Archive for June, 2012

Spoiled kids: In which cities do parents spend the most on their kids? (Psst: Atlanta made the list)

A website has figured out in which cities parents are most likely to spoil their kids and Atlanta has made the list.

From The Huffington

“During last year’s winter holidays, a survey of 6,000 moms revealed that 3 out of 4 mothers think their kids are at least a little spoiled -– and 60 percent said their own children are more spoiled than they were as kids. Now,, a website that analyzes how people spend their money, has looked further into who is doing all of this spoiling — specifically, where they live.”

“ looked at how much households spend at children’s stores in aggregate. Then, they “identified all locations for which they had a reasonable sample size, and determined the average spend by these households over the past three years.” This analysis resulted in two lists — U.S. cities where parents spend above or below the U.S. average and towns that fit the same criteria.”

Click the link to see the slideshow of the top 10 cities …

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Have you left a child behind like the prime minister of England?

England’s Prime Minister David Cameron is taking a drubbing over leaving his 8-year-old daughter Nancy behind in a pub after lunch.

From The Associated Press:

“The Camerons, some friends and their children had gone for Sunday lunch to the Plough, an establishment in the village of Cadsden dating back to the 16th century, when it was a staging post for London coaches.”

“Like many British pubs, particularly in rural villages, it offers a pleasant local gathering place with a garden where children are welcome along with their parents and even their pets. It’s common to see several generations spending entire afternoons catching up while children and dogs run free.”

“As the Camerons visit with friends neared its conclusion, Nancy went off to use the bathroom. Minutes later, the families piled into two cars to drive back to Chequers, in the countryside west of London.”

“Cameron was traveling in one car with his bodyguards and assumed that Nancy was in the …

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Two 5-year-olds drown in home pool: How can you prevent pool drownings this summer?

The deaths of two 5-year-old girls in Paulding County are yet another reminder that we have to be vigilant watching our children around pools.

An average of 390 children ages 0-14 die in pool and spa drownings each year. About 5,200 more are treated for injuries in emergency rooms, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safety Web site. According to the site:

“Drownings are the leading cause of injury and death for children ages 1 to 4 according to the CDC.

There were 390 annual average number of drowning deaths in children ages 0 to 14 from 2007 to 2009 as reported to the CPSC.

75 percent of deaths involved children under age 5.

67 percent of deaths involved children between ages 1 to 3.

African-American children ages 5 to 14 die from drowning 3 times more often than white children according to the CDC.

According to the chart, Georgia had 11 deaths between the ages of 0 to 14 reported by the media in 2011. South Carolina had 4 and Alabama had …

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What type of hot dogs are you buying?

Hot dogs are often my go-to lunch in the summer and on weekends. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to make and the kids will all eat them. But I think I spend way too much time thinking about their purchase.

I stand in front the hot dog area weighing the consequences of each type of hot dog.  I am trying to weigh healthiness (meaning fat and calories) versus food processing (meaning is it mechanically separated? is it good “meat”?) versus cost.

So for a healthy hot dog I think of turkey dogs (fat/calories) but often they are unappealingly pale and marked as mechanically separated. (You have to read the ingredient list for this information.)

I have read repeated negative things about mechanically separated meat. Click the link to see photos. I don’t know if it’s really bad for you but I don’t particularly like the looks of it.

So then I started buying the kosher hotdogs from Hebrew National. They are only made from Kosher cuts of meat so there’s no weird cow parts …

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Is ‘Sexy and I know It’ appropriate song for ‘Madagascar 3′?

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” opens today and as previously mentioned my kids are psyched to see it.

But I have to say that every time I see the preview for the movie I am jarred by their use of the song “Sexy and I know it” in a kids’ movie. I totally get the song has a great beat. And I do think the clip is funny with the bear. However, I just think it’s weird to have it in a kids’ trailer and have kids singing it. (I am interested to see how much it is used in the actual movie.)

Remember in early May a first-grader in Colorado was suspended for three days for sexual harassment for singing “Sexy and I know it” to a little girl in his class.

From ABC News:

“A Colorado elementary school student was suspended from school this week for singing a lyric from a popular LMFAO song, “I’m sexy and I know it.”

“Those six little words from the Los Angeles rap-influenced duo earned first-grader D’Avonte Meadows a three day dismissal from Sable …

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To remove tonsils or not to remove?

My 11-year-old has always had large tonsils but this year they have become gigantic tonsils.

My only experience with tonsillectomy was the episode of “The Brady Bunch” where Marcia and Mrs. Brady had their tonsils out. The crux of it was they got to eat a lot of ice cream.

I didn’t feel like the surgery was a big deal and was learning toward it until I talked to the surgeon.

It’s only a 30-minute surgery. They do knock them out (which I figured) but they also put them on a ventilator, which totally freaks me out!!!

You may remember that when my brother had his heart transplant two summers ago, he was on a ventilator for a very long time and they couldn’t get him off. He had a lot of swallowing issues and bleeding out that may have been related to the long time he was on the ventilator. Now granted he was on it for weeks at a time, multiple times, so I know it’s different than being on it for 30 minutes. But it’s still bothering me. (Did your kid have the …

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What are your tips for a well-organized VBS?

I have worked at many Vacation Bible Schools since I was a teenager and chaos can often reign.

You have 100 to 200 kids who are usually only there for one week, which makes it hard to get everyone into patterns. And it is usually run by volunteers who only meet once or twice beforehand to prepare.

But I think a strong administrative structure and some good memos can make the difference between a well-organized VBS and one where you feel like you’re wrangling cats.

This is my first year teaching at our new church, and I have been impressed with their set up. I wanted to share a few ideas that I’ve seen work through the years. And I am hoping that you guys can offer up tips that have worked well at your VBS.

That first morning arrival is often a mess. The kids are all trying to get checked in and find their leaders.

A couple of thoughts on this:

1. Instead of a central check in that gets backed up, I really like the teachers making phone calls the week before. We told the …

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Mom arrested for leaving 13-year-old in charge of sibs after one got away

A mom in New Canaan, Conn., was arrested for leaving her 13-year-old daughter in charge of her siblings after one of the children wandered across the street alone.

From the New Canaan Patch:

“According to published reports, police say this mother left her four children—ranging in age from 13 years to 8 months—alone at home to go to church. Police were called to the home by a neighbor who said the woman’s 4-year-old had wandered into the yard across the street alone. Police arrested the mother and charged her with risk of injury to a minor.”

“When Patch published the police blotter arrest report, comments flew fast and furious—170 at last count in the days that followed since the arrest. Here’s the understatement of the year:  people have some pretty strong feelings about whether the mother was right to leave her eldest child to watch over the younger three children, and whether she as the parent should be held accountable when the 4-year-old wandered off.”

“But just …

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Million-dollar PTAs buffer schools from tough choices: Should parents be writing checks to public schools?

Some public school PTAs in New York City aren’t just raising money through bake sales or car washes, they are asking parents to straight up write checks in the thousands of dollars.

Some of the schools are raising more than $1 millions to help fill the budgetary gaps and give their kids the advantages of private schools. But what about the public schools in poor areas where parents can’t afford to write checks?

From The New York Times:

“At a time when the city’s schools have had their financing cut by an average of 13.7 percent over the past five years, the money has buffered these schools from the hard choices many others have had to make. In a system where many parents’ associations raise no money at all, these schools have earned a special name among parents and school consultants: ‘public privates.’ ”

“ ‘Many now have amenities that can compete with private school offerings,’ said Emily Glickman, the president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting, a …

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Why do Indian Americans win national spelling/geography bees?

Have you ever wondered why Indian-American children are often the winners of national spelling bees and geography bees? The Wall Street Journal staff did and they have theories.

Take for example this year’s Scripps Spelling Bee. The top three finishers are all Indian American. In fact, this is the fifth straight year that an Indian American had won the Spelling Bee, and the tenth time in the last 14 years.

A similar scene happens at the National Geography Bee. This year Indian Americans took the top four positions.

But why do Indian Americans succeed at these events or as The Wall Street Journal called it “ ‘The Desi Hunger Games’?”

From The Wall Street Journal India

“[Amardeep Singh, an associate professor of English at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania] says Indian American success in bees is probably due to four factors: the positive reinforcement effect; highly educated immigrant parents; the Indian educational system’s emphasis on rote learning; and the …

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