Where's the Manual for this Kid?

 These are disturbing things I’m seeing in the news lately:

• A judge removed a breastfeeding woman from his courtroom

• Facebook deleted thousands of photos of breastfeeding mothers

• Stores have thrown mothers out for breastfeeding

Why? Why is this being allowed? There is no law that prohibits public breastfeeding. None. In one case the police who removed a mother from a store even admitted it was not against the law, as he was removing her; and she went!

This is what I don’t understand. Why are moms not refusing to go?

Moms did rebel and make a point to Target by staging a “sit-in” so to speak to publicize the issue. That was positive.

But why did the mom leave in the first place? There was no need for her to interrupt meal time for her infant.

If people have a problem with breastfeeding, it’s THEIR problem.

A man named Steve, at The Huffington Post commented, “This does not belong on TV or in public, it is gross.”

Excuse me?? It’s GROSS?? How is the act of feeding your hungry child gross? I say to Steve, “Grow up!”

Sesame Street has been able to handle the “grossness” of breastfeeding in the past as the natural healthy function that it is. But now, Sesame Street is under the gun by the Steves of the world not to teach kids about the most nutritious way to feed their new siblings.

So, what should we tell little Johnny about why the new baby is hiding under a blanket in mommy’s arms, that she’s playing hide n seek? Give me a break!

It’s the Steves of the world, with their neurotic hang-ups, that are dictating policy not to allow public breastfeeding. But it’s also the Steves of the world who are perfectly ok with displaying a naked woman on a magazine cover, with her arms covering only the tiniest of areas, in the front of a 7/11 store rack. Another mom and I went to that store & demanded that the manager put the magazine in the back so our 14 yr old sons didn’t see it when they came in for slurpies. The manager looked at us as if we were nutsy moms & placated us to get us out of his face. That same manager would be “grossed out” I’m sure by a mom coming in with her infant totally covered & breastfeeding. Why are we ok with that??

Come on, moms. Next time someone gives you a dirty look as you’re feeding your baby, smile sweetly & turn away. Next time a store employee asks you to go somewhere else, kindly decline their suggestion & turn away. Support Sesame Street in teaching breastfeeding by telling them you agree.

Do not let the Steves of the world & their immature hang-ups dictate policy because they’re grossed out!


A Stockton student was handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and was charged with battery on a police officer.

 That student was 5 years old.


This had to be the biggest 5 year old ever, or the smallest policeman ever! How is it possible that a 5 year old requires not only handcuffs (behind his back) but ankle cuffs to be controlled? Let me guess, the policeman left his taser at home that day.

As a “mean mom”, I believe in logical consequences for out of control behavior. But I’m trying hard to understand how the logical consequence of this behavior is to hogtie and throw the kid in the back of a squad car! Was this supposed to teach him something useful? Was this supposed to help him learn to control his behavior?

 As a teacher working with challenging kids, my students had a variety of individual issues.

Donny, 6, was emotionally disturbed and occasionally would suddenly throw his books onto the floor & grab at anything within his reach to throw as well. I managed to keep him and his fellow students safe without ever handcuffing him! He required a firm physical restraint in the form of a hug from behind and a quiet voice in his ear until he could calm down. This never took more than a few minutes. Other students did not lose valuable learning time.

Bobby, 9, had occasional outbursts but required a different strategy. This was a student who had been severely abused by his mother. He required a man to soothe him with a calm voice. He could not tolerate being touched at these times and we were able to calm him without cuffs!

In my opinion this school had no understanding of the needs of their student and no plan in place to address a possible outburst. And clearly, this policeman has no clue how to deal with a child and should never be allowed near one! Please tell me he doesn’t have any kids!

 So my questions are;

what is being done to punish the officer who man-handled a 5 year old child and what is being done by the school to finally address this student’s educational needs? Note, in the link to the original article, his mother has repeatedly asked for interventional strategies. This is what they came up with? So, is this officer on call to come charging into the classroom wielding his cuffs? Oh yes, the judge did drop the charges. Good move!

You find your child sobbing by the fireplace hung with Christmas stockings & you run to comfort him, thinking he’s afraid he wasn’t a good boy this year so Santa is going to put coal in his stocking (or bring him only socks and underwear, my favorite threat).

Gently, you tell him you’re sure Santa will bring him something he hopes for, anticipating his angelic smile.

Instead he looks up at you with sadness & accusation in his little face and says,


 Joey told me there’s NO Santa Claus! Is it true?

There it is, the dreaded question you’ve been hoping to put off for years yet. So, now what? Do you tell him Joey is right? Do you tell him Joey is a little bully who made it up to hurt him? If you tell him Joey is wrong, are you lying to your child?

Families who believe in Santa go to great lengths

to protect that belief. As our children approach the questioning age, we resort to all kinds of strategies to prolong the fantasy; separate wrapping paper and tags for Santa presents, eating the cookies to prove Santa was there, planting foot prints in the snow, making noises to mimic hooves on the rooftop, or running outside to investigate strange noises.

Some parents take it so seriously, that they protect their children from other children who try to spoil it. CNN reported an irate mother who confronted the mother of the offending child, claiming that child would not be allowed to play with her child anymore and that this family had destroyed something special for them. Was this an overreaction?

Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent, says children under the age of 7 are likely to believe what their parents tell them. Between second and fourth grade is the peak of what Walfish refers to as the latency phase of child development, and is the period during which parents can expect the question.

Are you prepared for it? How will you respond?

Paul Hokemeyer, a marriage and family therapist suggests looking at the dilemma from this point of view. It’s an opportunity to teach children about the importance of finding their own voice and truths in the world. “Explain to them that the world is a diverse and large place where people hold different views on the same topic,” he says. “And further explain that what’s important is to believe in what feels true at a particular moment in time and to hold on to it for however long as it feels honest and true.”

Walfish stresses that most importantly for parents, ’tis not the season to feel guilty about the Santa tradition.  “Moms and dads need to relax and cut themselves some slack,” she says. “You are not changing the truth for personal gain or deceit. Santa is part of our folklore. The celebration of Christmas has included Santa Claus for almost all young children. You are passing down the folklore, keeping up the tradition and allowing your child to fully enjoy the magic.”

In our family, we chose to focus on the magic of the holiday.

When my sons questioned the existence of a man named Santa who lived in the North Pole with flying reindeer and elves, we talked about the magic of the season of giving & that Santa represented that. He may not actually be a living man as we think of it, but he lives in our hearts as the magic of the season. Children believe in magic and so do we, if we let ourselves. All things are possible when you allow yourself to see beyond concrete reality. Tying the magic into the act of giving worked for us. We kept Santa alive for many years.

And, incidentally, Santa now brings socks and underwear every year to my struggling college sons & they wait anxiously for them!

So, how will you answer this question, or how have you answered it that might help other parents when they’re faced with it?

  How many of you have done


  I know I have.

You’re in the grocery store with your young child & open a food item to eat as you shop. I believe every parent has done this at some point. The intention is to pay for the food at checkout of course. But when you’re in a hurry, you’re tired, your child is fussy, you have a million things on your mind, it is possible to forget to show the cashier that wrapper.

Is that shoplifting? Should you be arrested, hauled to jail, and processed as a prisoner with mug shot and fingerprints? For a food wrapper??

Nicole Leszczynski not only experienced this, but one of the most
horrifying experiences a parent can endure: watching her child taken away from her into protective custody.

The story is detailed here http://news.yahoo.com/pregnant-mom-says-sandwich-arrest-horrifying-214407004.html.

As a parent I would be mortified to be caught forgetting to pay for the sandwich. But to be booked as a criminal AND to lose your child to strangers for an unknown amount of time would make me completely hysterical.

Store officials claim they were only following policy. Policy is important, I understand. But I’m struggling to understand how policy could dictate the events that took place in this situation.

What is your reaction? Was the store justified in arresting the couple and taking their child away?

 It’s just a costume,

 or is it?

An Ohio State University group called Students Teaching Against Racism in Society,  or STARS, has launched a campaign against costumes that it believes are racially insensitive. STARS created posters of people dressed as racial stereotypes like Japanese geishas, a Latino wearing a poncho and sombrero, and an Arab terrorist wearing a fake bomb. The posters say, “We’re a culture, not a costume.” Sarah Williams, the president of STARS, told ABC News, “We want to highlight these offensive costumes because we’ve all seen them.”

Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for my family. It’s a day when you can be anyone you want to be, emulate your role model, make a statement, or be scary and goulish and gross (I raised boys). It was a light-hearted holiday, just for fun. The group STARS message made me think back to some of the costumes my kids wore and whether they should have been considered offensive.

As a parent, I felt it was extremly important to teach my kids sensitivity, tolerance, and acceptance. So, when my son wanted to be an Indian, was I teaching him insensitivity? Should I have used this as a teaching moment? Certainly some costumes cross the line of negative stereotyping.

I’d like to hear from other parents about what is acceptable for their children’s costumes and how much thought they give to the message costumes send.

Add your  comment, including the ages of your kids. What costumes, if any, would you forbid your kids to wear?

School is out for the summer and the kids are free. Oh boy. Oh no! A kid’s dream, a mom’s nightmare! How are you going to survive?

The answer is to become a mean mom. No, that doesn’t mean to be nasty and negative and lock them in their rooms for the summer. It means to take charge and have a plan that you can stick to.

Watch this TV interview and learn the 3 steps to not just surviving, but making it a great summer with a balance between freedom and structure.

You don’t want to ruin their summer, or yours. So you need to give them some freedom and loosen up some of the structure. But if you want to survive with your sanity this summer, there has to be balance and a plan.

Oh no, what can it mean?

What has society become?

What has this mom done to her innocent little boy?


Absolutely nothing! Promoting transgender lifestyle… seriously??!! Wow. And I thought the homophobics had been hidden away in the closet. Can we throw them in there now & lock the door? There should be room now that the gays and transgenders have been let out.

 Please tell me no one paid any serious attention to this silly ranting about turning a little boy gay because he has pink toe nails. We haven’t really slid back into the dark ages, have we?

 I’d like to check in with my 2 grown sons on this who are, by the way, quite manly and no longer wear pink nail polish or bake in their Susie Homemaker miniature oven. Yes, my sons both had their nails polished as little boys. They wore dress up costumes that might have included their mom’s shoes and jewelry. OK, now don’t storm my home with Monster Mother signs, but yes, they even wore a bit of makeup when they were little to see what it felt and looked like. One of them had a Barbie doll. Horrors!

 When working professionally with kids, a mom once grabbed a toy vacuum cleaner out of the hands of her 3 year old son, saying, “Don’t play with that. It’ll make you gay.” I looked at her and said, “Please tell me you don’t truly believe that!” I promoted anything my boys would do in the way of cleaning & cooking. They need to be able to take care of themselves someday! By the time they were 12 they did their own laundry and took turns making family meals. If this is gay, I’m all for it. I would even be all for it if they cooked and cleaned in pink toe nail polish!

 No, they didn’t paint their toe nails anymore by that age. Why? Because it’s not acceptable in school. However, it is acceptable for boys to wear earrings, eyebrow & nose rings, tongue studs, and flower tattoos. Go figure.

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