Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dangerous Child Basic Survival Training: Baby Boot Camp

The Dangerous Child Method of Early Childhood Education should be implemented very early in life. Some skills and competencies can be introduced before children learn to walk and talk. Other skills -- such as the survival skills listed below -- should be taught as soon as the child can comprehend the need. Safety, as always, is paramount in the early training.
Don’t underestimate your kids either. Give them age-appropriate responsibilities and allow them to help you when you perform the necessary tasks for survival. The more familiar a child is with a certain task, the more confident they will be if ever a day comes when it is necessary for them to perform that task without your supervision. One of the things I’ve recently been working on with my daughter is keeping the fire going in the wood stove. Initially she was very leery of adding a log to the fire, but after a few weeks of it, she is becoming a pro. Teaching children to build a fire is one of the most basic survival skills that everyone must know.

Likewise, kids need to learn to be comfortable and respectful of firearms and other weapons, and this can only come through practice. Take for example the recent case of a 12 year old girl who shot an intruder through her bathroom door when she was home alone and forced to defend herself. One day you may have to depend on your child to save your life by providing backup in the event of an emergency where law enforcement doesn’t exist. Or, perhaps it will be your young adult who will be out hunting for wild game to put food on the table while you engage in other tasks.

...The fact is, family or group members all need to possess the minimum skills needed to run and protect the homestead.... life will be full of risks and danger. Your survival could one day depend on your 12 year-old’s ability to build a fire in the wood stove and keep it going. Mom might have to be able to shoot an intruder bent on robbing the homestead when dad is away hunting.

We must remember to stretch ourselves in order to become better at prepping and living a preparedness lifestyle. It is paramount that we remove those gender and age defined roles and stereotypes so that more than one person has the ability to perform the self-reliant skills that are vital for a family’s survival.

Some essential skills all members of your team must know:
_Survival Cross Training

The list above is just the beginning. Children must learn cross country navigation and travel skills, rescue skills, and how to survive in an urban setting as well as in a wilderness setting. Dangerous Children will learn to help defend themselves and their families in a wide range of threatening situations, using a wide range of tools of defense. Dangerous Children should master enough skills to be able to independently support themselves financially at least three different ways, by the age of 18.

Because there are so many skills and competencies to be learned, training for a dangerous childhood must begin at an early age. The necessary intensity of the training should be balanced by a playful approach, which is appropriately modified as the child grows older, more skilled, and more mature.

And remember: It is never too late to have a dangerous childhood.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Using Biofeedback to Help Train Your Dangeorus Child

It is not easy to raise a truly dangerous child. Necessary, yes, but not easy. As we learn more about brain development, we are likely to develop better tools to assist us in this difficult work.

Biofeedback is one such tool which is likely to be of great help in dangerous child training, to assist the child in learning to keep a level head.
A new game developed at Boston Children's Hospital... helps children with anger problems to control their temper, so they’ll get along better with other people.

The game, appropriately called RAGE Control, requires the young player to shoot at enemy spaceships while sparing friendly ones. The child’s heart rate is monitored and displayed on the screen, via a sensor attached to one of their fingers. As long as they keep calm and their heart rate stays below a certain threshold, they can keep blasting at the spaceships. If they lose control and their heart rate goes too high, however, they lose the ability to shoot – the only way to regain that ability is to calm back down and lower their heart rate. _Gizmag
Dangerous children are taught a broad range of skills -- including several skills which could be hazardous to the health of the child and those around him, if they are misused. Emotional control is one critical skill which, if mastered, will help to make the mastery of other dangerous skills much safer.

The biofeedback method used in the Boston Children's Hospital game is quite primitive. Heart rate is a couple of levels removed from actual brain function -- which is what we are truly concerned with. A better approach would be to use neurofeedback, which will allow for more precise monitoring and response over a wide range of emotions.

The concept of developmental windows is crucial in the training of emotional control and executive functions. This type of training is best done between the ages of 4 years and 7 years.

Emotional resiliency and emotional mastery are skills which should become intuitive before the child reaches puberty. If the parents neglect this training, they are in for some turbulent years ahead.

Remediation is possible if developmental windows are missed. But only to a limited degree. If you want to save yourselves worlds of trouble in the training of your dangerous children, you will want to act in a timely and well sequenced manner.

Adolescent Psychiatry

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

5 Year Project by Antonio Damasio to Look at Music and Child Brain Development

Famed neuroscientist Antonio Damasio and associates at USC will follow children for 5 years -- during the period between roughly the ages of 6 years old up to 12 years old -- in order to qualify and quantify the effects of high intensity music training on brain development.

Childhood music training has been linked to superior language skills, better math skills, and enhanced creativity. The study described in the article below should add significant information in relationship to those questions.
Researchers at USC Brain and Creativity Institute will explore the effects of intense music training on cognitive development...The five-year research project, Effects of Early Childhood Musical Training on Brain and Cognitive Development, will offer USC researchers an important opportunity to provide new insights and add rigorous data to an emerging discussion about the role of early music engagement in learning and brain function.

Starting when the children are between the age of 6 and 7, to ages 11 and 12, the researchers will use standard psychological assessments and advanced brain imaging techniques to track brain, emotional and social development. The group of children involved in the YOLA at HOLA program will be compared to a control group of children matched in age, socio-economic status and cognitive abilities, but with no musical training.

All children will be followed for five consecutive years, providing a rare chance for researchers to discover the effects of musical training on emotional, social and cognitive aspects of development as they actually occur, rather than inferring later-life effects. The USC Brain and Creativity Institute team began working with YOLA at HOLA students in September 2012. _NeuroscienceNews
The young human brain passes through developmental windows -- or critical periods of development -- when specific brain plasticity leading to the ability to learn particular skills becomes optimal. After these windows for specific cognitive skills are closed, it is more difficult for the child to develop those skills to a mastery level.

This is true not only for musical skills, but for foreign language skills -- and probably for some cognitive skills that lead to later mastery of some forms of higher mathematics.

The early and middle childhood years are quite precious in terms of fortifying the child's brain for meeting the difficult challenges he will meet in the future. Modern societies typically squander these early years -- despite what is already known about critical windows of development.

The truly explosive knowledge regarding developmental windows of opportunity is likely yet to be discovered.