Tweens

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When my babies were little I wore them in a wrap.  I didn’t let anyone touch them and I made sure if anyone held them they weren’t sick and had washed their hands.  I know, it sounds overprotective, but they never got sick and stayed healthy.  When I saw this post on Facebook, I felt good about my choice.  Now, I’m sharing with you so you can be on the safe side and protect those babies.

 

 

 

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) impacts about 70% of US adults.  The most common virus is HSV-1 or cold sores.  Most adults and some children get these on or in their mouths.  They are painful, annoying, and highly contagious.

Mom, Claire Henderson, wants parents to know how horrible Herpes can be for a baby.  She posted frightening pictures of her daughter on Facebook in order to warn parents. Here is what she said:

“Please share this with every new mum and pregnant woman you know… COLD SORES CAN BE FATAL FOR A BABY. Before 3 months old a baby cannot fight the herpes virus. If a baby contracts this it can cause liver and brain damage and lead to death. I know this sounds like I am scaremongering but if my friend had not told me about this my baby girl could have been very seriously ill. I noticed the signs early and got her to A&E, we have now been in hospital on a drip for 3 days and have got another 2 to go. She was VERY lucky, all her tests came back clear. The moral of the story is DO NOT let anyone kiss your newborns mouth, even if they don’t look like they have a cold sore- 85% of the population carry the virus. And if someone had a cold sore ask them to stay away until it has gone. Everyone who I have spoken to had not heard of this before and so I felt it was important to share Brooke’s story and raise awareness to stop anyone else going through what we have this week.”

Parents, DO NOT let anyone, even family members kiss your babies on the face.  This is a life threatening virus for infants. It is probably a good idea not to let anyone with herpes kiss your children either. In fact, no kissing when cold sores are a potential.

 

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Growing up I did the typical sports stuff: soccer, volleyball, softball, etc.  None of them took me past high school, but I had fun.  When I had my children I always assumed they’d want to play sports as well.  It is fun to hang out with friends and run around, right? Wrong. I have two boys who aren’t exactly athletic in the traditional sense. They still needed to get up and moving because they are boys and they are full of energy.  Here is our solution.

 

We started looking for alternative sports.  You know, the ones that aren’t sponsored by a local furniture store or played en masse at the local sport fields.  We tried, karate, gymnastics, and break dancing classes, but we’ve landed on fencing.  Sometimes kids just aren’t a good fit for team sports. My kids tended to get bored easily and didn’t really “get” what was going on.  I realized we needed to try more individual sports and that is when my kids started excelling.

We tried a few different sports until we landed on fencing.  They enjoyed them all, but this was the sport they both liked and actually wanted to do.  I realize kids don’t always show consistency and dedication at a young age, but parents just know some things.  You know when your kid is into something and it is more than just a passing fancy.  For us, this is fencing.

For the most part, kids aren’t going to follow a sport to the professional level.  Most people stop after middle or high school. Very few of us even take our sports to college.  When we play sports we learn about ourselves, teamwork, rules, and so much more. It is about having fun and being kids.

Maybe your kids are not into mainstream sports, but you aren’t sure where to start.  Here are some of our favorite athletic choices that can get your kids up, moving, and maybe even a scholarship to college. I realize that some of these are common choices. I’m listing them as alternatives to baseball, football, soccer, etc.

  1. Fencing
  2. Running
  3. Martial Arts
  4. Swimming
  5. Bicycling
  6. Wrestling
  7. Dancing
  8. Yoga
  9. Hiking
  10. Tennis

 

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An 8th grader was told her hair was a distraction to learning and she needed to adhere to the dress code, she spoke out. Her mother said the girl’s hair reflects her religious beliefs and that the school is discriminating against her because she is white.

 

 

 

 

Mom, Tonya Judd, says her daughter should be able to wear the dreadlocks since students of other ethnicities are allowed to wear them.  The girl with questionable hair, Caycee Cunningham, says she began growing her dreadlocks after studying abroad.  She says they are part of her “spiritual journey into her Hindu beliefs.”

The Lincoln Academy says that “students’ hair must have a neat, combed appearance, be appropriate for school, and not be distracting in the classroom.” The principal of the school is willing to talk with Judd and Cunningham. “We would be happy to come to a common solution with parents if they have concerns,” he said. “It’s just a matter of having that conversation with us and trying to go through that process.”

Cunningham says if it comes down to it, she will transfer schools.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think? Is the girl’s hair distracting? Is the school making a bigger deal out of this than it really is?

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There are so many fruits to choose from, but American kids favor one above all: Apples.

According to a study of over 3,100 children and teens, researchers found that kids eat consume their fruits whole about 53 percent of the time, through juice 34 percent of the time, and the rest of the time is through mixed-fruit products and beverages that aren’t 100 percent fruit.

Here’s how fruits placed:

  • Apples 19 percent
  • Citrus juice 14 percent
  • Apple juice 10 percent
  • Other fruit juices 9 percent
  • Bananas and Melons
  • Berries, citrus fruits, grapes, peaches

Study author, Kirsten Herrick, with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, said that “substituting whole fruits for 100-percent fruit juices is always a good choice.” This is especially important because only about 40 percent of kids in the US are getting their daily intake of fruits.

The research found that among kids males and females, rich and poor, there were no differences in fruit consumption.  However, black kids are more likely to drink fruit juice than kids of other races. Kids from Asian heritage eat the most whole fruits.

The big takeaway from this study is that kids need to eat more whole fruits.  Check out Choose MyPlate for ideas to up your kid’s fruit intake.

We want to know your kids’ favorite fruits. Do you have any special recipes or tips for getting your kids to eat more fruit?

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At some point we have to let go of our kids and let them start becoming independent.  Unfortunately, that exact time is not specified in any parenting book, ever.  There are lots of opinions and ideas, but only you can decide when your kid is old enough to venture out on their own.

I posed this question to a group of moms and of course there were so many different answers. (I’ll share my opinion with you at the end.)

“Depends on the kid. My son had to wait till he was 14, but my daughter was 11 or 12. Just depends on their individual maturity level.”

“My parents left me in 7th grade to shop and 8th grade to the movies with a group of friends. Of course the world has changed some since then.”

“Hmm…I think I was 13 or 14. These days things are so different though! I don’t know!”

“Never…I would never drop my kid or let them go anywhere alone! even with friends. We live in a sick, sick world and it scares me to think about it. Just my honest opinion.”

“The mall is a never the one here I don’t feel good about. If they want to go I take them and stay in the mall. The movies they were 15 or with another adult besides us at 12! They have never gone with just a group of friends.”

I cannot tell you how old I was when I went out with friends alone.  I do remember being 15 and riding with an older friend to church or football game.  In the end these are the most common thoughts on allowing kids to go to places without their parents.

  • Kids should always be in groups, never alone, not even in pairs.
  • It depends on their maturity level.  Some 12-year-olds could handle the movie theater better than some 15-year-olds.  You know your kid, go with that gut feeling.
  • Parents or a trusted adult should drop off and pick up. It’s probably not the best idea to call Uber or send them on public transportation until they are at least 15-16-years-old.
  • If you are super worried about it, let them go “alone.” That means you let them think they are alone and then follow them. Then you can see what they are doing and if there is anything that bothers you, you’re there.  Eventually, they need to experience some independence. When they are 12 they are only 6 years from being an adult! Let them go a little at a time and it will be easier for everyone in the long run.

How old do you think kids should be before you let them go to a movie or the mall without adult supervision?

 

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If you have kids you’ve probably heard names like PewDiePie, Peanut Butter Gamer, Jenna Marbles, Smosh, and a million more.  Your kids have probably said things like “Check out this awesome Minecraft video” or “This YouTube video is so funny.” Then they harass you until you watch the video and it is never as awesome as they say.  However, don’t discount Vine, YouTube, and Twitter famous people.  They are the future of celebrity and they really matter.

PewDiePie was the first person to get 10 billion YouTube views. To put that in reference there are about 7 billion people in the entire world. His real name is Felix Kjellberg.  He made over $7 million dollars last year. As a college student he started recording himself playing games and his viewership grew.  Chances are if you have a gamer in your house, they know who this guy is.

Smosh is made up of Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla.  They post short videos that kids and teens find hilarious. This past summer they released a movie about YouTube, made mostly of people from YouTube.  These late 1980’s kids know what our millennial children want and they are giving it to them in truckloads.

When Eonline posted 18 Moments From the 2015 Teen Choice Awards the comments blew up letting them know how out of touch they are.  It seemed like the 30-something author was completely clueless when it came to social media and teens of 2015.  It is important to realize that YouTube celebrities have much more influence than other celebs.  They are current and up to date with their videos. Kids and Teens can connect with the YouTubers via the comment section.

Don’t discount these celebrities, they aren’t just a passing fad.  When someone asked my kid what he wanted to be when he grows up, his answer was, “A YouTube star.”  You may not be able to keep up with everything your kid is watching on YouTube, but don’t discount it as basic entertainment.  These celebs make hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions, and they aren’t going away soon.

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Every school has rules regarding cell phones and tablets and computers. Some schools ask kids to BYOD “Bring Your Own Device.” Most parents who give their children set rules of their own. You might remember this mom who had her son sign an 18-point iPhone Contract.  More kids than ever have cell phones and many of them have smart phones. Here are some rules and boundaries that parents can establish for their cell-phone-toting tweens and teens.

  1. If mom or dad is calling, you better answer the phone. Guess who pays for your phone? Guess who has given you this phone, fully expecting you to be available when they call? It is the least a kid can do to answer mom or dad when they call.  I promise you, they won’t call that often.  (On the same note, parents, try not to call or text your kids during the school day unless it is an emergency.)
  2. Obey School Rules! If your teacher says no cell phones on during class, turn off the phone. If your school allows cell phones, but says no social media during school hours, stay off those sites till after school  On the flip side, there are a lot of teachers who are finding creative ways to integrate cell phones and tablets into their teaching. Ask your kids about Kahoot! It is a super fun game and they love using their phone or tablet to play.
  3. No cell phone usage while driving, ever. There is no wiggle room on this one. If you must talk on a phone, pull over to a safe location, have your conversation, and get back on the road. Sure, some cars have built in blue tooth, but they are still a major distraction to teens who are just learning to drive.
  4. Turn in your cell phones to parents every night.  In our house we have a landing zone for all our kids’  technology. It is in the kitchen at the butler’s desk. They plug in their laptops, cell phones, and tablets at 7:30 on week nights and 9:30 on weekends.  This way there is no temptation to check their Instagram or Snapchat with friends all night long.
  5. No cell phones behind closed doors. This is about maturity and most tweens and teens just need a little extra help keeping themselves safe.  If they aren’t using their devices behind closed doors they are less likely to take questionable pictures or look at inappropriate websites that are unsuitable for their age.

There are so many more standards and boundaries for kids and cell phones. What are some of your family rules for cell phones?

This is posted above our technology landing center.  It is a reminder of the rules and that technology is just a tool and not a close and important member of the family.
This is posted above our technology landing center. It is a reminder of the rules and that technology is just a tool and not a close and important member of the family.

 

 

 

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Whooping cough, or pertussis, is on the rice in the United States.  In 2012, there were over 48,000 reported cases, the highest number since 1955, according to the CDC.  For many years mothers were blamed for passing the infections to their children, but now older children are the main source.

A recent study found that the newest whooping cough vaccine doesn’t last as long as the older vaccine. The switch was made over a period of years during the 1990s.  One of the study’s authors, Tami Skoff, said the vaccine is effective in the short term, but children must get boosters even after their last dose which is usually around 5-years-old.

Even though vaccinated children can catch whooping cough, the effects are not as severe as they would be to an unvaccinated child.  However, they can also pass the infection to infants who are unable to receive the vaccine.  Over half of children under 1-year-old who have whooping cough end up in the hospital.

The CDC and most medical doctors recommend the following steps in order to protect infants from this dangerous infection.

  • Get a pertussis booster during pregnancy. Mothers should receive the Tdap during their third trimester and anyone living in the home with the infant should be up to date on their boosters.  Research has found that the vaccine is safe during pregnancy.
  • All Americans ages 11-years and older should have at least one Tdap booster.
  • Go to the doctor or hospital as soon as you see signs of whooping cough. Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics, which are used to control the symptoms and to prevent infected people from spreading the disease.

Click here for more information on how to identify, treat, and prevent Whooping cough.

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“If you build it, they will come.” That is exactly what “The Scott Hall Field of Dreams Foundation” is hoping will happen when their facility is complete in Northern Colorado Springs.  The organization is named after a local coach, mentor, and leader who passed away unexpectedly.  His passion for youth sports led friends and family to build this complex for the youth in Colorado Springs.

 

 

The complex will serve youth by offering fields for: baseball, softball, soccer, football, lacrosse, and basketball.  It will also offer many traditional park facilities and amenities.  According to Field of Dreams, “Many of these young athletes and their families have to travel out of the area to find fields for their games due to the shortage of fields and increase in demand and exponential growth of our region’s population. Field of Dreams will satisfy the need for more playing fields for Colorado youth.”

The first phase is scheduled to open in Fall of 2016 and will be called the “Scott Hall Field of Dreams.” It will be built at the “Larry Ochs Sports Complex.” The complex will consist of a 70 acre youth sports park with a mix of turf fields, baseball/softball diamonds, concession facilities and restrooms. Phase II, which is set to break ground in 2017, will include an indoor sports facility and additional ball fields. The park will be located at Powers and Hwy 83.

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Most of us are familiar with First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to decrease childhood obesity.  This year she worked with a Boston PBS station, the US Department of Education, and the US Department of Agriculture and host the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

 

 

 

 

The challenge is meant “to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation.” Thousands of kids between the ages of 8 and 12-years-old created recipes that were healthy, tasty, and affordable.  There was one winner from each US state, territory, and Washington, DC.  The winners attended the 2015 Kids’ State Dinner at the White House.

Here is the list of 2015 winners and their tasty recipes.  What kind of meals do you and your kids enjoy creating together?