Archive for January, 2011

Jared Loughner: What should colleges do with troubled kids? How much can parents and colleges work together?

I have spent much of the last week wondering if  Jared Loughner’s parents and the officials at Pima Community College could have done more – or if anything at all — to prevent the tragic killings in Tucson. I have been waiting for more information to come out about Loughner’s parents and the university before we talked about it. Finally, I am finding several good stories that give some insight into how much each party knew, how things were dealt with, how colleges in general deal with troubled students and how parents may miss all the warning signs.

First I wanted to share with you a bunch of great links to stories and some of the more relevant passages and then we can discuss. If you have the time (I know everyone is playing catch up from the snow) read the full articles. They are worthwhile and may give more insight than my quick paragraph pulls.

First some basic news on the story:

Update as of Tuesday: Rep. Giffords husband said he would be willing to meet with …

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Retreat of the ‘Tiger Mother’: Maybe Chinese mothers are not the best?

Last week we were shocked and enthralled by an article from an Asian mother explaining why Chinese mothering is the best and how a very stringent approach is needed for children to be successful. Apparently since the article was published the author Amy Chua has taken some heat and is backing away a little from what she wrote. The article was actually an excerpt from her new book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” The New York Times has the reaction to the story.

Here is an exert from the original story published on Momania last week (originally ran in The Wall Street Journal):

“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a …

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Would you donate your kid’s organs?

The parents of 9-year old Christina Taylor Green donated her corneas and have saved the eyesight of two children through their gift.

From The Associated Press:

TUCSON, Ariz. – Donated corneas from the young girl killed in the Arizona mass shooting have saved the eyesight of two children, the girl’s father told The Associated Press on Monday.

John Green said the Donor Network of Arizona told him and his wife about the successful transplants.

He said he doesn’t know whether any of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green’s other organs have gone to any other children, but he’s under the impression that her wounds rendered her internal organs unusable.

Christina was the youngest victim of the shooting that left a total of six dead and 13 others wounded — including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — on Jan. 8. Green said he and his wife Roxanna didn’t hesitate to allow doctors to use Christina’s organs.

“The fact that her organs were able to help people, that was an amazing thing to me,” he …

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Help Facebook find missing kids! ‘Like’ your state’s Amber Alert!

You all know I am a big Facebook user, (It is truly the stay-at-home mom’s “friend”! Ugg! That was awful! Sorry!) and now I am excited to see that Facebook is using it’s power for GOOD!

Facebook has announced that it will carry Amber Alerts to help located missing and exploited children.

The Associated Press:

“NEW YORK — Amber Alerts, which have helped find 525 missing children since their start in 1996, are coming to Facebook.

Facebook users in the 50 U.S. states, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands can now sign up to receive Amber Alerts in their region. The bulletins will be sent to their Facebook pages the same way they see updates from friends or businesses they like. It’s further sign just how ubiquitous Facebook has become in people’s day-to-day communication.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Facebook, the Justice Department and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Thursday is the 15th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder …

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Do you approve of new school lunch guidelines?

The government has proposed the first major overhaul of school lunches since 1996. It is looking to increase whole grains, fruits and vegetables and control calorie intake.

From The Associated Press (I bolded for a quick read):

“The guidelines, which were obtained by The Associated Press and confirmed by USDA, would require schools to cut sodium in those meals by more than half, use more whole grains and serve low fat milk. They also would limit kids to only one cup of starchy vegetables a week, so schools couldn’t offer french fries every day.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new standards could affect more than 32 million children and are crucial because kids can consume as much as half of their daily calories in school.

“If we don’t contain obesity in this country it’s going to eat us alive in terms of health care costs,” Vilsack said Wednesday, prior to the release of the guidelines.

While many schools are improving meals already, others are still serving …

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Cabin fever? Are you done with the snow days?

Who’s going cuckoo crazy and is ready to go back to school?

I know you can’t believe you are saying it but three days at home with your loved ones unable to drive is bound to produce a little cabin fever.  Also drying all those wet snow clothes stinks too.

I am loving Facebook through the snowstorm because I can see what all my friends and family are doing. I am seeing lot of sledding. One friend from high school found that cooking oil make the sled go faster but also more inclined to crash.

I see lots of friends playing card games and some doing puzzles as a family. Also reports from plenty of parents popping on movies to fill the cold days.

I’m also seeing and hearing a surprisingly large number of friends walking to the grocery store. I think they just wanted to get out of the house more than they needed stuff.

My favorite discussion on Facebook is all my teacher friends worried about how the days are going to be made up – they do NOT want to lose spring break …

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The best books for kids, teens: The 2011 Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners

The American Library Association announced on Monday the 2011 John Newbery Medal and the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The Newbery Medal honors the most outstanding contribution in children’s literature and the Caldecott Medal honors for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The ALA also announced more than 20 awards total for top books, video and audiobook for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

Moms print this puppy out or send the link to your smart phone so you will have it the next time you need to buy a child or teen a gift! Teachers add these books to your wish lists so parents can fill your shelves with the best books for young people!

From the American Library Association press release:

“A list of all the 2011 award winners follows:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

“Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is …

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Study: Spacing babies close may raise risk of autism

A new study shows that spacing babies close together may put the second baby at a higher risk for autism. The study was published Monday in the medical journal “Pediatrics.”

From The Associated Press (I bolded the good stuff for a quick read):

CHICAGO – Close birth spacing may put a second-born child at higher risk for autism, suggests a preliminary study based on more than a half-million California children.

Children born less than two years after their siblings were considerably more likely to have an autism diagnosis compared to those born after at least three years.

The sooner the second child was conceived the greater the likelihood of that child later being diagnosed with autism. The effect was found for parents of all ages, decreasing the chance that it was older parents and not the birth spacing behind the higher risk.

“That was pretty shocking to us, to be honest,” said senior author Peter Bearman of Columbia University in New York. The researchers took into account …

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Snow day: Great big fun or great big pain?

The snow showed up as predicted. The kids are out of school. So is it the greatest, most fun thing in the world or a big pain in your bootie? Does your boss expect you to try to make it to work? (One friend posted that her company says the office is ALWAYS open and they should try to make it in when safe.)

(We had a similar discussion last year on Jan. 7. Atlanta has had a lot of snow in recent years — what’s up with that?)

Is it too icy to be fun or does that make the sledding all the better? (One friend reported a neighbor pulling their sled with his golf cart or lawn mower – can’t remember which — last night. Other friends posted shots of kids already playing in the snow.)

All my teacher friends on Facebook were thrilled to be out and also happy that Gwinnett County went ahead and announced it last night instead of making them wake up early! Now they get to sleep in.

So how do you vote: Great day or just a pain?

Also a side question: Are you dripping water from your …

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Why Chinese mothers are superior (could also be entitled why Western mothers stink!)

My half-Asian husband forwarded me this article written by a Chinese mother about why they are superior to Western-style mothers.

It is fascinating to read and I see so much of this in how my husband was raised. But I also see her depiction of the Western parent – ME!

Here are excerpts from the article. I beg you to take the time to read the entire thing!! It is really worth your time! (You HAVE to read the story about her daughter and the piano and it’s toward the end.)

From The Wall Street Journal:

“A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

• attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school …

Continue reading Why Chinese mothers are superior (could also be entitled why Western mothers stink!) »