Spotlight 1 Prompt 1

In recent history divorce has become less and less of a taboo in America and many places around the world. With that option being available to couples we have seen divorce rates steadily rise, for the most part, over the last few decades. With the growing popularity of divorce, it’s important to consider how it affects our children. Some people claim that it can have a lasting impact on someone for life, others say it can be overcome.

“Divorce Can Be Overcome” Articles:

Is Divorce Bad for Children?

This article claims that according to studies they found, divorce really has little impact on MOST children. Many grow up to be well adjusted and rarely suffer serious consequences early on in life. One study it looked at found that children may suffer from some side effects like anger, anxiety, and depression, but that they tend to go away within a two year time span. Another study suggested children who are exposed to conflict prior to the divorce often adjust even better when it happens as they are not as surprised, whereas a sudden divorce they couldn’t have seen coming may shock them, and some may even see the divorce as relief because of the conflict they saw. This article seemed trustworthy just because of how they sited studies as evidence for everything they said, every bit of it was backed up with evidence collected by other, probably more professional, researchers.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-divorce-bad-for-children/

Divorce Not Always Bad for Kids

This article looked specifically at studies who found that children of a bad marriage often ended up better off if their parents got divorced. Over the course of about 20 years or so, parents, and children of the parents, were interviewed at different ages. Parents were initially asked questions that helped to understand how much conflict was happening in their marriage. A later surveyed asked those parents new questions and tried to figure out if a divorce had occurred. A few years later the children, who would now be adults, were again surveyed and asked about how their current relationships had been faring. The surveys found that children who grew up in high conflict households usually turned out better if their parents had opted to get a divorce. In contrast to this, a happy marriage didn’t seem to have any impact on whether or not the children had positive relationships themselves later in life.

https://www.livescience.com/6648-divorce-bad-kids.html

“Divorce Has A Lasting Impact” articles:

A divorce can never be good for children no matter how amicable it is, says study

This study examined how children are affected within 3 different types of divorce; a “healthy one” in which the parents still talked to each other and rarely fought, parents who still payed childcare but did not talk, and divorces where one parent was completely gone. Each group was interviewed as children and adults, and each one gave very similar answers, which the article claims “debunks” the idea that divorces can be good. According to the study, the children of a healthy divorce often had less behavioral issues, but still suffered academically, with self esteem, and with drugs and alcohol. In fact the article claims that their grades were even worse than children who were missing a parent. The article quotes professional opinions on divorce, and it sites a study done by professionals, these two things really lend to its credibility in my opinion.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2095181/A-divorce-good-children-matter-amicable-says-study.html

How Could Divorce Affect My Kids?

This is another article that claims children will experience several of the same issues as the above article. Academic failure, drugs and alcohol use, delinquency, etc., as well as psychological and emotional issues lasting later into life. One study, done by Judith Wallerstein, interviewed several children multiple times between the 1970’s and the 1990’s. She expected children to recover but instead her findings revealed that many of the participants suffered from problems as adults, especially when moving into romantic relationships. She says that anxiety causes people to make poor decisions, giving up when problems occur, or just avoiding relationships altogether. More problems can be brought on if and when one parent finds a new spouse, introducing step-family which can act as more competition for attention from the original parent and can sometimes even lead to further separation between the child and the parent.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/divorce-and-infidelity/should-i-get-a-divorce/how-could-divorce-affect-my-kids#fn9

Conclusion

I have to take the side of the argument saying divorce is not a serious issue for children. It’s obvious that there is a risk for children to experience negative side effects to divorce, but several studies have found it to be fairly uncommon, and some studies even found divorce to be the better choice for your children’s sake, in the case of an unhealthy marriage. I think it’s really a very situational issue, some children may be hurt and some may recover, I think it goes beyond just the issue of divorce, and is likely impacted by the child’s own natural tendency toward the issues that are claimed to be caused by divorce. I know from personal experience that I turned out alright despite my parents divorce, but I also know people who had the opposite outcome. Like I said, it really depends on how prone the child naturally was to emotional scarring.


First Impression Week 6

Recreational legalization of marijuana has so many positives that I really struggle to think of cons. As for recreational legalization, it would help so many thing, such as giving less of a market to drug dealers and organized criminals. In doing that we would not only get rid of dangerous people but we would be taking the money they earn, and giving it to our government instead in the way of tax money. Tax money that can be used to fund schools, the construction of roads, strengthening our military, and a plethora of other useful things. Colorado alone made millions, if not over a billion dollars, in 2016 just off of taxing marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would even help our states save money that they would otherwise be putting into the prisons to help hold people convicted of drug related crimes. It also creates jobs, allowing an entire untapped market to be taken advantage of, and open new positions for people to work. Medically, marijuana is a big help in cancer treatment, helping to relieve some of the side effects from chemotherapy like nausea, and the form THC is given to people in those cases doesn’t even give the same high that you would get from smoking for fun. There really just isn’t a good reason to keep marijuana illegal that I can think of. The only arguments that I could even somewhat understand is how it would effect the same corporations who lobby against it, like private prisons. Any other arguments I’ve heard are often very flimsy, like “it’s dangerous” or “addictive”, both of which have been shown to be false time and time again. Alcohol and cigarettes are both far more dangerous and addictive than marijuana. I think that the idea that we still have this fairly harmless drug illegal in most of our states is ridiculous and completely unnecessary and it should, and likely will, be changed soon.


Week 3 First Impression (Prompt 1)

I think that parenting should be done from a distance. Not in such a way that you don’t develop a bond with your children, of course that’s important. You should be a loving caretaker. What I mean is that too often parents tend to be very controlling and strict. This is fine up to a certain age, in my opinion, ¬†around 15 years old. Up to about that point it’s obviously important to keep a short leash on your children, you have to make sure they’re safe until they’re capable of being responsible for themselves. As soon as they hit that point, I would say it’s time to turn into more of a “guiding hand” for your children. I don’t see it as the responsibility of the parents to lord over their kids, they should be free to make their own good and bad decisions and learn from their experiences instead of being kept sheltered. I for one have had the luxury of not having very strict parents, they don’t mind me doing most things so long as I don’t get caught doing them. I believe that that’s about the perfect level of strictness, and I think I’ve turned out pretty decent so far. I see people who have incredibly strict parents who do not allow them any freedom and I see their childhoods being taken away from them, and I think that’s sick. Of course, if a kid is making a serious mistake that could lead to them ruining their lives, at that point it is the parents job to take a more direct role.

I also hate when I see parents who try to manipulate their children’s thoughts and ideas and force their own ideologies upon them, it serves to do nothing but create unthinking clones of previous generations and I don’t see how that can benefit society at all. New ideas need to be allowed to form and be spread for the world to improve and parents often try to feed their children the same mindset they have. Instead of doing that, I think we ought to take a similar approach to what I said above. If a child comes to you to talk about politics or religion, don’t shove your views down their throats. Have a discussion with them and challenge them, let them come to their own conclusions.

My point in all of this is that parenting should be about bringing up a unique individual with their own experiences and ideas that they can put to use in adult life. If you try to be overbearing then your child will struggle to be their own person and suffer as a result, be it economically or emotionally. Freedom is needed to thrive.


Introduction

My name is Kevin Nix. I am currently a student at the Elizabethtown Area High School, taking this class as a dual enrollment course. As such I’m very anxious about taking on this class but I felt it a necessary challenge to start to bring me out of my comfort zone. I’m not necessarily a quiet and reserved person, but I’m not one for starting conversations so unless I were to be approached I doubt I’ll be getting to know any of you during the next few months.

Like I said before I chose this class because I wanted a newer, more difficult experience than what I’ve been used to thus far. I chose psychology because it’s a topic I’ve been interested in for a long time but aside from taking the high school class last year I have no background in it. That class barely satisfied my desire to delve further into the subject and I decided that if I’m going to take a college level class it might as well be this.

When I hear the word “psychology” I think of the study of the mind, the obvious answer. But beyond that I associate it with behavior. Why we act the way we do. Looking at the syllabus I am looking forward to attachment theory, moral development, and the entirety of mental illnesses. Attachment theory because it looks like it goes into what I previously stated to be interested in; our behavior. It’s a specific part of our behavior but that’s really all the better. Moral Development I’m looking forward to as morality is one of the more fascinating things about humans I think, why and how our morality and ideals grow and how much of it is nature v.s. nurture. Of course I have to be excited for mental illness. It’s just a cliche that someone who loves learning about the mind also loves learning about all the ways it can go wrong. I’m least excited for learning about the brain, the mechanics of sleep, and memory. The brain, while of course being an important aspect of psychology, seems to me to be more about the body. At least when studying the physical structure of the brain, and the body is something I have little interest in. The mechanics of sleep I remember covering in my high school psychology class and I just didn’t care that much about it. I can hardly recall what was even discussed in detail because it was just a boring topic to me. Memory on the other hand is new to me. I don’t think we covered it in the class I took but nonetheless, it doesn’t sound exciting. I have no real reason for this other than my immediate reaction to seeing it listed.

I can’t really say I have a specific question I want to have answered by this class. I just want to expand my overall knowledge of psychology. I guess if I had to choose, I hope this class shows me what aspects I really want to look into more, or if I really want to continue through the subject or look to other studies instead.