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My first paying gig was babysitting my neighbors kids and it was my best friend’s first job as well. I think that babysitting is a right of passage for every teenager.  But, you have to make sure you know how to perform the job safely. The Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie  is offering a Babysitting Workshop for tweens and teens.

Topics will cover responsibilities including basic child care, babysitting safety, developmental needs for different age groups, emergency preparedness,  strategies for difficult situations, and a babysitter’s bag of tricks. Participants should bring  a notebook, pen and a bag lunch.

Pre-registration is required. You can register online or call Adriance Children’s Desk at
845-485-3445, ext.  3320.

There is a great new show that I started watching on the Style Network called Too Fat for Fifteen. It’s a reality show following a group of overweight students at the Wellspring Academy in North Carolina and the struggles they face on their weight loss journeys. The show is filled with a lot of insight on what it is like to be overweight and a teenager. The family dynamics are especially interesting. The parents featured on the show seem to be nothing more than supportive of their children. However, I read an article today that said even parents of overweight children occasionally discriminate against them. For example, they may be less likely to help pay for their college education or a new car. What are your thoughts?

How many times has your child come home upset about something that happened at school, but wouldn’t talk to you about it? If you found out it was because they were being bullied, what would you do? Well, one father took justice into his own hands. According to a report on the Today Show a man in Florida boarded his daughter’s school bus to defend her from middle-schoolers who were allegedly “taunting, hitting, and even throwing condoms at her”. The 11-year-old girl has cerebral palsy and the father’s lawyer says she is now under suicide watch. Even if you don’t condone the father’s behavior, you can see where he is coming from. Who wouldn’t fight for their child?

What do you think?

I have a habit of slouching. It’s not good and I don’t endorse it. I always try to remember to stand tall, with my shoulders back, because if I don’t I hear my mom’s voice in my head, “Don’t slouch over!” It’s such a knee jerk reaction. I think that this habit is hard to break, but just as my mom knew it should be taught when children are younger. A recent article in the Washington Post agrees and also says to make learning about having good posture fun. The article has great tips for parents and kids on how to maintain a strong core. Soon no one will have to hear “stop slouching!” anymore.

Teens often do wacky things in order to express their individuality. This can come in the form of dyed blue hair, changing up their wardrobe, or piercings. However, what happens when these things go against your child’s school dress code. Ariana Iacono is a 14-year-old from North Carolina and has a small stud nose piercing. This piercing which was put in for “religious purposes” has caused her to be suspended from her school. Ariana says she belongs to the Church of Body Modification. You can barely see the piercing in the picture included in this article from the TODAY Show. Is this piercing worth being suspended over?


 Children who walk or bike to school are healthier, more alert and are more adept at making friends, which all add up to being more successful in school. Studies have shown that youth who are active in the morning and afternoon perform better in school. So, get your kid off on the right foot and encourage walking and biking to school!

 The Safe Routes to Schools and Parks committee of the Healthy Kingston for Kids partnership is encouraging parents and school employees in Kingston to band together this fall to celebrate a International Walk and Bike to School Day event on October 6,  which aims to bolster youth fitness through active living. Activities such as walking and biking to school promote the notion that a “healthier kid is a smarter kid.” Schools worldwide will be participating.

 On September 21, 2010 there will be a workshop for parents, teachers and school officials interested in holding a walk and bike to school event at their school. Contact Kristen Wilson at (845) 340-3990 or for times and locations.

 From the perspective of a parent, the preference for walking is clear. “What motivates me most about having my community walk to school is Read the rest of this entry »

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