Read More »from Raising Kids Who See Many Faiths, and One Truth
This morning's New York Times has an op ed by the Dalai Lama: Many Faiths, One Truth. As a boy, he says, he felt his own religion was superior to all others. He goes on to track his realization that the importance of compassion is a is common ground among us all. His point is that harmony among the major faiths is an essential ingredient of peaceful coexistence, but his recollection of his childhood belief that his own religion was the "right" one made me consider my own kids.
Granted, they're being brought up in what's probably best described as an incoherent spiritual mishmash (and one that bears little resemblance to the life of a man who was recognized as his religion's spiritual leader at the age of two), but it's worth asking the question: am I raising them to "respect, admire and appreciate other traditions?" And how exactly do you do that?
For kids, especially young ones, much of religion centers on ritual (which is to say, Christmas presents, Hanukah candles and the end of
Blog Posts by babblestrollerderby
Read More »from Raising Kids Who See Many Faiths, and One Truth
Your life can turn upside down in an instant. I was once the proud wife of a PhD, living the American Dream as I pursued my career in entertainment and raised my beautiful daughter in the heart of Manhattan. After my divorce, I suddenly found myself technically homeless and without income as I scrambled to pick up the pieces and define my new life. I moved in with my mother, and that allows my daughter to attend Head Start, a pre-school program for low-income New Yorkers. There, she's learned to read and write the alphabet, her name and many other words. Head Start allows me to write, too - providing me with a few hours of childcare a day that I couldn't otherwise afford. But what happens to single mothers who, facing subsidized childcare cuts by their state governments, are no longer able to afford employment? They begrudgingly turn to welfare to get by, because it makes more financial sense to take a government handout than it does to work .Read More »from Childcare Cuts Have Mothers Turning To Welfare
- babblestrollerderby | Parenting – Mon, May 24, 2010 8:27 PM EDT
Nick Jr. will begin airing a new series June 1st called The Olive Branch, produced by Josh Selig's Little Light Foundation. The program has been endorsed by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and UNICEF and its mission is to foster conflict-resolution around the world. Tutu understands that children's programming can be an invaluable learning tool and says, "The Olive Branch is a wonderful example of television that will make a positive contribution to the world. It will be understood and appreciated by children in every country." The show is performed entirely without words and is scored with "rich, classical music" by Emmy Award-winning composer, J. Walter Hawkes. The series is hand-drawn by Pablo Smith of The Wonder Pets! and 3rd & Bird.Read More »from Sneak Preview: New Nick Jr. Show "The Olive Branch" Teaches Conflict Resolution
Click here to read the rest of the post and to see a sneak preview of The Olive Branch.
As a former film critic, I was desperate to go to the movies after my first daughter was born. I was thrilled when a local theater dedicated one morning a week to new moms and their babies (new dads were out of luck). It was a treat to see a film without worrying about my daughter fussing and disturbing other moviegoers.
She was too young to eat popcorn or understand the movie at all, but I was just happy to be out of the house. Though we had a fun time, neither of us really liked "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
If only I could have taken her to "Babies," the new documentary featuring babies from four farflung locations around the globe.
According to the Associated Press, babies are flocking to see "Babies."Read More »from "Babies" Becomes Baby's First Movie
Some vocal critics think it's time for Ronald McDonald to retire, but McDonald's says he's sticking around.
Calling the red-haired clown " a force for good ," McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner told shareholders on Thursday that the mascot "does not hawk food," according to The Chicago Tribune.
In March, Corporate Accountability International, a corporate watchdog group, began a campaign to eliminate Ronald as part of efforts to curtail marketing unhealthy foods to kids .
The group has set up a " Retire Ronald" web site which points out that "since the inception of Ronald McDonald, obesity rates have more than tripled among American children and the prevalence of diet-related conditions like type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed."Read More »from Ronald McDonald: Force for Good or Evil?
Is Ronald McDonald to blame?
"The New York Times" reports on new research which shows that enemies can help children grow emotionally.
"Friendships provide a context in which children develop, but of course so do negative peer relations," Maurissa Abecassis, a psychologist at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire told The Times. "We should expect that both types of relationships, as different as they are, present opportunities for growth ."
But when is an enemy not an "opportunity for growth" but a nasty bully? Schools are increasingly vigilant against bullying after two teenage girls who were bullied committed suicide earlier this year. Is the theoretical upside of an antagonistic relationship worth the potential risks?Read More »from Can Bullying Ever Be Good For Kids?
"America's got a bad case of gayby fever," writes Thomas Rogers at Salon, who says that the gay parenting boom is reshaping the American family .
According to a 2007 study, more than one in three lesbians has given birth and one in six gay men have fathered or adopted a child. The same studied showed that more than half of gay men and 41 percent of lesbians say they want to have a child.
Pop culture is keeping up with the trend. The Sundance hit "The Kids Are Alright," starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as gay parents, is already getting buzz as the "must-see" movie of the summer. Hit TV show "Modern Family" features gay parents. And then, of course, celebrities such as Ricky Martin, Clay Aiken, Rosie O'Donnell, Melissa Etheridge serve as the unofficial spokespeople for gay parenthood.Read More »from The Gay Baby Boom
- babblestrollerderby | Love + Sex – Mon, May 17, 2010 8:52 PM EDT
This morning I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Helen Fisher, the famed biological anthropologist who, among numerous achievements, is known for creating the personality test on Chemistry.com. She's a swingin' 65-year-old who just joined the site herself, and she offered me lots of advice and insight about love and dating. Match.com and Chemistry.com are offering one lucky single person out there a free 6-month subscription to either site! Click continue reading to find out how to enter.
Carolyn Castiglia: I took the Chemistry.com personality test this morning, and it turns out I'm an explorer. I saw there are four different personality types, explorers, directors, negotiators and builders: do you think there are certain types that work better together?
Helen Fisher: The bottom line is, we are a combination of all of them. I studied 28,000 people on the dating site Chemistry.com. I watched who went out with who, and who they said that they had good dates with. As it turns out, explorers gravitate toward other explorers. These people are curious, they're creative, they're novelty-seeking, they're risk taking, they're spontaneous, they're energetic, they tend to be very generous, they're often quite liberal and they want somebody to get off the couch at midnight and go sailing with them in the dark. Whereas the builder, who's very traditional, more cautious, loyal, conscientious, meticulous, follows the rules and schedules, likes plans, they want somebody like themselves. But the other two types, the director and the negotiator, they go for their opposite. What I think is going on there is that may have evolved to pool very different resources. The director, they're good at math and engineering, but they don't have great people skills and verbal skills, and they gravitate to the negotiator who does have very good people skills and verbal skills. People will often ask, "Do opposites attract, or do similarities attract?" Bottom line is, it depends on who you are.
Now, there are basically two parts of personality: character, which is everything you grew up to believe and do and think and say, and temperament, which are all your characteristics that come out of your biology. And that test is measuring your temperament.
CC: Unfortunately, my first husband, he had no character and lots of temper. So that's why that didn't work.
HF: (Laughs) Well, I'm glad you left him!
CC: I wanted to read you what I put on my Chemistry.com profile. As a single mother, I'm not sure where to begin.
HF: I just joined Chemistry.com myself about three weeks ago. Read me your profile.
CC: "I'm a comedian, writer and single mother (hey now!) looking for someone to have some good times with who is maybe also interested at some point if things go well in being a grown up and having a family. Such sexy first date material."
HF: You're a comedian? Very important.
CC: I think so, too. And this is a question a friend of mine wanted me to ask you. If you're a strong, independent woman, do you need to do certain things to make yourself seem more attractive to men?
HF: No, because I think a great many men like a strong, independent woman. We are not in the age of men wanting to care for a wilting violet. In fact there's new data, since 2000, that shows that men are more interested in commitment than women are, and that men are more interested in a woman who's their age, their level of education and their level of economic power. So I wouldn't try to hide being a strong woman. I think that we don't really understand men. Men fall in love faster than women do, they have more intimate conversations with their partners, men are more likely to kill themselves when a relationship is over, men are more likely to remarry. So, men are nice things. They're not scared of a strong woman. They had strong mothers and strong sisters. I think these days men really want a life partner who can go the road with them instead of having to be the major bread winner or the man of the house.
Now, when you say comedian, people are looking for the details. Do you do stand-up improv in downtown speakeasies? What kind of comedian? What kind of writer? Do you write novels or are you a journalist? Comedian and writer is good, but it's nowhere near enough. Also, do you want to tell them you're a single mother? It's not mandatory. That's the sort of thing you could tell them later if you want to. But in a lot of cultures, men want a woman who has already had children, because it shows that she's fertile and that she's compassionate. So it's not a…
CC: A dealbreaker.
HF: But you don't need to say "single" mother. Single mother has sort of a negative ring to it. You could just say mother of a 4-year-old daughter. What do you mean by "good times with?" Because that's very generic. Skip the walk on the beach, the wine by the fire, skip the cozy Sunday morning with the tea, what kind of good times do you really want? Do you like bike riding in Ireland? Do you want somebody who will skip rope in the dark in Central Park? The kind of profile that gets attention is the kind that's details, details, details. Tell them what you really do want.
CC: Yeah, that's a genius idea, huh?
HF: (Laughs) You're being too modest and too shy!
CC: I think coming off of a divorce and having a daughter and being only 33, I feel like most of the men that are my age don't have half the life experience I have and so I think I'm concerned about the disconnect there.
HF: Well, every time a woman's had a child, a man's had a child, too. So, there's a lot of men in their 20's and 30's who've also had a child. I wouldn't be too down on the boys and think that they can't cope with that. The ones that want children and want family are gonna be pleased that you are interested in that. A man with real personality is looking for personality in his partner.
CC: Interesting. In your TED talk, you talked about the pain and withdrawal people go through after a breakup, and a lot of single mothers have had pretty bad breakups, I think it's safe to say. Do you have any advice about how to move on without bringing those types of things into future relationships?
HF: For one, I think you've got to break some bad habits about men. There are nice men out there. There's a lot of men out there - at every age - and they're looking for love just the way women are. One thing that might be helpful is to create an aphorism. The aphorism that I use is, "I love being myself with a lovely man of my own." What you do with an aphorism is you say it as if it's already happened. You don't say, "I want to find a lovely man," you say, "I love being myself" - which gives you some self-confidence - "with a lovely man of my own." The only really important word in that sentence is lovely. What do I mean by lovely man? It could be very different from what you mean by a lovely man of your own. You want a guy who wants a family or children, I want an older man who's got enough money to go traveling with me and likes poetry. So I would create and aphorism that gives you self-confidence, and I would repeat that aphorism to myself to build myself up.
Then the conversation turned to online dating itself. Is it best to follow "The Rules" and play hard to get? Continue reading to see what Dr. Fisher thinks.Read More »from Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Love (And Online Dating)
- babblestrollerderby | Parenting – Fri, May 14, 2010 9:30 PM EDT
Chalk it up to turning the other cheek, or perhaps a blind eye, but the superintendent of parochial schools in Hingham, MA says she'll help the 3rd grader who who was banned from attending St. Paul Elementary School because of having lesbian parents find another Catholic school to attend .
The Associated Press reports that superintendent Mary Grassa O'Neill said in a statement discordant with the school's actions, "We believe that every parent who wishes to send their child to a Catholic school should have the opportunity to pursue that dream." That dream? Of sending their child to Catholic school? People dream about sending their kids to Harvard, sure. But sending your kid to Catholic school shouldn't be something you have to dream about. It should be an easily achieved reality. The Church finally accepting homosexuality as natural and not a disease or sin - now that's a dream.
The family at the heart of the controversy has remained anonymous, but the parent O'Neill spoke withRead More »from Church to Help Son of Lesbian Couple Find New Catholic School
- babblestrollerderby | Parenting – Fri, May 14, 2010 4:07 AM EDT
Two weeks ago, Greyson Chance performed the song "Paparazzi" at a school assembly. Today, he sang the same song live on Ellen. Two weeks ago, he was sitting in his middle school auditorium in Oklahoma. Today he was on the phone with Lady Ga Ga, who told him to "stay away from girls".
For an aspiring artist, it used to take years to gain the sort of attention that Chance has seemingly walked into. But with the ability of You Tube to turn a two-minute upload into a viral internet sensation, some kids catapult into stardom overnight.
Is that really such a good thing?