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February 2018

Stop telling parents not to coddle children. You wouldn’t like the alternative. []

Newton’s famous insight, “For every action there is an equal and opposite slew of trend pieces, ” has never been truer about anything than it is about parenting advice. I feel like every time I hear a catchy phrase like “helicopter parenting,” it’s a perfect description of exactly what I am not seeing in the real world. I’m sure overparenting exists. I have no doubt that some kids could do with a little less attention, or skin on their knees, and perhaps a little more danger in their lives.

No Downturn In Obesity Among U.S. Kids, Report Finds []

Hopes were dashed this week that the United States was finally making progress in the fight against childhood obesity. Contrary to previous reports, the epidemic of fat has not abated. In fact, there's been a big jump in obesity among the nation's youngest children, according to the latest analysis of federal data, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. "The main take-home message for me is that, clearly, obesity remains a problem," says Asheley Skinner , an associate professor of...

Pediatricians Call For Universal Depression Screening For Teens []

Only about 50 percent of adolescents with depression get diagnosed before reaching adulthood. And as many as 2 in 3 depressed teens don't get the care that could help them. "It's a huge problem," says Dr. Rachel Zuckerbrot , a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and associate professor at Columbia University. To address this divide, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued updated guidelines this week that call for universal screening for depression. [For more of this...

What Happens When You Let Babies Feed Themselves? []

I remember the first time my daughter discovered her hand. The look of amazement on her face was priceless. It wasn’t long before she was putting that discovery to use, trying to put everything she could find into her mouth. Babies want to feed themselves. It sometimes feels as if parents spend more time trying to stop them than encouraging them. Over the last few years, however, some people have begun to ask if we are doing the right thing. Baby-led weaning is an approach to feeding that...

'We Can't Afford to Be Naive' []

Whitney Bowen has been bracing for gunfire at school all her life. Thanks to a decade’s worth of mass shootings at places like Sandy Hook Elementary, Virginia Tech, and Umpqua Community College, the Northern Virginia high-school junior is a veteran of lockdowns and duck-and-cover drills. When she hears a loud noise in class, she looks for the nearest exit. Then, on February 14, a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15 killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in...

With Hundreds Of Students, School Counselors Just Try To 'Stay Afloat' []

Yuridia Nava, a counselor at Riverside Polytechnic High School in Riverside, Calif., has been getting to work at 7 a.m. lately. It's class registration time, so she wants to be available before school for parents and students to come in with questions as they plan for the next year of courses, SAT tests, and college preparation. Poly — as her school is known — employs six counselors for its 2,700 students, so Nava and her colleagues each work with about 500 teens. That's just above average.

ACES prevention/Advancing Parenting

Trying to fix broken adults and children is frustratingly difficult and oftentimes not possible. Let's use ACES science and move upstream to prevent adverse childhood experiences before they happen. Visit to read about what we do, why we do it, and our plans for the future. While you're at it order one of our fifty-one parenting tips bumper stickers for your car. It will be read 1000s of times by 1000s of people, for years to come!

Trauma in real time

Today a student was escorted to my room. He was in tears and I've known this student for three years now. He's undergone much trauma and I admire the fact that this child even comes to school. I know he is a good person. I know the heart of this child. Today he was in pain because of a relative's horrific car accident. All I knew was to hug him and tell him I am sorry. So thankful I work in a school where we are all in the process of being trauma-trained and know what to do in moments like...

How ‘Cultural Evolution’ Can Give Us the Tools to Build Global-Scale Resilience (

Brewer is a change strategist dedicated to ensuring a thriving global civilization exists 100 years from now—and he believes this is becoming less likely every year. There’s rising instability in our fragile and rapidly changing biosphere, he says, and society is unlikely to escape harm. During our discussion, Brewer cited a list of urgent crises including climate change, soil degradation , ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss alongside techno-social issues like the breakdown of trust...

Join the Trauma-Sensitive School Movement

Are you ready to change the temperature of your school’s behavioral climate? Are you prepared to implement new strategies to help your staff connect with students and their families? Are you looking to empower your team to effectively de-escalate classroom problems before they become crises? Make your school a place all children can learn and thrive with the skills you develop through the National Council’s Trauma-Sensitive Schools Learning Community . Connect with experts and professionals...

How Might Trump's Food Box Plan Affect Health? Native Americans Know All Too Well []

The Trump administration unleashed a flood of outrage earlier this month after unveiling a proposal to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps. The plan would replace half the benefits people receive with boxed, nonperishable — i.e. not fresh — foods chosen by the government and not by the people eating them. Among those horrified at the thought: American Indians who recognized this as the same type of federal food assistance that tribes have...

Letting Slum Residents Control Their Own Destiny []

As with past editions of the global conference on cities, the ninth World Urban Forum kept coming back to the stubborn question of what to do about slums. An estimated 900 million people live in informal settlements, according to UN-Habitat , the organizer of the event, which concluded last week in the Malaysian capital. According to various estimates, one in four city dwellers is in an area lacking basic services, and the majority of all new housing worldwide is technically built illegally.

'White Male Privilege' and Other Themes of Gun Culture []

Today, readers on the culture, psychology, and politics of regulating guns. Really, pay attention to Australia—white-male privilege and all. Several previous messages have referred to Australia’s modern experience with guns. In short: After the mass-casualty “Port Arthur massacre” of 1996, a conservative government (technically, the Liberal party) changed gun policy, and since then Australia has had its share of gun violence but no remotely comparable massacres. By contrast, the five...

Ten ERs In Colorado Tried To Curtail Opioids And Did Better Than Expected []

One of the most common reasons patients head to an emergency room is pain. In response, doctors may try something simple at first, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If that wasn’t effective, the second line of defense has been the big guns. “Percocet or Vicodin,” explained ER doctor Peter Bakes of Swedish Medical Center, “medications that certainly have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic.” Now, though, physicians are looking for alternatives to help cut opioid use and curtail potential...

3 Guilt And Shame Messages Of Childhood Emotional Neglect And How To Defeat Them []

Adults who were emotionally neglected in childhood can be quite perfectionistic and hard on themselves. But for many, it does not stop there. Why? Because the messages of Childhood Emotional Neglect run deep. They go to the heart of the child, and stay with him for a lifetime. They not only damage his ability to understand and trust his own feelings, they damage his ability to understand and trust himself. The messages of CEN are like invisible infusions of guilt and shame that happen every...

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