Growing Up Online:

The Best Bullying Prevention

Bullying is a word that has almost lost its meaning because it’s been used so often and under so many circumstances. That’s especially true online where cyber bullying is used to describe almost any interaction that makes adults uncomfortable, from filming, gossip and pranks to impersonation, slander and threats.

In her new book, It’s Complicated, Hannah Boyd points out that “the language of bullying often presumes that there’s a perpetrator and a victim. By focusing on blaming the perpetrator and protecting the victim, well-intended adults often fail to recognize the complexity of most conflcts.” She suggests that parents avoid using the term “bullying” unless behavior meets three criteria identified by Swedish psychology Dan Olweus:

Children's Book & Music Reviews:

POP Picks: Book Recommendations

I always loved to surprise my children with a special picture book for each holiday and I’m enjoying doing this for my grandchildren now. In case some of you also like to find new holiday books, I’d like to share with you my favorite new Halloween picture books.

Sign Language and Early Language Development

American Sign Language, or ASL, is widely accepted as the dominant language of adults and children in the deaf community. More recently, ASL and other less formal methods of sign have gained recognition for their role in aiding communication in typically developing children. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and speech and language delay can also benefit from using sign language to increase their communicative abilities (Schwartz and Nye, 2006).

Sign language has been shown to have positive communicative benefits for typically developing babies. Studies have shown that babies as young as six- to seven months-old can remember a sign. By eight months, they have the ability to imitate gestures and sign single words. At age two, toddlers can begin to sign compound words and full sentences (Glairon, 2003). However, most parents and children fade out their use of sign before they reach the level of phrases and sentences in favor of spoken language.

Why do we have allergies?

According to the medical definition, an allergy can only be to a protein. Therefore, by definition, one cannot be allergic to a strawberry because there is no protein. Any other allergic reaction is called a food sensitivity. Sensitivities occur when your body has been reacting to a protein for some time and has become hypersensitive. It may react accidentally to something that resembles a protein it attacked in the past. Our bodies attack because 80% of the immune system lies along the digestive tract, mostly in the intestines. If the stomach does not produce enough acid to break down food, then big particles of undigested food make it to the intestine. Th large particles bump into the intestinal lining causing inflammation and small holes or “leaky gut.” When the immune system detects these foreign particles leaking out, it does a great job in attacking and we perceive an allergic reaction. In an attempt to protect the entire body, the immune system does not only trigger reactions in the intestines, but may react across the skin or sinuses.

Help Kids with Special Needs

In many ways, Mikey is like every other three-year old boy. However, at the age of one, Mikey was diagnosed with autism. “I would say right after his fist birthday he just seemed to be distant. The eye contact was disappearing, and the speech just wasn’t there,” explains his mom, Stella M. “These were red flags.”

For his two professional parents, this created a real career dilemma. “Once we fiured out what the costs were going to be, there was no way that one of us could stay home,” says Stella. “And what does staying home mean? Am I or is my husband the right person to provide what Mikey needs for his success? We were just hitting a dead end.”

World View:

Is Zuo Yuezi for you?

Would you try Zuo Yuezi following the birth of your child? Would you give up eating your favorite food and stay indoors for a month? Do you believe in postpartum confiement? What if someone else takes care of your convalescence? Or a team of experts takes care of your new baby? That’s what many women in Asia are experiencing during their postnatal confinement following childbirth and sometimes, they do this in style.

So what is Zuo Yuezi?

Nursing Your Baby:

Should I Wake My Baby to Make Him Eat?

Jodi asks, “My son just turned two months and is gaining weight really well. At what point can we allow him to sleep until he wants to wake and eat? My son went seven hours straight this entire week and then eight hours tonight. I really am enjoying the sleep, but I am getting really full during the night and that wakes me up. My other worry is that he does not eat much longer than fie minutes on each breast before he is done. Th only times his feedings are longer and more frequent are during the early morning and evening feedings. My sister told me that when her baby was four-and-a-half months old, she would give him a dream feed (a feeding that happens while he is still asleep) so he would sleep longer. I was wondering if I should do the same for my son. Is he truly too young to allow a full night’s sleep, even as long as twelve hours?”

Preschool Parent:

Separation Anxiety is Not a Disease

The long-awaited class is about to begin. Your little one has been talking about it for weeks, but now they are stuck to you like a barnacle and your heart is aching just a bit too. Yikes, what went wrong?

All of life is a series of separations. Some are minor, such as parting with a friend at the end of a day. Others are major, like the death of a loved one. Dealing with separations is a life skill, and mastery always requires practice, while missing people and things we love is a sign of healthy attachment.

Go-to Grandma:

Grandparents Need to Be Team Players

One of the great misconceptions about grandparenthood is that it’s all about you and your grandchild. Many brand new grandmas are so infatuated with their new grandchild they can often forget the most important people in this new relationship: the grandchild’s parents. That’s why grandparents need to be team players.

Your relationship with your grandchild is embedded in the relationship with your adult child and his or her spouse. Thy are the gatekeepers to a successful relationship with your grandchildren.

Father Knows Best?:

Halloween Happiness

I love Halloween. I probably love Halloween even more than my kids. I love the crazy costumes, I love watching old monster movies on TV and I love eating candy. I also love decorating the front of our house with animatronic monsters and blinking ghosts to create an immersive experience for trick-or-treaters to enjoy when they come to our door. I’m even thinking of buying a fog machine this year to blow a “mist” across the decorative faux-tombstones I’ll be setting up on the front lawn. That’s how much I love this holiday.