels good inside when he does the right thing.

Between seven and ten years of age, a major breakthrough in moral reasoning occurs – the ability to figure out if an action is right or wrong, not because the parents said so or out of fear of punishment, but because the child knows it. This is the beginning of a true conscience. The child has internalized your values and made them his own, and now he starts gleaning others on his own. The key to conscience-building is to surround the growing child with healthy choices early on when he is inevitably exposed to unhealthy choices they will disturb him.

A conscience may not mature until the child is nine or ten, but it is built from birth. The child who enters the age of conscience without an internal reference file is at a disadvantage. Like a gardener who waited too late to plant crops, parents find that values taught later in childhood may take root, but the roots are not as deep as if they had been planted in the right season.

Beginning some time around six or seven years of age, or whenever you feel your child has the ability to understand, teach your child what a conscience is. Try what we call the “Pinocchio principle” with your child: “You will have two voices inside you, a ‘do right’ voice and a ‘do wrong’ voice. Sometimes the ‘do wrong’ voice is easier to listen to. It may even seem like more fun at the time; but when you choose to listen to it, you’ll know it was the wrong choice because you won’t feel right inside. Listen to the voice that tells you to do right. That’s the one that will make you happy.”

By the age of six Matthew showed the beginnings of a conscience. If I caught him beginning to fabricate an untruth, his eyes would meet mine and he would back of from his misdeed. As our eyes were engaged, he would start smiling (so would I), as if he were saying, “No, Dad, that’s not really true.” From the look Matthew gave me, I believe he felt that lying would breach our mutual trust, our connection. The truism “I cannot tell a lie” has some physiological basis for Matthew. He has been programmed toward truth and trust. Any deviation from his inner code disturbs his sense of well-being. ( Also see: Teaching Manners)

Ayto kai to τα υπολοιπα αρθρα, (και ακομα πιο πολλα)…εδω…

25 τροποι για να σε ακουσει το παιδι….δρ sears

Filed under: Uncategorized — womanzone @ 7:59 am

A major part of discipline is learning how to talk with children. The way you talk to your child teaches him how to talk to others. Here are some talking tips we have learned with our children:

1. Connect before you direct. Before giving your child directions, squat to your child’s eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get his attention. Teach him how to focus: “Mary, I need your eyes.” “Billy, I need your ears.” Offer the same body language when listening to the child. Be sure not to make your eye contact so intense that your child perceives it as controlling rather than connecting.

2. Address the child. Open your request with the child’s name, “Lauren, will you please…”

3. Stay brief. We use the one-sentence rule: Put the main directive in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf. Too much talking is a very common mistake when dialoging about an issue. It gives the child the feeling that you’re not quite sure what it is you want to say. If she can keep you talking she can get you sidetracked.

4. Stay simple. Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood.

5. Ask your child to repeat the request back to you. If he can’t, it’s too long or too complicated.

6. Make an offer the child can’t refuse. You can reason with a two or three-year-old, especially to avoid power struggles. “Get dressed so you can go outside and play.” Offer a reason for your request that is to the child’s advantage, and one that is difficult to refuse. This gives her a reason to move out of her power position and do what you want her to do.

7. Be positive. Instead of “no running,” try: “Inside we walk, outside you may run.”

8. Begin your directives with “I want.” Instead of “Get down,” say “I want you to get down.” Instead of “Let Becky have a turn,” say “I want you to let Becky have a turn now.” This works well with children who want to please but don’t like being ordered. By saying “I want,” you give a reason for compliance rather than just an order.

9. “When…then.” “When you get your teeth brushed, then we’ll begin the story.” “When your work is finished, then you can watch TV.” “When,” which implies that you expect obedience, works better than “if,” which suggests that the child has a choice when you don’t mean to give him one.

10. Legs first, mouth second. Instead of hollering, “Turn off the TV, it’s time for dinner!” walk into the room where your child is watching TV, join in with your child’s interests for a few minutes, and then, during a commercial break, have your child turn off the TV. Going to your child conveys you’re serious about your request; otherwise children interpret this as a mere preference.

11. Give choices. “Do you want to put your pajamas on or brush your teeth first?” “Red shirt or blue one?”

12. Speak developmentally correctly. The younger the child, the shorter and simpler your directives should be. Consider your child’s level of understanding. For example, a common error parents make is asking a three-year- old, “Why did you do that?” Most adults can’t always answer that question about their behavior. Try instead, “Let’s talk about what you did.”

13. Speak socially correctly. Even a two-year-old can learn “please.” Expect your child to be polite. Children shouldn’t feel manners are optional. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you.

14. Speak psychologically correctly. Threats and judgmental openers are likely to put the child on the defensive. “You” messages make a child clam up. “I” messages are non-accusing. Instead of “You’d better do this…” or “You must…,” try “I would like….” or “I am so pleased when you…” Instead of “You need to clear the table,” say “I need you to clear the table.” Don’t ask a leading question when a negative answer is not an option. “Will you please pick up your coat?” Just say, “Pick up your coat, please.”

15. Write it. Reminders can evolve into nagging so easily, especially for preteens who feel being told things puts them in the slave category. Without saying a word you can communicate anything you need said. Talk with a pad and pencil. Leave humorous notes for your child. Then sit back and watch it happen.

16. Talk the child down. The louder your child yells, the softer you respond. Let your child ventilate while you interject timely comments: “I understand” or “Can I help?” Sometimes just having a caring listener available will wind down the tantrum. If you come in at his level, you have two tantrums to deal with. Be the adult for him.

17. Settle the listener. Before giving your directive, restore emotional equilibrium, otherwise you are wasting your time. Nothing sinks in when a child is an emotional wreck.

18. Replay your message. Toddlers need to be told a thousand times. Children under two have difficulty internalizing your directives. Most three- year-olds begin to internalize directives so that what you ask begins to sink in. Do less and less repeating as your child gets older. Preteens regard repetition as nagging.

19. Let your child complete the thought. Instead of “Don’t leave your mess piled up,” try: “Matthew, think of where you want to store your soccer stuff.” Letting the child fill in the blanks is more likely to create a lasting lesson.

20. Use rhyme rules. “If you hit, you must sit.” Get your child to repeat them.

21. Give likable alternatives. You can’t go by yourself to the park; but you can play in the neighbor’s yard.

22. Give advance notice. “We are leaving soon. Say bye-bye to the toys, bye-bye to the girls…”

23. Open up a closed child. Carefully chosen phrases open up closed little minds and mouths. Stick to topics that you know your child gets excited about. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no. Stick to specifics. Instead of “Did you have a good day at school today?” try “What is the most fun thing you did today?”

24. Use “When you…I feel…because…” When you run away from mommy in the store I feel worried because you might get lost.

25. Close the discussion. If a matter is really closed to discussion, say so. “I’m not changing my mind about this. Sorry.” You’ll save wear and tear on both you and your child. Reserve your “I mean business” tone of voice for when you do.

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