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Can toddlers really be bullies or are adults over-reacting? By Kristin Kalning “The term “bully” is now being used to describe kids still in diapers. It’s important that parents be aware of bullying– especially since technology now makes it possible for kids to terrorize each other 24/7. But is it really possible for a 3-year-old kid to be a bully? “Absolutely not,” said Dr. Heather Wittenberg, a Maui-based child psychologist and mother of four. Bullies hurt or intimidate people they view as weaker than themselves. A very young child “doesn’t have the cognitive capability to be intentionally cruel, or to abuse a power differential. You might as well ask them to do calculus,” she said. Bullying involves planning, and complex thought. “Toddlers are just focused on putting one foot in front of the other,” said Wittenberg. The ability to discern right from wrong, much less how to systematically humiliate a peer, doesn’t really kick in until about age 6, she added. Can toddlers be bullies? Some experts disagree. Josh Mandel, director of the New York University Child Center, warned in an article on Babyzone that bullying behavior can begin at age 4. “At that age it can be mostly physical, but as children get older and better with language, that changes.” And the University of Michigan Health System’s page on child behavior problems says that “even toddlers can be ‘bullies,’ or ‘bullied.’ In fact, aggressive behavior toward other kids may even peak around age two.” Wittenberg still isn’t buying it. “They’re using the word ‘bully’ to sub for the word ‘aggressive.’ Two years old is typically a very aggressive time for children.” That doesn’t mean you should let your preschooler beat up his buddy at playgroup, though. Parents need to be there, at a watchful distance, helping kids navigate social situations. “You’re kind of like a translator at the U.N. here, helping warring factions to communicate,” said Wittenberg. Though you may be tempted to swoop and scold, that’s really more for the benefit of the other parents who may have witnessed your diapered darling clock another kid. At this age, it’s
best to kneel down and speak calmly, explaining in simple terms how to take turns, or share a toy. What should a well-meaning parent do if a teacher or caregiver labels their child as a bully? “Any school that understands young children knows that young children will act out aggressively. They need teachers who will act to prevent it, and intervene when it happens, and act appropriately,” said Wittenberg. “But if they start labeling a 2 or 3-year-old who bites as a bully... that’s a major misunderstanding of child development.” What do you think? Can toddlers bully? “I found this article while I was looking for my own personal reasons. My 5-year-old talks about “bullies” in his pre-school class. I really don’t think they are “bullies”, I think that in our case, they are kids that have not been taught boundries. Until next time, Blessings, Terri Schroeter, Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another having a loving & understanding heart!” Remember, Kirby says, “Don’t be a bully, be a BUDDY!”
DON’T be a bully...
BE A Buddy!
Remember, Kids: Kirby says, “Don’t Be a Bully, Be A Buddy!”
inyourkorner one hundred years from now...
The Ultimate Resource for Permian Basin Parents
Publisher Michelle Martinez Creative Director Therese Shearer Contributing Writer Terri Schroeter
Kids Korner Magazine, The Ultimate Resource For Permian Basin Parents, is now in its fifth year of connecting families with the products and services they need. Published monthly and distributed in day cares, pre-schools, medical offices, salons, museums, and many other locations where parents will find us.
To advertise, please contact Michelle Martinez 432-349-3739 firstname.lastname@example.org
Find us on Facebook All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, reprinted, or redistributed without express written permission from Kids Korner Magazine of the Permian Basin.
fter much careful thought, (and more honestly, hours of agonizing over which logo and font to use), we decided to give Kids Korner/Today’s Family a little freshening up. So, years of marketing tells me that the logo, the look, the BRAND- has to be just right. But last month, after witnessing the effect of this publication on many parents and children at the 2-1-1 celebration, the name and logo, just paled in comparison... to the purpose. Purpose is something we all want, sometimes question, and sometimes even forget in the midst of details. It was in those details I was lost and had to step back and look at the whole picture- the Purpose. At our booth that day, children LOVED signing their very own “BUDDY” certificate. (Don’t Be a Bully, Be a Buddy). We were absolutely delighted to meet several kids that already had Buddy Certificates from previous events, and were explaining the “commitment” to their siblings or friends themselves!!! Though each encounter was brief, many were powerful. One mom stopped by our booth with six good lookin’ kiddos in tow. We asked if they were all hers, she proudly said “Yes, they are all foster- and I’m adopting this one,” pointing to one adorable stroller-riding toddler. I wanted to shout her story to the world. Purpose! Heart! She humbly reminded me of the confidentiality factor, and of course can not be identified, but I will never forget her and the way the kids seemed safe and comfortable with her. So, while much business and marketing research was invested into this new look, it’s the inside that counts- just like each of us. Kids Korner/Today’s Family has ALWAYS had something that supersedes any digitized masterpiece- HEART. A heart for children. For Today’s... FAMILY. In closing, our purpose can be conveyed in a quote by Forest Whitcraft: “One hundred years from now It will not matter What kind of car I drove, What kind of house I lived in, How much I had in my bank Nor what my clothes looked like. One hundred years from now It will not matter What kind of school I attended, What kind of typewriter I used, How large or small my church, But the world may be... a little better because... I was important in the life of a child.” -Forest Whitcraft Through publishing this magazine, we hope that your family finds products, services, and activities that bring value to your lives.
Blessings, Michelle and Terri
thisIssue features Bullying 2 Hotlines 6 Technology challenges parents 6,7 Pasta pick-me-up 8 Events 9 Kirby’s Korner 10, 11 The truth about why our kids annoy us 12,13 Self-Esteem 15
Consignments Baby Bear’s Boutique............. 12
Day Cares & education Kids’ College.......................... 6 Midland Montessori............... 12 Toddler Tech........................... 10
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diaper Cakes Baby Bear’s Boutique............. 12
Dog Grooming Bella’s Dog Grooming............. 10
apparel, Shoes, & Accessories
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Baby Bear’s Boutique............. 12
Fun for the family
Great Outdoor Expo................ 14 J&A Party Sales & Rentals..... 13
Baby Bear’s Boutique............. 12 J&A Party Sales & Rentals..... 13
Health Care MCH Center for Women & Infants................... 5 ORMC Odessa Regional Medical Center....................... 16
insurance Blakely Insurance................... 13
Maternity Wear Baby Bear’s Boutique............. 12
Machine Rentals J&A Party Sales & Rentals..... 13
Realtors Jeaneen Pruitt........................ 4
Salons Niño’s Kid Salon.................... 7
Lisa Irvin, MS/CCC/SLP......... 7
J&A Party Sales & Rentals..... 13 Niño’s Spa Parties.................. 7 Permian Basin Photo Booths and Entertainment................. 10
summer camps & classes Kids’ College.......................... 6
6 By Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm Q: My 12-year-old is the only one of all her friends that does not have a “texting” type of phone. We got a basic phone that she can use when she needs to be in contact. Lately, she is very adamant that she wants a phone to text with. What are your recommendations? She is a good student with nice friends. Money is not the issue, but I’m concerned that we will be out of the loop with what she has going on with friends, boys, etc. A: Parents have many technology challenges in coping with tweens and teens, but texting is less of a problem than some. Some children overuse it, but it’s not likely to be misused by strangers or sexual predators that don’t have your daughter’s phone number. The biggest risks are from kids who bully others or use vulgar language. Also, spending too much time
texting can take time away from homework and other responsibilities. Adolescents typically use text messages more than they actually speak on their phones. Texting is an important social communication for this generation. At 12, your daughter’s ready for some small amount of additional freedom matched by additional responsibility. Before you give your daughter her texting privilege, you can review some guidelines with her and explain that she can enjoy the texting as long as she follows those guidelines. I’ll suggest some guidelines below, but you may want to add some of your own, specific to personal concerns. 1. Never give strangers, including tweens and teens, your telephone number. It’s only to be shared with trusted friends and family. 2. Texting and studying don’t go together. During homework time, the cell phone should be off or left with a parent. 3. Texting doesn’t fit well with a good night of rest. Phones should be turned off before bedtime. 4. There should be absolutely no texting or reading of texts in school. 5. Don’t text with anyone who uses vulgar or obscene language. 6. Tell a parent immediately if you receive any obscene or bullying text messages. 7. Do not delete any bullying messages in case a parent needs to take further action (e.g. talk to the authorities). 8. Texting privileges will be rescinded if parents see problematic changes in general behavior or achievement.
y g o l o n h c Te s e g n e l l a ch parents
7 At age 12, indeed you should be a “little” out of the loop on some of your daughter’s social life because she should be allowed some privacy and independence. Try to reserve plenty of oneon-one time for talking and listening to her talk about her social life and that of her friends. Don’t be surprised if she asks about a “friend’s” behavior when she’s really trying to determine what your opinion is in regard to her own thoughts or behaviors. Keep communication lines open and think of yourself as more of a wise coach than a judging parent. Be very clear about not using drugs and only friending appropriate kids who have good values. Keep your daughter busy and involved in extracurricular activities. Adolescents who aren’t busy and involved are more likely to be sitting behind screens or involved in high-risk activities. The research for my book “Growing Up Too Fast” showed that, even before texting, middle grade students spent between four and five times as much time in front of screens than doing homework. Those who were healthfully involved in extracurricular activities spent less time in front of screens. Monitor Internet use by placing computers in family rooms where you can keep a watchful eye on her. If you decide to allow your daughter to use social media sites, be sure she meets the age requirement of the sites and provides you with the password. Indicate that you’ll check her site occasionally because you’re interested in her friends’ activities and also because you want to be sure she’s safe. Checking once or twice a month can reassure you that a sexual predator hasn’t found her. Dr. Sylvia B. Rimm is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the author of many parenting books. More information on raising kids is available at www.sylviarimm.com. Send questions to: Sylvia B. Rimm on Raising Kids, P.O. Box 32, Watertown, WI 53094 or email@example.com.
Language &Learning s e r v i c e s Lisa Irvin, M.S., CCC/SLP April Collins, M.S., CCC/SLP Communication Disorders: Evaluation, Consultation & Treatment Including: Language, Articulation, Stuttering, Aphasia Fluency, Tongue Thrust, Down Syndrome, Voice, Neurological Disorders, Autism, Drooling, & Feeding Issues. We also offer Certified Dyslexia Testing & Tutoring. 3300 North A St. | Bldg. 7 | Suite 260 In Midland next to Mr. Gatti’s
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By Lisa Messinger There are plenty of books that advise how to trick kids into eating vegetables by hiding them in brownies or pureeing them into sweet shakes. Usually, no deceptions are necessary, though, when you add pasta to a soup containing them. Unlike other combinations, kids and pasta do mix. Soup is fun to eat and prepare, so it makes it even more appealing. That attraction doesn’t only extend to children. Soup cooks get a real break from the drudgery of longer, more involved meals. Double or even triple duty is possible when preparing soup. In the soup that follows, for instance, both the garlicsauteed broccoli and pasta cook right in the same pot. It’s the same with the virtual vegetable garden of mushrooms, celery, carrots, onions, sugar snap peas and parsley in the additional penne-filled soup below. The addition of pasta is also a way to make scrumptious, sophisticated heirloom recipes more accessible to children. Cookbook author Giuliano Hazan did that with three-generation specialties of his famed family. (His mother is TV cooking star and best-selling cookbook author Marcella Hazan.) His soup chapter in “Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes” is filled with now kid-friendly recipes that “minus the pasta” have been drawing raves in his family for generations.
BROCCOLI SOUP WITH PASTA 2 medium cloves garlic Salt, to taste ¾ pound broccoli florets 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 large beef bouillon cube 6 ounces short tubular pasta or other dried small pasta shaped for soup, such as ditalini or small shells Fill a pot with water that will accommodate the broccoli and place over high heat. Peel and finely chop the garlic. When the water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon salt and put in the broccoli. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. Drain broccoli and set aside. Put the garlic and olive oil in a 4- to 6-quart soup pot and place over medium-high heat. After the garlic begins to sizzle, add the cooked broccoli. Season with pepper and lightly with salt. Saute for about 5 minutes after the water comes back to a boil. Stir periodically with a wooden spoon, suing it to mash the broccoli into small pieces. When the broccoli has finished sauteing, add 4 cups water and the bouillon cube and raise the heat to high. When the water begins boiling, add the pasta and cook over medium heat until the pasta is al dente. Serve hot. Yields 4 servings. ”Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta: 100 Quick and Easy Recipes” by Giuliano Hazan (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $27.50).
VEGETABLE GARDEN PASTA SOUP 3 tablespoons butter 4 ounces button mushrooms, sliced 1 cup sliced celery 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 medium) 1 medium onion, chopped 3 tablespoons all purpose flour 6 cups store-bought or homemade chicken broth 1 ½ cups half and half 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 ½ pounds chicken tenders, cut into ½-inch pieces 1 cup penne pasta ¼ pound sugar snap peas, halved diagonally 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and onion. Cook until celery and onion are tender, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually mix in chicken stock. Bring soup to simmer, stirring frequently. Add half and half and chopped parsley, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken tenders, and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Cook penne pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta. Bring chicken soup to simmer. Mix in cooked pasta and sugar snap peas and simmer 2 minutes. Mix in lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields 6 servings. epicurious.com
Photo courtesy of “Giuliano Hazan’s Thirty Minute Pasta”
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the author of seven food books.
Brought to you by www.mywesttexasevents.com. Log on for more details about these and other events.
March 1-3: Circus Gatti March 1-3: Just Between Friends Consignment Sale- Ector County Coliseum, Bldg. G March 10: Scottish Irish Faire March 12-16: MISD and ECISD Spring Break! Barnes & Noble Storytime: Wednesdays @ 10:30 March 14: Spring Break Junior Golf Camp: Odessa Country Club March 31: Helen Greathouse Children’s Festival 2012 April: Midland Rockhounds Baseball April 8: Easter at the Ballpark– Citibank Ballpark April 22: Tim Tebow and Switchfoot– Grande Communications Stadium April 22-29: ECISD Junior High Art Shows April 28: 2nd Annual Miracle Motorcycle Ride for Kids April 30: March of Dimes 5K Run for Babies
May 4-6: Fiesta West Texas– Ector County Coliseum May 7-11: Kids, Kows, and More– Ector County Coliseum May 11-13: Great Outdoor Expo– Horseshoe May 11-13: AJRA Youth Rodeo May 12: Junior Golf Camp– Odessa Country Club May 18-19: Celebration of the Arts– Downtown Midland May 24-27: Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus– Ector County Coliseum
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First Lady says, “Let’s Move!” First Lady Michelle Obama’s nationwide “Let’s Move!” initiative is all about health and preventing childhood obesity. The First Lady’s message is to think before you grab that huge, loaded cheeseburger, with soda and fries. Think about the calories. Think about the impact of it in 10 years. It’s harder to change your eating habits at an older age, so adjust when you’re young.
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By Teresa Strasser When I was pregnant, my closest friend, Ted, the father of two daughters, warned me: The qualities you find most frustrating in yourself will be reflected back to you in your children. And this will be the hardest thing about parenthood. I remember hearing it on my cellphone as I pulled into my driveway, pregnant, wearing some
garish maternity tent, most likely eating some form of bulk cheese, and thinking “blah, blah, blah.” Or maybe I was thinking something more like, “Whatever, dude. That’s some hocus-pocus hippie stuff. Thanks for sharing. I have cheese to eat.” The idea seemed so ludicrous: the notion that the bump in my stomach would one day be an actual person, a person with the capability of walking and talking and doing things to annoy and trigger me. Impossible. Motherhood came as a kind of shock to me, and not in a TLC show way (I knew a baby was coming), but in a deep, emotional way. Until my child was a year and half old, I tripped saying the word “son” the way The Fonz couldn’t say “sorry” or “love.” I mean, I loved like I can’t describe to you, but it took a while to really set in that I had crossed over from person to mother. This little person was mine, or at least mine to care for until setting him loose on the world. His every rash became my concern and obsession. And as Ted predicted, there were my worst qualities, manifested in this tiny person, staring
13 right at me. Indeed, it really is the hardest thing about parenting. For example, if I am given a task I feel is just out of reach, there is a series of feelings that goes something like this: feel overwhelmed, crumble internally, cry, call a few friends, get a pep talk, regroup, tackle said challenge, do it again with absolute amnesia as to how I was able to handle the last challenge without stepping in front of a bus. My son, even at 1, was demonstrating this very trait. Even now, as he struggles to zip up his coat, he insists, “I DO THIS,” even though we both know he kind of lacks the motor skills to attach the two sides to start the zipper. He gets annoyed, his eyes fill with tears, and I start the zipper for him and hold the bottom as he pulls it up. “I DID IT,” he’ll say proudly, so relieved he mastered something, so irritated he required help. From using utensils to playing with train tracks, if that kid can’t do something right away, there’s no patiently figuring it out. There is sadness, anger, panic and frustration. And I feel like a huge hypocrite saying things like, “We don’t throw our train when we get frustrated,” because that’s exactly the kind of stuff I feel like doing — to this day. That’s what Ted was talking about while I was stuffing my face with provolone, too stubborn and too hungry to take in his paternal wisdom. On the other hand, what could I have done with that knowledge? Here’s another example. I happen to be a crier. I’m a big weeper from way back. My son is also quick to cry, which is really sad until it gets to be really hard to take. Many times, I’ve been in tears, actually crying, as I’m saying the words, “We don’t cry to get what we want. We use our words.” Thankfully, I have loads of compassion for these weaknesses in character. I invented them. I gave birth to them. And yet, as Ted predicted, seeing them acted out in front of me makes me feel worse than ever about the defects in myself I have yet to conquer. Of course, what do I do when I can’t tackle something right away? Cry, stomp my feet, curse the world, be certain of coming doom, collapse internally and, like I’m doing now, reach out, tell the truth about my floundering and eventually figure it all out. Until the next crisis. Sorry, kid. But I did give you decent hair and above-average balance, so it’s not all bad. Teresa Strasser is an Emmy-winning television writer, a two-time Los Angeles Press Club Columnist of the Year and a multimedia personality. She is the author of a new book, “Exploiting My Baby,” the rights to which have been optioned by Sony Pictures.
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FOUR RECENT TEEN SUICIDES IN THE PERMIAN BASIN...
Part 3 of 3
ur last two articles have been on teen suicide, because we have lost four teens in our own backyard. It almost unfathomable that suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death of our kids in the USA. But it’s the facts! It’s imperative that we start the self-esteem process, literally, at birth. If we start instilling self-worth and value when they are babies, then we don’t have to deal with unadjusted teens with low self-esteem making poor choices with their bodies and the worst nightmare of all- SUICIDE. The loss of a life that has not a clue of what their life has to offer. Over the last couple of months we have talked about appearance, self-image and peers. Today let’s talk about: Parents & Unrealistic Expectations Sometimes parents or other authority figures put teens down and cause self-esteem problems. Parents, coaches, and teachers who always criticize can make a teenager feel as though he or she never does anything right, and is never valued. Such constant criticism may cause him or her to feel unloved. Help Tips- You can also talk to your teenager about failure. Make sure that you don’t express excessive disappointment when your teen does not perform to your expectations. Instead, praise the effort and encourage him or her to work harder next time. Explain that mistakes should be viewed as chances to learn and grow, rather than a measure of one’s worth. Unrealistic expectations We all want to live up to our potential. But sometimes teenagers feel pressures from unrealistic expectations. Parents and teachers may expect too much of them. Often, a teen can develop low selfesteem because he or she is not “living up” to the expectations that one sets for oneself. A teenager can, at some times, be his or her own hardest critic. Help our teen overcome low self-esteem There is a fine line between giving your teen a false sense of complacency and feelings of entitle-
ment and self-esteem. But, if you are careful, you should be able to help your teenager develop a healthy attitude toward him or herself. Until next time, Blessings, Terri Schroeter, Ephesians 4:32 “be kind to one another having a loving & understanding heart!” Remember, Kirby says, “Don’t be a bully, be a BUDDY!”
What matters most... How do your kids see themselves?