healthy-kids-clip-artLET’S TALK ABOUT…HEALTHY CHILDREN! I have a personal belief that there is no such thing as a bad child, just bad parents.

I once had a very good friend, I will call him Jake, that was the son of a Fortune 500 executive. Jake lived alone in his parents’ pent house in a very exclusive part of the California Coast Line. Both parents were professionals who were away from home most of the year. Jake was nursed through infancy by a nanny, who also continued to see that he was nurtured through his early school years. When she left, Jake was sent to a bordering school. Jake would have bombed out of college if it wasn’t for the fact that his family contributed “much” to the school he attended. When I met Jake he was 24 years old, mostly camping out on various beaches, selling drugs, and clinging to whoever would pay any attention to him. After an “incident” that embarrassed the family, Jake’s dad found him a place in the family business, an assistant was hired just to “oversee” Jake’s behavior 24/7.

As a counselor, I hear many first-hand stories that add validity to my theory above: no bad children, just bad parenting. One story is about a nine year old boy that had been born into a family that believed “everyone” did drugs and that “alcohol was healthier to drink than tap water”. He probably received his first traumatic brain injury by the age of two by being thrown against a wall by a family “friend”. He remembers getting beat a lot, but doesn’t remember getting a lot of hugs or being held by a parent when he cried. He entered our “justice” system by the age of nine; child_in_jail

I met him when he was in his early thirties, he had been out of prison for a month—the first full month of not being in prison since the age of nine. He wanted was to get his driver’s license and never return to prison. After ten years a drug infested community, and an unforgiving society recently became his downfall.  prisoner-reflecting

Both of these examples of “bad parenting”, on either end of the socio-economic spectrum, are examples of how, as a society, we are creating a penal population of children.

NRC-banner-logoThe 2014 National Research Council’s report on “The Growth of Incarceration in the United States..” reports that the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. A 2013 Washington Post article indicated that “….about 70,000 (children and teenagers) are detained on any given day..”

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)    Childrens Defense Fund works to build awareness of the root causes of the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and trends that incarcerate our youth. (www.childrensdefense.org) “States spend about three times as much money per prisoner as per public school pupil. Unless we focus our efforts on early intervention and prevention, rather than punishment, we are robbing thousands of youth each year of their futures and our country of vital human resources.”

Get involved. Let’s stop paying to further abuse our children through a justice system that is broken. Healthy children equal a healthy society.


Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.


You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.

Springfield Times________________________________________________________________________






LET’S TALK ABOUT LABELS that are attached to provide information. I would like to focus, not on designer labels, or canning labels, but, on the labels that get attached on this journey called “life”.

According to Professor Adam Alter, NYU Stern School of Business, “Categorical labeling is a tool that humans use to resolve the impossible complexity of the environments we grapple to perceive. Like so many human faculties, it’s adaptive and miraculous, but it also contributes to some of the deepest problems that face our species.”

I remember receiving my first “official” label at 12 years old, on my first day in junior high school (aka: middle school). I was given a list of my classes; in the top corner there was a note “C” Classes”. When the bell rang, I began my new adventure of “changing classes”. All of a sudden, I noticed I was not going to the same classes as some of my other friends. As I started looking at other’s class schedules, I quickly figured out we had all been labeled: A, B, C, or D.Label in a box

It took me right up to the holiday break to figure out what was happening:
-“A” were students slated to definitely track to college;
-“B” had the possibility of going to college;
-“C” was going to be the blue collar workers and secretaries;
-“D” students were tracked to the trades: mechanics, carpenters, etc.

These designations followed us to, and through, high school. Consequently, I learned to type fast and take shorthand, versus learning to speak French and prepare for SATs.

“I AM ______” What is your first response to these two words? How you respond helps paint a picture of how others perceive you.

You could define yourself as part of a generation:
• Lost Generation, 1883 and 1900.
• Greatest Generation,1901 through 1924,
• Silent Generation, 1925 through 1942,
• Baby Boomers, 1946 through 1964,
• Generation X, 1960s to the early 1980s,
• “Millennials”, 1980s to the early 2000s,
• Generation Z , the generation that is currently being born.

People often define themselves by their occupation: doctor, therapist, millwright.

Label jars

Studies on the effects of labeling date back to the 1930’s with BenjaminWhorf’s hypothesis that “the words we use to describe what we see aren’t just idle placeholders—they actually determine what we see.”

Jennifer Eberhardt, Stanford Social Psychologist, more recently asserted “labels…change how we perceive more complex targets, like people.”

All this information leads into my concern about present day labeling:
*Drug addict,
* Bi-Polar,

There is an entire catalog called the DSM V,DSM-5_3D (used primarily for insurance billing) that defines who “we” are. I have always had a problem learning math, DSMV 315.1, “labels” me as having a “mathematical disorder”.   math challenged

If I had low self-esteem answering my own question it would sound like this “I AM a Boomer “C” learner, probably suffering with PTSD from my first label, and barely making it through life because of my mathematical disorder.”

Many people have slapped labels on me over my lifetime. Fortunately, I don’t believe in becoming any label. If you really asked me, I would say “I AM MAx Fabry, and so happy to me.”

MAx May 2009 040

Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.


You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at HealerToday.com. Or, snail mail your topics to Lifestyle Changes, PO Box 1962, Eugene, OR 97440.

“ASK MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR http://www.springfieldtimes.net/. Subscriptions for the paper is only $28/year mailed to your home!