by

December 7, 2022

 

Parents are struggling to find childcare during the pandemic

In Los Angeles, L. A. Unified begins experimenting with a new tutoring and childcare program to help children struggling to learn during the pandemic. The program is showing early signs of success, with plans to expand over the next 5 years.

Many students are regressing on learning skills during this time, with nearly 75% of parents saying their child has lost valuable skills. This program helps combat that loss with one on one tutoring along with providing technology and internet access to low-income families in order to help them continue to learn.

This solution is fairly expensive, coming in cost wise over a million dollars, but was funded generously through grants from philanthropists and community members. This is a feasible way to help ensure that students are still learning during COVID-19


Motherhood and School

“What’s the point of trying?” A constant thought that roams my mind on a daily basis. Restless nights, lack of energy, worthlessness, guilt, worry, and the list goes on.

You would think, “What can she possibly be going through at such a young age?”

Let me tell you, being a mother, daughter, student and friend all in one isn’t so easy.

I began to think that the reason I felt this way was because of my postpartum depression. I thought that this was only going to be the first few months of motherhood. It became more than that when it began to interfere with my education and personal life.

My concentration got worse by the day, I couldn’t stand sitting in a chair for so long without wanting to run away. I felt people’s eyes all over me when I’d be gone for a while; it’s like this rush of anxiety would creep up on me. I wouldn’t want to return to school the next day. The days began to accumulate and my average was just getting lower by the day.

My brain wouldn’t rest just thinking about how stupid I am, that I can’t ever get or do anything right. I hit my head over and over as a punishment.I cried in the mirror frustrated at all these things going on in my head. My own family didn’t recognize me, the darkness was taking over me. I distanced myself several times, I’d be locked in my room, and I wouldn’t even come out to eat. I felt like nobody noticed the crisis I was going through, I felt like my presence didn’t matter.

I constantly thought about taking my life away, but then that’s when I would snap out of it. I couldn’t abandon the little person I gave life to. I promised I would give her the world and be the best role model there is, but how was I going to do it when I felt the demons beside me? That’s when I thought that maybe if I spoke about what I was feeling, I would get the help I need. It took me a lot to actually go to my doctor and open up about everything I was feeling. It felt unusual to have to talk about such dark emotions to someone else without having them think that you’re suicidal or delusional.

At the moment that my doctor told me that it was normal, my heart felt a relief. She prescribed me anti-depressants and had me meet with a counselor every other week. It felt nice to have somebody to talk to especially when they specialize in dealing with other people’s emotions.

I can’t say that solved all my problems, it puts like a temporary pause on everything for me. Depression and anxiety can be treated but cannot disappear, it will always be there but just know how to control it. My heart still skips a beat now and then, and my hands still fidget when I begin to feel anxious. It just motivates me to push 10x harder than the usual because life is full of obstacles that we have to learn to overcome.

Between 80 and 60 percent of students that are diagnosed with depression and anxiety are not getting treatment. Check on your students, friends, family, etc. Because you never really know what they go through.


Mommy and Student at the Same Time

Hi my name is Lizeth. I am at school right now and my goal is to graduate, but it is not that easy having two kids. I was born in Mexico. I have two important things that have happened to me. They were when I became a mom for the first time and most recently I had my second son. Currently, I live in Austin.

I like to get my credits done fast, so I can graduate. Luckily at my school classes are on a computer and get to do them fast. I think i’m good at math more than other subjects. I enjoy when I get a class credit done. I think that I am good at being a mom and  I got good at this from having kids.

I know at least one person who is close to me that has dropped out of high school because they were not able to finish. I don’t know the reasons why but I think maybe it is because she did not have enough support from her parents, or maybe it was because she had a baby and did not have anybody to take care of her child. I don’t know her reasons why she dropped out, but I don’t blame her. It is not that easy to be a student and be a mother at the same time. It is a challenge that all pregnant teenagers go through. They have to decide between their kids or to study, or you could try to graduate like I am working hard to finish.


My Motivation

  Am I a good mother? This question is difficult to answer, though there are mothers all around me. Society defines a teen mom as someone who doesn’t finish high school. In fact a friend once told me after I told him I was pregnant, “you’re not going to finish high school. You’re so dumb, and you will probably never be anyone in life.”

     To the society that thought I would not finish high school, I put my head up. I knew if i had a kid, it would not ruin my plans in what I want to be in life. I know many people had thoughts in their head that if I got pregnant I would not finish high school. Something I promised to my mom when she found out I got pregnant was that no matter what people say, I will finish high school. So i promised that to my mom and I also knew that I would be a good for my baby and me. If you have met my baby, you will know that even though I’m a young mother he is not mistake for me. He is the inspiration in what motivated me to keep on studying and to try my best.

    Being a good mother can also be when you see your baby sick you obviously you have to take him to the doctor. You know when your baby is sick you have to give him his medication when time indicates. A good mom needs to pay more attention to your kid then normal. Also you have to have patience and understand that your kid going to be fussy and whiny when he is not feeling good. Think of how exhausted and stressed out I would be when my kid is sick. While my kid and their health and comfort are a top priority, it’s worth noting that when my kid is sick, you’re also miserable: They’re not sleeping so you’re not sleeping; They want to be held so it’s almost impossible to get anything else done.

     A mama bear needs to stick with their kid whenever they’re facing a consequences and never leave them alone.  Mama bears always have to try to have this “bestfriend talk”. When they are feeling sad try to make them laugh.Put courage in what they are doing and know that you may face difficult problems in which we will fix. But, as his mother, I will always stick by his side no matter what .Im just try be they best mom my son could have .


How to raise kids into healthy young adults?

There isn’t any magic formula to parenting. There are countless factors going into raising a kid with innumerable decisions that have to be made in trying to decide how to handle your children. One parenting style that I see more and more of in the modern age is the coddling “helicopter parent”. While the helicopter parent strategy seems fine on paper it can do a lot more harm to kids than what good it does, most kids with some degree of helicopter parents will likely have some disdain for their parents’ invading behaviors. Young people in these situations often have little to no privacy, they have no freedom to do things on their own, and their parents are constantly breathing down their necks through monitoring their location, their texts, and their activities. This overbearing style of parenting produces young adults with many issues in taking on independence and looking out for themselves overall, so how should parents be acting alternatively?

 

A GoodTherapy.org article puts it quite well in saying, “In order for teens to grow up, they need to have the opportunity to experience the freedom of making their own decisions (age appropriate) and the opportunity to learn from mistakes. When parents place a certain level of trust in their teen, the teen will be more likely to respect the parents as well as their rules.”  Parents should be overseeing their children, but as they move into becoming teenagers and becoming adults they need to have experiences that let them learn real lessons for themselves. They have to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. They have to get stung to learn how to avoid painful or stressful situations. The skills and knowledge that young people acquire during this time in their lives are lessons that they can use for their entire lives, and will come real handy during their transitions into adulthood. In order for young people to slowly become adults they have to at some point begin to be treated like one, if they are denied any real responsibility throughout their youth they will be dependent and frankly unable to care for themselves properly when the time comes.

 

A 2017 Business Insider article outlined some of the traits that the parents of successful kids have in common. The list includes things like giving your kids chores, teaching them social skills, setting high expectations, teaching grit, etc. It also includes things like higher socioeconomic statuses and attaining higher education levels, things that aren’t available to all parents, but the other items on the list are things that really do check out for having positive effects on children. There is no recipe for producing well mannered and confident kids, but there are definitely actions that can lead children in the right direction, and parents should be taking advantage of every such opportunity.  The fate of the next generation is greatly effected by the actions of the parents, and the world isn’t getting any friendlier, so parents really have to be on the top of their game. 


The Unforeseen Consequences of Helicopter Parenting

Helicopter parenting is a style of overbearing parenting that can have adverse effects on young people through stifling their course of self growth and independence. A 2018 study on some of the results of helicopter parents said that they are “characterized as overly involved, protective parents who provide substantial support (e.g., financial, emotional, physical health advice) to their emerging adult children, often intervening in their affairs and making decisions for them”. Helicopter parenting seems to be on the rise lately, as more and more parents keep a tight leash on their children in an effort to protect them. The intentions of these behaviors are often well meaning, but the long term effects typically do not help the kids in their transitions into independence and self reliance.

 

A 2016 study on college students at a large university in the U.S. surveyed students for autonomy support from parents, helicopter like behaviors in parents, degree of self efficacy, anxiety levels, depression symptoms, life satisfaction, and physical health in an attempt to uncover correlations between autonomy support and positive behavior traits and overparenting’s connection to negative characteristics. Through this scientific study they produced results that weren’t surefire and still require more support and more surveying, but from what they did collect they could draw results supporting the development of self autonomy in young people and and how that ability connects to other aspects of life. They concluded through their data that “higher levels of autonomy support were related to higher life satisfaction and better physical health,” and that “Helicopter parenting was significantly and inversely related to self-efficacy”. These results support a part of their hypothesis predicting that parenting traits supporting autonomy would lead to healthier people while helicopter parenting would lead to a lack of self efficacy and independence. For college students who are just beginning to enter into a version of the “real world”, self efficacy is a critical behavior trait that plays into their daily life and success in their education and personal health. They did state that “Autonomy support was significantly and positively related to self-efficacy, …. but not directly related to anxiety nor depression,” which was unexpected to me, but based upon the data they collected there was not a connection to anxiety or depression through the development of autonomy, however, self efficacy is still a vital ability for all growing people moving into adulthood. This study produced basic evidence for the positive results of autonomy support from parents, while highlighting some of the drawbacks of helicopter parenting.

 

While for some parents it is not easy to let your kids have some freedom, I think that without giving them exposure during their youth and letting them face and handle difficulty they will be brutally unprepared for the problems they encounter after they fly the coop. I’ve worked with kids over the past two years as a ski instructor and the amount of parents who barely give their kids breathing space during the day is shocking. I understand that the world is quickly changing and it can be scary to let your kids be exposed to a lot of the danger present around us, but they need the space to grow independently, with parent support of course. Young people need opportunities to put their bright minds to work problem solving and learning about their surroundings, if someone caters to their every need they will come to a harsh reality when they encounter life on their own upon moving out or heading off to college. What have you seen helicopter parenting do in your life? Would you consider your parents to be helicopter parents?

 

Works Cited

Reed, Kayla, et al. “Helicopter Parenting and Emerging Adult Self-Efficacy: Implications for Mental and Physical Health.” Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 25, no. 10, June 2016, pp. 3136–3149., doi:10.1007/s10826-016-0466-x.


Overprotective Parenting Leads to Struggling Young People

Overprotective parents cause for all kinds of problems in kids, essentially through preventing them from learning how to handle difficult situations on their own, an indispensable skill for all people. Through the removal of risks, challenges, fears, and hurt feelings children are stripped of opportunities for growth and development necessary for their growth into more freedom and independence. Many kids are treated as exceedingly fragile in multiple ways, and through this treatment they are made to be so. In order for our emerging youth to be the strong independent people they need to be in this evolving world, they need to have parents that give them opportunities to learn how to solve problems for themselves, which often requires failure before success, something we’ve come to reject.

Allowing our kids freedom to grow and learn on their own is critical for their development, as well as their current lives. A 2013 UK study directed by Professor Dieter Wolke found that “Children with overprotective parents were 10 per cent more likely to be bullied. Positive parenting traits (authoritative parenting, communication, involvement, support, warmth and affection) made children 19 per cent less likely to be bullied.” Life isn’t always friendly, there are situations where you have to stick up for yourself, despite others doing you wrong. These are lessons best learned early to be employed throughout your life, because bullies do not go away despite involvement from authority figures. Everyone has spats of dispute in their life, and has to find a way to deal with them. Beyond handling social issues, simple problem solving is something that I see young people struggle with quite often when they are without help from an older person. This reliance on external aid directly leads into learned helplessness and an inability to solve problems with critical thinking on your own, an important life skill. I’ve seen high school students often come across situations where instead of looking for a solution on their own first they immediately ask a teacher or adult how they should do something, and while this may come from not wanting to do something wrong, it makes you wonder what some people would do without people constantly around them to help them throughout the day.

I am not trying to say that parents shouldn’t be there to help their kids deal with difficult or stressful situations, but there is a big difference between solving their problems for them and solving their problems with them. In the report of the study on bullying Professor Wolke says, “children need to deal with stressful situations in mild doses to learn how to cope.” I think this is accurate, in that parents shouldn’t be leaving their kids to figure it all out on their own, but shielding them off from all resemblances of difficulty makes for a person who is unable to handle hardship and will cause lots of problems later on in their life. Raising a child is not easy, and there are a lot of lessons that you have to try and teach your kids for them to grow into strong young people, but dealing with difficulties is a part of life, and as they grow older, no matter how protective you are through their youth, they will be confronted with these realities. There is a necessity for young kids to have some independence in their problem solving and social interaction in order for them to be able to deal with whatever life throws at them. The overprotective coddling parenting styles of today’s age stifle the learning in young people and cause them to be unprepared for challenges they will face later in life, but it is hard to manage that balance of being overbearing and letting the leash too loose. So the question is how do we allow kids to learn things independently yet keep them safe and healthy? It’s hard to say what really is the best way to promote independence while still upholding a safe tether.

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/parenting/