baysta bay stateparent Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996
TOUGH VERSUS SENSITVE: THE NEW PHILOSOPHY ON RAISING BOYS
SIBLING SQUABBLES HOW FAR IS TOO FAR? OUT WITH MCAS IN WITH COMMON CORE
School Back To
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COWBOYS VS. NEW AGE
The philosophy of raising boys has shifted from being tough to recognizing and cultivating a boy’s sensitive side.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
BACK TO SCHOOL FASHION
Gear up for back to school with these fashions with a vintage ﬂair.
Don’t miss these family friendly events in our extensive calendar.
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AUGUST 2013 • VOLUME 18 • NUMBER 4
in every issue
29 BACK TO SCHOOL FASHION WITH FLAIR
7 WELCOME 8 GUESTBOOK 10 JUNKDRAWERS
15 OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO 24 34 54 55 55
back to school 36 OBTAINING SPED SERVICES FOR YOUR CHILD 38 WHAT’S ON THE MENU? 40 FAIR FIGHT OR BLATANT BULLYING? New Research
JUST AROUND THE CORNER
Looks At Sibling Squabbles COMMON CORE: Will It Water Down Education?
53 PARTY PLANNER 56 bspADvantage 58 ADVERTISING INDEX
sneak peek SEPTEMBER
AUGUST’S CHILD CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
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Local Media Association
in advertising and design
in North America
12 COWBOYS VS. NEW AGE – Are Sensitive Men Winning?
46 BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM: The Power of Play Comes A Long Way
ARTS & EXTRACURRICULARS AND GRANDPARENTING PEDIATRIC HEALTH AND THE POWER OF PLAY WINTER DESTINATIONS AND THE HOLIDAYS
Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996
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Welcome When I was a kid, I used to love getting ready for school. It always meant new clothes, a new backpack and one of my favorite purchases: a new Trapper Keeper (one of the coolest inventions from the 1980s). To me, it revolutionized threering binders and folders into one convenient, Velcro-sealing, very cool carry-all. As a student, I spent hours putting paper onto the rings, packing and unpacking pens, pencils and other essentials so I’d be ready to start a new year of school. Not only did I love preparing for the first day of school, but I loved playing teacher at my desk in my bedroom. I practiced writing and correcting as I played the role of students and teacher, sometimes producing long feature stories. My imagination spun out of control weaving scenarios of adventure and hope. The first day of school was always filled with such anticipation and excitement of meeting a new teacher and new friends. It was a fresh start. As a mom, the first day of school fills me with new excitement and
anticipation for my children. I love helping my kids get ready with their new school supplies and backpacks. The first day walk to school crackles with the anticipation of all that is unknown. We take the first day of school photo, walk to school and see friends and neighbors along the way, knowingly feeling the connection of shared experiences. I always take a photo of my kids with their new teacher, too. This past year, I even remembered to take a photo on the last day of school to compare how much they’ve grown. In this issue, Donna Morin writes about how school lunches are getting healthier and shares tips on what we can do to support our schools and encourage healthier lunch options. Laura Richards shares tips from experts and families who have navigated the public schools in the hopes of getting the right Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to meet their children’s special needs. Some families have had great experiences while others have encountered obstacles advocating for their children. A new study came out this summer focusing on sibling aggression and how parents can handle situations if they go too far. Some media reports have equated the study on sibling aggression to bullying, though readers disagree on whether siblings actually bully each other. Some readers say they have seen bullying behaviors in their house and are looking for ways to curtail it. In the past, experts said that some parents have felt that sibling aggression was swept under the rug or was an expected rite of passage in families. Research shows that depression and other side effects were present
while sibling aggression was happening. Whether it is called bullying or aggression, we share tips on how to stop it and make sure it doesn’t go too far. Within the next few years, standardized testing will be changing as MCAS (the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) is transitioned out of the classroom. The state is replacing Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks with the Common Core, which sets national learning standards. The new national standardized tests have gotten some criticism from around the state and the country. Not only is it unclear what the test will be and how it will be administered, but some critics say that because Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has been funding grants to help states adopt Common Core, he may have influence over public school education across the country. This month we also start a twopart series on new trends on raising boys and girls. Writer Doug Page focuses on how the philosophy of raising boys has changed from trying to toughen them up to embracing their sensitive side and individuality. Next month, we’ll be focusing on the challenges of raising girls. As the long days of summer slowly come to an end, let’s savor them as we start preparing for the new school year! I hope you enjoy reading this issue! And as always you can reach out to me by emailing me with story ideas and letters to the editor.
Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families
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contributing writers TRACEY PROHASKA CARROLL KATHERINE JACANTE MARYJO KURTZ DONNA MORIN DOUG PAGE LAURA RICHARDS
Jennifer Lucarelli, editor
baystateparent 101 Water Street, Worcester, MA 01604
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What are you looking forward to next year in school in first grade? I am looking forward to working on “Word of the Week” projects.
What’s the best part of being 6? The best part of being 6 years old is that I am able
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MEET THE COVER MODEL
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copy editor BRYAN ETHIER
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to start reading my own books. What was the photo shoot like? Was it fun? It was fun making new friends and just being silly.
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GUESTBOOK We went today to Circus Smirkus, and it was awesome! My kids and I loved it, and we were so impressed by the talented young performers. Thank you for making it possible for us to see the show. We love baystateparent! Great fully yours, Kelly Harris On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Worcester JCC, it is our pleasure to thank you for your sponsorship trade for the Worcester JCC’s presentation of Circus Smirkus. Circus Smirkus was a great success. Several thousand people attended four amazing performances at Wachusett Mountain on July 13 and 14. Thanks to your support, we will be able to provide summer camp, early childhood and after school scholarships to over 125 children in the greater Worcester area this year. We thank you for your dedication to our mission to serve the youth in our community. Jody Fredman Special Projects Director Worcester JCC
Letters should be sent to email@example.com and will be edited for clarity and length. Please include your full name and town for publication.
WINNERS: The following readers won a copy of Parental Guidance: Susan Doherty, of Westford Sarah Dickie, of Auburn
The following readers won a copy of Chasing Mavericks:
baystateparent would like to congratulate Senior Account Executive Emily Lavoie on her recent nuptials. Emily was married on June 30 at the Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, Conn. It was a beautiful ceremony and wedding day! Congratulations Emily!
Jessica Flaherty, of Millbury Stephanie Cahoon, of Acton
Kelly Macjewski Nancy French Diane Diamond Kelly Harris Kathy Monahan
The following readers won a family four-pack of tickets to see Circus Smirkus at Wachusett Mountain: Rae Ann Snyder Christine Hotaling Michelle Montville Kristen Nason Odelle Kinder-Wells The Mercier Family Diane Smith
The following reader won Treetop Friends Bedding: Jennifer Sagotsky, of Somerville
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to recognized not-for-proﬁt organizations to promote their missions and events. Preference is given to 501(c)3 organizations and organizations that support causes that are near and dear to us like children’s health and well-being, nutrition, special needs and adoption. For more information, download our complimentary advertisement form at baystateparent.com. Go to contact then click advertise.
5K run/walk & Family Festival that includes Arts/ Crafts Vendor Fair, Kids Activities, Entertainment, Rafﬂe & Food. September 21, 2013 Beaver Brook Park, Worcester 10am to 2pm
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Check back weekly for new contests and giveaways. To enter, go to baystateparent. com and click giveaways for more details. For more information about coordinating giveaways, contact Editor Jennifer Lucarelli at email@example.com or call 508-749-3166, ext. 251.
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TO SUBMIT CALENDAR EVENTS go to baystateparent.com/ calendar/submit. All calendar events must be submitted by the 5th of the previous month to be considered for the print calendar.
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JUNK DRAWERS A LITTLE LIT OF THIS, A LITTLE OF THAT
THE PERFECT PURSE shop and applied to be a crafter at the stART on the Street Festival in Worcester. A business was born! LilaLu Bags specializes in tote bags, wristlets, and pouches made from high quality fabrics. Find LilaLu Bags at Crompton Collective on Green Street in Worcester or visit LilaLu Bags’ shop at etsy.com/shop/lilalubags.
GRILLED CORN WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER BUTTER 6 ears of corn Roasted Red Pepper Butter ½ lb. softened butter 2 roasted red peppers 2 tbs. basil 3 cloves of roasted garlic 1 tbs. chili powder Pinch of salt and pepper Puree peppers and garlic. Add remaining ingredients. Pulse until mostly smooth. Pull husk back and remove all of the hair. Rub corn with ingredients. Pull husk back around corn. Grill corn for 8 to 10 minutes, turning frequently. *Recipe courtesy of wilsonfarm.com.
SON INSPIRES BOOK Boston native Paul Carafotes began his career with a starring role in 20th century fox film “Headin’ For Broadway.” He has performed in many roles including “Fight Club,” “All The Right Moves,” a series regular on “Knots Landing,” and “Damages.” When his son Charlie was born, Paul was inspired to write his first children’s book “The Adventures of Charlie Bubbles!” Paul is currently on the “Bubble of Love” tour distributing his book and delivering the inspirational message of his book “to be helpful, loving and kind” to hospitals including Children’s Boston, Tufts, MGH and Children’s of Orange County. The books are donated by celebrities including the late James Gandolfini, Joe Mantegna, David Fincher, Christopher McDonald and Tony Denison. The second adventure, “Charlie Bubbles 2 Smartsville,” is due out in September 2013. For more information, visit charliebubblesbook.com.
A couple of years ago, a 1970’s tote bag pattern and a love of fabric inspired the creation of LilaLu Bags. Ann-Marie Roche of Worcester learned how to sew when she was 8 years old, making doll clothes out of scrap fabric. In the fall of 2010 Ann-Marie started making tote bags as gifts for friends and family. In the spring, Ann-Marie opened her LilaLu Bags Etsy
What are anti-bullying laws and how do they help stop bullying in schools? In May 2010, Massachusetts passed the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Law. It defined the school and community’s legal responsibility regarding bullying and provides an opportunity to enhance efforts to prevent and stop bullying. School personnel, parents and community leaders started working together to ensure that every student is safe from bullying. All children—no matter their race, creed, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation or physical or mental abilities—have an inherent right to an education free of any form of bullying. It is the school departments’ responsibility as adults to ensure this right. To learn more about how your school handles bullying, contact your local school department. To learn tips about preventing bullying, see the story about sibling aggression and bullying on page 40.
— Kim Storey, eyesonbullying.org
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Cowboys vs. New Age
– Are Sensitive Men Winning? by doug page
“Mamas, don’t let your (sons) grow up to be cowboys.” That brave, lone, stoic, horse riding, brim-hatted man out on the Great Plains – once considered the epitome of a healthy, vigorous American man – is as outdated as the telegram and anyone who’s bringing up a boy based on a previous century’s standards will likely have a lonely son that is vulnerable to poor health. “They’ll never stay home and they’re always alone.” Today’s boys may struggle to forge and maintain personal and professional relationships not only with other men but also with women during their adult years, unless they understand their emotions and know how to express them. “Even with someone they love.” The strong, silent man – often romanticized in the movies – is not always a great life partner, especially 12 AUGUST2013
for today’s women because they tend to prefer men who can freely and unflinchingly express their inner most feelings and thoughts. While Ed and Patsy Bruce, writers of that country music song quoted above, didn’t propose another way to bring up boys, other than making them “lawyers and doctors and such,” parents shouldn’t embrace “The Boy Code,” a false and harmful prophesy dictating that boys are tough and never feel emotional pain, says one Massachusetts psychologist. In spite of their tendencies to outwardly display physical strength, even detachment when it comes to their setbacks, boys, experts say, often suffer deep, emotional pain in silence, feeling that it’s unacceptable – not boy-like – to openly share their grief. They recommend parents, especially moms, teach their sons to freely share their emotions because it’ll help them grow into healthy adults, successful husbands, understanding fathers and better professional colleagues, and even better friends. Mental health experts warn that consequences for young males, between the ages of 10 to 24, who never learn to understand and express their emotions, can be severe – potentially fatal.
The Statistics The Centers for Disease Control,
an arm of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, reports that the country’s third leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 24 is suicide, more than 80 percent of them boys and young men. Each year, the CDC says, there are about 4,600 self-inflicted deaths in this group, among them about 3,700 young males. The CDC also reports that annually in the United States there are about 160,000 young people – both male and female – between 10 and 24 years old receiving emergency medical care for attempting suicide. “Many more females than males will attempt suicide,” says Barry Feldman, a University of Massachusetts Medical School psychologist, who, until recently, led the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention. “But males are more likely to use something more lethal.” In Massachusetts, according to the latest numbers from the state’s Department of Public Health, there were 61 suicides in 2010 among boys and young men between the ages of 10 and 24, up from 38 self-inflicted deaths by this same group in 2009. The reason for the increase is hard to determine but Dr. Feldman says it could be attributable to how local police and medical examiners investigate self-inflicted deaths. “If it happened in a small town, it’s possible the police will rule the death as an accident,” Feldman
says. “Sometimes they go with what the family tells them, that their son didn’t suffer from depression and would never commit suicide.” The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Massachusetts population tally counted about 875,000 males between the ages of 5 and 24 and about another 854,000 females in the same age range, showing that suicide among this demographic group, while tragic, is rare among the Bay State’s young people. One of the reasons that young people commit suicide, Dr. Feldman says, is brain development. Young people’s brains, he says, don’t fully mature until they’re 25 years old, which can make it difficult for them to find solutions to their problems. “Young people who are in trouble either academically or legally may perceive their issues as so big that they may think there’s no other way out (of the problem) other than suicide,” he says.
Warning Signs The signs that a boy or young man will attempt to take his own life include a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and increased anxiety, Dr. Feldman says. There’s no one problem that will make someone commit suicide, Dr. Feldman says. “It’s a convergence of problems that cause suicide,” he says. If a young person is acquiring the means to inflict harm on themselves, or they’re expressing it orally, in writing or in a drawing, then there’s reason to be concerned they might attempt to kill themselves, Dr. Feldman says. “If they’re normally outgoing and then become more withdrawn, or they’re isolating themselves, that’s a warning sign,” he says. “If they’re normally withdrawn and then they’re suddenly outgoing that could be a sign too.” “They’ve made a decision (to commit suicide),” Feldman added. He also says that suicide is preventable. “Educators, parents, teachers and coaches who are around kids need to pay attention to them, so they can figure out their baseline (for normal behavior) and know when something seems askew,” Dr. Feldman says. He also says friends are vital. “The research shows they’ll encourage the child not to commit suicide,” Dr. Feldman says. “They’ll contact a trusted adult (about their friend).” He says young people should never feel like their “snitching” on a friend who appears to be mentally off balance but wants to keep their problems hidden, especially from their parents. Dr. Feldman also says people are not suicidal forever. “If they’re treated, it’s possible to make a recovery,” he says. Dr. Feldman recommends parents become as involved as possible with their children. “If they see something or hear something in their behavior that worries them, get help,” he says. “You (the parent) are not planting a seed for a kid to commit suicide if they’re already having suicidal thoughts. “The seed has already been planted. Solve the problem sooner – not later. It’ll only become exacerbated,” he adds.
Who Saves Our Sons? If there’s anyone uniquely qualified to help boys uncover, understand
and talk about their emotions, it’s their mothers. Kate Stone Lombardi, author of a newly published book The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger says a mom with a strong relationship with her son, sometimes referred to as a “mama’s boy,” teaches that his feelings are natural, and, as a result, her son is often healthier than one with a more traditional and “macho” outlook about masculinity. “The connection between close to mom and rejecting hyper-masculinity, which creates better mental health through middle school and beyond, cuts across all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic identities,” she writes. Still, Lombardi says, ungrounded fears and thoughts about how boys grow sometimes restrain moms from establishing the very relationship
mother-son relationship, which some parents fear will develop if a mother retains a close relationship with her son. “Freud was writing in 1899, when electricity was a novelty,” Lombardi says. “He wasn’t writing a parenting guide.” “If a boy doesn’t feel pushed away by his mother, he’ll be a healthier young male and there’s less likelihood that he’ll commit suicide,” says Harvard Medical School Psychologist William Pollack. “The more likely they are to talk about their pain, the more likely an adult is going to do something about it, whether it’s seeking medical care or counseling.” Dr. Pollack, author of the book Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood, says the key to bringing up healthy boys is to work against a term he developed – “The
their sons need with them. “The unspoken fear of being a mama’s boy is that he’ll (become) gay or somehow she’ll feminize him,” she says. “(This fear) presumes that mom has the power to change their child’s sexual orientation,” she says. “The roots of sexual orientation are established in the womb, by the time the baby is born.” Where did this fear come from? “Gay men were often close to their moms,” Lombardi says. “It’s because they were rejected by their fathers.” “Mom cannot re-write her son’s sexual orientation. Even (the famous psychiatrist Sigmund) Freud knew this,” Lombardi added. For that matter, she says, “People do not worry about little girls who are close to their dads becoming lesbians.” Another fear, which Lombardi says is unfounded, is Dr. Freud’s Oedipus complex, which describes an intimate
Boy Code” – which tells young males to be strong, brave and never show any feelings.
What is it about Moms and Sons? “Boys and their fathers can be competitive,” says Jeannie Ensor, a Medfield mom with a teenage son and daughter, in college and high school, respectively. “It seems like all of that is removed in the mother-son relationship. “Girls are always comparing themselves to their mothers and that doesn’t happen with a boy. There’s an easier relationship with moms and sons,” she added. “I felt lucky in having two boys,” says Bonnie Brown, a nurse at Boston University. “I didn’t get any of that girl animosity that you can get with daughters.”
How Can You Get Boys to Talk? “I try to do an activity with them and bring up issues while we’re doing the activity,” says Medfield mom Korinna Driscoll, who has three boys 9 years old and younger. “He’ll create a reason to be alone with me,” says Jeannie of her teenage son. “He’ll say something like, ‘Let’s go to Marshalls,’ and it’s so we can talk privately.” Sharon Keleher, a Westwood mom of two teenage boys, says she takes one of her sons skiing and backpacking so they can talk while her other son will open up when they’re out at a coffee shop. “To be a good emotional connector, moms need to shut down the cell phone,” says Boston-based psychologist Anthony Rao. “They need to be whole in the moment.” Dr. Rao, author of the book The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Health of Young Boys, says boys make an emotional connection, especially to their parents, through activities. “Language isn’t that important for boys,” he says. “Moms should choose an activity based on the kind of boy they have to build that connection to their son.” “What I find is important to boys is when they tell me mom kicked the soccer ball around with them,” Dr. Rao says. “They see a mature and stronger person playing with them, and they feel safe physically and emotionally.” Westwood mom Laurie McDonald says when it comes to prodding her teenage son to talk, it’s important she’s true to herself, “because by sharing my feelings, I’m providing validity for how he feels,” she says. At a recent conference about boys, hosted by the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, part of Wellesley College, Dr. Pollack says the more moms empathize with their boys’ emotions – and not show any shame in what their sons say – then the more they will connect with their mothers.
Friends and Playtime New York University Psychologist Niobe Way, in her book Deep Secrets: The Hidden Landscape of Boys’ Friendships, writes that during her years as a high school counselor, she listened to boys telling her, “about who betrayed whom, who was a new close friend, who could and BAYSTATEPARENT 13
could not be trusted with their ‘deep secrets.’” In other words, boys are just as emotionally connected to other boys as girls are with girls. Laurie McDonald said her 11-year-old son has suffered breakups with boys he thought were his friends. But her son, she says, will sometimes do what he calls a “do-over.” It’s an attempt by her son and another boy to restore their friendship. As for playtime, Dr. Rao says, “Indoor, solitary, technology-driven play is bad for the boy brain.” Outdoor play, he says, develops social skills because they’re forced –
often without knowing – to seek a compromise so everyone enjoys playing together.
The Mama’s Boy in the Office In the United States, about 72 million women are in the workforce and their numbers are expected to increase, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. That means if today’s boys are to be successful in their careers, Kate Stone Lombardi suggests, they’ll need skills only mom can teach because tomorrow’s men, she writes, will enter an office “that values brains over brawn
… thinking and communication skills over physical power and stamina.” The Harvard Business School, Lombardi writes, recognizing the high numbers of women in the workplace, recently added a course that develops students’ emotional intelligence and helps them learn how others see them. “In other words, a course more oriented to traditionally female strengths,” Lombardi writes.
How can men best communicate with women?
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