Archive for September, 2010

Is 11 too young to babysit?

I am very upset by the front-page story today about the 11-year-old babysitter who will most likely be charged in the death of a 2-year-old.

From The AJC’s story:

“The girl died over the weekend as the result of a head injury and blunt force trauma, the medical examiner’s officer told the AJC. The case is being investigated as a homicide, Lt. Steve Rose with Sandy Springs police said Tuesday.”

“The Sandy Springs toddler, whose name has not been released, suffered cranial cerebral trauma and blunt force trauma to her torso and buttocks, said Jon Hager with the medical examiner’s office.”

“Rose said the injuries occurred at the residence of the babysitter, who is the daughter of a co-worker of the victim’s mother. The mother picked the child up late Saturday night and called 911 upon seeing her child. The child was taken to Scottish Rite Hospital and pronounced dead shortly after midnight.”

“The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office will determine what charges will be filed …

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UNICEF: 100,000 Pakistani kids face starvation

A malnourished Pakistani girl, Heleema, at a camp for displaced people in Sukkur, Sindh province, southern Pakistan.  Aaron Favila / AP

A malnourished Pakistani girl, Heleema, at a camp for displaced people in Sukkur, Sindh province, southern Pakistan. Aaron Favila / AP

I was going to talk about the appropriate amount of homework for kids, but then I saw this story: UNICEF says 100,000 children are about to starve in Pakistan due to the recent flooding.

From The Associated Press:

“SUKKUR, Pakistan — Suhani Bunglani fans flies away from her two baby girls as one sleeps motionless while the other stares without blinking at the roof of their tent, her empty belly bulging beneath a green flowered shirt.”

“Their newborn sister already died on the ground inside this steamy shelter at just 4 days old, after the family’s escape from violent floods that drowned a huge swath of Pakistan. Now the girls, ages 1 and 2, are slowly starving, with shriveled arms and legs as fragile as twigs.”

“More than 100,000 children left homeless by Pakistan’s floods are in danger of dying because they simply do not have enough to eat, …

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Was a dad wrong to threaten boys bullying his daughter?

A father was arrested last week after he got on a school bus and threatened boys who had been bullying his special needs daughter, deputies said. The 13-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy.

From The Associated Press:

“…(James Willie) Jones boarded the school bus Sept. 3 because several boys were allegedly bullying his daughter, according to the sheriff’s office report. He told deputies the boys placed an open condom on his daughter’s head, smacked her on the back of her head, twisted her ear and shouted rude comments at her, the report said.”

“Video surveillance from the bus shows Jones asking his daughter to point out the students accused of harassing her. Jones is heard on the video threatening those who bully his daughter, and he also threatens the bus driver.”

“Jones then steps off the bus. Some children are heard laughing….”

“The girl had to be hospitalized because of stress from the confrontation. The father, James Willie Jones, was arrested Thursday after he stormed …

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Would you post your kid potty training on You Tube?

I was talking to a friend recently and she told me that her toddler was potty training and really enjoyed watching these videos of other kids using the potty on You Tube. She says the kids aren’t showing any private parts. It’s just videos of kids sitting on the toilet reading books or blabbing about going potty.

I understand why her daughter finds watching other kids going potty inspirational. I completely believe that kids with older siblings or who are around other potty trained kids (like at a daycare or preschool) absolutely train faster. (Remember we had that story a few years back on potty training boot camp where they all train together in one afternoon.)

However, I find it very odd that parents would post on You Tube or anywhere for that matter their kids going to the potty. It’s just ripe for pedophiles! I’m really surprised that You Tube doesn’t pull them. (I guess they only pull stuff when it’s a copyright violation.)

Remember last year we discussed the poor …

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Can exercise make your kids smarter?

Two new studies have found that fitter kids did better on tests and actually had bigger parts of their brains from the exercise.

Researchers at the University of Illinois sorted kids by fitness level and then tested the most fit and the least fit. The kids had to watch directional arrows and push certain keys which showed the scientist how well they could filter out unnecessary info and attend to relevant cues.

From The New York Times:

“Previous studies found that fitter kids generally scored better on such tests. And in this case, too, those children performed better on the tests. But the M.R.I.’s provided a clearer picture of how it might work. They showed that fit children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and “executive control,” or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply. Since both groups of children had similar socioeconomic backgrounds, body mass index and other variables, the researchers …

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Are schools failing highly gifted kids in society?

Time magazine takes a provocative look at whether schools are not serving the needs of the smartest kids in society. The magazine asks “Are we Failing our Geniuses? and is generally referring to kids with IQs over 145, many of whom would need to skip three grades to be with their intellectual peers.

The article summarizes it best but also puts it in some pretty vicious terms. From

“To some extent, complacency is built into the system. American schools spend more than $8 billion a year educating the mentally retarded. Spending on the gifted isn’t even tabulated in some states, but by the most generous calculation, we spend no more than $800 million on gifted programs. But it can’t make sense to spend 10 times as much to try to bring low-achieving students to mere proficiency as we do to nurture those with the greatest potential.”

“We take for granted that those with IQs at least three standard deviations below the mean (those who score 55 or lower on IQ tests) require …

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Working Mother mag: Childcare, healthcare and help at home make Ga. companies great for working moms

Working Mother magazine has chosen its Top 100 companies for working mothers and three Georgia companies have made the list.

Children’s Healthcare, Turner Broadcasting and the Wellstar Health System were chosen mainly for all the help they offer families. Henry Unger our business beat reporter covered the story this year. Here is a link to his summary of what is so special about these companies.

Many of the companies subsidized childcare and offered emergency childcare if you had to work. Many also offered extra health benefits such as paying partially for adoption and fertility treatments. (We talked about insurance covering fertility treatments  just last week. That lady was complaining that her husband’s “cheap” insurance only paid for the three rounds of IVF — we were all impressed it paid at all!) The concierge service from Wellstar I found most intriguing. You can send someone to walk your dog or pick up your child’s homework. That’s pretty amazing. I wonder how they …

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Will Martha Stewart win you over to the Hallmark Channel?

Ladies, we are the target audience the Hallmark Channel would die for!

The Hallmark channel has struggled to find an identity airing lots of reruns of “The Golden Girls” and “Little House on the Prairie.” But now the channel has hitched its wagon to the Martha Stewart brand and is hoping to pull in ladies just like us.

From The Miami Herald:

“Her syndicated Martha Stewart Show, which previously ran on NBC-owned TV stations, will move to Hallmark at 10 a.m., with repeats at 4 and 5 p.m. There will be an hour-long talk show called Whatever With Alexis and Jennifer at 11 a.m. starring Stewart’s daughter, Alexis Stewart, and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt and, at noon, a half-hour cooking show named Mad Hungry With Lucinda Scala Quinn, the cookbook author and executive food editor at Stewart’s media company. In the afternoon, Hallmark will run Stewart’s Everyday Food and other how-to shows from her program library including From Martha’s Kitchen, From Martha’s Garden and From Martha’s …

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New book: Moms worry about all the wrong things

As it turns out I’ve been worrying about all the wrong things.

A new book called “The Paranoid Parents Guide” by Christie Barnes, found that parents’ worries are very different from what they really should fear.

From NPR’s story about the book:

“Based on surveys Barnes collected, the top five worries of parents are, in order:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers
  5. Drugs”

“But how do children really get hurt or killed?

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning”

“Why such a big discrepancy between worries and reality? Barnes says parents fixate on rare events because they internalize horrific stories they hear on the news or from a friend without stopping to think about the odds the same thing could happen to their children.”

And apparently it’s bad to be worried about all the wrong things.

A.    It stresses parents out and can hurt their relationships with other adults. It also …

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Is it that hard to teach boys to bathe?

I posted a link last week to an odd sports story about the Tennessee Volunteers coach having to show his team how to bathe because of an outbreak of staph infections. ESPN’s Game Day had a ball with the story on Saturday. (No pun intended!)

While watching games this weekend, Michael called my attention to a new ad from Axe featuring Jaime Pressly from “My Name Is Earl.” She explains using innuendo how men can better clean themselves. The ad above is a slightly longer version that what they were showing on TV.

The ad is funny but shocking to see on TV. And can it truly be necessary? Does Coach Dooley need to invest in some of these?

Mothers, does this fall on our shoulders? Have we not been showing our sons how to properly get themselves clean? Is this Dad’s responsibility? Who should be teaching little guys to make sure they get clean and what do we need to tell them to make sure they are doing the job right? Why don’t we ever hear about girls being gross and nasty?

Maybe it …

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