Thursday, December 31, 2009

PBS "A Girl's Life"

Link: PBS presents "A Girl's Life"

A great video from an expert in the field.

An issue close to my heart--raising healthy, strong, capable young women in a society where even they view themselves as "pleasers," whether it's to boys, teachers, parents, friends, or a force even they can't identify. When for so long women fought for their independence and solidarity, something (music, movies, TV?) is telling young women to shut up and sit down. I didn't realize how one-sided society views boy/girl relationships until I started raising my girls. Now, I try very hard to make sure their behavior is not to "impress," "tease," or otherwise "gain the attention" of boys. Not to say I don't encourage their natural sexual curiosity, but there is a fine balance, right?

What do you think of the video?

Much love and peace to you all as we gently embrace 2010. Be safe :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Kids and Candy

So, there is a lot of buzz right now about childhood obesity (and rightfully so) and how kids have easy access to junk food. There is talk, and some actual effort, in removing junk food from vending machines in schools as well as taxing this kind of food and beverage in the grocery store. I'm mulling this over............only recently did WIC begin offering fruits and vegetables as part of their repetoire in addition to the 5 lb blocks of cheese and multitude dairy items.

Hmmm........I'm not sure how I feel about that. At what point do we put our efforts into removing the obstacles that impede this natural behavior change (i.e, the high overall cost of nutritious food versus candy, for example) rather than simply taking away the temptation. In addition, if we are truly afraid of childhood obesity, why do we continually vote down any efforts to increase PE in schools? My daughter has PE two days a week. ONLY TWO! I'm not sure that taking away her one candy bar a day is making a huge difference here.

In other words, whose responsibility is it? Parents? Schools? Government? I'd love to hear your thoughts.......

Friday, December 4, 2009

H1N1-Are we overreacting?

U.S. officials have reported that H1N1 activity has declined for the fourth consecutive week, suggesting that the pandemic may have peaked. The CDC reports 43 states had widespread flu activity the week before Thanksgiving, compared with 46 the week before that. I've personally been affected by the flu and it seems to be pretty typical with a high fever, severe fatigue, and a horrendous cough that can last for weeks. It certainly didn't turn out to be the catastrophe it was made out to be by the far as I know we haven't called off any public events or quarantined anybody!

Since the outbreak began in April, 22 million Americans have contracted H1N1, 98,000 have been hospitalized, and approximately 4,000 individuals have died.

How does that compare to the regular flu season?

On average 5-20% of the population get the flu, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized, and about 36,000 people die from season flu-related causes. The peak of flu season has occurred from late November through March.

I guess we will wait it out and continue to hound Rite-Aid until they get more vaccines; people will continue to bid on Tamiflu on ebay, and I will keep stocking cereal and spaghetti sauce in my garage until mid-July when I can be assured flu season is over and I can bask in the warm sun......until it all starts again in August :-)

For more info:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teen Dating Violence

Each year one in four adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a dating partner

Have any of you had any experience with teen dating violence?? As my oldest daughter enters the dating years I cringe at the thought of her having to protect herself in this way. However, I know it's my job to empower her not only physically, but emotionally and mentally to handle the pressures dating brings. Every time I get the eye roll, or the "mommmmm" I want to stop bugging her about "relationships" but then I hear something like these statistics, and I am reassured my incessant bugging will be appreciated one day ;-) Right??

What are we doing as a nation?

There's a new initiative under way, Start Strong, to target 11-14 year olds to promote healthy relationships as the way to prevent teen dating violence and abuse. Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan are engaging teens, their parents, and program leaders around this issue as the nation commemorates the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Here are some additional resources:

Choose Respect Initiative

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Sexual Assault Hotline


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is World AIDS Day!

World AIDS Day 2009--As we embark on another year of fighting this dreadful illness, I want to emphasize how important it is to protect yourself. So, here are my little reminders:

1. Get tested! Many health departments offer confidential testing on a sliding fee scale. Alternatively, you can purchase a testing kit from a pharmacy and send in a blood sample for your results. For testing locations:
2. Use a condom or dental dam during every sexual act.
3. Don't share needles.
4. Support the 33 million men, women, and children who are suffering from this illness.

We all need a little compassion, support, and encouragement from time to time--let this be their time.

Much love,