You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

With bullying a hot topic in the news, I think it’s great to see organizations and the media take proactive steps towards building self-esteem in children. For example, writer Dan Savage has begun a national campaign on YouTube called “It gets better Project”  to let LGBT youth know that there is life after the difficulties faced in high school and college and now many celebrities (including a certain Mr. Obama) have gotten involved. On a local level, the “Live Your Dream Girls’ Conference” sponsored by the Poughkeepsie branch of the American Association of University Women and hosted by Dutchess Community College is trying to make a difference as well.

The forum brings seventh-graders from the Poughkeepsie area together with local college students and professional women for a day of workshops and discussions. The conference’s goal is to shape character, encourage empathy and develop leadership. By providing resources, role models and a forum for discussion, the conference aims to provide girls with tools to help them tackle the challenges of middle school. The event is on Saturday, November 6 and you can register up until Tuesday, November 2. I love this and really wish I had this back when I was girl with frizzy hair and braces.

Tater tots- Healthy eats or school lunch menace?

There is a national crisis afoot… tater tots are coming under fire as junk food and potato farmers are not happy. Healthy food advocates say they’re not against the potato, but they believe that “children need a greater variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to fight a tripling of child obesity rates in the past 30 years.” Potato growers feel that  the potato “is loaded with potassium and vitamin C and shouldn’t be considered junk food.” Where do you stand?

I personally think that tater tots aren’t exactly the healthiest food, but can be enjoyed  in moderation (come on they are a classic school food!), but I’m all for getting more variety of vegetables in schools also. We try to stay on top of nutrition news here at Hudson Valley Parent, and have featured a bunch of healthy food articles in the past. We haven’t done an article on the tater tot crisis yet, but I can feel an exciting exposé occurring in the near future.

With the wind howling outside our tiny office in Newburgh  today it’s hard not to feel excited that Halloween is right around the corner. This holiday is one of my favorites because you get to be a kid all over again. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade I wanted a unique costume, so I decided to make my own. I went to my school library, got out a book on crafts, and chose to make my very own ladybug costume. That baby was beautiful and the best part was I made it by myself.

This leads me to the point of this nostalgic blog, today I have a much harder time coming up with costume ideas. Working full-time doesn’t leave me a lot of time to make the perfect costume, but it can be done.  How do all you parent readers come up with your costume ideas? Is it off to Party City? Or do you bite the creative bullet and make your own costume? I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Yesterday’s  Times Herald Record  introduced us to twelve-year-old Shawn Gill who is mature beyond his years. I’m always touched by locals who make a difference not only at home, but who also inspire others to do good. Shawn is the primary caregiver for his mom who has severe epilepsy. On top of his schoolwork and helping is mother, Shawn is also a Student Leader at C.J. Hooker Middle School in Goshen. Shawn was picked with another student to attend this year’s Junior National Young Leaders Conference a big honor since nominations are reviewed by members of Congress.

It’s nice to see a child so passionate about helping others and I’m sure he isn’t the only Hudson Valley kid out there making a difference.  We are curious to hear from our Parent readers. How do you encourage your child to help others?  Let us know what you do in the comments or tell us on Facebook. We also have a few articles on inspiring altruism in children if you need some ideas on how to start.

When my partner Stephanie and I had our baby last November, we took several classes in the months leading up to the due date. We found the information to be extremely helpful down the line. But perhaps even more important, we are still friendly with 3 couples we met at the classes.

Here  is the CRYSTAL RUN HEALTHCARE prenatal class schedule., with additional classes added for Middletown and Rock Hill.

 The classes, open to the public, first launched in April 2010. The program, designed by Crystal Run pediatricians, is intended to provide guidance and emotional support and help prepare expectant parents for the arrival of their new baby. ALL CLASSES HELD FROM 5pm to 6pm.

If not, then Hudson Valley babies are in the minority. According to CNN , 92% of US babies are online. “Thanks to the ubiquity of photo-sharing websites like Facebook, 82 percent of children in 10 Western countries have a digital footprint before the age of 2, according to a study by internet security firm AVG.” They’re not the ones necessarily uploading photos onto Facebook though. It’s parents, family members, friends of the family, etc. that are doing the uploading.

I am definitely guilty of doing that. When my niece and nephew were born I splattered pictures onto my Facebook page like there was no tomorrow. (They are were too cute not to be seen!)  But then I decided I wasn’t sure who exactly was looking at these pictures and deleted my photo albums. It does raise some security issues regarding Hudson Valley children and the internet, as discussed by our Child Behavior columnist Dr. Paul Schwartz. The times are a’changing and now apparently my two year old niece will soon surpass me in Facebook “friends”.

12 articles from HV Parent offer help

While browsing our Facebook page, a status line from one of our parent friends caught my attention. It was a link to a blog called Single dad laughing and the post was about the blogger’s struggle with being bullied as a child.  I found myself tearing up a few times because his story is so raw.  The post made me wonder how many cases go undetected  in Hudson Valley schools. I also wonder what local efforts are being done to prevent cases like this dad blogger from happening again. Here are 12 articles about bullying from Hudson Valley Parent, including advice on how to deal with internet or cyber bullying from Paul Schwartz. You’ll find useful information here about this problem, which has been getting lots of attention lately.

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