Swiftwater Journey

faith, culture, and growing up in a rapidly changing world

Seeds of adult dishonesty are sown in youth, study finds — latimes.com October 29, 2009

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting — billmacphee @ 9:20 am
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Seeds of adult dishonesty are sown in youth, study finds — latimes.com.767369_38876239web

This study by the Josephson Institute of Ethics raises concerns about the commitment to honesty among young people today.

While it is easy for adults to emote in knee-jerk reaction about the lowering morals among kids today, I was struck by the reality that so many adult role models, especially “famous” ones, bend morality and truth to fit their own path to “success.” I’m also intrigued that the study hints at the increasing, and what seems to be overwhelming, pressure placed on adolescents by parents, education, coaches, and even churches. Is it possible that kids are running from the pervasive adult agendas to perform and in an attempt to find equilibrium decide it is acceptable to lie and cheat in order to get by?

One quote from the report is stunning:

More than eight in ten students (83 percent) from public schools and religious private schools confessed they lied to a parent about something significant. Students attending non-religious independent schools were somewhat less likely to lie to parents (78 percent).

Moralistic condemnation of young people has little long term impact on their character or internal integrity. Rather it is the powerful authentic presence of truth-living adults who fuel identity development based on unconditional acceptance, love, and careful boundary making.

Before we get up on our moral high-horse we’ve got to be honestly self-reflective about our own practice. USA Today reports research about the prevalence of parents lying to their kids.

The seeds of dishonesty may be sown in childhood but the fertilizer and water often flow from adults. Our kids are watching and their radar is keen.


Falcon’s name is Falcon, not “——n boy” October 26, 2009

Filed under: Adolescence,Parenting — billmacphee @ 9:28 am
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The Los Angeles Times reports today on the top five YouTube searches for the week ending Friday, October 23, 2009.

The fourth most viewed video [right after #3 – “Bounce” by Jonas Brothers and #2 – “Drunkest Guy Ever Goes for More Beer”] is titled ‘”Balloon Boy” Falcon Heene Admits: “We Did This for the Show.”‘ The Times also reports that “Balloon Boy” was the third most popular search on Google for the same week.

i am real

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names” … and labels and rampant media highlights can scar an individual boy for life. You and I, and all the caring adults that come into contact with Falcon these next days must look into his eyes, see past the flip pseudonyms, find ways to separate out what his parents have done to him, and love and respect him as a real person. He is a boy with a name, a name that is not concocted from what he has done or experienced, or determined by how we view him, but because he is created in the image of the one who knew him before he was born.

May we learn from Falcon how to love each person we meet without putting them in a box created by our preconceived categories designed to shortcut taking each other more seriously.

I had originally considered posting a photo of Falcon [his image is all over the internet] but refrained because he deserves more privacy than notoriety.


What I’ve Found Interesting This Week | 10/23/09 October 24, 2009

Filed under: Adolescence — billmacphee @ 11:59 am

New Research Explores How Different Generations View and Use the Bible

Younger generations view the Bible as less sacred, less accurate, more universalism, skepticism of origins, less engagement, but more Bible appetite.

Stereotypes Can Fuel Teen Misbehavior

Parents: the expectations we have for our kids have a powerful influence on how they perceive themselves.

Teenage sex survey shocks parents

What’s more, they’re spending almost as much energy keeping their actions secret from parents and guardians. Kids in Kenya without enough adult care and attention.


Leonard Kleinrock: Mr. Internet — latimes.com

Filed under: Adolescence,Technology — billmacphee @ 11:30 am
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Leonard Kleinrock: Mr. Internet — latimes.com.

One of the “true” fathers of the Internet makes an insightful observation about the downside of the Internet:

Kids have retreated out of the physical world into the cyber world. It gives them a larger reach, [but] they’re not getting out in the sun, playing with other kids and looking in their eyes and watching their body language as much as they used to, which I think is a shame and can create a kind of indifference in the way in which you deal with your peers. Excesses include things like notifying your significant other [by computer] that you’re no longer significant to them.

I resonate with his lament that we [not just kids] look into one another’s eyes and observe body language less carefully and intentionally. Communicating through texting is revolutionary, efficient, and to be used. But take time to do some non-judgmental yet careful observation of yourself and others as you pay attention to the tiny screen in your hands. Do our conversations with those physically present often or regularly get interrupted by the diversion of our eyes to the email, text, or call? Mine do, and I’m trying to be more present and aware.


Colleges See Rise In Mental Health Issues : NPR October 22, 2009

Colleges See Rise In Mental Health Issues : NPR.

Whether the rise in mental illness among college students is due to an actual increase or better reporting or treatment, the astounding fact is that 15% of current college students report having been diagnosed with depression sometime in their lives. Some make an argument that today’s adolescents have been over-medicated. From my perspective it is undeniable that navigating the path to adulthood is stressful and debilitating. With less stable social support and capitol college students need a few attentive adults paying close attention.

The audio clips included in this piece are intriguing.