Dádìsì Speaks

Posts Tagged ‘Children’

FOR THE BOOKSHELF: SPOILED ROTTEN: Why do kids rule the roost?

In Authors, Culture, Parenting on 30/06/2012 at 18:55

It almost seems as if we’re trying to raise a nation of “adultescents.”

In 2004, Carolina Izquierdo, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, spent several months with the Matsigenka, a tribe of about twelve thousand people who live in the Peruvian Amazon. The Matsigenka hunt for monkeys and parrots, grow yucca and bananas, and build houses that they roof with the leaves of a particular kind of palm tree, known as a kapashi. At one point, Izquierdo decided to accompany a local family on a leaf-gathering expedition down the Urubamba River.

A member of another family, Yanira, asked if she could come along. Izquierdo and the others spent five days on the river. Although Yanira had no clear role in the group, she quickly found ways to make herself useful. Twice a day, she swept the sand off the sleeping mats, and she helped stack the kapashi leaves for transport back to the village. In the evening, she fished for crustaceans, which she cleaned, boiled, and served to the others. Calm and self-possessed, Yanira “asked for nothing,” Izquierdo later recalled. The girl’s behavior made a strong impression on the anthropologist because at the time of the trip Yanira was just six years old.

While Izquierdo was doing field work among the Matsigenka, she was also involved in an anthropological study closer to home. A colleague of hers, Elinor Ochs, had recruited thirty-two middle-class families for a study of life in twenty-first-century Los Angeles. Ochs had arranged to have the families filmed as they ate, fought, made up, and did the dishes.

Izquierdo and Ochs shared an interest in many ethnographic issues, including child rearing. How did parents in different cultures train young people to assume adult responsibilities? In the case of the Angelenos, they mostly didn’t. In the L.A. families observed, no child routinely performed household chores without being instructed to. Often, the kids had to be begged to attempt the simplest tasks; often, they still refused. In one fairly typical encounter, a father asked his eight-year-old son five times to please go take a bath or a shower. After the fifth plea went unheeded, the father picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom. A few minutes later, the kid, still unwashed, wandered into another room to play a video game.

In another representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, “How am I supposed to eat?” Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her. (cont … New Yorker)

23 years of Black Love: African boy + West Indian girl = Oluwatosin 6

In About Me, My Family on 28/05/2012 at 12:09

Mr. and Mrs. Oluwatosin at our eldest daughter Yejide’s college graduation

WOW!!!  Today marks our 23rd wedding anniversary.  That’s a very long time by today’s marital standards and I’m very happy to be able to say that I’ve been with this very special woman for all this time.  Since meeting each other we’ve been building family, doing our collective part for the health and well being of the Black community and watching our children grow and flourish in an environment of love.

And it’s that love, mutual respect and genuine like for one another that has kept us together.  We often reflect with one another at how special our family and what we have is to others.  People will often remark to us individually and as a couple how much they love our children and our family.

Our latest family photo at my daughter Yejide’s graduation from Howard University
(left-right: Amoye, Ifetayo, Yejide, Nioyonu, Ayinde and yours truly)

Those sentiments are not lost on us and they bring a certain joy to us knowing that our marriage inspires others.  Certainly there are distractions and forces that would attempt to come between what we have built but what marriages don’t have those issues.  Fortunately, the spirit of our ancestors, our real friends and our families will not ever allow that to happen.  In marriage there is a higher calling that transcends personal wants, desires and immaturity.

I see this more now than I ever have before. Which is why I’m writing this blog and sharing it with you.  Together we are strong and certainly apart we would never have what we have today.  Our most prised possession, our family.  To me family is what matters most and having a loving, caring, patient and meaningful marriage just brings it all together.

To that end I want to simply say Happy Anniversary to my lovely wife.  Thank you for putting up with me for all these years and may we have another 23 so that we can see our grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren have what we have as well.  Here’s to Black Love.

‘Elite’ stereotypes can stymie success in kids

In Education, Uncategorized on 25/05/2012 at 16:08

“These findings suggest we should be cautious in making pronouncements about the abilities of social groups such as boys and girls,” says study leader Andrei Cimpian. “Not only is the truth of such statements questionable, but they also send the wrong message about what it takes to succeed, thereby undermining achievement—even when they are actually meant as encouragement.”

U. ILLINOIS (US) —Generalizations about the skills or likely success of a social group—of boys or girls, for example—can sometimes undermine performance, a new study shows.

“Some children believe that their ability to perform a task is dictated by the amount of natural talent they possess for that task,” says University of Illinois psychology professor Andrei Cimpian, who led the study published in the journalPsychological Science.

“Previous studies have demonstrated that this belief can undermine their performance. It is important, therefore, to understand what leads children to adopt this belief,” adds Cimpian.

The researchers hypothesized that exposure to broad generalizations about the abilities of social groups induces children to believe that success depends on “natural talent.” If the hypothesis were correct, then hearing messages such as “girls are very good at this task,” should impair children’s performance by leading them to believe that success depends primarily on innate talent and has little to do with factors under their control, such as effort.

Two experiments with 4- to 7-year-olds showed that the children performed more poorly after they were exposed to information that associated success on a given task with membership in a certain social group, regardless of whether the children themselves belonged to that group.

“These findings suggest we should be cautious in making pronouncements about the abilities of social groups such as boys and girls,” Cimpian says.

“Not only is the truth of such statements questionable, but they also send the wrong message about what it takes to succeed, thereby undermining achievement—even when they are actually meant as encouragement.”

The research team also included scientists from Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangdong, China; and Carnegie Mellon University. (cont … Futurity.org)