Archive for the ‘ Kids in General ’ Category

  1. Parent Magazine article: 10 Ways to Tame Your Kid’s Tantrums
  2. CNN: How to Talk to Your Kids About Bin Laden’s Death
  3. My Summer Camps: Summer Camp Guide 2011
  4. NY Times: Screening: An Autism Questionnaire at Checkup Time
  5. She Knows Parenting: Mother’s Day Crafts

No More Tantrums!


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It may only be mid-March, but now is the time for high school students to start looking for summer jobs. With the economy still sluggish, many jobs that students would normally take, may be filled by adults who are struggling financially.


So how should you go about looking for summer work?

  1. Start Now. There’s a lot of competition for summer jobs, and the sooner you start looking, the more likely you are to find something.
  2. Make a List. List all the skills you have. Use your education, hobbies, volunteer and paid work to come up with your skills.
  3. Create a Resume. Even if you’ve never had a job before, you can make a one page resume and include your contact info, your education, any awards you’ve had, hobbies and any work or volunteer experience you’ve had.
  4. Use Your Contacts. The number way to success for most anything you will do in your life is by networking. Talk to your parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, volunteer contacts and anyone else you know who may be of help. You’ll have your resume handy to show just how serious you are about finding work.
  5. Think Local. Take a drive around your community and make a list of the different businesses nearby. Then see what you can find out about those businesses on the internet. Call the manager and ask if that business is hiring for the summer. Be ultra professional on the phone and polite. If that business is not hiring, the manager may make suggestions to you about other places that might have openings.
  6. Surf the Web. Look online for local jobs, but know that the vast majority of opening will not be posted. Contacting businesses and friends directly is still the best way to find work.
  7. Make Yourself Wanted. Practice a one sentence explanation of why a business should hire you. “I am very responsible and have 500 hours of volunteer experience at my church helping deliver food for the poor.”
  8. Be Neat. Be Prompt. If you are asked to come in to speak to a manager about a job, be on time. Do not show enter the workplace more than 5 minutes before your appointment, and by all means do not be late. Make sure you are properly dressed. If you are interviewing for a job at a plant nursery or a fast food restaurant, don’t show up in a suit. But do wear clean clothing and closed shoes. No flip flops! Have a pair of khaki pants, a polo shirt and loafers ready for interviews.
  9. Say thanks. Be sure to always be polite and say thank you when you speak to others on the phone or go on interviews. This may seem like a no-brainer – but trust me – not enough people have the courtesy to say thank you these days. And if you do say thanks, you will stand out in the crowd. If at any time, a person goes out of his or her way to help you, write a short note of thanks and stick it in the mail.
  10. Follow Up. People who own and manage businesses can get so busy that they forget to call. So don’t be shy about following up. It’s okay to call a person you spoke to or met with to remind them that you are still available. But be sure not to overdo it. If you do not hear back after one or two calls, you can assume there is no job opening for you.
  11. Create Your Own Income. If you cannot find work, you can create it. Pet sitting, dog walking, errand-running and tutoring are few of many ideas. You’ll need to create some business card and flyers on your computer and start letting your friends and neighbors know what you’re up to.
  12. Be responsible. Do what you say you are going to do. If you are fortunate enough o get a job, by all means, show up on time and do your best work, even if the job is boring or super easy. Every job is a stepping stone to something bigger and better.

The Best Jobs for Summer Employment:

  • Cashier
  • Hostess
  • Wait Person
  • Cook’s Assistant
  • Gift Shop Clerk
  • Driver/Delivery Person
  • Landscaping Assistant
  • Catering Assistant
  • Pet Sitter
  • Baby Sitter
  • Camp Counselor/Assistant
  • Lifeguard
  • Caddy
  • Office Assistant

Best Businesses to Find Summer Jobs:

  • Stores
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • Other Restaurants
  • City Government Sectors
  • Golf Courses
  • Country Clubs
  • Summer Camps
  • Schools
  • Plant Nurseries
  • Local Offices

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Doctors at several health centers in MA are giving child patients from low income families coupons to farmer’s markets for free veggies and fruits in an effort to encourage healthier eating and fight childhood obesity.

18-year-old raised over $1,00,000 for The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Bone marrow stem cells are used to repair skin of pediatric patients with a rare, life threatening skin disorder.


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An article in the NY Times this week describes the extremes colleges are now going to to prevent and catch cheaters. It’s rather shocking. Cheating starts at a young age and festers into adulthood. Here are some of the factors that go into creating cheaters.

Children who do the following are more likely to cheat:

  • have ultra competitive parents who pressure their children to excel or are compared to others who do well.
  • have parents who are never satisfied with their accomplishments.
  • have an overachieving sibling who is older and is compared to that sibling by parents and others.
  • have cheating parents – cheat on their taxes, cheat on their spouses, cheat others in business.
  • are involved in highly competitive sports with competitive coaches.
  • attend a very competitive school with competitive peers.
  • attend a university where they are ranked.
  • who are overwhelmed by their work load.
  • have access to the internet on their cell phones.
  • have cheated before and got away with it or were caught but suffered little or no consequences.
  • see how easy it is for others to do it.

So how do you raise a child to resist the temptation to cheat?

  • Get your own practices in check. Are you a cheater even in “subtle” ways? Are you ultra competitive?
  • Often parents push because they want their child to accomplish what they did not have the motivation to do themselves. That is a common situation among most parents, however it is important to be realistic about what your child can do and wants to do.
  • Watch what you say and hint to your children. “Wow, Tommy got a perfect score on that test you struggled with, so it can be done if you try harder, Son.” “Great job. Maybe next time you can do even better!”
  • Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions when your children are sharing good news with you.
  • Don’t push sports on your children if they are not interested. If they do love sports, don’t make it everything. Constantly talking about winning or a mistake a child made in a game is a huge mistake.
  • Encourage your child to participate in some activities and hobbies that are not competitive.
  • Don’t pressure your child to take accelerated classes or a workload that is too difficult for him. Don’t push the Gifted Program if is not the right fit for your child.
  • Don’t fight for your child’s grades at school and contest teachers’ decisions unless it is absolutely necessary, and rarely will that be the case.
  • Do talk to your child from an early age about cheating, and that you will not condone it for any reason, no matter what others are doing.

If your child is caught cheating or you yourself discovers that she cheated, take immediate action. Make sure the consequences fit the crime.

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I came across this great Q and A int he NY Times where a parent admits that he discovers his son is cyberbullying. It isn’t often that one can read about it from the point of view of the bully’s family. The advice is quite good.  Click here to read it.

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You may have read a story about a boy who is 13 and is trying to reach the peak of Mount Everest. Here’s an article about it in thr NY Times. This young man is risking his life to stake the claim that he is the youngest person to ever reach the peak (his father is on the journey with him). Is it worth it? I suppose if he safely makes it there and back, he’ll sure think so. But soon after he celebrates, someone will come along and blow his record away. “Toddler Climbs Mount Everest Alone in One Week in Diapers.”

There’s another story about a young man named Adam Wheeler who allegedly faked all of his academic records (and claimed to have a perfect SAT score) to get into Harvard and obtain scholarships and grants. He allegedly lied about where he went to college and faked transcripts. He even falsely claimed to author and co-author a long list of books. His ability to fool the pros (for a while) gave him opportunities that should have gone to other authentically accomplished students. Rather than achieving, this young man seemed to be spending his energy scheming. Just imagine if he had put all this effort into actually doing well in school rather than lying! Was there pressure on him by his parents to achieve? How did they not know he was lying to get in? Is he just an extreme example of what the pressure can do to be the best and the brightest?

As a parent of a child who just graduated from high school and survived the college app process, I can tell you that competition among children is getting fiercer and fiercer. When I was graduating from high school, outstanding students never paid for college; they received countless scholarship opportunities. Now there are so many superstar students, not only do colleges not need to offer them scholarships, they don’t even need to accept them into their schools. Students graduate from high school today with a long list of AP credits, academic distinctions, perfect test scores, essay awards, thousands of community service hours, music and dance competitions and on and on.

When is there time to be a kid when you are spending so much time trying to be perfect? Attempting to be better than everyone else in some way? Does all this overachieving really pay off or is there a price to be paid for it?

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I did some research and found some great websites that answer childhood “firsts” questions:

  1. When should a child have his first eye exam?
  2. How early should I test my baby’s hearing?
  3. When should my baby first sleep through the night?
  4. When should my child be moved from a crib to a bed?
  5. How can I tell when it is time for my baby or child to get a new car seat for her size?
  6. How can I tell if my child is ready for potty training?
  7. When should I start reading to my child?
  8. When should I first take my child to a dentist?
  9. How can I know if my child’s language development is normal?
  10. How will I know when my child is ready to ride a bike without training wheels?

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As a children’s book author, I am often asked, “How Can I tell if my young child is gifted?”


There are many possible signs:

  • Love of books – Gifted kids love when their parents read them books, and they can sit still through a short story. They will often ask for books as gifts and you will see them sitting and looking at their books on their own. They will also generally start to read on their own at age 4 or 5.
  • Curiosity – Asking a lot of questions about many topics is a common every day occurrence for gifted children. You can see their wheels turning in their little brains as you answer their questions.
  • Broad Vocabulary –  If you notice your toddler is using “big” words for his age or is very creative in his choice of words, that is an obvious sign of intelligence.
  • Talent – Does your child draw well, have an interest in a musical instrument, often perform for you? These too are signs of a gifted child.
  • Hobbies – A highly intelligent child will have a variety of interests and will likely have a collection of sorts – coins, rocks, shark teeth, stamps, marbles, etc.
  • Concentration – Gifted children are active like other children but ca also concentrate on tasks for a longer period of time than their peers.
  • Memory – A gifted child remembers a great number of facts and events and may shock you when she gets older when she mentions details she remembers from her toddler years.
  • Insight – Many gifted children are wise well beyond their years. They may be more sensitive to others’ emotions or even offer advice that is so mature for their age it will take you by surprise.
  • Desire to be with Older Children and Adults – Bright children, even those as young as 3 or 4 enjoy listening to good conversation. They may prefer to hang out with older kids or sit in on a conversation adults are having.

Parents can generally tell if their child is an advanced learner. If one or both of a child’s parents are gifted, it makes sense that the child may be as well. In any event, a child does not have to be “gifted” to be ultra successful in life. We’ve all known very intellectual yet lazy people as well as ultra successful adults who showed no sign of being gifted as a child.

Success is mostly about motivation and getting along with others.

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If you are looking for a pediatrician for your newborn or just want to change your child’s doctor,there is a right way to go about it. Start by talking to other parents with kids older than yours and find out what doctors those parents like best. You can also call the local hospital for referrals. Ask other parents as well as the pediatrician’s office manager the following questions:

  • How would you rate the office when it comes to getting an appointment when your child is sick?
  • Is the staff friendly?
  • How long do you usually wait?
  • Is the office clean?
  • Are there separate “well waiting rooms” and a sick waiting rooms” or is everyone thrown together?
  • Is there a special waiting room for newborns?
  • Do you always see your own doctor, or do you just see whoever is available there?
  • How’s the bedside manner?
  • Do you do blood work at the office or do you send it out?
  • Do you take my insurance?
  • Do you take credit cards for co-payments?

There’s nothing wrong with visiting the office just to see what it is like inside, before signing up. In addition, do an online search with the doctor’s name to see if he or she has any malpractice claims against him/her. There are now many sites with reviews and ratings of doctors. And It’s amazing what you can find out about a person by just searching his/her name. (I Googled this weird MD I once had, and found out that he was arrested in 2001 for illegal drug possession.)

Over the years I’ve figured out how to work the pediatrician’s office system. For example, if my child is sick at night, I start calling the office a minute or so before it opens so I can be one of the first to get an appointment. You cannot expect to call at 3pm and get in to see a doctor. Another tip is that I do not use a doctor who is the heads of a children’s departments at the hospital. Those MDs make you wait so long, because they get stuck at the hospitals with emergencies and meetings in the morning, starting their appointments late. That causes all appointments to be delayed all day long.

Before you take your child in, whether he is sick or just getting a check-up, be prepared with questions. There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving and then realizing you forgot to ask the doctor something important. Good luck getting him on the phone later. But also, mind the doctor’s time. I don’t like it when other parents chit-chat for a long time and make me wait. So I want to be courteous to the doctor and other parents as well.

The most important part of any doctor’s visit is washing your hands and your child’s hands upon leaving. I actually wash my hands in the examining room while waiting for the doctor to come in. I wash them again when leaving. And again when getting home – and I do this thoroughly! When my daughter was small, I supervised while she washed and encouraged her to play in the suds a bit. With all those kids coughing, sneezing, pooping, peeing and vomiting in the office, you’ve gotta do your best not to bring those germs home.

My apologies – there’s simply no other way I could have said that.

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Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey,

I thought it would be interesting to research many different statistics about American children. Here are some of the countless fascinating facts I discovered:



In a NHANES II survey of the Prevalence of Obesity in Children ages 2-19 years

  • Ages 2 through 5  –  In 1976-1980 study, 5% were obese. In 2003-2006 study, 12.4% were obese.
  • Ages 6 through 11  –  In 1976-1980 study, 6.5% were obese. In 2003-2006 study,17.0%were obese.
  • Ages 12 through 19 – In 1976-1980 study, 5% were obese. In 2003-2006 study, 17.6% were obese.



Experts estimate that two to six children out of every 1,000 will have autism. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.

We can estimate that up to 500,000 individuals younger than 21 have autism.




The National Association for Gifted Children estimates there are around 3 million academically gifted children in grades K-12 in the U.S. That’s about 6% of the student population.


Students who study music test better. Those who took courses in music performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT than those who did not participate in the arts. Music performance students scored 53 points higher on the verbal and 39 points higher on the math.



One child in four in the US grows up not knowing how to read.

85 percent of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.



The number of elementary school-age children (ages 5 through 13) declined by 381,000 while the number of their high school-age counterparts (ages 14 through 17) increased by 329,000 between 2003 and 2004.


The last census shows that high school graduation rates for women (ages 25 years and older) continued to exceed those of men, 85.4 percent and 84.9 percent, respectively. But 28.9 percent of men had a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 26.5 percent of women.

Utah, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire and Alaska continued to have the highest proportions of people 25 years and older with a high school diploma or higher (around 92 percent).


Smoking, Alcohol and Substance Abuse


About 40% of adolescents ages 12–17 years have tried smoking cigarettes, including a few puffs, in their lifetime.

Overall, Mexican American adolescents (41%) and non-Hispanic white adolescents (41%) had a higher prevalence of ever having tried smoking cigarettes, compared with non-Hispanic black adolescents (34%)


Sixteen percent of adolescents aged 12–17 years had their first alcoholic drink before age 13. Among those adolescents who had an alcoholic drink, 37% did so before age 13

Eighteen percent of males and 14% of females aged 12–17 years reported drinking before age 13.

Overall, 21% percent of adolescents aged 12–17 years had at least one drink of alcohol during the 30 days before the survey (Table 18).

Females (23%) reported a higher percentage of alcohol use in the past 30 days than males (19%).

Ten percent of adolescents aged 12–17 years had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day during the past month (Table 21).

Females (10%) were as likely as males (11%) to have had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row within a couple of hours on at least one day during the past month.

Non-Hispanic black adolescents (30%) were least likely to have had at least one drink of alcohol, compared with Mexican American adolescents (42%) and non-Hispanic white adolescents (41%).


Approximately 21% of adolescents aged 12–17 years had ever tried marijuana.


Teen Sex

Nearly half (46%) of all 15–19-year-olds in the United States have had sex at least once.

Teens are waiting longer to have sex than they did in the past. Some 13% of never-married females and 15% of never-married males aged 15–19 in 2002 had had sex before age 15, compared with 19% and 21%, respectively, in 1995

In 2007, the adolescent birth rate was 22.2 per 1,000 adolescents ages 15–17.

the total number of missing children reported to the police and entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in 2000 remained at approximately 750,000, or 2,100 children per day, down from 2,200 per day in 1998.


There were 12.9 million one-parent families in 2006 — 10.4 million single-mother families and 2.5 million single-father families.

About 5.7 million children, or 8 percent of the total, lived in a household that included a grandparent in 2006. The majority of these children (3.7 million) lived in the grandparent’s home, and of these, about 60 percent had a parent present.

Hispanic and Asian children under 12 were more likely to eat dinner with a parent every day in a typical week than children who were non-Hispanic white or black children.


On September 30, 2006, there were an estimated 510,000 children in foster care.


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