Saturday, June 1, 2013

Backwards Parents? Vaccines. Pacifiers. Sleep Apnea? 7-Minute Workout. Strip Poker. Jews at Chelmno. CNN Launches.


For “Summary Saturday”, News, Some New, Some Old:

We are all devastated by the weather disasters around the country, and the death of the fire fighters in Houston.  The news is full of it, so I won’t go into it.

So I’ll talk about our most precious resource, kids, instead!

Have American Parents Got It All Backwards?

“The eager new mom offering her insouciant toddler an array of carefully-arranged healthy snacks from an ice cube tray?

That was me.

The always-on-top-of-her-child's-play parent intervening during play dates at the first sign of discord?

That was me too.

We hold some basic truths as self-evident when it comes to good parenting. Our job is to keep our children safe, enable them to fulfill their potential and make sure they're healthy and happy and thriving.

The parent I used to be and the parent I am now both have the same goal: to raise self-reliant, self-assured, successful children. But 12 years of parenting, over five years of living on and off in Japan, two years of research, investigative trips to Europe and Asia and dozens of interviews with psychologists, child development experts, sociologists, educators, administrators and parents in Japan, Korea, China, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Brazil and elsewhere have taught me that though parents around the world have the same goals, American parents like me (despite our very best intentions) have gotten it all backwards.


We need to let 3-year-olds climb trees and 5-year-olds use knives.

Imagine my surprise when I came across a kindergartener in the German forest whittling away on a stick with a penknife. His teacher, Wolfgang, lightheartedly dismissed my concern: "No one's ever lost a finger!"

Similarly, Brittany, an American mom, was stunned when she moved her young family to Sweden and saw 3- and 4-year-olds with no adult supervision bicycling down the street, climbing the roofs of playhouses and scaling tall trees with no adult supervision. The first time she saw a 3-year-old high up in a tree at preschool, she started searching for the teacher to let her know. Then she saw another parent stop and chat with one of the little tree occupants, completely unfazed. It was clear that no one but Brittany was concerned.

"I think of myself as an open-minded parent," she confided to me, "and yet here I was, wanting to tell a child to come down from a tree."

Why it's better: Ellen Hansen Sandseter, a Norwegian researcher at Queen Maud University in Norway, has found in her research that the relaxed approach to risk-taking and safety actually keeps our children safer by honing their judgment about what they're capable of. Children are drawn to the things we parents fear: high places, water, wandering far away, dangerous sharp tools. Our instinct is to keep them safe by childproofing their lives. But "the most important safety protection you can give a child," Sandseter explained when we talked, "is to let them take... risks."

Consider the facts to back up her assertion: Sweden, where children are given this kind of ample freedom to explore (while at the same time benefitting from comprehensive laws that protect their rights and safety), has the lowest rates of child injury in the world.

Children can go hungry from time-to-time.

In Korea, eating is taught to children as a life skill and as in most cultures, children are taught it is important to wait out their hunger until it is time for the whole family to sit down together and eat. Koreans do not believe it's healthy to graze or eat alone, and they don't tend to excuse bad behavior (like I do) by blaming it on low blood sugar. Instead, children are taught that food is best enjoyed as a shared experience. All children eat the same things that adults do, just like they do in most countries in the world with robust food cultures. (Ever wonder why ethnic restaurants don't have kids' menus?). The result? Korean children are incredible eaters. They sit down to tables filled with vegetables of all sorts, broiled fish, meats, spicy pickled cabbage and healthy grains and soups at every meal.

Why it's better: In stark contrast to our growing child overweight/obesity levels, South Koreans enjoy the lowest obesity rates in the developed world. A closely similar-by-body index country in the world is Japan, where parents have a similar approach to food.

Instead of keeping children satisfied, we need to fuel their feelings of frustration.

The French, as well as many others, believe that routinely giving your child a chance to feel frustration gives him a chance to practice the art of waiting and developing self-control. Gilles, a French father of two young boys, told me that frustrating kids is good for them because it teaches them the value of delaying gratification and not always expecting (or worse, demanding) that their needs be met right now.

Why it's better: Studies show that children who exhibit self-control and the ability to delay gratification enjoy greater future success.  Anecdotally, we know that children who don't think they're the center of the universe are a pleasure to be around. Alice Sedar, Ph.D., a former journalist for Le Figaro and a professor of French Culture at Northeastern University, agrees. "Living in a group is a skill," she declares, and it's one that the French assiduously cultivate in their kids.”

More at:

Video on the same subject:

“Some studies indicate that typical American parenting methods are, well, backwards when compared to techniques more common in other parts of the world. So, what does the research suggest about the outcomes of our parenting methods?”


Rob Schneider Speaks Out Against Vaccines.

“Actor, Rob Schneider talks out against vaccines, parental rights, corporate greed and AB2109.


Do vaccines cause autism? Rep. Carolyn Maloney grills CDC in Congressional inquiry

“Do vaccines cause autism? Rep. Carolyn Maloney grills the CDC over the practice of injecting babies and infants with multiple vaccines all at once.
FACT: The CDC openly admits that vaccines contain mercury, aluminum, MSG and formaldehyde. All of these are neurotoxic chemicals or metals.”

Read more at:


Sucking Babies' Pacifiers for Allergy Prevention? - Ask Dr. Weil

Q: “I just heard that parents are now supposed to suck babies’ pacifiers to clean them. This sounds really unhygienic to me. Wouldn’t the parents be passing on their germs?”

imagesCASAY9T2 Answer:  “Strange as it may seem, the practice of sucking your baby's pacifier to clean it – most commonly after it has dropped on the floor – may protect children from developing allergies and asthma later in life. This news comes from Swedish researchers who followed 184 babies for three years, examining them periodically for allergy symptoms. The parents were asked to keep records of when they introduced new foods into the babies' diets, when the children were weaned, and other child-rearing practices.

The study showed that at 18-months of age, the children whose parents reported sucking pacifiers to clean them had one-third the risk of developing eczema than babies whose parents cleaned pacifiers some other way. (Infantile eczema is the most common early sign of allergy.) By the time the children turned three, eczema developed significantly less often among babies whose parents sucked on pacifiers to clean them during the infants' first six months of life.

While the study didn't prove that exposure to parental saliva was responsible for the lower rate of allergies, the findings conform to the "hygiene hypothesis," which holds that children who grow up in less sanitary environments are less likely to develop allergies and asthma than youngsters raised in cleaner, more protected ones. The idea is that the developing immune systems of less privileged kids are exposed to more germs from an early age and become stronger as a result.”  More at:


Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea“A simple test you can perform to check whether or not you're breathing properly is to stand with your back against a wall, with your heels, buttocks, shoulder blades and head touching the wall. Say "Hello," swallow, and then breathe.

If you can speak, swallow, and breathe easily and comfortably in this position, then your mouth and throat are clear. If you cannot perform those three functions, your breathing is probably obstructed, which may be exacerbated when lying down to sleep.”  More at:


How to Do the 7-Minute Workout

“A new workout plan from researchers at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, FL, recommends a seven-minute exercise regimen, using nothing more than your own body weight, a chair, and a wall.”

Infographic: How to do the 7-minute Workout


The Scientific 7-Minute Workout: Enough Pain?

“I finished my scientific seven-minute workout as the clock hit 7 a.m. While I sipped on my home-made fruit, spinach and protein powder smoothie, I tried to convince myself that I had just finished a work out equivalent to running my usual three miles around the reservoir, followed by a full weight routine. I contemplated this until I sucked my smoothie dry, then I jogged over to my computer and signed up for a barre boot camp class. Call me neurotic, but I'm not buying into the whole "seven-minutes is as good as an hour" thing. Are you?”  More at:


Centrum "Strip Poker"

“It’s an ad for Centrum Silver. Feel young again!”


On This Day:

News of death camp killings becomes public for first time, Jun 1, 1942:

“On this day in 1942, a Warsaw underground newspaper, the Liberty Brigade, makes public the news of the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno, a death camp in Poland—almost seven months after extermination of prisoners began.

A year earlier, the means of effecting what would become the "Final Solution," the mass extermination of European Jewry, was devised: 700 Jews were murdered by channeling gas fumes back into a van used to transport them to the village of Chelmno, in Poland. This "gas van" would become the death chamber for a total of 360,000 Jews from more than 200 communities in Poland. The advantage of this form of extermination was that it was silent and invisible.

One month before the infamous Wannsee Conference of January 1942, during which Nazi officials decided to address formally the "Jewish question," the gas vans in Chelmno were used to kill up to 1,000 Jews a day. The vans provided the "Final Solution" for Adolf Eichmann and other Wannsee attendees. The mass gassings were the most orderly and systematic means of eliminating European Jewry. Eventually, more such vans were employed in other parts of Poland. There was no thought of selecting out the "fit" from the "unfit" for slave labor, as in Auschwitz. There was only one goal: utter extermination.

On June 1, 1942, the story of a young Jew, Emanuel Ringelblum, (who escaped from the Chelmno death camp after being forced to bury bodies as they were thrown out of the gas vans), was published in the underground Polish Socialist newspaper Liberty Brigade. The West now knew the "bloodcurdling news... about the slaughter of Jews," and it had a name—Chelmno.”


CNN launches, Jun 1, 1980:

“On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world's first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN's launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks--ABC, CBS and NBC--and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.

CNN was the brainchild of Robert "Ted" Turner, a colorful, outspoken businessman dubbed the "Mouth of the South." Turner was born on November 19, 1938, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and as a child moved with his family to Georgia, where his father ran a successful billboard advertising company. After his father committed suicide in 1963, Turner took over the business and expanded it. In 1970, he bought a failing Atlanta TV station that broadcast old movies and network reruns and within a few years Turner had transformed it into a "superstation," a concept he pioneered, in which the station was beamed by satellite into homes across the country. Turner later bought the Atlanta Braves baseball team and the Atlanta Hawks basketball team and aired their games on his network, TBS (Turner Broadcasting System). In 1977, Turner gained international fame when he sailed his yacht to victory in the prestigious America's Cup race.

In its first years of operation, CNN lost money and was ridiculed as the Chicken Noodle Network. However, Turner continued to invest in building up the network's news bureaus around the world and in 1983, he bought Satellite News Channel, owned in part by ABC, and thereby eliminated CNN's main competitor. CNN eventually came to be known for covering live events around the world as they happened, often beating the major networks to the punch. The network gained significant traction with its live coverage of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the network's audience grew along with the increasing popularity of cable television during the 1990s.

In 1996, CNN merged with Time Warner, which merged with America Online four years later. Today, Ted Turner is an environmentalist and peace activist whose philanthropic efforts include a 1997 gift of $1 billion to the United Nations.”



Jay really wanted me to take him to cash his check in Willis, and then take him to Conroe to re-up that stupid PayDay type loan that he has.  That was a sure sign that he is drinking again.  Over the last 3 months he has paid interest nearly as much as he borrowed. ($41 a month for a $250 loan.) During the few days when he wasn’t drinking, he was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and a pleasure to be around.  He kept on saying how well and happy he felt, and that he was going to pay it off.  So much for that.

As the man was coming to dump a load of gravel in my driveway, and I was here by myself, I had to get everything out of the way. There was a long water hose to undo and wrap up.  A cable for the antenna had to be disconnected up in the guest house attic and rolled up out of the way.  We had left some indoor-outdoor carpet pieces in the area in case it rained so it wouldn’t be muddy, and I had to pull them out of that area.  I also dragged some big heavy planks, and got it all moved until I was breathless again.

Walkway-Misty-PacoI carried some Hardi-plank siding over there and put it up against the outside of the lattice fence, so none of the rocks would spill over onto the walkway to the back yard.  Blind old Misty wouldn’t have understood what was going on in her little walkway, if I hadn’t done that.  She guides herself by the feel of the brick pathway, and the landscape timber sides keep her going straight.

The dump truck wouldn’t fit between the two houses where the driveway needed to be, and when he imagesCAFBOL7Q tipped up the bed, it barely missed the roof of the guest house and my roof.  It wasn’t the usual ratty looking dump truck, this was a pretty, polished, beige Mac with bulldogs on the front and on the mirrors.  I missed taking a picture of it.

I had told Jay that I would take him to Willis when I went to the bank to get the man’s money.  The man, Mike, was going to come back with his front-end loader to spread the gravel, so I had just enough time to run into Willis.  I couldn’t get a hold of Jay by phone to tell him that the man was here dumping the gravel, so I quickly drove down there.  But Jay was mean and nasty because I couldn’t take him to Conroe.  He barked that he would get his mother to take him.  I pitied her, the mood that Jay was in. 








When Mike came back with the front-end loader, he was very careful and conscientious, and did a really good job of smoothing it all out.  Some had to be done with a rake, and I felt bad about that, as Mike has a bad back.

I was talking to the foster mom of Holly, (the cat that I never saw while she was here, the one that wouldn’t eat), and she has another declawed cat that is outgoing and a “greeter”.  On Sunday, I will be taking Simba and Nila to stay at our Cat Habitat, and while I am cat-less I will see if my sinus problems clear up.  If they don’t, then I might as well have a cat!

This foster mom also said that she wants to go to church with me next week, that will be great.

Jay’s mother had heard him talking nastily to me and got on to him about it, and I doubt if he will be going to church today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

You sure are getting a lot done around your place.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi DD, Thank you for your comment.

I have to get a lot done, as I want to put the house up for sale.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny, TX