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White House Launches New Initiative for Fathers to Connect with Kids

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Just in time for Father’s Day, the White House has announced a year of “Strong Fathers, Strong Families” as part of President Obama’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. The new initiative has five key components. First, the White House coupled with various organizations to create opportunities with dads to connect with kids. In August there will be a day when fathers can bowl free with kids. Group discount websites Living Social and Groupon will also provide ways for fathers to connect with kids in a very simple and meaningful way. Second, for fathers who are out of work or need extra help, the White House program will organize community programs. Third, dads who have overcome financial, personal, and physical obstacles while still being active in the family will be highlighted on Fatherhood.gov.  Next, the Department of Education will host “Watch Dog” days when dads of outstanding students can spend a day volunteering their time by reading books, being a hall monitor, etc. Finally, the “Dad Talk” blog on Fatherhood.gov has been revamped as a source for parenting news and tips.

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Daily News Roundup

Friday, June 17th, 2011

CDC Seeks Input on Meningitis Vaccine for Infants
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are hearing from parents, health care providers and others in New Hampshire as it starts exploring whether infants should be vaccinated against meningitis, a rare but potentially deadly infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. (MSNBC)

Reading With Mom Can Boost Kindergarten Readiness
Home learning experiences such as reading books with parents can improve low-income preschool children’s readiness to start school, researchers say. (Yahoo)

1 of 8 French Kids with Burger E.coli Gets Worse
The condition of one of the children infected with a strain of the E.coli bacteria in northern France has deteriorated, Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said on Friday.
Eight children have been admitted to hospital after eating beef burgers bought frozen from the German discount chain Lidl. (Yahoo)

City Reduces Chronic Absenteeism in Public Schools
Throughout New York, educators and politicians have been increasing their focus on attendance in recent years, and their efforts appear to be paying off, at least in elementary schools: 1 in 15 elementary students were absent on a given day this year, compared to 1 in 13 four years ago and 1 in 9 in 1995. (New York Times)

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New Study: Technology Is Not So Bad for Families After All

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Is your kid always on the phone, playing on the Wii, downloading music, or editing videos? Before you start unplugging your kids, read the new study from Ogilvy & Mather and Communispace. Their new study, “Tech Fast Forward: Plug in to see the brighter side of life,” examines the advantages of “Tech Fast Forward” Families. TFF Families tend to use more sophisticated technology than the average person (with children ages 3 to 12) and are seen as “in the know” and on the cutting edge of technology.

The research found that TFF Families had a more positive mindset and expressed less anxiety about the future. TFF parents are also more likely than parents in the general market to say their kids are on the right path. They believe their children are developing critical skills that will empower them to navigate— and even save—the world! Plus, for all their optimism and embracement of technology, TFF parents are the most protective of their kids, since they know the dangers of the tech world.

Interestingly, most of these TFF families are Asian, educated, influential, and affluent members of society. But don’t think they aren’t interacting with the real world; they’re also the most social in and outside the technological realm. Aside from using technology to communicate with others and make daily activities easier, technology is being used to make strides in the medical field, cure diseases, and create shortcuts for extensive procedures.

Not all parents are happy with the increase in technology. Amy, a 34-year-old mother of two kids, told researchers, “I really dislike that every minivan now seems to come standard with TVs in the back. Being in the car is a great time to talk with your kids. It’s one of the few times you have their undivided attention! So now I sound like an old crabby person, when in reality my girls are exposed to all sorts of media. …. I just want to make sure that they don’t grow up thinking that the interactions they have online or with the TV can take the place of the ones you have with real humans.” Still, though parents complain about the dissolution of real communication with texting, IMing, and lack of face-to-face contact, the study found that busy families are actually more in tune with each other when using technology.

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Daily News Roundup

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

New Recruit in Homework Revolt: The Principal
The school board will vote this summer on a proposal to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for each year of school — 20 minutes for second graders, and so forth — and ban assignments on weekends, holidays and school vacations. (New York Times)
Sex after kids: The art of the quickie
According to a recent survey by the online magazine Baby Talk, just 24% of parents say they’re satisfied with their post-baby sex lives, compared to 66% who were happy before they had children. (CNN)

America’s tale of 2 different dads
A tale of two different fathers has emerged in America: Those who regularly participate in their children’s everyday lives and those who live apart from their kids, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. (CNN)
(more…)

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New Doll Teaches Boys to Care for Others

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

This Sunday children will celebrate their fathers for their kindness, generosity, loyalty, nurturing and well…all around awesomeness. While traditionally mothers have been the nurturers, nowadays fathers play an integral role in raising well-adjusted boys. From changing diapers to nursing sick ones, dads are there from day one. To teach their sons how to become caring fathers and husbands, some parents are giving their youngsters dolls such as a  Corolle’s Suce Pouce Doll in blue and Corolle’s Blue Green Stroller–both popular with toddler boys.  The dolls help boys feel secure and confident as they learn to care for others, Corolle’s Web site says. That’s not all; Corolle dolls can help parents prepare sons for a new baby or aid in potty training!

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Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

“Dirty Dozen” List of Produce
The “dirty dozen” list of the twelve fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticide residue was released Monday by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). (Third Age.com)

FDA Bans ‘Waterproof,’ ‘Sweatproof’ Sunscreen Labels
Not all sunscreens are created equal, and indeed, searching for the perfect formulation—waterproof, sweatproof, sunblock or spray—can overwhelm even the most decisive shopper. But a new set of rules regulating sunscreen released by the Food & Drug Administration on Tuesday aims to take the guesswork out of finding effective sun protection for consumers. (Mainstreet.com)

Could Sleeping on Left Side Help Prevent Stillbirth?
For pregnant women, reducing the risk for stillbirth may be as simple as sleeping on their left side, New Zealand researchers suggest. (Health.com)

(more…)

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Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News RoundupSmartphone danger: Distracted parenting
Still, I know my addiction to my hand-held device is bad. Checking my phone while talking to my kid while cooking dinner is hurting my capacity to stay with a thought for more than 140 characters.

Living with pets may protect infants from allergies
Children who live with dogs and cats are less likely to develop allergies to those animals later in life, but only if the pet is under the same roof while the child is still an infant, a new study suggests.

Japan city to give radiation counters to children
Japan’s Fukushima city said on Tuesday it would hand radiation dosimeters to 34,000 children to gauge their exposure from the crippled nuclear power plant about 60 kilometres (40 miles) away.

(more…)

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Meet Our Newest Blogger: Jill Cordes

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Jill Cordes is successful in every way of the word. It’s a rare thing, but she has carved herself a place on top with other TV personalities.  She’s visited Zanzibar, Timbuktu and Casablanca all in the same year. She’s even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, ridden a camel, and run the New York City, Boston and Chicago Marathons. Her bio says it the best, that she’s “no ordinary TV personality.”

In the midst of all her success, one thing was not on her mind: babies. In fact, this gal didn’t even like them! So much so, that at 30 she contemplated getting her tubes tied. Eventually for various reasons, her husband and she decided to get off birth control and “see what happens.” The last thing that 39-year-old expected was becoming pregnant.

After numerous therapy sessions discussing whether she’d love her newborn as much as her cat, Wayne, she welcomed her daughter Fia (Yep, she loves the little bundle more than the kitty!).

Read her blog, Of Fi I sing, as Jill unabashedly shares her experiences with mommyhood.

Meet our other featured bloggers:

Allison Winn Scotch, The Balance Sheet

Heather Morgan Shott, High Chair Times

Nick Shell, Dadabase

Richard Rende, Red-hot Parenting

Julia Landry, Unexpectedly Expecting

Holli Lebowitz Rossi, Parents News Now

Nicole Dorsey, The Adoption Diaries

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