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Friday, February 8th, 2013
This week I attended an event put on by Sesame Street designed to spread the word about their newest goal, to help children affected by divorce. (That translates to 40 percent of all children, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.) This project, called “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” includes an impressive collection of resources, all of which are available to parents, caregivers, and educators, and of course the children themselves at sesamestreet.org/divorce. This includes:
- A book called Two-Hug Day, which is the very sweet way of helping a child frame the difficult transition that comes on the day he or she goes from one parent’s home to the other
- A series of Sesame Street videos primarily starring Abby Cadabby, whose parents are getting divorced
- A coloring book, including a page that illustrates all of the adults in Abby’s life who are there to support her
- Tips for friends and family on how to help children who are going through the challenges of separation and divorce (this is available in Spanish, too)
At this week’s event, a discussion with divorced parents (some as recently as months ago, some who’ve been divorced for 6 years), moms and dads very honestly shared their painful experiences. It hurt to hear one mom of three say, “Nothing could have prepared me for the road I’ve taken,” though she also pointed out that her family has come a long way since those hardest days. A dad of two children talked about how hard pickup and dropoff has been for his 5 1/2-year-old son: “He’d have an extremely wide and conflicting range of emotions,” he said. “He simply did not know what to do with himself.” My closest friend has recently gone through a divorce and her two children are trying very hard to navigate their way through their new family life, so this hit home for me. What was encouraging, though, was that most of the parents said that things really do get better; that they and their children have made real strides. They also agreed that a toolkit like the one Sesame Street has assembled is invaluable. If you’re going through a separation or divorce and want to find ways to help your child through it, please do check out sesamestreet.org/divorce.
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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
U.S. Students Still Lag Globally in Math and Science, Tests Show
Fourth- and eighth-grade students in the United States continue to lag behind students in several East Asian countries and some European nations in math and science, although American fourth graders are closer to the top performers in reading, according to test results released on Tuesday. (via New York Times)
Obesity in Young Is Seen as Falling in Several Cities
After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines. The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students. (via New York Times)
Vermont Tops Lists of Healthiest States
The annual America’s Health Rankings list is out, pitting U.S. states against each other in a no-holds-barred contest of health. For the fourth year in a row, Vermont takes the top spot as healthiest state. How did your state fare? (via ABC Health)
Overeating in Children may be Linked to Drug Use
Do bad nutrition habits like overeating or binge eating lead to smoking pot? Some health experts think they might, according to a study published Monday. (via CNN Health)
D Is for Divorce: Sesame Street Tackles Another Touchy Topic
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In early 1992, a census report predicted that 40% of children would soon live in divorced homes. As one of the most famous children’s-television programs in the world, Sesame Street was determined to take on a topic most kids shows wouldn’t touch. (via Time)
America's Health Rankings, cities, divorce, drug use, health, healthiest states, math, Noelia de la Cruz, obesity, Parents Daily News Roundup, Science, sesame street, students, Vermont | Categories:
Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
It’s a very lucky family tree these days that doesn’t have a least one of its branches spliced by a split-up. We have several divorces in our extended family, and now that our ever-curious kids are old enough to notice (4 and 5), I’ve had to explain several times why certain grandparents are unattached and other relatives are out of the picture all-together. Tricky stuff. So when I got an invite for a screening of HBO Family’s documentary, “Don’t Divorce Me,” which touchingly follows several preschoolers and elementary schoolers as they cope with their parents’ split, I RSVPed yes. You’ll blink back tears, but also come away with real-life ways to help your kids cope in the wake of an event that truly does rock their little world. My favorite tip (from a tween who hadn’t cut her hair since before her folks called it quits): Let your children hold onto their memories. “Don’t Divorce Me” airs Thursday September 21 at 6:30 p.m., and might be the most well-spent 30 minutes of your day.
Click here to watch the trailer.
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Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Number of Biracial Babies Soars Over Past Decade
The number of mixed-race babies has soared over the past decade, new census data show, a result of more interracial couples and a cultural shift in how many parents identify their children in a multiracial society.
Unplanned Pregnancies Common in Women in Their 20s
More than two-thirds of pregnancies in unmarried 20-something women between 2001 and 2008 were unplanned, a new study finds.
Parents Wary of Childhood Vaccines? Here’s How to Persuade Them
Doctors need to step up their p.r. game if they’re going to counter the anti-immunization tide, says a new Mayo Clinic study that offers talking points on how to respond to parents’ fears.
Posts on Facebook Lead to ACLU Lawsuit
The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting the expulsion of three eighth-graders in northwest Indiana for what their school said were Facebook comments about which classmates they would most like to kill.
Will Divorce Ceremonies Make Parents’ Split Easier on Kids?
Some experts are saying divorce ceremonies are the newest way to help children get through their parents’ break-up, and for adults to take that first positive step toward co-parenting together.
Teen Girls Take More Risks Behind Wheel, Study Finds
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A new study suggests that teen girls are far more likely than boys to engage in distracted driving behavior.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Hospitals Pressured to End Free Baby Formula
New parents leaving U.S. hospitals often take home a corporate gift along with their babies: a tote bag filled with infant formula. Consumer advocates want to end the giveaways, which they say undermine breastfeeding.
Can Autism Really Be Diagnosed in Minutes?
A Harvard researcher says he’s achieved exceptional accuracy in identifying autism by using just seven online questions and an evaluation of a short home video of the child, instead of conventional, face-to-face exams that can take hours.
Child’s Cancer May Not Boost Parents’ Divorce Risk
Parents of children with cancer may be under emotional strain, but they are no more likely than other couples to split up, a new study concludes.
Super Surrogate Gives Birth to 15th Baby
Over the years Meredith Olafson has given birth to 15 babies – but only four of them are hers.
Connecticut Boy Brings Heroin to Kindergarten Show-and-Tell; Stepdad Arrested
A 5-year-old boy found dozens of bags of heroin inside a jacket he had taken to school and showed them to his kindergarten classmates, the school superintendent said Tuesday.
The Hot Names of 2012, Revealed
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Baby names 2012 are already proving to be very different from last year’s choices, with The Hunger Games taking over from Twilight as the primary cultural influence on names, the hottest boys’ names taking a cue from the girls, and musical names trumping Hollywood for inspiration.
Friday, March 30th, 2012
Experts: Wide ‘Autism Spectrum’ May Explain Diagnosis Surge
During the briefing for reporters Thursday on the CDC’s latest findings that one in 88 children in the U.S. (one in 54 boys) has a diagnosis of some brain disorder that falls on the “autism spectrum,” there was a polite but revealing dust up. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conceded –in response to a question– that the increase in cases could be the result in changes in the way such disorders are diagnosed.
Recording Catches Teachers Mistreating Special Needs Student
Two Alabama teachers have been put on administrative leave after the mother of a 10-year-old student with cerebral palsy attached an audio recorder to the bottom of his wheelchair and caught them scolding him about drooling, among other things.
Bringing Up an E-Reader
It may take a generation to know for sure whether e-books are better for children than regular books.
Impatient Parents Tend to Bring Up Unruly Toddlers
According to new research, how mothers and fathers react when their children test their limits may have a lasting effect on their development.
‘Cinnamon Challenge,’ Popular with Teens, Proves Risky
It’s a relatively simple dare, but teens are sending themselves to the hospital by attempting the “cinnamon challenge.”
First Divorce Expo in U.S. Aims to ‘Empower’ Attendees
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Exhibitors will showcase services to help people dealing with the divorce process.
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Minority babies almost the majority
White infants are on the verge of being displaced as the majority of newborns now that nearly half of babies in the USA are ethnic and racial minorities.
Marriage, divorce rates higher in the South, lower in Northeast
Where you live may influence your attitudes and actions toward marriage and divorce more than you think, suggests a federal report out today that gives the clearest picture in 20 years about the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA.
How to Fix Our Math Education
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There is widespread alarm in the United States about the state of our math education. All this worry, however, is based on the assumption that there is a single established body of mathematical skills that everyone needs to know to be prepared for 21st-century careers
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
Code Red Drills Prep Kids for School Shootings. But is That TMI?
Recently, a viral video of a teacher singing to her classroom has terrified me. It shows a kindergarten class in Monterrey, Mexico, and their teacher is leading them in cheery Barney songs – while lying facedown on the floor to avoid the windows, as there’s a shootout going on outside. (MSNBC)
Divorce Can Hurt Kids’ Math Scores, Friendships
Young children of divorce are not only more likely to suffer from anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and sadness, they experience long-lasting setbacks in interpersonal skills and math test scores, new research suggests. (Yahoo)
Could Too Much Coffee Affect Chances of Pregnancy?
Caffeine may perk you up mentally, but it could have the opposite effect on your fallopian tubes, leading researchers to wonder whether women who drink coffee, tea and soda may have a harder time getting pregnant. (Yahoo)
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