Editor's Note:

Editor’s Note – March 2015

We have a wonderful issue for you. Let’s start with the cover. Beauty and the Beast will be performed by the San Carlos Children’s Theater, March 27, 28 and 29. Don’t miss this opportunity to expose your children to live theater.

If you have ever wondered if your child would benefit from private school, read Private Schools: Finding the Right Match for Your Child written by Halstrom Schools. Some private schools are highly competitive, some promise nurturing environments and others have one-on-one teaching. Seeking out the right school for your child is daunting, but remember, there is a school for every child!

Bullying and body language are the subject of Deborah Hamui’s article. She says that teaching your child to stand tall, look people in the eye when talking to them and not emphasizing negative thoughts will give your child an aura of confidence. This will discourage bullies from taking aim. Worth a try!

Our resident eye expert, Dr. Carole Hong, reminds us that adults as well as children can have Visual Fatigue Syndrome. Do you have it? After reading the article, I think I do! Especially on those days were I am bent over a computer screen all day. By nighttime my eyes are shot. Are yours? How about your kids? We’re all doing too much digital! Don’t miss this article, because Dr. Hong has some concrete suggestions.

And then there’s the elephant in the room: Measles. Please read that Dr. Is In, our monthly column by Dr. Jason Clark of Kaiser Permanente and follow his good lead! The health of our community depends on each and every one of us.

Until next time,

—Tory Hartmann
Editor

Choosing the Right Swim Lessons… It’s Serious Business!

Learning how to swim is just one of many life lessons and choosing swim classes is as serious as selecting a pediatrician or school. Parents need to teach their kids when they are young, but simply having a neighbor who used to work as a lifeguard provide instruction or signing up for a class at the local YMCA may not be the best option. Just as parents interview pediatricians and get references for preschools and babysitters, research also needs to be done when selecting a swim class for kids. Not only do swim instructors need to be certified in CPR and have gone through swim teacher training courses, there is also standard curriculum that needs to be taught depending on a child’s age and skill level.

POP Picks:

POP Picks: Book Recommendations

In early March we start to eagerly anticipate spring and the holidays associated with it—Easter, Pass over and Mayday. After the chilly days of winter, spring brings us longer days, warmer temperatures, budding trees and beautiful flowers. The rabbit—which is legendary for its ability to reproduce—is a perfect symbol for the rebirth that we celebrate in spring. Rabbits have appeared in a wide variety of forms in children’s literature, including Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter, the bunny siblings from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter; the rambunctious bunny baby and his loving mother in Margaret Wise Brown’s Runaway Bunny; the stuffed bunny who becomes real in Velveteen Rabbit by Marjery Williams; and Cottontail, the mother of 21 bunnies who becomes the Easter Bunny in The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward. Bunnies have been used by children’s book authors through the years to convey ideas that may have a greater impact on the reader than if child characters were used.

The Doctor is in:

Measles: Un-Welcome Back

My parents were born in the 1930s. My mother was delivered in her house by her 18-year-oldsister. She is a true Idaho hillbilly. Neither she nor my father received vaccines as infants. Thy made it through the younger years and contracted many of the infections that we can now prevent. Others in their family were not so fortunate. I had an aunt that I never met. She died of meningitis at six months of age. Two of my father’s cousins contracted polio and lived in an iron lung for months. One of those cousins was also sterilized by mumps. We are now seeing an outbreak of measles. This disease was basically absent from the US in 2000. We have seen a dramatic rise over the last few years and this is due to many families not vaccinating their children.

Private Schools: Finding the Right Match for Your Child

As parents, we want the best possible educational opportunities for our children. Students want a place where they can excel at their own pace, fid a supportive peer group and truly rise to their potential.

Educators, administrators and parents agree that the probability of student success largely hinges on selecting a school that is a “good match” for an individual student. For many students, the best educational and social fi can be found in a private school environment.

Finding that match requires a comparison of class size, activities, curriculum requirements, course availability, scheduling, cost—and perhaps most importantly to students themselves—the social environment.

Visual Fatigue Syndrome 8 out of 10 People Impacted by New Epidemic. Are you one of them?

Does this sound like you? It’s late afternoon, you rub your eyes and your neck, take a deep sigh and get back on your computer so you can finish your work. After leaving the office, you check your phone and respond to a few texts before driving home. On your way home you notice you are having trouble seeing the street signs.

You pick up the kids and before starting dinner you hop on the computer to check emails and look on Pinterest fora recipe. Once dinner is simmering, you decide to relax by taking a peak at Facebook or read for a short time on you re-book or Kindle. In the meantime, your kids use Google Translate and Kahn Academy on their iPad to complete their homework. Thy then start playing games on their tablet or watch a video on YouTube.

Body Language and Bullying: Train your child not to be a target!

Your child’s body language affects how others see and interact with them. It can also change how your child sees him/herself. Encourage your child to physically stand and project confidence, even when feeling insecure. Just by showing confidence, their chances of success increase while their chance of being bullied decreases. The following tips and strategies can help children feel confident, be successful and avoid being a bully target.

What You Should Do:

Time out for Teens:

Reaching Agreement

You know you should take the “high road” in parenting, but sometimes crazy-making behavior by teens makes parents act a little crazy too. During those times, it’s good to maintain your sense of humor. Like this, which a friend shared recently.

Her son, a freshman, had been struggling with some of his classes. She asked him, “Did you finish your homework tonight?”

“Yeah, Mom, I got it all done.” Cool.

Go-to Grandma:

That’s Grandma’s Cell Phone!

I remember my excitement the day I got my fist smartphone two years ago. I couldn’t wait to show my two granddaughters all the fun apps we could play on it. My granddaughters were nine and fie and immediately wanted to change my wallpaper and ring tones. The older one deftly maneuvered her way around the settings as if she’d owned one all her life. We downloaded half a dozen educational apps and began playing them. Little did I know that phone would eventually become a major source of conflict for me just like so many parents who must limit their children’s cell phone use?

Technology vs. Real Experiences

Growing Up Online:

The Pros and Cons of Anonymous Social Media

Keeping secrets is part of growing up. Deciding what you’ll tell people about yourself—and others—is one way children develop an understanding of privacy and trust.

With Facebook and other forms of public social media, nothing is secret. Even young children now know that comments or photos become part of a person’s “permanent record.” And that’s one reason many teens are switching to anonymous apps with names like Whisper, Secret, Yik Yak, Street Chat and FessApp.