TV Binge Watching, Exercise Skipping Linked to Poor Cognitive Function

Passing on the gym to snuggle on the couch and binge watch whole seasons of your favorite show this weekend may not bode well for your brain.

Source: TV binging, exercise skipping linked to poor cognitive function

Correlation is far from demonstrating causation, especially in this case. People often “self medicate” – they tend to gravitate to leisure activities that they find rewarding. People that find mainstream TV shows painfully inane aren’t going to be spending their free time watching them.

But it is interesting about the standing desk, the war on sitting because of the mortality implications… but curling up on the couch for some TV gets a pass?

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Video Games Can Help You Endure Pain, Even In Labor

Does that mean we game the pain away?

Pain relief isn’t just a physical thing; distracting yourself can help you get through a painful experience. We’ve already seen that kids who watch cartoons don’t feel as much pain when they get a shot. It turns out that playing a game works even better than passively watching videos.

Source: Video Games Can Help You Endure Pain, Even In Labor

Labor?  No.  I present exhibit A:

There’s always been the joke about how “it hurts here”, so someone injures the wounded person somewhere else to distract from the original pain.  Less joke now, more truism.  But decidedly less about the technology – it’s about the immersion.  Which makes sense why a video game would work better – it requires your interaction vs passively watching a TV show.

Pediatricians Now Agree: Screen Time Isn’t So Bad for Kids

When families seek our professional advice on managing technology in their children’s lives, we turn to research-based AAP guidelines that promote positive media use and discourage potentially harmful use.

Source: Beyond “Turn It Off”: How to Advise Families on Media Use

I’ve covered neuroplasticity before.  And there is a theory for why some are nearsighted…  But in this day and age, there’s a risk of hindering developing minds if they don’t have access to things their peers do.  It’s coming to the point that the Internet is a fundamental service, not unlike electricity or water.

Parenting tip: I know of one parent who keeps tabs on his kids via Facebook, using an account for the family dog.  The kids can’t be that old, but apparently open up to the “dog” account – unlike for an adult/parent account.

Childhood Abuse Victims Don’t Always Grow Up to be Abusers

It’s a widely held belief that people who were abused as children are more likely to grow up to abuse their own children, but a new study in Science suggests a more complex picture. Different kinds of abuse and neglect have different patterns of intergenerational transmission, and there’s reason to think that certain families are scrutinized more than others, leading to biased reporting.

The widespread belief in intergenerational transmission is not completely unfounded. A number of studies have found evidence that abuse victims are more likely to abuse, but the overall picture is mixed: many other studies have found no such link. Understanding what causes child abuse is obviously vital to finding solutions, so it’s an essential question for researchers to resolve.

Source: Childhood abuse victims don’t always grow up to be abusers

Every once in a while, there’s a discussion about what women look for in guys.  One of the criteria is relationship with family – that being active with family can be a value some find attractive.  This thoroughly irritates me.  While I’m glad these people have never had to survive an abusive household, the belief is incredibly naive and demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what relationships are or how they work.  The expression/slang I encountered recently – Disney girl – sums things up rather succinctly.  Cultural beliefs reinforced by media…  There are lots of stories about actresses who did not want to play the loving, supporting mother because it wasn’t always true.  And with the recent disclosure of stories that predate the Brothers Grimm, there’s “folklore” about fathers competing with sons.  The recent “tradition” is it’s only step parents…

Culture and media is no help to the abused for situations like this.  From the perspective of the abused, you question what you are doing wrong.  Why you deserve the treatment, and what you can do to change things for the better.  I’ve known a few, and there’s an underlying desire to be accepted by family.  Some attempt to incorporate themselves into the families of others, but not in the sense like cuckoos do.  Sometimes there’s acceptance, sometimes there isn’t.  The fundamental issue is the abused needs to come to terms with if the relationship can improve, and more importantly – accept what needs to be done if old patterns are repeated.

These are the realities the study abstracts about how abused manage not to perpetuate the cycle.  That we sometimes abuse the abused a second time as we dismiss them, or make uninformed judgements and decisions.  Some of the abused are able to make it through by themselves, but most need help and there’s lots of variables around getting legitimate help.  Even with help, there’s bound to be scars.  Some have to accept that parents are such by virtue of biology only.