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Parenting
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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05/13/2010
IconInternet providers Verizon, Sprint, and Time-Warner Cable have agreed to block access to child pornography and eliminate the material from their servers, according to Andrew Cuomo, New York State's Attorney General.According to the AP, "Investigators said they found 88 newsgroups devoted to child pornography in an 8 month investigation. " All are being shut down by these cable providers. "We are doing our part to deter the accessibility of such harmful content through the Internet, and we are providing monetary resources that will go toward the identification and removal of online child pornography," said Sprint spokesman Matthew Sullivan. "We embrace this opportunity to build upon our own long-standing commitment to online child safety." A Verizon representative pointed out that they can't possibly scan every user group, but they will work very quickly to deal with the issue when it is brought to their attention.Ya know, technologically, Internet providers have incredible resources for scanning....they just need the will.' It looks like Andrew Cuomo has made them find the will. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - ChildrenInternetInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconJapan has instituted one of the most serious campaigns in the world to get its citizens to be fit.' This action is motivated by the rapidly aging society's ballooning health care costs, as most Japanese are covered under public health care or through their employment.The term "metabo," comes from the medical concept of "metabolic syndrome," i.e., the factors that heighten the risk of developing vascular disease and diabetes.' They are:' obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose, and high cholesterol.' The term "metabo" has become the nation's nickname for "overweight."Under a two month-old national law, companies and local governments must measure the waistlines of people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of annual checkups.' That amounts to 44% of the population of Japan.The International Diabetes Federation's ( www.idf.org ) guidelines for Japan of no more than 33.5 inches for men's waistlines and 35.4 inches for women is being used as the standard.' When folks are over those measurements and have a weight-related ailment, they will be given dieting guidance and education.The government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet these targets.' NEC, a Japanese personal computer production company, said to the New York Times (6/13/08) that if it failed to meet its targets, it could incur almost 20 million in penalties.A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S.A. found that the average waist size for Caucasian American men was 39 inches, a full inch smaller than the 40 inch maximum established by the International Diabetes Federation.Ladies didn't do as well:' the average waist size of Caucasian American women was 36.5 inches, about two inches above our threshold.' (The differences in thresholds between Japanese and Americans and men and women have to do with height and body type). More >>

Tags: ChildrenEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityParentingSocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconThe Center for Disease Control calculates that high-school kids are having more sex, and more unprotected intercourse, when compared to the behavior of their older siblings.' Condom use is down, as kids have become more complacent about herpes and AIDS.' Maybe it's also that the total swing of society in support of teenage sex and babies born out of wedlock is working - a photograph of Britney Spears' 17 year old sister Jamie's new baby is worth $1 million.' Hmmmmm. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensParentingSexTeens
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05/13/2010
IconChina has a population control policy of one child per couple.' To encourage families to comply, population planning authorities have regularly been giving parents in rural areas amounts ranging from $8 to $17 annually for 18 years, and $144 after the parents reach 60.' Because so many children' died in the recent Sichuan earthquake, the Chinese government has decided to drop the 60 year old age requirement and will compensate the families now.China has a limited pension and health care system, so parents expect to have a heavy financial dependence on their offspring during their elder years.' For the families whose sole children died, this support is now gone, although the government has permitted these families to adopt.Recently, there were angry marches in which parents protested the shoddy school buildings in which their children died.' In some cases, the schools were the only buildings to completely collapse, according to Mei Fong, a journalist from Chengdu, China.According to some news reports, the government is considering extra compensation after authorities have concluded investigations to decide the extent of negligence in the collapse of the school buildings following the quake. More >>

Tags: divorceFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingPoliticsValues
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