Archive for August, 2010

New studies: Younger (immature) kids misdiagnosed with ADHD

Two new studies show that children who are the youngest in their grades are often misdiagnosed with ADHD when they are really just less mature than their peers.

A North Carolina State report found that kids born right before the school cutoff date were 25 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children born right after the cutoff date. The NC State study looked at kids 7 to 17.

The children who were born before the cutoff were able to start school and were the youngest in their class. The peers born after the cutoff were delayed a year and were the oldest in class and therefore more mature.

The Michigan State University study,  which looked just at kindergartners, found that 60 percent of the younger students in kindergarten were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD!

From ABC News.com:

“About 4.5 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the studies.”

“Michigan State University researchers found that as many as 1 million U.S. school …

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10 Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-school from Facebook

Making the rounds on Facebook (similar to a chain letter) is an angry, yet funny list that some mother wrote about kids going back to school. The list has been passed around so much that the author’s name is no longer attached. (If the author is out there let me know and I’ll gladly give you credit!)

I think it’s an angry, funny and pretty truthful piece. So read it and see what you think.

From Facebook, author unknown:

10 Misconceptions of Moms and Back-to-School

Misconception Number 1: Moms miss their kids when they go back to schoolSeriously. I’ve had enough of you by now. Every morning with the “what are we going to do today, Mom?” is finally over. I’ve had looked at your face twenty-four seven for the last 77 days. It’s time to go learn something. No more asking me about the pool, when is the next snack or if you can stay up late and watch a movie. It’s over….You’re going back to Hogwarts and I get to have a life again. There is a Christmas morning for parents and …

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Are you buying into the ‘Eat Pray Love’ philosophy?

Like half the ladies in America I went to see “Eat Pray Love” with some girlfriends on Friday night. I hadn’t read the book and probably wouldn’t have gone to see the movie if friends hadn’t asked.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, the gist of the plot is this (at least according to the movie (my friend who read the book said the movie was very different): Julia Roberts is unhappy in her marriage so she asks for a divorce. Then she gets sad so she decides to travel to feel things again. She goes to Italy to eat, to India to pray, meditate and forgive herself and Bali, where she finds lo

As others have criticized before, wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to travel to exotic locations for a year to make yourself feel better? What do poor depressed ladies do? What do depressed ladies who have kids do? (Kids, I’m depressed so I’m going to travel and leave you.)

(If you do have the money and time to travel here’s a look at the sights to visit …

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Trend: Helicopter parents win kids in divorce

One of our regulars Deidre_NC sent me this awesome story about helicopter parents and divorce.

We talk about them all the time and many of you believe they are hurting their kids by their constant presence. However, according to this ABC News story divorce courts think helicopter parenting is the new standard of good parenting!  (Or as the ABC News headline succinctly declares: Custody goes to the craziest parent!)

From ABC News.com:

“Increasingly, courts are using intense, even smothering, parenting as the legal standard of good parenting, says Seton Hall law professor Gaia Bernstein, co-author with Zvi Triger of ‘Over-Parenting.’ Their study, to be published in the UC Davis Law Review, looks at the world of custody hearings and finds that judges are buying into the idea that the more a parent hovers, the more that parent cares.”

“Result? ‘We talked to attorneys and they describe this ‘race for involvement’ that’s going on,” says Bernstein. “So if somebody’s …

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Girls hitting puberty as young as 7, but why? Is it bad?

A new study finds that girls are more likely to start developing breasts by age 7 or 8 today as opposed to a later age in the past, according to the journal Pediatrics.

Being overweight seemed to influence the early breast development. But researchers are also concerned about environmental causes for the earlier development.

From The New York Times:

“Our analysis shows clearly that the white participants entered puberty earlier than we anticipated,” said Dr. Frank M. Biro, the first author of the study and the director of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Overweight girls were more likely to have more breast development, the study showed. But Dr. Biro said he did not think weight was the whole story. He said it was possible that environmental chemicals were also playing a role, and added that he and his colleagues were now studying the girls’ hormone levels and lab tests measuring their exposures to various chemicals…”

Dr. …

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Do kids kill women’s careers?

My friend created an uproar on her Facebook page two nights ago about whether having kids kills your career.

My friend is a very successful medical oncologist who works for a government agency and a highly prestigious hospital in the Northeast. She is also a mother of three young children and has chosen to work part-time to be home with her kids.

A woman asked her an odd question the other day about her choice. Here’s what my friend posted:

“An acquaintance today: ‘So, do you feel like a failure for scaling back your career when you had kids?’. Me: ‘Um, no, not really. But thanks for asking!’

I told my friend I would have punched the lady. She said she was so shocked by the question she could barely respond.

Men and women friends responded to her posting mostly saying that by working part time she was able to have it all — she could use her education and feel fulfilled at work but also be at home to enjoy her kids.

Coincidentally, I ran across a report last night …

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Do your teachers want to really know your kids?

This year our teachers both sent home questionnaires to answer about the kids. Walsh’s teacher sent home three questions and Rose’s sent home 10.

The questions included:

What do you consider to be your child’s strengths?

What positive reinforcement does your child respond to upon successfully completing a task?

What activities does your child participate in outside of school?

What activities and/or subjects does your child like the most?

What activities and/or subjects does your child like the least?

In what kind of learning environment does your child work best?

When issues of discipline come up in school, how best would you like them to be dealt with?

What are you feelings about homework? (amount, type, etc)

What are your primary goals you and your child have set for this school year?

Is there anything else you would like to tell me about your child?

I think these are really excellent questions, and it makes me feel like this teacher (who I don’t …

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Back to school edition: Happy they are gone? Would you rather start early or late? How much on school supplies?

I always have very mixed emotions on the first day of school. I am sad that my special time with the kids is over and it is back to the grind. But I am also a little bit relieved to be able to pick up the house, buy groceries and get organized with only one child in tow instead of three. Plus, there is some comfort in getting back into a routine.

I do feel joyful because the start of school means that all of the moms (and dads) will be back from vacation and back on the blog.

So I have a cavalcade of back-to-school questions for you today. Starting with:

Are you excited or sad that your kids are back at school?

Would you describe yourself as:

Thrilled

Bummed because it’s too busy

Sad because summer was too short and you will miss them.

How do you feel about summer being over and school starting yet again?

Would your family rather start school early or late?

The year Rose started kindergarten our school switched to a later schedule with school starting at 8:50 a.m. At the …

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What are your special back-to-school traditions?

I remember growing up that my mom would always take off from work on school registration day. We would register then she would take us out to lunch and then we would go pick out our school supplies. And even though it wasn’t anything fancy, it was a tradition that we looked forward to each year.

I don’t really think that I have developed a back-to-school or first-day-of-school tradition with my kids so I am looking for ideas of ways to make the first day back to school very special.

I am looking for ideas for a special breakfast. (but it’s always hectic and hard to get up the first morning so it would need to be easy).

Do you have a special lunch tradition — like going to school for lunch? Or do you send special food or notes in?

What about immediately after school? A special activity or treat?

Or how about dinner?

I am so sad about the summer ending and I do want to start their school year on a cheerful, happy note and make it special. I would appreciate any …

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Are Southern moms ruining their veggies’ nutrition?

One of my mom friends posted her menu from the other night and while it sounded utterly fantastic, she had fried or battered every vegetable on the plate.

She made sweet potato biscuits, zucchini crisps and fried green tomatoes.

I’m impressed with three vegetables in one meal, but are Southern moms negating the nutritional value of their veggies with these traditional preparations?

(Michael is throwing in his two cents that anything made from sweet potatoes is still giving you nutritional value.)

Loads of friends are posting photos of all their gardening achievement, but I am wondering how they are serving them?

Sort of related, I took the two oldest kids in for their well visit on Monday. It was interesting that the doctor could tell from their pee we had reduced carbs this summer. I have been grilling lean meats out a lot and then serving grilled corn on the cob, green salad, tomato salads or fruit salads all summer. They could tell from a chemical in their urine that I …

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