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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconThank goodness for technology, that's all I can say....no, it's not all I can say after all.'' The Associated Press reports that the number of children left to die in hot cars during the summer is rising.' Research shows that July is the month when most are "forgotten" by their parents to die a slow, horrible death in the back seat of cars.Now, in addition to your cell phone, BlackBerry, iPod, iPhone, GPS device, Bluetooth and mini-tape recorder, you can buy a "ChildMinder."' The device, costing about $60.00, consists of a sensor pad placed under the cushion of a car seat, and is wirelessly linked to an alarm on the parent's key chain.' If the adult walks more than a few feet away from the car with the child still in the seat, the alarm will sound.' Wow!' What a great way to help a parent remember that they have a small human being with them!In the past 10 years, almost 350 children have died in cars, because the parents or other caretakers simply forgot them.' Only about 7% of these sad deaths involved drugs or alcohol on the part of the adult.' Most cases involved dentists, nurses, ministers, college professors, concert musicians, social services board members, NASA engineers...you know, the pillars of the community.' These are the busy, self-involved folks always in a rush, for whom even dropping' kids off at a day-care center instead of tending to the little ones themselves was too difficult an assignment.Astonishingly, these parents, when prosecuted at all (and only 50% of them are prosecuted), receive only three to five year prison sentences.' Also astonishing is how much "understanding" public support they get from those who say "It can happen to anyone."' No, it can't happen to anyone.'It can happen only when parenting and family are not the highest priorities.' It can happen only when parents spend their time focused on maximizing their own personal fulfillment at the expense - and very existence - of their children. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyParentingRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconAt this point, every news outlet has discussed the conclusions of some researchers from the University of North Carolina.' The researchers insist that three genes "may" play a strong role in determining why some young men raised in rough neighborhoods or deprived families become violent criminals, while others do not.The research team studied only boys, and used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a U.S. nationally representative sample of about 20,000 adolescents in grades 7 - 12.' They found specific variations in three genes that appeared to be associated with bad behavior, but only when the boys suffered some other stresses. "But if people with the same gene have a parent who has regular meals with them, then the risk is gone," said one of the researchers.Genes give us a range of potential - the interaction of those genes with real life determines the outcome - and it appears like family is everything with respect to raising decent, adjusted, functional children. More >>

Tags: FamilyFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyHealthParentingRelativesValues
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05/13/2010
IconTwo year ago, a Danish journalist/cartoonist gave his political opinion with a newspaper cartoon that depicted a caricature of Muhammed, and there were death threats and rioting by those who described themselves as "offended."' The cartoonist was arrested on charges of discrimination against Muslims.A Paris court also handed down a $23,325 fine against Brigitte Bardot, the former screen sex symbol and current animal rights campaigner.' She was also ordered to pay $1,555 in damages to MRAP, a prominent French "anti-racist" group which filed a lawsuit over a letter she published in her animal rights foundation newsletter and which she also had sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.' Evidently, she had criticized the Muslim feast of Aid-el-Kebir, which is celebrated by the slaughtering of sheep, and had expressed her concern that Muslim laws were beginning to dominate French culture and jurisprudence. French anti-racism laws prevent the incitement of hatred and discrimination on racial and/or religious grounds.' Bardot had previously been convicted four times for "inciting racial hatred."' Her attorney said, "She is tired of this type of proceeding.' She has the impression that people want to silence her." No kidding.English courts are now becoming a popular destination for libel suits against American authors.' The cases have largely been brought against American writers and scholars for criticizing Islam or "naming names" of those who appear to support and fund terrorism.' To avoid costly litigation, some American publishers are withdrawing the publication of those books.' Unlike in American law, in Britain, the burden of proof in libel cases is on the author , since British law considers the disputed information as false until proven true.'Here in the United States, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Joseph Lieberman (Ind/D-CT) have introduced the Free Speech Protection Act of 2008, which bars U.S. courts from enforcing libel judgments issued in foreign courts against U.S. residents, if the speech would not be libelous under American law.' The bill also permits American authors and publishers to countersue if the material is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.' This legislation wouldn't protect those who recklessly or maliciously print false information, but it would ensure that Americans are held to and protected by American standards.According to Specter and Lieberman as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (7/14/08) : "The 1964 Supreme Court decision in NY Times vs. Sullivan established that journalists must be free to report on newsworthy events unless they recklessly or maliciously publish falsehoods.' At that time, opponents of civil rights were filing libel suits to silence news organizations that exposed state officials' refusal to enforce federal civil rights laws.' Now we are engaged in another great struggle - this time against Islamic terror - and again, the enemies of freedom seek to silence free speech.' Our legislation will help ensure that they do not succeed." The anti-free speech forces have accomplished a lot in Europe and in our own universities (with their tyranny of the "politically correct").' This is the time to draw that line in the sand. More >>

Tags: Morals, Ethics, ValuesparentingRacismReligionSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe teen pregnancy rate is up for the first time since 1991, according to a report released by the National Institutes of Health, and is a cause for concern. "This is one of the key indicators for the health of the teen population," said Edward Sondik, Director of the National Center for Health Statistics. "Not only does this affect teen health at this point, but their health and well being for the next 20 to 40 years, as well as the health and well-being of their children." This is one of the most self-centered actions a female can take.' It is obviously not in the best interest of a child to be robbed of a father, a two-parent home, and a committed relationship which would give the child the security and role-modeling he or she needs to fulfill hopes and plans for a loving, secure marital future.It's very "in" lately to be a pregnant Hollywood star, and lots of money is offered for exclusive pictures of the heirs to celebrity notoriety or fame.' It doesn't seem to matter if the star is married or not - there is no judgment, no condemnation, no "clucking," no criticism, no shame, and no consequences.' It is just all "okay."'When people do the wrong thing, repent, and then do the right thing, you'd think that they would be idolized.' Nope.' The media tends to humiliate and denounce them as hypocrites.' So, the "act" is irrelevant; the only thing that is relevant in current day society is that you must never say that anything is "wrong."' If you do dare to call anything "wrong," then you will be attacked.'But back to the children.' Children having children is in no way a positive thing for either child.' There is sufficient research and practical experience to confirm the problems encountered by children without an intact family.' Why is this ignored?' Why is this denigrated or dismissed?' Why doesn't anybody care about the children?' Why is it all about how the female "feels" - which, I'm sure, isn't too great, once the reality sinks in that caring for an infant involves a lot of sacrifice and stress.Kids have very little to connect to these days.' That might sound like an odd comment considering all the means of communication available:' email, text messages, cell phones, and Internet social networking sites, but paradoxically, as the number of technological advances continues to grow, the sense of truly being bonded and connected one-on-one in the non-virtual space continues to diminish...significantly.' When one has a site with 200 "friends," one really doesn't have a true friend.With parents not around to connect with kids because of busy careers or divorce, or because they're shacking up or never got married, having a baby of one's own seems like an obvious way for a kid to get attention, bond to someone, and have some "hands-on" love.' Unfortunately, it doesn't play out that way as the child-mothers discover that children are seriously dependent beings.I remember when actresses like Ingrid Bergman (who left her husband and child to go to Europe to have an affair with one of her directors) were shunned from Hollywood for such behavior,' Now, having affairs, abandoning children, and giving birth out-of-wedlock are met with magazine covers and more job offers based on increased visibility.When children have children, it's largely because nobody is taking care of them; they're lonely and lost.' But we should never point a finger or suggest fault - after all, someone's feelings might be hurt!' And we all know that "feelings" are the most important value - right?' Dead wrong. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPersonal ResponsibilityPregnancySocial IssuesTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that under the current guidelines, thirty per cent of the nation's children are overweight or obese.' Many doctors fear that a rash of early heart attacks and diabetes will strike these children as they grow older.The nation's pediatricians are therefore recommending wider cholesterol screening for children - starting at age two - and more aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs starting as early as eight years of age in hopes of preventing adult heart problems.Because statins (cholesterol drugs) have been around since only the mid-1980s, there really is no evidence to show whether giving statins to children will, indeed, lower the risk for heart attack in middle age.The main problem is that we live in a culture which is largely hooked into electronic entertainment and spend too much time feeding one end and not moving the other. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthObesityParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThis came from Kami, one of my radio listeners: I am a stay-at-home Mom with a Master's degree who chose to quit my job to raise my three sons (ages 5, 2, and 11 months).' I never dreamed of growing up to be a Mom.' I wanted to use my brain, get an education, and change the world through my career.' Now, every day, I find myself using my brain, getting an education, and hopefully, changing my little piece of the world as I work to shape my boys into men. Instead of having them sit in daycare or pre-school for a big part of the week, I want my kids to play and read with me, and go to the library and find books of their own.' I want the freedom of knowing I can wake up and decide that we are going to hang out in our pjs until noon, and make bread or watch the birds building nests on our porch.' I want to help them make forts and play "hide 'n seek," and go on adventure walks around the neighborhood, even though it takes us twenty minutes to get past two houses.' I want them to go to the store and pick out their own veggie seeds to plant in the garden.' I want them to have snowball fights with me when I'm shoveling the driveway, and to help me fix dinner for someone who is sick. My son has taught me so many things while he wasn't in pre-school.' I learned that yogurt, pudding, and shaving cream can be used to draw with your finger; that bad weather, not necessity, is the mother of invention when it comes to craft projects; that math can be learned when baking cookies, cleaning up toys, handing out snacks, and putting away laundry; that some of the best talks happen in my bed when we just don't feel like getting up. And talk we do.' We talk about life and death, how planes work, where snow comes from, and whether pirates are decent.' We study geography as we drive around doing errands, and learn about engineering as we watch the progression of building construction.' We even tried to figure out why God made flies. From the moment my first child was born, my life has been about my children, and some of those sweet moments can bring me to tears when I think about how fleeting they are.' My kids will get to be little, and they'll get to have fun.' They are not in a hurry - and neither am I." More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenParentingStay-at-Home MomStay-At-Home-Moms
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05/13/2010
IconIt used to be that people planned for such important things as marriage, child-bearing, child-rearing, finances, and living arrangements.' Now it seems that these important milestones and responsibilities are quite secondary to impulsive behavior and immediate gratification.' I have been stunned at the growing number of callers who marry without consideration for religion, finances, extended family problems, lifestyle, goals, and even personality differences.For example, it flabbergasts me to get so many calls from young women complaining about their overbearing mothers-in-law, then admitting that the young couple is living with his mother because they don't have the wherewithal to take care of themselves.' So, they're living as a married couple, but also as dependent children in his Mommy's home, and the wife wonders why she doesn't have the power at home?It's also unbelievable to me that so many couples will marry before either one of them is in the position to support a family, yet they start making babies and then the fights begin -- over not having enough money or time to have any freedom, fun or opportunities.It is not surprising, however, when women call to complain that their bosses are cutting back on maternity leave.' That's because we've become a culture that makes everyone else responsible for our choices.' Maternity leave pay generally comes in the form of six to eight weeks of disability pay, and such payments have been cut back due to economical issues.' According the'non-profit Families and Work Institute, only 16% of employers offer full pay for childbirth leave, down from 27% in 1998.' The average maximum length of job-guaranteed leaves for new mothers dropped from 16.1 weeks a decade ago to 15.2 weeks. The Wall Street Journal's "Work and Family" column (6/11/08) admits that "This comes despite research showing attentive nurturing has particular developmental power in a baby's first year, and that longer leaves can ease postpartum depression in some mothers." Boy, was I ever glad to see that truth in print.' But when we are grousing about employers extending maternity leave by weeks, whose responsibility is it to maintain at least one full year of hands-on mothering?' The government?' Corporations?' I think not.' The first five years before kindergarten, and not just the first year after birth, are crucial in the emotional, social, and psychological development of children.Children are not pets, only needing attentive care in case of danger, or who are just fed at one end and cleaned at the other.' Every day, their brains grow and develop, and each day, they experience life and feelings.' Each day offers significant opportunities for a loving and educational interaction with a parent who ought to be experiencing it with them, and supporting them in their explorations.What is the solution?' Better planning.' I have often suggested that people live on one salary, putting the other in savings and/or conservative investments before they start building a family.' I have suggested that they research areas where they wish to establish their family lives and roots, and make sure they are affordable.'The point is that when you become parents, you must shift the focus from individual gratification (through career) to group gratification (through family). More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - FamilyParentingPersonal ResponsibilityRelationshipsRelatives
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05/13/2010
IconAll media outlets recently went "buzzy" over the alleged conspiracy by a group of minor girls to get themselves pregnant.' My immediate concern went to the babies these children were so carelessly producing.' The real issue for me is that the babies are going to be born into troubled circumstances.It is terribly sad that these children had so little to hold on to and look forward to that they used this as a way to feel connected, important, and/or loved.' I can only hope that their babies will - because of all this critical scrutiny - be adopted into loving two-parent (Mom and Dad), mature, stable marriages and families.' This ultimately is in the best interest of the children. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensMarriageMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingPregnancySocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconThe University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Project tracked the average amount of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in samples seized by law enforcement agencies from 1975 through 2007.' They found that the average amount of THC reached 9.6% in 2007, representing more than a doubling of marijuana potency since 1983.John Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy cited "baby boomer parents who might have misguided notions that the drug contains the weaker potency levels of the 1970's.' Marijuana potency has grown steeply over the past decade, with serious implications for young people - the risk of psychological, cognitive and respiratory problems, and the potential for users to become dependent on drugs such as cocaine and heroin." [AP, 6/12/08] A report from the Office found that a teenager who has been depressed in the past year was more than twice as likely to have used marijuana than teenagers who have not reported being depressed - that's 25% compared to the 12% for non-depressed teenagers.' The study said marijuana use increased the risk (by 40%) of developing mental disorders.It's certainly not your Grandma's pot anymore. More >>

Tags: AddictionEducationFamily/Relationships - TeenskindergartenMarijuanaParentingSocial IssuesTeens
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05/13/2010
IconA Canadian court has lifted a 12 year old girl's "grounding," overturning her father's punishment for disobeying his orders to stay off the Internet.' The girl had taken her father to Quebec Superior Court after he refused to allow her to go on a school trip for chatting on websites he tried to block, and then posting inappropriate pictures of herself online using a friend's computer.Unbelievably, the judge, Justice Suzanne Tessier, decided the punishment was too severe, and basically severed this father's parental authority.' Unbelievable.' Unbelievable.Evidently, the girl's Internet transgression was just the latest in a pattern of broken house rules.Obviously, this situation should never have been accepted for adjudication.' Obviously, this judge has taken leave of her common sense.' Obviously, this judge should lose her position.' Obviously, this is going to undermine parenting in Canada, and anywhere else such nonsense is permitted.By the way, there's a twist to this story - one which may explain the judge's behavior.' The court-appointed lawyer who represented this child is the same lawyer who has been involved in the child's parents' 10 year custody battle!' If I were suspicious, I might wonder if this judge is a feminist type who identified with the mom as a co-oppressee and misused judicial power to support women - right or wrong.' Not an accusation, you understand, but just an attempt at understanding the unacceptable. More >>

Tags: attitudeInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSocial IssuesValues
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