What do you know about who is speaking to your children? Does it matter?

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This past weekend, some serious allegations were brought to light regarding a group (more specifically the group’s co-founder) who was scheduled to visit several high schools in my area next month. The result was the co-founder, who was also one of the lead speakers, resigning. I’m guessing he resigned because his past has been highly publicized in the last several weeks causing major uproar and because his current published writing is viewed by some as über controversial, damaging, and inappropriate. More

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Why Are We Obsessed With Beauty? Is All This Attention on Beauty and Looks Healthy?

I can’t help but wonder what all the fuss is about. Why do we feel we need to look, dress, buy, think, and behave a certain way to be good enough? I’m not saying that I’ve never felt that I needed to be something other than myself to be accepted because, unfortunately–I have felt that way. What I’m questioning is why any of us ever feel that way in the first place? When and how does it start? At some point in our life, we all feel the pressure. More

Life-Threatening Anaphylactic Food Allergies at School…Unnecessary Drama

Olivia and Me

I’m just going to admit it right now—I’m annoyed. In the last couple weeks, I’ve been hearing some rumblings that I’m not thrilled about. As I’m trying to calm myself by writing this, I am also hoping to receive feedback from YOU! I would really LOVE to know what you think. More

Children Can Make a Difference in Creating a Better World

Rachel Beckwith

Rachel’s story has truly touched me to the core of my being. I hope to raise my children to be as kind, thoughtful, compassionate, generous, and giving as Rachel.

When I read the headline “Thousands honor memory of 9-year-old Rachel Beckwith”, my first thought was that I recognize the last name. I clicked on the link to see what the story was about and if it was the same Beckwith family I grew up with. It is the same family.

As I began to read the heartbreaking story about Rachel, who had a goal of raising $300 to bring clean water to African villagers by her 9th birthday, I felt a mix of deep sadness and hope. Rachel died in a car accident shortly after her 9th birthday. I have not been able to let the story go.

Rachel’s story, although unbearably tragic, is also inspiring for many reasons. More

Let’s Talk About Sex

I didn’t plan on having “the talk” with our daughter, Bella, quite yet. She’s only 9 ½. But, a few weeks ago when we were at grandma’s house, she showed me the books she had been looking at—Where Did I come From?, by Peter Mayle and The Girls Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing up YOU, by Kelli Dunham. She was curious and a little embarrassed, but she wanted to bring one of the books home.

Hmm.

Is it already time to talk about this? More

Should Parents Put Their Kids on a Diet? by Liz Nord

 Source

I am in the April issue of Redbook, discussing if we should put our children on diets. I said, “No”. This is my unedited version. I’d love to hear what you think!

Also, I am contributing to Cassandra Mack’s new book, “Grooming Girls for Greatness: Advice and Wisdom for Parents From Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers,” which will be out late Summer or in the Fall. This is a book to help parents build confidence, character, and coping skills in their daughters. More info to come…

Should Parents Put Their Kids on Diets?

Diets and children are not a good mix. I want my kids to have life-long healthy relationships with food and their bodies. By modeling a healthy lifestyle, we can teach our children to celebrate their bodies, savor food, and be active for life. Dieting, which includes food deprivation, restrictive eating, excessive exercise, and negative body talk, can lead to low self-esteem, negative body image, and serious eating disorders.

I have heard first-hand, from women who dieted as children, who expressed the horrible physical, mental, and social consequences and warped thinking that diets lead to—I even know someone who died from the affects of childhood dieting because it led to her disorder eating, which spiraled out of control. I also know women who have wrecked their metabolism, become obese, become anorexic, suffer from body image issues, or lost teeth from binging that started as “innocent” childhood dieting and food vilification. More

Should High School Students Have to Post Their Name with Weight & BMI on the School Chalkboard?

One of my friend’s, Andrea Owen, shared this story with me about what happened at West Ranch High School in Valencia, CA last week. It’s unbelievable…

This is part of a note from Carrie (via Andrea Owen).

“I have a girl who works for me, who is a senior in high school. She’s a total rock star. She came to work today with a cranberry juice drink, and I asked her what it was and what she was doing. It looked suspiciously like a fast and she’s a slim girl to start with. She told me that their AP Anatomy teacher had them all measure their BMI and their Body Fat and write it on the board with their name and that they get 10% extra credit on their final if they can all lose 10% of their body fat in the next two weeks. She told me that the class is really hard and that she needs the extra credit. She told me that she asked if it was okay to just put male/female and the numbers instead of putting down their names because one of her friends in the class is overweight and was embarrassed. He said that they had to put their names. She told me that five girls left the class crying and that some of the boys were taking pictures of the data with their phones and she thinks they’re going to put it on Facebook.”

Can you believe that business? That doesn’t exactly provide a healthy stress-free learning environment for all of the children. Not only does this seem like a privacy violation, but the teacher displays very poor taste. I can’t believe he was letting students take pictures of everyone’s weight and BMI. Also, I highly doubt all kids in the class need to lose 10% BMI. What about those who are already thin, but feel the need to lose weight to make the grade? Losing 10% BMI in two weeks could be dangerous.

A person’s weight and BMI should have nothing to do with the grade they receive in class–ever. Also, I cannot think of one good reason to make it mandatory to put their names, weight, and BMI on the chalkboard.

If you had a high school aged child who came home and told you this, what would your reaction be?

Japan & The Ring of Fire by Liz Nord

 

I have been working on this post about Japan since Saturday, but I’ve had trouble pulling it together. My mind wanders and I start rambling. The footage is intense and I feel uncomfortable feelings that I’m not sure how to process. I am sensitive. The images are horrifying; the emotional pain of the Japanese people is palpable. For a large percentage of the rest of the world, the rhythm of life beats on.

I look out my window and I see everything as it should be— peaceful, intact, and thriving. The water is calm. We are so lucky. I’m not sure people want to read about this, but it’s something important that’s unfolding in the world right now. Some people can tune it out–turn off the TV or switch it to celebrity gossip, and put on rose-colored glasses. I don’t want to hear one more second of Charlie Sheen news (I’ve met Charlie Sheen, and he’s nothing to write home about), or who’s dating whom, or whose recently had plastic surgery. I don’t care. I’m not judging; just saying how I personally feel. I know some people need a distraction. At the same time, the tsunami is a significant serious historical event that should be discussed.

I live in the “Ring of Fire”, and some of my friends are scared that we will be directly affected by the contaminated air that could potentially blow here via the ring of fire jet stream. I don’t think it will happen. The scientists say if the radiation does reach the West Coast, it would be diluted before reaching this state, and levels would be so low, no action would be necessary by the time it arrives. We are not at risk for radiation exposure. More

My Daughter Wants to Know Why There Hasn’t Been a Female President Yet ~ The Affects of the Media on Girls and Women

My six-year old daughter, Olivia, asked me this morning if girls could grow up to be the President. I said, “Yes, of course.” She wants to know why there hasn’t been one yet. I know it goes back to when women were not allowed to own title to a house or to vote, but that has all changed and we’ve made strides forward. What should I tell my daughter? The answer is complicated and multi-dimensional. When I see how girls and women are being represented in the media, I see part of the reason there has not been a female (American) president yet. The media is a powerful messenger. Look at the message the media is sending… More

Easy, Cheesy, Lemon Squeezy ~ Homeschooling by Andrea Dodd

My kids fed me an epiphany today.

“What’s half of a half, Anna?” Oliver asked seriously, arm over the back of the chair, sour cream all over his face.

Easy, cheesy, lemon squeezy.” Anna quipped across the table as they dined on lunch made by Anna. “I don’t have to answer your questions, Oliver. You’re not my teacher.”

Ok, then.

Who is the teacher, here? Well, that enormous role falls on me. And when I say enormous, I mean weight of the world. Like just being a parent isn’t heavy enough. Their growth, development, education, lessons, successes, failures, intellect, dreams, and LIVES; depend on me. More

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