Children IN THIS ISSUE Happy Thanksgiving! What is Play? Importance & Benefits Work/Play Balance
Development of Sexual Orientation Identity Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Identities Imagine This Supporting Your Child
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www.northshorefamilies.com NOVEMBER 2010
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Family & Friends
Reunions – Supporting Our Individual Identities – Giving Thanks by Suzanne Provencher, Publisher I’m not exactly sure how or when it happened, but I am rapidly approaching my 30th reunion from Salem (MA) High School. 30 years??? Hmmm…but I don’t feel almost 50…which I guess is a good thing? As a class officer who was voted “Most Devoted” and “Class Clown” by my classmates, I’ve organized or helped facilitate most of our reunions – and had fun doing so. As a child, I would spend hours with my parents’ SHS yearbooks – and I would dream about my SHS years to come and all of the fun things I would do – all of the new friends yet to be made. And here I am 30 years after graduation – planning another reunion. While I enjoy class reunions, many don’t – and we usually get about 25% of our class
of 400 to attend. Most others I speak with report the same for their class reunions – regardless of when or from where they graduated. I wonder what keeps so many others away? I realize that distance and timing and money factor in to the decision for some – but many classmates are still local and it’s a once in every 5 years opportunity. Was high school that bad for some? The truth is, we only have a handful of reunions left in our lifetime and I see reunions as a special opportunity – a treat – a gift – a few hours with my old classmates. No other event can take you back in time to reconnect with those we started out with. No new friends can take the place of childhood friends and classmates. We shared the same roots – the same experiences – the same people and places. I welcome
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this precious opportunity – and I plan to enjoy it. This year – two classes joined forces to try to get more attendance. We are hoping that it will be “the more, the merrier”. We won’t pay attention to the gripes and negative comments from those who aren’t coming or won’t come or can’t come – as we know we can’t possibly please everyone. But we do our best – and that will have to be enough. Some will say it’s too soon or too much money or not enough money. Others will dislike the location, without understanding that it’s not easy to find a local place that holds over 300 people. Yet time and again, the same brave, happy faces reappear at each reunion – and we are grateful to be there together for that one night. I personally couldn’t care less about the place – and I’m not there for the food or terribly concerned if the DJ will play good dance music or not. I am going for the people, the conversations, the memories, the laughter, the reconnections, the stories, the challenges, the triumphs, the tragedies, the hopes we still have for the future – and the chance to be with a roomful of others who are exactly where I am in my chronological life. I won’t be older or younger – I won’t have to worry about the lines and wrinkles that still surprise me and
sort of betray how I really feel inside. I’ll be on a level playing field – and I’ll be seen. I won’t be invisible – which tends to happen to us occasionally as we age. I’ll see faces as they were – as they are – and celebrate how much we’ve all endured and how far we’ve all come to be together on this one special night. We are all cool now! And if you are an SHS Class of 1980 or 1981 classmate who still needs 30th reunion information, please see the November 27th calendar listing in this issue. If you plan to be “home” for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend – a time when many return to Salem – we hope you’ll join us! In this issue, we talk about a sometimes difficult subject: sexual orientation identity. When I was a teenager in the late 1970s and early 1980s – we didn’t think we knew any GLBT people. We may have sensed a difference in some people – but we didn’t discuss it or give it much thought. In high school, people are made fun of for being different. So while many of my gay friends didn’t have many opportunities (or role models or support) to explore their identities when we were growing up back then – my generation paved that bumpy road on the path to acceptance and understanding of all people, though we are still a work in Continued on page 18
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Letter from the Editor
The Challenges of Growing Up Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual There have recently been several prominent cases involving suicide of gay teens that have been linked to anti-gay harassment of one kind or another. The most recent case involved a freshmen student from Rutgers University. Eighteen year old Tyler Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly recorded him “making out with another dude”. The roommate broadcast the video online. At least four younger teens have committed suicide since July after having been targets of anti-gay bullying. Fifteen year old Justin Aaberg, of Andover, Minnesota, hanged himself in his room in July. Five other students from the same school district killed themselves in the past year. Anti-gay bullying may have played a role in at least two of these cases.
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www.northshorefamilies.com P.O. Box 150 Nahant, MA 01908-0150 781.584.4569 A publication of North Shore Ink, LLC © 2010. All rights reserved. Reproduction in full or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited.
Suzanne M. Provencher Publisher/Co-Founder/Managing Partner email@example.com Michael F. Mascolo, PhD Editor/Co-Founder/Partner firstname.lastname@example.org Designed by Group One Graphics Printed by Seacoast Media Group Please see our Calendar in this issue for our upcoming deadlines. Published and distributed monthly throughout the North Shore, 10x per year, and always online. All articles are written by Michael F. Mascolo, PhD unless otherwise credited. Information contained in NSC&F is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. Individual readers are responsible for their use of any information provided. NSC&F is not liable or responsible for the effects of use of information contained in NSC&F. Established 2007.
The rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, anxiety and other forms of emotional distress are higher among gay, lesbian and bisexual youths. Despite growing acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality, gay, lesbian and bisexual youths face developmental challenges that are unlike those of their heterosexual cohorts. It is easy to think that the difference between heterosexual and homosexual youths can be reduced to mere differences in their choice of romantic partners. It is tempting to think that with the exception of their romantic interests, growing up gay is similar to growing up heterosexual. But this is far from the truth. Here is note written by 19 year old Bruce Ciniello, shortly before he jumped to his death from the Grand Canyon in 1992:
Dear Family and Friends, I’m sorry it had to end this way but it was my fate. I couldn’t handle life anymore. You see, the reason I ran away before to commit suicide is the same reason I did again. I’m gay. I never wanted to be and I always wished it would change, but it didn’t. I wanted to live a normal life but God created me this way for some reason and there was nothing I could do to change it. I was born this way. Believe me, I would not choose this way of life for I know how hard and unaccepted it is. I’m painfully sorry you all had to deal with this, but I couldn’t deal with it. This way, I could live a peaceful afterlife instead of a life of fear, agony and manic depressiveness.
Please realize, I did not want to hurt anyone. I just wanted to end my own pain. I love you all dearly and will someday see you all again, hopefully with your understanding hearts and souls. I just hope God will bring me to heaven. Love always and eternally, Bruce In this issue, we explore what it means to grow up gay. What are the special challenges that make growing up gay, lesbian or bisexual more difficult? How do youths develop an awareness of their sexual orientation identity? What can parents do to help such children face their developmental challenges? We also invite you to learn more about the importance of play for both children and adults. We’ll explore what play is and why it’s so important for people of all ages.
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What is This Thing Called Play? Four months old Jenny repeatedly slaps at a mobile hanging over her head. Twenty-four months old Manny picks up a banana and “answers” it like a phone. Four years old Rita and Bill play “Husband and Wife” together. Six years old Ben pushes his mashed potatoes back and forth, creating “snowbanks”. Twelve years old Leah and Jessica use a video-recorder to film themselves in a “rock video”. Thirty-two years old Edward goes to the playground and meets some friends for a pickup game of basketball. When no one is looking, forty-four years old Penny pretends to accept the “Businessperson of the Year” award in front of the bathroom mirror. Everyone plays. From 4 months old Jenny to 44 years old Penny, we all enjoy our share of play. Over the past several decades, we have witnessed a dramatic decline in play in our schools. In their attempt to increase the rigor of academic education, recess has become increasingly rare and even nonexistent. Teachers are sending home more homework, which, arguably, leads to less opportunity for children to play. Still further, much of what contemporary children do when they play involves the use of electronic devices – videos, TV, computers, videogames and the like. Such play is very different from the types of play in which children engaged even 25 years ago. What has become of play? Should we care? Play – it seems so simple. Although we may know it when we see it, psychologists have long had a difficult time understanding what it means to play. What is play? Most discussions about play concern young children – children under, say, the age of 7 or 8. But we all play. Why do we play? Is it important for development? Why is it important? Although we may “know it when we see it”, it’s not so easy to define the concept of play. Here is one way: Play involves self-initiated activities performed for their own sake rather than as an attempt to meet externally-defined demands. From this view, play is something in which children (and adults) choose to engage on their own; the course of play is largely under their own (individual or group) control. We play for the sake of it – for the sheer pleasure or fun of engaging in the activity.
If we engage in playful activity for the sheer pleasure of performing that activity, what could we possibly learn? If play is something that is self-initiated, won’t we only learn what we want to learn? Won’t we avoid the types of difficult and effortful things we have to do when we engage in, say, academic learning? Well, yes and no. Children (and adults) learn through play. Children (and adults) learn by effortful teaching and learning. (We could call this work.) The key to understanding the power of play is to see that we learn different types of things in these different types of activities (which we could call play and work). Work and play are complementary; we may, in fact, need one in order to profit from the other. (We’ll discuss this further in Work & Play: The Need for Balance, this issue.) Why Do Children Play? Well, Why Do Adults Play? What does play do for us? To answer this question, a good place to start is with ourselves. Do you play? What do you do when you play? What does it do for you? Let’s say that your version of play is playing a game of basketball or going window shopping. Both of these could be considered play. They are self-initiated (no one is forcing you to do it). They are done for their own sake (you enjoy the act of getting the ball in the basket or imagining what your living room would look like with a new ensemble). Both are regulated by you (you can easily change the rules of basketball to suit your choice; window shopping is something that you do through your imagination). Further, because these acts are not performed to meet some external demand, they are not only under your control, they are also relaxing. Now, what does play do for you? Well, we’ve already mentioned several things. Play is relaxing; it brings about pleasure. Relaxation is important for physical and psychological health. But are we learning anything? Are we developing? Well, yes! You go onto the basketball court with a repertoire of basketball skills. When you are playing, you are practicing those skills and refining them. You are also putting your social skills into practice. You have to refrain from getting angry when Big Bob aggressively steals the ball from you. You are learning, at least practicing, your social skills. Further, if you win the basketball game, you may walk off the court with a bit of a swagger. You imagine yourself the Michael Jordan of the neighborhood. You stand ten feet tall in a little fantasy of your own making. Yes, the pretend game allows you to play out a fantasy about status or glory. Pretty important stuff, huh? Window shopping involves much the same type of thing. You, as an adult, are using your imagination to create a world of fantasy. What would my house look like if it had that piece of furniture? What would I look like if I had that piece of clothing? While we window shop together, we relate to each other, build each other up (maybe tear each other down). Do you like that? (No, I hate it, but I’ll say I like it because you do.) We put our skills into practice. We enjoy; we relax; we develop.
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The Importance & Benefits of Play Play bridges the gap between real events in the changing world and imagination within one’s head (Preissler, 2006, in Play=Learning. NY: Oxford, p. 233). If you’ve read the previous article in this issue, you know that play is not something that is reserved just for children. If you have a sense of what play does for you in your own life, you are likely to be able to understand the importance of play in children’s development. Let’s get more specific. What does play do? Physical Development Mom: Zack, the car is in the shop. We’re going to walk to school today. Zack: Aw, mom. I don’t want to walk. Physical play – at least its traditional, outdoors, running, hopping and jumping variety – has obvious importance to a child’s physical development. When a child climbs a jungle gym, she is not simply having fun, but she is increasing motor coordination, eye-hand coordination, balance, muscle strength, and so forth. The need for physical activity has become more urgent in recent years. Between 1997 and 2003, the amount of time that children have spent in outdoor activities has declined by fifty percent. Children are spending more hours on videogames, TV, computer and related activities. The increasingly sedentary lifestyle of children has been one of the many contributors to childhood obesity. As is true of adults and all people, physical activity does not simply strengthen the muscles, it activates the central nervous system, and thus supports our capacity for thinking and learning in all contexts. Anyone familiar with the benefits of exercise has experienced the increase in energy and sense of well being that occur after effortful activity. Emotional Development Five years old Mia picks up the mommy and daddy dolls. The mom doll says to the dad doll: “You drink too much!” The dad doll says: “Leave me alone!” Mia holds the “Mia” doll and puts her hands over the Mia doll’s ears. Children develop emotionally through play. Play, particularly pretend-play, is an arena for children to express, experience, enact and regulate their emotions. This is one reason why psychotherapists use play when interacting with children. When a child engages in self-initiated, unstructured, pretend play, he is the master of his own actions. He can become anything that he can imagine. Like Max in Where the Wild Things Are, he can re-gain a sense of power that was lost after having been sent to bed without food. A child can enact and express emotions that he would not be able to do otherwise. A little girl can assume the role of mother who admonishes a child. Play exerts a direct effect on the emotional life of a child. Play helps children cope with change and other stressful events. In one study, children were presented with a stressful video. Some of the children were provided with a period of free play before witnessing the video; others experienced free play after the video was shown. A third group was not given time to play either before or after the video. The children who had a chance to play either before or after the video exhibited lower levels of stress and anxiety than the children who were not given the chance to play. Play can provide a buffer against the effects of stressful events.
Role Playing & Pretend Play Physical education class: Ms. Hampshire: “Alright, class. Everyone get in a line. Lift your arms up! Now, touch your toes! Good. Now let your arms hang down like a rag doll! Tobey: Ms. Hampshire, what’s a rag doll? Imagine what happens when two sisters explore what it means to be a sister by “playing sisters” with each other. Of course, the girls are already sisters. But when sisters play sisters, the meaning of being a “sister” comes under scrutiny. The sisters may “exaggerate” certain ways of being sisters. They may cooperate while drinking tea together; they might fight over who to invite to tea; they may explore ways of making amends to each other after a conflict. Through these exaggerated activities, the girls are going beyond simply being sisters, they are reflecting upon and exploring what it means to be sisters. This is a source of both social and cognitive development. Here is an example of two 3 ½ years old children exploring role expectations as they play “Husband and Wife”:
North Shore Children & Families Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: Rita: Bill: R&B: Rita: Bill: Rita:
Let’s clean the place. Be careful. I’m gonna move our table. Good, Bill. You’re a hand man. Handy man. Next! Bill? Bill? What? You’re a strong man. I know it. I just moved this…
I’m not a kitty anymore. You’re a husband? Yeah. Good. We need two husbands. Hey, two husbands. I can’t catch two husbands cause I have a grandma. Well, I – then I’m the husband. Yeah, husbands! Husbands! Husbands! Husbands! Hold it, Bill, I can’t have two husbands. Not two, not two. Two husbands. Two husbands. I can’t marry ‘em, two husbands. I can’t marry two husbands because I love them. Bill: Yeah, we do. We gonna marry ourselves, right? Rita: Right. Continued on page 8
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Importance & Benefits of Play Continued from page 7
In this example, Rita and Bill are exploring what it means to be wife and husband. Rita and Bill did not make up the roles of “husband” and “wife”; they learned this by participating in interactions with mothers and fathers, by observing husbands and wives, etc. But here they “play” with what it means to be a husband and wife. Stereotypically, the wife is concerned about cleanliness, while the husband uses his strength to move things. As the children continue to assume the roles of husband and wife, they begin to “play” with the idea of having two husbands. If they were not playing – say, they were learning about marriage in school – the idea of having two husbands would not be treated “seriously”. But here, in play, the children can explore what it would mean to have two husbands. It is not long, however, until they butt up against the boundary of the concept of a husband. By “playing” with the idea of having two husbands, they begin to realize, by themselves, why this can’t really happen. In so doing, through their play – through the capacity to explore and extend everyday roles and ideas beyond what would be permissible in everyday interaction – they clarify and consolidate the meaning of the concepts of “husband” and “wife”. Cooperation, Compromise & Competition I want to be the captain! No, I want to be the captain! In free play with other children, there is much that has to be organized. If children are going to engage in dramatic play, they will have to make up the roles and the rules. They will have to negotiate what to do, learn how to compromise, and learn to appreciate what others have to say. Alternatively, they also learn to dispute and experience conflicts and their consequences. They will decide who is “cool” and who is not. The “cool” kids will adopt certain roles while the “uncool” kids work to adapt. There is much social decision making going on. Social play is thus an arena in which children put into practice and further develop their capacity to interact with age-mates according to the local peer culture. It’s not so different from peer interactions involving adults outside of work. When adults are free to organize their own interactions, they have to engage in the natural give and take of interaction. It’s through interaction that interaction skills develop. It’s the place where the action is.
Work & Play: The Importance of Balance All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. All play and no work make Jack a mere toy. In the past decades, free, unstructured play has become increasingly absent in children’s lives. In an attempt to foster academic skills in children, preschools, kindergartens and elementary schools have drastically reduced the amount of time devoted to recess. When children are home, they participate at increasingly younger ages in structured activities (e.g., sports) organized by adults (e.g., little league, etc.). Beyond these structured activities, children spend a great deal of time in front of electronic devices. While it may seem as though children are directing their own play when they use videogames, their activities are no less structured by electronic devices than they are by school or organized sports. The device itself sets the rules of the game – not the child. Thus, when children are deprived of free, unstructured play, they are deprived of the benefits described throughout this issue.
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adults (including, but not limited to, play interactions with adults). What is the relation between play and work? We can think of play as selfinitiated, unstructured activity performed for its own sake. We can think of work in terms of structured, effortful activities performed in order to meet some sort of external demand. All of us – children included – need both types of activities in our lives. Children cannot acquire the normative meanings of “husband”, “wife”, “thank you”, “female”, “kindness“ or “gravity” simply by playing with each other. Children do not learn the skills and values of “inhibiting gratification”, “hard work”, “adding 2+2” or “sharing toys” simply by playing with each other. These skills and concepts – and others like them – require some sort of structured interaction between children and adults.
Play is an important part of a child’s development. However, while it is true that children learn through play, we are sometimes led to believe that play is the primary vehicle of a young child’s learning. However, while play is important, this is simply not true. To understand why, we need not go any further than the play interaction described in The Importance & Benefits of Play (in this issue). When Rita and Bill were playing “Husband and Wife”, the basic knowledge about the roles of “husband and wife” came not from play with other children, but instead with interactions and observations with parents and
The figure to the left shows one way in which work and play operate in a child’s development. Work and play often have a complementary relationship to each other. What we learn through more effortful teaching and learning (work) is the stuff that we explore and consolidate in play. When we play, we explore novel possibilities (e.g., as Rita and Bill did when they explored having two husbands). We can then bring these novel possibilities back into the arena of work (teaching and learning). When we do so, we enhance what we will learn next through effortful teaching and learning. The key, of course, is balance. Of course, there is no formula for identifying a proper balance between work and play, either for our children or for ourselves. It is much more an “art” than a “science”. Simply knowing that work and play are two poles of the same developmental process can make us mindful of the need to make time for both. It’s not work or play, it’s work and play. And perhaps even working hard and playing hard. But don’t forget to rest, too.
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Development of Sexual Orientation Identity
The Development of Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Identities How do young people come to form gay, lesbian and bisexual identities? The process is not a straightforward one. For some youths – particularly those who have supportive parents and live in supportive communities – the process is a relatively smooth one. The operative word here is “relatively” – there are bumps and scrapes along the way even for youths who grow up in accepting communities and households. For many other youths, the task of developing their gay, lesbian or bisexual identity is a rocky one indeed. Depression, anxiety, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and both unsuccessful and successful suicide attempts are much more frequent among gay, lesbian and bisexual youths than among heterosexual youths. To understand why this is the case, it is often helpful to imagine what it is like to grow up gay (see Growing Up Straight in a Homosexual World, in this issue). The term heterosexism refers to the belief that all people are heterosexual. Continued on page 12
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Brookwood School – It starts here. They will succeed. They will excel. They will soar.
divisions are encouraged to treat their peers with kindness and respect. These values are taught explicitly in PGD (Personal Growth and Development) classes. First developed in 1983, PGD is designed, “to nurture the personal growth of each child at Brookwood, to encourage the development of decision-making skills and sound ethical sense, to consider a variety of social and moral issues, to help each student gain understanding of self and others, and to promote self-respect, self-confidence, and self-esteem.” Fostering Artistic Expression
What starts here? In a word, everything. At Brookwood, we know that what matters most are children who are happily engaged in their learning and students who are intellectually challenged, supported and encouraged by teachers and peers alike. We know that it is within a warm, childcentered school like Brookwood that children become confident, successful, life-long learners. Dedicated to Academic Innovation Our children will inherit a complex world and preparing them requires a program of both balance and breadth. In a time when many schools are cutting programming and trimming staff, Brookwood has continued its tradition of academic innovation. Brookwood’s curriculum employs the most current methodologies, focusing on inquiry, experience and collaboration rather than simply rote memorization – and it introduces age-appropriate challenges with each subsequent grade level. Whether it’s expanding coursework in the “outdoor classroom” in science, building upon social curriculum in
Lower School, World Language beginning in Kindergarten, or instituting a leadership initiative for eighth graders, Brookwood teachers and administrators continuously analyze, improve and strengthen the program offered to our students. Guiding Brookwood students is a topnotch staff of teachers who have graduated from many of the country’s finest colleges and universities; four out of five of them hold advanced degrees. Brookwood’s teachers love teaching kids and are keenly aware that superior learning springs from their ability to build and sustain meaningful relationships with their students. For full curricular descriptions by department visit www.brookwood.edu. Click the “Academics” tab and go to “Curriculum at Brookwood.” A Commitment to Community and Cause Brookwood believes that who a child will become is just as important as what a student will master. Teachers work to help students “find their best selves,” whether it’s learning to listen respectfully to everyone’s best efforts in class or helping a friend who’s had a fall on the playground. Children in all
Kids are full of creativity, and at Brookwood that is something to celebrate and empower. Brookwood students have many opportunities to express themselves artistically as well as musically, with all grade levels having art and music instruction several times each week. Nourishing the Developing Athlete Brookwood believes all children have an inner athlete. Through a carefully sequenced program focusing on skill development, individual and team play, and of course, sportsmanship, we encourage healthy competition and the pure joy of physical activity. Our comprehensive physical education program begins in Pre-K and culminates in Grade Six. Following that, students in Grades Seven and Eight choose from eight interscholastic teams (with two levels, varsity and junior varsity). Intramurals are offered for students seeking non-competitive options. Moving to Secondary School Brookwood students matriculate to the finest public, parochial, and independent day and boarding schools in the country. Over eighty percent of the Class of 2010, for instance, scored above the 90 percentile in the SSAT (national norm), while the majority of the Class of 2009 was accepted to their first or second choice secondary schools.
LOCATION & FACILITIES. On 30 wooded acres on Boston’s North Shore, the Brookwood campus is minutes from Route 128 on the Beverly/Manchester line. The campus features a 15,000 volume library and learning center; a state-of-the-art science department with four laboratory classrooms and a 1,000square-foot “science gym” for experiment and study; a Writing Center; two acoustically-designed music classrooms, a professional recording studio and several practice rooms; three art classrooms; clay studio with kiln; two computer labs; a four-classroom world language center with a 16-station computer lab; two athletic fields; two gymnasiums; and a dining room. TECHNOLOGY. More than 285 computers are found throughout Brookwood. In addition to both Mac and PC computer labs, there are laptops with wireless capabilities, digital cameras, and scanners. Twentyfive classrooms feature interactive SmartBoards. ADMISSIONS. The best way to get to know Brookwood is to visit our school. Open Houses during 20102011 will be held on: Thursday, November 4, from 8:45 - 10:45 a.m.; Tuesday, November 30, from 6:30 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, January 30, from 1 3 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. If you know you will attend, you can also RSVP to 978-526-4500. To learn more about Brookwood, please call 978-526-4500 or visit www.brookwood.edu. One Brookwood Road, Manchester, MA 01944 The information contained in this education feature was submitted by Brookwood School, and published in partnership with North Shore Children & Families; www.northshorefamilies.com.
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Development of Sexual Orientation Continued from page 10
For heterosexual individuals who think that they have never encountered homosexual or bisexual individuals, this is a natural assumption. It is akin to ethnocentrism (the belief that one’s own culture or nation is the only culture, or the only “right” culture) or egocentrism (the failure to see that other people have different views than ourselves). We develop out of heterosexism, ethnocentrism and egocentrism by encountering people, views and cultures that are different from us. But something similar goes on with gay, lesbian and bisexual youths. Even though society is becoming more accepting of gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, a young person who begins to experience same-sex attractions encounters an immediate problem: What am I feeling? Everywhere I look, I see heterosexuals. Why is it that no one else seems to feel as I do? This is a tall task. For youths growing up gay, the entire world seems to be built for someone else. It is not long that youths come to understand that being gay, lesbian or bisexual has carried and still carries a stigma in many communities. Given all this complexity, how do youths come to develop a healthy sense of being gay, lesbian or bisexual? In one of the best studies on this issue, Frank Floyd and Terri Stein studied 72 gay, lesbian and bisexual youths between the ages of 16 and 27. They interviewed their participants to find out when they achieved various important milestones in constructing a gay, lesbian or bisexual identity. They were most interested in the age and circumstances with which youths (a) first became aware of same-sex attractions; (b) engaged in their first same-sex sexual experience; (c) disclosed to another person that they were gay, lesbian
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or bisexual; or (d) disclosed their sexual identity to their parents. The results of their study show that different youths take different paths in the development of their sexual orientation identity. Floyd and Stein identified five different pathways. These are shown in the figures that accompany this article. There are two broad groups of pathways of development. As shown in Figure 1, the first three pathways are all associated with early awareness of same-sex attractions. Of these, the first group of youths followed Pathway 1 (Early Development of All Milestones). For this pathway, early awareness of same-sex attractions was followed by relatively early same-sex sexual contact, which was then followed by disclosure to others, and finally disclosure to parents. The other two pathways were characterized by later development of one or more milestones. Pathway 2 (Late Disclosure) involved early development of same-sex sexual contact, but a delay in “coming out” to friends and parents. In contrast, youths in Pathway 3 (Late Same-Sex Experience) reported earlier ages of “coming out” to friends and parents, but reported later same-sex sexual contact. Youths who reported late onset of sexual contact were more likely to be living at home during adolescence and early adulthood. As shown in Figure 2, the second group of pathways involved later awareness of same-sex attractions. Pathways 4 and 5 were similar in their development. Both showed a late awareness of same-sex attractions followed by the relatively late onset of “coming out” to friends and family, and the later (and sometimes absent) onset of same-sex sexual contact. However, these two groups differed in the quality of their personal adjustment. Youths in Pathway 4 (High Adjustment) reported higher levels of comfort with their sexual identities than those in Pathway 5 (Lower Adjustment). Instructively,
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youths in the High Adjustment group reported being more richly immersed in a gay/lesbian social network than those in the Low Adjustment group. Pathway 5 had a larger number of bisexual youths than Pathway 4. There is research to suggest that bisexual youths – perhaps because of their difficulty in fitting into any clearly established group – encounter different types of struggles than gay or lesbian youths. Each of these pathways suggests a different type of solution to a different type of challenge faced by gay, lesbian and bisexual youths in their development. For example, there was some evidence in Floyd and Stein’s study suggesting that Pathway 1 (Early Development of All Milestones) was associated with higher levels of emotional distress in development, but this finding was restricted to a group of lesbian youths in the sample. Youths who took Pathway 2 had early sexual contact, but did not disclose their sexual orientations until relatively late. Youths in Pathway 3 were early disclosers, but, while living with their parents, delayed same-sex sexual behavior until later in adulthood. These findings are consistent with the idea that many homosexual youths experience social hardship in constructing their social identities over time. From Corsaro, W. A. (1985). Friendship and peer culture in the early years. Ablex.
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Development of Sexual Orientation Identity
Imagine Growing Up Straight in A Homosexual World Imagine a different world, an upside down world. In this world, 90-95% of the people in the world are gay or lesbian; the remaining ten percent are heterosexual. For this story, let’s assume that gay and lesbian couples either adopt their children, are artificially inseminated or have had children while in a previous heterosexual relationship. Imagine that you are a heterosexual individual who was raised by two gay men or by two lesbian women. Imagine that everything around you was designed for homosexual individuals. All of the movies that you see depict gay or lesbian couples. All of the advertisements that you see are pitched to gays or lesbians. All of the love songs on the radio are about gay or lesbian longings. Imagine that everyone is basically expected to be homosexual. Heterosexual people are the butt of jokes. They are seen as different, odd, abnormal or even hateful. Growing up, imagine that your older brother brings home his boyfriend as a date. You see your older sister holding hands with her same-sex date. You assume that this is natural – this is simply what goes on. But as you grow up, even prior to your teen years, you find yourself strangely attracted to members of the opposite sex. You somehow like members of the opposite sex, but you don’t understand why or what it means. You enter adolescence. If you are a boy, everyone expects you to be attracted
to boys; if you are a girl, everyone expects you to like girls. Your school is putting on a dance. Everyone is excited and spends their time trying to find a date to the dance. You don’t really understand what all the fuss is about. You know that you are supposed to go and ask a same-sex person to the dance, but the idea doesn’t appeal to you. You actually wish, in some odd, unexplained way, that you could take an opposite sex person to the dance. But this is an entirely crazy idea! You think you are the only one who could feel this way. You feel isolated and bad. Someone asks you to the dance. You go to the dance, all the boys are dancing with boys; the girls are dancing with girls. Your date asks you to dance. The fast dances aren’t so bad – but then there is a slow dance. Your same-sex date puts his or her arms around you and snuggles up closely toward you. You know you are supposed to feel something, but all you feel is that you want to run. Your date puts his or her head on your shoulder. You feel that something is not quite right – maybe even a bit of disgust. There’s no one there to talk to. On the way home, your father asks you how the date went. “Son, did you kiss the boy goodnight? You don’t want people to think you’re heterosexual – one of those breeders, do you? Why don’t you ask out Tom or Vinny?” You think you are all alone. One day, at the coffee shop, you are surfing the
internet. You click on an image of an attractive person of the opposite sex. You view the image, and next to the image you see an ad: “The Heterosexual Connection”. You click on the ad and it brings you to a website called, “It’s Hip to be Het”. You read on. You are surprised to learn there are other people who have felt the way that you do. And there is a name for it – it’s called being a “heterosexual”. You say to yourself, “Could I be a heterosexual”? Even though the idea is scary, it brings about a slight sense of, well, relief. The website has another link to support groups in your area. You click on the link, and find that there is a support group at the local church on Thursday night. You decide to go. But when you get to the church, you see some people you know. You are afraid and you bail out. You resolve the next week to go to the group. This week, you make it to the group. You see men and women interacting with each other. Some are just talking; others are clearly flirting. You feel both uncomfortable but at the same time, somehow, at home. You feel accepted, that you belong. “Maybe I am a heterosexual”. You meet new people. You talk; you compare experiences. You hear people tell their stories. Some talk about being made fun of because of their heterosexuality. One boy tells a story about how other adolescent boys put his head in a toilet when they suspected that he might be heterosexual. Another spoke of feelings of depression – feeling that they were entirely alone, misunderstood or freakish. Others spoke of thoughts of suicide. Several people in the room were nodding their heads. Some members of the group give speeches encouraging heterosexuals to come out of the closet. There is speak of “Breeder Pride” and “It’s no threat to be a het!” Soon you find that the attractive, opposite sex person across the
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room has been looking and smiling at you. You find yourself flirting, and feel entirely at home. “Yes, I am a heterosexual. What relief!” “Yes, I am a heterosexual. What horror! Now what do I do? If I tell my friends, will they still like me? If I tell my parents, will they disown me? If I ‘come out as a het’, will people hate me? Will they flush my head down the toilet? Oh, my God. How is my life going to go? What if I go on a date? Where will I go? How do I find out who is heterosexual and who is not? God. I wish I were never born.” You attend more groups. You are getting through high school. You start dating – privately – without telling anyone except one or two friends from your support group. Eventually, you find a partner. You tend to go either to your partner’s house or to a videogame arcade where you know that some heterosexuals tend to hang out. Soon, you are old enough to go to a ‘het’ bar. You meet people there. Your are on a date. You see some of your homosexual friends. They say, “Hey, who is your friend?” What do you do? Do you introduce the person as your partner? Do you introduce the person as a friend? Your homosexual friends (one male and one female) say, hey, we’re going out. Wanna double date? Alice and Wendy can be one date; Todd and Ralph can be another. Wanna go? Oh, come on…” What do you do? “Wow. It’s not so easy being heterosexual in a homosexual world.” This article was informed and inspired by the section entitled “Fantasy” in Brian McNight’s Gay issues in the workplace (pp. 18-24, 1993, St. Martin’s Press).
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Development of Sexual Orientation Identity
Supporting Your Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Child Glen saw it coming, but Laura was in a state of shock. Their 14 year old daughter, Melinda, announced that she was gay the summer before high school. While Glen began to notice and accept his daughter’s friendships two years ago, Laura insisted that Melinda was just shy around boys and that she would grow out of it. When Melinda told her parents that not only was she gay, but that she was dating a girl, Laura needed time to accept it. She feared for her daughter and needed to learn to begin to give up her own fantasies of seeing Melinda marry a lovely young man in a “picture perfect” wedding. Laura struggled with how the rest of her family would take the news. What can parents do to help a child
who is growing up gay, lesbian or bisexual, or who is questioning his or her sexual orientation identity? What your child needs most of all is acceptance and support. The most important thing you can do is support your child and reaffirm your love, care and acceptance of your child for who he or she is. Although this is important, this is not always easy for all parents. As a result, if you want to help your child, the most important place to start is probably with yourself. What are your beliefs, values and biases about homosexuality? Are you comfortable with your child’s sexual orientation identity? If you are, are you sure? Even the most accepting of parents may have misgivings about which he
or she is not even aware. Would you feel uncomfortable telling your friends? Your parents? Will you be comfortable seeing your child hold hands, dance with, or even kiss a same sex person? If you were reading a book on homosexuality, would you hide the cover? Why or why not? If you are an accepting parent, it might be uncomfortable to identify any “biases” that you might have. You might ask, “Am I homophobic?” “Do I truly accept homosexuality?” These are not helpful questions. This is because none of us is immune from the various biases that exist in the world. The trick is not to be a perfectly “unbiased” person – instead, it is to accept the possibility of bias in yourself, to become aware of it, to reflect upon it and explore how you would want to change your bias. In the example above, Laura thought she was accepting of homosexuality in general, but found that it was a whole new ballgame when it came to her only daughter. What do you do if you are a parent who is uncomfortable with homosexuality? Will you be able to give your child the support and acceptance that he or she needs to develop a healthy social identity? It is often difficult for many parents to accept their child’s homosexuality. This does not make such parents bad people. However, just as an “accepting” parent might profit from a thorough examination of his or her “biases”, as difficult as it might seem, for the sake of your child’s healthy development, an “uncomfortable” parent might profit from doing so as well. Rejection will almost always cause some sort of damage to a child’s development. So what can you do? Read everything you can about homosexuality. Talk with friends, family, a counselor, a minister. You might even consider actively seeking Continued on page 18
North Shore Children & Families
In Good Health balance the checkbook. Sound familiar? Although you may not say to your friends, “Excuse me, I am currently experiencing sympathetic nervous system dominance!”, you certainly recognize the symptoms of everyday stress. This occurs in active families living busy lives with considerable commitments and time constraints.
It’s Not Just What You Eat… by Andrea Cohen, M.Ed. This month, we inaugurate a new column – In Good Health – devoted to food, nutrition, exercise and healthy family nutrition. You won’t find any diets here! The author of In Good Health is Andrea Cohen, a food psychology coach who works out of Salem, Massachusetts. Andrea specializes in helping people transform their relationship to food. Healthy living must be a life-long process. The path to the development of healthy eating habits is to change the ways in which you and your family think about food. That’s what In Good Health is all about. Great nutrition is not just WHAT you eat. Great nutrition is also HOW you eat. Slow, relaxed eating is fundamental for good health and optimal metabolism. Being in a state of stress creates a challenge to the process of digestion. It is a less than ideal way to eat, digest and assimilate our food. When we are experiencing a stress response – even low-level, chronic, everyday stress – our blood flow gets re-routed away from our digestive system and travels urgently to our limbs and brain. This innate physiology is crucial when we are in real danger. It allows us to think, to fight or to run. Commonly called fight or flight, this sympathetic nervous system response can save our lives and helps to ensure our survival as a species. Problems arise, however, when we engage our stress response when we do not need it; this can occur when we are eating and metabolizing our food. We metabolize food most optimally when we are in a relaxed state. In fact, after the first two or three minutes of stress response, our digestive system slows down. Depending on the level of stress, it
can come to an almost complete halt. Now, of course, we all know what stress is. The classic definition is “any real or imagined threat and your body’s response to that threat”. What we don’t all know is that chronic, low-level, every day stressors can also engage our sympathetic nervous system, creating stress chemistry, impacting our oxygen intake and re-routing our blood flow. Ultimately, this can greatly inhibit our metabolic power. What are chronic, low-level, everyday stressors? Well, you know them as the frantic, last minute drop off to school, getting stuck in traffic on your way to the doctor’s appointment,
missing a deadline at work, not to mention, having to pick up groceries, make dinner, clean the house and
So, without making sweeping changes to our routines, what can we do to shift dominance to the parasympathetic nervous system, at least during mealtimes? The answer is easy. Moreover, it’s free and can be done anywhere: eat slowly and breathe. Eating fast causes stress. Eating fast sends signals to our bodies that something is wrong and we are at risk. When we slow down and breathe, we engage our relaxation Continued on page 18
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It’s Not Just What You Eat Continued from page 17
response. Our oxygen intake increases, our stress hormones rebalance, and our blood flows back to our digestive system. (Quick tip: eating slowly also increases thermic efficiency, that is, the capacity of your body to burn calories!) You may be aware of some of the symptoms of eating under stress (too fast), such as heartburn and bloating. But, did you know that eating under stress can also decrease nutrient absorption, increase nutrient excretion and increase insulin (an energy regulating hormone) and cortisol (a stress hormone)? We can teach our children to eat for healthy digestion and optimal metabolism by modeling this behavior at meal times. If breakfast in your home is eaten standing at your kitchen island while putting on socks and shoes, try sitting down for just five minutes. If you are
already enjoying a sit-down family dinner, consider adding ten minutes to the meal. Taking three to five deep breaths before eating is a great way to start. Eating slowly is a powerful way to enjoy great health and wellbeing; it can instill in us all a gratitude for the food we eat, a deep respect for our nutritional metabolism and a commitment to outstanding health. In summary, here are some ways to experiment with slow, relaxed eating: • Sit down while eating your meals. • Take three to five deep breaths before eating. • Consider adding five minutes to breakfast and ten minutes to dinner. Enjoy your eating experience. Pleasure releases endorphins and promotes relaxation! Andrea Cohen, M.Ed., is a food psychology coach serving the greater North Shore Area and beyond. Visit her website at www.fullcirclefoodcoaching.com.
Supporting Your Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Child Continued from page 16
out people who disagree with you. If you truly listen carefully, do you find anything convincing about what they have to say? More than anything, remember: This is your child – the person who looks to you for love, support and direction. It is already difficult for gay, lesbian and bisexual children to create a healthy sense of self. They will need your love and support more than ever. Some Suggestions • Provide acceptance and support and then more acceptance and support. • Be available to discuss any issues your child wishes to discuss in an open and accepting fashion. • Monitor your child’s emotional state over time. If your child is encountering difficulty, find a qualified psychotherapist. • Become active in your child’s school.
Family & Friends Continued from page 2
progress. Some of my gay friends suspected they might be attracted to members of the same sex back in high school – but they did not admit it, often to themselves even. They hid it and struggled with it and got taunted for it. And then I entered a big city college to study musical theatre – and the small world as I had known it changed in a second.
NOV. 20 10am-2pm
I was suddenly smack dab in the middle of a new community that included all kinds of people, some who even flaunted their identities. My formerly and primarily homogenous world was suddenly filled with new colors – new religions – new identities – new ideas – new options. I was there when two of my best childhood friends discovered that they were gay – and together we all paved our various ways. We had no road maps – no teachers – no role models – no examples – no guides – and I remember how cruel the world could be to my friends back then. The secrets, the lies, the fears, the taboo
Find out how others in the school react to your child. Is there teasing or taunting going on? • Encourage and support your child’s association with gay, lesbian or bisexual organizations. Encourage attendance at a support group if needed. Help your child make contact with other gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals. • Discuss the meaning of love and sexuality with your child. As is true for all children, make sure that your child has access to information about safer sexual practices. • Show interest in your gay, lesbian or bisexual child’s life. The more you are able to share – without boundaries that you and your child find acceptable – the more your child will understand that you truly accept him or her and are there to provide support.
nature of their being, the belief that they had to hide themselves and who they truly were from most of the world saddens me. They were just my friends, first and foremost, after all. When I see how far we’ve all come – I am proud and honored that we are discussing this important topic in this issue, as a guide of sorts – a way to begin the conversation for some people. And if it helps just one kid who is struggling with their own sexual orientation identity – or helps even one parent to be more informed and open and willing to do anything and everything they can to support their developing child – then that’s a great start! It’s not a topic for other people – it’s a topic for all of us that make up the human race. Every one of us deserves to live a life of our own truth. And while I may never personally know or understand exactly what it’s like to be GLBT – I will continue to educate myself and support my friends so that we can all develop into our fullest potential – as individuals, communities, societies and the world at large. Whether my Continued on page 22
Community Calendar To Submit to our Community Calendar: Please visit us at www.northshorefamilies.com and submit your listings directly through our website. From our Home Page – click on Calendar – then click on Submit in the upper right corner and our form will open for you to complete and submit your listings. While we will make every attempt to post all appropriate listings in our Community Calendar, space is limited – and priority will be given to those events that are free and family-friendly – and those submitted by our advertising partners & sponsors. Calendar listings are generally due by the 15th of each month prior and must be submitted through our website. If you need to guarantee that your listing will be posted – please contact Suzanne to advertise. See our current Calendar for our upcoming issue deadlines. To advertise, please contact Suzanne at email@example.com or 781.584.4569.
For complete listing accuracy, we recommend that you call ahead or check the websites listed. Featured listings do not constitute an endorsement from this publisher and we encourage our readers to always do their own research. NOVEMBER IS THE MONTH FOR: Aviation History, Child Safety & Protection, Good Nutrition, Drums, Adoption Awareness, Epilepsy, Model Railroads, Novel Writing, Native American Heritage, Latin American, Peanut Butter Lovers, Real Jewelry, Sleep Comfort. Week 1: Chemistry Week. Week 2: Children’s Book Week. Week 3: Game & Puzzle Week & Education Week. FREE CLASSES: Mention the ad on page 10 for a FREE dance class at Boston Ballet School/North Shore Studio at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA in Marblehead! Beginners welcome: 617.456.6380 or www.bostonballet.org/school. Call today to schedule a FREE introductory class at The Little Gym! Danvers (978.777.7977); Woburn (781.933.3388). BOOK TODAY: Book your birthday party on roller skates today at Roller World, Saugus! www.roller-world.com Book your next special event at The Bayside of Nahant! Oceanfront splendor, magnificent views, elegant and affordable. For info.: 781.592.3080 or www.baysidefunctions.com. Book your age 5 and under child’s birthday party at Mall Tots, Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers! www.malltots.com SIGN UP TODAY: Learn to Skate w/Bay State Skating School at several North Shore area rinks; ages 4.5-adults. See our ad on page 2 and www.baystateskatingschool.org to learn more & register. Use hockey or figure skates; beginner, intermediate & advanced classes available. 781.890.8480
Get Your Monthly Membership (ages 5 & under) at Mall Tots, Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers! www.malltots.com Adult American Sign Language (ASL) Classes; Toddler Sign Playgroup (for 2-3 year olds); Baby Sign Playgroup (for infants & 1 year olds) – all presented by The Children’s Center for Communication, Beverly School for the Deaf, 6 Echo Ave., Beverly. Contact Jessica Fox at 978.927.7070 x317 or www.thechildrencenterforcommunication.org. NOW through December 30: Visit Gallery Della-Piana for an Art Exhibit; 152-Rear Main St., Wenham. View original art by 18 Illustrators of the bestselling MATHSTART children’s books, free on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 11am-6pm. School groups welcome! 978.468.1944. www.gallerydellapiana.com
North Shore Children & Families MONDAYS: Mommy & Me w/A Jewish Twist, 10:3011:30am; 0-3 years w/caregiver. $10/class, $72/semester. At Chabad of Peabody, 83 Pine St., Unit E. Fun w/song, art, music, playtime, snacks & schmoosing w/other moms. 978.977.9111 WEDNESDAYS: PEM Pals at PEM, Salem, 10:3011:30am; free w/mus. adm. (admission is always free for residents of Salem, MA!). Fun, interactive program for families w/children up to 6 years old. (PEM Pals will NOT meet on 11/24, 12/22 or 29). www.pem.org/calendar FRIDAYS: Free Breastfeeding Mother-Baby Group. Facilitated by IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), the group meets every Friday morning, 9-11am, in the Lynch conference room of Mass General Hospital for Children (formerly the North Shore Children’s Hospital, Highland Ave., Salem). No fee, no registration necessary. For more info. or to speak with an IBCLC about breastfeeding, please call the milk line at NSMC Birthplace: 888.217.6455. SATURDAYS in NOVEMBER:
10:45am-12:30pm; free, RSVP at 978.922.1008. www.harborlightmontessori.org GET TICKETS NOW FOR: SHS/Salem (MA) High School 30th Reunion – Classes of 1980 + 1981, 7pmmidnight at Knights of Columbus, Salem. For tickets: www.salemwitches30.com. Join us on Facebook! (May be sold out by event; tickets available for classes of 1980 + 1981 only through 11/1. May open to other classes if any tickets remain on 11/1.) Willy Wonka comes to the Marblehead Little Theatre in November! Weekends from Nov. 6-21; $20/online, $25/door; all ages. For tickets & info.: www.MLTLIVE.org or 781.631.9697. With its cast of 70+, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is MLT’s big fall spectacular. Audiences can expect a dazzling visual & theatrical presentation of this perennial favorite, featuring many adults & children from Marblehead & beyond. Performances will be held at the Nelson Aldrich Performing Arts Center at Marblehead Veterans’ Middle School, 217 Pleasant St., Marblehead. Fab Faux, 11/20; Jersey Boys, 12/16-1/30 at Boston’s Colonial Theatre. www.broadwayacrossamerica.com/boston
Toddler & Parent Playgroups at Harborlight Montessori School,
Continued on page 20
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NOVEMBER 6: Book Lovers’ Day; Marooned w/out A Compass Day; Saxophone Day
Continued from page 19
All Saints’ Day; Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead); Authors’ Day; Family Literacy Day
GET TICKETS NOW FOR: Lynn Auditorium Shows: The Rat Pack is Back on Nov. 5; Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes w/special guest, The Fools, on Nov. 19; 3 Time Grammy Winner Kenny Rogers – A Christmas Special on Dec. 18. For tickets: 781.581.2971, online at www.lynnauditorium.com or stop by room 311 in Lynn City Hall, 3 City Hall Square, Lynn. Snow White…The Musical on 11/7; Cinderella’s Christmas…The Musical on 12/12. Kaleidoscope Children’s Theatre performs monthly in Saugus at 466 Central St. 781.230.EXPO.
NOVEMBER 2: All Souls’ Day; Look for Circles Day; Election Day – Remember to Vote! NOVEMBER 4: Open House at Brookwood School, Manchester, 8:45am. www.brookwood.edu Teen Book Discussion Group, grades 5-12, at Malden Public Library/Program Room, 3:30pm. No assigned books – bring any book you’ve read recently & we’ll discuss them all. Snack provided; no reg. required.
Salem Theatre Company presents singer/songwriter Gregory Douglass on 11/6 at 7:30pm, $15; Overboard/all male a cappella troupe on 11/7 at 3pm, $15; Zehra Fazal/one-woman show, Headscarf and the Angry Bitch, folk-rock comedy exploration of faith, love, sex & what it means to grow up Muslim in America on 11/11, 12 + 13 at 7:30pm & 11/14 at 3pm, $20; Everyone’s Waiting, a new, original folk-rock musical dealing with how a family copes with the death of the eldest child, 11/18 + 19 at 7:30pm & 11/20 at 3pm + 7:30pm. STC, 90 Lafayette St., Salem, MA. www.salemtheatre.com
NOVEMBER 5 – 7: Sharpen Your Focus on Photography at Hunt’s 34th Annual Demo. Show & Sale! Over 20 free & 10 paid seminars for teens & adults at Hunt’s Photo & Video, 100 Main St., Melrose. Cutting edge cameras & hands-on learning with more than 30 educational workshops for amateurs & professionals. Best prices of the season on advanced digital & still cameras, accessories & equipment at all Hunt’s locations. See the back cover to learn more. Pre-registration is requested, sign up at www.wbhunt.com/seminars or 781.662.8822.
Open House w/Lantern Making at The Cape Ann Waldorf School. Come see what makes Waldorf education famous for nurturing a child’s social, emotional, physical & intellectual capacities from birth to adolescence. For 90 years, Waldorf schools have offered experiential-based curriculum rich in literature, arts, culture, music, languages, movement, math & science. Children receive a classical academic education that creates & inspires a sense of empowerment, engagement & enthusiastic responsibility in the world. Meet with teachers, parents & alumni of The Cape Ann Waldorf School, tour the classrooms & see student work. Children’s activity includes making a beautiful autumn lantern to bring home. RSVP to 978.927.1936; admission is free. At 668 Hale St., Beverly Farms. Open House at Sparhawk High School, 10am-12pm, at 18 Maple St., Salisbury. Learn about our engaging curriculum, meet with the teachers, directors & headmaster, & hear more about our new transportation options. For more info., to schedule a tour: 978.388.5354 or visit www.sparhawkschool.com. Open House at Andover School of Montessori, Andover, 10am-noon. www.andovermontessori.org
3rd Annual School Info. Fair, 9am-12noon; free at Beverly Golf & Tennis Club. See over 20 preschools through junior high independent schools from the North Shore. www.beverlymothersclub.com/school-partners NOVEMBER 6 + 7: Weekend Festival: Exploring the Emperor’s Paradise, at PEM, Salem. Enjoy martial arts, brush painting, music, demos., art activity, story time, etc. Visit www.pem.org for schedule, RSVP deadlines & sugg. ages. Free w/mus. adm. (admission is always free for residents of Salem, MA!). NOVEMBER 7: Daylight Savings Time Ends – Turn Clocks Back 1 Hour! (Fall back – Spring ahead!) Bittersweet Chocolate w/Almonds Day; Hug A Bear Day; Magazine Day Admission Open House at The Pike School, Andover, 1-3pm. www.pikeschool.org NOVEMBER 9: Young Readers’ Day; Chaos Never Dies Day; Parade Day Barnes & Nobles Shabbat Story Hour, 11:30am-12:30pm, free, open to the public, ages 0-5 w/caregiver; at B&N, North Shore Mall, Peabody. Fun-filled story hour, Shabbat stories, songs, craft; snack & juice provided. www.jewishpeabody.com
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Have an Awesome Birthday Bash at The Little Gym! · Private party – clean, safe, beautiful facility all to yourselves. · Instructor led – great age-appropriate games and activities. · Stress-free for The Little Gym of Danvers parents…we take 978.777.7977 care of EVERYTHING! www.tlgdanversma.com Call for details.
The Little Gym of Woburn 781.933.3388 • www.tlgwoburnma.com
Birthday Party on Roller Skates! Roller World, Saugus 781.233.3255 Party Line See ad on pg.12!
PAUL’S REPTILE CIRCUS We Connect Reptiles With Kids! Featuring your choice of 9 reptiles, including a water dragon, cornsnake, box turtle, scorpion and more!
SCHOOLS • BIRTHDAYS SPECIAL EVENTS
• Fully insured • Credit cards accepted
Ages 5 & Under Birthday Parties at
www.malltots.com See our ad on pg. 2!
NOVEMBER 12 (EARLY!):
Forget-Me-Not Day; USMC Day (estab. 1775); Sesame Street (debuted in 1969)
Advertising Space Reservation DEADLINE for ALL ADS for our WINTER issue! Our WINTER issue covers TWO months – December AND January – with bonus distribution in January! If you need to advertise in December and/or January – please plan ahead for our 2-month Winter issue. Space closes early due to the Thanksgiving holiday week – contact firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Sparhawk PreK-8th Grade Open House, 5:30-7:30pm, at the PreK-8 Lower Campus at our Amesbury Campus 259 Elm St., Amesbury. Learn about our engaging curriculum, meet with the teachers, directors & headmaster, & hear more about our new transportation options. For more info., to schedule a tour: 978.388.5354 or visit www.sparhawkschool.com.
Tours & Open Classroom at Harborlight Montessori School, Beverly, 9-11am. www.harborlightmontessori.org
World Kindness Day; Sadie Hawkins Day; Indian Pudding Day; Moms’ & Dads’ Day
Admissions Open House at Shore Country Day School, Beverly, 9:15am/library. www.shoreschool.org
Fall Entrance Exam at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, 8:30am. Must register by 11/11 at www.austinprepschool.org.
Veterans’ Day (In honor of, in memory of and with gratitude to all veterans.)
Open House at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, 12-4pm. www.austinprepschool.org
Admissions Open House at Tower School, Marblehead, 9-11am. www.towerschool.org NOVEMBER 11 – 14: 16th Anniversary Sale at Marblehead Toy Shop, 48 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead! $ave 20% on ALL merchandise; excludes balloons. Comp. gift wrapping is not available on sale days. Shop now & $ave!
Noah’s Bark w/Stephen Krensky at Cohen Hillel Academy, 10am! Meet the author, celebrate Jewish Book Month’s first event for preschool & elementary age children. Activity and snack. RSVP to Carrie Berger at 781.639.2880.
We Help North Shore Schools! • OPEN HOUSES • BOOST YOUR ENROLLMENTS • COMMUNITY ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS • SPECIAL EVENTS & FUNDRAISERS • SEASONAL PROGRAMS • SCHOOL PRODUCTIONS North Shore Children & Families presents
The Annual Planner – for North Shore Schools! Commit to 6 display ads in the coming year – save 15%! (Reg. frequency discount for 6x/year is 10%.)
Commit to 10 display ads in the coming year – one in every issue – save 20%! (Reg. frequency discount for 10x/year is 15%.)
Ask about our 10x/every issue, 1/4 page+ program – which earns an editorial feature bonus for North Shore schools! To secure your Annual Planner Advertising Program and save, please contact Suzanne at 781.584.4569 or email@example.com.
North Shore Children & Families NOVEMBER 15: Clean Your Refrigerator Day; America Recycles Day; Philanthropy Day; Pack Your Mom Lunch Day
Admissions Open House at Tower School, Marblehead, 9-11am. www.towerschool.org Open Classroom at Clark School, Danvers, 9-10:30am. www.clarkschool.com
NOVEMBER 16: Community Calendar Listings Deadline for WINTER issue – covers TWO months – December AND January! Please submit your listings for December AND January events directly through our website. (See beginning of our Calendar for details.) Classroom Tours at Cape Ann Waldorf School, 8:15am, free for adults only; RSVP to 978.927.1936. At 668 Hale St., Beverly Farms. www.capeannwaldorf.org NOVEMBER 17: Eid-Ul-Adha; Homemade Bread Day; Take a Hike Day; World Peace Day Admissions Open House at Tower School, Marblehead, 6-7:30pm. www.towerschool.org NOVEMBER 18:
SAT Strategies 101, 7-8pm, at Malden Public Library/Program Room. Free workshop for area high school students & caregivers by Kaplan Test Prep. For info. & to reg.: www.kaptest.com/practicetest or 800.KAP.TEST. NOVEMBER 20: Universal Children’s Day; Adoption Day; Beautiful Day; Absurdity Day Holiday Fair at Cape Ann Waldorf School, free for all ages, 9am-4pm. At 668 Hale St., Beverly Farms. Get in the holiday spirit, shop for handmade crafts, toys & more! Artisans, books, educational materials, bakery, café, madrigal singers, activities for the entire family, storytelling, puppet shows, candledipping, music, raffles, Wee-Folk Shoppe, meet our own Pocket Lady! www.capeannwaldorf.org
The Great American Smokeout! Commit to Quit! Open House at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms, 9-11am. www.gus.org
Continued on page 22
Winter Advertising Specials For New Display Advertisers:
Buy One - Get One 15% Off! Buy a display ad in our Winter (Dec./Jan.) issue at open rate –
$ave 15% off your February ad! Or - "Try Us!" in 3 consecutive issues –
and $ave 10% off all 3 display ads! Our Winter issue covers 2 months (Dec. AND Jan.) – and has a bonus printing to cover both months, for our regular rates. Space reservations for the Winter issue are due earlier than usual – due to the Thanksgiving holiday week!
Winter issue ad space closes on Fri., Nov. 12; ads are due/must be done by Tues., Nov. 16. To secure your space and $ave – contact Suzanne by Nov. 12: 781.584.4569 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To see our current issue, media kit & more, please visit us at www.northshorefamilies.com.
"Try Us!" – You'll LOVE Us!
North Shore Children & Families
NOVEMBER 30: Stay At Home Because You Are Well Day!
Continued from page 21
NOVEMBER 25 through December 30:
Open House at North Shore Montessori School, 10am-2pm, at our new location: 121 Wethersfield St., Rowley. www.northshoremontessori.org
ZooLights returns to Stone Zoo, Stoneham! Daily 5-9pm (closed 12/25). Holiday light show, see reindeer up close, visit Santa (photos avail. Through 12/23), fairy tale characters & dancing plush animals. M-Th $5/per or $4/member, under age 2 free; F-Su $6/per or $5/member, under age 2 free. www.stonezoo.org
Studio Saturdays at PEM, Salem, 1-3pm; free w/mus. adm. 11/20: Decorate your own pot & plant a seed to grown your own tea; all ages. www.pem.org (admission is always free for residents of Salem, MA!)
NOVEMBER 26: You’re Welcome Day; Cake Day; Retail Black Friday – one of the busiest shopping days of the year; or – Buy Nothing Day!
NOVEMBER 21: World Hello Day; False Confession Day Open House at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms, 3-5pm. www.gus.org
NOVEMBER 27: Happy Birthday, Nancy McNicholas!
Art & Nature Story Time: Follow the Moon, at PEM, Salem, 2-3pm; free w/mus. adm. but RSVP by 11/19. For ages 3-6 years w/caregiver. Enjoy story, then spongepaint your own moonlit scene. www.pem.org (admission is always free for residents of Salem, MA!) NOVEMBER 22:
SHS/Salem (MA) High School 30th Reunion – Classes of 1980 + 1981, 7pmmidnight at Knights of Columbus, Salem. For tickets: www.salemwitches30.com. Join us on Facebook! (May be sold out by event; tickets available for classes of 1980 + 1981 only through 11/1. May open to other classes if any tickets remain on 11/1.)
Stop the Violence Day; Go For A Ride Day
Wish you could give the person who has everything something they don't have?
Personalized Poems & Prose by Suzanne The perfect gift to enhance any special occasion. Clever verses for your invitations and thank you notes. Speeches, toasts and roasts. Birthdays • Graduations • Showers Weddings • Anniversaries • Births • Retirements • Holidays All Special Occasions
specializing in poignant, personalized eulogies – available in prose and in verse. Celebrate your loved one's life and share their story. Your guests will leave with smiles, fond memories and lots to talk about.
or email@example.com Samples available.
Open House at Brookwood School, Manchester, 6:30pm. www.brookwood.edu DECEMBER 1: Why Waldorf Children Love to Read, 78:30pm, free for adults only. www.capeannwaldorf.org; 668 Hale St., Beverly Farms. Join grades 1-4 faculty for a journey through early literacy learning, Q&A; RSVP to 978.927.1936. DECEMBER 3 – 5: 31st Year of Christmas in Salem Celebration! Tour 11 beautifully decorated homes in Salem & enjoy the holiday spirit. Leading area decorators deck these halls in full holiday regalia. Includes a festive Christmas Tea on 12/4 at the Hawthorne Hotel; lectures & musical performances at the Tabernacle Congregational Church; holiday shopping at the Salem Garden Club boutique & downtown area. Candlelight Tour of 3 Homes
Family & Friends Continued from page 18
friends have green hair or blue skin – whether they pray to a rock or with a Bible, Koran or Torah – whether they like pizza or not – it doesn’t matter any more to me who they choose to love – as long as I continue to earn a spot on that list. What happens during a person’s most intimate moments is nobody’s business, beyond the consenting adults that are involved. So we can learn about each other’s preferences and support each other as individuals – or we can live in fear and hate – and lose out on really knowing each other and the opportunities to learn new things. Some new things and ideas and concepts we will like – others we won’t; some we’ll be able to relate to – and others will seem foreign and strange. But if we remain open and honest and respectful – we can appreciate each other and our differences. If you know someone who is struggling with sexual orientation identity, please don’t turn away or shut down. Educate yourself – face what is because it doesn’t (and it shouldn’t!) just magically go away. It’s not something that you can grow out of or turn on and off. It is who you are.
(for advance ticket holders only) on 12/3, 68pm, concurrent with the Dearborn St. Illumination. Other tours 12/4, 10am-4:30pm and on 12/5, 11:30am-4:30pm. Complimentary trolley service available. Buy Advance tickets by 5pm, 12/1: $25/Historic Salem, Inc. members or $30/general public; after 12/1 $35/gen. pub.; www.ChristmasinSalem.org or 978.745.0799. DECEMBER 3: Nature Program: Forays into Birdology with naturalist & award-winning author on animals, Sy Montgomery, at PEM, Salem/Bartlett Gallery. 7:45-9pm (book signing follows), for adults & teens; free w/mus. adm. but RSVP by 12/1 at www.pem.org. (admission is always free for residents of Salem, MA!) DECEMBER 4: Saturday Enrichment Program, 1011:30am, at The Phoenix School, Salem. For 3-7 and 7-10 year olds; free. www.phoenixschool.org
Even in life’s most challenging moments, I encourage you to always choose love. With love, we will always find our way – regardless of the paths each of us chooses. And finally, it’s the time of year to give thanks. So thank you to all of our sponsors and readers! I am so thankful that you are part of our North Shore family. Our next issue is our Winter issue, and it covers 2 months – December AND January. Distribution will begin on November 29 and we will restock some of our busiest distribution locations in early January. If you are an advertiser who needs to promote something in December and/or January, please contact me by November 12 to secure your advertising space in our Winter issue. Our deadlines are also early this month, due to the Thanksgiving holiday week – so plan ahead so you won’t miss our 2-month Winter issue! We will resume our regular monthly publishing schedule with our February issue. Thanks so much for engaging with us again – I hope you enjoy this issue – and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your North Shore family! Until next time – Suzanne
North Shore Children & Families
To advertise: firstname.lastname@example.org • 781.584.4569
TheArtRoom Topsfield 978.887.8809 www.theartroomstudio.com
ZooLights at Stone Zoo Stoneham Daily 11/25-12/30, 5-9pm www.stonezoo.org
Austin Preparatory School Reading 781.944.4900 www.austinprepschool.org
North Shore Montessori School Rowley • 978.948.2237 www.northshoremontessori.org
Brookwood School Manchester 978.526.4500 www.brookwood.edu
The Phoenix School Salem 978.741.0870 www.phoenixschool.org
The Cape Ann Waldorf School Beverly Farms 978.927.1936 www.capeannwaldorf.org
The Pike School Andover 978.475.1197 www.pikeschool.org
The Children’s Ctr. for Comm. Beverly School for the Deaf Adult sign language classes & toddler/baby sign playgroups. See our ad on page 19!
Shore Country Day School Beverly 978.927.1700 www.shoreschool.org
ART/BOOKS FOR KIDS
Gallery Della-Piana, Wenham Exhibit of original art from MATHSTART children’s books! See ad on page 17 for dates & times. www.gallerydellapiana.com
The Bayside of Nahant 781.592.3080 www.baysidefunctions.com
DANCE INSTRUCTION Boston Ballet School/ North Shore Studio Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA, Marblehead 617.456.6380 www.bostonballet.org/school
FUN & FITNESS The Little Gym Danvers and Woburn www.tlgdanversma.com www.tlgwoburnma.com
Mall Tots at Liberty Tree Mall, Danvers See our ad on page 2! www.malltots.com
Andover Pediatric Dentistry Andover & Lawrence Locations www.andoverpediatricdentistry.com
Roller World Saugus 781.231.1111 www.roller-world.com
ICE SKATING LESSONS
Brain Balance Achievement Centers Danvers 978.705.9570 www.brainbalancecenters.com
Bay State Skating School Various North Shore Rinks See our ad on page 2. www.baystateskatingschool.org PHOTOGRAPHY
EARLY EDUCATION Little Sprouts Several North Shore Locations 877.977.7688 www.littlesprouts.com EDUCATION CONSULTING, ETC Education Consulting, Advocacy & Legal Services 781.231.4332 Serving MA, including the North Shore
Hunt’s Photo & Video 34th Annual Show & Demos. (Melrose only) & Sale (all locations) Nov. 5-7. See back cover! www.huntsphotoandvideo.com PRE-K ENTERTAINMENT The Adventures of Scuba Jack DVD & Online Activities 978.491.0747 www.adventuresofscubajack.com
Clark School Danvers 978.777.4699 www.clarkschool.com Cohen Hillel Academy Marblehead 781.639.2880 www.cohenhillel.org Covenant Christian Academy West Peabody 978.535.7100 www.covenantchristianacademy.org Glen Urquhart School Beverly Farms 978.927.1064 www.gus.org Harborlight Montessori Beverly 978.922.1008 www.harborlightmontessori.org
Sparhawk School Amesbury & Salisbury 978.388.5354 www.sparhawkschool.com Tower School Marblehead 781.631.5800 www.towerschool.org SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW Wallace Law Office, P.C. Ellen Crowley Koltun, Esq Serving the North & South Shores, with offices in Woburn & Canton. We specialize in all aspects of Special Education Law & Family Law. 781.830.9990 www.wallacelawoffice.com TOYS & GIFTS FOR KIDS Marblehead Toy Shop 16th Anniversary Sale! Nov. 11-14 See our ad on page 3!
Please Support Our Advertisers, Who Sponsor this Publication for You & Your Family!
Published on Oct 30, 2010
North Shore Children & Families: The online forum for promoting the development of children, families and the parents who care for them.