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Parenting
05/13/2010
IconIt's been all over the news.' A "nanny-cam" in the home of two twin preemies showed the nanny handling the children like trash bags.' I mean, if you know it's going to be shown on Nancy Grace's television program, it has to be bad!The single most important issue, however, was never addressed.' Where were their parents?' These delicate babies were in the hands of hired help and not their own parents.' Nowhere in the news pieces did anyone suggest that these parents had to work or risk being homeless.' Quite the contrary.There are babies who have been forgotten, neglected, and abused in day-care centers.' Now, nannies are doing the same in the parents' home.' Parents themselves are forgetting their own children in cars, which literally causes the children to be poached to death.' When will the tide turn back to parents making their children their number one priority, and moving their dual careers or owning "things" to a lower spot on their list?' Until then, more horrifying stories are sure to come. More >>

Tags: anxietyChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingStress
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05/13/2010
IconLast Thursday, I posted a blog about "passing the trash," a practice known within the educational system in which teachers who've allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a student resign and leave their school districts in exchange for confidentiality about their behavior.' I received many comments about that story, but this is one I want to share with you.' I've kept the writer's name confidential: Dr. Laura, as a former administrator of a small school district, let me tell you who the real villains are in these cases.' No school administration will admit it, but it's the teacher's union.' It's like going up against the mob, to come against one of their members.' And they don't care if their member is guilty or not.' They will use every tactic in the book to intimidate you into dropping your complaint.' Any time an administration tries to discipline teachers or even look into a complaint, the union is there fighting the administration.' They file lawsuits and nit pick at your procedures.' The teachers have free counsel and unlimited representation, covered by their dues.' Just to inquire into a complaint, the school [incurs] a great deal of cost, precious money that has to be taken from some other program or someone else's pocket. These types of complaints are the duty of the school board, and school boards are made up of volunteers - they don't get paid, but they can get sued, and must defend themselves with their own money.' It is a fight to correct an untenured teacher, and in fact, there is no way to fire or discipline a tenured one. We had a horrid teacher (and many complaints), and we tried everything under the sun to get him away from kids.' He had his ego stroked by being mean to kids.' We tried to pay him off and offer him early retirement, but he wouldn't go.' We were a small district with limited funds.' Eventually, the school had to close, and the man finally lost his job.' And no one around would hire him.' Our teacher was not a molester, but he was a "demeaner" - he enjoyed insulting kids. Although I do not agree with what these schools have done, I am not surprised.' If you have no proof that would hold up in court and kids who don't want to officially testify, but you know in your heart that this person has done these things, the teacher's union will spread [the word] that your school district is being very unfair to the teachers, and...will turn the hearing into a circus.' As parents and board members, you will do whatever it takes to get them out of your school - and hopefully, away from kids. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconThe Boston Herald (February 25) reported that, in 2007, a record number of newborn babies were given up by their parents (in reality, probably just the mother) under Massachusetts' Baby Safe Haven program.The law came to pass after state Representative Barry R. Finegold (D-Andover) proposed the bill, which would allow a parent to legally surrender a baby, aged 7 days or less, at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution.' In other words, under certain conditions, Massachusetts legalized child abandonment.Honestly, I cannot understand the critics of this law.' They argue that the law creates an "easy out" for reluctant mothers.' Darn straight!' The fact is that these girls and women didn't legally kill the baby in their bodies, nor did they abandon them in a dumpster or toilet.' They knew that they couldn't raise a child and had an option which contributed to the well-being of that child and the adoptive family.Another criticism is that this strips children of their heritage.' Are you kidding? Since when does one's place on a genetic family tree trump a loving home environment?' They also say that this law promotes irresponsibility.' What?? What is more responsible than giving a child over to people who will arrange for the child to be loved and nurtured, when they know they cannot?The Department of Social Services, which oversees the Safe Haven program reports that the Baby Safe Haven hotline has helped thirty women to get into a parenting or adoption plan.' They also said that "parents give up their babies for various reasons, including post-partum psychosis, emotional immaturity, and social isolation."' Whatever the reasons, the woman is still making a conscious choice to "save" her baby from her own emotional and social problems.' I say these women are heroes. More >>

Tags: ChildrenParenting
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05/13/2010
IconBrace yourselves for this one: The Oregonian on February 18 exposed a demonic deal made in 2004 between the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a teacher.' Here's the deal:' if the teacher resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct (touching and grabbing butts) from the public.' Moreover, they promised not to reveal the teacher's behavior if potential employers called looking for a reference.' They would attribute his departure to personal reasons and make no reference to the agreement. The Oregonian confirmed 47 similar confidential settlement agreements. "During the past five years, nearly half of Oregon teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct with a child left their school districts with confidential agreements.... Some promised cash settlements, health insurance, and letters of recommendation as incentives for a resignation. The practice is so widespread, school officials across the country call it 'passing the trash.'" I think school systems around the country should be examined to ensure this "trash passing" isn't happening in your area.' Also, every parent has a moral obligation to every other parent and child to report such abuse to the police - in spite of embarrassment - so that these worms will be forced above ground.' And by "worms," I don't just mean the molesters.' I mean the administrations that would clean up their yards by dumping trash in another's yard and put unsuspecting children at risk.Disgusting. More >>

Tags: ChildrenEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconScathing criticism of the lack of maternity care insurance for women in the United States recently appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer : "Barely two months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound triggered some alarming' news for Meagan Armington.' The fetus, thankfully, was fine, but Armington's health insurance was not.' To Armington's dismay, the policy she bought from Aetna about three years ago did not provide maternity coverage, forcing the 31 year old single-mom-to-be to pay for the prenatal visits out of pocket.' Due to give birth in April, Armington faces labor and delivery costs of at least $7,500." I know a lot of folks don't want reality to interfere with their completely unfettered personal activities, but the main point of this article should have been that she's not married - and not that the insurance companies are bad guys.' The sure-fire method for avoiding financial issues during pregnancy and child-rearing is a marriage.' She bought the insurance for her single lifestyle.' At thirty-one, you'd think she'd know about birth control, adoption, or marriage.' Instead, we have the same nonsense that defends irresponsible behavior and looks for some institution to blame for not coming to the rescue.At best, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.' At worst, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense. More >>

Tags: ParentingSocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconOne mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute ( pacificjustice.org , a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.' All the other attorneys suggested she was a "prude" and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.' The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.' The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.' Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.' How convenient.'Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 ( www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school ) as saying: "The garbage they showed these children...was a very serious breach of parental trust." The mother said: "These teachers are supposed to be us when we're not there.' They're supposed to be role models.' I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip." Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.' Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an "educational" aid. More >>

Tags: EducationInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconThe "Work and Family" section of The Wall Street Journal recently had an essay describing why some single women choose to freeze their eggs.' Mind you - the essay was about single women.Evidently, only 2-4% of frozen eggs once thawed yield live births.' Also, it's not yet clear whether babies born from such eggs will face any long-term health problems.' So it would seem that many women risk making important life decisions (like staying with a career long in life) based on false assumptions that their fertility is secure.The procedure (which ranges from about $9,000 to $14,000) has been used as a way to preserve fertility for cancer patients facing treatments likely to render them sterile.' This is a benevolent use of this budding technology.'However, most of the interest seems to come from women delaying marriage and child-bearing because they are ferociously career-oriented and/or can't find or keep a good man.' I would like to send them each a copy of my book, " The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands ," because it is cheaper and more to the point.These women want to "make a close family" (never mind that there would be no Daddy in this "close" family), or give their parents the "gift" of a grandchild (making a child a present).' Nowhere in the article did the notion of a single woman making a baby for herself point out that this may not be in the best interest of the child!' I guess that doesn't matter. More >>

Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconLast week, I posted a blog entitled "Accidental Sex?" in which I commented about an article in Seventeen Magazine entitled " Shocking Ways You Could Get Pregnant By Accident ."'I got an email from a listener who had written to Seventeen to complain about the article.' She sent me a copy of their response, or as she said: "let's be sure not to alienate anyone, was their bottom line.' Good grief!"'Good grief, indeed.' I'll let you be the judge.' Here's the letter from Seventeen: Thank you for your letter.' We are very interested in all of your comments, questions and concerns. Seventeen has a readership of millions of girls, and it is our mission, indeed our obligation, to give these girls information, entertainment and advice they can turn to.' As the oldest magazine in existence for teenagers, we also have 60 years of experience in talking to them and finding ways of getting them to listen.' We have found that when teens feel they are being lectured, condescended to, or getting nothing but "don'ts," they stop listening. What we attempt to do in every article is to give teens basic facts and warnings, in an effort to make sure that if they do decide to take a step, like to become sexually active, they are aware of the most likely issues and safety conditions and will at least think twice about what they are doing and try to do it in the most responsible way possible. We at Seventeen work as best we can to get the right kind of message across without alienating readers.' We will continue to try to give our readers advice that works, and to serve them as well as we can. Thanks again for writing us. Sincerely, The Editors More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSchoolSexSexualityTeens
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05/13/2010
IconWhat's happening (so many people wonder) that is making at least half of kindergartners engage in frequent fighting, aggression, and tantrums?' Is it ADD or ADHD or any more letters from the beginning of the alphabet?' Yes, it must be...so drug 'em into obedience!Over the last year, we've also seen many reports that pre-schoolers were being thrown out, because of "bad behavior," including an unwillingness to cooperate, to listen to "teachers," and even a tendency to assault other children.' Well, we can drug 'em for that, too.' Or, how 'bout yoga and other forms of meditation? (I personally find that foot massages take off my edges!).We have two choices:' figure out how to get control of these out-of-control kids, or how not to drive them to distraction in the first place.' I vote for "Door #2."A 2006 study in the journal "Early Childhood Research Quarterly" demonstrated that day-care children show increases in the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day compared to children at home.'A 2007 study, headed by Susanna Loeb, an Associate Professor of Education at Stanford University, found that children who spend more time in child-care centers early in life show more behavior problems in later years, compared with kids who have spent less time away from home and momma, and that the negative effects were greater among children who had entered child-care centers at earlier ages.It takes a momma and a daddy, and a warm, loving home to get a child ready to deal with the unpredictable, unfair, restrictive, and demanding realities of life.' Please give them that time with you . More >>

Tags: Common SenseEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchoolValues
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05/13/2010
IconAn essay by Sara Schaefer Munoz in the "Home and Family" section of The Wall Street Journal (February 12, 2008) caught my eye.' The essay, entitled "For Single Moms, Access to Better-Paying Jobs is Key," talks about how difficult it is for single mothers to balance work/life issues.'First of all, it never distinguishes between widowed, divorced, and never-bothered-to-be-married moms.' The issues are quite different:' insurance, spousal and child support, his extended family's continual involvement, and so forth.' Contrast that to a woman who simply got pregnant by some guy.' The latter situation is far different and each of them requires its own newspaper column.' They are generally lumped together because of "political correctness" (no judgment and no hurt feelings), and not because the three situations vary widely due to the financial situation and the well-being of the children.The essay did the usual by suggesting available careers and child-care possibilities.' It was the "Readers Say" portion that requires a response from me. One reader wrote: "Maybe if more men took accountability for proper birth control, there would be fewer single mothers working two jobs to make ends meet." I just can't let this one go.' Oh my, are we unfairly picking on the woman?Here's how I see it:' it is in the woman's body that the miracle of conception, gestation, and ultimate birth of a new human being takes place.' It is legally the woman's prerogative to kill it or bring it to term.' No man has any legal say in the life or death of his child's first nine months of existence.' These two facts give the woman the overwhelming preponderance of responsibility.There are too many never-married mothers, because women have become more casual about sex (abortion is just another form of birth-control), and more casual about children (they don't really need a daddy). The children pay the price:' no dad in the home, and they're in day-care (which I call "day orphanages"), so momma can hopefully find a job.So, to get back to the title of the essay, "better-paying jobs" is not the key.' Marriage is. More >>

Tags: BudgetFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMoneyParenting
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