A Heart Filled Facebook Post From A Parent

On September the 19, 2016 Bob Cornelius posted something on Facebook that was simply heartbreaking but an act from a loving parent. Most of us know that when kids return to school, teachers usually give them a paper to fill out so that they will get a since of who the child is. It’s a short questionnaire that ask questions like: what’s your favorite food, what did you do over the summer, do you have siblings, do you have friends, etc… After attending a back-to-school night with his on, Mr. Cornelius noticed that when asked who some of his friends are, Christopher wrote “no one” His youngest son Christopher is autistic. Mr. Cornelius took a picture of the paper and hung it on the wall. Until he read the paper he was totally unaware of the split in his sons peers. It seems that if children do not fit in a certain box that they are overlooked. Christopher’s father states that the children never mistreated the boy but just never acknowledged him either. One can only imagine how lonely the child must have felt leaving home everyday and entering a lonely school.

He posted this on Facebook and shared how this feels as a parent. This photo has gone viral. The New Jersey News was shared more than 12,000 times on Facebook. Today the boy has so many friends that it’s almost unbelievable. His father states that though this photo went viral, where were all the friends before he posted the photo. What if he never did? I think that this happening will make people more aware that people are born different but they have feelings too. I guess it just does not hurt to share your feeling about something. The boy’s father states that people are drawn to his since of humor. If people were to take the time to get to know people born different and not look at them as if they are weird, that this world could be a better place.

The Non-Traditional Family Make Be the Best Way to Help Children Understand Diversity

Several decades ago there were television shows that tried to show Americans the model of the traditional family. There were shows like The Brady Bunch, The Waltons and The Cosby Show that tried to paint the picture of the model family. These shows were praised for family values. There were others shows like Roseanne that came along and totally changed all of this. This was a show that presented a dysfunctional family. It was the type of show that would open up conversations regarding the squeaky clean family and the gap between reality and fictional television families.

In this day and age there are few television shows that show the traditional families that have been carved into the mindsets of the other generations of TV viewers. The generation of today is learning much more about diversity in families and this is being reflected on television. Much of this reflection of diversity comes from the real life changes that children are witnessing. In New Jersey, for example, there is a white lesbian couple that has adopted several black children. These mothers were interviewed by the Huffington Post and they shared their outlook on love and parenting as two moms in a household where there is a white girl, 2 black girls and two black boys. These are lesbian mothers that are raising adopted children. This may be as diverse as a situation can become.

One big reality that children are realizing is that the traditional family is gone. There are gay couples that are adopting. There are transgender children in families. There are interracial families. There are all types of different formations of families. Oddly, this pairing of so many different types of family groups may turn out to be the best possible way to learn about diversity. Children don’t have to do a lot of thinking about how they should feel about diversity in the homes. They are being raised in homes where diversity is just a way of life. This is something that helps kids understand other children. This will inevitably help break down many prejudices in the world.

The traditional families of the past often seem foreign to children of today. Many kids that watch old sitcoms cannot relate to what they see.

The Value of Homework

While New Jersey’s public schools certainly want their children competitive in the 21st century global economy, they do not agree homework is the way to do it. If your child comes home with no homework from a Trenton or Woodbridge Township elementary school, it may be because the teacher or administration believes that quality time within your family is more valuable than a few extra lessons.

Principal Judith Martino sent a letter home to parents stressing the value of “strong interpersonal relationships” within the family and their role in the formation of pro-social bonds. She wrote that students need need to play, eat, and converse with loving family members on a daily basis. They need to do chores, converse within their family. learn values, and read alone or with family members. Parents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings can do much to improve a young child’s ability to read and write.

The administration now forbids teachers to assign projects due immediately on return from a school break. The same schools do not allow teachers to give tests directly after school breaks or on Mondays following long weekends. A secondary goal is to reduce the stress and pressure on New Jersey’s youngest students.

West-Windsor, Plainsboro, Princeton, and Hopewell schools have anounced similar homework-free breaks. They also deny teachers the right to test students or demand projects from students directly after a holiday. Though new to parents and grandparents, educators endlessly debate the best truly effective ways to prepare young students for the challenges in their future.

Woodbridge Township School District Superintendent Robert ZegaIf challenges parents to remember doing their own homework. How meaningful were your homework assignments? How often did you do without sleep in order to get them done? Did you ever feel compelled to lie to excuse your own missing or incomplete homework?

Parents and care givers have a responsibility to elementary school children to ensure that they use their out of school hours wisely, safely, and productively. The American Journal of Family Therapy also found that elementary school students subjected to daily homework assignments do not like school as much as others do, and they may be less confident.

The Costly Necessity of Epi Pens

This afternoon, a friend dropped her three girls off for me to watch. One of the girls has a severe nut allergy and my friend handed me a little pouch with cute pictures and the cartoon word “Allergy,” on the outside.

I peeked inside and was so impressed with the amount of organization– everything was labeled. The back up epi pen was clearly marked. A pre-measured dosage of Benadryl was included. Instructions on what to do should the need arise, were included and laminated. I love organization and this pouch exemplified it; however, before I could voice my praise, I was struck with the fact that this pouch was vitally important to her little girl’s well being. Had she neglected to leave out any of the items– especially the Epi pen– it would mean the difference between life and death for her little girl.

My friend walked me through the steps on how to use the epi pen. Sadly, my husband is deathly allergic to bees and has two of his own tucked away, so I was familiar with what to do. Thankfully, he has never needed it and neither has my friend’s little girl. However, whether they are used or not, they still have to be replaced yearly as their effectiveness diminishes over time.

My husband can not control getting stung by a bee. My friend can not be there every moment of every day to make sure a nut never comes near her friend. The company that manufactures these life saving medical marvels can control it’s costs.

As reported in the NY Times, the company that produces and sells these pens is releasing a generic pen at a lower cost. However, the generic pens made by the same company selling the name brand pens, is still 300 dollars.

Why can’t they just lower the price of their original product? They have no competitors that are offering a similar product, hence an introduction of a generic item typically. They will still control the monopoly of their product and they control both the cost of the original and the generic. Neither is a cost saving benefit to the people who desperately depend on them.

Despite the fact that Mylan, the company that produces Epi pens, blames others for the cost increase, they are the ones who stand the most to gain from supplying a life saving Epi pen at an increased cost.

When you have a life threatening allergy, you can not escape it or the daily threat it opposes to you or your loved one. Now, you also can not control the fact that the cost is skyrocketing on an item that you desperately need. It seems that is exactly what Mylan is banking on.

Babies Don’t Stay In The Nursery Any Longer

If you’ve ever had a baby or you know someone who has had a baby, then you know that there is a nursery in the hospital where the baby is often kept at night or where nurses provide care when the mother needs to rest. There are some hospitals that are electing to get rid of nurseries. It’s a baby friendly initiative that staff members are looking at so that parents can spend as much time as possible with the newborn.

Most mothers want to have their baby close by them while in the room. They can spend those precious first few hours and days with the baby, learning how to breastfeed, change the diaper and simply provide the care that the baby needs while bonding. Hospitals across the country are now making the suggestion that unless there is an emergency or medical care is needed, then the baby should stay in the room with the mother. This maneuver is to encourage mothers to bond with the baby and to learn to breastfeed, which is sometimes a healthier option than giving formula.

There are 355 hospitals in the country that have started this practice, and the initiative is taking off to a good start. There are plans to be over 500 in the United States by the end of next year. Keeping the baby with the mother is the ideal environment as it’s healthier for both the mother and the baby. The mother is able to get into a routine of caring for the baby like she would at home and possibly get the baby on a sleep schedule before leaving the hospital. There are many parents who think highly of this new idea, and there are some who feel that the mother needs privacy to rest, especially at night. Some women do go through several hours of labor with no sleep, and it’s understandable that they want to rest before going home. Mothers should have the option of keeping the baby in the room around the clock or not.

Outrage Over Common Core Testing

The buzz over the past couple schools years has been the curriculum. That trend seems to hold strong to this school years also. According to an online Wall Street Journal article http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-jersey-parents-voice-concerns-over-tests-linked-to-common-core-1422495788. Parents and educators are expressing outrage and are pensive about the new state tests starting in March.

These new online tests are a reflection of Common core; a dirty word for most educators. The standards are tougher for what students are supposed to learn and Parents are anxious about how these tests will make their kids feel. The key arguments against these tests include things such as the tests using up too much class time, the tests will be too hard, the tests will negatively impact students’ self-esteem, and the tests will waste taxpayer money.

Being a father of two children dealing with the same situation, I can empathize with the New Jersey parents. The class material has noticeably changed since I was in school to the point where I have to teach myself this stuff before I can help my kids with their work. A simple subtraction problem has evolved into some sort of half-page monster that makes no sense. It reminds me of the adage, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. My kids are still in elementary school, I can only imagine how much the curriculum has changed for high school students. Being a parent, it is our responsibility to help our children succeed in school.

I sympathize with the parents of New Jersey. It is good to see that 45 people signed up to speak their mind in the meeting discussed in the article. I hope the people in charge of coming up with the curriculum realize the folly of their ways and bring things back to the old school way. It’s so much easier that this substitution method our kids are learning today.

Spying On Teens On The Computer

Most teenagers get on the computer or on a phone at some point during the day to go on social media sites or to look at other sites that are online. There are also more parents who are paying close attention to what their teens are doing when they are on the internet. This is something every parent of a teen should do until the child turns 18. The parent is responsible for what the teen does, and if the teen does something to get in trouble online, then the parent should be responsible for not making sure better choices were made. There is such a thing as blocking a website so that teens are not allowed to visit it until they are older or show that they are mature enough to handle the content that is presented. If teens are unable to follow the rules set forth by the parent, then the device should be taken away.

There are many parents who might feel guilty about spying on their children, but if it means making sure the children are safe, then it’s worth spying. Over 60% of parents have admitted to spying on their teens while they are online. They will go to social media sites to look at pictures and read posts or look through the history on the device to see what websites have been visited. Some parents have grounded their children from a cellphone or computer after finding inappropriate content. About 40% of parents know the password to their child’s phone or computer. This is an important safety aspect as parents need to know how to unlock the device to make sure there is nothing hidden.

If more parents take the time to check in on their children while they are online, then a lot of the activity that takes place might not happen. There might not be as many kidnappings or teen pregnancies. Parents might not see an increase in violence among teens or bullying that occurs with some teens if parents would pay attention to what teens do online.

Parenting in New Jersey Made Easier

Parenting is the core responsibility of bringing up children. Although challenging, parenting is necessary for the determination of a child’s character. At times, parents face work related or personal challenges barring them from exercising good parenting skills on their kids. That is why at New Jersey, the Center for Family Services partners with various companies and agencies to assist employees and family members in parenting. Centre for Family Services, through Employee Assistance Program, has qualified parenting staff to help families in dealing with issues like:

Referral Description Intro
The program offers employed parents and children counseling sessions. The courses are necessary for solving parenting issues while making them happy in the end.

Referral Description Details
The Employee Assistance Program encourages employees, and their families acquire resources directed to solving issues hence happy families.

Baby’s Best Start Program
The nine-week program incorporates parents and family members on Saturdays between 10am-2pm for children to acquire the best start up. The sessions are facilitated in English and Spanish. On completing the program, the staff monitors the babies by visiting or making monthly calls. Baby’s Best Start provides the following services:

• Referral Description Introduction
They give children the perfect start through incorporating qualified staff. The open referral program welcomes all parents and families.
• Eligibility
The Baby Best program is open to all families in Gloucester County and Camden. For you to make a reference, mail or fax Parent Resource Center Referral Form.

Funded by New Jersey Department of Children and Families, TAFCAR (Treatment Alternatives for Children at Risk) offers in-home quality education and counseling services to prevent children from neglect and abuse. Therefore, it encourages stable families. Parents acquire lessons on how to communicate with their children while solving issues. They also offer lessons on how to manage their children’s behavior. Referrals from the community, church, schools and human service agencies are accepted after the DCP&P referrals. https://centerffs.org/…/parenting

SASS (Self-Assurance Self-Sufficiency) Program
The SASS program was founded to assist families in developing a high level of self-assurance and self-security. Through the program, parents learn the sense of instilling discipline in their kids. SASS instills unity by creating healthier families for communities. SASS supports families in becoming self-sufficient by providing linkages to treatment resources. A healthy family is a happy family. Family Success Centers are community-based and family-centered established to provide family support on parenting and guidance.

Dad Limits Devices, Finds Family Time Priceless

What happens when kids give up tv, movies and game devices for 48 hours? One dad wanted to find out. So he promised his two daughters, ages 3 and 5, that if they put down the screens for 2 days, they would all do fun things together. After an initial discussion period (i.e., tantrums), the girls and Dad were off on an outing.

The first stop was the water park, where both Dad and kids totally enjoyed swimming, splashing and water gun fights. Dad noted that not only did the girls have a great time, he had one, too. He felt like a kid again, and back in the days when he played happily outside all day, pre-game console. Dad also observed that the girls later conked out and took their naps like troopers.

The next project was making cookies, perfect because all kids like messes and cookies. The girls broke eggs, added ingredients and mixed them around. There was quite a kitchen disaster left, but the girls had the enjoyment of knowing they made something themselves, as well as eating the cookies. Dad was also glad he had the chance to show them that men can cook, too.

Finally, there was an outing to the mall, where the kids found people-watching a very absorbing pastime. As they looked out the big glass window, the world became a fascinating show for them, something they couldn’t experience on tv because it was real life. Dad reflected on how many parents spend a lot of money on birthday parties or trips to theme parks, and kids don’t remember any of it. But he did remember the times he spent with his brothers, just as his daughters were spending time together at the mall.

Experts agree there are good reasons to limit kids’ screen use. Too much technology can lead to sleep problems and obesity, as well as less homework and reading time www.parentfurther.com. Dad also reflected that kids grow up too fast, and we should take every opportunity to bond with them while they’re small.

Finally, Dad realized it wasn’t realistic to ban electronics altogether. They can be educational and fun. But there’s no better app than the one called pleasant family time spent together.

A Bloodline Separated: South Korean Orphans Reunite After Forty Years

Family is everything, so one could imagine that being robbed of that important foundation undoubtedly has detrimental side effects. However, some tragic stories have more than happy endings; sisters separated as children in Pusan, South Korea who reunited surprisingly four decades later define that very ending to a story.

In the 1970’s, half sisters, Meagan Hughes and Holly Hoyle O’Brien, were taken away from their addict father and placed in a South Korean orphanage until they were later adopted to separate couples in separate portions of the United States. Though they had fortunate childhoods after their adoptions, surely they longed for blood family.

Upon completing school for a nursing degree, Hughes began working at a Florida hospital on the fourth floor. Four months later, the staff welcomed a new member, named Holly O’Brien. Due to their heritage and similar personalities, the women quickly became friends. Something was far too special, though, and the intelligent women began drawing conclusions.

The similarities of their upbringings could no longer be ignored, so the pair began conducting their own research. When the truth finally surfaced and the two realized that they are, in fact, sisters, they were finally able to revel in that family, blood bond that they had been deprived of for too long.

Stories like these are too perfect to believe, but Hughes and O’Brien are living proof that what is meant to be will always find its way. Once the goosebumps and tears subside, consider reading more about stories such as these–they happen fairly frequently!