March is a time of transition away from the darkest, coldest season and the cluster of demanding wintertime holidays. Spring is not quite fully here, and so we have a moment of pause and reflection. This month, we ask you to reflect on our feature story, Stolen Youth: Child Sex Trafficking on the Streets of Our Cities, with an open heart. After all, aren't we not just the parents of our own children, but the parents to every child?
And before the warmth and demands of spring hit, take some time to delve into the mysteries of the teenage brain and consider whether you, too, have succumbed to the "no child left at home" philosophy.
Enjoy this time of transition, and see you in spring!
Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.
Ages & Stages:
Someone You Should Know: Dr. Jill Sells
Spring Arts Preview: Almost 100 dance, theater, music performances for families
Weeks ago, friends clued me into a new nonprofit named StolenYouth.
My instant reaction upon hearing those two words was to launch into a minor tirade over our high-pressured, over home-worked, infant academic, college-prepped, and nature-deficit disordered offspring.
But increased academic pressures were not the kind of stolen youth she was talking about. “Sex trafficking of tween girls in Seattle is the stolen youth I am talking about,” my friend said in a slow, sad voice.
Our March feature story (Stolen Youth: Child Sex Trafficking on the Streets of Our Cities) written by Natalie Singer-Velush explores what is perhaps one of the most under-reported stories about youth today: The story of children who are being commercially sexually exploited. While it may be a difficult magazine cover to see and an uncomfortable topic to read about, these children are our children. They come from every walk of life. A first step in helping these children is to shine a light on this tragedy.
We have included resources and ways to discuss this horrific problem with your children at home, and for educators with students at your school. Exploitation begins when children are young, and recognizing the signs of sexual abuse, more common than we want to believe, is a start. Honest conversations with our girls and boys about gender violence must continue through the teen years.
Most of us will never know the horror of life on the street, nor will our tweens. But some will. Please join us at StolenYouth’s first fundraising event April 17 to learn more about local and global projects to prevent the brutality of child sex trafficking. Thank you for your efforts supporting our community's education around child sex trafficking.
The wild, wonderful teenage brain presents research showing that the adolescent brain is still very much under construction. This fact makes our kids more likely to make risky decisions and behave illogically. Most importantly, this knowledge requires our understanding that they’re just acting developmentally appropriate and that we need to act wise-minded.*
East meets West with the growing movement toward yoga at all ages. Don’t you love the idea of actually seeing a happy baby in happy baby pose? Happy mommy (and daddy) is where I land reading No Child Left at Home. Trust and economics trump every parent’s decision here, but research suggests that once the most kid-centric skeptics among you steps out, you’re asking, “why don’t we do this more?”
The Spring Arts Guide bursts with international flair and American traditions. Creative energy erupts from the Ugandan Orphans Choir, Gansango Music & Dance, and the “gifted hip-hop dervishes,” the Massive Monkees. Seattle Symphony beautifully represents this continent’s great music in “Hear America Singing” as the Discover Music series finale.
Join us March 14th as we welcome Stanford University’s Dr. Denise Pope, Ph.D., featured in the award-winning film, Race to Nowhere. Dr. Pope provides parents with essential strategies to reduce stress at home without sacrificing school achievement and college goals.
*Dr. Laura Kastner and Alayne Sulkin, publisher, at the Wise-Minded Parenting, 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens book launch.