Monthly Archives: January 2017

Beware the Slenderman 7 Facts

Beware the Slenderman
Beware the Slenderman

7 things we learned about Morgan Geyser, Anissa Weier

HBO placed subscribers in the terrorizing tentacles of the Internet’s boogeyman during Monday’s premiere of Beware the Slenderman.

Though fictitious, the urban legend haunting children via the web was a real enough to be a motive for Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier to allegedly want to murder their friend, Payton (Bella) Leutner in Waukesha, Wisconsin on May 31, 2014.

Armed with a knife from Geyser’s kitchen,  the two were recorded claiming they aimed to kill Leutner in order to please Slenderman and protect their families from falling victim to his wicked acts. The three girls were only 12 years old  at the time of the stabbing.

In just under two hours, we learned many surprising facts about the suspects. Here are the most riveting.

  1. Geyser’s mother said at a young age her child lacked compassion.

Home videos of Geyser  showed her happily tickling the keys of a kids’ miniature piano and interacting with a cat that lead viewers to believe she was a typical young girl. However, her mom, Angie Geyser, said she noticed early on that her child lacked empathy, citing the movie Bambi as an example.

“We were so worried to watch it with her because we thought she was gonna be so upset when the mother died,” Angie shared looking into the camera. “But the mother died and Morgan just said, ‘Run, Bambi run. Get out of there. Save yourself.’ She wasn’t sad about it.

“And I could think of a lot of other examples along those lines.” Angie continued, “where she hasn’t reacted in the way that we would expect a little girl to react.”

  1. Weier reportedly penned disturbing and foretelling internet posts

According to the documentary, Weier commented on several videos, which might raise an eyebrow when one considers her age and the content of the message. On Feb. 20, 2014 she allegedly wrote, “Why did the baby cross the road? BECAUSE IT WAS STRAPPED TO MY BUMPER!!!!”

On April 14 that same year, she reportedly viewed a video of a cat eating a mouse and commented, “I love how Zeus (the cat) beats the mouse to death…”

  1. The girls possessed an unwavering belief in Slenderman

It seemed Geyser and Weier sincerely believed in the figure created by Eric Knudsen.

“I was really scared knowing that Slenderman could easily kill my whole family in three seconds,” Weier shared during an interrogation.

Weier claimed it was Geyser’s suggestion to murder Leutner so they could become proxies of Slenderman and live in Slender Mansion. Weier said upon hearing Geyser’s plan she was “surprised, but also kind of excited.”

  1. Geyser and Weier’s family were both aware of Slenderman and neither thought anything of it

“While I wasn’t thrilled about her interest, I didn’t really see the harm in it either,” Angie said in an interview. “We never thought for a moment that she could possibly believe that it was real.”

Weier’s dad, Bill Weier, said his daughter showed him a picture of the mythical man once, and he didn’t feel the need to investigate any further.

  1. The night before the stabbing, the girls appeared “normal”

In a photograph preserving Geyser’s birthday celebration, the guest of honor, Weier, and Leutner posed on a green picnic bench at a skating rink. An unsuspecting Leutner wore a grin that stretched ear-to-ear.

“They were being normal little girls,” Angie said. “They were running up and down the stairs holding hands and giggling. There was no indication that anything was off or that we had anything to be worried about.”

Angie shared that the next morning, “the girls were laughing and having a good time. And they asked if they could go to the park, and I didn’t think anything of it.”

  1. Murder and death preoccupied Weier’s thoughts

During an interrogation, Geyser revealed that her friend came up with so many murder plots she couldn’t keep track of their plan. Weier said during questioning that in one of her plans they “kill Bella, put her under some covers to make it look like she was sleeping,” and run.

Weier also shared that she gathered information about the murder from a site that houses horror stories.

“From what I’ve read on the Creepypasta Wiki, it’s easier to kill people when they’re either asleep or unconscious,” Weier told a detective.  “When you look into a person’s eyes you can see yourself, and you don’t want to be killing yourself. So I asked Bella if she could put herself to sleep.”

  1. Weier and Geyser exhibited very few emotions during questioning

Though viewers saw Weier shed a few tears during her investigation, she and Geyser frequently appeared to lack emotion while recounting the stabbing.

Weier calmly revealed that after she hit Leutner’s head against the concrete, they played a game of hide-and-seek so she and Geyser could act like “lionesses chasing down a zebra.”

Very matter-of-factly Weier said Geyser handed her the blade and said, “’I can’t do it. You know where all the soft spots are.’ And then I give it back to her and say, ‘You do it. Go ballistic. Go crazy. Make sure she’s down.’”

In spite of stabbing her best friend since the fourth grade 19 times, Geyser explained in questioning that “it didn’t feel like anything. It was like… air,” she said.

At its conclusion, the documentary stated that Geyser and Weier will be tried as adults in court in 2017. Both have entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

In the film,  psychiatrist Dr. Kenneth Casimir revealed Geyser had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, as her father, Matt Geyser, had been years ago.

Psychologist Dr. Michael Caldwell said Weier had schizotypy, which he defined as a “diminished ability to determine what’s real and what’s not real.”

Erin Jensen, USA TODAY

President Insults All Police Officers in U.S.

Oscar Lopez Rivera terrorist
Oscar Lopez Rivera terrorist

The day before he left office President Obama did a despicable act. He pardoned a murder and terrorist who murdered police officers and blinded one of them.

  • Oscar Lopez-Rivera helped establish the violent Puerto Rican independence group FALN (Fuerza Armadas de Liberacion Nacional, Spanish for Armed Forces of National Liberation).
  • The group is best known for bombing Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan in 1975, an attack that killed four, as well as a 1982 strike on NYPD headquarters.
  • Lopez Rivera Admitted to His Crimes During His 1981 Sentencing Hearing, but Called Himself a Political Prisoner.
  • To add insult to injury on May 16, 2016 Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “Oscar Lopez Rivera has served 34 years in prison for his commitment to Puerto Rico’s independence. I say to President Obama: let him out.”

What a disgrace!

 

NEW Amazon Kindle Book by Dale Yeager. Parents Alert!

Dale Yeager Do You Know Who The Juggalos Are? Your Kids Do!
Dale Yeager Do You Know Who The Juggalos Are? Your Kids Do!

Violent groups like Straight Edge and the Juggalos are present in every public and private school in the U.S. They attract teens from all walks of life both males and females. They are violent and dangerous.

This book explains there genesis and danger related to domestic terrorist groups. A must read for all parents. ORDER ON AMAZON HERE 

We Are Not the World

The Battle of Left vs. Right
The Battle of Left vs. Right

From Brexit to Trump to the rise of nationalist parties across Europe, the old division between left and right is giving way to a battle between self-styled patriots and confounded globalists

By GREG IP, WSJ

Jan. 6, 2017 1:42 p.m. ET

Late on a Sunday evening a little more than a year ago, Marine Le Pen took the stage in a depressed working-class town in northern France. She had just lost an election for the region’s top office, but the leader of France’s anti-immigrant, anti-euro National Front did not deliver a concession speech. Instead, Ms. Le Pen proclaimed a new ideological struggle.

“Now, the dividing line is not between left and right but globalists and patriots,” she declared, with a gigantic French flag draped behind her. Globalists, she charged, want France to be subsumed in a vast, world-encircling “magma.” She and other patriots, by contrast, were determined to retain the nation-state as the “protective space” for French citizens.

Ms. Le Pen’s remarks foreshadowed the tectonic forces that would shake the world in 2016. The British vote to leave the European Union in June and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November were not about whether government should be smaller but whether the nation-state still mattered. Ms. Le Pen now has a shot at winning France’s presidential elections this spring, which could imperil the already reeling EU and its common currency.

Supporters of these disparate movements are protesting not just globalization—the process whereby goods, capital and people move ever more freely across borders—but globalism, the mind-set that globalization is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.

The new nationalist surge has startled establishment parties in part because they don’t see globalism as an ideology. How could it be, when it is shared across the traditional left-right spectrum by the likes of Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and David Cameron?

But globalism is an ideology, and its struggle with nationalism will shape the coming era much as the struggle between conservatives and liberals has shaped the last. That, at least, is how the new nationalists see it. After successfully pressuring Carrier Corp. to keep in Indiana about half of the 2,100 jobs that the firm had planned to move to Mexico, Mr. Trump told a rally last month, “There is no global anthem, no global currency, no certificate of global citizenship. From now on, it’s going to be ‘America First.’ ”

In the 1930s, nationalists were also expansionists who coveted other countries’ territory. Today, Mr. Trump and his ideological allies mostly want to reassert control over their own countries. Their targets are such global structures as the EU, the World Trade Organization, NATO, the U.N. and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Little unites the new nationalists other than their shared antipathy toward globalism. Mr. Trump’s economic program is as far to the right as Ms. Le Pen’s is to the left. Nor do they have credible plans for replacing the institutions of globalization that they want to tear down, as Britain’s confused exit from the EU demonstrates.

But globalists would be wise to face their own shortcomings. They have underestimated the collateral damage that breakneck globalization has inflicted on ordinary workers, placed too much weight on the strategic advantages of trade and dismissed too readily the value that many ordinary citizens still attach to national borders and cultural cohesion.

Globalism’s early roots are found in basic economics: Just as two people are better off specializing and then trading with each other, so are two cities and two countries. “All trade, whether foreign or domestic, is beneficial,” the British economist David Ricardo wrote in 1817.

Britain presided over the first great age of globalization, from the mid-1800s to 1914. Its leaders were not self-consciously globalist. They adopted free trade and the gold standard purely for domestic benefit.

After World War II, the logic of globalism shifted beyond trade to grand strategy. By ceding modest amounts of sovereignty to international institutions, a country could make the world, and itself, far stronger than by pursuing its own narrowly defined interests. “If the nations can agree to observe a code of good conduct in international trade, they will cooperate more readily in other international affairs,” President Harry Truman said in 1947.

Truman and the other founders of the postwar order saw economic and geopolitical self-interest as inseparable: The U.S. opened its wallet and its markets to its allies to hold back Soviet communism. In 1957, six European countries signed the Treaty of Rome, creating what would become the EU, hoping that economic and political integration would make war unthinkable.

For decades, trade, industrialization and demographics produced a virtuous circle of rising prosperity. By the 1990s, trade barriers had already dropped so much that the gains from trade were now smaller and more concentrated. Between 1987 and 2008, total U.S. wages adjusted for inflation rose by 53%, while the profits that U.S. companies earned abroad soared by 347%. Still, the strategic benefits of trade remained alluring: President Bill Clinton signed Nafta in 1993 in part to embed a pro-American government in Mexico, and the EU moved after the Cold War to admit former Soviet satellites to solidify their democracies and draw them out of Russia’s orbit.

By the 2000s, globalism was triumphant. The World Economic Forum had evolved from a cozy management-oriented workshop in the Swiss town of Davos to an extravagant summit for elites. The late political scientist Samuel Huntington applied the caustic label “Davos man” to those who see “national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing.” For globalists, this was a badge of honor, symbolizing not just an outlook but a lifestyle of first-class departure lounges, smartphones and stock options.

This is also when globalists overreached. In 2000, Mr. Clinton blessed China’s entry into the WTO. Echoing Truman, he predicted China’s membership was “likely to have a profound impact on human rights and political liberty.”

It didn’t. China adhered to the letter of its WTO obligations while systematically violating their spirit with discrimination against foreign investors and products and an artificially cheap currency. A wave of Chinese imports wiped out 2 million American jobs, according to one widely cited 2016 study, with no equivalent boom in U.S. jobs linked to exports to China. Meanwhile, China became more repressive at home and antagonistic abroad. By behaving quite differently from other members of the global trading club, China has undermined support for it.

Globalists in Europe also overreached. In 1999, 11 EU members joined the euro, the crowning achievement of European unity. Economists warned that Italy, Spain and Greece couldn’t compete with Germany without the safety valve of letting national currencies periodically devalue to offset their faster-rising costs. Sure enough, their trade deficits ballooned, but low-cost euro loans at first made them easy to finance. The loans proved unsustainable, and the resulting crisis has still not run its course. One result: In Italy, the populist 5 Star Movement, which is jostling for first place in the polls, has promised a nonbinding referendum on membership in the euro.

Chinese and German trade surpluses could wreak havoc thanks to expanding cross-border finance. To globalists, its growth was as inexorable as that of trade. In early 2008, President George W. Bush’s treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, put out a report arguing that globalization had made much of U.S. financial regulation obsolete. The priority was to maintain “American preeminence in the global capital markets.” Those same capital markets soon tipped the world into its worst financial crisis since the 1930s.

That crisis has woken up globalists to the flaws of globalization. Yet their faith in open borders remains unshaken. President Barack Obama entered office as a free-trade skeptic, but he soon threw his energy into negotiating the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. The pact’s anticipated economic benefits for the U.S. were modest, but its strategic aims were sweeping: The U.S. would forge a pro-America, pro-trade order in Asia rather than let a rising China dominate the region. With Mr. Trump’s win, the accord is now presumed to be dead.

Globalists were blind to the nationalist backlash in part because their world—entrepreneurial, university-educated, ethnically diverse, urban and coastal—has thrived as whiter, less-educated hinterlands have stagnated. Similar splits separate London from the rest of England and the EU’s capital cities from the countryside of continental Europe.

Many globalists now assume that the discontent is largely driven by stagnant wages and inequality. If people are upset about immigration, they reason, it is largely because they fear competition with low-wage workers.

In fact, much of the backlash against immigration (and globalism) is not economic but cultural: Many people still care about their own versions of national identity and mistrust global institutions such as the EU. A 2016 study by Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Pippa Norris of Harvard University analyzed party manifestos in 13 Western democracies and found that in the 1980s, economic issues such as taxes and welfare became less important than noneconomic issues such as immigration, terrorism, abortion and gay rights.

In July 2016, two scholars at the London School of Economicsfound that rising unemployment didn’t make British regions more likely to vote to leave the EU, but a growing migrant population did. These voters were bothered less by competition from immigrants than by their perceived effect on the country’s linguistic, religious and cultural norms.

One of the first to exploit such cultural resentments was Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, who frequently decried mondialisme in xenophobic terms. After his daughter Marine took over the party in 2011, she threw him out because his anti-Semitic outbursts were repelling mainstream French voters.

In 2014, Steve Bannon—Mr. Trump’s top strategist and the former leader of Breitbart News, a fiery conservative site that is fiercely opposed to immigration and multiculturalism—acknowledged that Ms. Le Pen’s National Front and its British counterpart, the UK Independence Party, “bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially.” Nonetheless, Mr. Bannon saw them as fellow travelers. He said, “The working men and women in the world…are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos.”

Indeed, one 2012 study found that Europeans’ opposition to immigration was driven less by pocketbook concerns than by worries about how changes to “the composition of the local population” would affect “their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.” The last big U.S. backlash against immigration came during the Roaring Twenties, the last time that the foreign-born share of the population stood as high as it is today, at 13%.

Which raises the most troubling question of the emerging globalist-nationalist divide: Is the new nationalism a cloak for ethnic and religious exclusion? Nationalist leaders insist that it isn’t. Ms. Le Pen, for example, says that she is merely defending France’s secular character when she criticizes overt displays of Islamic observance, distancing herself from her plainly xenophobic father. Mr. Trump says that struggling Latino and African-American workers are victims of cheap foreign labor just as much as Rust Belt whites.

‘The new nationalism often thrives on xenophobia.’

Yet the new nationalism often thrives on xenophobia. Mr. Trump has been criticizing free trade since the 1980s, but his candidacy took off when he started attacking Mexican immigrants and Muslims. American Jewish groups heard unsettling echoes of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories when Mr. Trump accused Mrs. Clinton of meeting “in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty.” Germany’s Alternative for Germany started as an anti-euro party, but as an influx of Middle Eastern refugees and migrants has stoked worries about crime and terrorism, the party’s focus on Islam (which its manifesto declared “not a part of Germany”) and its popular support have both jumped.

In short, there is ample reason for skepticism about whether the new nationalists can prove themselves a genuinely secular, democratic alternative to globalism.

If globalists are to regain the public’s trust, they will need to re-examine their own policies. The dislocation caused by past globalization casts doubt on the wisdom of prescribing more. That globalization’s winners can compensate its losers makes impeccable economic logic, but it rings hollow among those too old to retrain or move. Political capital might be better invested in preserving existing trade pacts, not passing new ones. And trade pacts may be a less effective bulwark against China than military cooperation with those worried about Chinese aggression.

Many European globalists blame the euro’s crisis on too little integration, not too much. But pressing for a more federal Europe could further alienate voters who “do not share our Euro-enthusiasm,” warned Donald Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland who is now president of the European Council, last May. “Disillusioned with the great visions of the future, they demand that we cope with the present reality.”

Above all, globalists should not equate concern for cultural norms and national borders with xenophobia. Large majorities of Americans, for example, welcome immigrants so long as they adopt American values, learn English, bring useful skills and wait their turn. Australia’s low tolerance for illegal immigration helps to maintain public support for high levels of legal entrants.

“We’ve created this false dichotomy that if you’re not for open borders, you’re racist,” says Avik Roy, president of the conservative Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity and a former adviser to Republican presidential candidates. “There is some sort of middle ground between a nationalist and globalist approach,” Mr. Roy argues.

Even as committed a globalist as Mr. Obama has come to acknowledge this. Democrats, he told Rolling Stone the day after the election, must recognize that “for the majority of the American people, borders mean something.”

Venezuela Tees Up Its Next Dictator…IRAN!

Maduro & Iran
Maduro & Iran

Venezuela has become a global symbol of socialist failure, but one thing its government knows how to do is hang on to power. This week the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela began maneuvering to survive a recall election this year by appointing a new vice president.

President Nicolás Maduro is likely to lose a recall that the opposition has been demanding amid runaway inflation, shortages of basic goods, widespread hunger and rampant crime. But under the constitution, new vice president Tareck El Aissami, whom Mr. Maduro appointed Wednesday, would serve out the presidential term through 2019. This means the political opposition will now have to decide which tyrant they’d prefer to live under.

The 42-year-old El Aissami is what Donald Trump would call a “bad hombre.” During his university days he belonged to the left-wing student movement Utopia 78 and in 2002 he was elected to congress as a follower of the late demagogue Hugo Chávez. From 2008 to 2012 he was minister of the interior, where he controlled immigration. A June 2014 paper from the Washington-based Center for a Secure Free Society cites allegations by “regional intelligence officials” that Mr. El Aissami’s office provided passports and national ID cards to suspected Islamic terrorists. The Venezuelan government dismissed the reports as U.S. propaganda.

Most recently Mr. El Aissami has been governor of the state of Aragua. Our Mary Anastasia O’Grady reported in 2014 that Parchin Chemical Industries and Qods Aviation, companies owned by the Iranian military, had joint ventures in Aragua state with the Venezuelan military. Both companies were sanctioned by the United Nations under Security Council Resolution 1747. In May 2015 The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Mr. El Aissami.

The tragedy is that a recall defeat last year for Mr. Maduro would have triggered a new election. The government refused to hold a recall, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry didn’t press for it as he lobbied for a Maduro “dialogue” with the opposition. Add the ascendancy of Mr. El Aissami, and the perpetuation of Venezuelan suffering, to Mr. Kerry’s legacy.

WJS Jan. 6, 2017 7:12 p.m. ET

TRAVEL ALERT: Is your city crawling with bed bugs? To 20 Cities in the U.S.

Bed Bugs Travel
Bed Bugs Travel

Baltimore may want to omit its latest superlative from the tourist brochure: The city with the most bedbug treatments.

Orkin ranked the city atop its annual Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List, a ranking of metro areas based on the number of bed bug treatments the pest control company performed. This year’s list, released Tuesday, is based on visits from Dec. 1, 2015 to Nov. 30, 2016.

The nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C., came in second followed by Chicago and New York.

The pests are starting to become a real problem, said Ron Harrison, Orkin entomologist and director of technical services. And they aren’t limited to mammoth metropolises. Mid-sized cities in the South, Midwest, West Coast and even Hawaii made this year’s top 50 list. In fact, nearly all of the nation’s pest professionals have had to deal with the little buggers.

“We have more people affected by bed bugs in the United States now than ever before,” Harrison said. “They were virtually unheard of in the U.S. 10 years ago.”

But bed bugs aren’t evidence of poor hygiene or cleanliness, Harrison explained. Anyone can get them. All they need is blood to survive and they’re also good travelers, often latching onto luggage, purses and other items during travel. Besides bedrooms, the critters are spotted at movie theaters, in public transportation, offices and libraries.

“We have treated bed bugs in everything from million-dollar homes to public housing,” Harrison said.

Bed bugs are hard to spot. At full growth, they’re the size of an apple seed. The first signs of an infestation are the bugs themselves or the small dark stains they leave.

Here’s how you can combat bed bugs:

– Inspect your home, especially around the bed. Decrease clutter. inspect furniture before it enters your home and dry linens on high heat.

– Survey hotel rooms while traveling. Peek in hiding spots in the mattress, box spring and other furniture. Keep luggage away from the wall. Examine your luggage while repacking and place dryer-safe clothing in the dryer on the highest setting when arriving home.

– If you suspect an infestation, call a pest management professional.

The top 20 on Orkin’s Bed Bug Cities List:

  1. Baltimore,
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Chicago,
  4. New York
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Detroit
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Philadelphia
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
  11. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
  12. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  13. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio
  14. Indianapolis
  15. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  16. Atlanta
  17. Houston
  18. Buffalo, N.Y.
  19. Charlotte, N.C.
  20. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.

Sean Rossman , USA TODAY

Cameras Make Schools Unsafe – 3 Myths About School Safety

ALERT school violence schools
ALERT school violence schools

One of the great frustrations we at SERAPH have had in our work with securing school environments over the past 20 years is the obsession many school board members and school administrators have with security equipment such as cameras.
In this article we will set the record straight about security equipment; when is it useful and when it increases security problems?

After the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999 the school spent an obscene amount of money on security equipment for the high school. Six months later a student walked through these systems with a loaded handgun. The school administrators didn’t understand school safety before April 20th and they had learned little after it. Human beings must manage other human beings!

Myth 1: Security cameras can provide a low cost monitoring system for each school in our district.

Wrong: Security cameras record an incident they cannot prevent it. Even if a school has a monitor in the front office [which is a good practice] or in the principal’s office [also a good practice], someone must see the problem and initiate a team of properly trained human beings to respond.

Security cameras do not have peripheral vision or cognitive function. They cannot see what the human eye can see and they cannot make a decision.

Myth 2: Cameras will prevent students from acting up. If they know they are being watched they will be more likely to behave.

Wrong: Please. Many years ago the practice of installing cameras on school buses was instituted in many school districts. To save money only one live [real] camera was actually working in one of the buses. Each day that real camera would be moved around to other buses [hopefully]. We have found that the students always know whether their bus has the live camera or not. This usually happens because they overhear untrained staff talking about it.

When human beings of all ages become aggressive, they usually loose focus and self control. Cameras cannot stop students from being aggressive.

Myth 3: Security equipment is school safety.

Wrong: A well managed school is a safe school! Lack of training for staff and administrators and consistent management of people is what makes your child unsafe.

For Kids, Self-Control Factors Into Future Success and School Safety

Kids &  Self-Control
Kids & Self-Control

Self-control keeps us from eating a whole bag of chips or from running up the credit card. A new study says that self-control makes the difference between getting a good job or going to jail — and we learn it in preschool.

“Children who had the greatest self-control in primary school and preschool ages were most likely to have fewer health problems when they reached their 30s,” says Terrie Moffitt, a professor of psychology at Duke University and King’s CollegeLondon.

Moffitt and a team of researchers studied a group of 1,000 people born in New Zealand in 1972 and 1973, tracking them from birth to age 32. The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the best evidence yet on the payoff for learning self-discipline early on.

The researchers define self-control as having skills like conscientiousness, self-discipline and perseverance, as well as being able to consider the consequences of actions in making decisions.

The children who struggled with self-control as preschoolers were three times as likely to have problems as young adults. They were more prone to have a criminal record; more likely to be poor or have financial problems; and they were more likely to be single parents.

This study doesn’t prove that the lack of self-control in childhood caused these problems, but the large size of the study, and the fact that it followed one group of people over many years, makes a good case for an effect.

Teaching Control

Economists and public health officials want to know whether teaching self-control could improve a population’s physical and financial health and reduce crime. Three factors appear to be key to a person’s success in life: intelligence, family’s socioeconomic status and self-control. Moffitt’s study found that self-control predicted adult success, even after accounting for the participants’ differences in social status and IQ.

Cathie Morton, a teacher at the Clara Barton Center for Children, leads the kids in a clapping exercise to signal that it is time to shift gears and start cleaning up.

Cathie Morton, a teacher at the Clara Barton Center for Children, leads the kids in a clapping exercise to signal that it is time to shift gears and start cleaning up.

IQ and social status are hard to change. But Moffitt says there is evidence that self-control can be learned.

“Identical twins are not identical on self-control,” she says. “That tells us that it is something they have learned, not something they have inherited.”

Teaching self-control has become a big focus for early childhood education. At the Clara Barton Center for Children in Cabin John, Md., it starts with expecting a 4-year-old to hang up her coat without being asked.

Director Linda Owen says the children are expected to be responsible for a series of actions when they arrive at school each morning, without help from Mom and Dad. The children sign in, put away their lunches, hang up their own clothes, wash their hands before they can play, and then choose activities in the classroom.

“All those things help with self-management,” Owen says.

Mediating Conflict

Of course, not all 4-year-olds are ready to manage that, so the classroom is loaded with cues and clues to help the preschoolers make their own decisions and be responsible.

Liya Pomfret and Rowan Miller demonstrate how they use the “solutions kit” to resolve conflicts.

Liya Pomfret and Rowan Miller demonstrate how they use the “solutions kit” to resolve conflicts.

A series of seven photos over the sink shows the correct sequence for hand washing. A “solutions kit” poster shows techniques the children can use to resolve disagreements themselves, like sharing or playing with another toy. The two teachers give the children multiple cues when it’s time to clean up: Lights flash, a bell rings and the children clap and count to 100. That makes it easier to switch gears without a meltdown.

If a child has problems with self-management, the teachers make a customized “visual cue” card, with photos of the four play choices in the room, to make the decision easier.

And teachers Cathie Morton and Daniela Capbert don’t just supervise — they’re in the thick of the children’s play so that when the inevitable conflicts arise, they can redirect the children into other activities or help them talk through their feelings.

When things do go wrong, there are consequences. Timeouts and apologies don’t mean much to children at this age, Owen says, so the teachers try to match consequences to the deed. When one of the children accidentally knocks over a 2-foot-tall tower of blocks that several children had spent half the morning building, the teachers ask the builders what should happen next. “Help fix it,” one boy says. And, with a little prompting from the adults, they all pitch in and rebuild.

Self-Control At Home

Parents can help their children learn self-control. Mary Alvord is a clinical psychologist in Silver Spring, Md., whose new book, Resilience Builder Program for Children and Adolescents, teaches self-control strategies. Take small steps, she says. For example, preschoolers can learn that they don’t always get what they want immediately; they may need to wait for that treat.

“I call it Grandma’s rule,” Alvord says. “No dessert until you finish your dinner.”

Parents can help teenagers learn self-control by making sure the family has clear rules for things like curfew or finishing homework before they have screen time. Teenager who have problems with impulsivity may benefit from special driving classes that let them practice controlling the car in difficult conditions on a racetrack. For all teens, clear rules such as curfews help them regulate themselves.

Though self-control can be improved throughout life, Moffitt says the earlier children can learn these skills of self-discipline and perseverance, the better. “The later you wait in life to try to learn self-control skills, the more problems you have to reverse and overcome.”

All the more reason to start picking up blocks when you’re very young.

National Public Radio, Nancy Shute

U.S. Justice Dept Study Indicates Zero Tolerance Policies May Have An Adverse Effect On Students

Zero Tolerance Bad Idea
Zero Tolerance Bad Idea

A recently published research brief by Child Trends, “Multiple Responses, Promising Results: Evidence-Based, Non punitive Alternatives To Zero Tolerance,” suggests that zero tolerance school discipline policies have not been proven effective by research and may have negative effects, making students more likely to drop out and less likely to graduate on time. Instead, the brief recommends the use of non-punitive disciplinary action, such as behavior interventions, social skills classes, and character education.