This week’s family-related news coverage included the story of a child of divorce being raised by his farmer grandmother, a look at a transgender son and his mother finding their way with the help of a stepparent, a lawsuit demanding that limits be lifted on how teachers talk about LGBT issues in their classrooms, a doctor’s advice on supporting your child into adulthood, a study on how mothers and fathers are viewed differently in the workplace, findings about the many benefits of reading with your child, an announcement that the Boy Scouts will welcome transgender boys, an attempt at getting uniform and healthy recess programs implemented in schools across the country, thoughts on the updated version of the 1970’s TV show – “One Day at a Time,” a mother’s story of supporting her transracial child through their bookshelf, tips for parents of how to “immunize” your kids against poor body image, and finally ideas on how to talk to your kids about family-related alcohol addiction.
Hugs and Hard Labor on an Indiana Farm Laird Hunt, The New York Times, January 27, 2017 My grandmother…was tough. I learned this when I was 13, the year I moved alone from London to Clinton County, Indiana, to live with her on her 80-acre farm. I sailed in amid the wreckage of my parents’ marriage. Maybe I should say as part of the wreckage.
How My Mom Learned to Love Her Son Tennessee Jones, The New York Times, January 28, 2017 It took my mother two years to be able to look at me without crying after I transitioned…Though my mother and I have worked very hard to have an honest relationship, there are limits to what we can understand about each other. Our reconciliation has been an adventure of the spirit, one that has required many leaps of faith and moments of forgiveness.”
Eight States Censor LGBTQ Topics in School. Now, a Lawsuit is Challenging That Corinne Segal, PBS, January 29, 2017 Utah is one of eight states that has laws, sometimes called “no promo homo” laws, that limit how teachers can talk about LGBTQ issues with students, or forbid it altogether. …And now, for the first time, a lawsuit is aiming to overturn one of them..” The San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit claiming that educators in those districts failed to protect the students from harassment or physical abuse at school.
Being the Voice in Your Child’s Head Perry Klass, MD, The New York Times, January 30, 2017 The long arc of this parental negotiation is about losing, gracefully, over time… We have to start from the idea that eventually our children are going to be adult players. We want them to get there, and to get there with enough good sense — and enough fine sensibility — that they use their adult powers wisely.
Needing Flexibility at Work Shouldn’t Be Seen as a Weakness Sallie Krawcheck, PBS, January 30, 2017 A McKinsey/LeanIn survey notes that 90 percent of workers believe taking extended family leave will hurt their position at work … just 2 percent of individuals eligible for part-time programs at U.S. companies access them. Because in general, when a woman takes time off work to deal with personal matters, suddenly the implicit assumption is that she’s less “committed” or less of a “team player” (instead of being commended for putting her family first or, as she likely would be if she were a man, for being a “good parent”)
Father-Child Reading Leads to Improvements in Learning and Behavior Reuters, The Washington Post, January 30, 2017 Shared reading supports child cognitive development,…helps children develop the ability to pay attention and cooperate…[supports enhanced] social-emotional skills…the shared experience — sitting close together, pointing out pictures, making connections between the book and daily life — are critical.
Boy Scouts Will Admit Transgender Boys Richard Gonzales, NPR, January 31, 2017 In a surprise announcement, the Boy Scouts of America said that it will begin accepting transgender boys who want to join its scouting programs.
Not All Fun and Games: New Guidelines Urge Schools to Rethink Recess Sophia Boyd, NPR, February 1, 2017 New recess guidelines offer educators a list of 19 evidence-based strategies from a group called SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…Research has shown that “play” helps students pay attention in class, prevents bullying and develops social and emotional learning.
Justina Machado on Her Quinceañera, Rita Moreno’s Abs and ‘One Day At A Time’ NPR Staff, February 2, 2017 In the 1970s and 1980s, the TV show One Day at a Time pushed boundaries with the story of a divorced mother raising two teenage daughters in Indianapolis. Now Netflix has rebooted the show, and their 21st-century take pushes boundaries in its own way: The family is now Cuban-American, they live in Los Angeles and its mom, Penelope, is a veteran who served in Afghanistan.”
Mirrors for My Daughter’s Bookshelf Sara Ackerman, The New York Times, February, 3, 2017 While fixing my 4-year-old daughter’s bookshelf, I noticed something missing on the glossy covers of her picture books: girls of color…Part of adopting transracially is learning what to pay attention to. As soon as I was aware of what was missing, I committed myself to filling our bookshelves with stories about smart, talented, strong black females.
5 Ways Parents of Preschoolers Can Raise a Body-Positive Kid Sierra Filucci, The Washington Post, February 3, 2017 Common Sense Media’s survey of body-image research shows that parents play a huge role in shaping how kids think and feel about their bodies. Starting to bolster kids’ body image early, even in preschool, can make a big difference in how kids feel about themselves as they grow up.
How to Talk to Your Kids About Family Addiction Jaimie Seaton, The Washington Post, February 3, 2017 According to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, 76 million Americans — roughly 43 percent of the US adult population — have been exposed to alcoholism in the family; and there are an estimated 26.8 million children of alcoholics (COAs) in the United States… research supports that teens cite parents as one of the largest influences in their decision not to use alcohol and drugs…parents using age-appropriate language, demystifying the disease, keeping the lines of communication open and giving children unconditional love.
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