Brain damage is a neurological disorder of the brain which has been given the name: (CTE) Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It is a serious, debilitating, and family-destroying disease.
There are no beautification processes or fragrance that will improve the putrid stench of (CTE). Some sports officials and marketing teams attempt to deny or minimize the damage CTE continues to cause to hundreds if not thousands of families. Theses PR ploys are a disingenuous attempt to deny the causation as being directly associated with contact sports.
Parenting is and always will be a challenge. We navigate this landmine with caution, nervous energy, anticipation, uncertainties, happiness, fears. Some of us may even have feelings of nostalgia because we can hear our parents’ voices echoing in the caverns of our memories, as they articulate these soul-piercing words, “wait until you have kids…”
The concerns we have relative to discussing life’s situations with our children are real; they are quantifiable and should be given much thought filled with as much acquired and documented knowledge as possible. We are all painfully aware that the moral majority of our youth seemingly think and has adopted the attitude that the world began at the onset of their arrival. However, parents, please be reminded that they psychologically enter this world as a “tabula rasas’” (blank slate).
As we cautiously facilitate and sometimes “tip-toe” our way through very delicate subjects, we must understand that “Peer-pressure” is extremely powerful and will often become much more effective than we are when it comes to influencing and teaching our children.
When confronted with tackling such a popular, visible and mobilizing sport as football and other popular contact sports, most children are psychologically disconnected from the debilitating and life-threatening symptoms associated with and/or caused by Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). They view this ailment as something that “old-people” get. Please keep in mind, points of relevance and ways in which this may affect their immediate health must be established at the very beginning of the discourse.
May I caution you to not allow this conversation to become a debate, it must remain a discussion that YOU are facilitating, remain focused, expressive and above all let it be known through words, actions, and deeds that this a discussion of love for him/her and the importance of their overall quality of life.
While we respectfully understand that there is a no one-size-fits-all solution, it is imperative that prior to parents embarking upon such a delicate topic, they have an understanding and pliable “knowledge” of who’s been sleeping beneath their roofs, i.e.:
• Dreams, desires, and aspirations
• Academic interest
• Professional interest
• Personal needs, wants, desires
• Level of interest in said activity relative to the discussion
• Sports hero/shero
• Prior knowledge of sports injuries
• his/her general attitude references personal safety
• Overall interest in the topic being embarked upon
• Likes and dislikes
• Peer participation if any involving the topic in question
• Peers attitude relative to possible brain damage
As a certified parenting facilitator, I have listed several proven methods of how to have “the talk,” regardless of the subject matter.
1. Create the proper atmosphere [If possible] for the discussion (when everyone is most susceptible to engaging in the chosen subject.
2. Secure a non-threatening atmosphere, [remember this a discussion not a debate] Be very deliberate with your intent.
3. Be engaging, never combative.
4. Maintain ‘control’, i.e., stay focused, do not allow the conversation to veer in an unintended direction.
5. Be knowledgeable of the content, know of which you speak. [Be specific, generalizations will only derail the conversation and minimize its usefulness]
6. Utilize technology (iPad, smartphones, etc.…) auditory and visual.
7. Utilize researched printed materials [always eliminate the excuses of you as the parent does not know what you are talking about]
8. Invite that influential peer to listen in on the conversation [Only if you are comfortable with that individual or individuals being present, you do not want any negative distractions]
9. Always have an ending point [avoid repetitive-babble, it only defeats your intended purpose].
10. Set a timeline for him/her to present to you at least; one pro and con researched article on the discussed topic, however; it must be presented in a compare format. [All article whether pro or con on a subject must show elements of the other, that can be backed up by RESEARCH].
This should all be done very quickly, concisely, and deliberately. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a serious and family-destroying disease.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.
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