Postings for December 2011

The Big Gift GiveawayOur gift to you
It wouldn’t be the giving season without the advent of our wildly popular Big Gift Giveaway! We’ve assembled a crazy cool collection of memberships, tickets, gifts and more. We’ll award a gift every day between December 1 and 31. Enter daily at to increase your chances of winning fab prizes such as a $500 gift certificate at the Bravern, 5th Ave. Cinderella tickets, a PCC $150 gift card, PNB Nutcracker tickets, a Pacific Place $500 gift card, and — are you ready — a trip to Mexico!

Could you be dyslexic?
Is your child dyslexic? Then chances are, so are you. According to the International Dyslexia Association, 98 percent of children with dyslexia have a parent who is dyslexic. Ask yourself: Do you read slowly? Did you have trouble learning to read? Do you make lots of spelling mistakes? Did you find it hard to learn a foreign language? Are you uncomfortable reading out loud? These are just a few of the signs of dyslexia. If you have them, or would like more information, go to the IDA website:

Womb woes
According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, baby girls exposed in utero to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in plastics, may develop later behavior problems. Moms found to have high BPA levels during pregnancy had 3-year-old girls who showed more anxiety and depressed behavior than girls not exposed to the chemical. Boys were not affected. Researchers said the reason girls showed problems and boys didn’t might have something to do with the way hormones affect brain development in the womb.

Stop the bullying!
We’d all like to know how to prevent bullying in our schools. The Washington State Office of the Educational Ombudsman offers these tips:

- Create a home environment of tolerance, where differences are celebrated.

- Encourage your school to develop policies and procedures regarding bullying.

- Ask for a bullying prevention program to be implemented in your school.

- Intervene every time you witness bullying behavior.

- Provide predictable, consistent, matter-of-fact consequences if your child bullies others.

- Support the child who is bullied. Give emotional nurturing at home.

- Encourage bystanders to speak out against bullying behavior, report it to adults and befriend excluded children.

- Spend time with your child and others. All children need a daily, personal connection with parents, teachers and other caring adults.

What’s in those toys?
Washington state will now require toys, cosmetics, jewelry and baby-product manufacturers to report when their products contain harmful chemicals. These include formaldehyde, bisphenol A and endocrine disrupters. The rule is a step toward making kids’ products safer. Large companies will submit reports by August 2012 and the rule will phase in over the next several years for smaller companies.

—Linda Morgan

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