Lies

This study shows children who are lied to by their parents, lie back to their parents later in life.

Adults who reported being lied to more as children, were more likely to report lying to their parents in their adulthood. They also said they faced greater difficulty in meeting psychological and social challenges. Adjustment difficulties include disruptiveness, conduct problems, experience of guilt and shame, as well as selfish and manipulative character…

The first questionnaire asked participants to recall if their parents told them lies that related to eating; leaving and/or staying; children’s misbehaviour; and spending money. Some examples of such lies are “If you don’t come with me now, I will leave you here by yourself” and “I did not bring money with me today, we can come back another day.”

“Authority assertion over children is a form of psychological intrusiveness, which may undermine children’s sense of autonomy and convey rejection, ultimately undermining children’s emotional well-being. Future research should examine the nature of the lies and goals of the parents so that researchers can suggest what kind of lies to avoid, and what kind of truth-telling parents should engage in.”

The relationship between authoritarianism and lying is well-understood. Authoritarians lie. My trainer reminded us to be “always authoritative, never authoritarian.”

Writing

Here’s a nice article on how writing is good for you.

Psychologists have long understood that personal, emotion-focused writing can help people recognize and come to terms with their feelings. Since the 1980s, studies have found that “the writing cure,” which normally involves writing about one’s feelings every day for 15 to 30 minutes, can lead to measurable physical and mental health benefits. These benefits include everything from lower stress and fewer depression symptoms to improved immune function. And there’s evidence that handwriting may better facilitate this form of therapy than typing.

Free Lunch

I’ve been told, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” However this study shows that when children receive a universal free lunch, they do better on tests.

Consider these lines from The Montessori Method (by Dr. M. Montessori, George translation):

We have placed it within the house as the property of the collectivity, leaving under the eyes of the parents the whole life of the teacher in the accomplishment of her high mission. This idea of collective ownership of the school is new and very beautiful and profoundly educational…

We are all familiar with the ordinary advantages of the communistic transformation of the general environment. For example, the collective use of railway carriages, of street lights, of the telephone, all these are great advantages. The enormous production of useful articles, brought about by industrial progress, makes possible to all, clean clothes, carpets, curtains, table-delicacies, better tableware, etc. The making of such benefits generally tends to level social caste. All this we have seen in its reality. But the communising of persons is new. That the collectivity shall benefit from the services of the servant, the nurse, the teacher–this is a modern ideal

Leveling social caste around the dinner table is not a new idea. It’s a Montessori idea. She wrote about it in 1912. A “communising” experience is a part of an authentic Montessori school.

I Don’t Want To Take A Nap

I have been told that it’s a well-known fact that children need to take a nap for their health.

“The impact of night sleep on children’s development and health is increasingly documented, but to date there is not sufficient evidence to indicate the value of prolonging napping, whether at home or in childcare contexts, once sleep has consolidated into night,” write the researchers.

The idea that naps are good for two-year-olds is not supported by science. However there is some incomplete evidence that napping may negatively affect overall sleep quality.

Seven Times As Likely To Have ADHD

Compared with children who had less than 30 minutes of screen time per day, children exposed to more than two hours were five times more likely to exhibit clinically significant “externalizing” behavioural problems such as inattention — and are more than seven times more likely to meet the criteria for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD),

This is a new study from Canada.

Current Canadian guidelines call for no more than two hours of screen time a day at that age. But our research suggests that less screen time is even better.

Government guidelines vary from country to country. The worldwide scientific consensus is that the best amount of screen time including smartphones, tablets, and televisions, is zero.

Books Are Made Of Paper

A study shows that toddlers are more interested in books than the same story read from an electronic screen, and are more interested in you when you’re reading from a book than a screen.

Researchers from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital found parents and toddlers interacted more when reading print books together.

“Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.”

Misophonia

There was a piece on NPR this week about misophonia. Here’s an excerpt:

FULTON: When researchers put people in an MRI scanner and played trigger sounds like chewing and eating, he says you could see the difference.

GANDER: In the misophonia group, the activity was far greater in particular areas of their brain.

FULTON: And they showed classic signs of stress.

GANDER: Their heart rate increased, and also, their palms were sweating more.

MARSHA JOHNSON: It was phenomenal. It was the first piece of research that showed our population that they – what they have is real.

This sounds quite serious and I wondered why I had never heard of misophonia before. But the doctor on the radio said misophonia “is real,” so it must be. I decided to learn more.

A short web search lead me to Misophonia.com which says, “Being exposed to a trigger sound creates an immediate negative emotional response. This response can range from moderate discomfort to panic or rage. Fight or flight reactions are not uncommon. During a trigger event, a person may become agitated, defensive, or even offensive.” So a person hears a particular noise, like chewing of food or a sneeze, and that person loses self-control and is compelled to run and hide, or lash out in anger, sometimes dangerously. I find this idea terrifying.

Paul Dion of Misophonia.com has appeared on the news.

I wondered if I might already know a few children who have misophonia, and I felt relieved that their unique sensitivities have an explanation, and a path to a cure.

A few clicks later and I found information on a website which offers counseling and coaching, SensitiveToSound.com:

The term “Misophonia” was coined in 2001 by Drs. Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff. Previously, the same condition was identified by Dr. Marsha Johnson, AudD, who in 1999 called it “Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome,” or 4S. Although there has been increasing awareness of Misophonia in both the medical community and in the public, there is, to date, no diagnostic code for this condition, either in the ICD-10 (the updated code directory used by medical practitioners worldwide) nor in the DSM-5 (the updated code directory used by mental health practitioners worldwide).

Without a code, there is no “official” diagnosis for Misophonia, and no insurance billing directly possible.

In January, 2013, a group of psychiatrists in Amsterdam who have been investigating this condition proposed a specific diagnostic picture that is unique to Misophonia/4S, which defines the disorder in the manner of any other disorder contained in the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) as follows…

SensitiveToSound.com continues to list out the proposed diagnostic criterion for misophonia. I emphasize the word proposed because the NPR piece left me with an impression that an impartial doctor was informing me about a disease. And now after a short search I discover that this doctor has an agenda to get the existence of misophonia accepted by her peers, and that after twenty years her efforts have been unsuccessful.

A few more clicks shows that SensitvetoSound.com is the personal website of Dr. Jaffe, who was featured on NPR’s piece, and who prefers to go by “Dr. J.” She sells in-person and video-conference counseling services, which diagnosing no “officially” recognized illness, are payable to Dr. J herself out of pocket.

Just to be sure I searched the DSM-5 and the IDC-10 and the word “misophonia” is not contained in either. It’s also not in Merriam Webster’s dictionary. This may be connected to the reason why I’ve never heard of this sensational illness before the NPR story came out.

I wish NPR had let me know that the existence of misophonia was in doubt and not accepted by the medical community at large. I feel flummoxed that they did not. It is perhaps easier to put ideas on radio waves than into scientific manuals.

I kept looking for more information on misophonia. I found that there is at least one other person who will sell you a cure, such as Dr. Tom Dozier of The Misophonia Institute. His treatment involves a small hearing aid type device which produces white noise (the shushing sound made by a radio tuned to no station). “The cost can range from $2.000 to $4,000 for a pair.” You pay for this out of pocket, and it is only available from The Misophonia Institute, which also offers hypnotherapy.

The Misophonia Institute is located in Livermore, California on the eastern edge of The San Francisco Bay Area. Unlike with Dr. J, all treatment is in person so you must travel to it. The address is listed on their website. I looked it up on Google maps.

It’s Dr. Dozier’s house? Is this where the hypnotherapy occurs? Is this the entire Misophonia Institute?

I found one other notable article about misophonia by James Cartreine, PhD who says, “it is a real disorder.” More or less all the articles I can find about misophonia contain a sentence of this nature — it is real — while leaving out the facts that World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association, after twenty years of consideration, do not support this assertion.

Pretty much every article I can find about misophonia also cites the MRI study that Dr. Johnson cited in the NPR piece. As far as I can tell, no other study is ever cited because their experimental results have never been replicated. “Most of the published literature exploring misophonia has been conducted using individual case descriptions or a series of case reports among small samples of adults self-reporting symptoms.

But enough of the Internet, I thought. It can be such a confusing place. I should log off and read a book about misophonia. I checked the Portland Public Library. Tragically, my keyword search results in “Nothing found for misophonia.” Perhaps my small town library is simply not sophisticated enough to accommodate the vast set of heavy tomes about misophonia. So I searched The Library Of Congress. “No records matched your query.” How strange. What about the The Ottawa Public Library in good old, trustworthy Canada? Again it’s “Nothing found for misophonia.” The London Library: “Results.” The National Library of Ireland: Nothing. The National Library of Israel: “No records found.” Could it be that I can’t read a book about misophonia because there aren’t any?

Luckily I remembered about the world’s largest book store, Amazon.com, which (a quick search reveals) has a book about misophonia! Finally. And it’s by Dr. Tom Dozier himself. Understanding and Overcoming Misophonia: A Conditioned Aversive Reflex Disorder (2nd Edition). The publisher listed is “CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.” A visit to their website shows that:

You can now manage your CreateSpace content on Amazon’s improved publishing services. We now offer specialized options for your different publishing needs. Login to get started with Kindle Direct Publishing, Manufacturing on Demand, or Print on Demand for publishers.

My attempt to leave the world of online and get lost in a good book has brought me right back to the world of online. The only books I could locate on the entire planet Earth about misophonia are self-published on Amazon by the same handful of people whose websites I’ve been perusing for the last hour. And there are dozens of vanity press books, funny t-shirts, self hypnosis CDs, specialty journals, novelty coffee mugs, and documentaries produced by Paul Dion, the proprietor of misophonia.com — the guy from the news! — who is not a doctor, but “Paul owns and operates Innovative Incentives, Inc., a successful corporate incentive travel company. In the past, he has operated retail travel agencies and travel accessory shops. Paul has also opened two fine art galleries in central Massachusetts.” Paul’s expertise is selling.

I decide that instead of spending money on a book by Dr. Dozier, I can just keep reading his website for free. Sadly, Dr. Dozier must note that The Misophonia Institute’s regimen has a small hitch. “Currently, about half of the people treated show a positive response to the treatment, and half have no effect. The problem is that most of those who respond positively regress. Their misophonia comes back.” While you may find these results unpromising, Dr. Dozier continues to assure you there are in fact two people who have experienced a permanent cure as a result of his institute’s treatment. He says, “It did not come back for my daughter and granddaughter.”

The National Institutes of Health says, “To date, no randomized controlled trials evaluating treatments for misophonia have been published.”

Quietude

The brains of children ages 6 to 9 have a significantly harder time than adult brains tracking and distinguishing voices amid background noise, such as other voices or sounds, according to Education Week’s coverage of a new study conducted by Belgian researchers and published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

There’s more in the article, but this is no surprise. Eliminate distractions and children will excel. The most innocuous things to an adult can be an insurmountable distraction to a child, and the children probably won’t tell you, because usually they can’t. It’s our job to maintain a quiet environment.