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May 31, 2011

(Weird) mom keeping gender of her baby "Storm'' a secret

I'm sure glad I didn't have an activist mom. I didn't have a weirdo mom. My mom didn't use me or any of my three sisters to make some social statement.

Check out, if you haven't caught wind of this, the story about a mom who is keeping the gender of her baby a secret. The baby's name is Storm, and it looks like a boy to me. But whatever.

If my mom had done that, suggesting I look plain enough to possibly pass as a boy, and dressing me in gender- neutral clothing so that she robbed me of precious pink baby photos, not to mention made me the center of a media "storm,'' I don't think I would approve. Nor would I want my name to be Storm if I were in fact a girl.

Click here to read about it.

POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160)

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May 24, 2011

Sex ed: Teaching kids to fear sex?

My 12-year-old announced last night I should not expect any grandchildren from her. Her science teacher's detailing of "pubic lice" turned her stomach.

It's that time of year again, when middle school kids learn about sex in their science classes. It's become an end-of-the-year ritual in our school district; my guess is that few parents will complain because school is almost over.

Still, in my layman's view of this, there's a fine line between discouraging kids from having sex to disgusting them with graphic details of sexually transmitted diseases and conditions, including pubic lice. I want my kids to learn all about these potential problems, but also want them to know about loving adult relationships with a single partner.

I'm sure the teachers emphasize this, and I thank them for enduring the immaturity of middle school kids as they try to engage them in this important topic. My daughter's teacher apparently had enough of their giggling: She made them put their heads down and be quiet to return some order to the room.

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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May 18, 2011

May is a waste of time in our high schools

As far as I can tell, the month of May has become a time for playing board games and watching movies in our high schools.

After Advanced Placement exams, which are in early May, many teachers seem to throw in the towel. My daughter's school days consist of movies, parties and game-playing.

Her AP English teacher is doing a poetry unit. Thank you, teacher! Thank you! There is still a lot for these kids to learn, even if the all-important AP exam is over.

To top it all off, our school will be closed on May 26 because all the teachers are needed for graduation. Why not cancel the whole month while we're at it?

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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May 17, 2011

Plato's thoughts on parenting

I'm at the point in my parenting that I need to look past Oprah, Fox News, the strict Chinese "Tiger mom'' or whoever else might have tips for me. I am going to the great philosophers of all time.

I happened to glance through some Plato this morning. It's not worth explaining why I was doing this. Suffice to say that I do not, on a regular basis, read Plato in the mornings. But this morning, I happened to.

And this one section grabbed me. I wanted to share it with you as food for thought. I don't know the context, except to say this was in his "The Function of the Rulers'' chapter of The Republic.

"... Our children's pastimes, then, as I began by saying, must be kept from the first within stricter bounds; if any license be admitted, they will catch the spirit and will never grow into law-abiding and well-conducted men. And so, when children have made a good beginning in their play, and musical education has instilled a spirit of order, this reverence for law will attend them in all their doings and foster their growth, restoring any institutions that may earlier have fallen into decay.''

This is another vote for strict parenting. How many votes do we need before we crack down?

POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160)

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May 10, 2011

What a waste: 30 kids arrested for selling pot

Can you imagine undercover officers spending an entire year posing as high school students, and all they uncover is kids selling pot?

What a waste of time and our taxpayer money, as recounted in this story today. The officers spent nine months in classrooms at three Palm Beach County high schools and busted 30 kids over the past few days, most for selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

If I were the Palm Beach County School District, I would not have held a news conference yesterday to brag about this because it is an embarrassment. The officers spent an entire year doing nothing else, and could not find any cocaine, meth labs or Ecstasy sales? With the school district threatening to cut the school police department, I suggest the chief find other ways to prove the department's worth.

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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May 5, 2011

Take the pledge - Don't text and drive

I was browsing through my Facebook news feed, and this image caught my eye. My friend who posted the item had commented, "definitely taking the pledge". I had to click the link.

The video that followed started out on a high note with a proud mother glancing back at her smiling son, but I was waiting for the other shoe to drop...

Is that powerful, or what? I must admit that I am not very good about ignoring my phone when I drive. Maybe it is part of the job I do with social media and Maybe it is the fact that more of my friends talk via Facebook than over the phone. Whatever the reason, I am definitely making a point to take this pledge and be a safer driver.

Check out the full website for The Last Word, and take the pledge yourself.

POSTED IN: Chris Tiedje (51), Safety (59), Technology (3)

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May 4, 2011

Should kids celebrate bin Laden death?


My 12-year-old asked me if it was legal to kill Osama bin Laden.

This question left me stunned for a few moments. She clearly knew killing anyone is wrong. And of course, it is. But in this case, I said, the victim was the brain behind the killing of 3,000 people in New York and went into hiding to flee justice, so he deserved it. I felt very uncomfortable saying this, because as Americans, we still believe in the court system as the ultimate arbiter of guilt or innocence.

In the same way, the celebrations over bin Laden's death also rub me the wrong way. They are filled with gloating 20-somethings who fail to see how complicated the world is. Should our culture celebrate death? Isn't that what we criticize the terrorists for doing? I have never before seen mainstream Americans rejoice this way over a death, even if it was of a despised enemy.

You can wrap yourself in the flag all you want, but bin Laden's demise is a time for solemnity, not partying.

Photo by Josh Pesavento/Flickr

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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May 2, 2011

Ding, dong the bad man is dead?

With the news of Osama bin Laden's bloody demise seemingly everywhere, what have you said to your kids about how he died or how you feel about his death?

osama-blog.jpgOne of our schools' reporters talked with a Pembroke Pines principal about his decision to talk about bin Laden's death with his sons and students. This is what he said about the gory details:

"We don't get into all that," said Principal Carlton Campbell. "We focus on purpose and political ramifications. They can only handle so much."

POSTED IN: Joy Oglesby (134)

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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