Postings for October 2011

Finding KindThe mean scene
First time filmmakers Lauren Parsekian and Molly Stroud, victims of “mean girls” during their teenage years, went on a cross-country road trip to better understand — and document — the cruelty of girl-against-girl bullying. In their 10,000 mile journey, Lauren and Molly set-up “Truth Booths” capturing stories and confessions about bullying from girls across the nation. Their film, “Finding Kind,” profiles that journey, and the filmmakers’ quest to take these experiences and find a common ground of kindness and mutual respect. Check out the Finding Kind trailer.

Bullies be gone
Does back to school mean back to being bullied? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says parents should equip their kids with some tools to help them cope with the Bad Guys. According to the AAP, parents should teach their kids to look the bully in the eye, walk away and say (firmly!), “I don’t like what you are doing.” Parents should also find their kids more outside activities, encourage them to make more friends and if things escalate, let the school know. What else? Make sure it’s not your kid who’s the bully. For more on this, check out the chapter “Is Your Child a Bully?” in Beyond Smart: Boosting Your Child’s Social, Emotional, and Academic Potential.

Licely done
While the topic may make your skin crawl, at least we’ve got some good news. It used to be that when your kids got lice, the common advice for removing the little buggers included getting rid of all the lice and nits (eggs) from the head as well as spending weeks afterward washing and bagging up your home to be sure the nasty houseguests were gone.

Nancy Gordon, founder of local lice removal company Lice Knowing You, got in touch with us to tell us that some of that advice, which many parents still follow, is outdated. “You still need to remove all lice and nits (on your head) in order to make sure that your infestation will be gone. The part that has changed quite a bit is what a person needs to do in their environment to make sure lice don’t return.”

She says families only need to focus on the 24 hours before the head is treated. Wash bedding and clothing worn in the last day in hot water, put pillows in the dryer, and pop hair accessories into the freezer for a few hours.

organic food studiesOrganic, schmanic?
The conclusions seem pretty natural to us. A recent NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll asked 3,000 people across the country about their preference for organic versus nonorganic foods. A 58 percent majority said they prefer the organics. But 38 percent said they prefer nonorganics, citing the high price of the alternative. (You know Whole Foods’ nickname “Whole Paycheck” didn’t just come about by happenstance.)

Those who prefer nonorganics also cited the difficulty in finding organic options. Other findings? Older people are less likely to say they prefer organics than the general population. (Perhaps old habits die hard?) Good news for local farmers, though: People prefer to get their produce at farmers’ markets first (43 percent), supermarkets second (32 percent) and home gardens third (20 percent). What about eating out? Organic options at restaurants leave people relatively uninspired: A full two-thirds say they’re not really interesting in organic options on menus.

Men don’t vent? Shocking!
Admit it. You’ve always wondered why guys just don’t share. Females seem to recite every problem while the menfolk just listen — or pretend to. Now, a University of Missouri study finally makes sense of it all. It’s simple, really. Guys figure talking about troubles is a waste of time. “For years, popular psychologists have insisted that boys and men would like to talk about their problems but are held back by fears of embarrassment,” reports Amanda J. Rose, associate professor at the University of Missouri. It turns out they weren’t embarrassed — they just didn’t see it as particularly useful. Researchers found that girls vent with regularity, thinking it will make them feel better. The boys? They feel those discussions would make them feel “weird.”

Halloween fest
Gilda’s Club Seattle, a nonprofit community clubhouse for anyone touched by cancer, hosts its 10th annual all-ages Halloween bash, Noogiefest, on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. Come dressed in your Halloween best and party down with games and treats, face painting, a haunted house and other fun. It’s all free, but advance registration is a must; call 206-709-1400.

Vaccinations in Washington stateGet shot!
Did you know that in Washington state, just 88.6 percent of children ages 19 to 35 months get immunized? That’s below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) target of at least 90 percent. The CDC suggests that families ask their doctor what immunizations their kids need and when to get them; follow their doctor’s immunization schedule; and ask their doctor for a copy of the screening and immunization record. This will help you keep track of your child’s tests and shots, which child care providers and schools will ask for. The CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for children ages birth through 6 years suggests inoculation against hepatitis A and B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, measles-mumps-rubella and other diseases. The schedules may be found online here.

Education Extravaganza
Join us on Oct. 11 for a free education blowout. We’ve invited education experts, representatives for extracurricular activities and over 80 schools to Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue so parents can find out about what’s hot in the world of education. Jackie Ferrado from the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program will talk about funding your child’s college education, and Sherrie Catron Burke of the Committee for Children will talk about the successful navigation of tween digital fads. Bring the kids for supervised arts and crafts and a magic show by Jeff Evans, and RSVP to be entered to win tickets to Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker. You’ll want to show up — everyone who attends will have a chance to win a $2,500 toward your family’s education costs.

—Linda Morgan

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