the onset, a couple shares the goal of remaining together forever, “until death
do us part.” Of course, we hear an often cited statistic that “half of all
marriages end in divorce.” But data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the
Centers for Disease Control reveal a much more subtle picture, as a myriad of
factors influence divorce. Forty-one percent of first marriages end in divorce,
60% of second marriages end in divorce, and 73% of third marriages end in
divorce. The older couples are at the time of their first marriage, the less
likely they are to divorce. The average age at the time of the first marriage
has increased steadily since the 1950’s (and is now 27 for men and 25 for
women), and the average duration of marriage has steadily decreased since the
1950’s (e.g., about ¾ of marriages in the late 1950’s were at least 20 years in
duration, and now about ½ of marriages have lasted at least 20 years). Most
people get married (and here are the percentages of people who have ever been
married: by age 25, 32% of males and 50% of females; by age 35, 77% of males
and 84% of females; by age 45, 87% of males, and 90% of females).
are some myths and facts about divorce:
learn from the bad experiences of their first marriages, and, therefore, second
marriages are more successful.
indicated above, the rate of divorce for first marriages is 41% versus 60% for
prior to marriage reduces chance of divorce.
who live together prior to marriage actually have higher rates of divorce than
those who first live together upon getting married.
a child increases marital satisfaction.
the course of marriage, stress is usually highest shortly after the birth of
the first child.
usually get disproportionately high financial settlements.
when additional expenses are factored from new living arrangements, women have
an average loss of 27% and men have an average loss of 10%.
who grew up with divorce are more careful and, therefore, successfully avoid
divorce in their own adult lives.
who grow up with divorced parents have higher rates of divorce than children where
the parents remained married.
in step-families are better-off than children in single-parent families.
step-families have higher incomes than single-parent families, however children
appear to have comparable psychological functioning in both step-families and
single parent families.
usually initiate the procedure of divorce.
two-thirds of all divorce proceedings are initiated by women.
these facts and statistics may be “interesting”, there is one universal fact:
Children and parents suffer when a marriage is unhealthy, and they suffer in a
divorce. That said, the “goal” of a healthy divorce for every parent should
be, first and foremost, to protect the well-being of their children (even if
their soon-to-be ex-spouse undermines their efforts to do so). Here are some
useful guidelines and goals to strive for:
your child about the divorce together with your spouse.
unpleasant, inappropriate details.
your child that the divorce is between the adults, and not their fault.
concrete details (e.g., living arrangements, school, visitation, etc.)
child may show concern with day-to-day details (so establish a routine to
help Junior feel more secure)
behavior may be observed (e.g., toileting accidents, separation anxiety),
so be patient and supportive.
emotions may emerge (e.g., anger, anxiety, guilt, sadness), so help Junior
express and manage these emotions.
child may appear relieved.
your child out of the mud:
not force Junior to choose sides.
not use Junior as a messenger or go-between.
not argue or discuss issues in front of your child.
not “pry” information about your soon-to-be ex-spouse from your child.
not use Junior as a pawn to hurt the other parent.
not speak ill of your soon-to-be ex-spouse in front of your child (because
a child often sees himself in both parents, and “bashing” the other parent
could indeed have a negative impact on your child).
not disrespect your child’s relationship with the other parent.
not break the rules of your agreement
not “give-in” and give up on discipline (even if your soon-to-be- ex-spouse
indulges Junior), because children do best (behaviorally and emotionally)
with consistency, structure and routine
care of your own emotional needs:
support from family, friends, or a support group (and remember that this
is not your child’s role)
active and involved in things that you need to do (e.g., work, chores,
active and involved in things that you want to do to the extent that your
schedule allows (e.g., going for a quick walk, spend a few minutes reading
care of your child’s emotional needs:
child may derive benefit from counseling, especially if he experiences
significant difficulties with emotional, social, or academic functioning
(e.g., oppositional/defiant behavior, personality changes, conflict with
peers, excessive fears, compulsive/repetitive behavior, sleep or eating
your child first and work hard to interact with your soon-to-be ex-spouse
in a manner that will minimize conflict and help your child’s adjustment.
of the Revolution: All aboard from Parents to Professors, and Teachers to Tots!
computers first arrived on the scene, some were quick to question whether
software was a developmentally appropriate tool for teaching preschoolers.
However, with the proliferation of computers over time, attitudes became more
positive. For example, by 1997 eighty-percent of parents and teachers used the
computer as an important tool in a child’s education (according to a survey of
seven hundred respondents conducted by the independent research firm, Market
Facts, Inc.). In a 1996 Position Statement, the National Association for the
Education of Young Children recognized the rich educational opportunities
technology affords children (NAEYC, 1996). Even public policy has repeatedly
identified the importance of computer technology in education (No Child Left
Behind Act, 2002; ISTE, 2000; Goals 2000, 1994; The Technology Literacy
Challenge Fund, 1997). Resisting technology in the classroom would be like
resisting crayons; not impossible, but also not wise. 1984 and 2001 have come
and gone, and progress has not stopped throughout human history. The road has
been proverbially paved by public policy, and schools are flying along the
information highway at light-speed.
is where the hard drive is
1943 Thomas Watson, the chairman of IBM estimated the global market for computers
to be “about 5 or 6.” Fifty years ago the UNIAC computer weighed 50 tons and
could only remember 20 numbers at a time! In a 1980 a home computer cost
$4,000, but at the time of this writing a computer that costs only ¼ of that
yet has 100 times more processing power, and 125 times more memory! Computers
in the future will have 100 times more memory than today’s computers, and they
will be 100 million times faster (yes, 100 million). There are 105 million
homes in the US, and by the year 2000, more than half had computers. Computers
use is continually climbing across all socio-economic groups in the U.S.
benefits for children with Typical Development
should never and will never replace blocks, crayons, and tricycles. When used
appropriately, though, many studies have demonstrated that computers provide an
especially valuable opportunity for enriched learning, as preschoolers taught
with computers demonstrate significantly greater developmental gains than
preschoolers taught without computers. Researchers have also found more
specific benefits for preschoolers. For example, educational software has been
shown to have a strong positive impact on attention span, a child’s internal
motivation, interest in and comprehension of stories, early mathematical
concepts, problem-solving, long-term memory, social competence, and language
benefits for children with General Developmental Delays
documented above, educational software has a strong positive effect on a broad
range of skills for typically developing children. Research has also found
consistent and positive effects of computers in teaching young children with
developmental delays and disabilities. For example, preschoolers with
significant developmental delays have shown greatly improved skills with
shapes, colors, numbers, and letters following computer-assisted instruction.
Further, the study also found that computer-assisted instruction was
consistently superior to teacher-only instruction. Other researchers, too,
have found more broad-based benefits of computers for children with general
developmental delays, as positive outcomes have been found with language,
reading and writing, pro-social behavior, and higher-order thinking.
benefits for children with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (P.D.D.)
or PDD is an atypical pattern of development that is diagnosed through a
comprehensive evaluation (usually by a psychologist, neurologist, pediatrician,
developmental pediatrician, etc). A strong body of evidence overwhelmingly
indicates that children with Autism or PDD have the greatest outcomes when the
primary method of intervention is Applied Behavior Analysis or “ABA”. ABA is a very individualized, structured, and dynamic technique that teaches
socially important (i.e., “applied”) skills (i.e., “behaviors”) by breaking
tasks down into small steps and closely monitoring outcomes of specific
programs over time (i.e., “analysis”). Data collection of a child’s
performance is the key to monitoring the three crucial aspects of learning,
which are skill (1) acquisition, (2) generalization and (3) maintenance.
Computer-Assisted Instruction compliments and enhances the ABA method, and
computers are generally considered an excellent tool for teaching children with
Autism or PDD. For example, one study compared programs and found computer-based
ABA was superior to traditional ABA as children learned more vocabulary, and
were more motivated and attentive when teachers used the computer.
benefits for children with difficulties speaking and understanding
children can hear well, yet they still have difficulties speaking (e.g.,
delayed vocabulary acquisition, significantly delayed disordered use of
grammar/phrases/sentences, articulation problems, etc) and difficulties
understanding (e.g., not able to follow directions, not able to sustain
attention, not able to remember verbally presented information, significant
difficulty processing language in group situations, difficulty learning
songs/movement patterns, etc). These children have an increased risk of
longer-term language and/or learning challenges, and they may be incorrectly
viewed as “defiant” or “unable to learn”. Research indicates that some
evidence of these types of language problems may emerge quite early in life,
but computer-assisted instruction is an effective tool for teaching
what makes educational software Good? Great? Awesome?
very important and obvious criteria for “awesome” software is that a parent and
teacher should enjoy interacting and playing with their child/student at the
computer. Researchers have more specifically defined important characteristics
of children’s software, including: developmentally appropriate subject matter,
teacher/parent facilitation, progressive skill levels, various age levels,
integrated activities, various activities and concepts, appealing sights and sounds
without being overwhelming, quick feedback, social interaction, language
enrichment, choices, the ability to monitor progress over time,
individualization, fun, interesting, and motivating images/concepts, and the
ability to be used individually or with small groups.
can be an effective teaching tool for children 18 months through 6 years due to
“Brain Plasticity”, which is the process where a child’s experiences excite
neurons and influence connections of neuron networks. As active learning
experiences accumulate (e.g., through computer-based teaching, not passive TV
watching) the brain goes through actual physical changes whereby new neural
groups form, grow, and/or get stronger. In an interesting study, when children
were engaged with developmentally appropriate software they were more active,
more vocal, and they make more positive facial expressions than children who
are watching television (Wartella, E. A. & Nancy, J, 2000). But it’s
important to remember that the brain is most “plastic” early in life. Good
software should build computer familiarity/competence, interest,
attention-span, persistence, pride, self-esteem, confidence, quality
adult-child interaction, ability to seek and accept help, ability to make
transitions, and your child’s compliance and participation.
Internet: Weapon of Mass Instruction or Crass Destruction?
internet has magically opened up the eyes of our children to all the greatest
that the world has to offer, while at the same time the internet has
offensively pried open the eyes of our children to the worst that the world has
to offer. The internet is the golden road into your home on which the miracles
of the universe can be explored, but it is also the sewer pipe into your home
through which all things vile and predatory can invade. Regarding the
internet, rather than simply “taking the good with the bad,” parents need to
“take the good and minimize/eliminate the bad.” Here are some tips from the
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding predators
and internet safety:
and talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential on-line
time with your children on-line. Have them teach you about their favorite
the computer in a common room in the house, not in your child’s bedroom.
It is much more difficult for a computer-sex offender to communicate with
a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or another member
of the household.
parental controls provided by your service provider and/or blocking
software. While electronic chat can be a great place for children to make
new friends and discuss various topics of interest, it is also prowled by
computer-sex offenders. Use of chat rooms, in particular, should be
heavily monitored. While parents should utilize these mechanisms, they
should not totally rely on them.
maintain access to your child’s on-line account and randomly check his/her
e-mail. Be aware that your child could be contacted through the U.S. Mail.
Be up front with your child about your access and reasons why.
your child the responsible use of the resources on-line. There is much
more to the on-line experience than chat rooms.
out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child’s school, the
public library, and at the homes of your child’s friends. These are all
places, outside your normal supervision, where your child could encounter
an on-line predator.
even if your child was a willing participant in any form of sexual
exploitation, that he/she is not at fault and is the victim. The offender
always bears the complete responsibility for his or her actions.
Instruct your children:
never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met on- line;
never upload (post) pictures of themselves onto the Internet or on-line
service to people they do not personally know;
never give out identifying information such as their name, home address,
school name, or telephone number;
never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance
there could be sexually explicit images;
never respond to messages or bulletin board postings that are suggestive,
obscene, belligerent, or harassing;
whatever they are told on-line may or may not be true.
to the Guinness Book of World Records:
MY, AREN’T YOU A BIG BOY?!”
January 19, 1879, Anna Bates (who stood 7 feet 5½ inches tall) gave birth to
her 23lb. 12oz. son.
BIRTHDAY TO YOU & YOU & YOU & YOU & YOU”
FIVE of Ralph and Carolyn Cummins’ children were born on February 20th
(in 1952, 1953, 1956, 1961, & 1966)!
BABY MAKES 9!”
(7 Babies), the most ever from a single birth, were born on November 19, 1997.
THEY LIVED & LIVED & LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER”
Hsieh and Woo Siu were married from 3/17/1917 to 10/01/2001, for 84 1/2 years!
RAINING CATS AND DOGS, AND A BABY!”
18-month old boy survived a 65’ 7” fall (the highest by a child) from a 7th
floor kitchen window of an apartment in Spain, suffering only bruises, a broken
tooth, and a split lip!
MOM, WHAT SHOULD I MAKE YOU FOR DINNER?”
age 7 Justin Miller became the youngest published chef after getting his first
big break at age 5 on the David Letterman Show.
IT’S PAST YOUR BEDTIME!”
age 11 Emily Rosa is the youngest person to have research published. Her
article on “Touch Therapy” appeared on 4/1/98 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Straight became the youngest published author in 1962 at age 4 (How The
World Began, Partheon Books).
ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY SOON, MAMA”
oldest person ever to be adopted was Paula Dolan. She was 58!
“HERE COMES THE BRIDE
. . . ANY MINUTE”
Munro became the oldest bride at age 102 when she married Dudley Reid (83) on May 31, 1991. And on February 2, 2002 Francois and Madeleine Frenandez became the oldest
couple to wed at the ages of 95 and 94, respectively.
CONFUSING MOTHER’S DAY”
18th Century Russian peasant is verified to have had 27 pregnancies,
bearing 69 children (16 pairs of twins, 7 set of triplets, 4 sets of
ANOTHER WEDDING GIFT?!”
Wolfe married and divorced 28 different women, one at a time.
Essex holds the female record for the most consecutive marriages with 22.
& David Blair married each other 61 times (in a new location each time).
couples were simultaneously married on 8/25/95 in Seoul, South Korea, at Olympic Stadium. The ceremony was officiated by Sun Myung Moon.
May of 1981 Sheik Mohammed married Princess Salama in the most expensive
wedding ever ($44.5 million). 20,000 people attended at a structure built
especially for the occasion.
PARADISE FOR KEN”
Mattia holds the world’s largest Barbie Doll collection, 1,125. Still, this
number represents only about half of all the Barbie models made since 1959. Mr.
Mattia changes the costume of each doll once a month!
MATCHMAKER, HOW MUCH DID YOU SAY?!”
Matchmaker of Beverly Hills” has run an international introduction company for
25 years. The fee for a match is over $100,000.
A LITTLE PLACE TO RAISE THE FAMILY”
1922 to 1939 newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst built a home in San Simeon, California for over $30 million dollars (which is the modern day equivalent
of over $350 million). There are over 100 rooms and a garage that can fit over
25 limousines. Sixty servants were required to maintain the estate. Not too
far away is television producer Aaron Spelling’s home (56,000 square feet; 123
rooms, including a bowling alley and skating rink).
China, the world’s most
populated country, had a population of 1.26 billion people in 2000 and is expected
to have 1.5 billion people by 2025!.
June 23, 2001 the Detroit Boys and Girls Club along with the Boomerang Cartoon
Network completed the world’s largest chalk pavement art, measuring 28,900
OF THE FLIES”
the Marshall Islands 49.3% of the people are under the age of 15, making it the
home of the world’s youngest population.
you know your history, then you know where you’re coming from” – Bob Marley
Uphill, Both Ways Has Never Been Quite So Uncomfortable”
the 1600’s diapers were cloth squares tied onto a baby with a string. And (as
if that bad situation wasn’t bad enough) diapers were usually only changed once
every four days. Safety pins and re-usable/washable cloth diapers were not
introduced until the late 1800’s.
To The World, Your Prom Is Next Week”
the early to mid-1700’s parents believed that rushing children into adulthood
was the best way to “protect” them from the dangers of childhood. There were
very few toys and minimal accommodations or comforts for children.
War (And Idea)”
about the time of the Revolutionary War, thinking about child-rearing changed.
Kids were to be cherished and taught and children were considered “tabula
rasa,” or “blank slates” upon which formative ideas could be drawn. Children’s
books were written, and toys were created to teach kids about their future adult
the 1800’s it became popular to create an in-home nursery to protect babies
from what were perceived to be the dangers and corrupting influences of the
Dad, Could You Love Me A Little Less?!”
the 1950’s the advertising slogan “Spanking is never given in anger, rather in
love” was used by a company that sold paddles.
64% of parents report that they spank their children, another 20% admit to
spanking but only “rarely”, and 16% report that they have never spanked their
— Behind the Behind:
OFF TO THE RACES”
3 years of age 30% of girls are still in diapers, while 48% of boys remains in
IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION, BUT A GRANDFATHER WAS THE INVENTOR OF THIS
grandfather and Proctor& Gamble researchers invented disposable diapers in
the 1950’s after becoming disenchanted with washing the diapers of his
grandkids while babysitting.
Disposable diapers were introduced in 1961 and cost about 10 cents each.
diapers required safety pins until 1968 when tape and diapers were wed.
ACROSS THE AGES”
was installed at the leg openings of diapers in 1976 (to prevent leaks), and in
the 90’s an “explosion” of “technological” diaper advances included
gender-specific diapers, Velcro and odor absorbency.
DOWN, BUT STILL BEARIN’ THE ‘LOAD’
today are 2/3 thinner today than they were in 1980.
Abuse – Treatment-Outcome Studies:
his book, “The Effectiveness of Early Intervention” Michael Guralnick examined
studies on maltreating parents and their children. The research is not yet
comprehensive, and there are obvious methodological constraints, but some
interesting information is available.
are some risk factors regarding abuse?
to 70% of maltreated children go on to abuse their children.
than 95% of families in poverty do not abuse.
is no clear “abusive personality type”, yet impulsivity, anger and rigid
Treatment-Outcome studies show?
and post-natal home visits were conducted for those with multiple risk factors for
continued physical abuse. Results of this parent-education program were
encouraging. Specifically, subsequent incidents of child abuse were committed
by 19% of those parents who did not participate in the parent-education
program, but with 4% among parents in the treatment group.
Walter Disney left his home in Kansas City for California in the summer of
1923. He created a cartoon called “Alice’s Wonderland” and within just a
couple of months, he successfully sold this pilot to a New York distributor.
Walt and his brother Roy made “Alice Comedies” for four years, when he created
a new character, called “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.” Walt produced 26 of the new
cartoons, before he discovered that his distributor had “stolen” not only his
animators, but also the character Oswald! Walt learned a hard lesson and went
on to ensure that he owned all subsequently produced characters.
(I Mean ‘MICKEY’) MOUSE is BORN!”
losing Oswald, Walt had to create a new character. He came up with “Mortimer
Mouse,” but he accepted his wife’s suggestion of “Mickey Mouse.” Walt could
not sell his first two Mickey Mouse silent cartoons, so he added fully
synchronized sound to his third Mickey Mouse cartoon, and “Steamboat Willie”
received rave reviews when it opened on November 18, 1928.
SECRET WEAPON (licensing)”
needed money, so he accepted a $300 licensing fee from a New York man who put
the Mickey Mouse image on pencils he was manufacturing. Soon Walt drew revenue
from licensing all sorts of Mickey Mouse merchandise, including dolls, dishes,
toothbrushes, radios, etc. The first Mickey Mouse book and comic strip were
published in 1930. Disney’s “Flowers And Trees: A Silly Symphony” won the
first ever Academy Award for Best Cartoon in 1932. Disney won Academy Awards
in every remaining year of the ‘30’s.
PRINCESS(ES) WILL SAVE ME”
the 1940’s Disney released numerous technical master-pieces (e.g., Pinocchio
and Fantasia, 1940; Dumbo, 1941; Bambi, 1942), however these movies were quite
expensive to produce, and Disney was losing it’s market due to World War II.
Walt recalled the great success of his 1937 “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,”
which was the highest grossing film of all time (at that time). He returned to
the princess-themed movies, with phenomenal results. In 1950 Disney recaptured
its position of power with Cinderella, and princesses have remained a staple in
the Disney repertoire ever since (e.g., Sleeping Beauty, 1958; The Little
Mermaid, 1989; Beauty & The Beast, 1991; Aladdin, 1992). Even today,
Disney’s most popular merchandise is from the huge “Princess Collection”.
history dates back more than 3,000 years! Pirate activities were first
described in documents from 1350 BC (Pharo Echnaton) in North Africa and the Mediterranean. The term “Peirto” (“Pirate”) appeared in 140 BC in Rome. Pirates also
appeared in Homer’s The Iliad and the Odyssey. Piracy dramatically increased
in the 16th Century as technology advanced, allowing for bigger and faster
In the 60’s BC, Rome was complacent about pirates (perhaps due to the fact that
pirates supplied slaves to the Romans). As time went on, oppressive conditions
in Rome caused many men to turn to piracy as a way of life, and during Rome’s
civil war in the 70’s pirates grew bold and captured Julius Caesar (in 75 BC).
Caesar remained defiant during his 6 weeks of capture, and he confidently
challenged the pirates at every chance (e.g., Caesar insisted his ransom be higher
than the pirates originally demanded). Immediately after being released,
Caesar returned with his army to the port of Moletus, where he captured and
crucified each of the pirates who held him hostage! The Roman Army went on to
eliminate the threat of the remaining pirates within three months.
VIKINGS! (and not the purple ones from Minnesota)” The year 793 AD
marked the first known attack by Vikings, the pirates of their day. The
Vikings remained powerful as they conquered and founded cities throughout
northern England, Russia, Istabnbul, and France. The Vikings gave up their
marauding ways when they ultimately accepted a treaty and settled in
Scandinavian regions around 1100 AD.
Piracy also permeated the far-east between the 13th and 16th centuries. For
example, the Japanese pirates preyed on Korean ships, until the year 1443, when
the Koreans offered a treaty permitting the entry of 50 trade ships per year.
in 1999 the AAP recommended completely eliminating TV for children under 2, and
limiting older kids to 1 to 2 hours of “screen time” (TV as well as computer).
Nielson Media Research indicates that since 1999 there has been no reduction of
TV for kids. The average child still watches 21 hours per week. What’s a
parent to do? Of course, in addition to limiting the amount of television a
child watches, it is advised to show high quality programs that not only
entertain, but also educate. Watching T.V. with your child and creating
dialogue about the action is also a great idea for making a passive activity
into a fun, interactive one. Here is some interesting information about some
popular characters and T.V. shows:
101 AND ONE-OH-POOH:
August of 1914 a Canadian Lieutenant, Harry Colebourn left his home in Winnipeg (Canada) for Europe during World War I. Lt. Colebourn’s train stopped in Ontario, where he bought a small black bear cub for $20 from a hunter (who had killed the
cub’s mother). Colebourn named the bear after his hometown, “Winnipeg”
(nickname “Winnie”). Winnie traveled with Lt. Colebourn’s brigade as a mascot
of sorts, until December of 1914 when they were deployed to battle in France. Colebourn brought “Winnie” to the London-Zoo for safe-keeping, where he became a popular
attraction and lived happily until 1934. A little boy named Christopher Robin
burst into tears and insisted on being brought home when he first saw what he
called “A Monster” (“Winnie”). But on subsequent visits he developed a very
special fondness for Winnie, and even spent some time inside the cage with
Winnie! Christopher Robin’s dad was author A. A. Milne, and after watching his
son’s love for Winnie grow, Milne was inspired to write a series of books about
“Winnie the Pooh”, his son Christopher Robin, and their friends and adventures
in the 100-Acre-Wood. Some of the characters were based on Christopher Robin’s
stuffed animals (Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo), and other characters
were based on real animals Milne observed around his country home (Rabbit,
Owl). “Winnie the Pooh” was published in 1928. The classic illustrations were
done by E. H. Shepard. By 1996 over 20 million “Winnie the Pooh” books had
been sold in over 40 languages. Walt Disney’s daughter fell in love with “Winnie
the Pooh” and the Disney Company was inspired to bring the characters to film
in 1966, 1977, 1997, 2000, and 2002. In 1993 the Walt Disney Company reported
that “Winnie the Pooh” was the second most popular Disney character throughout
the world (second only to Mickey Mouse himself!).
NOW TAO POOH:
A. Milne said that he did not write the “Winnie the Pooh” books for children,
but rather for adults, as author Benjamin Hoff eloquently explains in “The Tao
of Pooh”. The ancient Chinese principles of Taoism include a simple manner of
appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday
life. The Taoists indicate that the natural result of the philosophy is
harmony and happiness. Pooh-bear (simple, yet content) is the embodiment of
Tao, while the other characters have different philosophies that ironically
often leave them struggling to be fully content.
Cosby created “Little Bill” to celebrate the everyday experiences of kids and
their families. “Little Bill” teaches kids that what they do makes a
difference in the world. He also teaches about conflict resolution,
self-esteem, social skills, and the value of love and family. “Little Bill’s”
signature saying, “Hello, Friend!” was inspired by the memory and dreams of
Bill Cosby’s slain son, Ennis.
IS THE MOTHER OF “LITTLE BEAR”:
teacher Else Holmelund Minarik wrote, “Little Bear” after she could not find
exactly what she wanted for her students. “Little Bear” is a character that
celebrates discovery, adventure, and love. “Little Bear” is illustrated by
Maurice Sendak, who is best know for his 1964 book, “Where the Wild Things
Are”. More than 7 million books in 12 languages have been sold worldwide.
THE BUILDER’S FOUNDATION:
the Builder had a solid foundation with kids all over the world before his U.S. debut in 2001. Bob the Builder is the number one preschool program in Germany, Australia, and Japan, and it is broadcast in over 100 other countries. Bob’s theme song
“Can We Fix It? Yes We Can!” emphasizes the show’s core themes of respecting
and working cooperatively to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. “Bob the
Builder” not only has a license to build, but also a license to print money, as
he has licensing agreements with Hasbro, Lego, Simon & Schuster, Golden
Books, Brio, and many others.
creators of “Dora the Explorer” recognized that little kids are faced with many
obstacles in their day to day functioning (e.g., they can’t reach the light
switch, etc.), so the theme of each show centers around stopping to think,
asking for help, and using what you know. The show encourages both verbal and
physical interaction with characters. Dora is an adventurous explorer who
never gives up and is always ready to help a friend. Spanish and English are
used because the ideal age to learn a second language is from birth to 6. It
takes about 12 months to create an episode of “Dora the Explorer”.
Disadvantaged Children – Treatment-Outcome Study:
a well-known study on the effects of the Perry Preschool Program on long-term
outcomes with economically disadvantaged children, researchers found not only
strong immediate effects, but also striking effects during a follow-up study when
the preschoolers turned 19 years old. Each of the long-term outcomes was
verified through school, social service, employer, or police records.
RESULTS at age
course, the following information is necessarily general, and specifics will
vary based on your child’s age, development, personality, family situation, and
might my child react war or terrorism?
sleep patterns (difficulty falling asleep, refusing to sleep alone,
refusal/Desire to stay with parent/Clingy/Whiney/Separation Difficulties
complaints (stomach aches, headaches, toileting issues)
Behavior (i.e., acting immature)
Behavior/Lack of regard for consequences
Can I Help My Kids?
TV exposure and watch any war/terrorism coverage along with your child.
available for safe, comfortable, and non-judgmental discussion.
what they have heard from peers and TV.
normal routines and structure in day-to-day activities, but be willing to
make exceptions (e.g., let siblings sleep in the same room with you,
extend bedtime rituals, etc.).
kids productive outlets (e.g., sending letters/care packages, drawing
pictures for self-expression).
expression through play, but set limits on play that becomes too
exposure to violent movies/video games.
realistic verses unrealistic fears.
positive thinking, hopefulness, cooperation, consideration/empathy, and
focus on acceptance/celebrating differences.
If I, As a Parent, Become Overwhelmed?
that taking care of yourself will allow you to best take care of your
social supports (i.e., family, friends, community organizations, Religious
affiliation, mental health professionals).
the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence (www.nccev.org)
if my child asks, “Are we safe from being attacked?”
ask for your child’s ideas about this question; Provide reassurance that we are
all doing everything possible to keep everyone safe; Do not say, “We will
definitely not be attacked” because most children will know this is not necessarily
true and you may undermine your own credibility.
if my child asks, “Whose Fault Is The War?”
what you feel is developmentally appropriate, but whatever your politics are,
it is important to let kids know that we are not at war with a specific race or
if my child asks, “How Will This Change My Life?”
with your child that almost every generation has experienced a war during their
lifetime. War may help us learn life-long lessons. Help your child explore
thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
If I Say The Wrong Thing? Should I Just Say Nothing?
no answer you give will entirely “fix” the problem, remaining silent probably
won’t “protect” kids. In fact, your silence may prevent your child from
If Discussions Are Upsetting?
very nature of war/terrorism is upsetting, so it is unrealistic to expect an
easy discussion or no uncomfortable emotions. What’s most important is to
reassure, remain calm, and provide a safe and secure environment for your
If My Kids Don’t Seem Affected Or Don’t Want To Talk About It?
“forcing” discussion, but keep an “open door” and periodically try to revisit
the topic. Remain aware of a child’s possible reactions (listed above).
all so (equally)”
dictates that all Bridesmaids and Groomsmen dress the same to confuse evil
spirits and thereby protect the bride and groom.
Pope, THANK YOU! Love Always, All your friends at the Diamond District”
the 13th Century Pope Innocent III declared that there must be a waiting period
between engagement and marriage, and that both the engagement and the wedding
needed to be sealed with a ring.
ahead, give ‘the finger’ to your spouse”
wear wedding rings on the third finger of the left hand out of a tradition
developed from the ancient Greek belief that a vein runs from this finger
directly to the heart.
term “Toast” is used when hoisting a celebratory drink based on a French tradition.
Specifically, a piece of bread was placed in the bottom of a wine glass, and
all present took sips until the guest of honor finished the wine and swallowed
a bouquet symbolizes protection, garters are for luck, and rice is for
(or attack) now, or forever hold your peace”
many religions a groom stands to the right of the bride so that he could grab
and use his sword in the event of attack.
me, you fool!”
exaggerated kiss at the end of a marriage ceremony symbolizes the swapping of
souls between the bride and groom.