Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fright Night

More likely to resemble a paparazzi snapshot at tmz.com today's Halloween get-up for girls is frightening. Scarier yet, parents actually buy this junk. Forget the days of princesses and tiara's--you're more likely to spot a wanna-be Paris Hilton decked out in incarceration-stripes with accompanying plunging neckline and cropped up-to-there hemline. Needless to say--but I will anyway--when it comes to sense and sensibility during Halloween the less your ten-year old daughter resembles someone off the cover of a tabloid the better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

BIG NEWS: Me and DC's NUMBER ONE Morning Radio: The Jack Diamond Show

Kicking off November 7th at 7:20 EST, this One Tough Mother will join the fabulous programming team at 107.3 FM with refeshingly real, slightly irreverent, but always relevant expert parenting advice.

And what a show this is my friend: NUMBER ONE with women 25-54 (MY PEOPLE!) and top three with persons 25-54. Trust me, it doesn't get much better than this!

Stay tuned for more information and be sure to listen LIVE! November 7th via radio or internet

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?!

Every morning and evening I scour through news sights looking for stories which impact us both as mothers and a mothering culture. This one nearly knocked me off my One Tough Mother feet--despite a certain level of cynicism wrought over nearly two decades of parenting.

It's unfathomable to me that any parent--any mother--would sit quietly by and allow such madness as follows to exist within their school system and district. I've never advocated a "placard-waving-slogan-protesting" lifestyle...but if news like this doesn't have you looking for your wide-tip Sharpie, I don't know what will.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Pupils at a city middle school will be able to get birth control pills and patches at their student health center after the local school board approved the proposal Wednesday evening.

The plan, offered by city health officials, makes King Middle School the first middle school in Maine to make a full range of contraception available to students in grades 6 through 8, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.

There are no national figures on how many middle schools, where most students range in age from 11 to 13, provide such services.

"It's very rare that middle schools do this," said Divya Mohan, a spokeswoman for the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care.

The Portland School Committee voted 5-2 for the measure.

Chairman John Coynie voted against it, saying he felt providing the birth control was a parental responsibility. The other no vote came from Ben Meiklejohn, who said the consent form does not clearly define the services being offered.

Opponents cited religious and health objections.

Diane Miller said she felt the plan was against religion and against God. Another opponent, Peter Allen, said he felt it violated the rights of parents and puts students at risk of cancer because of hormones in the pill.

A supporter, Richard Verrier, said it's not enough to depend on parents to protect their children because there may be students who can't discuss things with their parents.

Condoms have been available since 2002 to King students who have parental permission to be treated at its student health center.

About one-fourth of student health centers that serve at least one grade of adolescents 11 and older dispense some form of contraception, said Mohan, whose Washington-based organization represents more than 1,700 school-based centers nationwide.

At King Middle School, birth control prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, said Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.

Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.

Five of the 134 students who visited King's health center during the 2006-07 school year reported having sexual intercourse, said Amanda Rowe, lead nurse in Portland's school health centers.

A high school in Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday stopped providing free condoms to students after district officials learned of the month-old program. The district has a policy against providing contraceptives.

God forbid any of us remain silent when it comes to our children. And, yes, you should read that as "children."

NOT little adults.

NOT pre-adults.

But children. Cognitively, developmentally, psychologically, and good grief, sexually! Do I really have to explain it?! Eleven, twelve, and thirteen year olds are children. I am the mother of a twelve-year son. A twelve-year old who balks at scooping the poop out of the cat litter box. A twelve year old who is in NO WAY WHATSOEVER capable or responsible in recognizing the big picture realities of sexual choices. And no, it's not because I haven't spoken to him or the result of my refusing to have him learn about the technicalities of hormones and such.

No, he doesn't get the Big Picture because....fasten your seatbelt....he is a child.

It's time to stand up (once again) and face the giant of out-of-control school boards and school administrations and systems. There's no way in creation you or I should allow ourselves to set back and condone a school--any school in any district--to disperse condoms, birth control pills, (gads, I can't believe I'm even typing these words in regards to middle-school children!) or anything remotely linked to the sexual (and therefore spiritual) health of children.

It's time to step up and be the Mom.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And You Are?..........

Someone has to be the boss but many times its not Mom who steps up. And when that happens it's bad for her kids, bad for her, and bad for the general public at large. Think not? Well, consider the alternative...which, by the way, can be observed and verified while cruising through the local aisles of your nearest grocery store, Box-Mart, or former favorite eating spot:

Ambivalent Mom: Poor thing...sometimes I just want to shake her and scream, "Quit being so darn skittish and DO something!" This Shake-n-Scream urge generally awakens after observing Ambivalent Mom's older child attempting to shove his younger sibling beneath a shopping cart basket and hearing the cries of, "Stop! You're hurtin' me. I don't want to go under the cart, etc." All the while noting Ambivalent Mom's reluctance to act...move...or pry Damien away from his little brother.

Expletive Mom: Oh, come on, we've all heard her. Vocal blue-streak streaming LIVE over teeming masses at Box-Mart or the youth soccer tourney. "I told you to pick up your *#&@! cleats while we were walking out of the ^&%! door, so don't look at me like it's my #*&! fault.

Oblivious Mom: Not to be confused with Ambivalent Mom, everyone BUT Oblivious Mom sees and hears and feels motivated to do something about her children. Perhaps you sat next to her last time you went out to eat with your husband or friend while OM's child ran about nearly tackling the wait staff or her teenagers spoke so loud and obnoxiously that you couldn't hear a word your companion spoke. (You know who you are! And I sat next to you at Red Lobster in 1999.)

We are such a mess sometimes as a mom, aren't we? But we don't have to remain ambivalent, cursing, or oblivious to our role as a mom. We can step up and start speaking and living some OTM reality. Here's one tip for you to activate in your home--do it and let One Tough Mother confidence begin.

Speak Truth
For years and years the following truth has been embedded into my children's little brains anytime they wished to usurp my "this is the way it's going to be" rulings. Feel free to follow suit:

Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, who's the boss?"
Child: "You are." (Usually said with abject sadness)
Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, who's going to win?"
Child: "You are." (Always said with resignation)
Me: "Kristen/Ricky/Patrick, why am I going to win?"
Child: "Because you're the boss." (Sighing gloomily and walking away)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Insatiable Carnivore Culture

It happened.

She lost custody of her two young sons and somewhere lost amidst the cacophony of competing headlines and scrolling "Breaking News Alerts," there is a family--an altogether REAL flesh and blood family composed of people (grandmother, grandpa, aunt, cousins, and extended life-long friends) not unlike you or me.

Such news has brought all manner of interest to the title of my newest book, One Tough Mother, as producers, anchors, and hosts, consider the seeming infinite interest in motherhood gone wrong. I look forward to speaking boldly of the ten life-changing non-negotiables which equip young and old mothers alike to step up and lead their children with confidence and graceful authority. As well as trust my words will perhaps reach the heart and life of a broken young mother and those hurting around her.